IWD: Young Maritime Professionals Inspire Greatness At Girls’ College

By Kenneth Jukpor

IWD: Young Maritime Professionals Inspire Greatness At Girls' College
A group photograph of guests and school students at Festac Girls College doing the BreakTheBias symbol; when Kaystone Global Resources Limited took its sensitization campaign to the girls’ college yesterday, as part of efforts to celebrate the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD).

As part of the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration, two young Nigerian Maritime professionals took the sensitization campaign closer to the future leaders with an awesomely inspiring sensitization campaign at Festac Girls College, in Lagos, yesterday.

The Managing Director of Kaystone Global Resources Limited, Mrs. Benita Afolabi and a female 2nd Engineer who works with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Engr. Oluwadamilola Adebamipe led awesomely inspiring career counseling and empowering sessions at the college.

At the event, Benita who is a former student and prefect at the college, inspired the secondary school girls to seek to attain greatness irrespective of their living conditions and other societal biases confronting them.

She revealed that she always planned to be a successful business owner and recalled her early business moves as a student when she was the Home Economics prefect and small-scale sachet water dealer from the economics store at the school.

Her words: “Be confident in yourself. You can be the best version of yourself and achieve anything you set your heart on. You’re in good hands in this school. If I could come of here and be a success, you can do the same and even attain greater heights.”

“I celebrate you because as I look at you I’m convinced that among you are Managing Directors, Senators, House of Representative Members, Governors, if possible a first female President. In the past women were restricted to household duties but today women don’t just contribute to the home but also other aspects of the society. Modern women are no longer dependent on men.”

IWD: Young Maritime Professionals Inspire Greatness At Girls' College
L-R: The Principal of Festac Girls College, Mrs. Anthonia Akinyemi, a Marine Engineer at Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mrs. Oluwadamilola Adebamipe and the Managing Director of Kaystone Global Resources Limited, Mrs. Benita Afolabi; at Festac Girls College, yesterday.

She expressed satisfaction that schools and colleges now celebrate women’s day, stressing that it will instill respect and care for women in the minds of the young generation, right from their childhood days.

According to her, it is a great responsibility to empower women and it is necessary for gender equality because society is better when women are given equal respect and are not taken for granted.

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day,” she added.

Meanwhile, Oluwadamilola Adebamipe revealed how she broke the bias at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt, and emerged best graduating student with first class.

Oluwadamilola, who was the one of the four females in her class of 254 students, was sharing her story at Festac Girls College, in Lagos on Friday when Kaystone Global Resources Limited took a sensitization campaign to the college as part of 2022 IWD celebration.

Despite her glittering professional career as a female marine engineer, she revealed that she graduated from a public secondary school, Okemesi Grammar School, in Ekiti State.

She said: “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon but I have always been passionate. You have to decide what your future will be. I learnt that when I was 3 years old my grandmother would always stop me from touching her fans and sockets because I was always looking for something to damage and repair. This was engineering skills and I started saying I wanted to be an engineer while in primary school. Everyone said Engineering was for men but I was resilient.”

IWD: Young Maritime Professionals Inspire Greatness At Girls' College
Damilola and Benita inspiring a mentee, yesterday.

“I wanted to go into Electrical Engineering but I was frustrated by JAMB for about five years. I was later sponsored by NIMASA to go for a scholarship in Egypt. I saw just two courses offered by the Academy; Nautical Sciences and Marine Engineering. I didn’t know what Marine Engineering was about then, but I was so excited that the course had engineering. For me, it was a dream coming true.”

She also noted that her lecturers tried to persuade her to jettison Marine Engineering, asserting that the course is for men but she always gave them a resounding no and insisted on doing the course.

“I made the first class from the first semester with 3.51, but I kept working harder and by the second semester I had 3.9 out of 4points. Some people called me a witch because of my grade but I said yes, that’s how we succeed in Nigeria. During onboard training I was also the overall best student and I left there with lots of awards. So, this is my story and it should inspire you to be resilient and go for what you want. Have a sense of responsibility, be humble but also know who you are,” the marine Engineer said.

According to her, young girls shouldn’t allow their backgrounds to define them, explaining that even their parents have already played their parts in bringing them into the world as the responsibility for their lives is based on their choices.

At the event, the school students were presented notebooks courtesy of Kaystone Global Resources Limited, but the highpoint of the programme was the question and answer segment where Damilola and Benita dissipated the doubts some of the students had in attaining success in their anticipated fields of endeavour.

The young maritime professionals played a crucial role of mentoring the students and promised to make the visit to the college an annual event.

Earlier, the school principal, Mrs. Anthonia Akinyemi commended the maritime professionals for their decision to visit the school and inspire greatness and excellence among the students.

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