International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021 – Seyi Adelusi

Today, the 11th of February is Women in Science Day. Therefore, I would like to shine a spotlight on Seyi Adelusi who is a DevOps Engineer who works in a Fintech Company in Nigeria. We shall read on how the journey has been and the challenges especially as a woman.

Storytelling is a powerful tool, and I believe that by reading her story, more young girls and women will embrace STEM and the stereotypical views associated with young girls showing interest. We hope that more parents, guardians and caregivers will encourage their girls who are interested in this field.

  1. Can we meet you?

My name is Oluwaseyi Ifedola Adelusi. A graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. I work as a DevOps Engineer in a Fintech company in Nigeria. I love writing, travelling and reading books.

2) What was your university education like?

My University education was very interesting. In a class of over 120 students, we were less than 10 girls. Our lecture halls had limited capacities, so I always needed to hustle through the crowd in order to get a comfortable seat close to the front of the hall. As a girl, this was a difficult feat to undertake. It was a journey that has shaped me into being the woman that I am today: a woman who is willing to compete to get to the top in the corporate world. I am so excited about my future and grateful for my educational journey.

3) How has the journey in a STEM Career been like?

I was inspired to pursue a career in STEM when I during my physics and mathematics classes in high school. The ability to understand and define the world both conceptually and quantitatively attracted me to STEM. I wanted to apply mathematical tools to solving problems, and I was drawn to the inherent creativity involved in engineering. I ended up studying engineering at the university as a result.

My career so far has been rewarding. I started as Operations Engineer and Database Administrator in one of the leading banks in Nigeria. After roughly 3 years with the bank, I recently pivoted to the fintech world where I currently serve as the DevOps and Integration lead of a fast-growing payments company.

4) Do you have any regrets?

I would say I can’t think of any regrets at the moment. STEM has become our everyday life. I’m glad I chose this path, and I will choose it over and over again.

5) Many people think STEM courses are a no-go area for girls, what do you have to say about this?

As already expressed above, I have been working in STEM, or ‘tech’ as it is commonly called, for over 3 years now. In that time, I have demonstrated competence in every team I have been part of. This self-assertion of my competence is validated by the fact that I have grown to become a team lead within these 3 years.

What I mean to communicate here is that girls can be successful in STEM career paths and courses. As a matter of fact, I believe there is a need for more women within the STEM ecosystem in order to provide diverse perspectives and contributions.

6) What has helped you to attain success in this field?

Focus, diligence and persistence. In a male-dominated career like mine, a woman has to be focused and persistent. Eventually, the biases and stereotypes will give way when people come to recognise your capabilities as a woman.

7) What are some of the challenges you have encountered in this chosen path? How did you approach them?

As a young lady in STEM, which is a male-dominated area, one often encounters toxic masculinity. Also, men in the field get more visibility, at times for less work. As a result, I have had to work extra hard to attain the same visibility as some of my men colleagues. These are major challenges many other women I know and I face in STEM.

My approach toward these challenges has been to ignore the noise and focus on activities that move the needle. What I mean here is that as long as you focus on making an impact, eventually, people will come to terms with your worth as a woman in STEM.

8) What one thing did you wish you could have done differently?

I could have started earlier. There are decisions I hesitated on taking due to fear and, maybe, lack of access to the right mentorship. This is why I am committed to giving back by providing mentorship to early career girls in STEM that I come across. A lot of mistakes can be avoided through counsels from experienced mentors.

9) What advice would you give your younger self?

To my younger self: Know that you are in charge of your career; question everything; choose the right mentors; create time for yourself; learn to prioritise the right activities and people; follow your own instincts; move fast.

10) How can you encourage young girls to study STEM courses?

My own story is testament to the fact that girls can make high-impact contributions in STEM careers. I want to let every girl out there know that if they believe in themselves, they can be successful in anything they lay their hands upon, including STEM careers. It starts with self-belief.

Another necessary skill I encourage in girls is curiosity. Curiosity helps you form unique questions that will eventually unravel many answers to you. If you are curious enough, and you follow through on your questions by working on finding answers to them, you have a good chance at being successful in STEM.

