>> BY EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO
>> I walked into one of the highflying finance houses in the Central
>> Business District of the Federal Capital of Nigeria for a brief
>> business meeting in the morning of Tuesday November 12th 2019.
>> As I walked in, I met a very beautiful front desk assistant who had
>> only just delivered her first child but has already resumed duty.
>> She works in a bank that has gained reputation for employing only
>> beautiful girls who are of fair complexion.
>> I congratulated her over the feat and inquired what the gender of
>> her baby is.
>> This cheerful banker looked straight into my eyes with joy and
>> announced that she gave birth to a male child.
>> I congratulated her once again and jokingly told her that in those
>> days, in most parts of southern Nigeria, (and even now amongst
>> traditional Igbo homes) when a new wife gives birth to a male
>> child, it is a sign that her marriage is finally confirmed since she
>> has delivered a bonafide beneficiary to the inheritance of the
>> father of the house.
>> We both laughed over it but she quickly reminded me that the times
>> have changed and that the gender of the baby in a family no longer
>> As someone with a human rights and journalism backgrounds, I replied
>> her statement by affirming that indeed in Nigeria and Africa, the
>> girl child has arrived.
>> I say so because the saying that he who educates a female baby
>> educates a whole town is not farfetched going by the fact that the
>> capacity building of a girl child who would go on as a woman to
>> procreate childrem will make much more meaningful impact because as
>> a mother who understands the essence of intellectual and skills
>> development, the children that come from such a marital union will
>> immensely benefit from numerous educational trainings and exposures.
>> It is also factually correct to state that the more educated and
>> skillful a child becomes the better for the society since the child
>> would grow up into an adult that creates employment opportunities
>> and a creator of wealth.
>> As I write, some very wealthy Nigerians have displayed what can
>> adequately explain my assertion that this is the year of the girl
>> child going by the intensity of faith that these daughters and the
>> enormous and tasking responsibilities they have bestowed on these
>> Two cases will suffice even as I will give a further example with a
>> very brilliant girl Sandra Ifejika from not too well to do family
>> who went on to bag a first class degree in law from the prestigious
>> Nnamdi Azikiwe university and then made a double at the equally
>> prestigious Nigerian law school where she just bagged a first class.
>> Miss Promise Mmaduboobu of the law faculty of University of Nigeria
>> had last year made a similar phenomenal academic feats.
>> The two girls or should I say ladies whose stories are worth
>> recording and made a reference point are the daughters of Femi
>> Otedola and Aliko Dangote.
>> Aliko Dangote is easily the richest living black African even as his
>> friend Femi Otedola is rated as one of the richest living Nigerians
>> in contemporary times. Both men have showed us a positive lesson
>> that if a son can do it, a daughter can do it as well.
>> Whereas, Aliko Dangote handed over a strategic department of his
>> conglomerate to his daughter Halima, Femi Otedola doled out #5
>> billion donation to his daughter’s foundation for the needy.
>> Dangote’s firm is the largest household manufacturing industry and
>> the Nigerian vice president Professor Yemi Osinbanjo remarked that
>> Femi Otedola’s gift of #5 billion to Cuppy’s foundation which is
>> an affiliate of save our children foundation in the U.S.A, is the
>> biggest single individual donation to a charity in Nigeria.
>> These two stories gladden my heart and are direct affirmations that
>> this is the time of the Nigerian girl child.
>> The story of Halima Aliko Dangote is that she has been appointed as
>> the group executive director, commercial operations of Dangote
>> Industries Limited.
>> According to a release by the company, Halima Aliko Dangote is
>> returning to the company after serving on secondment in several
>> capacities across two of its business units over the last five
>> She is also a trustee of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the
>> philanthropic arm of the conglomerate.
>> Her most recent role in the group was as the executive director of
>> Dangote Flour Mills.
>> She previously served as the executive director of NASCON, a
>> manufacturer of salt, seasonings and still serves as a non-executive
>> She has over 12 years of professional experience and has held
>> several executive management roles. In her new role, Dangote will be
>> responsible for leading the development and implementation of the
>> Dangote Group’s customer strategy to drive customer growth,
>> improve customer relationship management, enhance customer
>> experience and increase long term customer value.
>> She will also be responsible for the implementation of the group’s
>> shared services strategy with specific oversight for the following
>> functions; commercial, strategic procurement, administration and
>> branding & communications.
>> Halima, who is the second daughter of Aliko Dangote, holds a
>> bachelors degree in marketing from the American Intercontinental
>> University, London and a master’s degree in business
>> administration from Webster Business School, United Kingdom.
>> Halima is the president of the board of The Africa Center in New
>> York, a uniquely focused centre providing a forward-looking gateway
>> for engagement with Africa while encompassing policy, business and
>> culture. She is a board member of Endeavour Nigeria and is also a
>> member of the Women Corporate Directors (WCD).
>> Relatedly, Dangote’s friend Femi Otedola has a daughter named
>> Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, famously known as DJ Cuppy, who is a
>> musician and entrepreneur with a rapidly increasing empire.
