The first time I participated in an intensive outlook on womanhood at the American Corner, Cote Ivoire, a startling awareness of my essence descended on my cultured naivety.
It was the month of March, the 8th, a day dedicated to celebrate women all over the world and in my reminiscence, I could perceive the attainable height opened to every girl, lady, woman in her locality and city. In light of this, I’ll be focusing on certain women with whom the world has reckoned with and who will not for a moment sulk in regret for who they are.
Now this list is not exhaustive but I do know there are thousands of women-fulltime housewives, corporate women and women in the ministerial and humanitarian movement who do not make this list.
1. LUI YANG
If you are from, or know a person from Akwa Ibom or Cross-River State of Nigeria, you or that person will bear witness to the fact that this name sound like an efik name. (It’s actually a Taiwan name).
This woman who by appearance looks 23 is actually a 35 year old Airforce pilot. She had moved up the ladder to become the deputy head of a flight unit and concurrently held the PLAAF rank of major. She proceeded to a two-year astronaut training and by the end of the training, She had become the first female astronaut a.k.a taikonaut to partake in an high profile air operation. Short and simple right? But definitely loaded. Your life does not have to be complicated before others can tell if you are doing something relevant or not.
2. IBUKUN AWOSIKA
I met this woman for the first time at the NCCF national conference in Jos. She was a guest speaker and as she took us down memory lane with her teaching, diving into her rough start and current glorious present, I could barely take my gaze away from her face.
Ibukun Awosika was the M.D of The Chair Centre until she was appointed the CEO of Sokoa chair Centre Ltd, a joint-venture company of SOKOA France, Guaranty trust Bank, The Chair Centre Ltd and some other local investors. If you’ve heard about a popular TV program- BUSINESS HIS WAY, you would be familiar with the host, a woman of uncommon favour and unrelenting passion, teaching on ethical business principles derived from God’s word.
She is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Women in Management and Business(WIMBIZ) and sits on several boards including; Calbury Nigeria PLC, FIRST Bank Nigeria Plc and is a member of Lagos State University Governing Council. She is the founder of Christian Missionary Fund, a platform that reaches out to hundreds of missionaries providing medical, educational resources and other provisions to the less privileged
In her own words. “To the ordinary person, I am a business person. But they miss it. Believe me. I am a servant of God assigned to the market place. Business is my platform. It is the podium where I preach. The way I can take my business into the boardroom, that’s me preaching the gospel.”
No doubt, she is a voice that shows forth the Lordship of Christ in the tough areas of the corporate world. In which area of expertise are you affirming the voice of the Lord?
3. GLORIA BAMILOYE
If this name doesn’t ring a bell, then ‘Mount Zion’ should. I remember many years back when I had to keep explaining that Mount Zion Films weren’t the only Christian film producers and at a time I got fed up explaining because as far as people are concerned, it’s either you are watching secular movies or Mount Zion Films. Mount Zion films were synonymous to “Christian” films. That’s how widespread this ministry have become.
This beautiful, gentle and virtuous woman is the co-founder of the Mount Zion Faith Ministries, the most popular Christian film making Industry making waves in the world.
Gloria Bamiloye supports her husband full time as they move from one country to another spreading the gospel through the media sector. I was privileged to attend the 30th anniversary and to see a documentary that ran through the beginning of the ministry up until present day and I was particularly amazed at her resilience portrayed in keying into her husband’s vision through the thick and the thin.
She is also the organizer of the Women Intercessors For Drama Ministers-The Vision Carriers Int’l. that attends to intense intercession for drama Minsters. She has authored a good number of books including The Minister and his wife and Man and his helpmeet.
Marriage isn’t a joke and it isn’t just an avenue to fulfill conjugal rights or serve tables. It is a place for the fulfillment of visions and accomplishment of dreams. A woman with a firm grip and understanding of her assignment knows that in helping her spouse actualize his purpose for existence, she is also fulfilling hers.
4. SINACH KALU
I was on my way to Yamoussoukru, the official capital of Cote Ivoire when I began to converse with a certain man. He excitedly spoke about a particular Nigerian singer whose name he tried so desperately to remember. I couldn’t help him out until he played one of her songs. The voice was undeniable and I didn’t need to think for too long before I realized it was Sinach. Of course, her songs are on the lips of thousands of Nigerians, whether young or old, male or female, bringing inexpressible joy and inspiration to thousands of souls. I consider her piece, ‘I want more of You’ as a national anthem in Nigeria (or at least a song well incorporated into almost every church in the Federation). In a post on Instagram she noted;
“I had a dream as a little girl that one day I would change people’s lives. I would have dreams of singing to many people from nations and tongues but when I would open my eyes, I was right there still on my bed waking up to the sound of my Father’s early morning BBC radio…then I met Jesus and He changed my purpose and changed my reason for singing.”
Women don’t just influence the world by chance. They dream. They hope.
5. JOHAANA QUAAS
When i first stumbled upon this woman’s story, I was fascinated that even at 89 years of age Johaana still remained a competitor in the gymnastic field. She has been regarded as the oldest gymnast in the world having started her training into the gymnastics in her 50s. She had her first competition at 56 (Pause and think of that).
I therefore will not strike hands with a self-pitying woman consumed with the notion that she has lost all opportunities that life could offer. Indeed it is true that not everything might be achievable with age, but there are certain things that can be done with faith, patience and determination. Are you a woman who has sacrificed her youthful age to train your kids and now wish to return to a long desired career or dream that has been kept aside all these years? Take a step. Don’t tell me you can’t. Gentle steps may seem insignificant but little by little, your dreams will begin to take shape.
While I was planning this article, I thought to myself that there may be female teenagers who would visit this site and think, “This is only for matured adults. I’ve got some time on my hands to play around.” Allow me to disappoint you as I introduce three stunning young female teenagers who have taken the bull by the horn in the course of their lives and future.
6. OLIVIA HALLISEY
She is 17 and a high school student. She invented a new way to test for the Ebola virus that doesn’t require electricity. This in effect, would be huge advantage for rural dwellers where this epidemic is common place. Even though her invention has not been tested in the real world but for the fact that she was able to bring forth such live saving invention got her top Honours at the Goggle Science Fair.
You’ll never know what you can do until you try it out.
7. MALALA YOUSAFZAI
I loved Malala’s story because of her bravery and confidence to campaign for girl education in Pakistan even after she was shot by the Taliban while going to school. On her 18th birthday, she travelled to a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon and established a school. (I’m marveled at this brave act). Risks are unavoidable and any woman who seeks to run away from risks might not go far. Step out of that comfort zone and pursue your heart’s longing.
8. LYDIA KO
Lydia Ko is that 18 year old New Zealand girl who broke Tiger Woods record and was declared the youngest golfer to be ranked Number one. If at this age, she was already a record breaker, I wonder what she would be doing at 30. No female teen or young adult has any excuse not to develop their skills and create a niche for themselves in this global world.
The final female we will be celebrating is:
You, a wonderful creature of the Almighty loaded with deposits and waiting to be tapped.
You , a female, set by God to be a revolutionist and a world changer.
You, a being, skillfully designed by the creator for His glory and praise alone.
Look into the mirror this day and smile at the great woman you will become. Lift your eyes to the heavens and thank Him for creating you so. Look inward and release all those hidden potentials seeking freedom.
As long as God takes the first place in your life, your reward for dutiful service awaits you not just here on earth but also in heaven. You are a blessing to the world. Yes, You!