Nobody has a path that is already made for him/her; we will all face unique challenges and barriers. Girls must be willing to take risks, persevere, and work hard.

11) What do you think are the roles of parents and science teachers in encouraging girls in STEM?

I think every parent should encourage their girl child to study any of the STEM-related courses. By creating an environment in their homes where boy and girl children are afforded equal opportunities, parents can raise girls who can compete out there without whomever they come in contact with.

I am sure you must have been inspired by this interview. I would like to emphasize on something she noted which was curiosity. Curiosity births innovations. I am looking forward to more women lauching more groundbreaking innovations.

Kindly find links to her social media platforms in order to connect with her.

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Instagram –

The Role of Religious Leaders in Raising Unscripted and Unstoppable Girls.

After four years in a land far away from home, Jane had successfully bagged a degree in Economics and was ready to return home. She looked through the airplane window and smiled at the little country she was leaving. She had made friends here, seen beautiful sights and even found a church that reminded her of home but she didn’t mind missing all that if it meant coming home to where it truly mattered. She smiled as she thought about the entourage that would welcome her at the airport and mummy’s soup and semo that would be waiting for her.

The welcome party was larger than she thought. “You have made me proud my daughter!” Mummy said, “And we must celebrate! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! We must tell the world that my daughter is now a graduate!” The people around cheered and clapped. Jane smiled and put her two hands to her eyes. Her mother was making her feel like a celebrity. Her father just smiled and nodded at what mummy was saying. He looked in her direction and smiled when she uncovered her eyes. She smiled back. They were both the only shy people in the family. 

The next day was Sunday. Mummy said it was going to be Thanksgiving. This meant that there would be a dancing procession in church. Mummy was well known and an active member of the women’s wing so everyone loved it when she did Thanksgiving. She knew how to give a party and how to give generously to the church whenever she was excited. 

In the church, after the sermon, taking the offering and making the announcements, it was time for the John-Glory family. The band leaders sang praises and half of the church danced to the altar with Mrs. John-Glory and her shy daughter leading the procession. They danced and shouted for close to five minutes until the Pastor finally gave a signal for everyone to pause so he can pray. 

When all was quiet, the Pastor smiled and said, “Our God is good!” Everyone echoed, “All the time!” Then, he said, “I don’t need to ask why you are all rejoicing this morning! It is obvious! Our daughter is back!” Everyone clapped and cheered. “Studying abroad…. Even in an African country, is not easy because there’s nobody you know there. But you went, you saw, you conquered and now you are here. It is the Lord’s doing. Marvelous in our eyes.”

Mrs. John-Glory screamed, “Praise the Lord!” The church echoed, “Hallelujah!” 

The Pastor smiled and said, “Let us Pray.” 

Everyone bowed their heads as he began thus:

“Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, I  am that I am, the God of all flesh, we thank you for the John-Glory family. We thank you for this great thing you have done in their lives and in our church as a whole. Thank you for seeing our daughter through school for four years and now she’s back! We return all the glory to your name. Father, as she has gotten this degree, we pray that you give her the other degree. Give her a man that will love her as you love the church so that in no distant time, we would come together and celebrate her again in Jesus name!” 

The whole church roared Amen except Jane. She couldn’t believe her ears. Was this all that the pastor was going to pray for her? She just stood still beside her mother until everyone opened their eyes and the pastor dismissed them. Then, she walked to her seat. 

After church, the youth leader handed her a flier for the upcoming young ladies program organized by the pastor’s wife. The meeting was tagged: Singles ladies summit. The highlights were going to be: Turning your relationship to a Courtship, Secrets to long-lasting marriages, The role of a help-meet and Motherhood, an eternal ministry. There was nothing in it about spiritual growth, career development, and financial literacy or independence. It was all marriage, relationship, family and motherhood. The very things Jane wasn’t sure she wanted just yet.

