She Survived Several Attempts of Suicide… You Don’t Have to End It, There is Hope

I just read this post on a whatsapp group I belong to. It is the personal testimony of Njideka Athalia Adrika. I am still speechless and really moved about what she had been through. You need to read her story… Don’t give in to that suicidal thought! I know life can be hard and tough and you have been through a lot. But YOU ARE IMPORTANT & THERE IS HOPE OF A GREATER FUTURE.

Photo credit - cupofjo. com

Njideka’s Story

WORTHY!

I ingested 120 aspirin when I was 14 because I wanted out. I laid in bed that night waiting for death. What I experienced was a floating sensation as if my body was hovering above me. There was a continuous ringing in my ears and ten thousand drummers banging in my head. I was sleeping but wasn’t asleep; slipping in and out of consciousness. I was glad I have finally ended it…

My mother woke me up the next morning to get ready for school, I was heart broken that I was still alive. I couldn’t eat breakfast that morning, my belly felt shallow and empty, but no one asked me why I wasn’t eating.

As I stood at the Assembly ground, a wave of dizziness overcame me, I started throwing up foamy white liquid. The last thing I heard were screams and commotions.

When I finally came to in the hospital, the doctor questioned mother who smirked and said I was a drama queen.

My mother didn’t ask me why I did such a silly thing. She was only mad that I gave people reasons to talk about us.

I did it again at 18. This time I was wiser. I made sure that I had everything properly planned. No need for a note, they already knew why.
I increased the dosage of the aspirin to 300. I dissolved it in a drink and gulped it down. Then, I started throwing up. The maid heard. Screams.
I woke up in the hospital. But I shut my eyes, willing myself to die. The longer they believe I’m still unconscious, the chances the doctor will keep topping the medication to wake me up, then, it will be too much for me system, I will go.

Beep … beep…beep… what is that sound? It is distracting my dying process. I opened my eyes. The doctor asked why I did it? My mother said I was seeking attention.

I was kept overnight for observation. The hospital psychiatrist came to see me. He wanted to know my motive. “Your life is not yours to take” he said. He asked thousand and one questions but I didn’t utter a word. He was booking another appointment to see me when my mother busted into the room and raised hell.

She threatened to sue the hospital, they had no right to traumatize me the more (like she cared), she was so mad that the veins on her forehead and neck was popping out. She wanted to find out everything I had said in her absence. When she was assured, I didn’t utter a word, she took the doctor’s notes and erased our records from that hospital. We never used the same hospital twice for medical ‘emergencies’.

On our way home, my mother shifted all her frustration on me. I was slapped, pushed, shoved and verbally abused. She called me terrible names and reminded me of how my stupid stunts were attracting unnecessary attention to us. Not once did she ask my reasons, my motives, my triggers… She knows.

My mother – Eberechukwu Adirika nee Ofodili had a tough childhood. Her father was a village policeman with no atom of integrity. He was a criminal with uniform. He was a hired hand for whomever needed police protection, the shadier your business the better. He had three wives and thirteen children and never bothered about any of them. My mother was the fifth child of her father and the first of her mother. Her mother made sure she had primary and secondary education. Before, her father could pimp her out to one of his associates, with the help of her mother she ran to Awka and never returned.
When she got to the state capital, she did odd jobs to survive. She won’t tell us what the jobs were, but it was in one of those jobs she met my father – Chris Ozoemena Adrika.
An undergraduate from a wealthy family.

He helped my mother secure an accommodation, started a restaurant for her, and in turn she took care of his ‘supplies’. Though the ‘supplies’ came later when my mother was solely dependent on my father. He had her where he wanted. In other words, she ran from a brute of a father and ended up with worse for a husband.

At 22, I drank 75cl of kerosene, but death eluded me. I did a thorough research. People died through this method. I didn’t. I was once again taken to the hospital. Stomach pumped, doctors wondered why, mother waved them off. The only difference is that this time my father told me that he is the only one that will decide when I die.

