Orifunke Lawal

Tosin Akingba #UnbowedVoices

“When I was 12, I escaped a traumatic abuse that left a great mark in my soul, I was scarred for life; psychologically and emotionally. I was exposed to a lot of negativity that was life-changing. I suffered abuse by a family friend, I was exposed to situations which made me very vulnerable and I was always faced with tough decisions all through my teenage years.

Facing all of these, and reporting to my parents, my guardians and older people (men and women alike), all I got were lectures – always cover your head, always wear big clothes to cover your body, do not play with boys. They were good lessons I held on to, but then, nothing or very little was done about the boys and men who molest and abuse women.

All of these put together pushed me into a state of depression and confinement, with no one to talk to. Those times, drawing was my only means of escaping from worries and depressing thoughts. From then, I began to have more and more interest in becoming an artist and sharing my thoughts through my drawings.

While growing up, I discovered my love for drawing and I thought to pursue it professionally. I got a lot of backlash on the drawings I made as a lot of comments were focused on who was actually making the drawings. Most people never believed a girl could be talented enough to make beautiful drawings. Most people did not believe in a young girl having such talent, they felt it was for boys alone.


Tosin Akingba #UnbowedVoices

This dissuaded me from developing my talent because not many people believed in what I could do. I still get such comments today such as, ‘You made this drawing?’ ‘You, a girl?’ ‘I can’t believe a woman made this!’ ‘How is this possible?’ ‘You are a girl!’ It is disheartening and demeaning to me that these still happen in our age and time

I advocate for Gender Equality which is giving the same rights, status and opportunities regardless of one’s gender or sex. Let us give our girls and women the same opportunity given to men to thrive and excel in every aspect of life. I believe the world will be better if men and women all have equal rights.” – Tosin Akingba


About Tosin Akingba

One of Tosin’s achievements as an artist is her ability to touch hearts and change lives through her drawings. People relate with her drawings, and their lives get a positive turnaround.
She recalls an instance when she got a call from a young woman who thanked her for creating ‘Anguish’, one of her drawings which tackles molestation, sexual abuse, rape and deprivation. She was, at the time, being abused and didn’t have the courage to speak up out of fear. “Anguish” gave her the courage she needed and she was able to break free. She reported to the appropriate authorities and got the justice she deserved.
Tosin gets so many mails of gratitude over her drawings on how they have helped people get over depression, abuse, suicidal thoughts and so on. Her works tend to give a voice to the voiceless and this is by far the greatest achievement one could ever hope for; saving lives.
Her drawings are majorly on facial expressions – telling a story about young girls and women the society. A story of hustle – joy – pain – abuse – depression – love – hatred – oppression – gender equality – hope – belief – strength, and many other revealing works.
She always tries to preach a story of hope, belief to anyone who has been affected negatively by the structure of our society, and repentance (to the perpetrators of evil acts) with her artworks.
Tosin Akingba says she wants to use her artworks as a means of reaching thousands and millions of people positively, renewing her belief and hope in humanity, and to help heal young girls and women who have been subdued under any kind of pressure and any form of abuse.
All these expressions reflect on the human face and can easily be read and understood. This is what really inspires her art and she believes she can inspire others with her drawings and she hopes to change our society and the world for the better. 
She was recently featured on Daily Trust Magazine. Read her interview here: Why My Art Speaks for Abused Women – Tosin Akingba

What is #UnbowedVoices?

Read more about the campaign here: #UnbowedVoices – An Orifunke Lawal Campaign.


Also Read: Oluwatomisin Akingboye’s Story on Gender Equality – #UnbowedVoices


Please, let me know what you think.

%d bloggers like this: