By Amarachi Okpunobi
Have you ever imagined how the world would have been if the girl child never existed? Have you ever taken a moment to thank God for the gift of girls?
Girls are priceless! We are Unique! Every girl child is inwardly built with a great talent. Every girl child is not just a potential house wife, mother, grandmother and even great grandmother, but also a potential Engineer, Teacher, Doctor, Singer, Accountant, Captain of industry, president and lots more.
She may have had negative encounters in life such as genital mutilation, abduction, slavery, early child marriage, rape, marginalization, but I tell you, inside every girl child is embedded an undefinable strength that enables her to stay strong amidst and despite crisis. What every girl and every child needs is an opportunity to showcase their gifts. What they need is the seed of greatness to be planted in them, which thereafter if tended very well, springs up to bring forth an amazing and wonderful woman.
For this, I give Kudos to Anambra State Government for honouring the Girl Child on her day, 11 October 2018, International Day for the Girl Child, at SSG's Conference Hall, Anambra State Government House Awka. The event was convened by Hon, Comr. Maryann Ijeoma Ekeh-Izuchukwu, and education and youth activist. The Theme was Ending of Early Marriage an Educating Our Girls.
The girls were evidently happy after the event as they shared their views, advices, and their dreams for Nigeria and for themselves. Below are the extracts from their reactions.
Vivian Chikeobi (National Sec. Sch. Awka)
I am proud to be a girl child because girls are pampered and well taken care of. They are treated like eggs and I like their nature. I love being pampered too.
If I become Nigerian Female President, I would make sure that girls are given equal right with the boys. They'll have the right do any course of their choice in the University. They won't be discriminated in some places as seen in our world today.
I won't go into early marriage because I want to be successful in life. If I marry now, I would not be able to face my studies squarely. I will not be able to take care of myself because I will bear children. So I will have to take care of them too. I will love to finish my studies first before marriage.
I will want to be a medical doctor in the future but at same time want to be a celebrity, an actress such as the likes of Regina Daniels, Chioma Chukwuka, Queen Nwokoye. Though doctors are celebrated but I think I have special interest for acting.
For my fellow girls out there, they should comport themselves. They should stand out and not try to be like others or try fitting in. They should also know that there is time for everything..
Ezeoka Chinaza (Handmaids Girls Sec.Sch Amansi)
I do not intend going into marriage. I still have a lot ahead of me and I’m too small to be married now. I am 15.
In the future, I want to be a lawyer, because I want to fight for the less privileged. I want a future where I will be in position to help the needy. Where I will be the mouth piece of those who are depressed and frustrated in the society. Those who don't have a voice.
If I become the president, I would create the awareness that girls are of great value.
They are worth something. Gone are the days we were made to believe that girls are solely for the kitchen.
What I have to tell other girls and myself too is this, don't let your dreams be killed by early marriage. Say a big NO to early marriage. Be outstanding, don't stand in but stand out. Be that difference you are looking for.
Otuku Chisom Rosemary (Handmaids Sec. Sch. Amansi)
I am a girl child I wouldn't want to be a boy neither. I am proud being a girl child because I do not see how the world would be if there is no female or girl. Without a girl, I don't think there will be life. And I will forever be proud to be a girl child no matter what happens.
As for marriage, I do not think of that now. I am too young and I have many dreams, so, why should marriage freak me.
Well, I will like to say to you out there that girls are priceless. We are beautiful. We are amazing. Stand out there and say no to early marriage.
And if you are a young girl already thrown into early marriage, I tell you, NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS! You can still make it in life. Just don't let those dreams die in you.
Obasi Esther (Ado Girls’ Secondary School)
If I am given the opportunity, I would love to be a girl child over and over again because being a girl means a whole lot. You are virtuous, golden and priceless. I am proud being a girl child.
If you are a young girl reading this, I urge you to pursue your education and leave the issue of marriage for now and pursue your education. If you have education and you are well educated, you will know your rights and have a say in the society. I tell you, you will be the best you can be. So say no to early marriage.