I gained admission into a university in the South – South, I was overjoyed. Freedom!
My hopes were dashed. My father got me into a private Uni at Nkpor, a few kilometers from Onitsha and assigned a driver and car to me.
I have never slept outside my father’s house, apart from my nights in hospitals. My life was already drawn and mapped out for me from birth.

My mates envied me. They think I’m a snob. They had no idea. I’m not allowed to make friends so that I won’t mistakenly get emotional and divulge the family secret. My driver is also my parents’ spy. Every movement I made is reported verbatim. I have no life. I am so depressed. My daily thoughts centers around taking my life yet I’m envied by many.

I was never one to have hope or faith. I was never one to think it will get better. I’m never one to think there will be a way out that is not death. I couldn’t attempt again because I was never alone. My parents made sure of that. I was watched 24/7. I had no privacy. But I needed to die.

After 7 years I met him again. The psychiatrist. He remembered me and my mother’s outburst. He was a medical student when we met years ago. He wanted my phone number. I told him I didn’t own a phone. He asked me out on a date I told him I couldn’t. “Why” he asked. “Too complicated “I said. “I want to be your friend, boyfriend, whatever you are comfortable with” he pressed on. He was running a Masters program and started coming into my lecture room, sitting close to me and we would talk about everything except the “reason”.

He invited me to church programs but I turned him down. So, he started giving me books to read, articles and my first Bible. He never pushed me to tell him my story but always ends our meetings with a prayer; “Father Lord we thank you for yet another day. Thank you for your daughter. You have already started a good thing in her life, and we are confident you will bring it to an expected end. In Jesus name we pray, Amen “.

How will I explain my breakthrough. I don’t know the word to use but maybe just maybe Sylvester’s prayer is working (Yes. That’s his name: Doctor Sylvester Ifediba).

I decided to read the Bible and ask God to speak to me through the Bible, since he has refused to take my life. If he wants me to live, he should give me a purpose. Sly said that the answer to all my questions lies in the bible.

I flipped the pages and ended up in first John, chapter four. I was marveled. God loves me even though my life is so messed up!

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. God loves me. His love is for me. I needed assurance. I needed more explanation. I asked God to show me more:
I turned my bible to Corinthians;

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

My hand had a mind of its own, I kept opening scriptures and reading: John 3: 3; 16, Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, etc.

I couldn’t sleep that night, I cried, I read, I pleaded to God to renew my life. At a point, I think my parents came into my room, but I didn’t care. I needed what I was reading in the Bible; Peace. I surrendered my life to Christ that night in my room, where so many evil deeds have been committed. I felt a heavy burden lifted off my life. I felt renewed, I had Peace and finally I was free.

I couldn’t wait to talk to Sly. At school the next day, not caring about my parent’s surveillance, I took him to a quiet corner told him of my experience last night, he hugged me and said a thankful prayer to God. Then, I told him my story.

My name is Njideka Athalia Adrika. The last child and only girl of Chief & Mrs. Chris Adrika. I have 4 older brothers who I was never close to. By the time I was old enough to play with them they were already in boarding schools. We never had relationship till date.

Naturally, I was close to my father. When I was around 3 years old, my nanny then asked me a simple question: have anyone being putting their finger in your pee – pee because I always flinch in pain when she is bathing me. I said yes. “Who” she asked. “Daddy” I answered excitedly. She told my mother and she lost her job (or her life, who knows).

My mother sat me down that day and told me that I shouldn’t tell anyone how much my father loves me, that is how father’s show love to their daughters.

I found out years later that the girls in my class didn’t receive such love from their fathers. My father was an animal and my mother aided him to keep her place in the society.

My mother took me to my first and numerous abortions. When I was not ‘available’, my mother ‘supplied’ my father with young girls. I was a sex toy for my father and my mother made sure I was well polished and shiny for his use. I tried taking my life several times because it was not worth living.

