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Interview - The Man Behind the Woman on Fire Awards, Nigeria: Spitz Josef Owoicho Wechi Igomu

It is still the season of empowering and celebrating women and we have such an inspiring young man committed fully to celebrating women through his Women on Fire Awards. Over 209 women have been celebrated on this platform and you needed to see the shock we had when we reached for this interview and discovered the founder of this great women brand is a man. A rare one for that matter. Read this eye opening interview by our editor, Jenny Chisom with Mr. Spitz Josef Owoicho Wechi Igomu who is set to celebrate over 100 women living in Abuja:

Tell us who you are and why you are unique.
My Name is Spitz Josef Owoicho Wechi Igomu. I hail from Okpokwu Local Govt Area of Benue State. I’m Idoma by tribe. I have 7 siblings, both parents (Chief John Agada Igomu & Magistrate Catherine Idoko) are late. I studied Theatre Arts at the Benue State University, Mkd… I am currently the  MD/.CEO of NFOB GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT (Event planning company and organizers of WOF AWARDS)

     What about growing up do you think inspired who you have become today?

    I draw a lot of inspiration from a lot of things, funny enough growing up I dreamt of being a dancer. I majored in choreography and have had stints with projects nationally and internationally…As I grew I realized I had a passion for content/brand development (entertainment related events) and I started doing events from when I was in the university, then gradually stage managing events, creating stage and set design content amongst others.

What was your reaction when we reached out for this interview thinking you were a woman? 
I just said “I am a man!” (Laughs)

 What's brought about the Women on fire  (WOF) vision and what has the journey been so far? 
I started Woman on Fire in Benue…I have had three editions in Benue so far….It basically celebrates women and their transformative power, their impact and their selfless service in our growing economy. I’ve worked with a lot of women groups and organizations and have a lot of female clients I handle their brand growth and business so naturally it came to me also knowing I’m a selfless service provider. I decided to celebrate by building the WOF BRAND …It’s been excruciatingly painful and hard holding this together especially when you are not playing politics and concentrating instead on building your brand which is primary for me. Up till now we haven’t gotten any major funding for WOF but every year we celebrate 100 working women in Benue. We decided to birth WOF in Abuja and celebrate the achievements of these women who happen to put a lot of selfless service and passion into what they do. It’s been an exciting experience so far and we are growing gradually.

Wow, such an amazing vision and drive. Aside this, what else do you do for business?
I plan events and do a little bit of brand promotions, strategic brand building and I also consult for a couple of organizations.

     Tell us more about the Women on fire and the impact on society?
Women constitute 50% of the global population. The role women play in the society is becoming very crucial by the day; their importance has improved significantly as many women have established themselves in their respective fields of endeavor as shining stars.
At NFOB GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT we understand the roles and importance of women in the home, society, nation and world at large. We are committed to playing a leadership role in promoting the well-being and development of women through the provision of innovative community service derived solutions that address the needs of today’s woman.
The WOF Initiative is the home of everything NFOB has to offer women. ‘WOF’ speaks to the strength that every woman around the world carries. It is about women, the BENUE woman, the Nigerian women and women around the world whether it’s a Young professional, a Woman with a Family or a Woman in Business.
It has added value to these recipients and  so far we have celebrated nothing less than 290 women and it gives them some encouragement to do more and serve as role models and mentors to younger women.We have been able to rise above the social and cultural barriers and to be of service to the Woman. Our achievements span across various facets of life, peace building, youth and women empowerment and community development.

How has partnership, collaborations and sponsorships worked for the brand? 
We gradually building up and we have been able to partner with very few organizations on this project. Sponsorship I must admit has been very poor but we aren’t too ambitious and we hold steadfast to making sure first we build a brand with a lot of content and quality. The sponsors will come. I know that.

Who and who is to attend the award?
We celebrating 100 WOF Abuja recipients and their guests which comes on an exclusive guest list. We also have 10 honorary recipients and two post humous awards all for women in National Development. Partners, sponsors and the elite/high class strata of the community is our target demography for the event. Due to the nature of the event and its highly profiled celebrants, we are birthing our first edition here in Abuja at the International Conference Center, Abuja

How is your personal ideology about gender equality and equity? 
I’ll put it plain and simple. We believe the woman and their transformative power should have a fair place and position in national development at all levels and we think we can say we have been a part of the growing revolution. WOF brings all women under one platform to celebrate #powerofservice at all levels unified in one common goal. Women and men should not only be given equal access to resources and equal opportunities, but they should also be given the means of benefiting from this equality. This is where the concept of ‘gender equity' comes into play. Gender equity implies fairness in the way women and men are treated. The different life experiences and needs of men and women are taken into consideration and compensation is made for women's historical and social disadvantages. The lower status of women in society often constitutes a handicap and provisions should be made to redress this inequality before they can take advantage of the opportunities provided. Gender equity thus serves to level the playing field and empower women. Therefore, we can say that equity is essential to achieve true equality.

How impactful do you see the rise of Women making in Nigeria positively and why do you think so?
Even before recession, women have been making great contributions to the economic development of Nigeria and although their impact is being felt their contribution is not being recognized. A simple example could be found in farms, constructions sites, and motor parks where you find women who wake up as early as 4am in the morning to prepare food which they take to sell to people working in these kinds of places. The food is very vital for the productivity of people working in these places. And it is the proceeds of such food business that many of these women use to pay for their children’s school fees and cater for their other needs. Women have joined these kinds of petty businesses to complement the income of their husbands because we are at a critical period whereby both parents in a family have to work to be able to support the family.
We want to make sure those women get the necessary support to contribute to economic development, we want to get the government to reevaluate its policies in relation to women’s participation in economic development.

 What do you do for fun?
My work, planning events, watch movies……Shopping for footwears

What would you like to say in closing?
THANK YOU Jennifer for the opportunity to reach out. God bless you big! Congratulations on also being a WOF ABUJA CELEBRANT!



Unknown said…
It's amazingly commendable how Mr Spitz Josef commits to celebrating the Woman who has defied all odds and is striving to leave her mark and contribute her quota to building our Nation. More blessings sir, we celebrate you and appreciate the work you do.

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