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Abiodun Emiola Alabi is a passionate Human resource professional and serial entrepreneur. She is very keen about people and performance management. She is an enthusiastic and self-motivated professional with over 12 years experience in human capital management, business development and social entrepreneurship.

She has a BS.c in Business Administration and Management. ‘Biodun is also an associate member of Chartered Institute Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) and Nigeria Institute of training and development (NITAD) respectively. She’s alumni of Day star leadership academy.

Abiodun is also  the founder of the foremost Moms platform; Motherhood Nigeria  Initiative, where she shares tips and educate moms on how to navigate the journey . Through her platform she has empowered and supported women in undeserving communities through her “Project Safe Birth” Initiative.

She shares her story in this interview with Esther Ijewere

Childhood Preparation

My childhood definitely prepared me to build resilience and empathy. It taught me to create lemonade from any lemon experience. Growing up was not quite exciting for me. From a family of 6 (six) children, I happened to be the forth born and the last daughter of my family.During my secondary school days, my family lived in a face-me and face-you house in Ibadan. Then, we had a young couple as our neighbours. The man’s wife was friendly and industrious. However, she had complications during the childbirth of her second baby which led to excess bleeding and she later passed on. The situation of her children after her death was unpleasant as there was no proper care for her children. This situation made me determine to strive to support motherhood in the future.

Inspiration behind Motherhood Nigeria Initiative

I have always believed women can solve many of the societal problems when there is synergy. In 2018, when Bill Gate visited Nigeria, he said, “Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places to give birth with the forth worst maternal mortality rate in the world…” His statement made me remember the incident of a woman that bled to death during her child birth when I was in secondary school. So I began to think, read and research how I could proffer solutions to the reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria. That gave birth to Motherhood Ng Initiative; a woman-led NGO purposely established to improve the maternal and child health in rural communities in Nigeria.

The Journey so far

It has been enlightening and challenging, I must say. It has stretched me to live my comfort zone. Since we started, we have trained women in five states in Nigeria as changed agents for maternal and child health in communities closest to them. This is made possible through the members of our online community for mothers and mothers-to-be for almost six years. We have done community outreach to campaign and promote the family planning to women and their families. In June 2020, we launched Project Safe Birth and it has reached more than 50 pregnant women with free safe birth kits. We shall continue to address issues that concern women within reproductive age and children under age five.

Project Safe Birth

Project Safe Birth was launched to focus on improving maternal and neonatal health, increase the quality of lives of mothers and newborns with provision of free safe birth kits for pregnant women as well as providing health education and advisory. This project will also embark on family planning awareness for both mothers and their spouses. We recently launched this project and it has provided over 50 safe birth kits for pregnant women in two states. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends six steps to prevent infection during childbirth. Our safe birth kits contain items that prevent infection which is one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality. Project Safe Birth’s target is to provide 10,000 safe birth kits to pregnant women in rural communities in Nigeria before the end of 2020.

Challenges 

The challenges I experienced since the establishment of our NGO have really helped me to think outside the box to create funding solution for the sustainability of our vision.

One of the challenges is funding. Presently, we seek for partnerneship with interested organizations and supportive individuals to reach out to more women in rural communities.

Being a Member of Several Organisations

I am an associate member of Chartered Institute personnel management of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of training and Development respectively.  My thirst for personal development and human capital development can be linked to it. I always believe human resources are the most important resources to sustain an organization.

Women who Inspire me

Pastor Funke Adejumo; the Convener of Winning Edge Women Conference and Founder of Funke-Felix Adejumo Foundation. She is an exemplary woman of unusual grace and courage.

Mrs. Ibukun Awosika. She is a global, phenomenal and fearless woman. She has achieved global recognition and attained heights that break gender barriers.

Impact of the Motherhood Nigeria page

The Motherhood Nigeria social media page was created almost six years ago on BBM channel and migrated to Instagram two years ago with the community of twelve thousand mothers and mothers-to-be.

The platform has impacted mothers in racing their children and helped them to make informed decisions in their motherhood journey.

