The Future


Nigerian teen writes a poem to inspire other african girls.

When 17-year-old Ruth from Nigeria sat down to write a poem for Assembly readers, she wanted to give other girls hope and to encourage them to “be proud of being African girls.” Ruth tries to remember this advice in her own life. After her father died, there were days when her family couldn’t afford food. Ruth also experiences discrimination as an ambitious girl in a community where “it is believed that every girl will definitely end up in a man's kitchen.” Despite these challenges, Ruth remains optimistic for her future and hopes other girls will feel the same. She recently completed her secondary education and one she has enough money for tuition, she plans to enrol in university to become a lawyer or writer.  



When all hope is lost
And when today seems to be a waste
When yesterday is my highest terror
Then I have to stand up and look to the future
I have to stand up and choose to live by choice
And not by chance
I have to be proud of the girl that I am
And believe that the future will be better

I might have failed yesterday
I might feel humiliated today
But I have to stand up and look to the future
And never feel inferior to any man on earth
If I stand up with determination
If I stand up with confidence in who I am
Then I am sure someday in the future
I will be proud of being an African girl.


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Ruth Obeta is a 17-year-old from Nigeria. She hopes to become a lawyer and writer.