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CNN Hero: Nigerian Primary School Teacher Emerges Winner

Featured CNN Hero: Nigerian Primary School Teacher Emerges Winner Photo Credit:


Sunday, December 1, 2030


A female teacher from Benue state, Nigeria, Anyan Idibia (59), has been named the 2030 CNN Hero of the Year. Idibia raise leaders and innovators by taking her teaching beyond the classroom and period of years her students spend under her tutelage. She makes it a point of duty to mentor her students from their young novice ages through to successful and fulfilled adulthood. Among them are two former governors (Benue and Kogi states) and the current African best player of the year, Moses Okuga.


Beyond being a teacher, she plays the role of a mother, motivator, counsellor, provider and hero, all at once. She is known by many for her passion to see the potential in our students unleashed. According to one of her former students and the current commissioner for education in Lagos state, Mrs Gladys Uhambe, “she was more of a motivational speaker than a teacher. She practically told us every single day that we were leaders, born to lead in our areas of endeavor. She taught us to be vision-focused. We were always distinguished in the school. We were more mature and had positive disposition to life. She deserves the award every year for the next five years.”


A good number of her old students got their university admission or job placement through her network of friends. “Everything I have today I got through her – my university admission, my current job, even my wife – because it was the advice she gave me that made me marry this virtuous woman. She has invested so much in all her students…“children” I meant to say. Even some of our mothers envy her. She is truly a hero and am happy she won,’ said Ihejirika Udoma, an IT entrepreneur with over N800M yearly turn over.


In an interview with CNN’s Sarah Akwanga, Idibia said “This is what God created me to do. I am simply doing what gives me fulfillment. I call, at least, two of them on a daily basis, not to talk of those who call me by themselves. For me, it’s about grooming our children. You want to secure the future of a nation, you have to invest in the lives of these young ones. Any policy that does not support that will result in activities in futility.


When asked on how she finances her activities, she said “yes, it was really really expensive for me to cope for the first 10 years, because most of them were still in secondary school or higher institutions and I forbade them from sending me money. Now, I even forget the amount I have in my account"


Her husband, Mr Clement Idibia, who is a renowned exporter of agricultural products said “I am really blessed to have her. She has given me many children I couldn’t have birthed. Everywhere I go, people respect and favour me only because of her.” Mr Idibia is also a mentor partner with Mara Mentors and Fate Foundation where he mentors “agropreneurs” without pay.


Mrs Idibia emerged winner from among over 13, 000 nominees across over 100 countries. She was awarded a sum of $400, 000 in addition to $75, 000 given to all top 10 finalists.


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