By the time I ended my story, Sly was weeping. He followed me home that day and asked my father to release me to him or he’ll expose him. My father of course threatened him with death. Sly said and I quote; “The story is in the pipeline, any day I go missing, it hits social media and all news agencies “.

I think about that sometimes and am thankful and glad I didn’t t die.

I am 58 years old today, a wife, a mother and have had a wonderful life, one I wouldn’t have otherwise had.
I can’t stress how important it is to seek a good friend, a pastor, or professional help if the feelings of suicide or depression overtake you.

I attempted suicide several times because I believed I wasn’t worth anything. Death was my only way out.
Thank God for salvation; for forgiveness; for my faith in Him. For making me a vessel unto honour.

I am Worthy.
#Asurvivor
#saynotosuicide.

Adebisi Adetunji –  Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.c

That Story that Says – I Can Make it! Yes You Can!

As a creative person, story writer and producer I can smell a great story miles away. My ears are quick to pick up on a good story. Here we were in the office working and in comes a colleague. She had with her a copy of an admission letter to do her masters at the university. I was so excited for her because I had watched her grow from being a receptionist at the corporation to become an On-Air personality. I just had to get her to tell her story. I promise you,  It is indeed that kind of story that says – “YOU CAN MAKE IT, REGARDLESS OF YOUR BACKGROUND OR STRUGGLES”!

Her Story

My name is Lilian Onianwa(Née Ukandu)

My story is long I’ll try as much as I can to shorten it

I finished secondary school at  age16. I had everything planned out that is, get admission into the university to study medicine; finish up; get a masters degree and get married. Things didn’t work out as I planned.

I wrote the JAMB examination and got admission into Ebonyi State University to study Microbiology but only spent 2 years in the course and couldn’t continue. My father was in far away South Africa and somehow we were not getting any money from him because my stepmom was keeping it all for herself.

I had to drop out and moved to my grandmother’s house in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria. I didn’t get tired of looking for admission because for me getting admission into school meant living…”How can I not go to school”?

I wrote many exams and got admitted into various tertiary institutions-OAU Ife, FUTA, and Wesley University Ondo. Each time the admission came through for me there would be no money to pay school fees. But I couldn’t just stop and fold my arms…NO. I knew that I didn’t have money to pay school fees but I just won’t stop! The joy in my heart each time I get these admission letters is immeasurable. I was hopeful and each time I’ll say to myself “at least it’s just money that is the remaining ingredient in my educational pursuit”. ‘I just wanted to go to school and I didn’t have a job either to support myself. I was living on a monthly allowance that I got from my Uncle.

In 2011, I finally got a job as a receptionist in a media organization, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) with my Senior Secondary School Certificate and was earning 17,300 at the time barely enough to fend for myself. Life as a receptionist in FRCN was a different ball game. Half the time, people looked down on us a lot because to them “she is just a receptionist “. In fact, I was the staff with the lowest grade level and I was constantly bullied and degraded for that. There were times I would cry and cry but I kept telling myself that one day ‘I will bag a Ph.D.”.

Finally, I got an admission into the University of Ibadan to study Psychology in 2012. It was a Part-time course and I had to combine working at my job and studies. It was challenging especially when I became pregnant with my daughter. At times, I will be on duty and I’ll have to leave the office to go and write my exams and come back to work after the day’s exams…but I kept pushing.

In 2013, I wrote a letter to the management for Redeployment to the programmes department and with the help of  Mr. Gabriel Onafurume, the Deputy Director Programmes (DDP) at the time I was considered for it. I got redeployed to the Library because that was the only unit in the department that can take a low-level staff like me. I was a Level 4 officer. However, I knew I could do more so I joined a production team and began to feature on a programme called ‘Campus Beat’. This gave me an exposure to the art of presentation and programme production and it worked in my favor.

I have had 3 promotion interviews since I started working with FRCN. Each time I go before the interview panel and I’m asked to bring my credentials, and as I hand them my O’levels result, I die 30 times over. To the glory of God in the last promotion interview which held in January 2019, I went there with my B.Sc certificate! I graduated in 2018  with a 2.2. I was 0.1 shy of a 2.1.

