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Everyday Heroes

Everyday Heroes: Modupe Ozolua

Born on the 10th of October, 1973 in Benin City, Nigeria, Modupe Ozolua is an Nigerian-American philanthropist and entrepreneur. She is the former CEO of Body Enhancement Ltd, and is currently operating as the Founding President of Empower 54 Project Initiatives (Empower 54) formerly known as Body Enhancement Annual Reconstructive Surgery (BEARS) Foundation.


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Early life and Education

She grew up in the Royal House of the Benin Kingdom where her great grandfather Oba Ozolua was the legendary Benin warrior King. She is therefore a direct descendant of the Oba (King) Ozolua of the Benin Kingdom, Edo State, Nigeria. Modupe Ozien Ozolua is the youngest of four siblings born to Prince Julius I. Ozolua, an educationist, and Princess Olua Mary S. Ozolua (née Otaru), a Princess and entrepreneur from Ososo, Akoko-Edo LGA, Edo State. Her name “Modupe” means “I praise God” in Yoruba.

Princess earned an Associate degree in Business Administration and Management from Southwestern College, San Diego (California) in 1993, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Devry International University, Los Angeles, California in 1995. At Southwestern College, she was inducted into the Alpha Pi Epsilon, chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and recognized as an outstanding student by the Southwestern Dean’s Honorary List and the National Dean’s List (1994 – 1995).

Modupe: Breaking the Myth, Smashing the Limits

Princess Modupe Ozolua returned to Nigeria in 2001, and founded Body Enhancements Ltd- a cosmetic surgery company – the very first of its kind in West Africa. Despite all the challenges of having a controversial service in a very traditional African country, Body Enhancement Ltd revolutionized the beauty and health sectors in Nigeria. Princess Modupe used the platform her business provided her to educate about the safety of plastic surgery, breaking prevalent myths of the time.

In 2003, she founded Empower 54 (formerly known as Body Enhancement Foundation, or Body Enhancement Annual Reconstructive Surgery (BEARS)), an international humanitarian organization dedicated to providing desperately needed humanitarian assistance such as medical missions, hunger eradication, education, women/girl empowerment and refugee programs to underprivileged Africans. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the Patron for Empower 54.


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All humanitarian aid rendered through Empower 54 is free to the beneficiaries. Under the leadership of Princess Modupe, Empower 54’s ‘Rise Above Terror’ initiative has been active in rehabilitating women and children survivors of the terrorist group, Boko Haram in Nigeria, through self-employment and education for the children at the IDP camps. Princess Modupe personally leads the Empower 54 team into communities attacked by Boko Haram in remote parts of Northeast Nigeria to help survivors of terrorist attacks.

During one of the foundation’s missions, she discovered the extremely malnourished children rescued from Boko Haram’s captivity and facilitated the collaboration between Empower 54 and the Borno State Government in evacuating them to Maiduguri for urgent CMAM treatment. 1,500 extremely malnourished children were evacuated from Bama, along with their families.

Other Projects

  • Provision of Vitamin A and Albendazol medication for 5 Million children in the Oil producing states of the Niger Delta, Nigeria (February 2018)
  • Provision of Vitamin A and Albendazol medication for 620,000 children in Province du Mai-Ndombe, RDC (September 2017)
  • Donation of paint and computers to schools in Province du Mai-Ndombe, RDC (May 2017)
  • Establishment of small-scale Ready-To-Use-Therapeutic-Foods (RUTF) production facility in Abuja, Nigeria (March 2017)
  • Donation of 40 feet container of medication and nutritional meals to IDPs, Borno State, Nigeria (January 2017)
  • Evacuation of extremely malnourished children from Bama, Borno State, Nigeria. (June 2016)
  • Building of 2 classrooms for IDP children, Bakasi IDP camp, Maiduguri (June 2016)
  • Empower 54 Annual African Art Gala, Atlanta, GA (April 30, 2016)
  • Rise Above Terror..What Happens Next? Abuja, Nigeria (October 9, 2015)
  • Malkoi Camp & NYSC Camp, Adamawa State, Nigeria. (September 2015)
  • Government Junior Secondary School (GJSS) renovation of schools destroyed by Boko Haram in Uba, Adamawa State (July 2015)
  • Adamawa, Gombe and Borno States: Inspection of communities destroyed by Boko Haram (May/June 2015)
  • Adamawa and Borno States: E54’s RISE caps pilot scheme (April 2015)
  • Adamawa State: Establishment of school at IDP camp (February 2015)
  • Gombe State: Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gombe State, North East Nigeria ( February 2015)
  • Free medical missions in Ethiopia, Mali, Niger Republic and Zambia (2010 till Present)
  • Tabora, Tanzania: Medical Mission (2007)
  • Kwara State, Nigeria: Free National Medical Mission (2006)
  • Niger Delta, Nigeria: Reconstructive Surgery for underprivileged children (2005)
  • Edo State, Nigeria: Reconstructive surgery of Victims of contaminated kerosene explosions (2004)
  • Niger Delta, Nigeria: Reconstructive Surgery for underprivileged children (2004)
  • Niger Delta and Kano State: Bringing Hope to Nigerian Children Suffering From Birth Defects (2003)

Awards

Award of Excellence, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moremi Hall Executive Council, Ile-ife.

Beautician of the Year, 5th City People Award for Excellence.

Excellence in Enterprise Award, Dr Kwame Nkrumah International Award, Ghana.

Female Achiever of the Year, (2001), City People Award, Nigeria.

Humanitarian Service Award, Rotaract Club of Nigeria (Rotary International)

Merit Award, Lagos State Aids Control Agency, Governor’s Office (LSACA) Outstanding Nigerian Woman. Nigerian Women’s Award, 5th Annual Ceremony.

SheRose Awards (2018), SheRose, Ireland.

Sources:

 My Life Style NG

Wikipedia

Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG


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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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