By Henry Umahi
Mrs, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu was born to parents from Imo State but she found love in Ondo State. And over the years, she had been standing beside her husband, Rotimi Akeredolu, a legal luminary and governor of Ondo State. And as a woman after her husband’s heart, Ondo State is one of the most gender-friendly in the country.
Indeed, the life of Mrs. Akeredolu depicts a woman of sterner stuff. She started playing on the national stage even before her husband came into public.
At a time when little or nothing was known about breast cancer, she was afflicted with the rapacious ailment but she fought it and survived.
But rather than hide her experience as most women are wont, she began to raise awareness about the disease while also helping those afflicted with it to get treatment.
It was her resolution that led to the founding of Breast Cancer Aware- ness in Nigeria (BRECAN), a nongovernmental organization, which has helped immensely in creating awareness about the scourge of breast cancer.
To be sure, the mandate of BRECAN is not just raising awareness about the disease, it also under-takes research about the ailment and offers financial assistance to patients.
For helping to save the life of many breast cancer- stricken, women Mrs. Akeredolu has won many local and international recognition.
Being passionate about the girl child, Mrs. Akeredolu has been preaching gender equality and inclusiveness.
When she became the First Lady of Ondo State in 2016, she established BEMORE to create more opportunities for the girl child.
Over the years, hundreds of girls have been trained in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and skill acquisition programmes.
Some of the beneficiaries have also trained other girls and some have become employers of labour. So, it’s a win-win situation.
She is also an advocate for more women holding leadership positions
in sphere. This led to the establishment of Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO), aimed at mobilising and preparing women to occupy important leadership positions in society.
She has also expanded her women empowerment in Ondo State by creating a digital portal where widows can register and be accessed. Those who qualified are empowered in various ways. Mrs Akeredolu is digital savvy and makes use of social media platforms effectively.
That’s why she is fondly called Digital Mama.
For her staunch support for her husband, The Sun crowns her the Most Sup- portive First Lady 2021.