After graduation, I wanted more, I had to go to the next phase and the Post Graduate school, the University of Ibadan will never take me with my Pass in Mathematics(which was graciously waved during my undergraduate level). So I went back to Secondary school and wrote NECO(July 2018) exams again after 14 years. Fortunately, I made all my subjects in that one sitting and now I’m on my way to studying a masters degree in Personality and Social Psychology. and I’m not stopping there as I intend to eventually bag a Ph.D.

What motivates me: Success
I want to be a very successful woman. I have a beautiful daughter and someday I want her to read the Newspapers and see something about her mother. There was no way that was going to happen if I didn’t go to school. No matter how wealthy I am as a ‘business’ woman with no degree I will never be fulfilled if I didn’t get my degrees.

All the while, I was alive but I wasn’t living. Getting a degree gave me a new life..now I’m fulfilled. I feel like I can tackle anything life throws at me now with confidence. But then some people may say ‘it’s just a degree’; to me, it’s not just a degree, it’s the key to a new life, a new ME and a breath of fresh air.

My dreams:

  • I want to become a Criminal Psychologist and I’m already working on that.
  • I hope to own a Television show that will focus on criminals especially the ones serving time for murder/homicide, investigation of the 24 hours leading up to when the crime was committed, what triggered that action and rehabilitation for the prisoners during and after prison. And this dream is very VALID!

You can Make it ; Yes you Can! 

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

16 YEAR OLD GIRL MENTORING OTHER GIRLS – LAUNCHES AN “ALL GIRLS MUST GO TO SCHOOL PROJECT ”

In Nigeria, it is estimated that 23% of women aged 15-19years have begun childbearing and 32% of teenagers in rural areas have become young mothers, according to the Demographic Health Survey of 2013. One of the focal points of discussion at the just concluded family planning conference in Nigeria which took place on the 3rd – 6th of December, 2018 in Nigeria is the prevention of teenage pregnancy and promotion of adolescent reproductive health rights.

Youth and Adolescents were given the opportunity to speak up about their health needs so policymakers can put in place services to meet these needs. As part of efforts to make visible the works of young people making an impact in their communities, 5 young people shared their innovative work as it relates to reproductive health needs of adolescents and young persons. The youngest of them, to give a pitch about her work was 16 years old, Peace Ayo Adegbola. It was heartwarming seeing this young determined girl doing something to make the lives of others better.

Peace giving a pitch about her work with girls in her community.

Peace Adegbola is a role model to other adolescent girls in her community. She equips girls with life skills and information necessary to curb teenage pregnancy. She shared the story of her journey into becoming girls advocate in this interview with me.

A.A: Tell us your name

Peace: My name is Peace Ayo Adegbola

A.A: So are you a student?

Peace: Yes I’m a student. I just wrote my WAEC, waiting for admission into the university. I am a girl advocate and I’m 16 years old.

A.A: What steered you up in that direction?

Peace & Her Dad

Peace: My daddy works with Society for family health and so he goes to rural communities to educate these young girls about the importance of family planning. Sometimes he normally takes me along. When I go to these communities I find that the majority of these adolescent girls are not in school. Boys are going to school and a majority of the girls are at home. I was just 10 years old so I started asking questions, became anxious and wanted to do something about this. I felt like if a 10year old girl Like me is outspoken, I wanted other girls to be too and I decided to be an advocate. And my dad inspired me, the communities I have been to and what the girls are passing through.

A.A: That was how you started the girls club?

Peace sharing her story in a quick interview with Adebisi

Peace: The girls club actually started as a self-esteem session with the girls. I launched a project on “All Girls must go to School” which targeted girls that are not in school to ensure that these girls go to school. We have about 200 girls are now in school as a result and come this September more girls will be enrolled. I needed a sustainability plan to keep these girls in school. I found out that something so simple as self-esteem makes them drop out of school. So I created a small group where I talk to these young girls. At first, it was just the girls we were sponsoring to school.

