Her beauty goes beyond a beautiful face to her brain. No beauty queen has ever enmeshed herself in the classrooms like Ekeoma Edith Akwu-Ude, former Miss Taraba, who participated in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in 2009. Once a federal government scholar, Akwu-Ude is also an author, with several degrees both home and abroad. In recent times, she yielded to her inner voice by re-awakening her childhood dreams by releasing an album titled: ‘Be Glorified’ on YouTube. This entrepreneur from Ebonyi State tells Funke Olaode why she is charting a new course in music in the midst of academic pursuits.
Ekeoma Edith Akwu-Ude has the looks of ‘slay queens’ – a glamorous appearance- traceable to her background as an ex-queen. But beneath her outer outlooks lies an intellectual whose academic pursuits can make even an academic green with envy.
Her love for academics began several years ago at Challawa Schools, Kaduna when she received a federal government scholarship as one of outstanding students. Spurred by this national recognition, Edith vowed to conquer the academic terrains. Shortly after receiving the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate in 1999, she proceeded to University of Uyo where she earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Food Engineering (1999-2002). She was at the Ebonyi State University for a Diploma in Law 2003-2005, Dominion Leadership Institute of Basic and Advanced Courses 2005 and 2006, University of Nigeria where she bagged a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, 2008- 2012. She visited the university five years later to collect a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Between 2019-2022, she bagged a Masters of Divinity West Africa Theological Seminary and capped it with a Master of Science in Finance and Accounting, University of Westminster London, 2022-2023.
In the midst of her ‘riotous’ academic pursuits, Edith has done this and that. Between May 2017 and May 2018, she served as Technical Assistant to the Governor of Ebonyi State on Food Security and Nutrition, providing dietary intervention for communities across 13 local government areas of the state. She also wrote a book titled “The Word with Edith.”
How come you love books? Don’t you get tired? I posed the question to her. ‘Yeah! I love books. For me, I believe as long as you still have the drive to make an impact and live a significant life, you will always have something come up. So, I think I am just one of those people who will keep on studying,” she said.
One would think the academic pursuit would wear her out in time but she insisted that she never got tired of writing exams.
“I like to get knowledge. I am never tired of seeking out knowledge. I do a lot of informal reading but sometimes, there are things you want to do and they will expect you to have a degree in it so that they will see you as an authority in that area. So, you have to do it. Like I said, as long as there is still one more person to impact, or one more thing to do to be significant, it keeps me there, it keeps pushing me forward.”
Edith may have won her academic recognition as a teenager in 1996, she still doesn’t consider herself as a gifted child, but a child of grace. “I don’t know about being gifted but I was surprised when they called my name, I was really surprised. I have a quick mind by God’s grace and I retain whatever I learn.”
A widely travelled individual, Edith has represented Nigerian youths at different fora across Africa, Europe and America. Her beauty earned her a crown at the state level when in 2009, she was crowned the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria for Taraba State. But her new chart tilting towards entertainment caught everyone off guard. Why a foray into music this time?
“Life is evolving and so are talents,” she responded. “I love singing, I love music, and music is healing to the soul and spirit. And as a devout Christian, it also has its place in Christian settings. So, I have been in the choir since I was a child even though I had not really given it a lot of attention. People always tell me to sing or release an album. But I have never really thought about it. In fact, I never believed I was finally going to get around to doing this. But I like it, it is good for people to harness whatever talent they have. God will expect us to give account of all He has given to us. Some of us have multiple talents and God expects us to harness each. Some people have been given just one talent, use what you have been given and use it well.”
The title of her album is “Be Glorified” is released under the name Edith Ekeoma and it is already out (released early December 2022) on YouTube. The song audio is now on digital platforms such as Spotify, apple music, etc people can download it.
“It is gospel. I am a born-again Christian. I have been saved for 23 years. However, recently, I discovered a passion for God more than I used to before. I lost a friend who was close to me. I did not know how to deal with the loss so I threw myself into God’s hands to preserve my mental health. I even went to the seminary to study divinity. So, I have a stronger passion for God, and with that comes the desire to lead other people into God’s presence. It made me value that gift I have always had which I have never really paid attention to. II want to be able to help people know God the way I am getting to know Him.