As she made to go home, the women leader came and squeezed her tightly. “Good afternoon ma,” Jane greeted, bending her knees slightly. “Welcome home my daughter,” she said, “I’m so proud of you.” “Thank you ma,”  Jane replied. “So tell me, who is the guy on board now? I hope he’s Nigerian o,” the woman leader asked. Jane chuckled. “There’s no one yet ma,” she replied. The woman’s eyes widened. “I’m still trusting God,” Jane added quickly, seeing her reaction. “OK, my dear… Don’t worry, He will come through for you. You know my daughter married at 21. You are 23 now but I know that God is faithful. I will be praying for your breakthrough!” “Amen, thank you ma,” Jane replied feigning a smile. “Mummy will be wondering where I am now ma,” Jane said, wishing she had thought of this escape plan earlier. “Okay, my daughter… Greet her for me.” 


Religious leaders have a big role to play in raising unscripted and unstoppable girls. This is because lots of people respect their spiritual leaders and take their words on how life should be sometimes a little more than their parents or families because religious leaders are often regarded as people who know the mind of God. In our setting, many people want to live their life to please their creator and always emphasizing marriage as the ultimate for women could make girls see it as all God has intended them to be. But we know that this is not true because our Holy Books and ancient history records women who were religious and spiritual but still accomplished great things with or without marriage. We hear of people like Deborah in the Bible, Mary Slessor, Queen Amina of Zaria and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. All these were women who believed in God and made a huge difference in their society. Religious leaders should not just groom girls for marriage or keep praying for only their marital bliss but should also help them in other areas of life like leadership, their career, their self or personal development and their spirituality. This would go a long way in raising unscripted and unstoppable girls who would also make great and amazing wives and mothers if and when they choose to be. 



Many individuals claim that we have become so occupied with empowering the female child that men are becoming the endangered gender. True or otherwise, I have my reservations: I strongly believe it is a machination to get us to water down our efforts at seeking female empowerment.

Oftentimes though, I feel hit by these unfounded accusations. I see them as a ploy to sway the narrative in favour of the boy-child, even though there is virtually no distinction between both children when they are forming.

Why not let a child define who they will become, all by themselves? Why deny them of choices, of the need to, having been guided without a skewed mindset, chose what they will become?

In truth, the focus of gender equality advocacy has always been on women. After all, it is widely viewed that it is the woman or the female gender who have been subjugated or marginalized. Hence, the reason that everyone – sane enough to understand the impact of such glorious movement – seeks to re-enlighten the society on the need to see both genders are equal. We are all humans and should be given the same rights, privileges and opportunities as anyone else, before we begin to consider gender. It simply seeks to ensure that women live, fulfill and maximize their potentials. Simply, humanity first before gender.

Many a time that I visit schools for outreaches, a good number of the boys often walk up to me, challenging me on why there are no programmes organised for their sakes. I see the need in their eyes. I see the hurt. And as much as I strive to comprehend their emotions, I fail, abysmally. One, my hands are tied to help them. Two, their realities are mainly closed off from me.

Needless to say, I ginger them by enlightening them on the need to have a re-shaped view on societal treatment of females in their lives. Consequently, the boy-child not only becomes adequately educated and sufficiently acquainted with facts but he also becomes equipped for a genderless world.

I get to see and hear issues about failed fatherhood most times, and a number of issues associated with manhood; I wish that we had more men who would watch out for the boy-child. For when it comes to fatherhood, there is a lock of buckling down to do and I can only wish that more had to be done, by those who are primarily concerned: the males.

There is more to fatherhood than simply fathering a child – a child should be properly groomed to discern what is right from what is acceptable, from what I wrong from what is morally disparaging. More voices need to be heard. Needless to say, a man needs to stand for the boy-child; it is high time we majored in their needs as well. It is high time the world heard their voices.

My heart sinks when questions are asked of me about the boy-child; questions that I obviously may not have defining responses to. As a result of this, most of the snide remarks are directed at me, every now and then because of my inability to tackle the immediate challenges of the boy-child.

(Un)Fortunately, I am a female. And this is my reality. That is what I breathe and live. Hence, it is natural for me to want to look out for my kind and speak for her. It might come as a shock to you that as a woman on this journey, I am yet to understand, fully, what womanhood fully entails. It is still a journey for me and I am still discovering a lot of realities about my body, my sexuality and my femininity. Heck, I do not even have it all figured out but out of the little I know that I feel I could teach young girls. For me, womanhood is an explorative journey and, in my quest, to discover and uncover, I seek to carry along as many girl-children as I can.

