She was caught between two divergent decision points. First was her instinct to enroll in the competition. The other was the realisation that she will face tough drilling from her parents, especially her father, and that she must convince him it is not a scam. She braved the odds and decided to take the bull by the horns. OUR CORRESPONDENT captures the thrills and low moments leading to the emergence of the pioneer winner of The Face of Twinklets Enterprise, Chidiogo Dorismary Chidozie.
She devised her methods to clinch the crest, which came with torents of perspiration. She first convinced her mother that participating in the contest would not drag the family name in the mud. Also, that the contest has no immoral content or capable of being so in the future. She also had to prove there were no underhand dealings or a shodow person somewhere who might pull any surprises, or introduce twists as the game trudges on.
Satisfied, she approached her father, Chief Malachy Chidozie-Uzendu, editor of The AUTHORITY Newspaper, to seek his approval and blessings.
In a family where reputation is optimal, there are things the children, no matter their age, would never contemplate. The approval came, but it wasn’t easy at all. “I totally and completely objected to her enrolling for any such contest. First is that we have a rule which makes it rare for our family members to post their pictures on Facebook or other social media platforms, as several people erroneously do. It exposed families to grave dangers. Some people have exposed family lifestyles and programmes and paid dearly for it. Therefore, it is a taboo for any of my family members to post his or her photograph on Facebook, no matter what one might say about freedom of choice. That is part of the security safeguards of the family. Therefore, when Chidi informed me about the Face of Twinklets-Enterprise contest, I didn’t want to hear about it at all. It was a no-go-area and I told her in no unmistakable terms.
“She persisted; pestered me; did all she could to convince me, but I did not budge. She went to her mother. In no time, Her Excellency came in with the usual women/mother “tricks”. There was nothing she didn’t say to convince me, but I remained adamant. After a while, having deeply juxtaposed the consequences and options, I gave my blessings and it was clear I had let off bottled steam,” said Chief Uzendu.
“I felt on top of the would immediately my father gave his blessings for me to participate in the contest. Though I am training to become a scientist, I know I have to combine opportunities and experiences in the science, social science and even business administration to succeed.
“The Face of Twinklets-Enterprise gave me one such opportunity. It was not for the token victory price that propelled me. It was my desire to dig it out with adolescents of other background, that pushed me into it, more than anything else. We have this upbringing to concentrate more in prayers, making sacrifices, hardwork and promoting societal good.
“My father, being one of the top journalists in the country, is also a notable human rights activist. He speaks truth to power, writes with passion on issues he believes in and does not compromise hardwork, integrity and excellence. He is a trade unionist and so fully understands the intricate murky waters of Nigeria’s polluted political terrains. That is why he has refused to contest any election under any party platform as he would neither kill, cheat, conspire against anyone, embezzle public fund, or participate in any act that will inflict pain on anyone or on the society.
“I love my father so much for his forthrightness and insistence in doing good to the other person, and that is our signature at home or elsewhere: at school, in the society, at the church, wherever.
“We do not believe in inflicting pain on anyone and that is why in my family, fighting is a taboo. Neither me nor my siblings engage in serious altercations, not to talk of fighting. None of us has ever fought since we were born. When we see other people fight, either physically or in a movie, we immediately conclude barbaric with inhuman or animal instincts and that such people lacked basic family upbringing. What pains me most is seeing our legislators (LGA, state or national) engage in fisticuffs. I wonder what those people tell their children. It is a shame!
“When the Twinklet-Enterprises contest began, I took it in my strides. Three of us were leading neck-to-neck for five days until the second-to-the-last day, when one of us, shucked us by taking the lead with more than 100 points above me, bushing me to First Runner-up position. I had to buckle up and ignited the never-say-die spirit in me.
“My elder sister, Ebube, the second mother of our home, told me not to worry as she has the joker for the contest. All along, she was my manager, being that she is computer wizkid and knows how to make contact with applications.
“Fiam, she poked all her friends, our family friends and everybody she could think of. Ikechukwu Ozonnaeme, Young Engineer, my cousin, was not left out in the mobilisation. He spared no momemt, pulling all his strings, comprising of all prospective engineer classmates and co.
“My mother too, although inhibited by her job, did her best. Being our ‘Prayer Warrior’, with dad as the ‘Chief Priest’ of the house, she went full blast, mobilising all her CWO and other contacts.
“About 16 hours to the end of the contest, there was no mistaking that I was again head and shoulders above the other contestants. My votes swelled like garri soaked in water, as they used to say. I was far ahead of the rest of the contestants, but there was never a dull moment for the entire family until I was declared overall winner at exactly 11pm on Saturday, August 22nd”.
Prof. Chidi, as she is fondly referred to in the family, said she immediately dedicated her victory to the oppressed, especially to the families of those killed by bandits, kidnappers and herdsmen all over the country, asking God Almighty to grant them peaceful eternal repose.
“She is eagerly waiting for next line of assignments from the organisers of the contest, who she described as “wonderful, truthful, honest and kind”. She prefers to keep them anonymous as they pleaded to remain so.
Next programme for her would depend on the organisers of the contest. “If they end it on this note, I will thank them for the opportunity given to me. If they give me tasks or ask me to make proposals, I shall gladly do so. I am available for anything that will promote the good of humanity and change the attitude of our politicians from graft to sacrifice and progress for the nation. I am saddened that all our politicians think about is how to steal money. What they gain by such stupendous greed, I can’t fathom.
“All I know is that majority of our political leaders are shameless, have no character and it’s time the youths do deep and critical thinking and refuse to offer themselves to become political thugs or social misfits.
“Our future is being damaged by these greedy and ungodly politicians and since the youth are the future of our country, we must all sit up and reject violence both in the political and our social contact. If we don’t we can only but continue to destroy opportunities and our economy will continue to slide, which I am sure will never pave way for us to develop,” she advised.