Edith was inspired to release “Be Glorified’ “Because I want people to know God more, I want God to be glorified in our affairs. To be glorified in our lives especially in Nigeria and Africa. You know Nigeria is in a very difficult place, with the leadership and everything else. So our prayer is that God be lifted up and when He is lifted up, He also lifts people up. My desire is that He is glorified over and above all our circumstances. There are about 10 songs and one of the song’s titles is glorified.
And how has the reception been since it was posted on YouTube?
“I have not even sent the link to anybody, I just posted it and I have been busy, I have not had my mind on it. It is a new page which I only just created. I would however love for those in the choir in any church to subscribe to the page and as many people God is giving new sounds, to send me their songs, and I will share them on that page. We must partner God and with one another to establish His kingdom.”
Is Edith embracing music fully? “Well, I don’t know how to separate the music from my relationship with God. It is like asking a Christian are you going to be a professor or you focus on serving God. You have to combine it. My identity is in Christ and my service to him. Whatever else I am doing it is always going to be there. I will keep sharing whatever songs God gives me.
In a saturated music market like Nigeria’s, Edith is assured that she would break even.
“Well, your music will express the kind of person you are. There would be music for different kinds of people from the different artists we have out there. Not everyone will connect with me just as much as not everyone connects to some of the biggest names out there. For me, it’s to help those who can connect with me, encounter God. There can never be too much of a good thing. It is not a competition. For genuine Christians, our goal is to lead people to God. Jesus came for one person. If my music can reach one person and help them know God more intimately, my goal is accomplished. I can only do my part and let God do His. It is God who gives the increase. I’m eager to see what He does with this gift He has given me.”
For Edith, her childhood dreams are currently playing back judging by her mum’s conversation of her embracing God as a child even to the pastoral level.
“Funny enough I think early this year, I was discussing with my mum and she said guess what. And I said what? And she said do you know when you were a child you told me you wanted to go to bible school? I was like, are you serious? She said I told her I wanted to go to bible school and that I wanted to be a pastor. She quickly shut me up and said my friend, you need to go to school, because I was very good with my academics. Maybe, she thought pastors were paupers; so she didn’t even want to nurse whatever I was saying. She did not encourage that at all. And maybe pastors then were not getting their degrees like that apart from certificates from bible school. They didn’t have degrees unlike the way it is now; you can be a minister and have a doctorate in it. And it happened unconsciously because I didn’t know I told her that.”
With arrays of degrees in her kitty, Edith is not far from considering a life in the classrooms.
“Yes, I love knowledge and I like to teach and I like to write books, so I think that I would impart knowledge to some extent. My late dad was a lecturer. He worked as an accountant in a corporate setting and later became a lecturer. I have followed in his footsteps so far. I could lecture at some point. I think that national transformation is my greatest passion right now and every interest I have had still comes down to it. I am passionate about Nigeria and Africa, and that is the truth. Even the music, I still link it to Nigeria, let God be glorified and help us out and let people know Him so that He can transform the place through us all. Even if I decide to become a professor, it would likely be in finance, since it is my major to help Nigeria and would like to impact knowledge. To the best of my knowledge, Nigeria needs to get her economy right because somehow even if we are able to get Nigeria out of where she is right now, tomorrow if we don’t train the younger generation well, they can still fall back into this pit and be in a worse situation than where we are now. It is good that we come out of it and we stay out of it.”
Edith’s hobbies include singing and travelling.
“I love to see places but I don’t like the process of getting there. I don’t like the journey but I love to see places. I think that’s why I love reading. It can take you places without having to actually go there. It is an escape and one can experience life through the eyes of others.”
For the ex-beauty queen, she has no regret about life and if there is a single lesson learnt, “I wish l knew God earlier,” she stated.
Why I Stopped Going To Church -Daddy Freeze
I stopped attending church after my pastor suspended me from front row seat after my divorce
Popular media personality, Ifedayo Olarinde, popularly known as Daddy Freeze, has disclosed that he stopped attending church after his pastor expelled him from sitting in the front row following his divorce.
Speaking in the latest episode of the Teju Babyface Deep Dive podcast, Daddy Freeze said shortly after his divorce in 2014, the pastor of the church he was attending, asked him to start sitting at the back seat since he is a divorcee.
The OAP explained that before his divorce, he was a church worker and was very active in the organisation of the church’s programme but he was expelled immediately after his divorce.
He said he decided to stop going to church instead of “hiding” in the back seat.