Work life balance

It is difficult to explain how I cope with multiple responsibilities. I realized that there is nothing like work life balance but work life integration. So I try as much as possible to prioritize being a mother and wife over work and vice versa.

Coping Mechanism during the pandemic

Be resilient and stay focus. The solution you are looking for is in you. Look inward. There is abundance locks up in you waiting to manifest. Be contented.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a woman of rubies because I am solution oriented and resilient. I believe in women providing solutions to communities.

 

“I don’t understand why Lagos Landlords have a problem with renting out their apartments to single women” I hear the worry and frustration in my sister’s voice at the other end of the line. The prawn crackers I was munching on became tasteless in my mouth. We’ve been on this conversation for the past twenty minutes. I sigh. I understand her predicament. Our other sister had the same issue while she was apartment hunting. Ever the adventurous one, she had wanted to move out of the house as soon as she got a job after serving the fatherland in Kwara State.

She was initially posted to the far end of Wamba in Nasarawa State, our parents, after a long series of argument, emotional blackmail, and threats had reached a compromise with her; they would agree on a state not too far from home but Ogun, Oyo, and Osun States are out of the options. Fully aware of the efforts it took her to reach a compromise; they had agreed to facilitate her redeployment to Kwara State. After service, she got a great job at a top publishing firm in Lagos and couldn’t wait to leave home; “A girl also needs her privacy” she always says. I recall the number of times she would lament to our parents and whoever cared enough to listen about how unfair society treats women. A single woman can hardly get accommodation in a decent environment without pretending to be engaged or presenting a father figure in her life to testify of responsibility and his willingness to grant her the freedom she desires. Long story short, after much persuasion, dad had gone with her to the agents of some of the apartments she was interested in.

I try persuading my sister to go through the route our other sister eventually took. I mean, if a single woman cannot gain decent accommodation because of the prejudice the society has on singleness and women in general, what else can a girl do? Lagos landlords are of the opinion that women are mostly sponsored by their parents, husbands, or the numerous men in their lives. If things go sour between the ‘small girls’ and their ‘big gods’, the rent will suffer for it. That again is another prejudice, a stereotype that women are not as hardworking and financially stable as their male counterparts. My sister still continues to rant, demanding to know why her decision should be based on her marital status or parental influence. Seeing that I was making no headway as she is already determined, I calmly listen to her rants and let her know all will be well.

After saying our goodbyes, I begin to ponder on what we had just discussed. I have never thought about leaving my parents’ house without leaving for my matrimonial home. I still have no intention to do so, except if my career demands it. Probably because I’m very attached to my parents, being the last child. I recall my brother didn’t have this kind of problem. The landlord had only insisted that the rent be paid when due, the number of occupants shouldn’t be more than three at any point since that was stated clearly in their agreement form and loud parties will not be tolerated. Those rules were fair enough. Any responsible person would easily abide by them.

I can’t help but believe these hideous beliefs and bias stem from the deeply rooted patriarchal system African countries, especially Nigeria are cursed with. Why my financial capabilities would be judged by my gender. A woman by ‘default’ is judged incapable, not because she doesn’t have a job, but because she’s a single WOMAN.

It’s funny how many people would turn a blind eye to discriminating against females wanting to be independent. Others might even validate the act. It is very understanding and acceptable if the basis of rejection is based on the premises of the individual doesn’t have a stable job hence the fear of defaulter in payment of rent or the individual has a track record of recklessness and irresponsibility. I recall reading about an interview with a property owner and landlord, Coleman Nwafor and BBC Africa, Mr. Nwafor had said that the bulk of his tenants are men because they have more than women.

Asides the financial ‘insecurity’ bias, many landlords and property developers, are driven by the belief that women cannot — or should not — live outside their father or husband’s house. Another evidence of how much damage the patriarchal belief system has done to our society.

My sister had earlier shared with me the very unnecessary and invasive questions the landlords of the apartments she had inspected had thrown at her, “Why would you want to leave alone? Don’t you know you’re a woman? Are your parents still alive? What do they think of this act of yours?

