Dreams only come when we sleep, same with ambitions when we dream. This the case of ambitious Miss Vera Ugbe, the Vice President, Student Union Government of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri. In this exclusive interview with O’town Gist Entertainment’s Alvan correspondents, Hillary Uzomba and Ugochi Oparanozie, the Benue State born culture ambassador, who last week held her Africana 2012 event, talked about her life, Africana 2012, and her ambitions.
I’m a lover of culture, which is something I’ll keep promoting. This is not just something I thought of doing, but a need to be satisfied, because our culture is paramount. When you look at the way it is dying, and they way our youths carry themselves in dressing and order wise, it is nothing to the comportment you find in someone dressed in traditional attires. There seem to be maturity in such dressing and that brings lots of respect.
I have also empowered other students who will continue from where I stopped in encouraging others to promote our culture, put on traditional attires as well as to appear descent in both appearance and character.
I’m an African, and we value our culture so much. I chose the theme ‘Our Culture, Our Heritage, Our Pride’ for Africana 2012 because I saw our culture as something we need to be proud of. Some people don’t even have a single native attire for reasons best known to them, others see our culture as a local thing, but it is really something we all need to be proud of. We are Africans and cannot afford to go about promoting other people’s culture while ours is gradually fading away.
Who attended Africana 2012
It’s a long list of guests from all works of life, the guest speaker was Evangelist Dr Tony Okpara from Abuja; we also had the Honourable member representing Oru East in Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Greg Okemini; S.A to the governor of Imo State on Justice and Fairness, Hon Barr Benjamin Okemini; Sir Chidi Obiora; the Chief Technologist department of Biochemistry Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Rev Rufus Chinegeokwu; the Dean, Student Affairs A.I.F.C.E, Rev Fr Nwachukwu and most especially, the Provost of the school Dr Blessing Ijeoma, other lectures, members of the SUG as well as my fellow students.
Is this your best?
No, I want to step up my game before I leave the campus. I’ll do this by leaving a legacy in the area of skill acquisition. I want to empower students in the area of bead making, interior and exterior decoration as well as the confectionary business which involves making of cakes, meat pies and others.
I have held cognitive programmes in these areas, but I want another where they can actually do it with their hands and with the help of the school management, the skill acquisition center will be set up.
I will also meet some personalities in Abuja for sponsorship, which will bear the names of the groups or individuals that supported it. Where it is a personal effort, the programme bears my name and I believe this would be my best before I leave Alvan.
Africana 2012 is one of my bests, but I have more yet to come.
To Nigerian students
Be with a vision because without that, you are a pilot without a compass. Visions rule the world and you have to set one for yourself.
I already knew what I wanted to be in my secondary school days and I pursued that. I became a school prefect from JSS 3 and here in Alvan, I’ve always wanted to be a Vice President right from my NCE days and aside the commendation I got from people, I still did my own pushing of the vision and here I am now.
Students should also promote our culture especially the females in the way we dress.
A secondary school principal once welcomed me very well because of my attire, which he commended and although I did not get a place for my Teaching Practice in that school because they had enough teachers in English Language, the warm welcome gave me great joy.
Young girls should not go about dressing indecently in the name of looking hot and sexy. When they dress like that, they are just conveying the message ‘I’m hot and sexy, come and sleep with me’. It is packaging oneself in a descent manner that will present one as a focused student. Don’t forget that you are addressed the way you dress.
Vera with Hillary