He said he started studying and researching the scriptures on Sundays, which led him to discover that most of the things Nigerian churches preached were “flawed.”
Daddy Freeze said, “My marriage had always been troubled and in 2014 it came to an end. And I remember I used to do events in my church. The church minister used to pay me then to do events which I celebrated. At least, the pastor was not eating all the money, he was sharing with the people who were working.
“I was booked for an event that I used to do for the church, and I got a call that I should cancel it because of my divorce or pending divorce drama. And I was like, ‘Because I’m going through a divorce does that remove God from me?’ I questioned that too.
“Then the pastor came to my house and we had a conversation. He was like, ‘I’m not telling you not to come to the church but when you come to the church, sit at the back.’ And I was like what’s all this? So, that made me sit at home on Sundays. Instead of going to church and hiding, is it not better that I sit at home?
“So, sitting at home on Sundays now started feeding the holes in my brain.”
Bobi, The World’s Oldest Dog Ever, Dies Aged 31
His death at an animal hospital on Friday was initially announced by veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker.
She wrote on Facebook that “despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.”
There were many secrets to Bobi’s extraordinary old age, his owner Leonel Costa told GWR in February. He always roamed freely, without a leash or chain, lived in a “calm, peaceful” environment and ate human food soaked in water to remove seasonings, Costa said.
He spent his whole life in Conqueiros, a small Portuguese village about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the capital Lisbon, often wandering around with cats.
Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo – a breed of livestock guardian dog – according to his owner. Rafeiro do Alentejos have a life expectancy of about 12-14 years, according to the American Kennel Club.
But Bobi lived more than twice as long as that life expectancy, surpassing an almost century-old record to become the oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever – a title which had previously been held by Australian cattle-dog Bluey, who was born in 1910 and lived to be 29 years and five months old.
However, Bobi’s story almost had a different ending.
When he and his three siblings were born in the family’s woodshed, Costa’s father decided they already had too many animals at home.
Costa and his brothers thought their parents had taken all the puppies away to be destroyed. However, a few sad days later, they found Bobi alive, safely hidden in a pile of logs.
The children hid the puppy from their parents and, by the time Bobi’s existence became known, he was too old to be put down and went on to live his record-breaking life.
His 31st birthday party in May was attended by more than 100 people and a performing dance troupe, GWR said.
His eyesight deteriorated and walking became harder as Bobi grew older but he still spent time in the backyard with the cats, rested more and napped by the fire.
“Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world,” Costa told GWR in May. “Bobi represents those generations.”
“You Have No Right As A Single Mother To Give Relationship Advice” – Influencer Tells Tonto Dikeh
Tonto Dikeh, has found herself in yet another controversy following some comments she made. This controversy centers around her stance on marriages and relationships, and it has drawn criticism from a man known as UncleNasco, who is a content creator and influencer.
Earlier today, Tonto Dikeh had made a rather bold statement regarding infidelity in relationships and marriages. She stated that cheating is not a mere mistake, but a conscious and deliberate process.
According to her, individuals who decide to cheat typically engage in a series of steps, including talking to the person they intend to cheat with, meeting up, and ultimately having a sexual encounter. Tonto Dikeh even went a step further by suggesting that women who are cheated on should respond by cheating on their partners with other men as a form of revenge.
Uncle Nasco took to social media to express his disapproval of Tonto Dikeh’s comments. He made it clear that, as a single mother, she had no right to offer relationship advice to married women and individuals in committed relationships.
He argued that her perspective was invalid, especially since she was not currently in a marital or committed relationship herself. Uncle Nasco suggested that if Tonto Dikeh was feeling depressed or dealing with any emotional struggles, she should openly express her emotions rather than providing unsolicited advice to others.
This is not the first time Tonto Dikeh has stirred controversy with her statements. In August 2023, she made a statement that garnered significant attention. She boldly claimed that there was no man born of a woman whom she feared. She even went on to list some of her perceived toxic traits and expressed her unwavering self-confidence, which she believed made her seem as though she owned the world.
Tonto Dikeh made it abundantly clear that she was not concerned about what others thought of her and that she prioritized her own happiness, sometimes appearing selfish in that regard. Moreover, she firmly believed in the principle of “an eye for an eye,” which influenced her perspective on infidelity, leading her to recommend that women should respond to cheating by cheating in return.