At book launch, Omoh preaches resilience, hardwork
For Programme Management Officer, Regional Office for Africa, UN-Habitat, Omoayena Odunbaku, achieving great success requires resilience, hardwork and patience.
Speaking at her book launch on the occasion of her 40th birthday recently, Omoayena said she decided to tell her own story and share her life experiences, adding that all proceeds from the book will be channelled to Gabby Yadua Foundation.
The Foundation, a Nigerian based non-profit educational organisation founded in 2021 with the goal of providing enabling environment for mathematically distinguished students from disadvantaged backgrounds attending Nigerian public schools.
She said this would be achieved by establishing a math laboratory that teaches Maths prodigies using the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), as access points for guiding their inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking.
With the title, Omoh, she said, “I have always wanted to give back to the society. It’s a societal effort that has brought about the person called Omoh. Everyday life is about struggles, especially for the girl child. It is important that we get out of these troubles with our head high, dignity, hope and integrity.”
She said the journey of giving the book a name was an exciting one. According to her, “we started from reflection, moved to shades, because we discovered there were different shades to Omoh, then we moved to Grace, we can’t hide the grace of God from everyone’s life. There is Omoh the child, Omoh the young adult, Omoh the woman and the most interesting part for me is part four, which is Omoh the wife. This chapter contains my husband’s interview. My editor told me this is one of the most genuine ghost writing he has done because my story corroborates with what people have put in, especially the anecdotes. The anecdotes ministered to me and made me understand that it is not only in religion that we can actually minister to people but also in our everyday life.”
Justice Nkemdilim Izuako, who did an overview of the book, said it is simple and easy to read. She said it is about 359 pages and it spoke about everything Omoh is today. This book brings home certain crucial messages. The path we tend to reject may bring out the best in us. Secondly, hard work and resilience can take someone to great heights. Love is the glue that holds us together. Everybody should read the book, young or old, it is very inspiring.
Prof of Urban Planning, University of Lagos, UNILAG, Taibat Lawanson, who is also her mentor, said, “our relationship has blossomed and because of the connection, I am a member of the Yadua family. I encouraged her to continue with her Ph.d programme when she was about giving up. She is passionate about her goals and people. Most importantly, she is still evolving.”
Prof. Samuel Iyiola Oni of Geography Department, UNILAG, and also a mentor of Omoh, said she is diligent, calm under pressure. She relates well with people. She stands for positive thought and she is a reliable and consistent innovative and creative young scholar who has grown into an identifiable status. She has a passion for sustainable development.
Sandra Zawedde, a colleague with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa UNECA, said Omoh is a great colleague. She goes out of her way to help people.
In his speech, former High Commissioner of Nigeria to Kenya, Ambassador Friday Okai, described the author as a friendly, bold respective, helpful very intelligent, a genuine person in character and relationship. “I saw the best part of her in 2016 when we drafted Habitat 3, the latest document on Human Settlement. She and other colleagues worked very hard in drafting the documents.”