Zik Prize: Osodieme dedicates Award to needy and struggling women

The wife of Governor Anambra State, and founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has dedicated the Zik Prize for leadership in Humanitarian Services Award to needy and struggling women across Anambra State and Nigeria. Osodieme made the commitment in a chat with the media after receiving the award on Sunday 16th April 2018 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos event attended by crème a la crème of Anambra State and Nigeria.

Addressing the media on her way out of the venue alongside her husband, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano, a visibly elated Osodieme expressed happiness for the recognition and the overwhelming support of friends and well-wishers.

Said she;

“This means more work, once you are acknowledged for what you do it spurs you to do more. My husband is working for Anambra State and I am supporting to ensure that things go well. I want to thank God Almighty for this recognition; for them to have fished me out for that what I do.  I also want to thank my husband immensely because if he didn’t encourage me, If he didn’t allow me to follow my passion, I  won’t have been able get to this height.  I also want to thank the organizers of the award, it shows that what they are doing has integrity they don’t just bring people out to give an award; you have to earn it. I thank friends and well-wishers, and I dedicate this award to needy and struggling women particularly those in Anambra State. “

In his reaction, her husband and Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano said; “My wife has been doing this charity work for a very long time and she has been a pillar. So I thank God for the recognition and I know it will spur her to do more for the less privileged.”

Presenting the award to Osodieme, elder statesmen and the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku said;

“In His Excellency Willie Obiano and Ebelechukwu Anambra got two for the price of one. I must say that His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano the Governor of the State and Her Excellency, Chief {Mrs,) Ebelechukwu Obiano who has earned the sobriquet of Osodie-eme, which translated means, one who joins her husband in rendering good services. I must say that the philanthropic works that she has been doing has been very well presented by the gentleman who introduced her. All I can say is that I recently discovered that added to her many gifts is the prowess of writing. I had the pleasure of reading An intimate biography of her husband written by her. It was a book I made the mistake of reading by halsf past 10 in the evening and it deprived me of my sleep because I couldn’t put it down till 3 am. It is an extremely well-written book.”

Continuing Chief Anyaoku, emphasized: “So for all her good works, to the people of Anambra State; I must say that on the 9th of last month, I read in the Punch, Mrs. Obiano was responsible for getting home to her family a woman of about 72 years who was presumed dead for 35 years. It is only one of the very many-many things she does. For all that, it gives me particular pleasure in handing over this award which I commend the deciders for recognizing true leadership in philanthropic work. And so with that Your Excellency, I have the greatest pleasure in handing this seal of your achievement to you.”

Obianos, the first couple to win the prestigious Zik Prize in different categories were the cynosure of all eyes at the event attended by the crème a la crème of Anambra State and Nigeria. Whereas Governor Obiano received the award for excellent leadership in public office in 2016, his wife Ebelechukwu, is recognized in the humanitarian category, the first of its kind since the institution of the Zik Prize in 1994.

Through her NGO, CAFÉ, Osodieme has touched the lives of many children, youth, women and men in Anambra State and beyond. She has trained and empowered over three thousand, six hundred indigent widows, women and youths in various skills under CAFÉ Skills Acquisition Training programme. She built twelve 2-Bedroom bungalows under CAFE Housing for Indigent Widows free and handed to beneficiaries; eleven CAFÉ Market Toilets to promote hygiene in rural community markets. She has also made significant contributions as facilitator of cleft care to over 50 children in Anambra by Smile Train International charity that provides free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in over eighty-five developing countries.