A.A: How are you funding this sponsorship?

Peace: Strong Enough Girls are my key partners, Youth Hub Africa, and so many partners and some individuals that buy into the idea.

A.A: Going forward where do you see this? Are you intending to fully make a career of development work?

Peace: Yes! Because my partner, who happens to be my dad, and I currently jointly own an organization. It is something I want to do for life; it’s something that even though I do other things, this is one thing I will never leave. This is service to humanity and girls like me. I believe so much in their potentials.

A.A: Your advice for girls, adults and especially parents.

Peace: My advice to young girls is that there is time for everything; take it one step at a time. And if you have made some mistakes don’t use it to judge yourself or pull yourself back. The thing about making mistakes or falling down is for you to know the right way to take. My advice to parents is that they should have a close relationship with their kids and to actually open up. Tell them about sexual reproductive issues. Talk to your child about hygiene, menstrual hygiene. Do not code things and give wrong information, for example, say that “if a boy touches you, you will get pregnant, No! Tell them that it is sex that gets a girl pregnant. Prepare them so they will make the right choices.

Adolescent and youth health needs is a must attend to.

Someone mentored Peace Aydegbola right and now she, in turn, has become a mentor and role model to other girls in her community, nipping teenage pregnancy in the bud and inspiring girls to go to and finish school.

One person can make a huge difference

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

The Cleansing Rites – A Short Story Prt 2

My heart pounded fast as I listened to more of mother’s sob. Tears flowed down my check as I wondered whether her resolve not to give in to the rites of having to sleep with her late husband’s brother in order to allow father’s spirit to rest. Would she stand the pressure been mounted on her by his family? It was believed that failure to carry out this rite as was the custom meant that family will be under a curse, which meant more deaths in the family.

Mother had been through a lot. Only the arrival of my brother Obinna gave her relief from the pressures of father’s family. I remembered uncle Ebuka taunted her with the fact that she had no inheritance if she couldn’t bear a son. It was only through father’s support and his refusal to take another wife that gave her hope for the 9years she had to wait after giving birth to me. I finally slept off only to be woken by grandma’s early morning chanting to chi, the family god. I heard her pray that her son’s spirit would find rest in the land beyond. She prayed that chi would drive away evil from her clan. Mother got up at about this time too. Her face was swollen and I knew she hadn’t slept through the night. I greeted her and she answered with a sigh. We both knew it would be another day of sitting down on the mourning mat, receiving sympathizers from all over the village.

Meaning of Word

Cleansing RitesPurification ritual – In the context of this story, a widowhood ritual expected to be performed by a widow in some cultures to wade of certain evil occurrence.

-An excerpt from one of my short stories collection.

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

The Cleansing Rites – A Short Story

The circle of cleansing was about to begin again. Now there are three spirits that must rest in peace. I look up to the ceiling where dark cobwebs hanged. A fly was caught in the web and a big spider circled around to feast on its prey. Obinna and I were now as a trapped as the fly. I turned to look at his tear-stained face and then my eyes monitored the rising and falling of his chest as he slept. It was necessary to assure myself that he was still breathing. We were both lying down on the wooden bed with the flat dirty mattress. My eyes went back to the ceiling where the spider had now reached its prey. The voices of the elders mixed with grandma’s plea to the gods to have mercy on our entire clan were now even louder.

I felt a choke in my throat and then fresh tears began to flow down my face. Their voices became distant as my mind traveled to that night I was stirred from my sleep by the whispering voice of my mother. “I won’t do it Ebuka”, said mother. “I’m only trying to fulfill the cleansing rites”, replied Uncle Ebuka. “Please leave now”, mother said in a harsh tone. I heard Uncle Ebuka’s short clipped laughter as he said, “Chinwe, you know the elders have spoken” and I heard his footsteps leaving. Mother started to sob quietly. I laid down not saying anything and my mind went back to the time father was still alive.

