Who is Obianuju Ekeocha?
Obianuju Ekeocha is a Nigerian woman and who has for the past seven years been living and working in the United Kingdom as a Biomedical Scientist.
She also has written many articles including “Open Letter to Melinda Gates” and “In Defense of Dignity and Authentic Development” which have been translated and published by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of the Laity as well as other websites, media outlets and newspapers. She is a member of Catholic Voices UK.
Obianuju is also the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the preservation and promotion of a Culture of Life in Africa through the dissemination of good information, sensitisation and education. Her passion and privilege is to work in defense of the sanctity and dignity of life.
Why are you so passionate about the Catholic Church?
I have found the Catholic Church to be home to all humanity . It is a universal Church that embraces people of all nations, races, tongues and tribes . And together as one family the Catholic Church offers us the path to goodness and holiness, she teaches us virtues and values that make for human flourishing, she teaches us how to be the best version of ourselves, so that each person can be an excellent mother, father, daughter, worker, helper, friend or citizen .
I love the Catholic Church so much because I learn to excel within the teachings and preachings of the Church . But most importantly I learn from the Catholic Church how to love and serve God without compromise or half-measures and how to serve the society with real Christian joy and simplicity.
Why do you love Africa so much?
Wow ! I never really thought of my love for Africa until I moved out of Africa 8 years ago.
At the age of 26 I found myself living in a little known town in Ireland called Enniskillen where I was one of the 5 Africans living in a town of about 20,000 people.
And I found myself getting very close to the other Africans who were from South Africa and Zimbabwe .
During this time, I got to realise that from one African nation to the next, we all share our African values of faith, family, and precious life .
This was very glaring to me especially as life in Europe and America is becoming more distorted by the rise of the Culture of Death .
It is precisely my reflections and appreciation of our African Culture of Life that confirmed and fortified my undiluted love for Africa and all African people no matter their county of origin .
How does your scientific background play a role in what you do outside the lab?
My scientific background has been quite instrumental in forming and informing me with regards to ethics and bioethics . I work with human blood, so I am always very aware of the awe and wonder of life .
I also have the privilege of working in the healthcare setting where I am very involved with disease diagnosis and patient treatment. So as a result, I have a high regard for human life and a strong desire to defend the dignity of every person even if they are paralysed, disabled, unconscious, they are still in the image of God and so we must care for them until natural death.
Why Culture of Life Africa?
Culture of Life Africa was formed as an initiative dedicated to the promotion and propagation of the Gospel of Life in Africa through the dissemination of good information, sensitisation and education.
It was indeed a response to the disturbing encroachment of the bold and wealthy proponents of the Culture of Death, as well as the unbelievable cultural pressure that is beginning to erode and alter the trajectory of the African cultural values of life, marriage, motherhood, family and faith.
So we are dedicated to following and highlighting through our blog and Facebook Page the News on Life issues in and about Africa, especially where the sanctity of human life is being attacked, where the proponents of population control fail to realise that the population is a collection of special, specific human beings, where the talk of “sexual health” becomes more emphatic than real maternal and neonatal health and where sex-education is given more importance than real formative education .
It is platform/forum for all people of good will who wish to join in discussing and dissuading the radical reformers from the massive destructive cultural shift that they are trying to trigger in Africa. So that together, we can build up a lasting Culture of Life and Civilisation of Love, for this generation and the generations to come.
What lessons in your opinion can Africa teach the West when it comes to this culture of life?
The most precious gift that Africans can give to the world at this point in history is our inherent Culture of Life. Most Africans understand, by faith and tradition, the inestimable value of human life, the beauty of womanhood, the grace of motherhood and the blessing of married life. All of these have been distorted in most of the Western countries where abortion and contraception are alarmingly high, where women have become extremely objectified in a casual-sex culture, where motherhood is derided and denigrated and where marriage is being brutally deconstructed and redefined to accommodate gay couples.
Africa can offer the world a better view of the human person upheld in dignity, but to do that Africans have to be confident that they possess something precious to offer, more precious than even high technological advancements,they have the Culture of Life and Civilisation of love and so they should humbly but firmly offer it to the rest of the world .
Recently you held a workshop on culture of life in Nigera. How was the response?
We recently held a series of pro-life events in Nigeria with the close collaboration between Culture of Life Africa and the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri and this marvellous collaborative effort brought the message of Life and Dignity to so many people who received it with much joy, gladness, and gratitude.
