The first Nigerian-Israeli female to join the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), Oluwatobi (Cohen) Lovv, was on Tuesday, August 10 at the Redemption City to felicitate with the Redeemed Christian Church of God on the church’s 70th anniversary.
She came with another Israeli, Daniel Berger to thank the General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye for his support of some charity causes in the nation of Israel.
Berger is the CEO of Magem David Adom . His organisation is in the business of saving lives in Israel and around the world. The organisation built the largest blood bank in the world in Israel.
Lives saved through donated ambulances
Daniel Berger expressed great thanks to Pastor Adeboye for the donation of two ambulances to the blood centre in Israel while stressing that “he who saves one life is like he who saved the entire world.
“He said the ambulances have been used to save about 23,000 lives in Israel adding also that over 1000 babies have been born in the ambulances or while their mothers were being taken to the hospital. “We owe you a debt of gratitude for saving lives. Our journey does not stop there. We are delighted to be working with you.” he said.
Tobi Lovv who is a second lieutenant in the IDF also thanked the duo of Pastor Adeboye and his wife while appreciating them for their support for the blood centre in Israel.
Her life work is to bring Israel and Africa together. She presented a special plaque called Mesusa which has a Hebrew prayer inscribed on it to the duo of Pastor Adeboye and his wife, Folu.
About Tobi Lovv
Tobi Lovv is a 30-year-old Nigerian- Israeli. She was born in Kano, Nigeria to an Urhobo mother and an Israeli father.
She lived in different cities in Nigeria including Kano, Kaduna and Abuja before travelling out of the country at age 16.
Founder of ShareLovv International, Tobi Lovv is fluent in pidgin, English and Hebrew.
In an interview published in Daily Trust, she explained that Sharelovv International is “a unique initiative which aims at creating a strong partnership between Israel- Africa and between Israel and the wider Christian audience across the globe but especially in Africa.
“ShareLovv International offers liaison services for businesses looking to link up. we see ourselves as an unofficial diplomatic channel; we are involved in advocacy for Israel, and we are also active towards female empowerment.”
Why she joined the Israeli Defence Force
Recalling her experience in the IDF she said, “The first few months were tough as hell. These were basic training months and I just remember being screamed at in a foreign language and not understanding much!”
Today after living in Isreal for close to 12 years her Hebrew is now on a mother tongue level.
On why she joined the Israeli Army, she said, “Well, the spiritual reason is simply my love for Israel. I was not obligated to do so. But I felt that for me that was one of the biggest ways I could show my love and appreciation for Israel.
“By doing that I had chosen to therefore forfeit part of my childhood, I mean 16 is still so very young.
“That’s the age I left Nigeria on my own and migrated to Israel. At the age of 19, I joined the military and went on to become an officer. I finished my service at the rank of second-lieutenant.”
She said her time in the military “opened me up to so many experiences. It built me up in ways never expected. I know it is a rare phenomenon for a woman to serve in the military, but here in Israel, it is the norm. In fact, there is so much respect and appreciation for these young boys and girls who serve.”
Tobi Lovv said it’s a great honour to be the first female Nigerian officer in the Israeli Defence Force. “It is an absolute honour. I don’t think that the precedence really dawned on me until after I was done with military service. Wherever I go in the world and most especially back home in Nigeria, this status is so well received and honoured. Even today, almost 6 years following my active service I am still reaping.
I had paved the path for girls
“Being female was so powerful in the sense that knowing I had paved the path for other girls to believe in themselves and their capabilities. This is one of the main driving forces behind the female empowerment that ShareLovv Int’l leads on”
She said in the Daily Trust interview that her organisation is open to churches and leaders all over Africa “I welcome leaders and churches to get in touch with us. I am a theoretical person but I also understand the value of pragmatism. I want leaders that the people trust. I want Israel to be as close to the African nations as it is to America. We will like to create a synergy between Israel, the church leaders, African businesses, companies and leaders.
“We are currently focusing a lot of our efforts into occupying the digital space, the second is a direct relationship between these churches facilitating roundtables, conferences, launch programs and further strengthen ties between Israel and Nigeria and Israel and other African nations.”