What Are You Up to This Weekend?

Are weekends rest times anymore? A lot seemed packed into our weekends these days.

If it is here in my culture, there is always an “Owanbe” party. Usually there is one wedding, 50th – 70th birthday bash or retirement party, house warming…. And so on and so forth to attend.

Today I am supposed to be at a 70th birthday bash unfortunately “the husband” is under the weather. So I am a nurse for this weekend however in between I have to sort out a few other chores including running errands/attending to an office deadline….

My friend Stella made this pepper soup with assorted meat. It’s from Stellamaris kitchen

OK where is the rest time now? So maybe I can grab a pepper soup bowl and relax reading a book 😁😁 that’s assuming I get someone to make that pepper soup… Hahaha 😁😁

OK, do enjoy your weekend… Find time to relax and rest.

Media Tour to Aketan and Kolobo Primary Health Centres, Oyo #Maternal/ChildHealth

A conducive working environment makes workers feel confident and helps with being more productive

In the company of a few journalists from Oyo state, I went on a media tour to two Primary Health centers this week. I look forward to trips like this as it gives an opportunity to see things as they really are on the field when working to improves lives of members of our communities. In this instance, I and the media team got an eyewitness account of what Primary Healthcare facilities in Aketan and Kolobo in Oyo town looked like after a 72hour makeover work by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI).

These facilities had been renovated a year ago by NURHI and made conducive for mothers, infants, and children who come to the access health care services. The field visit was organized by DEVCOMS Network, a media development, capacity-building non-governmental organization working with NURHI in promoting media advocacy on maternal and child health and family planning.

Front view of Kolobo PHC. Head Nurse-Mrs Adesola, DEVCOMS project Manager – Omobonike Ogungbemi and Demola – Tribune.

As the team of media personnel drove into the compound of Kolobo PHC which was the first facility we visited, I noticed the building looked bright and colorful as the painting on the wall still looked new. In a chat with the head nurse Mrs. Adekoya, she explained that prior to the renovation she and her staff could only use one room to carry out all services to clients. This included attending to every case in that same room and staff could not sit comfortably in the other rooms inside the building. She was all smiles and happy that the facility was now more conducive to their work.

Health workers need well-equipped facilities and a conducive neat environment in order to work efficiently.

Hospital beds at Kolobo PHC and baby cots

However, the Head Nurse advocated for more beds to be provided as the health care center had only four beds. Therefore whenever more than four women are in labor then there is usually a problem of bed space to accommodate the extra waiting mothers. Sometimes they put an extra mattress on the floor and they are forced to discharge mothers quickly after delivery. The good news is that more women now come to the facility to adopt family planning methods suitable for them at the renovated facility.

Mrs Isiak Zainab an FP user posing for a picture at the renovated family planning room at Kolobo PHC.

The other good news on the trip is that I met a number of family planning users who were happy about their methods. One of whom is Mrs. Aisha Shuaibu a 20year old mother of three children already. Using family planning method has now helped her to rest in between births, stay healthy and take care of her family better. Mrs. Isiak Zainab a 28year old mother of two children said they uptake of a family planning method has enabled her to adequately space the birth of her children. They shared their experience using an FP method and how it has helped the well-being of their families. It was also nice to hear that these women are able to give time to their business without the stress of getting pregnant too quickly after being delivered of their babies.

Front view of Aketan PHC as journalists on media tour steps in

At Aketan, the health center was even a bigger facility, here also we were met with a bright looking environment. The head nurse in her testimony said that more women now come to register with the clinic and there is an increase in the number of those coming to take up family planning. Some family planning users also shared their story on how FP is helping they and their families to have a less stressful life.

Maternal and Child health continues to be an important area of health concern as it has to do with preserving the next generation of the human race. Therefore improving the well-being of mothers, infants and children require providing adequate and accessible health care services for them.

One of the challenges of maternal and child health care is getting access to a well- equipped facility that has trained health professionals to cater to the needs of pregnant mothers. The Primary Health Care Service is meant to be close to communities so that mothers do not have to trek long distance in order to get health care services.

