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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

EFIWE EXCLUSIVE: Nigerian Society Has A Serious Problem With Priority - Public Speaker, Elizabeth Chi' Nwarueze, Talks More About #BBNaija & Women Politics In New Interview

Elizabeth Chi' Nwarueze
Elizabeth Chi' Nwarueze is a final year student of Law, a seasoned leader and public speaker extra-ordinaire. She has represented UI at both national and international platforms and has distinguished herself as a public speaker and law student in Nigeria and Africa. A well-decorated speaker, she is also a scholar per excellence and the sitting Chief Judge of the Faculty of Law.

She has been privileged to add a few feathers to her cap; some of which are:

1. Winner, NextSAN National Christian Law Students Advocacy Contest 2017.

2. West Africa's Best Law Oralist, Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition 2016

3. Winner, The Pat Utomi Prize for Students Debate on Public Policy 2016.

4. Most Outstanding Speaker, Jaw War 2016.

5. Best Female Speaker, Jaw War 2015

6. Joint Winner, Bilateral Debate, University of Ghana 2016

7. Winner, Inter-chamber Interjectory Debate Faculty of Law 2014

In academics, Elizabeth has also been at the top of her game, earning her a few prizes. Some of these prizes include:

1. Recipient, UI Alumni Association Award for Academic Excellence 2015

2. Honoree, Vice-Chancellor's Roll of Honours, UI

3. Honoree, Dean's Roll of Honours, UI

4. Scholar, Nigeria Higher Education Foundation, 2017

She is also an admirable leader who has been privileged to serve in various leadership capacities, viz:

1. Chief Judge, Law Students' Society, University of Ibadan.

2. President, QEH Literary and Debating Society 2015-2017

3. Vice-president, Law Literary and Debating Society 2017

4. PRO, Law Literary and Debating Society 2015

5. PRO, Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students, UI

In her leisure, she loves watching movies.

WOUWO Host, Chidera
In a quick chat with WOUWO Host, Chidera, Elizabeth Chi' Nwarueze talks more about her sojourn so far in the University of Ibadan, life as a Female Public Speaker, ongoing Big Brother Naija 2018, Women Politics and many more in new Interview. Read below:

Good evening ma'am, welcome on board

 Good evening all. I'm glad to be here.

Thank you ma. We're pleased to have you. Can you briefly let us in on your sojourn so far in UI?

My name is Elizabeth Chi' Nwarueze. I am a 500L Student of Law. I reside in Queen Elizabeth II Hall. I joined UI as a 100L student (UTME) and so far, in UI, I have participated fully in activities relating to the Literary and Debating Society with other responsibilities in my Faculty.

..."other responsibilities in my faculty. "If you don't mind, what other responsibilities?

In Faculty of Law, all students are shared into practice groups of some sort, what we call "Chambers". I am a member of Augustine Nnamani Chambers and have represented them in a number of Inter-chamber competitions. Also, of course, the Law Literary and Debating Society is so dear to my heart and I have served in two offices in my time so far. I am a member of the Mooting Society in Law as well as the current Chief Judge of Law Students Society.

Thank you for that insight ma.Apart from public speaking and your academics, are there areas where you have also ventured in (say business)? Because your profile has done little to suggest so.

OhπŸ˜… Sadly, I'm hardly business-oriented. Plus, I have considered that it would be too close to impossible to combine my extra-curricular activities with business. Again, I am of the opinion that based on my own set goals, ace-ing my academics is top priority.

Business and the interest to do same might be what I have sacrificed to attain the others. This does not say, in any way, that I do not have any interest in other skills. I sew clothes for myself, during holidays and I have mastered the art of hair-weaving. However, these do not happen in school.

OK. Thank you ma'am. What would you attribute your academic success so far to?

Three factors: God. Hardwork. Good relationships.

Thank you. Now, to some, it is believed that you're a doyenne of public speaking, seeing that you're highly decorated in the field. To others, you're kind-of a poster-girl for public speaking among ladies on campus. Why do you feel there is a great disparity in the number of top-notch male and female public speakers on campus?

