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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Monday, February 12, 2007


I was going to write about some other "the rich also cry Nigeria" (quote from the dry witted Onoshe Nwabuikwu) happenance when my imperious young friend Tayo tells me an even more awful story, then my iconoclastic friend Temi walks in all 6 foot 1 inches of righteous anger and litany of Nigeria's many woes. We had started to do the typical Nigerian thing and lament about Nigeria when Tayo turns to
Temi and says but what are you and l going to do about it?

Just then, Wale Ajadi who is a phenomenon to be encountered called from London and in explaining that l was too ill to make my schedule trip to London, l reel out a catalogue of woes. Wale firmly said, "look Funmi you and l have had this conversation before and we all know the
problems, ole ni gbogbo won, in fact with the exception of a few ole ni gbogbo wa, ole ni won ni bi yin na, won kan bo dada ni (they are all thieves, in fact with the except ion of a few, we are all thieves and they are thieves here too, only it is carefully concealed).

The truth is l don't want to hear any more grammar or listen to all these PhDs. We need to move from a power economy to a people economy and that means generating commerce, to do that we have to get beyond frustration and start organizing thought, space and people. You have a great project in the works to go around campuses and reengineer young minds, focus on doing that; let us all focus on doing something. If we have no solutions and are not catalyzed to action, let us shut up.

It is not going to be easy, it is not easy anywhere but we have no choice, if not for us but for the next generations". After a few more such "pleasantries" Wale hung up and l open my inbox and see an email from the lovely Pamela Braide on the concept of armchair activism which l thought might be a brilliant way to organize Nigerian within and without on concrete specific projects. It is true that we must shut up and get up. We must decide whether are we going to be the generation that changes the Nigerian equation in the next quarter of a century or are we going to become the generation our children abuse and curse at pepper soup bars from Norway to Cape Verde in 25 years.

To start with, l’d like to organize a wikkipedia like, internet based volunteer and support group to institute our change a life programme into self sustaining legacy. Perhaps if we can do it with this simple charity based initiative, we can expand the model to so much more. All willing to get beyond frustration and change lives please send an email to changealifeproject@gmail.com


Anonymous said...

I am very interested in this and i want to help people and see change but taking a ride on the metro and bus today had me thinking, can there really be change, there are people living in stark poverty...and ive not even looked at nigeria, while people are living the good life , buying purses worth thousands, there are people that have no food to eat, no bed to sleep on, no water to take a bath, the things we take for granted. its when i see things like that that i remember what my calling is and i will make sure i do what i need to do and not be one of those who do all the talking and no action. God help us.

Eminie said...

what do we have to do apart from sending you a mail !

Star said...

I'm also interested in seeing things change in Nigeria. I was taking to a friend today and someone mentioned that tomorrow was valentines day (The day of love), he said there was nothing to celebrate cos there's no love in Nigeria and he listed many things that in a way almost convinced me that there was no love.
The bad things almost outshadow the good things so its as if there's no good thing happening at all.
Lecturers extorting money or demanding sex from students.
Bad road, no water, no electricity, no good schools, no jobs, no fuel or increase in fuel price, poverty is on the increase, the list is endless.

I pray for leaders, sincere leaders who can change things, make life better, put "good" people in authority to manage resources and make them available to both rich and poor.

We as individuals can also play our own part and make sure that we do the right things, be honest people in all our doings.

Nilla said...

I like the idea.
Just sent an email.

LondonNaijaBabe said...

I am definitely willing to go beyond fustration and change lives I love Nigeria and want it to change. I missed out on not growing up in Nigeria and i would love my Children to be able too but in a country that is stable. I have been looking for something like this to get into I am defo on board anything you need me to do i'm here. I'll email you also.

ABENI said...

wow, some action at last!!!