A profile of Oyibo Ekwulo Odinamadu – Nee Akwuba

1. She was born:

  • the second child and second daughter to Mr. Ekemezie Akwuba of Umunogem Family, Umudunu Kindred, Dusogu Village, Awkuzu City, Oyi Local Government Area; and
  • Mrs. Mgboye Akwuba, (Nee Nwolisakwe) of Okpuluoji Kindred, Akwa Village, Ifitedunu City, Njikoka Local Government Area - both of Anambra State of Nigeria;
  • Of parents who were among the third generation early Christians converts, of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), (Anglican Communion), of St. James Church, Awkuzu City in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State of Nigeria;
  • On 2ndJanuary, 1928.

2. EDUCATION

  • She had her early education in Nigeria before proceeding to the United States of America in 1948, under the auspices of Dr. Nwafor Orizu’s American Council on African Education Scholarship Scheme (ACAE), for further studies;
  • She graduated Bachelor of Arts in Education/History/Sociology, from Lincoln University of Missouri in 1952; and
  • Master of Arts in Education (Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education) from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A, in 1953.

3. CAREER

She returned home, after her studies, in January, 1954:

  • The first woman graduate of Eastern Nigeria origin, and also with a second degree.
  • Experienced difficulty to be employed by the British Director of Education in the Eastern Region Department of Education; she took employment as the first
  • Assistant Secretary with the Eastern Regional Production and Development Board (ERPDB) in 1954, which become the Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation (ENDC), up to 1957; and thereafter, the first woman of Eastern Nigeria origin to be:
  • Education Officer in the Eastern Nigeria Ministry of Education. In the course of her career, she was:
  • Classroom teacher at the WTC;
  • the Principal of the Women Teachers Training College (WTC), Enugu;
  • Inspector of Schools – Secondary;
  • Principal of Queen’s School, Enugu;
  • Inspector in-charge Examinations and Teachers Registration Branch;
  • Attain the rank of Inspector of Education Grade One; and retired voluntarily in 1971.

4. MARRIAGE & FAMILY

She married Benedict Obidimma Odinamadu – an Administrative Officer - to Permanent Secretary, in the Public Service, in 1957; and they were blessed with four children – 2 boys and 2 girls. Her husband transcended into glory in November 1979.

5. PRIVATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

She started:

  • The Echo Enterprises Limited and went into the business of Retail cum Wholesale of Supermarket Goods with a Boutique Section, in 1972;
  • The Company was set up in Enugu with branches at Abakaliki and Onitsha;
  • Her husband later joined her in the business, and added a Road Haulage Section by the name of Pelican Transport Company;
  • He also floated the John Kenneth Nigeria Limited Company, for importation of goods.

6. APPOINTMENTS

She was appointed to various Government Boards and Parastatals from 1954 notably from 1972-1999, notably, as:

  • Chairman of the Board of Governors of Queen’s (Secondary) School, Enugu, and Member of the:.
  • Anambra State School Management Board;
  • Hospital Management Board;
  • Judicial Commission of Enquiry Into Examination Leakages 1975 (JUDICEL ’75);
  • National Council for the observation of the International Women’s Year (IWY ’75);
  • Governing Council of Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), 1*81 to 1984;
  • Anambra State Development Board;
  • Anambra State Local Government Service Commission;
  • Governing Council of Nnamdi Azikiwe University; among others.

7. VOLUNTARY ACTIVITIES

She served as

  • One of the pioneer and founding members of the first non-governmental, non religious, charitable, non-profit women’s organization in Eastern Region of Nigeria - the Women’s Cultural and Philanthropic Organization (WCPO) Enugu, in 1958; and its president;
  • The WCPO was the forerunner of the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), which is the national umbrella for women’s organizations, also founded in 1958;
  • as the President of the Eastern Regional Branch; the Eastern Nigeria Branch; the Biafra Council of Women’s Societies; the East Central State Branch of the NCWS and of Anambra State Branch, respectively, until 1979.
  • She is a Life Member of the NCWS.
  • She led the delegation of the Women of Biafra to the Queen of England, about the Nigeria versus Biafra War in 1968.
  • Chairman of the community development organization in her marital home of Abatete, in Idemili Local Government Area - the Abatete Task Force Group on Development – which brought Electricity to the town, under the Anambra State Rural Electrification Project;
  • She also initiated the Electrification Project of Awkuzu, her paternal home town, in Oyi Local Government Area, in bringing Electricity to the town, in co-operation with the Awkuzu Progressive Union, also under the Anambra State Rural Electrification Project;
  • Provincial Secretary of the Provincial Mothers Union, Province III, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), 1991-94.

