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

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An Opportunity on a Notice Board- What She did with It.

A notice board on a national highway. Credits: Alamy.com

There are people that you meet and see every day and simply don’t know their story. They lift their heads each new day ready to make the best of the day. Opportunity comes once in a while and a window into someone’s life opens and then you are blown away by what you see and hear. I got such a rare opportunity with Nifesi (Not Real Name). She is one of our cleaners in my office (Why do I keep meddling?) and I heard something recently about her that lifted my spirits.

Nifesi’s Story – She dares to dream and pursue

I had a conversation with  Nifesi, who dared to pursue an opportunity she saw while sweeping on a notice board.

A week ago I heard that Nifesi now features on the station’s Language (Yoruba) news commentary and had even read a major news bulletin on one occasion. So when I had an opportunity to chat with her to find out more about what inspired her. The road to appearing in the news commentary report started with an announcement placed on the general notice board. Members of staff of the organization were asked to see the management and put their names down if they had skills in presenting Yoruba programs. Nifesi while sweeping the corridor saw the notice and something lite up in her head. “I can do this”, she said to herself.

Opportunities jump out in places least expected sometimes…pay attention and take your chance.

As soon as she was done cleaning, she went in search of everyone that matters and she was advised to start translating news bulletin in English to Yoruba. Nifesi started to practice translating this bulletin every day after her cleaning job. He would then show her translation to those experienced on the job. When she was ready to showcase what she could to, Nifesi approached the news director and programs director to beg them to allow her to read what she had translated. They listened at first politely not wanting to embarrass her. They told her to go and register her interest at the top management level. Nifesi kept going back and forth and would not stop until an audition was sanctioned. After this, others could now listen to what she could do and approved and fell in love with her voice.

You never know what you can do until you try, make that effort, go that extra mile

Even after this nod of approval that Nifesi had what it takes to translate and read news items in the Yoruba language nobody gave her a chance to come to the microphone. Nifesi kept on in hope doing her cleaning job while also still practicing translation of old news bulletin. A day came when those rostered for the news where unavoidably absent. Nifesi strolled in to pick a bulletin as usual to practice her translation and she was given the bulletin to be read for that day. She was trembling and very nervous, carrying out this task that she had dreamed of for months felt like been taken to the court to receive a life sentence. Nifesi in spite her nervousness took the challenge by the bull’s horns and faced it headlong. After featuring as the newsreader for that day, Nifesi received a lot of commendation and that is how she became a newsreader while still carrying out her duty as a cleaner who sweeps our offices and washes the toilet.

Keep pushing until you get a YES!!

I looked at Nifesi in admiration as she shared her story. I was curious and wanted to know more about her. My inquiry revealed that Nifesi while still working on her job as a cleaner had struggled to get a National Diploma(OND) at a Polytechnic as a part-time student. It was tough paying for her school fees. Nifesi would go cap in hand begging the school authority to allow her to pay in installments. Finally, she finished a course in Business Management. When I asked if she had collected her certificate Nifesi said she is yet to because she still owed the school a balance of her school fees. I hope she is able to raise the money because I sense that she may soon be ending her time as a cleaner.

You have what it takes to make that dream happen.

I raise my hands to salute a woman like Nifesi; a woman whom her husband abandoned because they had trouble with bearing children. A strong woman determined to move on with her life and pursue her dreams and goals in spite of her many trials and challenges.

YOU WILL MAKE IT, NEVER BELIEVE LESS OF YOURSELF.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Tips to Kick Start Your Week #2 – Mundane Monday

#Humour
This is what we got for breakfast at a workshop. 

Yeah trust my fellow Nigerian clan… Meat pie, fish roll and one meat plus a cup of tea is an appetizer! 😀😀.

Correct breakfast is a full plate of beans and plantain and for some a big bowl of eba or fufu… 😂😂 will suffice for the whole day. 