Volunteer community mobilizers talking to the media about why they choose to be FP advocates

In Oyo State, there are 33 Local Government Area Councils which has a number of PHCs. As part of the efforts to upgrade this PHC for community use, the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative since it began its work in Nigeria has contributed immensely to improving maternal health through advocacy, education, and collaboration with all stakeholders in bringing to the fore the need for improved family health and wellbeing. NURHI continues to promote the use of family planning methods in order to raise whole and economically empowered families.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

A Book…A Story #WorldBookDay

Books carry within them treasures that you dig for through reading
Readers are leaders
Books provide insight and knowledge required to make life easier
Readers are equipped with solutions to the world’s problems.
Books tell our stories… A window to how someone else pulled through a challenge and succeed.
Books bring light to our world

Today I met this lovely lady and author. Her name is Barrister Abiade Olawanle Abiola. She is passionate about Women’s Human rights; children’s rights and sexual and Gender-based Violence and alternative dispute resolutions.

Abiade was involved in a turbulent marriage that lasted a few years. As I chatted with her, she shared how she had to endure emotional, psychological, financial abuse. Often her ex-husband was in one money mess or the other and she had to keep going to the police station to bail him. This was very embarrassing and on top of that he also sexually abused.

One very interesting thing about the relationship with her ex-husband was that he never got physical/beat her. Instead, all that she had gone through made her become aggressive and she would get physical with him as she became more frustrated with all the bottled up emotion.

Abiade said she had to struggle to sponsor herself through school as her father decided that he wouldn’t get her beyond secondary school. Abiade looked forward to finding true love a happy marriage, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.

When she couldn’t take the abuse any longer, Abiade walked out of that marriage. Today she can tell her story and is busy helping to intervene in ending Abuse in all its form. Abiade has finally been able to publish her story and her book is titled, “Abuse is Never Justified – Realities of Change”.

Abiade is the founder of “Human of Substance Empowerment Initiative”. She believes that she will not be the person she now is, were it not for her marriage experience.

I just got a copy of her book and I am looking forward to reading and drinking in all the details. Abiade intends to put back all money proceeds from the book back into her youth empowerment project. For her, it is all about changing lives for good.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Benefits of Working Within a Team

Team work at the Women in Development Summit organized by Ideation Hub Africa

Team work will take you far and help you achieve more.

working in a team opens you up to learning about what others know and you don’t.
Teamwork gives room for creativity and it is an opportunity to carry out tasks quickly.

Working in a team is an escape route from spreading yourself too thin. Working alone can put you under so much pressure and stress. Learn to share the workload with your team members.

Stop being a Local champion thinking you are the best; there is so much value others can bring into your life, tasks and projects.

Working with a team is fun and gives you company. You are not alone to bear the challenges and failures that sometimes comes with carrying out tasks/projects.

None of us is as good as all of us.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development.
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Start That Thing Now…Step Out – My Personal Story

Starting A Non-Governmental/Non-Profit Organization:
It’s been a long time coming. About 6years ago family, friends, and colleagues began to encourage me about starting and registering an NGO. My initial reaction was, “hey…No way”! But they won’t let me be because as far as they were concerned I was already engaged in a lot of advocacy work at the community level and in the media. And sincerely I wondered too about what kept me going. The cases and issues I led my team to handle still leaves me amazed when I look at the list of projects and lives the Lord enabled us to reach and touched. We spent our money and time and through advocacy efforts got support to –

  • Pay hospital bills of a teenage mum who was a child traffick victim and had just delivered her baby.
  • Got donation from groups like the University of Ibadan cooperative group to provide 50 delivery packs for vulnerable mothers, generator for a primary health centre and also got mattresses from Bode Foam Industry for two primary health centres.
  • Facilitated a seminar for school girls in public schools in Oyo state. Through the support of ARDA 20 of the girls got school support. Other organizations who supported this event were BLUE TAG, Crown Delight Communication etc.
  • We were able to take a homeless teenager and her baby off the street.
  • Two at-risk pregnant mothers were supported and through my team’s effort, they were delivered of their babies safely as we linked them to resources and followed through. I will not forget the organization Self Reliance Economic and Advancement Program(SEAP) who donated hugely to ensure that one of the women who was an accident victim was taken care of at the hospital. These and many other projects were accomplished by the team led by me.
  • Aside what I have led my team to achieve I continue to advocate for social change on issues through storytelling, writing & production of radio drama soap; awareness campaigns on reproductive health, speaking on leadership e.t.c. And I am right here blogging on Femininematerz.

I am grateful to my bosses in the organization I work for, The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Ibadan who supported my passionate team and I and encouraged us to pursue these projects as community engagement extension of the Abiye (maternal & child health) Radio education program. 

