Fridays are exceptionally interesting days on Konnect Africa, because they are days we delightfully share more amazing articles from the “I Know a Nigerian Star” writing competition. Enjoy this one friends, TGIF!!!! Have a beautiful weekend.
With love from Konnect Africa!!!
There is a general assumption which stands to be proved that a woman’s duty is strictly in the kitchen, simply to serve her husband, cook, clean, sew and mend and also to bring up children.
This could be interpreted to mean that she is especially suited for this, and not sufficiently strong or intelligent for other forms of work. Many women, however, think otherwise and believe in the adage, “As you make your bed, so you lie on it”. Such women have exhibited abilities for better and higher posts in their countries.
I want to write about one of such women. Her name is Dr (Mrs) Dora Nkem Akunyili.
Dr. Nkem was born on the 14th of July; 1954 in Makurdi, Benue State. Her education carrier started with her, passing the First School Leaving Certificate Examination with a distinction at St Patrick’s Primary School Isuofia, in Anambra State in 1966.
She sat for her West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in 1973 and passed out with grade 1 distinction from Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka. Her exceptional good results of First School Leaving Certificate and her West African School Certificate Examinations earned her the Eastern Nigerian Government Post Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria undergraduate scholarship.
She got her first degree in Pharmacy, B. Pharm (Hons) in 1978 and Her PHD in 1985 from university of Nsukka.
By self-denial, hard work, and life of determination, she became a pharmacist, pharmacologist, Erudite Scholar, seasoned administrator, senior lecturer (UNN), Government Administrator and a visionary leader.
Life is like a mirror in which we see our image, if we frown at it, it frowns back, if we smile at it, it returns same. Dr Nkem has gained International recognition and won hundreds of awards for her work in pharmacology, Public Health and Human Rights.
Nigeria became a place where fake drugs and substandard foods and drugs were being dumped without any form of regulations.
She took over the leadership of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which she has established, as a top priority, the eradication of fake drugs and unsafe foods. Being a human right activist, she faced considerable risks to her personal safety in order to combat the issue of fake drugs. “She has been dancing with danger” and this has earned her visible awards, not only in Nigeria but all over the world.
I am one of those who believe that our circumstances do not have to define us; we can redefine our circumstance by our action. Dr. Nkem, is among those dogged fighters, who have re-defined Nigerian and sanitized the country by their actions despite the risks involved.
Due to her dedication to duty, the power woman has held many important posts, as former Federal Minister of Information and Communication, she strove hard to see that Nigerian lives are secured.
As Mahatma would always say “strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will”. Dr (Mrs) Dora Nkem Akunyili has indeed shown Nigerian the star she is, indeed, she is the Nigerian star I know.
This “I Know A Nigerian Star” Story was submitted by…
Nwachukwu Blessing Chinenye, a medical student at the Imo State, University, Nigeria.
You can reach Chinenye via: