Posts Tagged ‘Conditions and Diseases’

Recently I’ve found that I get super inspired when I read/watch people who are doing great things despite peculiar circumstances. First it was the Maysoon Zayid video and the story of how she’s done pretty much everything she’s wanted to do, despite cerebral palsy.

Beyond the inspiration, it’s a stark reminder of how grateful I am (and should be) for the mercies I have received, and a motivation to not only use what I’ve got even more judiciously, but also to think and act more kindly towards others every chance I get.

On to the inspiration for the day! I was invited to watch a video of a man who has a PhD in law. He has represented people in court (duh), plays the piano, and is blind. Why did I leave what seems like a pretty important detail to the end? Why wasn’t his blindness the first thing I mentioned?

Well simply because Dr Ife Akintunde doesn’t see blindness as a disability. He believes that “everyone on earth has to meet challenges or their spirits will die”. He says we all have little challenges we have to surmount to succeed (or fail) in life and being unable to see from birth is his. Simple.

Ready to watch the rest of it yourself? Go on then!

Soon after I saw the video you’ve just seen, I was introduced to Sorbarikor Lebura, the brain/producer behind that documentary (directed by Dapo Oshinaike). Sorbarikor is a Nigerian, passionate about telling the stories of people living with different disabilities and has the long term dream of influencing policies in Nigeria that will  make the circumstances, living conditions, and accessibility of these people a lot better than what it is at the moment.

I decided to be a part of telling those stories, and can very proudly announce that this documentary has been shortlisted in AfriNolly’s Short Film Competition. The winning entries for film and documentary receive $25, 000 which will go a long way in getting this project/charity off the ground.

We just need you to vote! How do you do that?

1. Go here – Afrinolly Short Film Competition

2. It’ll ask you to sign in via Facebook or Google Plus (I’ve checked it a couple times now and it doesn’t save your login data. So that’s not a worry.

Click on vote for documentary

3. Click on vote for documentary

4. Blind aspiration should be on the bottom left corner. If it’s not, it’s on the page sha.

Vote o!! Press your hand on the 'umblerra' (You have to be Nigerian to understand that). Seriously sha, vote! Thank you!

Vote o!! ‘Pless’ your hand on the ‘umblerra’ (You have to be Nigerian to understand that). Seriously sha, vote! Thank you!

If you’re interested in volunteering with this project in any way, and have ideas on how Sorbarikor and the rest of his team can move forward with this, please leave a comment and I’ll make sure he comes on to respond.

Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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So I’m off to Belfast in a few days for the weekend, and as is my custom, I started trawling the net for bloggers in Belfast to meet up with, share a drink, etc. First time I did this was in 2012 when I went to Ghana; I met  two bloggers who are now very good friends of mine.

My search for ‘Bloggers in Belfast’ led me to (amongst other places) Michael, the author of  the HIV Blogger: Living Positively blog. He found out he was HIV positive in March 2009, and has blogged his experiences, and life story since then. It’s a very honest, very real, very ‘in your face’ chronicle of his life and I was just super excited with it! Coming from a development communication background where one of the key strains of messaging was to get people to be open and not ‘self-stigmatise’, this blog made me very happy.

On the blog I found an amazing video called Living +, where a number of people talk about living with HIV. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Key thoughts from the video:

  • HIV is real, is a life changing diagnosis, but it isn’t the end of the world – you play a great role in deciding if your experience after the diagnosis will be positive or negative. You were happy before the diagnosis, nothing stops you from remaining happy, or being successful, or having a full, rich life.
  • HIV is a sifter; as you become open with your status, you find that real friends stay and give you all the support you need, and the others are…. well, filtered out! You need to be open though, and give people the opportunity to accept you. Some will reject you though; don’t sweat it.
  • When a person is HIV positive they need to take their meds. Technology is improving by the day, we’re closer to a cure but till then, take your meds!

Want to see the video? I thought you would! It’s below.

I also found Robyn, or Tee’s blog! That’s a hilarious one! Tee is the mother to Adam and her blog revolves around her life with her son and her husband – very interesting, every day read, loved the few posts I read!

I’m still searching for bloggers, will let you know if I find any more!

P:S – the main reason I did this post was because of the Living + video so go back and watch it now if you haven’t already! Thanks!

after the bumpy rides! In this picture Debola, Blaze, Amara, Debie, Hauwa and the FGS herself!

Do you do this sometimes; lie in bed at night and replay the events of the day in your head? Sometimes it makes you smile, other times you’re just grateful that day is over and you have the privilege of a gift called tomorrow.