Another had said “You look old enough for marriage, why are you still unmarried? One of them had even with all sincerity told her that men do not want a woman who is already ‘settled’ getting an apartment as a single woman would reduce her chances of getting married, no man wants a woman who doesn’t need him, a woman who has it all would find difficult to be submissive to her husband. The society has made marriage the ultimate attainment of a woman and normalised policing women about. There is already established bias, that the need for a single lady to live apart from her parent is to fuel her wayward lifestyle, most definitely to live her life unsupervised. The upper-class single women seem to have it a little easier though they still endure some wagging tongues and snide remarks about their lifestyle.

If we are aware of and irritated about how tribalistic landlords can be when it comes to choosing their tenants, and then we can imagine how most women have it worse, one from discrimination against their tribe and then their gender.

Can you testify to these ridiculous and backward reasoning acts? Please share your experience with us and how you handled it.

Written by: Olabisi Animashuan

Actress, Bisola Aiyeola was part of a charitable group from The Temple Company, who visited a health center to donate relief materials to the victims of the Ita-Faji three-storey building collapse that happened on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

She was joined alongside a singer Jeff Akoh and a comedian who is known as Mama Tobi, on a visit to a hospital where those who were affected were receiving treatment.

 

It was a sad day on Wednesday, when pupils attending the Ohen Nursery and Primary School, were covered in the debris of the building collapse.

In response on her Instagram, Aiyeola captured a mood of appreciation while mourning over the deaths that were recorded after the building collapsed.

“That we wake up and go about our daily activities is a special gift/grace that we must not take advantage of. What I saw today almost broke me till I realized that it was meant to strengthen me and remind me of how lucky/blessed I am.

“If you are reading this from the comfort of your home, office, school, club or on your way to or from one of them, you should be thankful too. May the ill and wounded be healed and the departed Rest In Peace.

“May God also console the bereaved,”she concludes in her Instastory.

On Instagram, Bisola Aiyeola is not taking for granted the opportunity to freely go about her business without the tragedy that befell victims of the Lagos Island building collapse.
On Instagram, Bisola Aiyeola is not taking for granted the opportunity to freely go about her business without the tragedy that befell victims of the Lagos Island building collapse.

In a report by Punch News on the day of the accident confirms a comment from a member of the family that own the building that collapsed confirming that the structure had given signs of an imminent disaster.

The comment was made by Erinoluwa Akinmoladun, the family member who shared that the house had close to 110 primary school pupils attending the learning center located on the top floor of the affected building.

 

 

Credit: pulse.ng

In a new report by Africa Property News, Lagos has been ranked the 4th wealthiest city in Africa, coming behind Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Cairo.

Lagos was valued at $108 billion, while the other Nigerian city on the list – Abuja – was valued at $13 billion.

The overview of the continent’s wealthiest cities is based on the The AfrAsia Bank Africa Wealth Report 2018. The overview “indicates where clusters of wealthy cities are developing across the continent, as well as showing a few more isolated locations of money aggregation.”

See the Top 10 in the overview below:

  1. Johannesburg (South Africa) –  $276 billion
  2. Cape Town (South Africa) – $155 billion
  3. Cairo (Egypt) – $140 billion
  4. Lagos (Nigeria) – $108 billion
  5. Durban (South Africa) – $55 billion
  6. Nairobi (Kenya) – $54 billion
  7. Luanda (Angola) – $49 billion
  8. Pretoria (South Africa) – $48 billion
  9. Casablanca (Morocco) – $42 billion
  10. Accra (Ghana) – $38 billion

Credit: Bella Naija

A funeral service was held at Harvesters International Christian Center located in Lekki which was attended by friends and family members of the deceased.

The service was kicked off by the choir of the church as they entertained the congregation with some melodious instrumentals. It was followed by the opening prayers by Pastor Taiwo Bolodeoku of JoshVille. A number of celebrities where present at the funeral service including, Ali BabaBanky WEbukaMI AbagaKemi Lala AkintojuToke Makinwa and a host of others.

