Waje is one of the most driven and most dedicated women in the music industry right now and so it was no surprise when she decided to make a difference through her platform – Waje Safe House.
The Left For Good singer has over a period of years worked diligently to take her place as one of the strongest voices in her generation; she has honed her craft, rebranded her image and has undergone a major style overhaul.
And the hard work is not just paying off, it is empowering her to give other women and as she mentioned in this interview, even men, the empowerment they need.
Speaking with Waje (who was travelling during the course of this interview) via the phone is probably the only thing more potent than a daily dose of caffeine and if you follow this interview through, you’d see exactly what I mean.
Waje Safe House is a collaboration
Waje Safe House collaborates with different NGOs to help fight their cause. I am a Purple ambassador through Waje Safe House but this time it is setting its own campaign which is the African Woman. But it is not necessarily the only thing Waje Safe House is about because the thing is I am an Artiste and I am passionate about many things, I am a mother, a woman. My heart goes out to children, everyone, even men sef. So the whole reason I created the Waje Safe House is because I wanted an NGO that has different causes, I don’t want to streamline myself to one.
The biggest challenge with The African Woman movement: People misinterpret gender equality
When you talk about gender equality people think what you’re trying to preach is “what a man can do a woman can do better” but that is not really the message, the message is every woman is great and has potential to add value to her society which even makes it easier and more convenient for the opposite sex. Men need to understand that empowering women is not a threat
Every woman is great and has potential to add value to her society.
Starting out earlier than the big female names in the game right now but not knowing what to do was a setback
At the time I started I didn’t know what I was signing up for. I was just a young girl in School who really wanted to sing so I did not understand the business side and all those things. When I understood what my case was in the industry, I started acting and that’s why it looks as if I’m getting more headway right now.
Female artistes only took a backseat for so long because they did not take the chances
Many times when we (female artistes) are not given the opportunity to do stuff, it is not because it is a male dominated industry, it is just because we haven’t taken the chances the guys have taken. If you look at every woman that is topping the game in the Industry now, they are doing everything the men have done. The guys are touring, they tour. You can’t shout equality and refuse to take the bull by the horn, the sun does not shine differently on a man and shine differently on a woman, it shines on all of us the same. The time is coming when it would be an all female show and we would be closing all the shows. We are working hard, we are not here to play.
The time is coming when it would be an all female show and we would be closing all the shows
As for the Society’s expectation of a man validating her efforts
An Instagram user once told me that my efforts were useless if I don’t have a “crown” (a man). I sat and thought about it because the thing is I disagree, the thing is I am a Christian and I follow the values and principles of the Bible and outside that I have the understanding that what empowers you is what you know. And people get married for different reasons, I am not going to get married because I want someone to validate what I am doing. Because I am not getting married for my career. I know why I want a companion and it is not to validate my work, so for those who think that, they are probably not working hard enough and they need someone to validate them for that. The grace of God, my sweat and the fans are my validation.
Being her daughter’s mother is enough motivation
The motivation comes from being her (daughter’s) mom. I mean look at the world we live in, so you know the type of world you want to leave for your kid. You want your children to benefit from your legacy. I have to make sure the world I leave for her is better than how I met it.
Old school mom is the way to go
I am a mom o, I don’t do that 21st century thing with my daughter (laughter). But we do have a good relationship and I am learning on the job. She is here with me now o, acting like she can’t hear what I am saying (more laughter).
With Feminism, sense constantly has to be made
Feminism is taken out of contest most times because there is no conversation. For every conversation (around feminism) let us take a topic and drive it, let us not just say I’m a feminist and you don’t know what it is about. Understand feminism and from what point you’re coming. Be informed.
Biggest advice for women in this generation.
Biggest advice would be to aspire. Most times when I dream and tell my friends they laugh at me but women should aspire. We need women who are amazingly intelligent, are geniuses to occupy every position in the world. Even if you’re a dancer, I mean look at Kaffy, she made Dance a career path. Now people don’t look at you somehow when you say you want to be a dancer. Let’s not misplace priorities, because money would go. You have to have a mind that can produce wealth so that even if money goes away today, you can make more.
Safe House is a brand outside Waje
I want it to be a brand outside Waje so it can function without me. So whether I am there or not, I want it to function. It is about adding value to people. Our plan right now is to send five girls to school, to finish their University education. And tomorrow it can be something else.
Interview by Tomilola Coco Adeyemo for 360nobs