Dr. Ebierin Otuaro, FNSE is a lecturer at Delta State University. She is also the wife of Delta State deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro. The amiable woman has touched lives of young ladies in the state. She recently gave out scholarships to some teenage girls in the state. Among them is an orphan who picks periwinkle by the roadside to make ends meet. In this interview with Effects, she talked about the scholarship scheme and life among other things.
What propels your giving out scholarships to underprivileged girls?
We are just trying to encourage them that what a man can do a woman could do better. I don’t have many children, but my desire is that as many that come my way, I am ready to train them as long as they are willing to learn. This is an opportunity for me to be a blessing to my society, and that is why we are doing it.
Why did you pick girls as trainee engineers?
I am a lady, and I studied engineering, but most times girls are running away from it, so I’m motivating them to take engineering as a profession. So I just want to let them know that if I can do it, they also can do it. I want to encourage the girls to be involved; not that the boys are left out, but in our next project, we will include the boys. Now, we are picking only girls.
Why did you choose your village?
I have to come to the grassroots, and this village is where my husband is from. They are the people that gave me a husband to marry. I have to start from my husband’s village, remember the saying that charity begins at home.
Do you do other projects aside this?
I have a medical project also. It is a foundation for stroke survivors. I have been sick once and know what it means for one to be sick and get well later. I have a foundation for stroke patients because I have had stroke in the past and today I am well. I understand what it means to be sick and get well later by the grace of God.
What is your upbringing like?
I was not born in a poor home, but I lost my silver spoon along the way. So I told myself that I could make it without my father, I did not allow his death to stop me. I told myself that the death of my father is not the end of my destiny. I just chose to move on. Back then in school (university) I was making hair (as hair dresser) to train myself in school and to fend for my siblings. Today, I am an engineer, so it takes God to be where you are. If I did it, they can do it. Although they need a better push today than when we were growing up; that is why we are into what we are doing now.
What is your advice to others?
They can make it, my example is Jesus Christ; I said if he made it, I can make it.
Many girls are into prostitution today because of the economy, what’s your take?
It is because they want to be. I remember when my father died, one of my uncles advised that since I was schooling in the North, I could conveniently go into prostitution to make ends meet. And I told him that I will never do such but I would rather work with my hands and make my money. So, there are many things they can go into to make a living.
What is your take about life?
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you; that is where my strength lies. In fact, I want to do more things, I am looking for more things to do, because you can do many things, you want to and you can be whatever you want to be.
How would you describe your husband?
He is a very humble man, a loving father, reliable and strong. He is someone that anybody can rely on. If I had to choose again on earth, I will still choose him because he is just the best man I have ever seen on earth.
Any advice for other mothers as regards their children and husband?
Nigerian mothers should take care of their home and children. I always advise my children whenever I travel to see them to stay in the Lord, even if I am not there, they can still be who God has destined them to be. Even my eight years old girl, whenever I am going out, she says mummy, you are going out again, I just tell her, stay in the Lord, so when I am going out she will tell me, mummy I will stay in the Lord till you come back. Then I will tell her “enjoy”. So we should learn to train our children in the Lord.
If you were not an engineer, what would you have become?
I don’t think I would have done any other course. My father wanted me to leave engineering back then but I told him to allow me do what I want as a career. I am glad to be an engineer till date.
How was your academic journey?
I did my PhD in Civil Engineering. I had my Bachelor and Masters in Agricultural Engineering.
How did you start your career?
I started as a teacher and I am still teaching till date. I am a lecturer at Delta State University, Ole, in the Department of Agriculture.
You mean you still lecture?
How do you juggle your career and being a wife?
Just plan your time, there is nothing you cannot do.
This interview as first published in Sun