– An excerpt from one of my short stories collection.

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

The Possibility of Ending Sexual Violence in War: Nadia Murad #2018NobelPeacePrize

The week had been busy and Friday was here, I looked forward to a relaxing weekend. Ready to sort out a few tasks for the day, the TV was tuned to CNN and there written on the screen was – Breaking News- 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to be announced shortly. My interest was immediately turned on and I sat to follow the unfolding story. Soon Berit Reiss Anderson, the chairman Nobel Peace Prize committee, stood on the podium briefing press men and out came the names of two individuals who have been lending their voices and working hard at ending sexual violence and genocides – Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad. I wanted to know more about these two persons and so here I am getting ready to share a few of my findings on their stories in two separate posts.

I could never hope to capture their pain, agony, struggles and tireless efforts at mending others and speaking up to get the international community and everyone in the world to end this war crime – Sexual violence/rape as a tool for war.

But I’d like to simply share their work and story briefly in the bid to say, “I salute your courage; thank you for giving yourself so others can live in a safer world”.

                               NADIA MURAD 

Nadia Murad
Photo Credit: SBS

As I watched a few video recordings that documented a few of Nadia’s speeches, advocacy campaigns and the film, “On her shoulders”; I got a glimpse of her personality and not just her picture. One can see and feel her pain as she struggled bravely to share her story and mostly appealed that something should be done to save the Yazidis from the Islamic State’s (ISIS) determination to eliminate her people. In the documentary film, “On her shoulders”, she wept and had to wipe away her tears so she could be strong for those who looked to her as a voice for their freedom. Tears welled up in my eyes too – there is no amount of telling that will ever be able to explain or paint the picture of what she and other girls must have gone through in the hands of their abductors; not to mention the pain of losing loved ones as well.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha was 19 years old when the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked her community and killed scores of people, abducting thousands of women and girls. Nadia was taken to the city of Mosul where her ISIS abductors did whatever they wished with her and others; she was beaten, tortured and raped. Three months later she managed to escape and ended up in a refugee camp and got lucky as one of those who benefited from the refugee program by Germany.

The horrific story of her experience in the hands of ISIS soon broke out and ever since Nadia Murad has been a voice speaking against the genocide of Yazidis and sex slavery as a weapon of war. She recounts her experience and remembers how her mother, brothers and many other families were murdered.

Tired of re-telling her story as reporters badged her with loads of questions about what happened Nadia In her words said: “Do not ask me questions about how I felt when I was raped but instead ask me about how to stop sexual violence; how women and girls can be protected from being used as sex slaves during wars. “I want justice for the Yazidis”

Nadia’s quest to draw the attention of everyone who can do something to end the plight of her people in the hands of ISIS led her to start the “Nadia Initiative”, to engage in advocacy and provide support for genocide victims in 2016.

At age 27, eight years later Nadia’s courageous efforts at ending genocide and sexual violence get her the prestigious award of 2018, Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Dr Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her response to the award reveals a woman who is resilient in her mission to end the persecution of the Yazidi communities:

“I am incredibly honoured and humbled by their support and I share this award with Yazidis, Iraqis, Kurds, other persecuted minorities and all of the countless victims of sexual violence around the world:

“As a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people who have suffered unimaginable crimes since the genocide by Daesh, which began in 2014. Many Yazidis will look upon this prize and think of family members that were lost, are still unaccounted for, and of the 1,300 women and children, which remain in captivity. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis, have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women, in particular, have suffered greatly as they have been, and continue to be the victims of sexual violence…” Nadia Murad. Click on this link to find her full statement”

The Possibility of ending sex slavery and sexual violence as a weapon of war

I am reminded of a personal experience my mother shared with me many years ago. In her heydays as an adolescent just like Nadia, an inter-tribal conflict arose between our community and another. She and other young girls became a target as the conflict escalated; the warriors/fighters of each community would raid homes and carry away young girls like her to become brides of the warring men. My mother was hidden by her parents for a while but soon it became apparent that she was no longer safe. Lucky for her they managed to sneak her off to the city where it was safe. My mother who is now over 70 years was one of the lucky girls, some of her friend’s lives were changed forever as they did not escape.

