Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
President of All Nations Arise Manifest (ANAM), Tessy Aniesi has pledged to intensify her crusade against underage marriage and other associated cultural practices in Umuenwelum and Anam in Anambra West Local Government area of Anambra State.
She also promised to increase her campaign for Girl and Boy Child Education as well as to raise more girls and women who must continue good works she was doing.
Speaking shortly after receiving the award of ‘Outstanding Woman in Community Development Service’ by the Umuenwelum Anam Development Union, Lagos Branch, Tessy, as she is fondly called, expressed joy for being recognised by her community.
She said she dedicated the award to Anam girls and their counterparts across Igboland battling against socio-cultural and economic prejudices to achieve their dreams in life.
She said, “First of all, I’m dedicating this award to Anam girls. It’s not easy to overcome the odds stacked against you as a girl child and achieve your dreams in life. However, I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing and how our women are breaking barriers. That gives me great joy and motivation to continue this movement.
“I’m also dedicating this award to my late father, and first teacher, Mr. Okeke Aniesi, for believing in me so early and encouraging me to defend vulnerable girls at an early stage. He believed there must be something special about my fight with boys when a girl child is helplessly vulnerable.
“Members of the Anam Transformation Movement also share in this because I couldn’t have done it alone, as well as those who support our movement because 70 percent of our project funds come from donors.
“I’ll treasure this award so much and promise to do exactly what I was billed to do while receiving this award which is to continue and intensify the crusade against underage marriage.
“I’ll also continue campaign for Girl Child and Boy Child Education which I’ve been doing, and to raise up more girls and women who must continue from this good work, promising that we will deliver as charged.”
Describing the award as the most precious award of her glittering career, the singer, songwriter, sound engineer and graphics/tech expert said, “This is the most important award I have received so far because anyone can merit an award from anywhere due to one thing or the other.
“It’s also possible to purchase awards in some cases but an award from your home is the most genuine because home is where you can not easily impress everyone, you just can not fake or make believe that is why it’s the real, the most genuine,” she added.
Earlier, Chairman of the Award Planning Committee, Engr. Fidelis Ogugua Jideani, explained that Tessy was honoured in recognition of her outstanding leadership skills, and pioneering role in community development, especially her relentless campaign for girl child education and against underage marriage in Umuenwelum and Anam at large.
“We are giving you this award so as to encourage younger girls to be like you. Everybody acknowledged that you merited this award. We are also encouraging you to do more, especially in the area of campaigning against early child marriage and support for girl child education in Anam,” he said.
Chairman of Umuenwelum Anam Development Union, Lagos Branch, Aloy Okoye, described the awardee as a special daughter of the community, urging other women to emulate her good deeds.
“Tessy is our pride, not just by mouth but in actions. She controls the Anam Transformation Movement, a very active and very effective group. If we start to tell her story here, the night will come and we won’t exhaust ourselves,” he said.