Niran Adedokun, Nigerian author, and filmmakers in the Nollywood industry have celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child in Lagos on Friday.
The United Nations dedicates October 11 of each year to celebrate of the girl child in order to promote human rights and address issues of gender inequality.
Nigerian filmmakers who joined Adedokun in the celebration include Tope Oshin, Belinda Yanga-Agedah, and Grace Edwin-Okon.
The event themed “empowering girls for a better tomorrow,” took place at Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Lagos.
Yanga-Agedah, who had studied engineering before pursuing a career in the film industry, urged the students to flourish in their various endeavours.
“Flourish. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do this or that,” she said.
The filmmakers shared their personal experiences while urging the female students to do away with barriers that could limit them from reaching their peak.
Oshin, director of MTV Shuga Naija, told the students to be prepared for barriers. She added that those barriers should however not become hindrances to their success.
She urged the students to adopt self-development and appreciate their uniqueness.
“There will be men that would try to stop you as there would be women. Do what you need to do without looking at anybody,” she said.
“Be yourself. There is no one that has all the things you have. It is not a mistake that you understand some things better than some other people. Listen to yourself, listen to your intuition, develop yourself.”
Edwin-Okon, another filmmaker and model, told the students to learn from the experiences of others in making their lives better.
“I really look forward to that time when your lives would have been transformed. I am sure that in the future I will hear of you as presidents, first ladies, filmmakers, and great people in the world. I hope that our lives are just stepping stones for you to climb on and be better,” she said.
Adedokun, author of Ladies Calling the Shots, cautioned the girls against worldly lies. He urged them to always believe in themselves and strive for excellence.
“Don’t listen to the lies that the society tells you. Don’t let anyone bring you down. Know in your mind that there is nothing you set out to achieve that you cannot achieve. Don’t believe that anyone is better than you, you are as good as any other human being that walks on this surface of the earth. So believe in yourself and strive for whatever you want to achieve,” he said.
During the event, Heavy Beauty, a movie directed by Edwin-Okon, was screened to inform the students of the dangers of teenage pregnancy.
Also, Amaka’s Kin: The Women of Nollywood, a video documentary on Amaka Igwe, the first female movie director in Nigeria, was screened before the students.
The documentary, made by Oshin, urges the students to strive for excellence, irrespective of societal challenges.
Students from Canon James Pearse Anglican College and TopGrade Secondary School attended the event.