Ogechukwu (Oge) Eneh: Nigerian Woman shaking the political tables in Finland turns 60, Reflects on Life

Ogechukwu (Oge) Eneh: Nigerian Woman shaking the political tables in Finland turns 60, Reflects on Life

April 10
05:09 2021

Nigerian women are making the news all over the world. With the likes of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala taking the centre stage in global politics, more attention is being zoomed in on Nigerian women making strides in their different endeavours. One of such women is the dynamic, irrepressible, and confident Ogechukwu Eneh, who worked against all odds to seek for an elective position in Finland’s municipal elections. Although she lost, she earned significant recognition from the country’s political elite. She turned 60, Monday, April 12, and took out time of her busy schedule to respond to our questionnaire of life at 60

Q. What does life mean to you?

A. To live means Independence, achieve and be equal

Q. What’s been the most driving force in your life?

A. The Christian upbringing, foundation from home!

Q. What dreams and goals did you have growing up?

A. To be heard through my ballpoint/pen. To be a path leader/road bulldozer, break barriers, question all stereotypes on gender equality in Igbo culture.

Q. How did you decide what you wanted to do in life?

A. Hard work in my studies, closed ears to distractors that complimented my physical outlook (you are beautiful), Being responsible, setting goals and being persistent.

Q How did you travel to Europe?

A. I was invited for an entrance exam to enter the University of Helsinki.

Q. What was your first job? 

A. I was a Teacher at Girls Secondary school, Nnobi in Anambra State.

Q. What did you like or not like about it?

A. I inherited teaching from my both parents, who were Headmaster and Home Economics teachers. I love teaching, I still facilitate teaching & learning processes.

Q. What kinds of things bring you the most pleasure now?

A. When I see persons I have mentored have a breakthrough to their dream. 

Q. What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but still don’t have?

A. A partnership that is equal with respect at home.

Q. Do you have any hobbies or special interests? 

A. Yes I travel, healthy food making, different cultures experiencing through Art exhibitions, theatre and Nordic stick walk.

Q. What’s your typical day like now? 

A. 6am is my wakeup time. I read the bible & meditate. I Exercise. I take coffee & bread with cheese. I Leave home for work (8 – 16 hrs). I Cook dinner. I read a book, or listen to talks online. I also Watch news/ Participate in Societal social networking

Q. How is it different from your daily routines in the past?

A. Am more Introspective, Slow with activities, listen to my inner self, enjoy Silence, I have boundaries with family, self, and work. 
I look out for learning and insights in different activities and discussions, am involved in.

Q. What’s been your most memorable let down in life?

A. Divorce! I felt like a failure, and carried a longtime of shame

Q. What have been your most challenging experiences in life?

A. Aspiration to reach the glass ceiling in career as first generation black Nigerian/Finn.

Q. How did you overcome them?

A. Focus, to produce more African Talents to the Finnish society by role modelling.

Q. What propelled you up?

A. Writing, research, publishing & networking with Finns.

Q. What is your motto in life?

A. Be the change you want to see.

Q. What valuable lessons have you learnt in and about life that you want to share with others?

A. You are the one who creates the boundaries, on how to relate with others. We get treated, the way we treat ourselves. If you treat yourself with respect and integrity, others will do the same.

Q. What things are most important to you now? Why?

A. To educate my children & grandchildren about their culture, family, and food.

Q. Why?
A. A person without the knowledge of their past, origin and culture is like a tree that is planted in a shallow soil that falls hard when the wind blows.

Q. How have your dreams and goals changed through your life?

A. At the beginning I planned to come back to Nigeria after my Master degree in Education, to use the knowledge to impact the education curriculum in Nigeria. After graduation in 1991, I returned to a position of a Senior lecturer at the Institute for Management & Technology in Enugu from 1991 – 1993. The political insecurity, lack of salary payment along with strikes, made me quit the job and come back to Finland.

In 2008, I came on a sabbatical leave planning to establish a private Nigeria/Finnish School at Abuja. I paid the fee to the Ministry for land acquisition for business use at Abuja, uptil this day, I did not get the land nor the refund. These cold experiences discouraged me.

I have a good job in Helsinki, I am a professional, active in National politics,  established an Association, Africa in Finland to support the integration of Africans and other minorities living in Finland.


Q. What legacies would you like to be remembered for any time you are spoken about?

A. To be remembered as a Nigerian born black Finn, woman who built bridges between migrants & Finns. As my Finnish associate, Ms Haapaniemi wrote ” Oge Eneh is a recognised leader with political sensibility, a warm hearted educator, and specialist in multicultural competence, who builds bridges between people with diverse backgrounds. She gently encourages people around her.

Q. What memories would you like evoked anytime your name is mentioned?

A. Positive, Nation builder.

Q. What footprints would you like to leave on the sands of time?

A. I clearly want to mark that with God first in our life. His timing is the best. Free yourself to free someone else.

Q. What impact would you say you have made in life?

A. A fulfilled mother & grandmother.

Q. What events stand out in your mind? 

A. The invitation from the President of Finland 2015, to join the 98 years Independence Anniversary of Finland. 

Q. Do you think about the future? 

A. I think about Retirement

Q. What are your concerns about the future?

A. My Family and my role.

Q. What’s your most cherished family tradition? Why is it important?

A. Summer holiday. we pick the blueberries in the woods, to bake fresh pie to celebrate the holiday. Children are home. Christmas holiday also. we are all home. Breakfast takes three hours. It becomes storytelling time. nobody is in a hurry. We cook egwusi soup, when we gather, and make Suya!

Q. What have you liked best about your life so far? 

A. Peace & good health

Q. What is your happiest or proudest moment?

A. When Children, their partners, and grandchildren visit.

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April 2021