On this International Girl Child Day, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA stand in awe of the extraordinary determination and resilience exhibited by a young girl named Chimamanda Chukwudum, hailing from Oko, Orumba North LGA, Anambra State.
Her story is not just one of struggle but of unwavering hope, determination, and promise. Today, we call upon the Anambra State Governor, the Federal Ministers of Trade, Industry, and Women Affairs to take action and empower this young girl to reach her full potential.
Chimamanda’s journey began in Lagos, where she was born and raised. Her parents were once thriving, her mother an insurance broker and her father a successful businessman. However, three years ago, their world took a devastating turn. Her father, Mr. Eric Onyejinaka, faced a serious setback in his business and was struck by kidney-related diseases.
In the face of these challenges, Chimamanda’s mother, Mrs. Benita Chukwudum, stepped up as the family’s sole provider, bearing the heavy burden of her husband’s medical treatments and becoming the breadwinner of the house. This, unfortunately, led to her children dropping out of school.
Chimamanda, the eldest of four children, displayed incredible resilience and determination at just 10 years of age. She recognized her potential to learn quickly and sought to acquire new skills. With determination, she learned pillow craft in just six months and began working to support her family. She balanced this with resuming her education, often alternating terms and taking extra lessons to catch up, ensuring her siblings could also attend school.
Despite the daunting challenges, Chimamanda displayed remarkable intelligence and strength. At the age of 12, she completed her junior secondary school, an extraordinary accomplishment considering her circumstances.
Meeting Chimamanda is a testament to her unyielding spirit. She remains unwaveringly optimistic, always asserting that she will overcome her challenges and succeed. Her only request has been for high patronage of her products and support to acquire more machinery and tools to increase her productivity.
In celebration of International Girl Child Day, we implore the Anambra State Governor, the Federal Ministers of Trade, Industry, and Women Affairs, and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to collectively or individually adopt Chimamanda and offer her scholarships up to university levels. By providing her with an enabling environment to expand her productivity and the opportunity to coach other young talents, we can truly empower her to be a beacon of hope and resilience.
Chimamanda Chukwudum’s story reminds us of the immense potential within our young girls. We have a responsibility to ensure that her dreams are nurtured, and her talents are harnessed. On this International Girl Child Day, let us unite to uplift and empower Chimamanda and countless others like her.
October 11, 2023
National Coordinator- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA