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Osodieme Bags 2019 Woman of Excellence Award

By Emeka Ozumba 

In a fitting herald of the Spring in New York with promises of sunny and warm days ahead, the beauty and brains of the wife of the Governor of Anambra State and founder of the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) - an NGO, Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme), were in full bloom as she was conferred with the 2019 Woman of Excellence award at an impressive Top Ten African Award Gala. It was an adjacent event of the ongoing United Nations Commission on Status of Women (CSW) 63 which held on 16thMarch 2019 at the Millennium Hilton plaza, New York, United States of America.

Presenting the Award, Lady T. Thompson of AgroBiz, organizers of the Top Ten African Awards, said that awards is a recognition of Change-Makers from across Africa described Osodieme as an amazing woman whose is recognized for consistency in training others to succeed. Her work of training and empowering women in cottage agriculture, small scale entrepreneurship ventures as well as support for the wellbeing of the whole family is celebrated. Lady Thompson eulogized Osodieme for what she described as impactful programmes of her NGO, CAFÉ, which have improved the fortunes of many women, especially indigent widows in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Receiving the award, Osodieme said that she feels motivated by the renewed self-confidence she notices on the faces of indigent widows, women and youths who are trained and empowered under the CAFÉ Skills Training Programmes and other initiatives.  She noted that the recognition is an indication that the humble efforts she is making through CAFÉ are achieving good results.  

Said she;” It was a pleasant surprise when I was notified of this award but I also knew that what I am doing is not necessarily for recognition but for posterity. I am inspired to do much more to galvanize our women to wake up to the responsibilities we have in my state, Nigeria and the rest of Africa. I dedicate this award to our hardworking women especially those who dared to dream.”

Osodieme also advocated synergy amongst NGOs and organizations with similar agenda. She encouraged charitable organisations to endeavour to reach out to the rural populace so as to sustain programmes like those undertaken by CAFÉ. She reiterated her commitment to works of charity and the promotion of the cause of the indigent and less privileged women.

Earlier in a rousing Key Note Speech, Ambassador of African Union to United States, Her Excellency, Dr. Chihombari-Quao said that Africa is the next frontier but we need to understand where the decision to beat us down was made by decolonizing ourselves mentally. She placed the blame for Africa’s backwardness on the balkanization agreed at the Berlin Conference of 1885 and its aftermath which foisted unending colonialism and exploitation of the best of the continent by the Europeans. She advocated an African rebirth championed by women who represent the beautiful, indestructible and highly adaptable spirit necessary for the change.

Ambassador Chihombari-Quao recommended a change which must start with our mind-set and collaboration with the African diaspora who will deploy their expertise in various fields for the good of mother Africa. One of the ways of realizing the dream is the “building of Wakanda Centres of Excellence in five regions of Africa.” According to the Ambassador, there is renewed hope already with the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area by nineteen out of the needed twenty countries of Africa.
Speaking on the award, Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Rita Mmaduagwu said that Osodieme’s award was not a surprise because of her works of charity and her dedication to the welfare of women and the family. In the same vein, Member representing Onitsha South-2 Anambra State Constituency, Hon Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche, said that it was a well-deserved recognition for a woman whose passion for helping the needy is immeasurable.
Also the Executive Director and Vice President of Worldwide Organization on Women (WOW) Africa, Mrs. Carol Ugochukwu, thanked the organizers for recognizing a worthy recipient in Osodieme. She described Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano as “a woman with heart of gold.” 
One of the pleasant surprises of the award Gala was the presentation of the Breakthrough Award to the Commissioner for Women & Children Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue of Nigeria for her effort in the propagation of women courses and recovery of the mentally challenged from the streets of Anambra, Nigeria.

The African Top-Ten Powerful Partnership Awards were presented to winners in different categories from across Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

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