Sexual violence as a weapon of war is as old as our great, great, great forefathers and mothers. Will this ever end? I believe the answer is to find preventive measures and resolutions to conflicts before they escalate into wars. I believe also that we humans must give room for others to live and be for we all deserve to live peaceably and flourish. great and mothers. Will this ever end? I believe the answer is to find preventive measures and resolutions to conflicts before they escalate into wars. I believe also that we humans must give room for others to live and be for we all deserve to live peaceably and flourish. Laws should also be put in place to punish perpetrators of such heinous crime.

Nadia’s dream and goal is aptly captured in the last line of her statement: “We must not only imagine a better future for women, children and persecuted minorities, but we must also work consistently to make it happen – prioritizing humanity, not war. work consistently to make it happen – prioritizing humanity, not war.

Insight to keywords

War Crime: Torture, inhumane conducts or acts carried during a war which is against international rules guiding wars.

Yazidi: a community of people in Iraq but Yazidis can also be found in Turkey, Iran, Syria and Georgia. They are a closely knitted community who believed differently from the Islamic communities where they are situated. Hence, the reason for the Islamic State attacks and attempts to destroy them.

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

Meet Dr. Adeola Olubamiji: The First African Biomedical Engineer(Ph.D ): Her Life & Projects

A few days ago my boss asked me to accompany her to a meeting where I eventually met a young promising woman from Nigeria who lives in Canada and is making Nigeria proud. The story was that this lady was already doing a lot to project Africa and empower girls, women and the youth. Now that’s the kind of story I love to hear and therefore I was delighted to go meet this inspiring lady. But I actually met her via a SKYPE conversation … hehehe. I tell you our conversation with her blew me away and left me feeling good about my heritage as a Nigerian woman. She is the kind of role model young people need to inspire and motivate them to go on to achieve their dreams and goals.

So here I am trying to celebrate and project the good things this beautiful lady is doing.

This post shares a bit of our conversation with Dr. Adeola Olubamiji the first black person to obtain a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan . She speaks about herself and an ongoing project to empower young people in Ibadan in Tie-Dye Engineering. Dr. Adeola’s story went viral on the social media after she shared her story about how she rose from a humble background to become the scientist that she now is. Adeola went on to start STEMHUB FOUNDATION to inspire young people to pursue science and discover the possibilities therein. Bolatito Joseph- BJJ (Deputy Director Programmes- Radio Nigeria) conducted the interview.

Interview

BJJ: Tell us about yourself, a little bit about your background and why you are doing this project

DR. Adeola: Recently about a year ago I happen to be the first African to obtain a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan here in Canada. My upbringing, I was raised by two people with no formal education; from hawking pepper on the streets of Mokola, Ibadan to becoming a child farmer; having to help my mum on the farm and how all of this happened to me; then because of my love for science made me who I am today. I went ahead and posted my story on Facebook the day I convocated. That story went viral and it was in the news in Nigeria and the media basically. So I grew lots of followership on social media and as such I couldn’t hide anymore as a scientist who just wanted to live my life for myself. I realize that my life wasn’t mine anymore; a lot of people wanted to be a part of it; a lot of people were looking for a role model and some people were looking for mentors for themselves or for their children. So that’s how STEMHUB Foundation started.

Mokola, where the empowerment training on Tie & Dye engineering for young people is taking place in the neighborhood where I grew up. It is in this neighborhood that I hawked pepper. So I looked at my neighborhood and I found out that it is still the same. We still have people involved in vices and using prostitution as the only means of livelihood for them. So I was looking out there to see – what Is it I can help people acquire that they can use as a means to fend for themselves instead of having to do something shady or having to sell their body.