 I love this question. Public speaking is an art that demands the patience to learn, the ability to manage frustration and the eagerness to continue. Please know that there are quite a number of respected female public speakers in UI. In truth, virtually all the awards at Jaw War 2017 were carted by female public speakers. However, I would not deny the dearth of female participation in public speaking. I have endeavoured to study the reasons, especially during my time as President of Queens Debating Society.

To begin with, for the benefit of doubt for the females in UI, males have more halls of residence and so, more room for all-male debating societies to emerge than their counterparts on the other divide.

You see, in UI and infact, many universities, the interests of male and female differ seriously. While more women who are academically ahead in their classes choose to hold on tight to it, believing an form of activity may kill the goal, more men choose to balance both.

Looking at the other end, while more women, who are totally interested in fashion and "slaying" do not believe that they can give "slay" a chance in public speaking, more men find public speaking as highly fashionable and  respectable for their image.

I would not want to go into the rigour of explaining how both sexes are programmed psychologically to either be more outspoken and courageous or be more reserved and apathetic, but I know, for a long time, male public speakers may continue to dominate if females do not cultivate the individual interest necessary to level both.

Thank you for that insightful answer ma'am. You admitted that there is a dearth of female public speakers on campus. What do you feel can be done to remedy the situation?

 Remedying it would begin with leaders in female Halls of Residences and I am sure quite a number of them are on this platform; maybe even the future ones.


I see the squalor and over-funding invested in some programmes that do not add value to the ladies in these halls and I feel really sad. I enjoy the events sometimes but some of them are just too unnecessary when debating societies or other intellect-based groups in female Halls are either underfunded or not even defended when issues like gaining accommodation come up. Until leaders can prioritize intellect in these halls, the expectations will be higher on other "needless" things.

To all Faculty Debating Society Heads: give the females a chance at learning and representing your team. If I was not, I would have no idea of grooming a team.

Hmm...Thank you for that ma. So, in essence, you're saying that the "little success" achieved among ladies stems from the failure of their leaders?

Not so, Sir. All I am saying is we all have a role to play. I explained this when I answered the question and I talked about choices and differing interests.

All I'm saying now is - leaders of these halls can help us out of this trend by making intellect more attractive. This is a strong remedy. The absence of a factor constituting the remedy does not always translate to the cause.

OK. Thank you very much ma'am. Moving on, since jaw war was ressurected a few years ago, two constituencies you represent have made it to two finals on two different occasions. You spoke in both finals, and unfortunately, you were on the losing side. Would you attribute this to ill-luck? Or was it an occurrence that was controlled by some villagers?😊

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜… Excellent observation. For the respect of these teams (Law and Queens), it's not necessary to flog this matter. Every single person would not deny the stride these two teams have made so far.

However, Jaw War is a competition. A lot goes into it - in and out, and a lot of planning for all teams.
Uhmmm...Our competitors would always prepare two times as hard to face us because they would have guessed who might be coming. I celebrate them. πŸ˜…this is all I can say. No villagers or ill-luck.
These two teams will continue to challenge their opponents and give them a run for the win.

Back to this. How easy do you think it will be to "make intellect more attractive", seeing that it is not being done in the outside world. For example, the winner of Big Brother Naija goes home with more than 15 times the amount paid to the winner of the Cowbell Mathematics competition!

I agree that the society has a serious problem with priority and it flows to every sector, including the government.

...But we would be fools to replicate the mistakes we daily complain of!. These leaders can really help by first, liaising with the hall management to secure the accommodation of all females in these societies, working for the Halls. They can do this as they arrange for how the "Miss Fantabulous" or "Miss Pencil-nose" will stay in the hall.

Then they can be more focused on how to empower the teams financially to organize events which will carry rewarding prizes. Mellanby Hall scores high on this. These little steps will shift the focus gradually until we reach the destination.

Okay. Thank you ma. How would you rate the immediate past TLDS president on a scale of 0-10? And why?

