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About Ayohcee

Ayohcee started life on Thursday 17th February 2005 as a blog about life in Cambridge, during the final year of my BA in English Literature and Geography. Originally the blog was called Life According to Ó Ceallaigh, before changing to LATÓC: London According to Ó Ceallaigh in mid-2008.

Following a trip to Uganda in 2009, and an ever-increasing focus on stories relating to Africa, the ‘London’ was dropped and the name shortened to AÓC: According to Ó Ceallaigh. In a final move, the name was changed to a near-phonetic version of the letters a, ó and c and so we arrive at Ayohcee.

In June 2011, Ayohcee was shortlisted in Plan UK's #Blog4Girls blogging competition in recognition of a post about breaking barriers to girls' education in the developing world, finishing as a runner-up.

Ayohcee has four key pledges to its readers moving forward into 2018:
  • To actually make time to post regularly after the failings of the last three years;
  • To focus on different voices;
  • To get a little bit angrier about everything.
This is in addition to continuing commitments to:
Ayohcee is a friend of Islam, the many faces of London, those displaced through conflict and famine and anyone willing to open their heart sincerely.

Popular posts from this blog

From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah

I stumbled across Nuruddin Farah’s novels when searching for something written by a Somali author. Perhaps due to the conflict that has raged for years in Somalia, it is very difficult to find much from Somali writers published in English.
From a Crooked Rib was published in 1970 and tells the story of Ebla, a young, orphaned, illiterate nomadic girl, who runs away from her encampment. She takes the decision to leave upon learning of her Grandfather’s intention to marry her off to an older man within their Jes (a group of families living in an encampment together).
She firstly escapes to a town, Belet Amin, where she finds her cousin and his pregnant wife. She also finds a guide and confidante in a character known only as the widow. Things seem settled until, yet again, Ebla finds her freedom compromised by a male character – this time her cousin, whose wife and child Ebla has been nursing.
In her haste she leaves Belet Amin with the widow’s nephew, bound for Mogadishu – still called

Breaking the Barriers to Girls’ Education in the Developing World

Whenever I have written about time I’ve spent in East Africa, I often talk about the fact that geography plays such a big role in how different my life is compared to someone there. What I hadn’t realised until much more recently is that not only does somebody’s physical location in the world play a massive part in the opportunities available to them, but so does their gender.
One question that begs to be asked is: why is it that girls in particular are less likely to get access to education in poorer countries?
According to Plan UK, women earn 30-60% of men’s earnings for similar jobs and women are more likely to be in low-paid employment, yet an extra year of secondary school boosts a girl’s eventual future wage by 15-25%. Many don't even have the opportunity to get this far.
There are obvious cultural and economic pressures dictating that boys, as historical breadwinners, should be pushed to the fore and afforded the greater opportunities to be educated.
After all, imagine you are…

The Bakiga Window: Taufiq Islamic Primary School: Part II

In a manner so typically Ugandan, Yasim approaches silently and politely asks whether he can have a word with me – it is one of those ironies that a word has to be had in order to have a word with someone. Irony aside, he has heard back from the Sheikh and arranged an appointment for me.
It is Wednesday 20th April and once more I find myself en route to Taufiq Islamic Primary School. The morning started in the usual way: waking up sleepy students, ensuring that everyone had 'taken' breakfast and had a supply of bottled water, and then walking with the group down the hill, into the town. At the foot of the hill, the group scattered into many fragments, with everyone off in search of their own adventures. I head straight on, past the noise of the metal workers, over to Taufiq.
After having had to beat a hasty retreat last week, I was unsure of who would be in my reception committee.
Teacher Bright was the first to greet me, before taking me inside to meet with the Headteacher L…