Like gold, Amenze Igiebor-Ayanru has been purified through the furnace of life to be presented in wisdom, maturity and valor as she clocks the golden year of 50. However, the journey so far has been a long walk for her and as she can rightly attest, it has been a mixture of experiences. For viewers of the network news on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on seeing her cast the network news with panache, there is no doubt that she bestrode the television screen like the goddess she is.
Amenze as she is popularly known in the industry is currently the news manager of NTA Asaba and in the course of doing what she knows best, her presentation of the news comes with flair and a unique style that has simply become her trademark. Meanwhile, the Edo State born broadcaster started her sojourn in the media with Edo Broadcasting Service, Benin City, her hometown. After the rationalization in 1996, she joined Independent Television and Radio in 1997 before moving to NTA in 2001. That is why the NTA family decided to roll out drums to celebrate one of their own whose contribution to the media and the NTA in general has remained remarkable. For this 1990 graduate of English and Literature who holds a masters degree in public administration from the prestigious University of Benin, 2017 of course will be described as a year of double celebration for her because it is the year she clocks 50 years of age and 25 years in the broadcast industry having started her career in October 1992.
Hence, her intention to celebrate in October at the peak of both events was reversed by some of her colleagues who felt she deserves to be celebrated at this time for her years of steady services to her station, and in anticipation that very soon she may be promoted and transferred from the Asaba station. There is no reason therefore to keep quiet over such an outstanding milestone in life even when there is plan for a follow up later in the year.
For Amenze, age is simply an aggregate of numbers because there is nothing in her that has changed in order to herald the dawn of 50, with support from colleagues her emergence into the golden era was celebrated in three parts from Friday, 10th of February, 2017 to Sunday, 12thFebruary, 2017.The celebration opened with a talk show on Life at 50, what next? The array of guests included a medical doctor, a pastor, a social worker and a broadcaster. The show was hosted by an ace broadcaster, Lady Ejiro Umukoro ((Lady E) of trend FM 100.9.
The salient point of the show was the enlightenment by the doctor in the panel that the changes associated with aging especially at 50 comes naturally and mood swing is the most noticeable aspect in women due to changes in hormones that result in menopause. The solution is that people at that age should not be left alone because it could climax to an extreme case of depression and sometimes suicide. A visit to Divine Grace and St. Barnabas orphanages climaxed the second day because children and their care givers were appreciative of the visit of gifts especially during this recession as they took turn to pray for the celebrant and her entourage. “I want to use this opportunity to beg people to please reach out to the orphanages. The food we waste, things in our wardrobes that we hardly use should please be taken to them,” she said. Seeing the grand visit, it is natural to assume that embarking on such project at this time must have come with huge financial commitment but Amenze emphasised that the visit was made possible through the support and donations from friends, colleagues and the public. “Naturally you feel happy that you have been able to add value. I felt good that I was able to muscle support for them and if I have my way I will do it every day because they are really suffering,” she added “I want to advice that people running the orphanages should from time to time evaluate the performances of the caregivers because the news making the rounds is that whatever is given them is not used for the care of the children, they are diverted to the personal homes of the caregivers. It is not actually the best.” She also pointed that there is need to increase awareness on unwanted pregnancy and abandonment of children. “Instead of baby factories that are springing up everywhere, people should go to the orphanages and adopt.” She disclosed. The grand finale was the thanksgiving service at New Covenant Gospel Church, Asaba. To Amenze it was awesome because the pastor took time to preach about the need to be thankful for the gift of life through service. The reception was used as a means of gratitude to the people. A former reporter with the National Assembly, Bosede Adebayo now the Assistant Director, News, Benin Network Centre expressed during the occasion, “I like to wish her well. Like her name is, that is what she is. There is no dull moment with her. Since I came to Benin, I have enjoyed her co-operation.” When asked how it feels to be 50, she replied wittily, “well, Amenze it is time for you to start behaving more maturely, reduce exposure to people as a mark of the current age, but it feels good to be 50.” Adding, “It suddenly dawned on me that I am 50.” “Especially when people say you don’t look it, it makes one feel that it is coming early but in all it is just the grace of God. When someone tried to open a blog for me and asked me what to name it, I simply said, Golden Swift.” She regretted that people take her for granted because she is jovial. “My uttermost desire is to have a different outlook to life, people’s attitude towards me and the way I relate to people.” “Though I could be my amiable, warm and friendly self on close contact but there will be a limit to my exposure to people. I want to be more mature and rational in judgment, utterances and contribution to issues. I want to be highly guided to reflect the golden age that I have attained.” Amenze’s guiding philosophy in life hinges on simplicity. She believes that there is no reason for people not to exude warmth and friendliness towards people irrespective of the numerous human treacheries and societal challenges today. “I want to be critical of situations and reports from people. I pray for the spirit of discernment to see people’s true motives when matters arise at this stage of my life.” She pointed. When asked of her milestones at 50, she simply chronicled that she expect to launch her memoir later in the year, housewarming ceremony, and launch an NGO in honour and memory of her parents. She intends to use the NGO to encourage people and provide leaning shoulders in time of crisis.“I intend to run a counseling unit where people could come to share whatever challenges, have people to pray with and be counseled because a lot of wrong choices are made in life by people for the sake of not having people to talk to. “My motivation stems from the era of my crisis. It got at me because there was nobody to listen to me while I have to say it as it is,” she confessed. Continuing, “There is a total absence of empathy in our society today. People are judgmental, and quick to attribute problems to one’s sins and wickedness. Nobody is ready to pay keen attention, listen to understand where you are coming from and what is happening in your life. “There are a lot of people today that are very rational in their outlook to the issues of life. If you get such people to counsel others, the chances are there for them to make better choices and decisions in life.” She submitted. Speaking further about her NGO, it will be housed in the twin apartment of her house and it will be a quiet environment for prayers, counseling and personal meditation. She hopes to have trained counselors who as like minds would want to impart the society and as such will want to partner with her. “I will want to through the NGO embark on counseling, rehabilitation and reformation of people to shun social vices; drugs, cultism, prostitution, etc, people who really want to get out and even ex-convicts who want to be re-integrated into the society.” She concluded. In a touchy note about those that missed her party, “my parents, the man I actually would have loved to marry and some people that supported us who were unavoidably absent.” She revealed. Dealing with her regrets as a human, she explained that hers is single parenthood. “I would have loved a situation where my complete family is by my side celebrating with me.” She pointed. In her ending remark, “we should all live life simply because one day we will all leave this life. We should remember that we are on a sojourn on earth so desperation and extremism in trying to attain a height or achieve an ambition should not be a choice. Let’s exercise moderation in all we do.” Present at the occasion are; Zonal Director, NTA Benin Network Centre was represented by Bosede Adebayo, Assistant Director News, Benin Network Centre. Mohammad Abdulkadri, Angela Ameh, Manager Programmes, Benin Network centre, Helen Lola Ebueku, Rtd General Manager, NTA Aba, Mike Okeme, SSA to Delta State Governor on Labour Matters and Servicom. Also, the General Manager, NTA Asaba was represented by the marketing Manager, Ann Ekpo Dr. Victor Osiatuma, CMD, Federal Medical Centre, Asaba. Cyril Madugba, Rtd. Ass. Director, News, NTA Benin network centre. Members of Covenant family led by Mrs Ngozi Nwani, English and Literature Students Association, Uniben (ELSA), Entire staff of NTA, Asaba and Committee of Amenze at 50.