In spite of these success stories, still, I wasn’t convinced and would not budge about starting an NGO. In my opinion, I did not want to start one simply because I was privileged to have been involved in what looked like activities of an NGO. I was just leading my team to do what we could about affecting lives positively in our community. In fact, these activities inspired me to take a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Last year the burden in my heart to do more increase and I got a notebook and started to write down the areas I would like to work on in contributing to social change. I began to read up and ask questions from those working in the NGO space. The funny thing was that I found myself working with a number of NGOs like African Radio Drama Association, IMESO, NURHI, DEVCOMS, Onelife Initiative , UNICEF etc on different issues of social change, still it was a path I was terrified of following. Some of these projects were by association and some directly. And so the whole of last year I kept doing projects and also was finding out more about the NGO space.

2018 came with me being clear that I really needed to kick-start this idea and dream in my heart in order to be able to do more. Amazing things happened when I stepped out in faith. People supported me in no small ways and today Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative is registered and we are already recording progress in projects we have set out to do for the year. My team consist of people I call burden bearers and vision carriers. They keep pushing me and are making personal sacrifices to see to the achievement of goals we set out to achieve (Oluwaseun Omoakinola, Tosan Akinwole, Stella Oyebanji, Adeyemi Adetunji & Agnes) 

I believe in mentorship and so I am been mentored by Onelife Initiative and I am grateful for Sola Fagorusi who has a large heart and is showing me the ropes of how to work in the NGO space.

Our accomplishment so far since inception of Beehyve Initiative:

• We have been able to facilitate and give a free training for media personnel in Oyo state on “Creating contents for Social change”.
• We provide and share opportunities for self-development and training with media personnel.
• One of our objectives is to link and provide school support for indigent boys and girls. This we kick-started by procuring an application form to enroll a visually impaired boy in Pacelli School for the blind. This is on-going as we have begun to raise funds to enable us to meet the requirement for his enrolment.

Other Projects:

• Our next task/project is the Mentoring Across Gender project. We will be reaching out and have training for undergraduates, NYSC corp members, and secondary school students. The aim of this is to empower the youth with information and skills required to pursue their dreams, and careers to become great leaders in our society. We also have wrapped in this a project to mentors boys and young men specifically in order to raise men who respect women and speak out against all forms of gender-based violence.
• My passion lies in promoting women and girl ’s wellbeing and
so definitely we have projects designed to promote the health and rights of women.

They say dream big and here I am pursuing a very big dream to my mind. I will take it one day at a time and hopefully down the line, many changed lives will attest to the worthiness of Beehyve Initiative efforts.
I will keep you posted.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development.
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

#WomenYouCanRun 3: Inspiring the Next Generation of Nigerian Women: Lecture By Mr. Soji Eniade

Credits: Photo By Louisa May Alcot

This post is an excerpt from a lecture given by Mr. Soji Eniade ( Executive Assistant to Gov. Abiola Ajimobi on Administration) at the NAWOJ special seminar to commemorate the 2018 International women’s day. It was nice to see a man advocating for the emancipation of more women in governance. I hope it inspires some woman to go for her dreams:

Lecture: The International women’s day is a day designed to celebrate women all over the world where contribution and achievements of women are appreciated. It gives me immense pleasure to share that Nigerian women have contributed immensely to the growth and development of Nigeria. However, there is room for more development.

The level of significance of International Women’s day is increasing yearly and has become a convention. It is a celebration of respect, of appreciation, love and care towards our women. It is a day to reflect on progress. According to Joyce Bander, former Malawian President, “The seed of success in every nation on earth are best planted in women and children. This year’s celebration #IWD come at a time when there is advocacy for women’s right, equality, and justice. And a call to put an end to sexual harassment, violence, discrimination against women, kidnapping, trafficking and child abuse amongst others.
Women in Nigeria are usually given high regard and respected though as wives, daughters, and even widows. It is in this regard that I classify my wife, my daughter and my mother as the three most important women in my life. They have not only made me a better person today and supported me through thick and thin they have equally inspired me to my present status. I am sure that many successful men in our society will not have attained their various successes if not for the women in their lives.

The status of women across the world today is precarious, about 70% of the 1.3billion people in the world living in extreme poverty are women. In developing countries, women own less than 2% of the land. Worldwide it has been reported that about 60 million girls are missing due to female for sex slavery. About 5 thousand women are murdered in what is called in some realms honor killing.

93Million children who are out of school are female children. These are issues that policymakers should give attention to.

While good governance has been identified as a key factor for rapid and sustainable development bad governance is increasingly been regarded as one of the root causes of all evil in Nigeria.