So here we were at the workshop praying that lunch time will come quickly as our stomachs rumbled.

Welcome to a brand new week. It is a  week filled with new possibilities.

What you need do to have a successful week.

  • Be optimistic,
  • write a few points on things you want to achieve
  • Go for it

While you are reeving “your engine” and charging up to run this week’s race remember…

  • Remember to take a good breakfast before setting out in the morning.
  • Remember to take a break in between your tasks for the day.
  • Remember to rest and sleep well at night.
  • Remember to take care of yourself as well as you do with work.

It is not what you are going to do that matters but what you are doing now – Napoleon Hill 

Enjoy your week!
Adebisi Adetunji (C) BusyBee Media for Social Change and Development. 

 

Volunteer Work: Training & Equipping Young & Upcoming People with tools for becoming a 21st Century Media Personnel

We must learn to give back to society in every way possible and it is not always about money.

I had an opportunity, alongside colleagues in the media to help train young and upcoming media On-Air-Personalities.

The training included: Presentation Skills, Radio /TV production ; Scriptwriting, Pronunciation & Elocution, Handling of camera, Understanding the use of Yoruba language for the media.

My assignment was to train participants the art of Scriptwriting. This equipped them with tools for writing ; writing for radio/drama. It was exciting and fun to be able to share some of the skills acquired in my over  16 years working in the media.

It was a great time volunteering alongside some of my senior mentors in the industry like Gabriel Onafurume- Rtrd Deputy Programs Director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; Omowunmi Adebola Bello- Assistant Deputy Director Programs FRCN and my very resourceful & creative colleague, Tolu Adepoju – TV/Radio media consultant.

Success is reproducing yourself in others as a manager.

Talent is not enough – John C. Maxwell 

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

You need to change to get your desired change – #Kick Starting Your Week

The change you desire requires a change of action.

You’ve got to do something new to get a new result…or at least do the old things better; Stop been afraid to step out.

If you want to get out of debt:
• You must start paying back having a regular payment plan.
• You need to spend within your earning are not over.
• You need to change your credit mentality.

If you want to move into a new job:
• Start searching for your options.
• Acquire skills and training to get you ready and equipped for that new place you envision.

If you want to start a new business:
• Research your field and know more about it.
• Learn from those who have gone ahead of you.
• Be an apprentice if you have to; learn from the mistakes of others

You desire to move from singlehood to been married/into a relationship leading to commitment:
•Are you getting better as a person? Work on being a better you.
• Learn more about what makes relationships/marriage work.
• Get out and be friendly not in a desperate way 🙂
• Come down from your very high standard that even you cannot measure up to.

You desire a better marriage:
• Be willing to give it more of your love, time and resources.
• Work on your annoying habits
• Be willing to forgive and let go.
• Be willing to say I am sorry when you are wrong.

You desire a new accommodation:
• Get out and search your options.
• Decide what you want.
• Plan and save for it.

If you do not change, nothing will change.

Change your position
Change the way you think
Change yourself by working on yourself
Change your plan of action
Move, move, don’t just sit down.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Woman to Woman Talk #10 – Empower Yourself by Working

What is Your View about Not Working as a Woman and the man pays all the bills?

Women stay at home not employed in a 9-5 job for various reasons. Some want to give time to nursing and caring for their babies and children until they are old enough. This is a great investment and noble role in my opinion.

A category of non- working mothers/women are the ones who do not engage in any business or at least a work from home kind of job because your Excellency the husband says he does not want them to work. The man is wealthy and has a good paying job so he believes he can take care of his wife and family. And my dear woman stays put waiting for her man to bring home the goodies every day. Fantastic but watch it!