That’s what I’m doing now and I just thought I should run it by you (maybe you can share yours with me too…but only if you want to ok)? And yes, the day in question is Saturday, the 1st of May (my birth month)!

Ok, so I was up at 6.30am (funny since I could barely sleep the night before)! I loaded some stuff in the washer and then gave myself 101 reasons to get on the treadmill.

43 minutes and a soaked outfit later, I was feeling high! Drank two glasses of water and watched 1gospel for about twenty minutes; there’s something about South African choirs that always starts my day on the right note. Made breakfast for my people, hung out my clothes to dry and then barely had enough time to get ready for the 5th Annual HIV and AIDS Conference holding at International Conference Center.

About the conference, do you agree that the level of disorganization we display sometimes can be amazing? Earlier in the week, my organization applied for media passes to the event. We were asked to download forms from their site, fill, attach our passports, get the head of our unit to countersign, and then scan the documents back to them. We did all that and they sent us a mail saying they had received our information and were looking forward to receiving us.

Men and brethren, my colleague and I got to the venue of the conference that beautiful Saturday morning feeling confident and extra sexy. We sashayed to the registration desk only to be told “I don’t know what BBC WST is, it’s not on my list of accredited media”. What!!! I was upset on two levels:
• She didn’t know the BBC? Seriously?
• What was the reason for the bottle necked registration we were made to do if it wouldn’t be used?

It was finally sorted out and we were shown the hall where the conference would be holding. Let me ignore the group of people we saw facebooking on a laptop inside the hall (not even on a phone) and say that we were in there till tea break.

In the break out session after tea, we sat in on a ‘designing and implementing youth focused programmes for and by young people’ presentation done by Fadekemi Agarau, the beautiful lady behind Education as a Vaccine. Let me just say this, I enjoyed it. As for the really silly questions some of the participants asked afterwards….what can I say!

Ok, so I left the place soon after and settled in at my favorite Chinese spot, OX. Debie and Debola (should I have said D2) came soon after and we left for Wonderland!! Speaking of which, Debola and Debie….hmmm…….

At Wonderland we had to wait for the rest of the cabal (Amara and Blaze) and there was the thing about them taking a picture of the signage outside Wonderland just to convince us they were really here!

They came in (with pretty Hauwa) and we went on the roller coaster ride. Apart from the fact that it wasn’t fun for me (I was practically hyperventilating by the time we got out), Blaze (in his wisdom) was tweeting when we were on the ride so…. (you guessed right), his BB fell and he lost his ball(s)!

Audu (bullet dodger and leader of the cabal) showed up at this point with the delectable Zel (fresh from the ‘East’) and we moved (gingerly) to the pirate ship. “What happens in the cabal stays in the cabal right”; meaning I won’t tell you of the cabalians who were praying and reciting different Psalms while the ship was swinging precariously and then bragging when we got off! It’s more fun for me to tell you of the oldish man who sat with us and how I prayed his heart wouldn’t stop! Come to think of it o, even if it had stopped, we had Dr. Zel on board!

We met Leslie, Chichi, Chioma Ejidike (was great to see the lawyer in the making especially after so long) and Folusho (who graciously captured the fear on ‘their’ faces while we were in the pirate ship)!
Ah ha! I forgot the bumper cars we rode in (and the males who wouldn’t stop hitting us with their cars! Somehow I thought pranks by males ended with the advent of manhood but nooooo, not these ones!!!! Any wonder why there are so many accidents on our roads today)?

After that we moved to the water slides and one of us said he was so terrified his name was Terry! And we had to keep him with us by holding his wife… I didn’t call any names o! By the way I forgot to mention the couple we saw on the ‘endurance bicycle’ (for lack of a better name), and the theories on relationships just looking at them inspired!

Then we moved to the……guys what was the name of that last ride? It had a 5 bit harness so I knew it would be the koko! And it was o, round and round and upside down, I was puking by the time we came down!

And then we left, happy, grinning, and very excited! To the members of the cabal who made it, you are ‘bankable’!  To Stanley, Matilda, Nze and the other cabalians who didn’t make it, YOU MISSED!

Moral of the story? The cabal had fun! Seriously though, take some time off to relax. It is necessary; make sure to utilize the weekends you’re not at work (since most of us don’t have weekends anymore)! Be with your friends and share laughs, jokes, hugs; whatever you do, just have fun!

By the way, have an extra refreshing weekend!

P:S – I actually wrote this on the 1st of May this year (2010). I chanced upon it this morning and it made me laugh so hard, I had to share!