When women are seen as equals and are given equal responsibilities their participation enriches governance. Examples are seen in Mrs. Margret Thatcher of UK, Mrs. Theresa May, Angela Merkel of Germany; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia amongst others.The population of women in Nigeria in the last 15 years has grown substantially from 26.8 million to 94.2 million as at 2017. Women and children are regarded as the vulnerable in any society’s demographic composition. However different empowerment programs are been designed to encourage and equip women and further spur them to live meaningful lives and encourage their participation in all areas of human endeavor.

Traditionally our women are involved in home management and just regarded a baby making factories. My own mother was a primary school teacher and I am very proud to be her child. But look at what is happening today, more women are coming boldly out and they are blazing the trail. Then women were less educated and had many societal inhibitions and most especially during elections. Men ask their wives to stay at home during elections back then bot knowing that the right he has, she also has.

Women such as Mrs. Margret Ekpo, Mrs. Janet Mokelu, and Miss Young were members of the Eastern state house of Assembly. Mrs. Funmilayo  Ransome Kuti was a big voice in the Western region and was the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria. Hajiya Gambo Sawaba fought for political and cultural emancipation of women in the North while Anike Agbaje Williams was a  highly talented television broadcaster. These women were all trailblazers but have we improved on their legacy?

We must stop gender stereotypes and seeing of our women as objects of pleasure. Women that are bold to step out are seen as loose women but these women know what they want.

We must involve men and boys in the struggle for gender equality and women empowerment. Boys at tender age should be encouraged to protect their sisters, female neighbors and their women when they grow up.

I want to submit that there is no doubting the fact that women participation in policy and decision making as a whole which is abysmally low in Nigeria is what we should encourage. If encourage this it will benefit the whole society.

I hope to see the next generation of Nigerian women who will stand up to take their destinies into their own hands and lead this country to greater glory within their sphere

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development.
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Parenting Never Easy…Let Me Share this Gist #Humour

My nieces, nephews & children :Visit to grandpa and grandma’s place. Play time!

While growing up I remember feeling
that my parents hated me especially when I had been disciplined for behaving badly. As a grown woman now having my own children I can now “see clearly”! What a miracle (Chuckling)…😂

They say what goes around comes around…hmmm I guess the law of Karma caught up with me a few days ago 😀 My daughter insisted that her older brother cover himself with his blanket since he slept in her room that night. He insisted that he had a right not to use his blanket since the weather was hot anyway. And so an argument ensued and my dear daughter came to me to report this total disregard for her demand that he (her brother) use his blanket. You can imagine my initial confusion…In pidgin language …Chei this children will not kill me ooo…(Laughing)😂😂

I stood from the sofa where I was sitting watching the TV to go an investigate this serious allegation *wink“.😎 So off we went to her room and I found my son her brother lying down on a mattress on the floor across her own bed properly dressed in sleeping wears(not naked)…At least that was what I thought initially. I mean we’ve been teaching them to respect each other’s space and not be naked in front of each other…It is called biology or anatomy or sexuality lessons…choose one.😊😊

After seeing that he was properly dressed I told her that he had a right to use his bed cover/blanket or not and that she was infringing on his “human right” to sleep without a cover (Laughing)😂😂. My daughter insisted that since he was in her room he must use his blanket. Believe me, our children can sometimes say things that leave us baffled. Anyways as the judge in this matter and case I told her she wasn’t right in her demand.

Her young mind didn’t understand and so we argued and I am supposed to be settling this matter o…so I gave my final verdict and told her, she has been “unreasonable” in her demand!

The following day my daughter brought up the issue again and was offended😑 that I had said she has been “unreasonable”. Then I started a definition lesson of what “unreasonable” means… chei…. She still was feeling bad about parenting my usage of the word. I can’t remember what happened again but later that day she declared that she wasn’t sure I was her mum o….hehehe I laughed.😀

Well, I understood that she was not enjoying been disciplined or not having her way. So at that point, I went to have a one-on-one mother and daughter talk with her. I told her that I understood how she felt because nobody likes to be disciplined and that I once said that to my mother. Then I told her that I loved her so much which is why I will continue to discipline and correct her when necessary so she could grow up to become a responsible and disciplined young woman.

She was surprised that I didn’t shout at her or feel bad…I mean the plan was to blackmail me now :😀 But she got the message I was trying to pass and soon she was back to her happy self.

Parenting is never easy but we will find our way together as adults and children. We must keep pointing our children in the right direction so that they and everyone can be the better for it. Don’t be afraid to tell your child No you can’t do that! Don’t be afraid to discipline when necessary in love as well.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Project Director Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama. Communication4Development
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com