The first reading was taken by Tosyn Bucknor’s husband, Aurélien Boyer who read from 1st Thessalonian 4:13-18which was followed by a tribute by him. He went on to eulogise his late wife and spoke about her death has made him have a second thought about taking his religious life seriously.

The second reading was taken by Funke Bucknor, sister of the deceased which was taken from 1st Corinthians 15:35-50. After the reading, Funke paid an emotional tribute to her late sister.

The service was anchored by the Pastor of Harvesters International Christian Center, Bolaji Idowu who went on to deliver a sermon where he said Tosyn Bucknor had moved on to eternity and is in a good place.

After the sermon, the pastor brought other visiting pastors including Pastor Ituah Ighodaro of Trinity HousePastor Godman Akinlabi of Elevation Church and a host of others to pray for the family of the late Tosyn Bucknor.

A private internment followed immediately after the service.

Credit: Pulse

Nigeria… The home of the big man with the big watch with the big car, the big yacht, the big Ikoyi villa, the big corner suite and the big watch. Nigeria… The land of the night clubs open late into the night where big boys roll up in their armoured four by fours to pop champagne and big girls (and small ones waiting for the big fish) gyrate to Afrobeats.

Nigeria… Where the make of your car, your designer handbag, your shoes opens the right doors or sees the right doors slam in your face.

Nigeria… The home of pastors who preach hellfire and fury on Sunday mornings on those ashawos who fail to pay their tithe, those same ‘men of God’ who jump on their private jets paid for by those hard earned, easily parted tithes to run up and down the country allegedly spreading the gospel at the congregation’s expense. The same congregation that work day and night to put together that 10%.

Nigeria… The home of the congregation that spend the whole of Friday night at vigil and the whole of Saturday night at the club chasing tail.

Where the road to riches is paved with as much blood, sweat and tears as sin, sleaze and sacrilege. Where a night spent in the right bed or a day spent in the wrong car can make or break you. Where the right friend in high places can set you up and the enemy in the right circles can crush you down.

I remember the first time I visited Nigeria in the spring of 2009. Hungry for a new land and all its heady promises ahead of me waiting to be explored, I couldn’t contain my excitement, keen to explore every nook and cranny. My friends, still in their mid- to late twenties, in their fresh JJC status were keen to make the most of their ‘flavour of the year’ status – until the next shipment of JJCs arrived next year of course! – were keen to make hay while the sun was up. Thus, almost every day was spent at a private beach or one of the new hipster scenes mushrooming around Lagos and every night club hopping into the early hours of the morning.

I recall vividly my first night out. Driving down the cities of Victoria Island that all looked alike to my foreign eye, looking out the window, I would see women cooking under kerosene lamps on street corners, their babies tied in a wrapper on their backs, toddlers on cardboard boxes by their feet, men several feet away idling the night on their stools by the roadside. Bare feet, skin glossed in sweat, bellies hanging out of their trousers.

Turn a corner, and there they were: the young movers and shakers of Lagos, slipping out of Jaguars and Bentleys, dressed to the nines, girls spilling out of body cons, dripping in jewellery, dripped in perfume; guys in their brand jeans, tops and shoes, brandishing their Rolexes. Turn another corner, a family steeped in darkness, then another street, and a nightclub shining like a beacon through the dark night, powered by six generators.

I was horrified at the two extremes side by side. More so by the blindness of the rich and privileges to the bleakness all around them. Looking at their suave swagger, you’d be forgiven to think they were strutting down the bright boulevards of Manhattan or the sleek streets of Mayfair. Yet here they were right in the heart of Africa’s giant, dodging manholes, broken pavement slabs and hawkers, with nothing but poverty and darkness round every street corner.

A few nights later, heading down to the De Marquee, one of the hip and happening clubs at the time, from where our car was parked a few hundred meters down the road, we were assaulted by beggars and hawkers right, left, centre as we zigged and zagged our way. “Don’t look at them,” someone would say, “don’t acknowledge them” another, “do not reply,” someone else would add, “Just keep looking ahead.” So there was I, head held high, eyes fixed to the horizon, ignoring the suffering around me. It had taken me just four days to become immune to the extremes of Lagos.

