Day of the African Child the Nigerian Way

The Day of the African child is celebrated June 16th every year. It is commemorated In memory of students in Soweto, South Africa who were massacred during a protest demanding for quality education on 16th June, 1976.

Theme: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for Children in Africa by 2030.

Photos from the 2017 celebration organized by the South West Zone of Radio Nigeria Ibadan Zonal Station. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

One Way to End the Circle of Poverty for Families

NURHI mobilizer in Ibadan engaging two women and their children about FP.

Low-income earners like market women, Okada riders, taxi drivers, Vulcanizers, cleaners and so on have more children than they can cater for.

A typical Okada rider used to transport passengers

Not too long ago an Okada man picked me up while on my way to the office. We got talking about the economy and how life can be difficult. I asked him about his family and he said that he had two wives and 7 children or more …I can’t really remember the number now. I didn’t want to alarm him but I quickly calculated how much he earns doing his Okada business.

It will not be enough to care for his large family. I then asked him about whether his children were enrolled in a school at least a government school. Well, he said he was trying his best to send them to school.

I shook my head and wondered if the circle of poverty will ever end in his family. If he can’t equip his children with the required skill and education to put them on a better pedestal in life then they all remain a struggling poor generation. This should not be so and can be stopped.

Do you know that those in the upper class and even middle class have fewer children? Imagine a man/woman is a multi-billion naira/dollar business owner and has only two children or four. These children will have more money than they can spend and if they are properly groomed and disciplined they will keep multiplying that money!

The Way Forward
I will say, educate as many people as you can about the need to raise a family commensurate to their income and ability. I have people who work for me like my housekeeper, and I also meet others like our mechanic, petty trade shop owner on my street. Hopefully, I can keep educating them about this “suicide” mission of having a large family with little or no money.

One way to end the circle of poverty among low income earners is to educate them about benefits of planning their families and having only the number of children they can cater for.

In my experience some of these people don’t know that they have a choice in the matter; they don’t know that there is something they can do about it.

Benefits of FP
• Mothers can rest between births and therefore are healthier
• Children born can receive proper care and nutrition while they develop. It is difficult taking care of a 3 months old baby when the mother becomes pregnant too soon.
• Income can be managed better with fewer mouths to feed
• Children can go to school and attain higher education.
• Fathers and mothers can have less stress in managing the resources of their family.
• Fewer fights in the family when the resources can go round.

Adebisi Adetunji ©

Money is a Seed with Potential to Grow into a Tree

How do you see those Naira/Dollar notes that flow through your fingers? It is more than just a paper you transact with. It more than just using it to acquire things.

How you view money will determine your attitude towards it. Your attitude towards money will in turn cause it to grow or disappear no matter how much passes through your hands.

While growing up we all don’t get to go to a school where we are taught how to manage money and make it grow. Like everyone else we learn the lessons along the way stumbling and making loads of costly mistakes.

Earning more or making more money is not the issue but how to manage and grow money is the thing. How do we grow our monies to become a tree that will sustain us at retirement? I am also talking about Money that will be a legacy for those who will come after us when we are gone. Now that is the kind of money I’d like to have!

More money can mean more frustration if you do not know how to keep planting some of it as seeds.

How to achieve successs at planting your money seed:

  • Don’t spend all you make or earn.
  • Save an amount daily no matter how small. A N100 or 1 dollar daily is a great way to start.
  • Don’t spend all you have in acquiring things, invest and be disciplined now so you can enjoy your tomorrow.
  • You don’t have to make a statement trying to be like everyone. Plan… Plan.. and spend less than you earn.
  • Have a target amount you intend to save.
  • Decide the time you want to have achieved this. For example, 1-5 year plan.
  • Have a purpose for saving. What do you want to do with the money you are saving.
  • When the money comes rolling in invest in the lives of others. Give back to the society.

These points are my personal Lessons drawn from reading chapter 1 of the book: Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

I Simply Love this: Young Men Network Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence #EndFGMNG

In my line of work as a media expert, development communication consultant and recently a social media influencer, I have met a number of men who are passionate about protecting women against all forms of discrimination and are advocates of women’s rights. But seeing and meeting a group of men advocating against sexual and Gender Based violence…It is just so thrilling for me. The Youngmen network is made up of active members from all walks of life across the country in Nigeria.

You see this says to me that women are not alone.
It also tells me that men and women can be on the same team.

And then this question also comes to mind: What are we teaching our sons? They are the ones who become men tomorrow and they will treat a woman the way we taught them as families or society. It is time to pay attention to teaching our sons right values; teach them how to respect and appreciate the women in their lives.

There is just no need for the power tussle.
And while I and everyone are pushing for the education and right treatment of girls let us not fail to educate our boys.

How did I arrive here? I have been part of a two day workshop organized by the Young men Network Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence with focus on ending Female Genital Mutilation. It is a down to earth dialogue filled workshop.

