Remembrance for Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu

A Tribute from IAWRT President Dr. Michelle Ferrier

Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu departed this life on 24 August 2023. May she Rest in Power. She is the founding president of the Anticipating IAWRT-Nigeria chapter, established in July 2023 by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television-International.

Video Tribute: Baroness PRTV Network

I am devastated, my universe torn with the dying of the light that was Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu, incoming Nigeria Chapter president of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television. A rare flower that bloomed in adversity, Nancy passed away on 24 August 2023, and in her final days completed the registration application for a new Nigeria chapter of women journalists in the IAWRT – International Association of Women in Radio and Television

I am honored and privileged to call Nancy my sister, intellectual colleague and spiritual warrior. In the 10 years we worked together, Nancy was my graduate assistant at Ohio University as she completed her Ph.D. in media development. After completing her degree at Ohio University, she became my research associate at the Media Innovation Collaboratory assisting with digital safety and gender-based violence research with TrollBusters: Fighting cyberbullying with love helping to fight online harassment. Dr. Nancy most recently worked with me this spring as a lead educator on the Ethiopia Media Innovation Accelerator program, helping to create the independent media sector across Ethiopia, while simultaneously building parallel structures in Nigeria for women media workers through the development of a new IAWRT chapter. 

Great leaders make space for others to shine and grow. With her quiet, steely resolve, she held the highest powers of the Nigerian government to account, to serve and care for the citizens. Her great heart held her nation in love and care. Dr. Nancy will be missed across Nigeria. As a leader and educator in Nigeria, Dr. Nancy worked as a coalition builder as chair of the journalism program at University of Jos in Nigeria and at Plateau State University, leading a new generation of independent journalists. Dr. Nancy worked with her husband, Dr. Dayo Ogundimu and our own Mirabel Irobinda of Nigeria to recruit 32 powerful women media leaders across Nigeria to our mission – holding power to account for gender-based violence against women and elevating the voices and stories of women and girls in Nigeria and the world. The Anticipating IAWRT Nigeria chapter presented their charter and mission to the IAWRT International Board for approval in July 2023. Formal registration as a nongovernmental organization was the final step in creating our new Nigeria chapter. With Nancy’s leadership and guidance, and the aid of her husband Dr. Adedayo Ogundimu, completed the task and was elected to become the incoming president of our new Nigeria chapter. 

Dr. Nancy completed her mission. Now we must take up the leadership mantle and continue the work laid out by Nancy and the Anticipating IAWRT Nigeria chapter leaders. To ensure Dr. Nancy’s legacy and the continuation of her work, we have initiated the following plans with IAWRT-International:

The Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu Leadership Seed Fund

With a $1,000 initial gift from Dr. Michelle Ferrier, the Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu Leadership Seed Fund will provide financial assistance in establishing new chapters in the International Association of Women in Radio and Television-International. This matching fund will provide membership fee support, registration and licensing fees, and online meeting coordination/support to help women media leaders establish new chapters around the globe. The fund can be used to support reduced membership fees for the first year for new members and provide partial support for other organizational needs in the creation of new chapters.

Honorary Member Dr. Adedayo Ogundimu on behalf of Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu

I have invited Dr. Adedayo Ogundimu to step in as an honorary member of IAWRT-International, to assist the Anticipating IAWRT Nigeria chapter in formalizing its organization. Dr. Dayo has graciously accepted to take up the work he was conducting with Nancy on behalf of IAWRT and to continue her legacy. Dr. Dayo, we grieve deeply with you and your family. We are honored to continue our partnership with you in Dr. Nancy’s memory.

Gravesite Garden on behalf of Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu

On behalf of IAWRT International and me, I will be working with Dr. Nancy’s family to plant a garden of white roses around Nancy’s gravesite, ensuring that Nancy will be remembered with purity of spirit, beauty of the heart and the healing scent of the heavens. The seeds she has planted will forever bloom over her.

My heartfelt thanks to the Anticipating IAWRT Nigeria members who honored Dr. Nancy’s work after her demise and throughout her homegoing services. From Joy Edmund, secretary of Anticipating IAWRT Nigeria, “On behalf of the Anticipating IAWRT Nigeria, I thank our members in the northern part of Nigeria for representing IAWRT Nigeria at the service of songs in honor of late Dr. Nancy Ogundimu. We appreciate your efforts and ask God to bless you for being there for all of us. Thank you.” 

I —we—have lost a supernova, who shined bright and fast and furious, uniting all with compassion, humility, and a heart of love. I have lost a sister. And half of my heart. And we have lost a queen. Rest in Power my sister, my Nancy. May your awesome light penetrate dark spaces and bring hope and courage to us to carry forward and encourage our mighty fellowship forward.💜 Look to the skies and hold fast to the light. Love you deepest my sister, my heart.

“Nancy goes home. No more pain…no more sorrow. Rest on, the “All Seasons Gardener.” – Jummai-Isandu Madak, Jos, Nigeria.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier

President, International Association of Women in Radio and Television