Far away in Israel, Lt. Tobi Cohen is waving the Nigerian flag in the army.
Shout out to Lt. Tobi Cohen who is in the history books as the first Nigerian woman in the Israeli army.
Cohen who has an Israeli father and Nigerian mum is the first Nigerian woman to serve in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
Tobi Cohen who is 26 years old grew up in the city of Kano. At 16 years old she moved to Israel. "At age 16, I decided that it was my time to make a change. I joined a programme which sends young people to Israel. After one year, I joined a ‘Mechina’ [a pre-military programme] and it was there that I started to feel more connected to the army."
Cohen's father also served in the army and he was happy about his daughter's decision to follow his footsteps. "My father was also very happy about my decision to become an officer in the Israeli army since he was also an officer in the Army.
"He was just as emotional as I was. For him, it was a dream come true and his being there really helped me. My mother and my entire family attended the officers' graduation ceremony.
"It is very touching to be the first woman officer from Nigeria in the IDF. Obviously, I have fallen in love with Israel. This is my home and I see myself continuing my life here" she said.
Before her promotion to the rank of a Lieutenant, Cohen served as an operations sergeant in the Homefront Command and was later accepted into the officers’ training course.
Her duty as a Deputy Training Officer in Haifa region is to guide people on how to act during natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods, as well as emergencies such as rocket attacks or the threat of a biological/chemical weapon.
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