Gratitude: Super Woman Under 30 Awards

by Eden Benibo

Our burning passion,
leaves a tribal mark
printed on our smiles

are a beautiful a capella
of selfless goals and dreams.
Our heartbeats
make sweet melodies of loud strength
in silent places

We are the Stories
of sunshine
glowing on rainy days.

We are the Colours
of the rainbow
smiling through the clouds

We are the twinkling stars
dancing bravely
on dark heights

We are the beautiful flames
that burn and light
in duality.

To all we are
And all we’ve been

Written and Dedicated to all the Nominees of the Super Woman Under 30 Awards 2019

Growing up, (during my primary school days) I became a ‘little’ addicted to the cartoon, Justice League. I could skip any other cartoon, but I never missed this one on Thursdays, 3pm; not even when I was flogged or scolded for always watching this cartoon with my school uniform still on, or at least my school bag. I felt these super heroes all had a peculiar uniform, so, even when I was ‘dragged’ out of my school uniform, I would still hold on tight to my school bag. Holding on to the two hands of my bag, gave me so much positive vibes. It made me feel I would fly like the animations I was so engrossed with.

The next day in school, my friends and I would gather during our break time, talking about how the last episode went, and screaming which of the super heroes we were.
“I am Batman!” One would say.
“Me, I am Wonder Woman! Another would shout.

And I would scream with all the life in me:
” I am Superman!!!! ”

He seemed to be the leader of the pack, was he? I loved a lot about him, from the storyline of how he became who he was, to his intelligence. How he would stand, hold his head to think, and formulate strategies for challenges. How he would literally break the grounds with his bare hands. Fling a huge car on a ‘bad guy’. Hold back a gigantic building, from falling on a little child, and to crown it all, how he flew blew my mind.
He didn’t need to ‘over stretch’, disfigure himself, use a web or anything. He was among the super heroes who just did what seemed to me as an effortless soar.

And for a long time in my life, I insisted that I was “Superman”.
Until gradually, life began to teach me about life:
I began to understand:

-one needed no uniform to fight the battles of life. You just fight!

-challenges may not come with the large scary faces in cartoons, but they would come. They came.

-Speaking about soaring: Sometimes, the pain from the sores beneath our feet, will help us find our wings. A test we can pass in flying colours.

And most all, I finally realized:
One doesn’t have to be a man to be super.
So, when I hear a woman call herself King, I wonder if she feels being a Queen makes her less. Superwomen like Queen Ngozi of the Benibos, Queen Elizabeth of England, Queen Adichie of Literature, Queen Michelle of Obama and Queen Serena Francis of the Super Women Awards Tribe, are picture perfect proves to this…

However, this is the beauty of life, in the end, we all need each other (male or female), regardless of our ‘super powers’, talents or intelligence.

It’s left for us to discover these super powers and use them while we still can, on earth. I discovered mine quite early. Writing.
Although I didn’t know how to use it initially. As a little girl I would write on everything I saw. Including walls, calendars, just any paper! I became a terror in the house, writing jargons o! On any book, including important documents. I finally got the beating of my life, when one fateful day, I wrote on my mother’s Bible!!! To be contd. that was how it started for me, till I began to write words that made meaning. Mome said, some of the words were just too much for my age, in both meaning and the context they triggered.

Initially, I just wrote for myself. The art was a healing process to me. I would write, feel better and hide what I wrote. But you can’t hide light, you know. Especially one quite bright.
My works were found by friends, shared, and that was how the spread began.

Today, I may not fling a huge car on a ‘bad guy’ or hold a gigantic building from falling on a child (like it fell on me) but I am glad I can break grounds with my hands (writing) and somehow lift a weight from a heavy heart. This and more are the joys my super powers bring.
Here are some clues to how my ‘super journey’ began:

At three
I was grown.
Grown enough to be Mome’s shock absorber,
Life electrocuted too

At five
I learnt to fly
My heart had lumps of dreams too thick to dissolve,
Solid enough for take off

At ten
I had become the sky
A reflection of boundlessness untapped,
The dwelling of twinkling stars awake

At fourteen
I found myself trapped in me,
Beneath golden diamonds in poetry shapes.
The stones were rolled away

At sixteen
I began to live
Unafraid of the deaths I had died
A discovery of the undiscovered.

…and my story goes on and on with me left with the beautiful responsibility of carrying my Father’s legacies along.

Many times I just like to be in a corner, unnoticed. Quiet. But I guess the super powers will always push me out, somehow into a leadership position or a kind of fame or just one height from nowhere. The awards started coming, the recognitions and most of all the fulfilment in knowing your words have a positive impact in the lives of others.

Particularly, the Superwoman Under 30 Awards 2019 means a lot to me. The name alone is a reflection of my childhood fantasies.

I am becoming
The wishes of my yesterday
And the goals of my today for tomorrow.

Ngozi Justina Benibo

Ngozi Benibo

My sister, brother (sometimes), friend (always), father (in between) being a mother. No, she’s not an Angel, she’s the god sent by God to guide and guard His Garden, Eden. How much more Super can a human be?

