Efe Anaughe is a lawyer who is passionate about rendering pro bono (free legal services) to the poor, needy and vulnerable groups in the society, especially victims of domestic violence. Five years ago, she established Warien Rose Foundation, as the platform for pursuing justice for victims of domestic violence. In this regard, regularly hosts the Domestic Violence Anonymous Session, a recovery initiative where traumatised victims share their stories anonymously and get counselled. In the run-up to her mums’ birthday which was marked on July 31, she spoke with Sunday Sun about her relationship with the mum and how it helped in her development from a girl into a woman.
Please give us a snapshot of your mother
My mum is Mrs Rosaline Anaughe. She is a very passionate woman but a disciplinarian. My mum could be very loving but when she gives you a directive and you defaulted then you should be ready to taste her wrath. She is very mindful of the way we dresses, talks and even relates with people. My mum has this amazing practice of using signs to speak with my siblings and I, and once she communicate, you must understand. Mum has never been reluctant to use the cane to correct a child. She believes that motherhood confers upon a woman the responsibility of raising a child.
How was growing up like?
I was exposed to a lot of cultures and traditions because my family was always traveling around. My father was a diplomat, so we had the opportunity to travel the world, where we met interacted with a lot of different cultures. My parents would advise us to take the useful values from those cultures, and we were able to embrace only the relevant ones. The exposure I had as a child enabled me to think outside the box. I want to make impact by creating a positive change in any community, I found myself.
What did your mum tell you about boys?
In the first place, I was a tomboy, I moved around with boys just the way girls made friends with females. In my own, my friends were just boys. My mum told me to bring the boys home, so she can know my friends. I am not the regular female, so I think she became worried and insisted that I brought the boys home. As a teenager, my male friends were allowed to visit me.
When you first saw your menstruation, how did you react?
I was already expecting it long before my period came. At age seven mum started educating me about sex, menses and puberty in general. She explained to me that as a female, I would soon experience certain changes and educated me on how to handle them. I learnt fast, so while in school when my period started, I already knew what it was and quickly got a sanitary towel to tidy myself up. When I got home, after school, mum started another education on it. She told me to take care of my body, that I should not allow anyone touch my private areas. She said I should not be carried away when I am with my male friends because I am a very jovial person. I had to draw an invisible line on how to relate with boys from then onwards.
Can you tell us about your mum’s favourite meal that you equally enjoy?
My mum is a great cook. She shared her love for cooking with me, so I would share with my kids when I have them. Her favourite meal is banga and starch. We are from Urhorbo, a tribe in Delta State. We love eating banga and starch. I enjoy it and my mum cooks it with a difference. In fact, she has a doctorate degree in the making of banga soup and starch. Whenever this meal is prepared, there is this excitement that I feel. Maybe because it is a native meal from my place.
How would you describe your relationship with your mum?
I consider myself lucky when I look back at my childhood. My siblings and I were raised by loving parents who worked hard to provide a beautiful life for our family. My mum juggled domestic activities with raising my siblings and I; she ensured we had home cooked family meals. My mum is my role model. She comforted me on bad days and celebrated my every accomplishment. She tended to every need while we assisted with the home chores. Life may not always go as one planned but mum is a great woman who ensured we had a cordial relationship. We can always reach out to her when we have personal issues. I grew up at a time the entire community was involved in raising a child. If a child was found with an item not given to him by the parents, the child’s parents would severely discipline the child. The neighbours and even the school join in. Whenever, I look at my mum’s love I see the strength and love in her eyes that overpower any sadness I might have. My mum is always ready to embrace and comfort me. It does not matter how I am, there are moments in life when I just need my mother. My mum smiled through tears as we faced the ups and down. She cheered me to overcome any obstacles, and gave me the courage.
Why did you establish the foundation?
I discovered that the level of violence in Nigeria is high and people have been made to accept violence as okay. Domestic abuse against children gave me a lot of concern. Women are often the victims of domestic violence where they have beaten, raped and abused. I wanted to create awareness about it, offer support services as well as demand justice and advocate for more robust laws punish offenders and protect victims.