Welcome to “The Adventures of Miss Biosu” All Talk and No Action? Is that what is Happening With the Young Nigerians of Today?Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 10:11 AM
By Elizabeth Alebiosu
My dear readers the change has begun and it is time for more of us to hear about it.
Reiterating that scripture often leaves me in a pensive mood. It is a constant reminder that one’s life is certainly growing, developing from what it was yesterday with the hope to improve for tomorrow. Growth is an inevitable part of life, though it is often equated to success in the eyes of many. Many of us measure our own success based on tangible things which are outwardly evident for all to see. The pressure we put on ourselves to achieve “success” often causes us to digress from fulfilling ones purpose. I define purpose as something that can only be progressively “walked out”, and not necessarily instantaneously achieved.It is a daily process which one must consciously decide to act on. Unlike the man-made institutions of this world, it does not equate to a certificate or lavish ceremony at the end. However it does engender a peace and joy only fully comprehended by the one undertaking that journey. Contrary to what many speakers announce from the pulpit, living your purpose often catapults you into challenging situations and hardship moments, but the peace and joy you attain through this walk is the tablet that comforts you during those arduous times.
I write the above as I sit on the train after another long day at work…
I am slouched in the corner, trying to hide my laptop screen from the ” peeping tom” commuters around me. The words just flow out effortlessly unto my keyboard. One would think I was trying to become some sort of motivational campaigner -, far from it! My mind is just emerging through a transformation period. I am now beginning to think out of the box. You know, that boxed mentality we all have at times when we compare ourselves to other people . We get stuck in a pattern of life – just living the life we are told to live. Lost in thoughts, I rush to put my laptop away as it was time to get off the train. Standing on the platform looking for the exit sign I feel a sense of joy. This train journey was rather different from the others. It got me thinking. It was time for me to begin something new
My fellow Nigerians, Africans, fashionistas, doctors, students, mothers, wives, future husbands, cleaners and electricians… oh how diverse we are! This is a personal invite for you to join me on this new exciting journey entitled “The Adventures of Miss Biosu”. After my visit to Nigeria earlier this year, I had a fantastic time having fun with family and friends. My sunny afternoons were spent enjoying trips to the cinema along with scoffing down popcorn and fizz. Whilst my evenings were spent restaurant hopping with friends and dwindling my hard earned money away. However although it was a memorable time, one memory that resonated within me once I returned to my cosy life in London was the issue of poverty. Yes I am aware many of you hear this topic spoken about many times, but wait, please hear it from my perspective.
What I really noticed on a daily basis was the significant gap between the rich and the poor. I was deeply disturbed when I saw young boys and girls around the age of five selling food on the road side at around 9pm at night. I am definitely an advocate for young teenagers learning the importance of hard work; however shouldn’t these young beautiful children be in bed preparing for school the following day? Another case became apparent when I saw numerous people with disabilities begging for food. Was there no housing shelter where these amazing people could be housed and empowered to deal with their difficulties?
In my “great quest” to find a solution to how I could help change the lives of these people. I spent hours and nights roaming the internet to see what I needed to do to set up a charity. Call it the western mentality of “save Africa syndrome”, but my mind was going back and fourth with how I could contribute to the lives of those that I saw. Surely I couldn’t just ignore these issues and continue to participate in those “Nigeria is so bad” conversations at my usual Nigerian get-togethers (you know the ones I mean right?).
In my quest to find out how to set up a charity I stumbled across other important findings. There already existed a plethora of charities, NGOs and social enterprises in Nigeria. Even more importantly, contrary to what the western media like to depict, these were organizations set up by Nigerians. At that moment I felt like I had previously been brain washed by the media and even some fellow Nigerians. It wasn’t just Oxfam, Christian Aid or Red Cross that was contributing to growth and change in Nigeria. It was actually the everyday Nigerian living in Nigeria and the Diaspora. I concluded instead of me setting up another charity why don’t I affiliate myself with an existing one instead. After sharing this information with my circle of friends it was evident that I was not the only one who did not know many of these organizations existed.
Now you have learnt how the birth of “The Adventures of Miss Biosu” began. Join me for the next four weeks as I fly out to Lagos to volunteer my time with the Down Syndrome Association. I hope to share with you my experience of the day to day life of being a volunteer. You will also get to read my interviews with many young Nigerians and media personalities who have set up NGOs and social enterprises. Find out about all the fun things I get up to living in the fabolous, multi faceted city of Lagos.
This is not just an adventure for me; this is also your adventure. Many of you may not be able to move to Nigeria permanently; however you can definitely become connected. You never know, this time next year we could be reading about your own adventure
To get involved with “The Adventures of Miss Biosu” contact me at www.missbiosu.blogspot.com