Ibim advised women striving in political space, she said; “The honest answer, is that, Women are the ones who suffer most before and during the elections. They are the ones who follow the aspirants to campaign, they are the ones who stay in the sun and the rain during the electioneering campaign. They are the ones who queue to vote. But when the people they suffer all these things forget to power, they quickly forget them and dish out positions to the men who stayed in a room drinking brandy under the guise of strategizing.”(In an interview with Tribune Newspaper).
Ibim exclusive quote “THAT, ULTIMATELY, THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER ARE THE LIVES WE TOUCH AND THE LOVE WE GIVE AND RECEIVE. EVERYTHING ELSE IS EPHEMERAL”.
Tamunoibim (Ibim) Semenitari has made a remarkable impact on the ethos of servitude and has led by example in all she has done. She was born into a family of service driven individuals. Like her father Gabriel Toby who was a former Deputy Governor of Rivers State and past District Governor (Rotary) and her mother Dame Dr. Christie Toby who was the former Chief Commissioner, Nigeria Girl Guide Association and founder of ABEC Group of Schools, she devoted her time and effort to servitude carrying on the reputable legacy of her family.
Ibim’s remarkability and enviable achievement did not just start as she has been exuding great potentials right from her formative years. At age four, she was a regular on television screens as she featured in the weekly television programme “kindaffair” on NTA Port Harcourt. A few years later, she was one of the lead discussants on Young Brains, a dialogue programme that addressed current affairs from the perspective of children and young people. Her discourse on these programmes led the path to her life of Activism and career choice.
She is an Information Management Strategy Specialist, Internationally recognized Media Practitioner, Award Winning Journalist/Publisher, and veteran business/financial intelligence analyst with a rich and active professional engagement profile in national, international and independent sector initiatives or projects. She has also worked as Journalism Trainer/Editor with the BBC World Service Trust.
She was the first Nigerian female journalist to win the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards and for her reports in the Nigerian print media, she came second in print journalism in the CNN African Journalist Award in 1997. The former commissioner has contributed as a resource person to journalism training workshops organized by UNICEF, the World Bank, Freedom House, the BBC and International Labour Organisation (ILO). She is arguably known as an intelligent and competent leader who successfully leads high performing teams through various phases of projects, from concept development to implementation, and has left distinctive score cards in every institution she has managed.
During her time as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)-an interventionist agency set up to drive development to the nine oil producing states in Nigeria’s troubled Niger Delta region, she was a dynamic and results-driven administrator. Travelers on the Calabar-Itu road remember very thankfully Ibim’s intervention as Ag Managing Director of the Commission in repairing the road and enabling them to resume their commute. For distinguishing herself in public service, she received a meritorious service Award in May 2017 from Rotary International District 9140. In 2011, she received the Rotary International District Award of appreciation for tangible and substantial support to district programmes and projects. She also won 2nd place in Print Journalism.
Ibim received the distinguished Rotary Ambassador in Government Award in 2016 in recognition of her exemplary performance as Rotary Ambassador in Government. She also won the Nigeria Media Merit Award twice and the Diamond Award for Media Excellence, on three different occasions. She was awarded most outstanding Commissioner of Information and Communication in the South-South, amongst several other laurels.
She takes pride in her work with vulnerable populations and neglected communities. Ibim is an advocate for the inclusion of more women, young people and underserved populations in leadership and decision-making. Besides her demand for “Gender-Parity”, Ibim believes that governance must be about the people and that communities must have a say in what happens to their resources. To this end she is a loud voice in the quest for a more responsive and responsible extractive industry sector and was actively involved in the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative “Publish what you pay campaign “. Her activist background underpins her work in both the private and public sectors enabling her to perform creditably on both fronts.
Ibim joined the Rotaract Club of Iju in 1989, and became a member f the Rotary Club, Port Harcourt G.R.A in 2011. In 2017, Ibim was requested by the sponsor club to move to charter the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Cosmopolitan, the first all C.E.O Club in Africa and indeed the first club to be chattered in the new District 9141and she became the President (2018-2019) of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Cosmopolitan.
She is a multi-level Paul Harris Fellow, a Benefactor of the Rotary Foundation and a member of the Pau Harris Society. Ibim and her husband Henry are also major Donors of the Rotary Foundation. On the family side, she is married to Chief Henry Semenitari-Abam, Abam Ado IV, a renowned Bank Executive and a former Managing Director of Unity Bank of Nigeria. Ibim and Henry Semenitari have four children; Alayibo, Tamunomiebaka, Wariku and Wariboko. All four children are Paul Harris Fellows.
Ibim is a Christian of the Anglican persuasion and is a lay reader of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Shophar Nigeria Limited, Publishers of The Business Eye Magazine, and Executive Director, Archdeacon Brown Education Centre (ABEC), a group of six schools that focus on grooming focused and exceptional leaders in every sector. She is a woman to celebrate among other noble women globally.