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Miss Joy Ikpe’s Birthday: Celebrating an Icon of Hope and Selfless Service to Humanity


Miss Joy Ikpe’s Birthday: Celebrating an Icon of Hope and Selfless Service to Humanity



By Prince Ejeh Josh 


Unarguably, in today’s Nigeria, women have been championing the struggle for a new Nigeria through their self-imposed responsibility of redefining and shaping whatever position they find themselves. With them, a new Nigeria is possible. A Nigeria of everyone’s dream. A Nigeria of a new prospect and opportunity for all. Like the social movement ideology will preach: another world is possible!


In a country like ours where patriarchal structures have been superimposed and the womenfolk are seen as weak, feebleminded and little below their male counterpart, we’ve seen some women carving a niche for themselves, building impeccable feats in administration, leadership, science and technology. They’ve given us reason to trust the uniqueness and dexterity of women. Through them, we’re seeing the other side of humanity in us. The humanity of empathy. The humanity of peace. The humanity of progress. The humanity of meekness. A new world is, indeed, possible!

They have also made nonsense of any derogatory ascription of them by the stereotypical perception of men through their unprecedented pace in transforming their status from low income earners to top managerial positions both in public and private sectors. But that’s not all. With women in leadership, there’s a new thrust and radical departure from the rush for war, force, violence, and the often arrogance and bellicosity for war as a form of settling scores, to a more sublime, humane and soft path to justice-they blend the skills of negotiation, meditation, conciliation with diplomacy.

All over the world where women steer the leadership craft, we see peace reign. We see fulfilment in the land. We see a glowing city where children grow with sense of pride and responsibility. They serve as insulator and shield against destructive vice.

It’s interesting, however, to observe that most of those shaping the pattern of this active leadership participation are the new generation of youth. They do this by seizing the opportunity presented by education, science and technology. While not rivaling men, they have shown excellent mastery of the art of leadership and thrust up their ingenuity that had kept people imagining a possibility of a new economic world order that would eliminate poverty, joblessness, social unrest, international distress and other negation to social Justice if responsibility is assigned to them.


One of those emerging women that have astounded us with their leadership charisma and groundbreaking advancement in their sphere of influence is Miss Joy Ikpe. Although young, she has proved to be an excellent inspiration to our generation of womenfolk that they could still dream big, and have their dreams fulfilled with determination, discipline, focus and audacity of courage even in the face of structural-functional hostility and male patrimonial domination. This entrenched domination stems from our socialization process, fundamentally finding root in the family institution, as a social institution, to other pedagogical institutions. The good news, however, is the gradual waning of the belief system and perception as a result of a new thinking pattern occasioned by globalization.

Miss Joy or ‘J’ as I fondly call her, is a born leader, torchbearer and celebrity who, in her mission to create a better world for children and women, has excelled and exceeded expectations. Interestingly, in her outreach to create awareness and give respite to the vulnerable, she does those projects with ease, unassuming, unperturbed and full of confidence regardless of the seemingly reconditeness such task might pose. This, in fact, is the true definition of passion, competency and uncommon expertise in human relation management.

One of the secrets behind her success in all the missions driven by her over the years is her willpower to define and identify the nucleus of what to do at the right time. Her willingness to accommodate even the least in a group and work as a team would continue to resonate her excellent performance in her eclectic approach. Displaying such unimaginable skills in managing both human and material resources has been nonpareils. This goes along way to show harmony of ideas and social coordination in an atmosphere of exerting pressure.


Bearing this in mind, one would be persuaded by her rare leadership savvy and appeal and recommend her for more specialized leadership roles especially in international organizations such as the United Nations, NEPAD, African Union, ECOWAS, etc., where she would further deploy her ingenuity to proffer panacea to issues bordering on women, children, and gender. We still need more women, especially youth like her to superintend over leadership task as that would be a rescue trajectory in the annals of the comity of nations.

I know and understand Joy for one thing, and that’s beyond question; she has a genuine flair and passion to fight for, and speak for the weak especially those without voice, such as victims of rape, victims of sexual exploitation and molestation, the poor, women tramped down under the feet of oppressors and children trapped in illiteracy and abuse. In our clime today, these are areas that have appeared intractable to solve. Not many voices are championing the cause for these people.

Drawing inspiration from the above, a particular question that will keep resonating is the extent of my familiarity with Joy. I might as well also pose the same question to myself. I’ll, however, attempt some curious but factual answer. I met Joy sometime ago at the Nigerian Law School for the one year professional training. Whether it was by coincidence or by providential arrangement, one thing is certain; our path crossed!

My occasional interactions with her presented a figure of grits, fortitude and smartness. Her resourcefulness, in scholarship and entrepreneurship and the self-discipline to drive down her goals into reality were impressive and overwhelming. I met a lady of many parts, of which I’ve had enough to learn. She kept stunning me with her ingenuity. That special ability to extend her tentacles of impactful mission beyond the plainness of the average mind is flawless. I saw a rights’ advocate, an investor, entrepreneur, and legal virtuoso. Interestingly, meeting her profoundly altered my perception about life. A perception I had tenaciously held for over three decades of my existence, though short-lived. That’s, however, a fantastic topic for another beautiful day.

It’s with a sense of deference for my friend, Miss Joy Ikpe, that I had to make out time to celebrate the purposeful life, the selfless life, the life of service to humanity, and the life of dedication to the just cause of humankind; more so, to the defenseless such as children, women, and the girl child. For this, I’ll always celebrate her special day. It doesn’t matter wherever I may be, whether in communication or not, whether in public or in seclusion, all that matters is that special day because she’s involved. I’ve no doubt that just like I’m joyous today, others are too.

It is in recognition of her great services in the areas of charity, philanthropy and in giving voice to the forgotten that encomiums and awards have continued to pour in like a rush of rivers. I want to urge her to continue with her laudable projects in human capital improvement and promotion of the wellbeing of the society. We’ll keep celebrating her now and always. Congratulations, Joy, for your numerous feats and exploits in education, leadership, humanitarian gestures and mentorship.

Happy Birthday, J.State


Prince Ejeh Josh writes from Coal City State.

















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