By Niyi Tabiti
Sorry guys for not updating for about a week now. I have been working with a client on a project that has to do with community development,women empowernment and fight against poverty.We have been travelling here and there to see the impact of the what the financial assistance that donor agencies abroad has done in their lives.The trip was sponsored by one of the agencies.
We have been able to cover Osogbo (Osun State),Isemile,Iseyin and other places in Oyo State, Ilaro,Ayetoro and other places in Ogun State.It has been fun being travelling through many places.The journey continues to other part of the country but I am able to skip it a bit because of the Hip Hop World Award holding at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Saturday 16 May 2009.
My experience on the journey shows that poverty is indeed a disaease. The government has not done enough to alleviate the lives of the people.I mean, entering some towns and villages that we went,it would look as if you went 60 years backward.You will see the reality of those pictures we see in history books on ground,indicating that these people have not seen development in the last 50 or so years.
We met serious minded individuals mostly women who have been beneficiaries of small financial assistance.Some of them are into soap making,cream,garri processing etc.One remarkable thing about them is that they all have testimonies to share. One woman who lost her husband some years back said she is now like a man because she has been able to use the money to support her family since her husband died.Another said that she lost her self esteem when her family couldn’t feed. Today, she can raise her head up high,send her kids to school and even buy clothes.A shoe maker told us how he was able to send two of his children through higher institutions of learning. This is a man who could not even speak one word in English.
The amount that of them received are not more than what it cost some of us to buy a designer bag or shoe in the city, but it has done a lot in improving their lives…taking them away from the wretched lifestyle.You will moved to tears by their stories.
I conclude that Nigerians need to help Nigerians.Do you know that almost all the grants, financial assistance,trainings etc are courtesy from foreign Non- Governmental Organisation, religious groups,Community Development Groups etc. These are people that have no family or anything to do with Nigeria.
One woman lamented that even when they agricultural loan or whatever from the government, the staff in charge usually request for grantification or else they would frustrate the whole process.May God save us!
Its time to think about the level of poverty ravaging our villages and towns alone.Lagos is like Hollywood to millions of Nigerians who live in these villages. I was playing with a seve year old girl in Oyo State and i was shocked that she has not even heard of D’banj or 2face.Strange!
Most influencial Nigerians today are those who started from the village.Most of them were not even born in Lagos or other cities.
How are you preparing for the Hip Hop World Award.Can’t wait for the Lagosification of Abuja on Saturday!!!! who wins what and all the photos coming up on Gistmaster.