|Kenny Saint Best… A women’s advocate/Musician/Author.|
leader, motivational speaker and inventor. The mother of two (A boy and a girl)
who is one of the leading gospel musicians in Nigeria is the Vice President of Kennis Music Incorporated. In 2015, she
contested for a seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly (Ikeja Constituency
1) but couldn’t make victory as party leadership prevailed on her to give in at
the last minute. Since then, she has contributed vigorously to the development
of the ruling All Progressive Party
in Lagos State and at the federal level through campaign for women emancipation
and the need to give women more and better roles in political leadership. On
Thursday, March 9, KSB was part of
several women leaders who participated in the International Women’s Celebration Day in Lagos.
Encounter blog, Asabeafrika later
met her in her Opebi GRA, Ikeja—Lagos home on Friday 10th of March.
She spoke on the need for women to be bold enough to enjoy 50-50 equality in
the case of a marriage break up. The encounter was quite interesting as it
revolves around getting a better deal for women in all spheres of life. Find a
good moment and enjoy the exclusive on Asabeafrika.
|The GDA meets Kenny St. Best in her Lagos Home|
International Women’s Day across the world. I think we had a hint of it in
Lagos. What does the celebration mean to you?
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’Women must take a bold step to lead’|
International Women’s day is a day set aside by the United Nations I think, to celebrate the contribution of women to
global development, contribution socially, contribution politically,
contribution economically and family wise. We talk of contributions in the
immediate society, in the Local Government, in the state and at the national
level and globally. Women have made milestones in area of management. The World
Bank today is under the leadership of a woman. Talk of leadership in politics,
banking and finance and entrepreneurship. Talk of big political gambits, you
saw what Hilary Clinton did with last
year’s US election. She contested heavily and she would have become the first
woman president of the United States of
America. That she attempted it was a huge one. So, we cannot ignore the
role of women in international leadership both home and abroad.
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’Women are now taking big decisions around the globe and we are proud of that’|
I think it is a
day that women are calling for the celebration of themselves. It is not a man
that gave it to us; I think we ourselves are ripe enough to have a day set
aside worldwide to celebrate ourselves. There was a celebration in Lagos state and I was there at the Police College parade ground, Ikeja and it was huge. Women had a
parade, just like we did in our younger days. Women from all the local
government areas and LCDAs in Lagos state came and we were all looking
so colorful. The color code was purple and we were all in purple and honestly,
it was beautiful as the First lady of Lagos State, the deputy Governor and other
prominent women addressed women. And for this year, we had the slogan ‘Be
Bold, Be Courageous’. Be bold about what? And I think the
global theme was about parity. Same thing last year, it was still about parity.
We are asking for 50-50; so 50-50 of what?
|The GDA & the KSB in the middle of the encounter|
campaign is acceptable in a third world country like Nigeria?
local sub theme is ‘Be Bold’. Be bold for what?
folk, or simply to challenge your husbands and bosses?
|KSB to Asabeafrika…’Women will keep asking until it is given to us’|
to say ‘be bold’ to pursue your dreams.
Be bold to become the best you want to be. Be bold to aspire to be the best you
can be. Be bold to be excellent even though, there is also ‘be bold to speak’ out in case of domestic violence and domestic abuse.
Don’t just keep quiet and think ‘ah,
nobody will support me. They will
think it is husband and wife matter’. Be bold against rape, don’t look at
the stigmatization because a lot of people are keeping quiet and people are
dying in silence. Because what such things do to them is to deflate their
emotional strength. A victim of rape for instance, even if you are a bank
manager, you will forget your status and be reduced to an all low level of
frustration because you are mentally crippled. But, now we are saying that
enough of that, take it up, take a bath, shower and be bold to speak out to
encourage people so that the men who have made women victims can be penalized
and your esteem restored. That will enable government to use the laws that are
in place for such crimes. But when nobody speaks out, then the law is wasted
and the effort of sitting down to draft that law is wasted as well. So, ‘Be
bold’. That is our slogan.
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’Women must be bold enough to follow their dreams’|
of parity, they are asking that we should have a 50-50 share in the world
economy. Economy could be political economy, marital economy, business economy,
societal economy and economy in all spheres of life. We desire to have it and we
are calling for parity, 50-50.
