In religiously conservative northern Nigeria, which has a Muslim majority. Due to the conservative laws of Islam; women are required to be submissive to their husbands and asking for advice in public has traditionally been frowned upon with problems kept hushed up within the family. Females discussing marital and personal issues: such as domestic violence, relationships and sex is seen as going against the rules.
Ziya’atulhaqq Usman Tahir, 27, lives in the northern state of Bauchi. Tahir opened an Instagram page to with hopes to tackle these problems. It all started three months ago when Tahir, who had been writing her thoughts on “Love from (a) Northern perspective,” decided to post the dilemma of a young girl in a doomed relationship. According to Tahir;
“She was not ready to heed to my advice so I told her I would post it for all my contacts to see and wait for their responses, which turned out to be overwhelming,” she explained. “This was how it all started.”
Using her Instagram feed, Fatibolady, she invites women to anonymously share their concerns, allowing her account to become a platform for sharing advice.
In the last year, the page gained 50,000 followers and currently has 54.1k followers. Tahir says she has received an overwhelming response and regularly receives thousands of likes and comments on each. This innovative approach to solving ‘marital chaos’ is a departure from the ways in which some women in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north tackle the problems of daily life. The consumption of codeine-laced cough syrup has been used by some women to block out their problems. It became such an issue for the authorities that its sale and manufacture was banned. Despite the ban, Nigeria’s anti-narcotics agency said that at least 30,000 bottles of cough syrup were consumed in the north every day.
One of five cases of domestic violence posted on her page is in court awaiting judgment, after followers urged the women to seek legal action, said Tahir. A blog is on its way and she hopes to gain enough attraction to start a TV show someday.