To many Nigerians, Nollywood screen diva Stephanie Okereke comes across easily as a very talented actress, so gifted, elegant, and sociable, that they wouldn‘t mind placing a fat bet on her any day. Yet none of Miss Okereke‘s numerous fans and admirers know that underneath her calm and contemplative exterior lies a compassionate heart; one that is quite clearly set on wiping off tears from the brows of the women folk in Nigeria. Sometime last week Okereke toured parts of Ebony State in company with some representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/ACQUIRE Fistula Care Project who were on a mission to eradicate Fistula in Nigeria. We gathered that the tour, which took the visitors to the South East Regional Fistual Centre in Abakaliki and other places, did not only expose the actress to the harsh reality of the existence of fistula in Nigeria; it actually made her pledge to continue the fight against the disease with all the resources within her reach. For the second time, Okereke is hitting the spotlight for her sustained interest in and desire for a fistula-free society. Obviously the experience has encouraged her to throw her weight behind the campaign for safe motherhood in Nigeria. Only time will tell if her preoccupation with finding solutions to the problems afflicting women and the less privileged will eventually yield greater dividends than Nollywood.
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