MERCY ODOCHI ORJI

By: Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor

 

In a bid to project Abia as one of the competitive States in Nigeria and to also include it as the hub of entertainment in the African map, the wife of the Abia State governor, Chief Lady (Mrs.) Odochi Mercy Orji, has extended her humanitarian hands into the showbiz industry by facilitating a programme that is aimed at discovering the unharnessed youthful talents amongst the Abia citizens.

 

The movie production and hunting exercise which aims at harnessing, discovering and empowering of young talented Abia citizens and Nigerians, who are of secondary school age at the rural areas who due to hardship and lack of opportunity do not have the medium of showcasing their talents is been conducted by Magic Lens Pictures Limited, a well known Nollywood production company.

The talent hunt search that would also empower and nurture the young people by creating a platform for their growth began with its first local government outing at Umuahia North, where four schools in each area were given an opportunity to hone their skills in acting. Also, as earlier promised, the seventeen days tour at the local government areas that make up Abia will end with a grand finale on November 28, 2012.

 

However, the elegant and charismatic Abia first lady who does not only want to limit herself to programmes that concerns the womenfolk extended her humanitarian hands into organizing a talent hunt exercise tagged: First Abia Secondary School Talent Hunt Show and Movie Production.

 

According to her, the exercise is aimed at discovering talents at the rural communities, which will successfully be propelled by her humanitarian love and passion, as she hopefully wishes that it will help to eliminate crime in the society, as well as putting the state in the entertainment map of Africa through the young talented and skillful Abia citizens who would be taken over the make-believe industry in the nearby future as the programme progresses.

 

Speaking, one of the participating students that schools at Community Grammar School, Oloko, who identified her name as Adiuko Goodluck expressed gratitude over the kind gesture of the governor’s wife, which according to her will go a long way into impacting their lives positively, “I feel so excited being part of this programme. I pray for its sustenance and continuity so to enable other inopportune students to be part of it, because it has positively impacted our lives,” she urged.

 

This which could be described as one of the arms of the First Lady’s programmes in her Hannah May Foundation that already comprises an NGO known as the Family Empowerment Programme (FEP), which today is a channel for implementing her social and humanitarian programmes was founded as a response to the widespread social disadvantages in our society, which have, over time, impacted negatively on family values, thereby undermining the role of the family unit in the development process. The idea is therefore to provide a platform for redirecting the focus of development efforts on the family as a strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 

Interestingly, Lady Orji as a woman who engages so much commitment in her doings could be noted that her involvement in charity is never by accident. No matter, many might think it started with the Office of the First Lady, for her it is certainly not, as she always recollect: “All these things I’m doing, I didn’t start it today; I started long ago when I was working with the ministry; I’m a member of the International Volunteers. Those days, I used to go to hospitals, buy things and give to the sick. I made apron, which I usually wear to the hospitals as a volunteer. That time, my husband was a permanent secretary. If you suffered in your life and end up becoming somebody, you must realize one day that you started somewhere. Whenever I see these indigent kids and the less privileged, it really affects me,” she said.

 

Meanwhile, the Abia First Lady and “mummy for all” as most Abians call her has indeed positioned herself as a role model and woman of unquestionable character with her eccentric style which she so much believe is anchored on her simplicity, elegance and carriage.

 

Notwithstanding, through the administration and help of her husband, Governor Theodore Orji, she has been able to be in the forefront for the reduction in maternal and infant mortality and has been pursuing the agenda through the construction of healthcare centres in the nooks and crannies of the area, together with her usual way of life in the distribution of drugs, wheel chairs and clutches to the physically challenged. She has, however, concluded and fulfilled her promise of building homes for some widows and the less privileged people in the state, as well as complete work at the skills acquisition centre in Umuahia, where youths today, who could not advance their education, are been trained in vocational skills.