>> Information gleaned from her official website says she was born in
>> Lagos, Nigeria in 1992, just as Cuppy’s musical endeavours began
>> at a young age.
>> Accordingly to official information, by the time she turned 18,
>> whilst attaining a BSc Economics at Kings College London, she was
>> already producing her own tracks and DJ’ing around the world. To
>> this date, Cuppy’s DJ skills have taken her to over 25 countries
>> and she continues to fill dance floors across the globe.
>> Cuppy’s open-format DJ style and unlimited genre catalogue takes
>> audiences on an exuberant journey. She is praised for her ability to
>> seamlessly fuse commercial hits with innovative remixes, relating
>> with any diverse crowd. With her lovable personality and undeniable
>> hard work ethic, she has quickly risen and continues her
>> pop-cultured supreme lead role as a global pan-African brand.
>> In 2014, Cuppy released her first compilation House of Cuppy, which
>> saw her pioneer a fresh new sound she dubbed “Neo-Afrobeats” -an
>> electric blend of Tropical House and Afrobeats music. The
>> compilation was launched successfully in London, New York and Lagos,
>> and the following year was succeeded by an 8-country tour, Cuppy
>> Takes Africa, now a TV show on FOX.
>> Having been featured by the likes of Forbes, Vogue, and the
>> Financial Times, Cuppy has worked with some of the biggest and most
>> exciting international organizations. Jumpstarting her US invasion
>> in 2015 with an internship at Roc Nation, she performed at SXSW
>> Festival and starred as the resident DJ on MTV’s ‘Uncommon
>> Sense’ Show; all whilst attaining a Masters in Music at New York
>> Now based in London, Cuppy is making a triumphant return to the
>> UK’s music scene and is certainly one to look out for. But
>> importantly, her foundation named Cuppy is in the news for the very
>> positive vibes of her passion to help the needy and homeless
>> children of North East of Nigeria ravaged by war. At the weekend,
>> Abuja went agog with a fund raise which she staged and together with
>> a UK registered charity, she netted in lots of cash.
>> Her father introduced by the Punch newspaper as a business mogul,
>> Femi Otedola, had donated N5bn to the Cuppy Foundation, a
>> philanthropic project of his daughter, Florence Otedola, popularly
>> known as DJ Cuppy.
>> Mr Otedola, who was represented by another of his daughters, Tolani,
>> made the announcement during the ‘Gold Gala,’ an event by his
>> daughter at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Sunday.
>> Tolani said, “My father, Mr Femi Otedola, has been at the
>> forefront of supporting worthy causes. It is in this spirit that he
>> will be donating the sum of N5bn to the children of Borno, Adamawa
>> and Katsina through Save the Children.”
>> Among the guests were Vice-President Yemi Osinbjao; CEO, Save the
>> Children, UK, Kevin Watkins; Mr Femi Otedola, entrepreneur, Hajia
>> Bola Shagaya; Ambassador Babagana Kingibe; and Minister of Industry,
>> Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo.
>> Cuppy’s godfather, Dangote, who is the owner of the Dangote Group,
>> also made a donation of N100m.
>> Dangote said, “It gives me great pleasure to be here supporting my
>> brother, Femi. I believe we need more Nigerians to have big hearts
>> to give back to the needy.”
>> “To Cuppy, I must congratulate you for having a big heart to visit
>> those children in Borno. She spent about four days with them. In the
>> light of this, I am making a donation of N100m.”
>> The young philanthropist, who is also an ambassador of the Save the
>> Children UK, a non-governmental organisation, said her foundation,
>> which was launched in August 2018, was inspired by a trip to
>> Maiduguri, Borno State.
>> According to Miss Otedola, she started the foundation as a way of
>> giving back to the less fortunate.
>> Nigeria’s Vice President who was thrilled Mr. Yemi Osinbajo told the
>> guests that the event must refocus their minds on caring for the
>> poor and malnourished especially in Nigeria.
>> According to the Vice President, in 2015, Buhari proposed the
>> “largest social investment programme in Africa” of about N500bn
>> He added, “Yet we are far from where we ought to be. It is obvious
>> that government cannot do it alone. So, we don’t (all) need to be
>> billionaires (to do our part). It is time for every one of us to
>> decide to make a difference to ensure that the poor and vulnerable
>> are given a decent life.”
>> If anyone is in doubt that our girls have arrived, then look at
>> Anambra state whereby two females Stella Oduah and Uche Ekwunife
>> defeated many great men to emerge as SENATORS. Look at Senator
>> Olujimi of Ekiti who defeated men to become a Senator. Look at the
>> youngsters all ladies, about two of them who are today Ministers in
>> the Federal cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari manning ministries
>> of transport as minister of state and that of Humanitarian Affairs
>> as minister. Look at the newspaper houses whereby a lady Mrs Maiden
>> Ibru has done wonders by retaining the media legacies of her late
>> husband. Our girls have arrived. No more room for gender
>> discrimination please.
>> *Emmanuel Onwubiko heads HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA
>> (HURIWA) and blogs @www.emmanuelonwubiko.com ,
>> www.huriwa.blogspot.com ,www.thenigerianinsidernews