Now what’s the point of all this? 
According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) index compiled by Development Finance International (DFI) and Oxfam, Nigeria is now home to the highest number of the world’s poorest people – 86.9 million compared to India’s 71.5 million and has overtaken India to become the poverty capital of the world.

Nigeria also ranked really low – 152 of 157 countries – on the World Bank first-ever Human Capital Index (HCI). The index, according to Quartz, measures “the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18” using 5 factors: chances of a child reaching age five, healthy growth, expected years of schooling, quality of learning available and the adult survival rate.

And to add insult to injury, a most recent report by Technosave presented at “Our Actions Are Our Future: A #Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible” has said Nigeria is currently home to the second largest population of malnourished children. If you wanted to quantify this, according to UNICEF, the number of malnourished children stunted due to malnutrition was 17million in 2018.

The report also revealed that one out of three Nigerian children under the age of five is considered stunted, and that their bodies and brains are deprived of the key nutrients that they need to fully develop and reach their potential.

And yet, the movers and the shakers of this country are slipping out of fancy cars, spilling out of designer dresses, dripping in bling, busy jetting off to destination weddings, holidaying in Dubai, Instagramming their avocado on toast. In between, on the odd occasion, we do talk politics of course – deciding which inconsequential, ineffective leader to put into power for the next four years so those who are rich can get richer, and those who are poor become the invisible stepping stones on the way to the glitzy clubs.

 

Culled from Guardian Woman

On the March 19, 2017, the Cece Yara Foundation officially opened its new, ultramodern state of the art Child Advocacy Centre at No 2A Akin Ogunmade Street Gbagada phase 2.

The event opened with a short press conference, where its Founder/Director Bola Tinubu, Assistant Director Grace Keteve, and Lola Vivour Adeniyi, Coordinator of the Domestic & Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) spoke about the foundation and its achievements thus far.

The press conference and brief address to various dignitaries and guests was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony headed by the Director of Education Lagos State, Kehinde Azume, representing the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, the wife of the Minister of Works and Power Abimbola Fashola, Senator Oluremi Tinubu ably represented by the Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, Acting head of service, Adesoye Folasade, and the Director Office of the Public defence Olubukola Rotimi.

The dignitaries, guests, and media personnel were given a tour of the state of art facility, and introduced to the in house team that handles the incoming cases to the centre. Facilities within the centre include:

  • A private calming room furnished with toys, games, and other age appropriate furniture where the children can play.
  • A forensic interview room is available where the child can make disclosures without the fear of being heard by their parents.
  • An observation room where the children in the forensic interview room can be closely monitored and observed by the parents, trained counsellors, police,  psychologist and medical experts behind the one way mirrors.
  • A medical examination room where preliminary tests can be carried out to verify the claim of abuse.

Built to effectively accommodate children and adolescents, the centre will cater to the physical, mental and psychological, needs of sexually abused children and also helping them and their families through the process of healing and rehabilitation.

The Cece Yara advocacy centre also offers legal advice and support to survivors and their families. Being a first of its kind in Nigeria, the centre provides a warm and child friendly environment where children can speak and express themselves freely in order for them to give as best a description of what transpired to their parents, counsellors and investigators.

The Cece Yara foundation and advocacy centre are a well thought out cause, aimed at especially catering to those in the grass root regions who do not have the ability to seek or get the help they need. The centre caters for the needs of children regardless of the age at which the abuse occurred, and also those who are adults now and were abused as children and are seeking counselling.

“The growing number of child sexual abuse in Nigeria is alarming and that is the reason why the Cece Yara Foundation was established. We assist in the investigative process of cases brought to us and promise complete confidentiality,” Bola Tinubu said.

See photos below:

Bola Tinubu

Bola Tinubu (M), Lola Vivour Adeniyi (R), and Grace Keteve (L)

Lagos Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni and Bola Tinubu