Inspired by the beauty of family bonds, we interview two remarkable families for Nigerian Mother’s Day about the wisdom passed down through our mothers and our grandmothers. In this series of photographs and interviews, we showcase three generations of remarkable women from two Nigerian families. In Lagos we speak with Abimbola Craig, her mother, and her grandmother. In Abuja, we interview Na’ada Joshua’s family. We ask each family to talk with us about the stories and values that get passed down through the generations.
‘Raised by strong Women’
Roli, Florence, and Abimbola talk about love, memories, and heritage under the Lagos sunshine.
Interspersed with laughter, jokes, and tiny dances from grandma, these Lagosian women could melt the world with their genuine love and playfulness. From generation to generation, they have passed down the Nigerian philosophy of “talk-na-do”: they are action women who walk-the-talk, shouldering responsibilities, and nurturing their household with joy and fantastic humour.
When Abimbola entered the world, she was “a different kettle of fish,” says Roli. Having carved out a name and career for herself
as head of production at Ndani TV, and recent star of the Nigerian TV show “Skinny Girl in Transit,” Abimbola Craig embraces her bustling modern life while staying true to the heartfelt beliefs passed down from her grandmother and mother. “I am aware of who I am and the morals I have,” she says, when describing how her outlook on life has been influenced by her mother’s character.
A lawyer. A housewife. A mother. A shop owner. “When it comes to strength, my mum’s a very strong woman.” Abimbola sings her mother’s praises. Roli Craig is a hardworking “Renaissance woman” who makes superhuman juggling look easy with her confidence, intelligence, and uproarious sense of humour.
“She feels like she raised us right. She’s very content.”
Thirty years ago Florence was the only survivor in an automobile accident. Her faith pulled her through and helped her heal. This experience not only increased Florence’s strength but impacted the rest of the family as well. She now walks with a cane, and carries herself with an unmistakable charm, humility, and satisfaction with life that radiates around her. “She lives by herself, takes care of herself… she’s very selfaware, a really strong woman.”
NA’ADA JOSHUA’S FAMILY – ABUJA – NIGERIA
Generation of Joy
Over the years, these three city women remain tightly bonded, in character, tradition, and in their daily lives
With relationships characterized by candor, bliss, sweetness and trust, these Abuja women display a bond of inescapable endearment. Having received so much richness of love in life, Na’ada believes that “we should celebrate mothers every day.” Tight with both her mother Hajara and her 67-year old grandmother Halima, Na’ada Joshua is a living testimony to the transformative power of heritage through motherhood.
Na’ada has a voice and a way of being that carries the sweetness of the world. “It was easy having her as a daughter” says her mother Hajara. Na’ada loves people, and gets to show it every day serving customers at an Abuja-based bank, and handling her equally full-time job as a mom to her young son. She spills over with gratitude when talking about how her mom Hajara has supported her throughout the trials and tribulations (and joys!) of new motherhood.
“She groomed me into the woman that I am.”
Like many children, as a girl, Na’ada thought her mother was overly strict. But after becoming a mother herself 3 years ago, Na’ada saw Hajara’s firmness in a new and more loving light. “I learned everything from her,” she says. Lessons like how to do the right thing, how to avoid doing harm through wrongful action, how to be a good partner in marriage, and a how to be a strong mother to her child. Na’ada also describes her mother as being very much like a friend, and their closeness shows up in their overflowing affection together. “She made it easy for me to talk to her…I want to be a friend like that to my son.”