Lessons & Discussion Points on FGM
Ending FGMC is not about throwing away our culture as a people, it is about stopping harmful practices.
FGM does not prevent a woman from being promiscuous as is the belief. This is totally hinged on the kind of training and upbringing or how such a child is nurtured.
Culture is not static. It is dynamic and changes from time to time/place to place.
Current data shows that 22 million women in Nigeria have undergone Female genital mutilation.
FGM is so called and not female circumcision because it is not the same as male circumcision. According to medical findings male circumcision has some health benefits and it is only one type – The removal of the foreskin. However in women, cutting is up to four types which mean everyone decides how far they want to go with cutting and scraping a woman’s vagina(Not funny)
Type three of FGM called Infibulation requires that the labia(lips of the vagina) be cut and it is sewn leaving only a small hole for urinating and mensuration! (This leaves me shivering) She is cut open when she gets married to allow sexual intercourse and in some culture when the husband is traveling the vagina is sewn and closed up until the man returns! Come on….this is just too much torture and pain.
• FGM causes mental and physical harm.
• Although at the national level in Nigeria the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) had been signed into law since 2015, enforcing it and adoption by states remains an issue. Under the VAPP law, the act of FGM/C is punishable with a 5years imprisonment or a fine of N100, 000. If you ask me this fine should be like 5million.

The discussion is still ongoing and the way forward is to keep dialoguing with communities and people about FGMC. There is a need for more and continuous education and education about what this practice means to the women and girls concerned and to the family unit at large.

Facilitators/Speakers:

Sola Fagorusi – Onelife Initiative for Human Development

Ayodeji Osowobi – Stand to End Rape

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

#WEAAD – Do pray to live Long and enjoy your Old age? Protect Senior Citizens

The first Gerontologist in Nigeria and his wife

Just because they are old doesn’t mean they are no longer important.
Just because they are old doesn’t mean they do not have feelings and needs.
Just because they are old makes them vulnerable.

How will you like to be treated when you are old?
Treat older persons that way now and you will reap what you sow.

Whether you are family or a care giver treat older persons with love and care. We will all get old if we pray to live long. Life is a circle.

Stop extorting money from that aged person in your care! Remember what goes around comes around. And guess what in my opinion you are only heaping curses on yourself.

Be kind to older persons you meet along the way. God bless you.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman to Woman Talk #6 – “Je ki Oko o De” – Empower yourself Financially

This week let’s talk about empowering ourselves as women. “Je ki Oko o de” literally means “A woman who waits and depends on her husband to buy or pay for everything she needs personally or to keep the home running”.

Some time ago I heard of a woman whose husband set her up in a business two or three different times. I will call her Titi(not real name).
Titi enjoys sitting at home and watching movies, shopping for new clothes, visiting and chatting with friends. When it comes to running her business she isn’t interested. And so everytime she starts a business she ruins it losing both capital and profit. Titi is comfortable with just living a flamboyant life and sitting at home. Lucky for  her she has a man who is rich. However the man soon got fed up of having to help her set up any business and losing all the money. This became an issue in their family.

Another category of “Je Oko o De women are young ladies who are not even properly educated or come from a humble background.  They marry a man struggling to make ends meet and simply refuse to work.  The man is expected to take care of her, their 7 children and the home. If she wants to buy salt, sugar, food and even her underwears she waits for her dear husband to pay for everything! (Ridiculous). Such a woman is at the mercy of the poor husband who has to pay for everything. Unfortunately some of these men spend their money on other things and not on these wives.

So woman, lady here is the thing, It is time you make something out of your life! You need to be financially empowered!

It is time you pay attention to minding your business or career.

Lady forget that gist that a man us solely meant to be the provider. Some of my friends will say do you want to kill him in this economic recession! 😀.

And seriously you need to be free and able to meet some of your own financial needs. It is unfair to yourself and your husband to depend on him for everything. It is frustrating in my own opinion.

Why you need to earn your own money:
1) It enables you to be financially free,
2) You get that rewarding feeling that you can contribute to the upkeep of your family.
3) You have a sense of dignity being able to make some money no matter how little.
4) You are able to give your aged parents money without hassling your man to do it.
5) It eases money tension in the home and saves you the embarrassment of not been able to handle even simple money needs of your children.
6) God forbid anything happening to the man...I mean people die so what happens to you and your children. Especially if the man’s extended family are the type that will come and take over the man’s property leaving his wife with nothing.
7) Say your man even loses his job or business what will you all fall back on?Your own earnings can save the family financial embarrassment before your man finds his feet again.

The virtuous in the book of proverbs was a hard working business woman who provided for her household and her husband was respected in the gates of the city. STOP Being Lazy!

Time to pursue your dreams, time to mind your business and career.

In another post we will take a look at ways to make money as a woman. Till then enjoy your everyday life and know that you are special, woman.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)