Rising Above Limitations

The August edition of The Platform saw Bunmi Oduntan having Mrs. Olatilewa Amusu, a mother and grandmother, retired medical practitioner and Major General in the Nigerian Army, the second female officer in the history of the Nigerian Army Medicals to have commanded the army corps. As they began to talk about ‘Rising Above Limitations’, 60-year old Mrs Amusu answered the question of what growing up in the ‘old’ Nigeria was like. “It was fun”, she said and added that she feels a bit sorry for the current generation, as they are not always real with themselves and each other.

Speaking on what influenced her decision to join the army, she attended the Army Children’s School, now called the Command Children’s School, and so was already surrounded by the system. When asked about the perceived discrimination against females in male-dominated environments like the Army, Mrs. Amusu went on to say that she wasn’t sure about the discrimination part but she did admit that in very many fields that are male-dominated, the women have to work much harder than their male counterparts, first because they have to prove that they are there because of what they can deliver and also because women have to combine many other roles, including those of child-bearing and nurturing. She talked about how having a support system can be good for a progressive woman, citing how her family took leaves from work to help her with her own young family as she was climbing up the corporate career in the army. Later, she did the same for friends who needed help.

Addressing young people, especially females, she said that life is tough, and had been tough even in her time, and so females especially have to be prepared to go the extra mile and to juggle many things; there’s nothing stopping females. But more worrisome is the fact that females are being taught and the young men are left behind, and yet there must be an even society. So, young people must be taken as a group rather than just genders, and be taught wholesomely to become more resilient, because globally, there are a lot of things that are not as smooth and easy as they used to be, but we still have to continue living.

In her own words, “if you fall, wipe your knees, if you need a band aid, put the band aid and continue walking. Surround yourself with people who’d encourage you”.

See below for full video:

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