Nekpen Obasogie is the key host of NEBO TV in Toronto, Canada. She was recently elected as the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigerian Canadian Association (NCA) in Toronto, Canada.
Her online television network (NEBO TV) was inspired and birthed by an organization she founded at York University called Immigrant Women’s Alliance (IWA) in 2015. Nekpen is popularly known for promoting Benin Cultural Heritage in Nigeria and the Diaspora. Her enthusiasm and love for Benin Culture are primarily rooted in her childhood memories and upbringing in Benin City.
She argues that the Benin Culture is one of the most important and richest of all Cultures in the world. As a result, Nekpen has taken the bold initiative and stance of promoting and showcasing the rich Benin Cultural Heritage to the rest of the world. In 2021, she published her first historical book titled Great Benin: The Alcazar of Post-Colonial Culture and Its Relationship with the Europeans Since 1400 AD. The book analyzes the political, social, and cultural arrangement of the Benin Kingdom before the advent of the Europeans in the land. Furthermore, it summarized the relationship between the Benin Kingdom and the Europeans, such as the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Spanish, and the French. How this relationship helped a great deal to enhance the development and civilization in the Benin Kingdom. The book summarizes the British Punitive Expedition of 1897 in Benin. She argues that the contact between Benin and the Europeans was a conglomeration of development and domination, as the relationship resulted in acculturation and colonialism.
Nekpen is also a passionate advocate for Women’s Rights and their recognition. She gainfully asserts that the experiences of most women especially, those from ethnic minority groups, are less publicly highlighted in many Western Countries. As a result of this inappropriate gap, she took it upon herself, to create the African Women of Elegance group page, to showcase the missing spotlight on the beauty and talents of African women. The success of that group page led her to upgrade it into an Online Television Program (NEBO TV) in Toronto. NEBO TV, as it is popularly known, focuses on shining light on talents and highlighting some of the major issues affecting people in Africa. Nekpen doubles also as the founder of an Organization in Africa called the “African Child Labour Relief Foundation” (ACLRF). The purpose of this foundation is to eliminate homelessness and the dire economic burden among African Children. Assisting them to get quality education and basic necessities of life.
The core objectives of this organization include the opening of small businesses for the low and ‘no-income’ group of families, and also advocating for Government, social and financial assistance (especially Child Benefit Program), for vulnerable families. In Nigeria, for instance, young children of eight-year-old and younger are street vendors in the cities. A myriad of Nigerian children are facing a lack of social assistance in the system, they are usually subjected to harsh economic vagaries, so they have to seek economic sustainability, and support for themselves and their families. This harsh reality is foretelling this economic excruciation on these families. Nekpen Obasogie is a dedicated and ambitious Nigerian-Canadian woman of vision. She is humane and caring. Her hard work and educational successes continue to guide her visionary passion, which finds expressions through her community services, and humanitarian endeavors, such as promoting the Nigerian Cultural Heritage fora, empowering women, and using her Online Television Programs to shine a light on people’s talents and achievements and raising awareness about some of the very important issues affecting people in Nigeria and other African Countries. During the 2014-15 School year, Nekpen’s academic achievements qualified her as a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. In 2015, she was among the ten students nominated for the Award at York University by the Golden Key International Honour Society. As an immigrant woman in Canada, Nekpen Blessing Obasogie has gained a lot of personal experience in life which starts to rile off as astounding and encouraging, especially the many barriers faced by the Immigrant Communities in the country. She has come to the conclusion, that education was the major key to social and economic integration. To address this issue, she formed an association – under the York Federation of Students’ Club at York University called “Immigrant Women’s Alliance” (IWA) in the 2014 to 2015 academic year. This organization seeks to empower immigrant women, especially those that are facing social integration challenges in the areas of education and accessing social services. She believes that education benefits women, their children, families based in Canadian society, and the rest of the world. In 2016, she graduated from York University with Honours and a Bachelor’s degree in “Sociology” and a second degree in “Law and Society.” Then a Certificate in “Refugee and Migration Studies” was added to her coffers.
On June 19th, 2019, she walked through the aisle and collected her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) at York University. Nekpen’s educational accomplishments cannot be separated from her dedication to community service and activism. In the process of getting an education, the articles she has written as a blogger, have all attracted a significant audience. Indeed, in early October 2016, Bronze Page Magazine in the US published one of her articles, which addressed some of the most biting social barrier issues affecting African Immigrants when they migrate to the Western Nations.
On January 15th, 2019 Nekpen Obasogie received an Africa Luminary Cultural Heritage Award of Excellence, for promoting Benin Cultural Heritage in Diaspora. 2. On February 24th, 2019, she was also recognized in the Toronto Police Service’s Black History Month Magazine. 3. On May 4th, 2019, Nekpen Obasogie received another Award from the Nigerian Canadian Newspaper in Toronto. 4. On September 28th, 2019, she received Community Excellency Award from Abedorc Arts and Entertainment in Toronto, Canada. 5. On February 23rd, 2020, Nekpen Obasogie received an Award from Toronto Police Service today. “Black History Month Award” hosted by Toronto Police Service. 6. In 2021, Nekpen was recognized as one of the prominent women in the Benin kingdom in a book titled Ancient Heroines and Modern Women in the Benin Kingdom. 7. On May 30th, 2021, she was elected as the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigerian Canadian Association (NCA) GTA Environ. 8. Black Diamond Awards May 27th, 202. 9. In 2015, Academic Achievements Qualified for Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. 10. In 2015, Nominated for the Golden Key International Honour
Nekpen Obasogie – by Tony Abolo
AN AMAZING AMAZON, THE TRAILBLAZING STORY OF A LADY WITH NUMEROUS LAURELS, NEKPEN BLESSING OBASOGIE
Nekpen Obasogie, a young girl growing up in Benin in a large family in the historic Oliha Quarters of Benin city, but with a burning hope of a brighter tomorrow, even if in the skies. Her mother, Janet Esiliba a struggling mother, with much love in her heart, who either through culture or circumstances was skeptical about the prospect of female education. But Nekpen’s father, an educated Benin man, Roland Obasogie believed in the potential of Nekpen at a critical age. Her father saw light in her that many could not comprehend when she was very young. This led him to bestow her with the name “Blessing” when she was about 12 years old in the Benin kingdom. Most pathetic of all, Nekpen became an orphan in her early twenties, leaving her with younger siblings to cater for. Such were the origins surrounding the now success story, Nekpen Blessing Obasogie. No one would believe the hurdles and emotional challenges she had to endure to overcome and become what she is today:
- On January 15th, 2019 Nekpen Obasogie received an Africa Luminary Cultural Heritage Award of Excellence, for promoting Benin Cultural Heritage in Diaspora.