Once upon a time, a rich man tells his wife to be a stay at home wife and allow him to take care of her every need. At first, she agreed but soon the entrepreneur in her woke up. She loved to bake and does catering job so she convinced him to allow her to start her own business. It was tough convincing him but she went ahead anyway. A few years down the line the men died and guess what? His family members came karting away all the man’s properties and estate. This dear woman only smiled as she was financially buoyant to care for herself and children. Her business had expanded and it was thriving well. Imagine if she had stayed at home doing nothing as his Excellency her husband wishes.

In case you are thinking this is far-fetched another couple’s story from a different angle might convince you. This time the man had a high paying job and they were really comfortable. However, he encouraged his wife to pursue her business dream and even invested money in helping her expand her business. A few years later he lost his job and this family survived for a season on the wife’s business before he got another job.

There are women who do not even want to work or do any business. This I find amusing and I also keep my fingers cross to see the day trouble will arrive at their door in the name of poverty/hard times. Some women are the ones stopping themselves from working or pursing any business goal and not their husbands. I know of men who set up their wife’s business several times as she keeps ruining it because she believes that there is enough money in his pocket to keep feeding them for a long time. Each time he invests in a business for her she sinks it through negligence and laziness.

Let me share a few things that could happen with that arrangement of not harnessing your skill or engaging in work:
You become frustrated having to depend on your man for every purchase and financial needs.
You lose your independence somehow.
The man soon becomes cranky having to deal with and give you money even for minute things. Soon he begins to lash out even when it is unintentional.
Tension over money matters.
If something goes wrong with your man’s business, job or source of income you are all in a BIG FINANCIAL MESS.

Benefit of Work to a Woman
Work for you as a woman goes beyond just earning money. It gives you a sense of fulfillment.
Work gives you a channel to use your skill and contribute your quota as a human being to society.
Work gives you an opportunity to make your dreams come true.

When I say work I do not necessarily mean an office job. Whatever you do using your talent, time and skills to make a living is your work.
So get off your butt and get to work. Do something Woman!

Adebisi Adetunji ©

Getting Your Hands Dirty in a Good Way – Story of Two Young Ladies

Two young ladies made an impression on me this week. I will call both of them Janet and Rose (not real names) respectively. Janet is a cleaner at an organization who needed this job badly at least from what I observed but she had an attitude problem. Often I hear of complaint that she spoke rudely to her supervisors each time she is queried for coming late to work or not doing her job well. I wondered how long she would last on this job.

Some time ago I remember having a conversation with Janet about not limiting herself to this cleaning job. I encouraged her to think of furthering her education. A few days ago I heard that Janet simply announced that she was no longer coming to work again as a cleaner…I was flabbergasted! Not that she didn’t have a right to leave this cleaning job but I knew it was about her not being ready to get her hands dirty to climb her ladder of success slowly but surely. I wondered what lay ahead, she may get pregnant again as she already had a baby whose father is nowhere to be found.

Never be ashamed or too proud to start small. Small things become big.

Rose on the hand is a Diploma student who came on Industrial attachment to the same organization Janet worked  in as a cleaner. While Rose was a student Intern she was up and doing learning all she could. Everyone spoke well of her as she was dutiful and respectful. Rose just finished her Industrial attachment and it coincided with Janet’s announcement of leaving.

What was baffling for me was that Rose quickly applied to be a cleaner to replace janet in the same organization to enable her to earn some money to further pursue her education!

Why I’m I surprised? It is not too often that I see a student willing to be a cleaner, washing toilets, sweeping offices and getting his/her hand dirty with dignity.

Many young people want to start from the top of the ladder of success instead of climbing up steadily like Janet.

I feel sorry for Janet and wonder what her life will eventually turn out to be. She is ill-equipped and ill-prepared for a life of independence with little or no education or skills. And instead of settling down to working her way up, she wants things to move fast. And as I observed her from afar, she has a lot of unserious men flocking around her and she is really enjoying the attention.

Getting our hands dirty in a good way, is a good thing.
Humility brings exaltation and promotion. There is dignity in labor.
Work is a good thing…It is a gift…It is a channel of blessings.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)