Actress and Politician, Kate Henshaw was recently interviewed by ELLE South Africa. She speaks on politics, what it means to be a female in Nigeria and her participation in the six-hour documentary – “My Nigeria” by Al Jazeera and more.
Read excerpts below;
ELLE: What sparked your passion and interest in politics?
I did not necessarily want to be a politician, but I’ve always been outspoken about various injustices in my country. I came to the realisation that those in government make decisions that affect our lives and I knew I could make a difference, and so I gave it a shot. I believe every citizen in Nigeria should be involved in politics or at least show interest. The policies and laws made affect us all be it positively or negatively.
ELLE: As a politician, what are some of the gender challenges that you’ve had to deal with?
Once, while meeting some elders during consultations, I was viewed as too young to attempt politics, and one of the men wondered aloud if they would be able to sit with me in the evenings and jaw-jaw (like when men go to the pub and talk about different things). I was also viewed as just an actress, with no real understandings of politics. Sadly, we’re still living in a patriarchal society.
ELLE: In what way do you hope the documentary will speak to women?
I am hoping it will inspire women to believe in themselves, and support each other, no matter the obstacles. I believe that if you never try, you will never know. I am hoping it will give at least one woman the courage to dare to dream.
ELLE:What does #BeingFemaleInNigeria mean to you?
It means having principles and values, and speaking out against all forms of gender discrimination, domestic violence, and child abuse. It also means when women are given an opportunity to serve, to lead, they should stand out from the norm.
Read full interview on Elle.co.za