I am passionate about the boy-child, just as adequately as I am hotly in pursuit of purpose for the girl-child but I will always be incapacitated to be the driving force that they (boy-children) need since I can barely relate with their day-to-day experiences  like I am with a girl-child’s. Imagine someone calling me to speak in a male conference to the boy child about things that only happen to men. Sincerely, I will not deliver well. It might just be a presentation made up of online contents and no practicality. 

The misconception that female empowerment or giving a voice to female child is commensurate to male endangerment needs to be buried until its roots wither away. Many Africans think that when women have equal rights and opportunities as their male counterparts, it means less power or less relevance for men. For me, this simply means there will be equal playing ground for everyone to thrive without bias. It simply means that fairness and justice is ensured. Gender equality does not seek to incapacitate the man or make him a being less than or of low importance to women. It seeks to show everyone that humanity comes before gender. 

I have come across men who take issues that affect the boy-child passionately and the list of the men who pick up the gauntlet grows incessantly. Hence, others may just do the same since the goal is to enlighten the child to define who they are. For me, all I care for is the development and growth of everyone regardless gender. The boy-child should be taught the basics of being a responsible father, a good husband, an active citizen and a supportive partner at work, in school and everywhere. In no way will I turn a blind eye to such a movement, if it were ever to see the light of the day.

I do not think it is fair to reason or act with prejudice when I appear to neglect the boy-child and channel every ounce of my strength toward the cause of the development of the girl-child. Although, there are genuine concerns out there––like the idea of teaching the modern-day male how to be a human who believes in gender equality, how to be a better (present and actively involved) father and how to work with or become a partner with a pro-thinking female. These issues could be addressed by passionate men, just as I see the need to tackle issues that are predominantly female-centred.

Gender equality did not start on a global scale. It started with individuals saying no to societal constructs and stereotypes, standing up to what they believed and inspiring other women to take up the mantle, in any way that they could. In a blink of an eye – even though in the real sense, it did take tens of years before it became a widely-discussed issue – what started as a simple street protest became a worldwide phenomenon.

Gender equality is not a fight on any gender but a cause to unite both genders as a means of seeing them operate from the same pedestal, without fear of one gender being superior to the other. The goal of advocacy will be underachieved if one gender is left in the lurch.


Last year, we took a bold step forward in a bid to crushing societal stereotypic thinking toward the girl-child, we ignited the fire that burns brightly in the heart of the girl-child and we helped guide her heart on setting her foot on the track of her own choosing.

And as the annual International Day of the Girl Child draws near, we are here again, super-geared to help the girl-child break out of the cages of ready-made expectations in order for her to redesign her own dreams with the numerous blocks that pile up around her.

We cannot fold our arms while the society continues to tag our girls with roles before they decide to be a player in our world, define them even before they get a voice to describe themselves; sculpt their thoughts even before they get their first thought drives.

The best role players are never scripted. Pay a visit to the annals of history. The best troubleshooters do not think out of the box, they disrupt the thinking process altogether. That is our goal. That is our mission for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child.

And since a society is only as progressive as its number of pro-actively thinking humans, we are beholden to every boy-child too in a bid to helping him see the girl-child as a viable partner and not a threatening competition.
He has an unmistakable role to play in trivializing the claptrap which has flooded every nook and cranny of our society against the self-defining mission impact of the girl-child even as he also breaks free from the manacles that keep him down, trapped, scared and amenable.

For this year’s celebration, writing competitions have been included. Poetry for Junior Secondary Class students, a maximum of twelve (12) lines; a flash fiction for Senior Class female students, a maximum of five hundred (500) words. It is important to add that this year’s exclusive dynamics is necessitated by the need to get every girl involved in that dream that she wants for herself.

Therefore, we present the theme for the year; I am a Girl : Unscripted me, Unstoppable me.

You. Yes. You. You are not allowed to sit on your buttocks while we attempt to act on our words. The least you can do is partner with us on and support this glorious quest—if not for anything, for the thrill of adding your time, your treasure and your talent to re-defining societal constructs.
Neither the girl child nor the boy child will be shut down in their quest to break out of societal-installed boxes; the society has no application or virus to carry out such a despicable act.

