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On ‘powering change: Women in innovation and creativity’



Marioghae-Mbanefo recently lent her voice to the worthiness of celebrating World Intellectual Property Day 2018.

She would receive an award on Thursday, April 26 in Warri, Delta State, alongside other women creators by Friends of the Creator (Artistic) Foundation (FCF): “The theme for this year’s World Intellectual Property Day, ‘Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity’ is, itself, empowering for the woman. For so long, women have yearned and fought to give expression to their creativity and ability to innovate.

Bit by bit, the world has seen the emergence of women whose creativity has influenced communal and global trends and challenged the status quo. Miriam Makeba sang of the pain and oppression of her people in South Africa, until the world was forced to take notice and do something about it.

Nigeria’s Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwakpa wrote amazing books, side by side with their male counterparts, in the days that education and fame of any sort was still quite a rarity for the Nigerian woman. Their courage stirred something in women that made them say, “Hmmm… If they can, I think I can.”

“Then Chimamanda Adichie came with her incredible and brilliantly spun tales; telling our story, our way, and changing some wrong global perceptions of who we are.

We have not only swelled with pride for our daughter, but also ecstatically said to ourselves, who have fearfully hesitated to become, “Oh, yes, we definitely can!”

Women are doing fantastically innovative and creative things. And it is a purposeful kind of creativity that is breaking new grounds; introducing new social and political elements into our daily lives, forcing us to see and deal with the things we are used to sweeping under the rug.

Here in Nigeria, we have pacesetters like Lola Fani-Kayode and the late Amaka Igwe, who introduced professionally produced, home-grown television drama series to our local screens and produced many of today’s national celebrities.

You have the likes of Uche Jombo and Stephanie Okereke-Linus, who produce movies that tug at our heartstrings and stir up our awareness of the shame called domestic violence, thus, rousing individuals, bodies and state governments to decisively deal with it.

“Omawumi’s song, ‘Na who I go ask’ shocked us into confronting the terrible evil that is child molestation, which has lived, coiled and hidden for so long like a deadly cobra, under our roof – many times, coming in the shape of close family, friends and domestic help.

I could go on! These women inspire us to dare to flesh out our dreams and use our talents to reshape our world, one little amazing thing at a time.

Therefore, this theme for this year’s World Intellectual Property Day just takes us to a whole new level. So, yes, I am very, very excited and happy about it.”

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