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Instagram's Nigerian Agony Aunt is Giving Women Relationship Advice


SBS.com
Nigerian women, particularly those from the Muslim north of the country, are taking to Instagram to anonymously share their relationship woes online. Ziya'atulhaqq Usman Tahir uses her Instagram account @fatibolady to offer advice to users about topical issues such as domestic violence and marital rape as well as less serious grievances.

The 27-year old had the idea to set up the account after giving advice to friend who had shared a relationship issue on the social networking service last year. After an "overwhelming" response which included countless comments of support, she decided to encourage others to start sending their stories to her and speak out. The account has now reached almost 30k thousands followers and features over 500 posts detailing the concerns of Nigerian women.

"It is hard for women to speak about their problems in public, but it is time that we start opening up - we have a voice and we shouldn't bottle it up," she said in an interview over Twitter. Nigeria is a typical religious and conservative country where sharing problems openly is not encouraged. It is sites such as Instagram that allow for confidential and uninhibited conversation for these women that they may not have elsewhere. As Tahir explains: "It is a social space that helps women to unwind by pouring out their anguish bottled up inside and seek honest opinions on how best to tackle such problems."

As interest in the project has grown, Tahir has sought more informed advice from lawyers, therapists and gynaecologists in order to better help her followers. Several of said followers have even offered to become mentors too. She says that her family have been incredibly supportive - especially her dad. "He goes through my Instagram every day and advises me on things to say and not say on social media," she said. "My friends say the phrase agony aunt cracks them up... but I personally love it."








It's great to hear that social media sites such as Instagram can be used to more charitable means than sharing food pics, providing a safe haven for people who need one. Ziya'atulhaqq Usman Tahir is hoping to one day have her own TV show to reach more people on a more open and widespread platform.



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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Instagram's Nigerian Agony Aunt is Giving Women Relationship Advice Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Rating: 5

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