Dr. Baroness Uba Onwudiwe-Iwunwa, a multi-talented artist, is the author of Bitter Kola. The Vice President and co-founder of Uba Key Global Commission for Humanity said she wrote the book to empower women across the globe, especially those suffering in silence in their homes and ashamed to voice it out.
“I have written this book to save the lives of women under bondage and help them to look in the mirror and say, Yes, I’m beautiful and I have the right to live and to say no to injustice,” she declared. “Their voices resonate fully well in the book, and that’s my role as a writer –to reflect on human interest stories and bring them as a source of awareness to my readers.”
Bitter Kola sets out to denounce evil in the society against the backdrop that women Africa and across the globe are undergoing domestic violence. It is a wakeup call for them to up to their “marriage slave masters”, and let them know that marriage is all about love and compromise. “It’s true the emancipation of women in Africa is in progress, but we need to educate our girls in terms of gender equality and let them know that some of them are better than boys,” she said.
“It is disheartening when I hear today that those women amid all their ordeals in a man’s world have become objects of ‘ritual sacrifices’ for occult men who want to make money by all means,” she lamented.
Bitter Kola also aims at bringing changes in the lives of African women before they become victims of different abuses. The author sees herself as an instrument of women emancipation in Africa. She said, “In a male dominated world, where a woman’s place is in the kitchen and in the bed room. We have to fight for our rights. In a world where a woman’s role is to get pregnant and carter for her children most of the time, when the father is absent in the home, we have to fight for our rights.”
When she started writing Bitter Kola, she used her outline as a way of making sure that the idea interest was of interest to her to sustain the subject of victims of domestic violence in a male dominated society.
“Someone has to address the issue of those who have no more strength to fight the male bullies in our society. I am now a part of the struggle, because it’s my role as an African writer to be the mouthpiece of our people. Bitter Kola is all about empowerment, and I hope women who will read it will appreciate my story. For men, it will help them to love and respect their wives. I expect them to bring romance back in the homes instead of violence,” she declared.
What does she consider the way out of this gender imbalance? She responded, “We need to educate our girls. We need to give them sex education in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies. It is pathetic to see a 16 year old girl who should be in school nursing a child. That’s absurd. We have to create motivational workshops where the key speakers will talk about “Ambition”, “Goals”, and more.
“We will let our girls to know that ambition is the best contraceptive pill and that their future is better than cheap money they may collect from men. We should teach them how to be resourceful, and not to depend on men. For example, if they go to a restaurant with a man, they should not wait for him to pay for their bill. This is the only way to set the gender imbalance straight and in so doing they will gain the respect of men.”
She doubles as Nigeria’s Goodwill Ambassador in Canada. “This position is based on a showcase of African culture, tradition and heritage across the miles, a positive outlook of Nigerians as great people of the planet earth. No more should we stand and be labelled only by corruption.”
On the book launch, she said, “It’s an accomplishment of two years of writing on domestic violence where many women suffer all sorts of humiliation. It was something that has been with me for long, having been greatly inspired by stories my grandma told me when I was a teenager on gender issues.
HE Baroness Uba Iwunwa