Is there any bigger way for your work as an activist to be recognised and honoured than recognition from the Queen of England herself? Itoro Eze-Anaba found out recently when she was honoured with a Commonwealth Point of Light Award for her work with the very important Mirabel Centre in Lagos, a non-profit organization that has done some very vital work caring for and providing justice for victims of rape and sexual assault.
The recognition was announced by the Media officer of the British High Commission in NIgeria, Mr. Joseph Abuku, citing the 3100 victims of rape and assault that Mrs. Eze-Anaba and the Mirabel Centre have successfully helped, not to mention the thousands of others that the centre has educated on sexual assault, rape and consent. While accepting the award which was given to her in a small ceremony at the high commission, Mrs. Eze-Anaba had this to say.
“On behalf of the dedicated, tireless and resolute team that is determined to give voice to the voiceless, strength to the weak and hope to the hopeless, I am sure that this award marks the beginning of a joint effort to uproot this evil that relentlessly battles for our future.
“This award is a reiteration of our message of ‘No To Rape!’”
While I will not dwell on the irony of the British Monarchy, who sanctioned several million acts of rape and sexual assault during the height of colonization and never apologised for it or compensated their victims, coming now to honour other people for doing the work they simply wouldn’t do is rich, but if anyone deserves an honour of this level of visibility, it is the Mirabel Centre, and Eze-Anaba. Eze-Anaba created the Mirabel Centre with little to no external funding and has kept it open all these years by a supernatural will to help others and stellar fundraising. For the Queen of England to recognize her in this way simply means that our work, no matter how little, really matters.