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Ariyike Writes: Love, Life & Charity

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When I was practicing law, I had several meetings with different people who wanted to register Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Some of them had no clue as to why they wanted to register the NGOs. After much consultation and talks, I realised that some of these people were not so passionate about the supposed NGO, they just wanted to have a reason to have a red carpet event/party, have fun and take pictures. Sometimes, it seemed more like a publicity stunt than a genuine concern for humanity. I once asked someone who wanted to register an NGO (to create awareness for AIDS) if she would be able to hug a person living with AIDS and she said no. If you’re fighting for a cause that you truly believe in and you’re not ready to “enter” the field, then you’re not yet ready. Ask the Slums2school team what it’s like to run an NGO then you’ll know that it’s serious work.

If you know that running an NGO is not top priority on your list, please don’t bother registering one. There are too many NGOs already fighting for different causes. If you’re so passionate about helping others, you can become a volunteer/spokesperson and align yourself with the NGOs that you truly believe in. Nowadays, it’s as if every Tom, Dick and Harry aspires to own an NGO for individual reasons. Can you even donate part of your earnings to support your own NGO?

When I see international celebrities who embrace humanity causes like Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Ben Affleck Halle Berry, Sir Elton John, George Clooney, Charlize Theron e.t.c, I see them going to villages and war torn countries. I don’t see them as fashion icons but as living legends for taking time out of their busy schedules to go into the field to try and make life better for people they don’t know. I only wish a lot of our celebrities knew how to use their influence a lot more positively. But then again, everyone has their priorities and if making a positive impact in the lives of others is not a priority to one then that person cannot be forced.

It’s applaudable when I see people who give to others. If you give out as little as a pencil or a packet of noodles to another person, so far you gave it out from the bottom of your heart and out of love, you’ve done well and that person would remember you for what you did for him/her.

Recently, I was online looking at pictures of a celebrity who donated food items to an orphanage home and someone put up a comment that the celebrity should have donated books. I think it’s unfair when celebrities are bashed even after they’ve taken out time to give back to the society because they could have spent their money on other things. If you think about it, it’s not just celebrities who must give out to others. Eveyone should try and become their brother’s keeper by showing love and kindness to others. Before you reel out negativity, ask yourself when last you showed an act of kindness to another? Have you ever thought about sponsoring someone’s education? Have you ever offered your gateman food? When last did you visit an orphanage or old peoples home to volunteer for them? People lost their belongings to the heavy flood, did you donate your old clothes? During Sallah/christmas, have you ever given your staff extra money or presents? Can you now see that charity begins with you?

I was in Ajegunle in September for Vocal Slender’s Ghetto love project where we donated and got people to donate new school bags, shoes, snacks, food items and school supplies to about 500 children who had been carrying their books to school in nylon bags. The planning process didn’t take us more than a month and we were able to achieve so much. You should have seen the look on the children’s faces when they received their package. Some of them were so excited that they cried tears of joy. Some of their mothers were so happy that they even started dancing. These are part of the things that make me smile. Wouldn’t life be more beautiful if we all showed love?

The people that embrace humanity causes are not necessarily the richest set of People. Sometimes, when I partner with a charity to support them, I give them my time, I volunteer and when I can afford to donate money or gift items, I do it. Don’t think you can’t help others because you haven’t achieved all you planned to achieve, you still have time to get it right. Every day you wake up is another opportunity at success. One prayer point I include in my prayers eveyday is “Lord, make me a solution”. As long as we’re on earth, there would always be problems to solve. Instead of contibuting to or complaining about the problem, you can become a solution.

Today, I want us all to share stories of what we’ve been through this year, what we’ve achieved, how we’ve touched lives and our expectations for the rest of the year. I’ll also be here to contribute in the comment section. Let’s make this fun and interactive and let’s be thankful for life and good health. If you’re able to log on to bellanaija without being assisted by a doctor or nurse, I’ll advice you to say a big thank you to God because right now, somewhere, there’s someone fighting for his or her life. Be thankful.

You are all invited to come for our Christmas charity party on Sunday, 8th of December 2013 at N-tyce Lounge, 1310 Karimu Kotun, Victoria Island Lagos from 2-6pm where we’ll be giving out items (old and new) to some charitable organisations in need. It would be nice to meet all the bellanaija commentators. {You can read more about it here}

Ariyike Akinbobola is a lawyer turned TV presenter/producer at Spice TV, a fashion and lifestyle channel. She studied Law at the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian bar in 2006. With a diploma in T.V presenting from the London Academy of Media, film and T.V. She also organises a monthly event every first Wednesday of the month called “Best of Both Worlds” networking cocktail party. She’s married and blessed with children. Follow her on twitter@LadyAriyike to find out more.

Ariyike Akinbobola, popularly referred to as Lady Ariyike, is a foreign trained lawyer and senior immigration analyst. She is an award winning TV host, author, MC, content creator, and humanitarian. She also coaches immigrant families relocating abroad on expectations and how to navigate their new reality. 

 Ariyike is the founder of Ariland Entertainment where she showcases the African culture, fashion, lifestyle and Immigrant experiences through storytelling and film. She previously worked as a talk show host and TV producer for over 7 years abroad and gained experience in TV presenting, production, editing, writing TV treatments and scripts for TV and acting.  Ariyike has a certificate in Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice from Harvard X. A Diploma in TV Presenting from the prestigious London Academy of Media, Film and TV. 

She was recognized as one of the 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria in 2019. She has won several awards such as WAW Award, London. UNICEF/UNFPA Frown Award - Female Genital Mutilation Abandonment Advocate of the year, La Mode Humanitarian of the year, Mademoiselle Role Model Award, The Women’s Federation for World Peace - Ambassador for Peace Award amongst others. 

 Ariyike, through her Ariyike Arise Initiative, has helped to fund the education of Children in disadvantaged communities. Through their schools outreach, they counsel, coach and enlighten children and teenagers about the importance of Peace, Education, Empowerment and Community Development. 

She is a guest columnist on and she volunteers as a Content Creator Partner for the United Nations Refugee Agency in Canada (UNHCR). Ariyike is married with Children. Her book, The Cost of Our Lives, is available on Amazon

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