- On February 24th, 2019, she was also recognized in the Toronto Police Service’s Black History Month Magazine.
- On May 4th, 2019, Nekpen Obasogie received another Award from the Nigerian Canadian Newspaper in Toronto.
- On September 28th, 2019, she received Community Excellency Award from Abedorc Arts and Entertainment in Toronto, Canada.
- On February 23rd, 2020, Nekpen Obasogie received an Award from Toronto Police Service today. “Black History Month Award” hosted by Toronto Police Service.
- In 2021, Nekpen was recognized as one of the prominent women in the Benin kingdom in a book titled Ancient Heroines and Modern Women in the Benin Kingdom.
- On May 30th, 2021, she was elected as the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigerian Canadian Association (NCA) GTA Environ.
- May 27th, 2022 Black Diamond Awards in Toronto, Canada.
- In 2015, Academic Achievements Qualified for Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, York University – Toronto, Canada.
- In 2015, Nominated for the Golden Key International Honour Society Award, York University -Toronto, Canada.
- December 16th, 2021, Honorary Pen Award from the Association of Nigerian Authors, Edo State Chapter.
- December 4th, 2021, Honorary Award from Edo State Social Media Influencers.
- October 26th, 2022 Urban Hero Award in Toronto
These include many other awards she has received in Canada and Nigeria for her fascinating work. All these awards in a span of thirteen years! Arriving in Canada in 2008, 13 years later, she is on everybody’s lips. It can only be God’s grace. And behold, on September 25th, 2021, she launched her book, Great Benin the Alcazar of Post Colonial Culture, online in Toronto. The Second session of the book launch was hosted in California, in the United States, on November 27th, 2021.
What has been her motivation? It was the inspirational and guidance words, her late dad, passed on to her soul; stressing every time that “Education is the tool for success and breakthrough in life, the way out of doom!! Dispirited at the demise of her father in 1994, it was like her world came crashing down as there would be no one to provide that educational lever see her through life. But she was never going to give up. Her father’s words kept ringing in her mind and that became the inner message that fired her up and saw her climbing the educational ladder, years after leaving Ihogbe Secondary School, Benin City, in 1994.
Nekpen Blessing Obasogie arrived in Montreal, Canada in circumstances only she can tell the intimate story. Well, upon arriving in Canada, she took a decisive step to adapt to Canadian and Educational life, she had to repeat her high school education, not minding that she was in her thirties. Today she had two first degrees, one in Sociology, and the second one in Law and Society, a Master’s Degree in Social Work and to boot, a certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies. She is currently working towards achieving her Ph.D. Who knows what else, she could want to read next? In any case, her second book is in the offing to be published in 2022.
So many things could be said about this amazing and energetic amazon from the ancient city of Benin. Her fascinating inspirations and enthusiasm for invention propelled her to take such a difficult task upon herself to write a book based on the relationship between the Europeans and Benin kingdom. Most Benin Historical books have all been written by men. It is outstanding that as a woman, she is passionate to draw inspiration from her childhood memories and upbringing in Benin City to propagate the history and culture of the Benin kingdom before a global audience, retelling ancient history from her own unique perspectives. She is often referred to as a pride of the Benin Kingdom in the diaspora and the cultural exponent of no mean repute! Her book launch on September 25th, 2022 was historical, as her friends, family and the Benin people stormed the event not only to support her but also to honor her with some inspirational comments and sonorous songs of encomium for her outstanding achievements.
Her passion for community service started when she was at York University in Toronto, Canada for her graduate, and Post Graduate Studies. While there, she was known to be passionate about ethnic minority groups, and the little publicity they get. The passion and enthusiasm she brought to bear in those activities, led to her upgrading the communication output into NEBO TV, an online Television, and NEBO TV Magazine, an online journal that focuses on issues affecting Africans and Immigrants in Western Society. In fact, her blog on such issues once got published in a U.S.A-based magazine, Bronze Page Magazine. An exemplary community mobilizer, even while at school, she shone brightly at York University, earning herself in the 2014 – 2015 Academic year, as a Golden Key International Society member. In 2015, she was among the ten students nominated for an interview for the Golden Key award at York University.
Her focus never departs from women’s. emancipation especially, utilizing education as a key tool. She has to her credit, the Immigrant Women’s Alliance while at York University, under the banner of the York Federation of Students Club. This alliance is meant to assist Immigrant Women facing Social Integration Challenges in the area of Education and accessing social services. Her relative academic deprivation at a young age has left her with a scar and a burning zeal to stand in the gap. She is not done yet, as there are still many she could do with her inspiration and help, all thanks to the words her late father kept encouraging her with and whispering into her ears. Her father’s inspirational messages continue to resonate with her even in her adult age. This has become the burning passion and root of her success story and achievement in life.
Written by Mr. Tony Abolo