TWEET CONFERENCE: Enhancing the EndFGM/C campaign through “Short Video Clips” & “the FROWN CHALLENGE” – Jide Ojo

Good day fellow patriots, You are all welcome to today’s twi-conference.

Our conversation today will be centered on enhancing the EndFGM/C campaign through “short video clips” & “the FROWN CHALLENGE”

But first, it is good we are on the same page on the definition of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)

According to WHO, FGM/C is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons FGM/C is wrongly called Female Circumcision. What they do to our girls is Mutilation or cutting not Circumcision. For more information on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting please check this Video

However, We must always remember these about Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting is not reversible, once a lady is cut, what has been cut can never be replaced. There is no known advantage to Female Genital Mutilation. I repeat, there is no known advantage to FGM/C. The Short term consequences range from Severe pain, to severe bleeding and sometimes death.  The long time consequences range from Severe menstrual pain to prolonged labour and sometimes death of mother or/and newborn during delivery

FGM/C wrongly called Female Circumcision is incurably bad, and must be stopped. An estimated 19.9 million Nigerian women have undergone FGM/C meaning that approximately 16% of the 125 million FGM/C survivors worldwide are Nigerian.

Fellow Nigerians, how did we get here.. Regarding FGM/C? We got to this point erroneously believing FGM/C was good for our girls based on false reasons/myths. The false reasons given include that FGM/C curbs promiscuity, this is wrong.  A reliable research showed that over 85% of commercial sex workers have undergone FGM/C implying that chastity depends on upbringing not FGM/C.

In fact, it is proven Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting aids promiscuity. The real reasons why these perpetrators engage in these practice are centred around controlling women sexuality and reproduction. This violates the rights of a girl child. It is her right to remain the way God created her. FGM/C is a social norm, people do it not because it is right, but because they are expected to do it. FGM/C has been transferred from generation to generation with the excuse of tradition and culture. The media used to retain a practice through generations comprise, drama, songs, dance, art and sculpture, in other words: elements of traditional entertainment. They made beautiful impressions out of a wrong practice, making it easy for people to retain message and belief, this implies that if we must change these wrong behaviours, we cannot rule out using the same media, but I call it EDUTAINMENT.

We use community dialogue as in olden days, and we also use portable drama, songs, Artwork. This why we are focusing on enhancing FGM/C abandonment campaign using documentaries, short videos (drama and songs) and The FROWN CHALLENGE, there is progress as the efforts made towards the abandonment of FGM/C is gradually yielding results, but then, there is a not-too-obvious challenge due to the rising population of the country. FGM/C adherents are also increasing in areas of high prevalence as people who have abandoned the practice are increasing.

Hence, we need aggressive measures that can ascertain that rate at which FGM/C is abandoned is more favoured. The gulf between the supply and the demand of FGM/C will definitely  be widened using the agents of change, the youths.  When we think of Youths as agents of change, we cannot rule out social media as their tool in that regard Introduction of awareness creation on FGM/C abandonment using  the FROWN CHALLENGE is a welcome idea.

This is not unconnected to the gathering of young selects of social media activists in Abuja between 16th and 19th of November 2015, to discuss and agree on how best to engage the online population to be the epicenter of movement against FGM/C.  the resolution of the youths include using of catalytic online media contents (Videos, Audios, placard photographs, eposters colourful Articles and on a website) to end FGM/C.

A large population visits the social media for entertainment, information, news, fun, networking and so on whenever time permits. But close to 95% of all activities that happen on the social media are galvanized by youths as they share striking messages driven by interesting audios/videos, catchy photographs and attractive titles of links.

This Social Media Campaign would employ onsite activities to create short documentaries, Short clips, Simulated and Natural Viral Videos, and Placard photographs. The expectation is that by the time materials capable of reaching and changing the  suppliers of FGM/C is produced then the stage is set to combat the excuses of culture, tradition and religion and welcome a strong platform that will end FGM/C in Nigeria.

The Social Media Campaign to end FGM was considered inevitable towards the achievement of the strategic goal of the joint UNFPA/UNICEF Programme on FGM/C. Short Videos and documentaries were produced with focus on Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Osun and Oyo State. As the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Acts 2015, is awaiting domestication in some states and enforcement in others… The audio-visual materials would focus on community dialogue online (social media) and on site (in communities) on social media an effort can make up to 100,000 impressions, while in communities number of people reached par/time is limited.

Let’s talk about why  the audio-visual materials are important  Social Media hype has come to stay. Videos, photographs and audios driven by captivating messages have been very effective in powering great media campaign in the past. Videos and photographs are the most effective in retaining messages according to Forrester research.  videos were 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page ranking than traditional text pages.  Online video and photographs campaign are the most attractive to social media users and visitors today for numerous reasons.

Videos will still be getting views 10 years from now. The viral video opportunities are endless when the right strategies are used to create and post videos online.  The language the Nigerian online population understand is entertainment which may be tragic, but having happy ending.  The products must be able to spark up suspense, excitement, happiness, anxiety, and memory retention. It must be unique and new.

