Women's studies grad determined
to break down barriers
Shinaba already had a successful career as a business
owner and college instructor in the hospitality industry
before she came to UVic, but she had always dreamed
of working on women's issues.
"When I got to Canada and couldn't
continue in my profession without going back to school,"
says the Nigerian-born human rights worker and activist,
"I said what the hell? Why do I have to continue
to do the same thing when all along my passion is to
work with women?" And so she went for it, regardless
of the obstacles along the way.
Shinaba says it was hard to get into
UVic due to difficulties transferring credits from African
institutions. "But having jumped that hurdle, "
she says, "I'm grateful to have the opportunity
to prove myself. I've acquired a tremendous amount of
knowledge from this university."
Now that she's cleared that barrier,
she wants to make it easier for others to do the same.
"There are many people out there who can really
give a lot to society but don't have the chance to do
it. The door should be opened a little bit more,"
she says, and she'd love to be the one to crack it wider.
Shinaba says her success comes partly
from the support of her partner, Prof. Olusegun Olunloyo.
She's also quick to credit her instructors, especially
Drs. Annalee Lepp, Jo-Anne Lee, and Christine St. Peter,
for helping her develop the skills she'll need for her
dream job-contributing to international human rights
policies on issues relevant to women and Third World
A lot of Shinaba's experience comes
from her work outside of the classroom. On top of outstanding
grades and managing a household with two teenaged sons,
Seyi and Jide, she's worked with a myriad of human rights
and diversity-related organizations.
"I'm still willing to do more if
there's the chance," smiles Shinaba. "I'm
a go-getter. I like to make a difference wherever I