I rate her an 8. This is because, she came on board at such a challenging period in the university. We all are witnesses to the amount of hiccups last session was encumbered with. She had to change the dates of Jaw War rounds many times to meet with the changing calendar of the school. I was privy to the difficulty she passed through from the school's administration, her own crop of executives and the Senate of the TLDS, and even sponsors... It was too tiring to be combined with her academics but she gallantly passed through these.

Again, she's the first TLDS leader to complete all her plans stated in her manifesto. Infact, I make bold to say she is about the only UI leader to do this.  She successfully organized a public speaking seminar for all in UI and ended the Jaw War tournament with an amazing dinner.

Such an individual who shows promise, regardless of the circumstances must be respected. An 8 is deserving.

Thank you ma. So what happened to the other undeserved 2 ma?

I would leave the 2 marks to some faults which are quite normal during the course of leadership. What I respect is the determination to make them right and rise above them.

Okay ma. You said you were "privy to the difficulty she passed through from the school administration"

It was also whispered in some corners that the sub-dean of a faculty had said that public speaking/jaw war was not our primary priority in school.

To cap it all, not even a security personnel representing the school authorities was present at the finals of last year's edition. What then do you have to say about the school management's commitment towards TLDS?

Well, the administration of our university has so far, put effort into seeing that Jaw War is supported. We might only say that last year, it was not as other years. In the school's defence, the changing calendar and incessant strikes might have made disbursing funds difficult. However, we must still appreciate the periods we were handed the keys to lecture theatres to further the tournament, sometimes at the worst conditions of our request.

Nevertheless, the administration still has some miles to run in supporting the initiative. We look forward to better years.

Thank you ma. Quick one. If you did not study law, what would you study? And why? (Briefly)

 Medicine and Surgery. My love for seeing the practical applications with the knowledge.

Alright. Moving on. So far, it can be said that you have achieved a lot. What challenges can you say have been/are you biggest?

Biggest challenges- Making out time for my friends. Sometimes, this hurts when they do not understand my schedule.

Okay. Thank you very much. Feminism is a concept that continues to divide opinion among many. What's your take on it and where do you stand?

I do not like to participate in discussions on feminism. I do not identify as a feminist because I am sure that many who have persuaded me do not even understand what they fight for. Hence, I would not want to join a cause I do not find rewarding. That's all.

Alright. So, in very clear terms, you're not a feminist?

 Exactly. Spot on!

OK. Thank you. Now, your profile indicates that there's no place in your heart for politics. What's your take on women's politics and why have you abstained yourself?

There is a place in my heart for politics- the place that challenges and reminds leaders of their promised change and changing promises. The place that should be occupied by some intellectuals. The place of observant and mindful followers.

Women's politics, like public speaking, suffers low patronage. I have abstained from UI politics because, I have made no plans towards it which I am ready to undertake. My goals are set out and they do not include UI politics. I must say, that's a better stance than they who make no plans, yet, go forward. Too embarrassing.

Alright ma'am. Moving to the down side of life😁, behind every successful woman, there may be a man. Is there currently a man? Or can our brothers begin to dust up their CVs?

Hahahaha. I silently prayed this would not come up.

But it has.🀷🏽‍♂

I am NOT single. My heart is content. To God be the glory.

Alright. Question from the audience - What's your take on the suspended Students' Union?

The students are and as long as our union remains suspended, will be at the receiving end. Evidences are beginning to load up with the radical increase in acceptance fees. We can only begin prayers for our school fees.

I hope, as with other well-meaning students that the union be reinstated. If this is done, we must learn to manage our procedure in making requests or challenging the administration. We must. We surely must. Let new strategies be adopted.

Okay. In light of this, what practical steps did you take personally to ensure the reinstatement of the union?

 I've done nothing much practically because truly, i have enjoyed the movement of the calendar afterwards. 😁 ...But, I have been available to pencil down my opinions to people who ask as well as follow-up in the events as they unravel.

Alright. With this, we have come to end of the interview. Thanks a lot for your time ma'am.

Thank you for reading this Interview. Feel free to share with others and post on your prestigous platforms. If posted, kindly give credit to Unibadan Efiwe and WOUWO. Thanks and God Bless You.

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