This condition is necessary for the message to generate followership, participation, download and replication.  replication is easy with audio visual materials as information can be shared more easily  Videos in this regard will be 30 percent entertainment 70 percent education  about 20 short clips have been produced on FGM/C abandonment with the support of UNICEF and they can be accessed at endcuttinggirls Nigeria youtube channel. Let me share 2 more videos with you at this point.

Now let us discuss the FROWN CHALLENGE. To make any Social Media Interventions work, there must be a campaign.

The essence of campaigning is to have repetition and reinforcement of messages.  This means a system should be in place to always have more episodes of a particular message being uploaded.  This is similar to having 1,000 people talk about the same thing. There are 3 ways to achieve this;  By creating an online challenge on the Social Media Platforms . By creating an on-site/sight challenge (Community outreach) with intent of creating Viral Videos and photographs on social media platform. By creating onsite (outreach for acquisition of viral videos) participation in the focal states and online participation in other states of Nigeria.

This implies that for a full scale multimedia campaign, there must not only be a customised social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook. Youtube, Instagram and a website, but also a consistent real life intervention or activity to feed and populate those social media platforms.

The FROWN CHALLENGE aims, in the long run, to encourage all Nigerians home and abroad, to volunteer a “frown” against female genital mutilation on  social platforms. These frowns will come as placard photographs and short videos. Those who wish to join this challenge will have to follow the following procedures.  Participants/challengers will;

Step 1. Write “”, “A quote in favour of FGMC abandonment”, “his/her Name”, and “twitter/Instagram account” on a placard. For instance, a placard may contain “”, “FGM/C is woman slavery” “ademola” “@realademola”

Step 2. hold and take a photograph/selfie or a 20 seconds video using the placard in step 1.

Step 3. Post this placard photograph on twitter, or Instagram tagging @endcuttinggirls.


All photographs will be reviewed as no one is left out.

The most powerful frowns will be selected to become  ambassadors in areas of high prevalence, as these expressions will be placed on Bill boards. In order to create awareness for this campaign, we propose 20,100 Volunteer-Frowns against Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria from Stakeholders and media personalities annually till 2030. This awareness will be created using  customised placards and it will cover 6 states in Nigeria, with the FROWN CHALLENGE team on ground.

Summarily, The 2017  Frown Challenge proposes…

  1. FROWN CHALLENGE Photographs posted directly online tagging @endcuttinggirls by Nigerians from locations in Nigeria and abroad; this Features: Quotes, short videos, placard photographs.

  2. 100 media personalities photographs: This includes policy makers, artistes, actors and actresses, politicians and the press. this Features: 100 Frowns@ FGM/C Interviews, Signatures/Autographs, photographs and quotes in favour of FGM/C abandonment.

  3. 20,000 Models placard photographs: this Features: 20,000 Frowns @ FGM/C from Nigerians across 6 states: These are Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Imo, and Ebonyi State.


The project FROWN CHALLENGE will be unveiled on the PLATFORM OF “MEETS MEDIA” (MAY 7TH, 2017) in Victoria island Lagos.

Funke Akindele is the invited celebrity to power this launch @ meets media. The host is Ariyike of soundcity, with UNICEF fully represented. MEETS MEDIA is a Nigerian media networking gathering where media personalities meet once in a month to host a celebrity, an achiever or an organisation, to discuss a certain issue or topic that may be of mutual relevance and importance to the media and/or the guest personality or organisation.  The hangout creates an enabling environment for communication professionals to interact with themselves and other media houses.

Usually, there is a panel of 4 to 6 people on the stage. The 4 people comprises 2 invited guests and 2 media personalities. The audience is always made up of the press comprising print media, blog, radio and television stations.

There is no better platform to launch the Annual 2017  FROWN CHALLENGE than the MEETS MEDIA. On May 7th 2017 , Meets media will be hosting the UNICEF child protection Team, Funke Akindele, an FGMC survivor, and other media personalities.  The peak of this special edition of meets media is the unveiling of the 2017  FROWN CHALLENGE,  which is meant to register more than 20,000 FGMC abandonment instant advocates through placard photographs.  top media houses will be well represented at the media gathering for this monthly interactive chat.

The FROWN CHALLENGE will thereafter commence immediately after this launch (may 9th to October 30th. within these 6 months the FROWN CHALLENGE team will have toured six states, namely, ekiti, osun, oyo, Imo, ebonyi and Lagos state. Frowners from other states, can however post photos and videos online @endcuttingirls instagram from any location.  all Frowns @ FGM/C will be considered before selection as no one is left out.

This effort plans to project  as the epicentre of this campaign so that consequently, more people will be very conversant with the term Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) as a replacement for the term “Female Circumcision” and  more easily abandon the practice. Also whoever agrees to our model photograph is automatically declaring him or herself as an advocate for FGM/C abandonment. In accelerating change, in this regard, all hands must be on deck.

The Social Media Campaign to end FGM was considered inevitable towards the achievement of the strategic goal of the joint UNFPA/UNICEF Programme on FGM/C abandonment-in line with the SDG 5, target 3., we must not be tired in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. We must end Female Genital Mutilation and other violence against the girl child.


Together, we will end Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting in this generation.

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