In celebration of International Women’s Day.. by Peter Ogbonna

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The story of inspiring women who contribute to the development of the society if left untold never forgives silence. This is because there is no end to possibilities of what such women who succeed where men have more often failed can do.
Africa, a continent with endowed human, mineral and natural resources, has successfully produced few of such women who have carved a niche for themselves in the society.

These female legends are courageous and blessed with enormous ideas and unusual drive for excellence that could practically spin out great output from given resources in any venture. Their influence are felt not only within Nigeria, but spreads across Africa as successful and hardworking women who have been in the forefront of rebranding Africa’s image to the world. They are accessible and have hearts of gold; always willing to add value to peoples’ lives beyond what words can express.

Osasu Igbinedion, a dynamic and articulate media practitioner and young philanthropist, indeed, falls into the category of these rare women. She is now part of a group of relatively young women who represent the new face of broadcast journalism and partnership for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Igbinedion aggressively took her destiny into her hands to emerge as one of Nigeria’s prominent talk show host.

Hardworking and diligent with a historic and ambitious pledge to end poverty, Igbinedion has affirmed Vince Lombardi’s assertion that “the price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” Igbinedion is a strong evangelist of the 2030 world agenda for sustainable development; an agenda that comprises 17 new SDGs, or Global Goals.

Igbinedion rose to fame when she unleashed her excellent communicating and entrepreneurial skills and took advantage of the upturn in Africa’s fortune which coincided with waves of the global economic reform. In alignment with SDGs, Osasu Igbinedion had in 2015 floated an instrumental communication vehicle called The Osasu Show (TOS) for harmonisation and extension of her unprecedented humane gestures and activities. Thus, she has been performing conspicuously with no gender, creed, religion or tribal bias.

The 30 minutes talk show that runs simultaneously on AIT, BEN TV London and ITV, creates an opportunity for critical discussions on the improvement of societal perceptions and ideologies amongst politicians, aspiring young leaders, entrepreneurs, industrialists, public servants, philanthropists, and professionals in various spheres of life. The programme has been applauded for consistently providing a medium for promoting the cause of the less privileged in the society which is in tandem with the SDGs’ agenda.

Her work in Nigeria and across Africa has also proved her immense passion and efforts towards the achievement of the SDGs agenda especially that of goals 1, 4, 10, and 16 which are; to eradicate extreme poverty, ensure inclusive and quality education, reduce inequalities, foster peace and justice and build strong institution consecutively.
The proverbial saying that “if you are generous, you will be prosperous and you do yourself a favour when you are kind, but if you are cruel you only hurt yourself” had so much manifested in Igbinedion’s life. She had through her media outfit broadcasted the injustice and societal ills across the nation. Many Nigerians are yet to recover from ills such as the activities of the Fulani herdsmen who have been accused of masterminding serial killings in various parts of the country.

The massacre witnessed in Agatu of Benue State remains shocking as it was neglected by security operatives and even under reported in the media. However, many of us were shocked when Osasu Igbinedion appeared on our television screens reporting directly from the scene of the Agatu massacre, putting her life at risk just to reveal the plight and sufferings of the voiceless. When asked what propelled her for this popular action, she said: “I was compelled to visit the indigenes of Agatu because I was appalled by the resounding silence of their leaders. I knew I had to give the people a voice, an opportunity to tell their story. Upon arrival I was shocked to see houses, cars, hospitals, churches burnt to the ground. No clean drinking water was made available to them, the crops they spent months to harvest were destroyed or pilfered in the blink of an eye. The people are all distraught and as we speak these herdsmen/perpetrators still occupy some communities in Agatu”.

Igbinedion did not stop there, as a proponent of girl-child education and non-promoter of child marriage which is highly predominant in the North, Igbinedion visited several communities in Northern Nigeria, including Ngogo and Fagge Local Government Areas in Kano State where she rubbed minds with Islamic clerics and victims of child marriage to fashion out modalities on ending child marriage through quality education. She has also engaged legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate on several occasions to discuss how the Sharia Law and Child Rights Act contradict on this issue and what can be done to fix it.

Expectedly, the forward thinking media icon and young social entrepreneur has continued her good work of impacting lives. She is known to be guided by the philosophy of “the life we live is for God and to then accommodate other people”. Further showcasing her genuine passion for people, in her efforts to bridge the inequality gap in society, Igbinedion takes to the streets to interview the common man about his everyday plight. During one of her interviews with the special adviser to the President on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, she invited a cab driver to participate in the epic programme.

Her reach across Africa has distinguished her as a dynamic journalist and sincere champion for the implementation of sustainable development as the solution to Africa’s social, economic and infrastructural deficit. In her recent visit to Nairobi, Kenya, Igbinedion interviewed the Chairman of the ruling party, The National Alliance (TNA), Honourable Sakaja Johnson who is only 31 years of age. They discussed the role of young people in governance vis-a-vis the development of Africa. She also interviewed Mr. Kiprono Kittony, Chairman, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI). She impressively delved into the topic of Inter-Africa trade as an economic and developmental stimulus.

Being among the few successful Nigerian women who are not guilty of selective amnesia and ethnic irredentism amidst the vacillating fortunes in today’s corporate world, she has featured several icons of different divides in her medium and disseminated messages that touched many lives.
Osasu Igbinedion is a role model, a bold and brilliant woman who creates chances for others to excel, a new face of journalism with numerous admirers, and a rare gem who has generously given her skills, expertise and resources to make a difference in the lives of others. Igbinedion’s promotion of the SDGs in various capacities has indeed distinguished her as an independent and articulate champion of the United Nations Global Goals across Africa.

(Culled from Thisday Newspaper)

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