This Tie and Dye program is not the only program my foundation has sponsored. For the celebration of Women in the month of March 2018, I partnered with the Female Designers Movement in Lagos to sponsor design engineering for 150 women. We taught them graphic design making of posters; a user design for websites.

Right now after my Ph.D., I got a job and currently work as a lead material engineer in a company that basically manufacture Pollan, parts of engines of aircraft, fighter jets and all of that here in Canada. I am very passionate about anything engineering, 3D-printing which is my area and right now I focus on aerospace.

BJJ: Great! Ok can we talk about the many awards you’ve won

Dr. Adeola: Ok one thing I always tell people is, it is a lot difficult to talk about when it comes to hyping myself; I am not good at it.

BJJ: (Laughs)

Dr. Adeola: I believe something, “If your mission and vision in life are about you, you won’t go really far.

BJJ: Yeah

Dr. Adeola: But if your vision and your mission are about the people you will go really, really far. And often times those types of vision and mission are bigger than you and require a lot of resilient for it to happen. After my story broke out on the internet, the “Media Broadcast Corporation” which is our own “Radio Nigeria” here in Canada recognized me as one of the 150 black women making Canada better for the celebration of Canada at 150years last year. Also last year the Canadian Nigerian Association honored me as “The Woman of Outstanding Achievements in Education”, July 2017. Fortunately, Oni of Ife and some other dignitaries from Nigeria attended that event.

“If your mission and vision in life are about you, you won’t go really far. But if your vision and your mission are about the people you will go really, really far.

In my absence the Ondo state government honored me as 2018 female role model of young girls in the state. I have also been nominated by the Canadian Business Treat; these are a group of women whose passion centers on finding entrepreneurs and young Canadian women and honoring them. I have been nominated as one of the people that will receive an award this year, 2018.

Dr Olubamiji at a science training for some children

There is been a couple of awards here and there but to me, it is not about the awards. It is about what I can do for people. If it wins an award, yes I am happy but I would gladly celebrate the people and the progress we are making in the lives of the people than how many accolades I get or how many awards people have given me. This dream and vision are not about me, it’s about the people.

BJJ: You have done so well for yourself and I want to tell you that Nigeria is proud of you. Now, are you thinking of coming back home?

Dr. Adeola: The Industry that I work in right now focus on 3D-printing different on aerospace material. During my Ph.D. I was fortunate to use this same 3D-printing, to manufacture. So 3D-Printing is an area growing drastically around the world; Nigeria has not embraced the idea yet. If there is an opportunity to come and be a part of trading digital manufacturing space for Africa so that we can attract automotive companies to come and open their brands in Nigeria, I will definitely love to be a part of such change. Until that moment when this type of opportunity happens I think I will stay here in Canada to grow my knowledge and without money, I wouldn’t be able to help people in Nigeria.

BJJ: (Laughs)

Dr. Adeola: So I will stay here to be able to make some money and to be able to do what I do right now (Laughing). But if you ask me where is your heart? My heart is in Nigeria. I believe that positive role models are very, very rare to find in our society. And when we have such positive role models, often times they do not have the right platform to be projected so our young girls can see them. I feel that if I were to be present in Nigeria I will achieve way more; I will inspire and motivate way more. And I could be a part of those people who can help drive success among women and young people in Nigeria. Until that time when I get the opportunity, I have to be here.

But the good news is that I will be coming home to Nigeria in August for two weeks to receive an award. I will do all I can to inspire; to encourage and be a part of the people; to let them see what is possible if you study science, believe in God and if you work hard and are resilient, you can go really far in life.

BJJ: Thank you very much for speaking with us. I really enjoyed this conversation. God bless, bye

Dr. Adeola: Thank you too Bye

I look forward to following Dr. Adeola’s journey and contributions to society and sharing more of her story and the lives she is touching. In another post, I will share photos and stories of young people I met at the Tie & Dye Training which held in Ibadan for young people. It was sponsored by STEMHUB Foundation.

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