Nigerian ESD Global Graduate Amplifies Womens' Voices in Response to Increased Rates of Domestic

Gender-based violence is a common phenomenon in Nigerian households, like in many other parts of the world. Adanma Nwokoma (Olowa), a Nigerian gold medalist in Karate with 20 years of martial arts experience, could not set safe boundaries with her own family members. Adanma is a survivor of domestic violence.

Adanma points out that women play a role in normalizing a victim mindset when they don’t support one another. Reflecting on her own experiences, she shares that while trying her best at work, other women in her circle questioned her passion and efforts, regarding them as a threat to men’s role in the society. Adanma notes that ESD is different from any martial arts she has trained in. While martial arts training is geared towards competition and winning, ESD offers skills and techniques to defend oneself against violence or other forms of physical abuse in daily life. ESD offers skills and techniques to defend oneself against violence or other forms of abuse and boundary violations in daily life.

Adanma Nwokoma (Olowa) is the Principal Producer/ Presenter at Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria FRCN (Radio Nigeria). She also volunteers her services to the Youths for Peace Building & Development in Africa (YOUPEDA), a non- profit organization founded in 2008, which aims to empower communities- women, children, men and youths to actively engage in the wider community and to fully explore the potential of peace, interfaith, health, education, governance, environment and democracy with locally driven options and solutions. YOUPEDA recommended Adanma for the Level 1 ESD Training due to her background in Karate and her unparalleled passion to work with women and children.

Surrounded by a group of strong women empowering one another and collectively shouting “NO!”, was Adanma’s most memorable ESD training moment. The energy she felt during the training has stayed with her and drives her commitment to this cause. “If females around the world can come together as one voice, the impact we’d make would be so enormous!”, she exclaims.

Since completing her Level 1 ESD Women Instructor Training in Israel in February 2020, Adanma has wasted no time putting the skills she gained to use in her community, employing every available opportunity to talk about the importance of empowerment self-defense.

A strong advocate for women’s rights and freedom, Adanma uses her presentation skills in programs such as “Every Woman” on the Network Service of Radio Nigeria to amplify the voices of women. “Every Woman” focuses on modern women and social media, addressing issues such as gender equality and parity, women empowerment, African women leaders working for peace, involvement of women in democratic governance, among others.

Despite the lack of in-person gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions, Adanma is pushing messages of empowerment using social media platforms as well as radio shows to tackle the issue of increased domestic violence rates in Nigeria:

“ If you can't fight back in self- defense, at least you can RUN or YELL!!! Let someone know what you're going through! Get off mute Say something Tell someone Make a lot of noise Seek help YOU ARE RESPONSE-ABLE ...defend yourself!!!”

Adanma hosted Yudit Sidikman, ESD Global Founder and President, on Radio Nigeria to share her expertise, knowledge and passion to advocate for women empowerment through self-defense (Watch Episode 1, Watch Episode 2). In another Episode on Radio Nigeria, Adanma shared the five principles of empowerment self-defense and facing lockdown with an abuser during one of her shows on Radio Nigeria.

“What the world needs is healing and love. And together, we can make that happen… You can say no to violence against both women and men, children, and even yourself”, says Adanma.

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