A special dedication to all my protégés/mentees...
LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER/YOUNGER SELF,
By O’Tosin Baiyewu
My darling daughter, I have always loved you long before I bore you but there are a few lessons I have learnt about life I would want to share with you. Please take them seriously as it would help you forge ahead and make a difference in your world.
Now you are old enough to know that you should take responsibility for your own life. This has nothing to do with age, especially because mummy and daddy will not always be with you… I have taught you about your rights and that with the knowledge about your rights nobody can mess with you. There is a tendency for human beings to take advantage of others, never let anyone take advantage of you. Be assertive but don’t be rude or disrespectful. The beauty of a woman comes from within but what is beauty without brains or intelligence. There is no one girl that is dumb, some do not just have privileges of learning. People who have said that knowledge is power are very correct, no one should ever stop learning the day you stop learning, is the day you start to die. The knowledge that you have will always give you an edge above your contemporaries, be bold enough to show what you know. Knowledge opens doors to great opportunities.
There’s too much oppression in the world for you to be quiet, speak up! The world is waiting to hear your voice, speak against injustice, I see so much courage and determination in your eyes (smile), this is a sign that you will blossom into a strong woman. As a strong young girl that you are, you will begin to take some life decisions early in life…let the values of hard work, equity, respect, integrity, service, discipline, chastity, guide your decisions. Shut out the voice of peer pressure or crowd mentality. You are a smart girl, but you are human and as such not perfect, hence you are bound to make mistakes. Don’t blame anyone, take responsibility, own it, forgive yourself, learn from then but move on quickly.
My dear, whenever people tell you that you are a rare breed, special or unique let it be a reminder of your worth, this helps build your confidence. The journey to self-discovery is a daily exercise, know your strengths and weaknesses but dwell more on your strengths. Have role models early in life, in life’s journey you will meet great, influential and accomplished women who have gone ahead of you. Let their stories encourage you as many as mentor you.
Dare to dream, dream and dream audacious dreams.. . strive to achieve them and share them only with a few wise minds that can genuinely help you. You are an emerging influential young woman liberating your other sisters all over the world, you’re too precious to be a material for mediocrity.
Keep these few words of mine.
I love you unconditionally and permanently.
Your beloved Mother."