On Friday, June 30, 2023, 24-year-old Nigerian Law student, Onyinye Omenugha, received the prestigious Princess Diana Award instituted in honor of the late Princess Diana of Wales – a member of the British Royal Family and the first wife of King Charles III, famous for her solidarity with the marginalized.
Onyinye was amongst over 180 young people across the world who received the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social actions or humanitarian efforts. The annual ceremony marks the birthday of the late Princess the following day.
The award annually honors outstanding young individuals between the ages of nine and 25 around the globe, who make impressive achievements in different fields that contribute to the uplifting of humanity.
Onyinye was recognized for the achievements of her nongovernmental organization (NGO), Lawsanaid, which she founded to assist law students with disabilities to gain quality and inclusive education.
Her NGO’s mission aligns with the work of other exceptional recipients of the Diana Award who have demonstrated their ability in service to humanity and inspire and mobilize new generations to serve their communities; fostering a long-lasting change on the global scene.
According to the Sahara Reporters, Onyinye’s work has inspired others, making her a role model for young people in the legal industry. “She is also involved in mentoring, creativity promotion, and advocating youth-led initiatives,” the news outlet reported.
Professor Cornelius Ukwueze of Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka-Nigeria, who taught Onyinye at the undergraduate level, said, “Having taught her in the Law Faculty a few years ago, I am not surprised at this international recognition. She will go places”.
Onyinye comes from Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State – Nigeria. She is the last child of Dr. Mike Omenugha, a medical practitioner, and Dr. Kate Azuka Omenugha, Nigeria’s second female mass communications professor, who lectured at Nnamdi Azikiwe University and served as the Anambra State Commissioner of Education for eight years.
“Though yet to be called to the Nigerian Bar, Onyinye is a certified arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Mediation and Conciliation,” Sahara Reporters stated.
Onyinye has attended many local and international courses and conferences, including the ones organized by the United Nations, the European Union, and Harvard University.
The Diana Award was established in 1999 by a board chaired by former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. It is chaired by Wayne Bulpitt, with former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and ex-Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell, among the patrons.