In the last two editions, I told you that every decision you make puts you at crossroads between truth and lies and that decision is vital. Take the path of truth and it will lead you to creating more wealth and holding onto it, while the path of lies will lead you to destroying what you already have. Please always remember this principle and let it guide you in everything that you do.Â And talking about the path of truth leading to success, here is a good example.
On Tuesday, 20th April, 2010 the book, Hallmarks of Labour Volume 6 celebrating
three very prominent Nigerians was formally presented amongst pomp and pageantry at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. BRIG.GEN. MOBOLAJI JOHNSON (RTD), HLR â€“ first Military Administrator and Governor of Lagos State and one of the only two retired Military Governors to be absolved of any blemish by the Federal assets Investigative Panel. ALHAJI (DR.) BABATUNDE JOSE, OFR, HLR â€“ Doyen of Nigerian journalism and former Managing Director of the Daily Times of Nigeria.Â MRS. FRANCESCA EMANUEL, CON, HLR â€“ First female Federal Permanent Secretary, accomplished artiste and poet.
These are great Nigerians who have succeeded in their various fields through discipline, hardwork and a clear understanding of the rules of success. In truth the rules of success properly applied will lead to success in any endeavour particularly financial.Â For this reason, I will give you a peep into the very successful lives of these great Nigerians whom we as a nation have a great deal to be thankful for their many contributions in advancing thought and practice in their respective fields of endeavour. It is my hope that their lives will inspire you. As a woman, I am particularly drawn to Mrs. Francesca Emanuel who is a great inspiration to me and I believe to millions of women.
Because of the pioneering work of people like Francesca, the Nigerian Woman has made tremendous progress in her march towards a position of equality with her male counterpart in controlling and directing issues of national importance in the academics, banking and finance, government and the Civil Service.
Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel (nee Pereira), is the first female Nigerian Administrative Officer in the Federal Civil Service and the first Federal female Permanent Secretary. A woman with a generous supply of talent, beauty and brains, she headed nine Federal Ministries between 1975 and her retirement in 1988. In addition, her outstanding and sublime gifts in the performing arts have earned her great respect and admiration.
Born in Lagos on 19th September, 1933, she was educated in the Christian Mission tradition, attending Methodist Girls School, Lagos (1938 â€“ 1940) and Princess School, Lagos (1941 â€“ 1945) and Holy Child College, Ikoyi, (1946 to 1951).
In 1952 Francesca gained admission into University College, Ibadan, where she got her inter BA in 1955. Although she studied Geography, she made time to give expression to her literary talent by actively participating in drama and other extra-curricular activities.
She left for the United Kingdom where she got her B. A. Hons. Geography from the University College, London, in 1959. On her return to Nigeria that same year, she secured employment with the Federal Ministry of Works, a woman stepping into the menâ€™s territory.
She settled down to a career in the Civil Service and between 1959 and June 1974, she experienced all the usual postings and promotions, culminating in Principal Secretary, Cabinet office, (1974). From January to June 1975, she was Secretary Federal Public Service Commission, then the big event came, the first Nigerian female Federal Permanent Secretary on July 7, 1975!
From that moment, she was unstoppable. Taking over the driverâ€™s seat she piloted successfully, the Cabinet Office, the Ministries of Establishments, Health, Commerce and Industry, Science and Technology, Information, Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies and again Social Development, Youth and Sports until her retirement in 1988. She interpreted Government Policy, and gave directives in a world dominated by men.
Even after retirement, Mrs. Emanuel continues to play important roles in national and international matters. She was a Commissioner of Untied Nations International Civil Service Commission, New York (1987-1992), a member of the Governing Council of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (1989 â€“ 1993), a foundation member of the Nigerian Environmental Forum (1981), a member of the Lagos State University Visitation Panel (1992), a Commissioner of the National Salaries & Wages Commission (1992-1994), a member of the National Merit Award (Humanities) Committee (1989 â€“ 1991), a Director of the Board of Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Limited (1991 to date), a Director of Ecobank Nigeria Plc (1998 â€“ 2004) and Chairman of the 2nd National Film Festival Organizing Committee (2002 â€“ 2003). There are many more.
Mrs. Francesca Emanuel is a holder of nine special awards. Among her numerous talents is singing, where she is well known as a strong, soaring soprano. She is a member and a leading light of the Musical Society of Nigeria, MUSON. She is a Poet, an actress, and dressmaker.
Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, a woman endowed with the classical virtues of moderation, stability, elegance and wit, at 77 she is full of energy and life. A Role Model in every sense, she received the prestigious Hallmarks of Labour Role Model Award (HLR) on July 1, 2004.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, emulate her and you will be a shining start.
To be continued next week with Brig.Gen. Mobolaji Johnson (Rtd).HLR