8. POLITICAL PARTY ACTIVITIES

In 1978 she:

  • joined the Unity Party of Nigeria led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo (now of blessed memory).
  • was elected the National Vice-president of the Party, and also served as
  • the Party’s Chairman of the National Working Committee 1978-84.
  • was the Deputy-Gubernatorial Candidate for Anambra State in the 1979 Elections;

9. LITERARY INTERESTS

Pursuing her literary interests, she published a book entitled:

  • The Dilemma of the Igbo Political Elite;

She has delivered papers on a variety of subjects to Conferences and Symposia,

including:

  • Women In Society;
  • Widows and Orphans in Traditional Igbo Society;
  • Women In Nation Building. Others are:
  • Empowerment of Women;
  • Low Enrollment of Boys in Schools in Anambra State - What Remedies;
  • Ordination of Women In the Church of the Province of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) – An Advocacy;
  • Burial According to Christian Rites - What Significance;
  • Community Development: Its Multifarious Aspects;
  • Origin of Awkuzu In Umu-Iguedo Clan;
  • Many Goodwill Messages to various organizations, respectively, at home and abroad;
  • Participation in numerous Radio and Television Discussion Programs, on a wide variety of topics;
  • In recent times, contributed many articles to the mass media, including:

· “SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH NIGERIA – TO TELL THE TRUTH”;

· In Conversation With Obi Nwakanma, for the Chinua Achebe Foundation;

· A REJOINDER – being a commentary on the Report of the AKA-IKENGA AND OHANEZE RETREAT AT ASABA 2004;

· President Bill Clinton and the Movie: HOTEL RWANDA – Why the Change of Mind after Supporting the Genocide in Rwanda of 1993-94?

· There Is Not Much to Give Credit For: A Rejoinder to Paul Edujie’s RE: President Obasanjo’s Diplomatic Finesse, Unheralded;

· What Serious-Minded Countries Do to Face-off Corruption;

· The Grand Home-Coming of Ndi Igbo- Parts 1 & 11;

· Comments on General Yakubu Gowon’s Conversation With Pini Jason;

· Comments on General Ojukwu’s Conversation With Chido Nwangwu;

· Sovereign National Conference: Revolutionizing Nigeria; others plus:

· Numerous postings on the Internet Fora.

She has completed a manuscript, awaiting publication, entitled:

· “FAIR PLAY: Igbo Women Plead for Compassion, Empathy and Fairness – in the application of Igbo customary practices to the girl-child and women”, under her IGBO CUSTOMS SERIES; currently working on the following:

· MY JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE - BLAZING TRAILS!

· MY MEMOIRES – I REMEMBER!

· CULTURAL PRACTICES OF IGBO PEOPLE.

She publishes articles on political and social issues affecting the society, women and children, especially girl-children. Read some of the blogs at her Website:

http://ugobueze.blogspot.com;

10. RECOGNITIONS

She has been recognized by:

  • The Nigerian Federal Government, at the inception of the Nigerian National Honors in 1964, with the award of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON);
  • The Biafra Government with the award of the Member of the Order of the Republic of Biafra (MORB);
  • The Diocese on the Niger of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as a foundation member of the Order of the Knighthood of St. Christopher (KSC) 1978;

· The Nigerian Union of Journalists of the Old Anambra State, NUJ) as Woman of the Year 1980; and by the Enugu State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) 1997;

  • The Nigerian Association of University Women in 1980 for the upliftment and empowerment of women in education and in the society;
  • The Nigerian National Center for Women Development as a foundation and founding member of the National Council of Women’s Societies; honored at the inception of the awards in 2004, by having a building standing in her name at the Women’s Center, Abuja;
  • The presentation of a Plaques by the Abatete USA Inc. on its Fifth Annual Convention 2004, in appreciation of her invaluable pieces of advice to the Abatete Development Union of North Carolina;
  • The USAfrica and Class Magazine for due recognition of the ability she has shown regarding the development of the bilateral interests of Nigeria and the United States; and in respect of her professional distinctions as a community pillar, and in our community’s multimedia and news leader in America, USAfrica honors her with: Mother of the Year 2005;
  • The Idemili Association, in sincere appreciation of her support and contributions to Idemili Association and Women’s Rights in Nigeria, at the Idenite, 2006;
  • The Anambra State Association Dallas-Fort Worth (ASA-DFW)- African Civic Awareness & History Preservation Award, in recognition of her efforts to uphold African History and by her presentation and enlightenment on the life and legacy of the Late Rt. Hon, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe – Zik of Africa- on the occasion of the First Biennial Zik of Africa Symposium, Anambra Day, February 28, 2009;

12. LEISURE ACTIVITIES

In her leisure she loves to engage in a variety of satisfying activities, such as:

  • voluntary and charitable work;
  • Church activities;
  • reading/writing;
  • Internet Fora discussions;
  • keep-fit exercises;
  • listening to classical and a variety of music and dancing;
  • watching movies and theatre;
  • singing songs and choruses;
  • onding with grand-children;
  • gardening;
  • sewing, and
  • home-keeping for the family.

11. UPLIFTERS CHARITIES

She plans to start an organization for charitable activities, to be known as the UPLIFTERS CHARITIES. She proposes that the Organization will undertake:

· Campaign against female circumcision.

· Campaign against childhood marriage of the girl-child.

· Material assistance for poverty alleviation among rural women.

In economic development areas for poverty alleviation, some limited financial and material assistance is planned for women, to support small-scale partnerships and co-operatives, at grassroots levels.

Please log on to the web site: http://uplifters.org and donate generously, and as often as you can, bringing in your relations and friends.

Email Address: oyibomail@yahoo.com

1 comment:

Nkem said...

grandmma great bog and if you don't kniw its nkem