For sponsorship and partnership, kindly send a Whats-app message to Adewuyi Roseline Adebimpe on +2348137034000 or Temitope Adenuga on +2347086862233. We would appreciate your support both in cash and kind.

Chief Host : Dr. Eyiwumi Bolutito Akinneye-Olayinka

Conveners : Temitope Adenuga and Adewuyi Roseline Adebimpe

Speakers : Tope Akinyode and Princess Naomi

Panelists : Paul Onome Omuru and Ruth Ngozi

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#girls #dayofthegirl #dayofthegirl2019 #girlchild #Ibadan #schools #arts #poetry #storytelling #shortstories #insights


“Please sir, I would like to create a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) awareness program for girls. It is an initiative to introduce girls from the junior secondary school to the wonders and possibilities of science, math, technology and engineering …,” the principal read aloud, his eyes widening. Then he glanced up from his letter, pulled off his thin glasses, placed it on the table as he stared at the younger man standing in front of him. 


“That is my problem with you corpers. You come here thinking you can turn everyone’s head with white people’s nonsense then you go home disappointed when nothing really changed. This is Africa. This is Nigeria. This is our village. Here, girls don’t like technology. Name three Nigerian female inventors you know. You probably can’t but I’m sure you know the girls on music videos or you know how much girls love cooking competitions. Okay, I’m even going far. In our school here, haven’t you see how many girls are in our science class? Just twelve. Twelve out of hundred people. One of them thinking of going back to Arts!” 


The young man made to speak but the principal waved him off. 


“I don’t approve it!” he said.


“Sir please at least finish the letter or hear me out. I want this start from the junior secondary school and introduce them to it. From there, they would get interested and join.”


The principal shook his head vigorously and rubbed his eyes.

“These girls don’t like science. You should have seen it yourself. In fact, they’d rather pull their skirts up and try to get your attention. I’m sure they have started trying to see who visits you first! It gives me shame to admit it but it’s true.” He winced as he spoke as though it hurt him to think about how the girls in his school were always up to no good. It was not as though the boys were any better morally but at least they put in more effort in their studies than many of the girls did. 


“Yes, but that’s exactly why they need this sir!” the young man cried, desperately pleading the case for betterment of the girls. “They need to know that they can think too just like boys do. They need to know that they can and should do things because they’re interested in them not because they think they can’t do anything else! At least let me try sir, please, if no one joins or appreciates it by the end of next week, I would stop. Please approve this sir. You said I should make a difference. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do with my service year, please”


“I know I said make a difference. I didn’t say try to scatter any one’s head! Girls are more inclined to doing things that won’t stress them. That’s why lots of them study mass communication or English language and end up baking cakes and selling to friends/family. You can’t find a girl from here studying a course that would need her to climb a building to check it it’s strong enough. This is the same reason why girls don’t become carpenters or mechanics.” 

The principal looked down at the letter shaking his head. 


The young man thought a little bit and said:

“Sir, you’ve raised very valid points. I believe, just like you do, that sometimes our capabilities help us decide what we would go for and what we would not. Those capabilities like muscular strength are sometimes gender related and so you’ll see females running away from a particular profession while men run towards it.”


The principal’s darted quickly upwards and his lips parted in surprise. 


“But sir, I don’t think we should keep them from opportunities just because we think they wouldn’t be interested. I think we should present it to them first, show them the relevance and importance. Plus you know girls are more than boys in this school and in the country. Wouldn’t you want them to start making us proud? They’re future mothers. They would inspire the next generation to do things that will change our world.” 


The principal smiled. This young man reminded him of his younger self – so full of dreams and hope. He just hoped the boy would not disappointed as he had been years before now. Reluctantly, he approved the proposal and granted him permission to carry out the awareness. 


“It’s better to try than to say it would fail,” the principal had said, “I would not be an enemy to something that could turn out to be very good for our girls. Go for it Daniel! Thank you for trying to make a difference in these children’s lives.” 