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’We must learn to share with women’|
look at western societies like London and America and you discover that many
marriages have been destroyed because of this same game of 50-50. Women
suddenly file for alimony just to decrease the man and take from him what they
think belongs to them. Most of them end up living a miserable life without a
husband. Don’t you think asking for this in a society like ours is asking for marital
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’We are not just asking for 50-50 in marriage economy but in all other economies’|
on how you are looking at it (Laughs heartily). If you are looking at it from
the point that it is the woman that will have to raise the children, I think if
they give her 50 percent of what you have in the case of alimony, it is not her
that you are giving. It is your children that you are just securing. It is the
future of the children. That emotional stability, so that it will look like
nothing happened. The only thing is that they don’t see daddy regularly. You
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’A woman you divorced was once your lover, mother of your kids and now your ex. So, you must treat her fairly’|
But I still have to look after your children, I have to do school
runs, I have to pay school fees, water bills, NEPA bills, I have to create
entertainment, they want to go watching movies, I have to buy them new clothes
I have to show that they are in touch with the world. So, it is about
sustainability. It is to sustain the family because the man is quick to just
take a walk and another woman hooks him up. Not that he hooks in another woman
but another woman hooks him up. So, where does that leave the children? So if
laws are put in place to make sure that alimony is paid, then the issue of
women sustainability is guaranteed. She was once your lover now, and now she is
the mother of your children and for crying out loud, she is your ex-wife. So you should pick up the bills; if there are
mortgages to be paid, you should pay the mortgage now. Abi? Do you want her on the
street? (Laughing). Look at when (Late Chief Chukwemeka Odumegwu) Ojukwu died
and the conventionality he gave his wife…
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’In giving her 50% of your wealth, you are only securing the life of your children’|
all landed properties. Are you saying he wasn’t kind enough?
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’Getting a 50-50 parity from a marriage allows the woman to take care of so many things the man can not handle’|
But what about the children that she gave to the union?
saying that even the children are at fault for somebody else to be taking care
of their mum? So because he has gone to the grave she does not deserve love,
care and tenderness?
is at stake if Bianca remarries?
|KSB to Asabeafrika….’If Ojukwu enjoyed his bed with Lady Bianca in his lifetime, then he should have given her the liberty to start a new life after his demise’|
loud he is dead and he should just go and rest in his grave and let somebody
else enjoy his money. If you have enjoyed your bed with her, you have enjoyed
the other room with her; when you are gone she is at liberty to start another
life because the Bible says ‘till death
does us apart’.
does a dead man have? What kind of thing is that?
she marries another man then she automatically loses the real estate in Nnewi and other choice areas?
|KSB to Asabeafrika…’Ojukwu’s will didn’t treat Bianca fine. It i was too stringent’|
will lose it to whom, now? Who deserves to have that real estate? Are you
saying the people that were not taking care of him when he was bed ridden? He
should not let us even go into those details. All I am just saying is that,
yes, we should have such laws in Nigeria.
When they are talking of parity, it is not even limited to the case of alimony
or who has greater share of an inheritance. It is a case of control, power
control, and economic control. When President
Buhari constituted his cabinet there were just few women there. You can
count them on your finger tip. I should know because I was in the campaign team
and I worked so hard. I was working hard to be compensated but that didn’t
happen because I contested here in Lagos and it was because I definitely had
something to offer. Also in Lagos state,
there are just few women. Check the cabinet and check the Lagos State House of Assembly,
when they were campaigning they said it was going to be 70-30 but today it is like 90-10,
there are not even up to 10% women compared to the level of women. So if we
cannot have 50-50 cant we just have 70-30? So women will continue to clamor.
|KSB to Asabeafrika…’We will keep making noise about the need for parity’|
For this year, it is a 50-50 parity call. We can’t keep quite because nobody
will give it to you on a platter of gold. The men will not give these things to
you except through the other way. So we make noise about it, we cry out loud
and we sensitize ourselves about it and what you need to equip yourself for
that position you are clamoring for.
are their own worst enemy?
|The KSB to Asabeafrika….’This present political dispensation gave little to women in terms of portfolio’|
That was then not now; before you even take me to any woman how are we our own
worst enemies when you men will not even give us a chance? Is it that a woman
has been vice president or the president and did take her folks along? Look at
WIMBIZ; we have reputable, successful Nigerian women who can run successful
businesses and organizations both at the private and public sector.
(South Western Nigeria) have women as Deputy Governors?
because you see deputy Governor is a woman and Head of Service is a woman.
Then, they have so many female permanent secretaries; it is the permanent
secretaries that are running the government not even the commissioners. So, for
Lagos State, we can give it to them.
It is just the house of assembly that has not gotten it, their voice is
totally, totally muted. Don’t talk; even if you are talking we can’t hear you.
So, we would continue to clamor for parity.
|The GDA meets the KSB|