In fact, the message cut through the Enugu and Owerri communities like a double-edged sword to set free women who have been bound by the weight and lies of “modern” artificial contraceptives; the exuberant youth who have been led to believe (by the aggressive publicity ads and campaigns) that condoms will protect them from HIV rather than abstinence and fidelity; the good clergy, seminarians and religious who are in the privileged position to offer hope and spiritual direction to so many; the healthcare professionals who have been convinced that modern medicine must provide artificial contraception and abortion; the government officials and legislators who have been under immense pressure from the abortion lobbyists; indeed, the pro-life message resounded through the land, bringing with it hope and courage to the hearts and minds of many.
On the last day of the events, there was a great March for Life through the city of Owerri. This attracted many, many people from all facets of society: men, women, youth, children, strong, ailing, rich, and poor alike . People came out with great zest and zeal to support the Sanctity and Dignity of Life from conception to natural death. They sang, danced, and prayed that social poisons like abortion and same-sex marriage will never be accepted in their culture and so never be legalized in their country. Their voices and their prayers resonated from one end of the city to the other .
So the overall response was overwhelmingly positive .
What were the lessons learnt from that workshop?
As the events unfolded, various excellent pro-life speakers (from around the world ) gave talks on a broad array of topics (ranging from the dangers of abortion, contraception, same-sex unions, moral decadence and pornography) . We also facilitated leadership training sessions for pro-life leaders in Owerri teaching them how to strengthen the pro-life movement in Nigeria. All of this strengthened and inspired the young and old alike as they enthusiastically absorbed the good and sound information that was being presented to them.
For many of them, it was their first real exposure to the truth about abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage”, promiscuity, pre-marital sex, and pornography – all of which are now being woven into most the modern day entertainment, media, movies, and even music.
In this age of globalisation, we know that the seeds of the Culture of Death are being felt everywhere (including in Africa) and the committed proponents of this decadent culture are desperately trying to redefine and re-calibrate the moral ethical standards around the world.
Do you plan on extending this workshop to other African countries say Ghana or South Africa?
My hope and prayer is that we can bring exactly the same package (conference, seminars, lectures and March for Life rally) to other parts of Africa since the attack on the sanctity of life and marriage is happening everywhere .
All we need to do this in another African city is an invitation by the local Catholic diocese or a local pro-life group . So please invite us and we will come to your area!
Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and any other country in Africa . We would want to come in with the pro-life message in order to fortify their local pro-life groups and initiatives .
Why should a woman choose life over abortion?
Because life is precious and life is sacred, including and especially tender life in the womb .
Even if a baby is conceived in a difficult or unexpected circumstance, he or she should not be sentenced to death (by abortion) for being “unwanted” or “unplanned”.
The most merciful thing that a woman can do in this life is to give life, to bear a child within her womb, and to give yet another special unrepeatable person to the human race .
Motherhood in itself is a grace to which women are called, it is our natural response to choose life, love and light for our offspring and so to choose abortion is to choose violent death for the babies and haunting darkness for the women who choose it.
Your final thought.
I would love to encourage all Africans to please rise up and start discussing these critical issues before irreversible anti-life laws are passed in your countries . Consider the new wave of attacks in the West on marriage, motherhood, right to life and dignity. Speak to your family and friends to rise to the responsibility of preserving the Culture of Life around you . Get the right information so that you can defend life and dignity wherever it is under attack . Complacency is no longer an option for you or me.
This is real and it is happening in our life time, we can all rise to the occasion and do what we can for the mission of life .
Please join us in these discussions on our Culture of Life Africa Facebook page and blog . We need to uphold and defend the dignity and sanctity of life and marriage in Africa. We have to build up an authentic Culture of Life.
Obianuju Ekeocha is a committed cradle Catholic born and raised in Nigeria. She has a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Nigeria and an MSc in Biomedical Science from the University of East London. She is currently living and working as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Canterbury, England. She has a passion for preserving, promoting and presenting the African Culture of Life and on that note she wrote “An Open Letter to Melinda Gates,” published by Catholic Online and “In Defense of Dignity” published by Catholic Exchange. Her highest ambition is to be a missionary of the Gospel of Life in Africa and beyond. She is part of Culture of Life Africa (Culture de Vie Afrique), an initiative dedicated to the promotion and propagation of the Gospel of Life in Africa through the dissemination of good information, sensitisation and education.