Jun 15, 2022

Democracy, Resilience and Human Flourishing with Dr. Hafsat Abiola (podcast)

A Nigerian human and civil rights advocate shares how cultivating inner strengths can help each of us and our communities flourish, even in adversity.

By Templeton Staff

President of the Women in Africa Initiative Dr. Hafsat Abiola has dedicated her life's work to promoting democracy in Nigeria and empowering women there, as well as around the world. In this episode of Stories of Impact podcast, Abiola, a Harvard-educated economist and expert in sustainable development, shares insight into how even amidst grief, loss, and injustice, it is possible to find the inner strength to lead and inspire.

Dr. Abiola’s father, M.K.O. Abiola, was imprisoned after winning the presidency in an election determined to be fair and free by Nigerian and international observers. Meanwhile, her mother, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, fought publicly for his freedom until she was murdered in retaliation. Despite the brutality that killed both her parents, despite the fact that they died because they believed in and called publicly for democracy, the personal value system Abiloa has cultivated keeps her from becoming bitter or resentful. She chose to develop her confidence and find a powerful voice by caring for her family and the people of her country; by fighting back against brutality and oppression. Abiola has carried on her parents’ legacy in her pro-democracy activism and as president of the Women in Africa Initiative, “the world's leading international platform for the economic development and the support of African women entrepreneurs.” Listen in as she gives voice to the resilience, courage, service, care for community, determination, and hope we all need to navigate difficult times.

Read the transcript from the interview conducted by journalist Richard Sergay, presented by writer/producer Tavia Gilbert, which features Dr. Hafsat Abiola, President of the Women in Africa Initiative, Founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), a not-for-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria aimed at leadership development for young women, removing barriers to women’s public participation and ending violence against women. 

Built upon the award-winning video series of the same name, Templeton World Charity Foundation’s “Stories of Impact” podcast features stories of new scientific research on human flourishing that translate discoveries into practical tools. Bringing a mix of curiosity, compassion, and creativity, journalist Richard Sergay and host Tavia Gilbert shine a spotlight on the human impact at the heart of cutting-edge social and scientific research projects supported by TWCF.