A friend once told me, I’m so optimistic; I always look out for something good in every situation and that’s why I get really excited when I hear stories of people who against all odds made it in life. I wrote an article Oops, I have to take my bra off on cancer a while ago which is the second most read article on my blog. I have a guest post on an amazing woman who is a cancer survivor and has gone further to become a pillar of strength to other women as well as an inspiration to many.
Mrs Udo Maryanne Okonjo is a female business tycoon. She worked as a lawyer for over twenty years before getting into the real estate business in a professional and advisory service level, no “to let” signs for her. She is remarkable on many fronts but that is not what the discussion is today.
She is a cancer survivor and not just a cancer survivor but an advocate for other women so that they would be protected and preserved. One of the ways that she helps women is with her WOW DIVAS hangouts. WOWDIVAS means Women of Worth, Divinely Inspired, and Victoriously Anointed Sisters. She is a successful wife, mother, sister and daughter. She has the awesome gift of being successful in her office and in her home.
Speaking of WOWDIVAs, she says it was born out of a desire to never let another woman think that she is alone in her valley with no one to cry with or celebrate with or support her through life’s lows and highs. I heard of the myth that a woman is her own worst enemies and I decided to challenge that belief and I came up with 26 women from different places in Johannesburg South Africa and we hung out and encouraged ourselves, prayed together and cried together, my friends and friends of friends who were glad to cheer and be cheered on in a meeting with laughter and support.“After the meeting we were so empowered we suggested that we do it again and invite other women who also needed to be built up”.
Soon there were hangouts in the United States, London and other countries. The hangouts usually hold at the Oriental Hotel on Saturdays as breakfast meetings. It is designed to help women see that other women have triumphed over the challenges that they are currently facing (whatever the challenges may be) and that they too can overcome.
The encouragement, prayer and affirmations leave the women feeling refreshed. I call the routine the RRR – retreat, revive and refresh. It is important for women’s total health and essential for a woman to function as the phenomenal women God has created the ideal woman to be.
At WOWDIVAs we believe that ‘Impossible is nothing’ and that is why we walk on water every day in carrying out our functions. I believe that one of the challenges facing women is having the power to stay focused and optimistic in the midst of difficulties and the challenges from distress at home, to been unappreciated and the demands of society. Many are pressured to cut out and live depressed, accomplishing nothing with their lives or see suicide as a cop out. My goal is to let women see how truly valued and worthy of the best things in life they are. I love it when women know their self worth and are able to build up other women. I just believe that there is something amazingly beautiful about a woman affirming another irrespective of how close they are to you. Be kind, you never know whose life you are saving when you affirm another woman.
Speaking on her most challenging moments, she said that the diagnosis of the cancer, the treatment and recovery period was particularly challenging. She believes that her unwavering faith and dependence on God got her through it all.
All through the treatment, I was fully engaged and working, however I set limits for myself. It helps that I was never actually ill (apart from the discomfort of the treatment itself which is enough to kill you) since I discovered the cancer early enough to take a radical preventive approach. In all, I believe that doing all of the above alone without grace was no guarantee so surrendering the final outcome to God during the initial stages was one of my major turning points.
“I am so thankful to my honourable husband, children, parents, siblings, spiritual parents and friends were my support system” Something I am extremely for is that despite being diagnosed with cancer I had the healthiest, cutest most heartbreakingly handsome second son a few years later.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/udookonjoigniter
I’m sure you were inspired, ladies no more bickering, we need to help one another. Let us all take a cue from this story and remember “A candle looses nothing by lighting another candle” and this goes out to the men too. We need more of her in our generation.
Loads of Love