Onome is a young single adult studying French at a university in Ibadan, Nigeria. She sees women in Nigeria as often being treated as second-class citizens, but hopes that the culture is shifting toward increased respect for women. She sees male pride as a particularly destructive force for Nigerian women, as husbands sometimes sabatage the businesses of wives who make more money than they do.
In contrast to Nigerian culture at large, Onome finds the discourse on gender at church liberating. She appreciates the focus on the family and believes that working does not prevent women from fulfilling nurturing roles in the family. She also appreciates policies that require a wife’s consent to large church callings for her husband, as well as Relief Society and self-reliance programs that teach women necessary skills. However, she does struggle with Relief Society at times, feeling that too many women there judge other women over their appearances.
While Onome is currently finding it difficult to attend church given the fact that she doesn’t feel close to people in her current ward, she finds a lot of value in the way people pray at church—not prescribed set prayers or shouted exclamations to God, but personal quiet prayers. The music is also a draw to her. One change to church discourse she would make is church leaders’ emphasis on marrying young, even before being financially stable. She sees that as being incompatible with Nigerian society and harmful to the resulting children that might not have enough to eat or a place to live.
Read or listen to Onome Alfred’s full oral history.