We Belong In Kitchens …And Boardrooms Too

By Mahbuba Matovu

Here’s a picture of my classmates and I.

Funny how we took this picture so randomly and yet each time I look at it, I feel so much pride in sharing a moment with these beautiful African ladies.

Miranda, Ifeoma, Ahunna, Sussan and I are pursuing our Doctorates in Pharmacy in Houston, Texas and had just completed a presentation on Sepsis.

A few hours after this picture was taken, The Huffington Post released an article about Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, talking about his wife, Aisha Buhari, and saying that she belonged in his kitchen.

He said this in reply to the comments that she had made in an interview with BBC about not supporting his potential re-election bid for president.

The First Lady of Nigeria expressed her disappointment in her husband’s leadership, saying she was not amused by the way things were going in her country, and blamed it on the unsuitable government officials that he had appointed.

Buhari, who has been married to her husband for 27 years told BBC, “If it continues like this, I’m not going to be a part of any [re-election] movement. … I have decided as his wife that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before.”

President Buhari, who ironically was attending a press conference in Germany and seated right next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, replied to his wife’s comments saying, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen, and my living room and the other room,” adding, “I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition.”

Chancellor Merkel glared at him after he made his imprudent comments.

This, once again, confirms the stereotype that African women are commonly mistaken for just housewives and child carers.

Like men, African women are capable of holding leadership positions, starting-up companies, successfully running them and being innovative, all while remaining excellent at home-making.

But because Africa is a society holding the tail of civilization, many think otherwise and are having a hard time letting go of old traditions that have lost credibility.

So once again ladies and gentlemen, here are five young intelligent African women…future doctors. A snapshot so innocent, a representation beyond powerful.


Ayandola Ayanleke / 19 October 2016

God bless you mami

Mahbuba Matovu / 20 October 2016

Thank you Ayandola!

Asio / 19 October 2016

We are capable of so much more not just making meals, beds and babies.

Salha / 19 October 2016

Loved it! All the best with your studies …

Miss.Kizza / 21 October 2016

The comments from the Nigerian president concerning his wife truly reflect the famous stereotype African women face. We belong to the kitchen and boardrooms too.

Winnie Kyomuhendo / 21 October 2016

This is a lovely article. Women are capable of achieving great things, just as much as men. However, has anyone questioned whether the manner in which she delivered her criticism was appropriate? This is not to say that I support or even believe in his comments. However, being a public figure and a representative of so many women in society, should she not have worded her criticism in a firm but more respectful way? We all have the freedom to speak our minds, but my view is that when you are addressing your partner’sites shortcomings in public, a certain degree of tact should be applied.

Amanda Nasinyama / 21 April 2017

Glad I found this article. Sad to think that our leaders think this way, how is the younger generation supposed to embrace gender equity with all these stereotypes and rhetoric. Thanks for a great article!

Shadrack / 1 June 2017

Nice article there, sister. Please tell me, is the girl with the black inner cloth –
Ifeoma – engaged or married? I like here and would like to know her.

Can you help me?


Leave A Comment