I Will Never Forget: Breaking The Bias As The World Celebrates All Women Today.

Ever imagined what the existence of life in the world could have been like without the other gender known as woman?

To me, such a world without the "man with a womb - woman" could have been quite a meaningless and uninteresting one. Because women, more than anything else, add the sweetest love to humanity. Thus, the creation of a woman as a help-meet is as important as the value of water in our everyday activities. Women are special creatures whose touches make life pleasantly sweet. They also make business competitively enterprising as well as politics magnificently powerful. I, for one, admire and have immense respect for women who go all out - against all odds and threatening stigma - to achieve their ambitions and dreams in a transparently legitimate way of life. 

To such women, I doff my hat as International Women's Day is being celebrated today the 8th of March with the theme: Breaking the Bias. I am seizing today's golden opportunity to specially celebrate all the women who have helped to sharpen my life for the best, contributed to strengthening my business for the better, and assisted to hasten my overall development for the good. The year 1991 altered the completeness/wholeness of my very body to an impaired one, and my very dear mothers, Madams Elizabeth U. Aaron-Okonkwo and UcheChukwu P. Aaron-Okonkwo made every necessity within their human powers to see me whole. I will never forget it. 

What I am today, especially the aspect of my educational background wherein I became a University graduate, is a huge credit to my two mothers above mentioned. They achieved my late father's dream - the dream of making me a graduate. And I recognize the fact that it was not an easy feat for them. Because I can vividly remember the day my mother sold 15 crates of Coca-Cola bottles to register me for WAEC. In 2003 and for a reason I haven't yet known, my secondary school science teacher, Mrs. OgoChukwu Ebenine, took me as her very own son and gave me unconditional love and care I will never forget.

In 2012 and having learned about my impairment, one of my course lecturers - Dr. Omolara M. Akinyemi took me as her younger brother, gave me unwavering care, and ultimately bought me a digital hearing aid. While remaining forever grateful, I will never forget to. Dr. Olufunmilayo O. Adeleye, a lecturer in my Department, was another woman who looked after me with all glances of affection and all-around support. She was always there at every point of need. I will never forget it. Upon seeing my business proposal in 2016, Lady (Mrs) Olufunmilayo Agbato supported me with an immense amount of money. As I remain grateful unto this day, I will never forget.

Meeting and later falling in love with Merciline Toili, a Ugandan, in 2016 was also a pleasant experience. She purely loved me, cared, and prayed for me to get whole. I will never forget such unconditional love. Specially recognized today for every role they played (and still playing) in my life are the following women of substance and virtues: Prof Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, Mrs. Mary Nwosu (nee Ikeanyionwu; Mama Ikenna), Madam Kudirat Raji, Mrs. Cecilia Udeh (Aunty Grayjay), Mrs. Caroline Onyeka, Mrs. Grace A. Olori-Ajah, Mrs. Oluwakemi B. Kolapo, Mrs. Adebanke C. Adeniran, Mrs. Yetunde Oluwatosin-Ojo, Mrs. Oluwatoyin N. Oyekunle, Mrs. Olusola Tijani, Mrs. Nike Omolehin, Mrs. Shola Moyerowealth, Mrs. Yuddie UdoChukwu, Mrs. Husseina Suleiman-Adewunmi, Barr Chidimma Okoronkwo, Mrs. Chisom V. Udeh, Mrs. Chinenye P. Amaechi, Mrs. Chiamaka C. Okeke, Mrs. Assumpta Ikeanyionwu, Mrs. Nnenna S. Ọparaọcha, Mrs. Chidiebere Maduafọ, Dr. Bukola Orefuwa, Mrs. Melrose M. Okezie, Mrs. Remilèkún A. Lawal-Collins, Mrs. Adejumoke F. Ajibade, Lolo Ijeoma. I must tell you all today that your contributions to my growth will remain evergreen in my heart. I will never forget it. 

Furthermore, I have, of course as a lover of gender equality, advocated for women's participation in politics, and as well, the inclusion of women in every position of administrative governance. For the records, I vehemently campaigned for the following women in campus politics: Dr. Portia Osuji (for Students Union Assistant General Secretary- won), Barr. Gbemisola Osadua (for Students Union President - came second) Mrs. Tolulope Adetunji (for Faculty President - came second amidst electoral manipulations for her male opponent), Mrs. OgeChi Igwilo (for State Financial Secretary - won), Mrs. Maryam Abdulrahman (For Faculty Health Minister - won), Mrs. Doleen O. Okwelle (for State Treasurer - won), Ms. Tobi (for Faculty Vice President - won), Taofeekat K. Fadele-Olaide (for Faculty Vice President), Toyosi G. Akinloye (For Students Union President) and a host of others that space won't permit me to mention here.

In the mainstream politics, I have passionately campaigned for the late Prof Dora Akunyili when she contested for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (PDP) and Senate for Anambra Central Zone (APGA), Mrs. Uche Ekwunife for House of Representatives then (PDP), Prof Remi Sonaiya for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (KOWA Party), Lady Linda C. Ikpeazụ for House of Representatives (PDP) and Honourable Omosede G. Igbinedion for House of Representatives (PDP). When I reigned as a President of one organization in the University, I ensured the proper inclusion of women in my cabinet. My Vice President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Supply Coordinator, and Electoral Chairperson were all women.

As we attempt to break the bias against women, I am sending a strong message to men who always think that our women are weaker vessels solely reserved for the kitchen and the other room to better have a rethink. This is because our women, particularly those who know their onions of dignity, are far more powerful than we think. They are the pillars upon which certain successes of ours are anchored. And so, all of them deserve equal treatment in matters relating to business, politics, and social life.

Happy International Women's Day! Love profound!!

By Chukwudimma Aaron-Okonkwo

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