Eugenia Abu, one of Nigeria’s foremost broadcasters has emerged winner of the 2013 Vlisco’s 2013 national “Be Your Dream” Award in a competition which had Nigerians choose who they consider their most inspiring woman in the country.
Abu beat four other nominees, including Abike Dabiri, a Legislator; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Writer; Joke Silva Jacobs, an Actress and Amina Az-Zubair, former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The award was part of celebrations for Vlisco’s International Women’s Month 2013 during which successful women who made their dreams come true were celebrated. For the Nigeria’s context, these five women were nominated while Nigerians chose Abu through their vote casts.
Adaeze Alilonu, Channel Activation Manager, Vlisco Nigeria said the essence of the award is to encourage women whom she said form a big part of the nation’s democracy. “ Worldwide, women are honoured and shown respect for their immense achievements. Vlisco feels women should remain in the spotlight for longer than just one day and in 2013 we will celebrate them for a whole one month. We want to encourage them,” Alilonu told BusinessDay.
She said the nominees were chosen because they have been very successful in their fields and did not have much negative publicity. She said the prize is that Vlisco will provide the five nominees fabrics for one year, while Abu, the winner will be given the opportunity to visit their factory in Netherlands to see how the fabrics are produced.
She also noted that eventhough Abu won the context, “all the nominees are winners”.
Eugenia Abu has dedicated the award to all hard working women who may or may not be noticed in their various fields of endeavour.
“I think it is a lesson for a lot of women to understand that when you do your job, and do it well, success will find you wherever you hide. If you work hard, ofcourse, there will be people there who will be eager to celebrate you. And then when you do it without thinking of the reward, somehow, the rewards comes to endorse all the effort you have put in,” Abu noted after being presented the award.
Speaking further, she noted that her inspiration comes from her ability to mentor young people. “I take it as a responsibility to mentor young men and women which I have been opportune to do every year for the past five years. I believe mentoring will help our development. For instance, I believe if everyone who has done well should take some young people under his or her guide, it will change things in Nigeria”.
On what the award means to her, Abu reiterated, “I think it is a celebration for all women who work hard, who may not be visible. It establishes the fact that if you work hard without even looking forward to the reward, the recognition will come. It doesn’t matter if it’s a village that gives me this award, I will still appreciate it”.