You Must Know Them : Grace Eze Obi (SIBC Top 10 Finalist)

Grace Obi is currently the executive director of Women Assist International where she focuses on building young women and girls capacity with entrepreneurial skills.

IM: (Identities Media)

GEO :(Grace Eze Obi)

IM: Tell us about yourself.

GEO: My name is Grace Eze Obi. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science from the University of CALABAR Nigeria, as well as a Higher National Diploma in Public Health Nursing and a certificate of General Midwifery.I work as Executive Director at Women Assist International where I focus my energies on building the capacity of women and young girls with high income entrepreneurial skills for self sustainability and self reliance.

I am a 2021 Tony Elumelu Fellow With over 18 months experience in women’s rights and women’s capacity development through entrepreneurship.I am currently enrolled as a student with the School of Politics, Policy and Governance in a program called Fix Politics.

I also intern with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital where I am researching gender perspectives and Female Leadership in the Health sector.

IM: What makes you wake up in the morning?

GEO: My motivation is derived from my philosophy that possibility is whatever definition a person ascribes to it. Thus, the world is bent double under the weight of patriarchy and it’s Hydra headed offshoots of gender inequalities and violence because someone opened the door on it. I believe that someone must take a chance to shut that door.

So, using a thread and needle, I’m raising a generation of empowered women who will take personal responsibility for creating a vision for their own lives and putting in the work to bring it about.

IM: What does being part of the ‘Top 10 Finalists in the Donors for Africa’s Social Innovators Bootcamp’ mean to you?

GEO: Success is a cumulative of many small steps. And being in this category is huge for me. One small victory helps you, some other, to win. That’s my fate right now. I feel psyched. I’m confident that I have what it takes to handle the challenges that come with the next phase of the Bootcamp. And I’m willing to proceed even though fearfully

IM: What do you see in the near future after this?

GEO: It is said that when you hold out your light so fiercely, you give others the permission to shine theirs. An empowered woman empowers others. This means that more women will be Empowered simply because my capacity has been built, more businesses will spring up from the empowerment that these women will receive, the society will be more stable, the GDP of the nation will improve, incidences of violence against women and girls will drastically reduce because more women know their rights and have the finances to enforce legislation in their favor

IM : What are your parting words or advice for the next class and Africa at large?

GEO: An ideal society such as the one we read in the magazines is possible. But such a society will not make itself. It is people that will bring it about. So we all need to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, putting in the work that we need to, to make Africa great again.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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