There are ongoing debates about whether it is important to carry out awareness or sensitization programs or organize free workshops and seminars in order to inspire girls to love or be interested in STEM. Some people think that girls would be girls and would always prefer doing jobs or studying things that would not be too tasking for them. But if this is the reason for not trying to acquaint them with the whole idea then it’s not good enough. Let them be made aware of that and then they can choose to follow it or not. Some people also bring up this argument when a girl wants to study something they think a girl shouldn’t be interested in. They tell her to go for more girly or easier and less stressful alternatives. It shouldn’t be so. If she’s interested in it and able to handle it, let her do it. This is what true equality is all about – not restricting or boxing people because of their gender or because you think they should be a certain way.


One fine Tuesday morning in January, Dennis walked into his class for early morning lectures. Since he was late, he took one of the vacant seats in the last row, just beside a girl in his class. As the lectures commenced, he scribbled fast and paid rapt attention hanging on to every word the lecturers spoke. After classes, his stomach growled and rumbled so loudly that he picked up his bag, sprang up from his seat and started towards the door a little faster than he should have.


Suddenly, all the students started towards the door as well. It was as though someone had rung a bell because they all seemed to have the same ideas he had. They swarmed towards the door like bees buzzing and brushing against each other. When Dennis heard the commotion and felt people pushing, he turned to see the crowd coming towards the door. That made him scurry faster because he didn’t want anyone else shoving him. When he had walked as far away from the class as possible, he turned back slightly to look at how far away from the crowd he was.


Still walking with his back turned, he bumped into Violet – the girl he had sat by in class.


“Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!” she screamed, pushing him off and dusting her clothes.


“Oh my God! I’m so sorry dear,” he replied, turning to her.


Some of their classmates gathered and were watching the scene she was creating.


“Are you blind?” she hollered, pretending he didn’t just acknowledge his wrong.


” Honestly I didn’t see you. I turned back to…  I wasn’t looking…, ” he answered, nervously.


“Mind where you are going before you wound somebody,” she cut in angrily.


“Sorry I bumped into you…,.” he said.


She made to leave and then turned back and added, “Next time, don’t be looking back like that. You’re not Lot’s wife!” Then, she just hissed and walked off, ignoring his series of apologies.


“I’m really sorry Vi,” he called after her, apologizing again.


By now, everyone who attended the lecture was outside and had witnessed the little drama Violet and Dennis just had. They all had mixed feelings. Most of them expected Dennis to be provoked and offended at her reaction and rudeness but he was just calm and apologetic about the whole thing. When they couldn’t bear it any longer, some boys came and nudged him.


“Why did you apologize to her?” one said, “She didn’t deserve that apology.”


Another said, “I really hate that girl. She’s so manner-less and proud. I would have hit her or just walked away! A man should never apologize to a girl anyway!”


The third one said, “Boy you tried o. Even after your apology, she still scolded you and walked off without acknowledging it.”


Dennis shook his head and said, “There’s nothing wrong with apologizing when you’re wrong. I hit her and I’m sorry. It’s not my fault she overreacted. My own is to say sorry whether she accepts it or not. That is the only way to show I really didn’t mean any harm.”


One of the girls in the crowd said, “She’s supposed to be grateful you apologized. I have always known that men don’t apologize and so when they offend me, I just let it go.”


Another girl said, “Exactly! But, really Dennis, you should never let a girl talk to you like that! How would other girls know you’re a real man if you let stuff like this happen?”


Dennis cleared his throat and answered, “It is only people who let ego come in the way of common sense that would feel too proud to apologize when they’re wrong. It doesn’t matter the age or gender of the person you offended. Saying I’m sorry doesn’t make you any less human or any less a man. Oh and if any girl here thinks it’s okay to disrespect me because one person did, you’re not people I want to be friends with. Good day class.”


With this closing statement, he walked towards the cafeteria to grab a quick lunch.




Why do many people see well-behaved and courteous men as anomalies? Why do people think it’s awkward for a man to apologize to a woman? Why do people think that women need to earn courtesy from men? Why are well-behaved men criticized or bashed rather than praised. We even see young boys who learn from their fathers subtly and feel women are not to be regarded. Good manners and courtesy are not gender specific. As we teach girls to behave well, let’s teach boys too. As the boys learn and practice what they’ve learned, let’s appreciate or encourage them rather than put them down or make them feel less for behaving like a good human being should.