Reviving Tradition: Mma Queensley’s Empowerment through WVL Nigeria Project

“The training has taught me to know how to negotiate for payment when rendering my services as ‘Ofiori Ndo , whereas I may have charged little or nothing because of no self-confidence and not knowing the value of what I was doing”

‘Ufiori Ndo’ is a cultural skill amongs the Efik tribe in Calabar that could be passed on through training and imbibed through practice. ‘Ofiori Ndo’ acts as the bridge between the groom and the bride’s family in terms of presenting the groom and the items listed on the marriage list. While this was predominantly women’s affair in the past, the menfolk are now encroaching into the field in recent times for economic gains, trying to change it into men’s affair.

When Women Directorate Initiative received funding under the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project managed by ActionAid Nigeria and funded by Global Affairs Canada to train and empower women in three communities in Calabar South of Cross River State, WODI in an innovative stride, trained community women in the art, as a woman skilled in this will be highly sought after as there’s never a shortage of traditional marriage ceremonies. 

 Mma Queensley was one of such beneficiaries. The training impacted her with skill and confidence that she is equal to the task. As a result, she now possesses the confidence to negotiate pay for her services like the male counterpart and her financial capacity has changed as a result of that. Her services are now needed within and outside her state. Not only has Mma Queensley been empowered, but more women have been armed with the skill so to protect the cultural role of the Efik woman as ‘Ofiori Ndo’ all thanks to the WVL NIGERIA PROJECT.