Serena Francis

Serena Francis

“Here’s To Strong Women,
May we raise them
May we know them
May we be them.”

Stars need not announce themselves, they simply shine. Neither does light, it glows, even from afar and so does she.
But most of all, I am in awe at the level of empathy she commands, effortlessly. How much more super can a woman be?

Oke Iwhewhe

Oke Iwhewhe

Some years back, I got to know I was nominated for an award, just a week to the event. An error made that happen though. So, when I was finally contacted, I was told to send in a lot of details via phone calls for easier access (due to the timeframe). But this wasn’t the issue, the issue was that, I had to always give a rather lengthy ‘explanation’ whenever I called…
But this wasn’t Oke.
She would even call you by your name and the rest is history..
Giving each person a personalized feeling is no small feat. This, was one of the most beautiful and unique attributes of the awards.
Indeed, some are blessed with jara superpowers! How much more super can a group manager be?

Mercy Olufunmi Sunshine

Mercy Olufunmi Sunshine

I call her Melzy!! I knew her long before the awards. She was one of my very first roommates and big sisters in Uniben.
Now among others, here’s a short story about what Melzy did to me.
It was few days to my matriculation and my mum promised to bring along the the gown for the event, when coming. In all Melzy kept insisting she doesn’t disturb herself to bring any gown. I agreed with her, but in a different direction. I felt I could wear any old gown in my box, to save Mome the stress of getting a new one.

Meanwhile, I nor know say na different plan Melzy get for mind.
Hey! That was how Melzy told me to escort her to go get a gown for her younger sister, who was about my size. I innocently followed her.

And when we got to the market, we finally saw one that fit perfectly.

For my mind, I like the gown erreh
But no be my own na. Na just testing..

Suddenly, Melzy started asking- “are you sure you like this one?” I nodded.
But I was still wondering why she wasn’t asking “do you think my sister would like it.”

..and that was how Melzy told me the gown was mine! For my matriculation!!

It’s more than four years after that day already, but how do you forget people like this?
How much more super can a heart be?

Ofon Emmanuel

Ofon Emmanuel

Thanks a lot for reaching out to me, even in my ‘hidden’ corner. Knowing you is a blessing too❤

Justina Anurika Godwin aka Gist with Tina

Justina Anurika Godwin

My Mome’s namesake! Thanks for the laughter your words triggered, and thanks for the happiness shared.  How much more super can sisters be?

Elizabeth Benibo

Elizabeth Benibo

Sadly I couldn’t go for the awards. (You know my stories are always long) make we leave that wan.
So, it was just a day to the awards and the news struck! The person who was to stand in for me, couldn’t do so anymore. (It’s fine, she had her reasons though)
Then we started to brainstorm! Until my Super Aunty Lizzy flew into our minds. Like why on earth did I skip telling her in the first place. She is that brave, jovial, ‘no dull moment’ kind of person, always. And I heard she did justice standing in for her girl, Eden.
How much more super can an aunt be?

Finally, I must ‘say’ this one!
Maybe I wouldn’t have travelled to Port Harcourt this Christmas, but thanks to the Super Woman Under 39 Awards 2019. I had to travel to go thank my aunt and see my cousins who insisted I come take my crown, myself

And seeing them after two years was one of the most beautiful moments of my 2019.

“The things that make us different –
those are our Super Powers.”
LENA Waithe
First Black Woman
To Win The Emmy For Comedy Writing.

With this, I salute everyone out there, being super in their own unique way.

May we continue to shine the light that we are, now and always!

Much Love

Eden Benibo

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Kelechi December 30, 2019 - 11:49 am

Wow!! Super Inspiring Eden! You are great

Caleb December 30, 2019 - 11:51 am

Deep words! Lovely poem! But when will you write one for Supermen too, please?

Cynthia December 30, 2019 - 11:59 am

I love you dearly Eden. Thanks for the life lessons from just a cartoon. Thanks for sharing your story

Boma December 30, 2019 - 1:13 pm

Sometimes, the pain from the sores beneath our feet, will help us find our wings. A test we can pass in flying colours.True words Eden! Thanks for all

Ayo December 30, 2019 - 6:14 pm

Just brilliant! Long live the Superwoman Awards

Oke Iwhewhe December 31, 2019 - 7:52 am

Thank you so much Eden, for being a unique and excellent writer, thank you for shining your light always even through the hurts and pains, thank you for being a true star and a true super woman, thank you for challenging and motivating me to be more. You indeed are a lady per excellence and world will continue to see you in all your beauty and glamour through your written words.

Naomi Dike December 31, 2019 - 8:05 am

This is beautiful Eden. You inspire me in so many ways

David December 31, 2019 - 11:00 am

My hero !

Juliet Ike May 6, 2020 - 11:53 pm

Such a great masterpiece……’re indeed a superwoman!
I wish I met you at the event, I was also a nominee😚


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