NIGERIA IS 25…
Yeah! Yeah! I know! Lol! Come Thursday 1st of October 2015, Nigeria will be celebrating her 55th Independence Anniversary not 25th! Yippee! But…really? Is there cause for MUCH JUBILATION?
Nigeria is 25 is the title of Nigeria’s Silver Jubilee theme song by Bongo Igbokwe. It has been flashing incessantly through my mind as Oct 1st approaches. Why? I sincerely don’t have a clue! As teenagers, listening and singing along made us imagine a glorious future as citizens of this great nation. Do you remember the song as well? Not sure of the entire lyrics though. Lol! Check it out…
NIGERIA IS 25
THE ODDS WE DID SURVIVE
ARISE SALUTE THE NATION
COME JOIN THE CELEBRATION
THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER FALL
THE SUN WILL RISE AND THE RAIN WILL FALL
ON OUR LAND, VAST AND MIGHTY
RICHLY BLESSED BY THEE ALMIGHTY
LIKE BEES IN A HIVE WE WORK SO HARD TO MAKE THE HONEY FLOW
BUT NOT WITHOUT THE USE OF A HOE!
HOE! HOE! HOE!
Trip down memory lane! But alas! 30 years down the line, our economic, educational, health and other sectors have nosedived! Effective governance became an illusion and our ‘leaders’ seem at a loss as to what to do. Are we really a failed nation?
In this edition of #ListenUpNG tagged our INDEPENDENCE EDITION, I have the singular honour of hosting great patriots of our time. These are men and women of passion, courage and purpose; making us proud home and abroad. I hereby invite you to meet our special guests as they discuss crucial real life issues challenging us as citizens and as a nation. See below their abridged profiles and details of their sessions.
1. PIUS ADESANMI
Pius Adesanmi is an acclaimed literary and cultural critic, a prodigious commentator on public affairs. Pius is a professor of Literature and African Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa Canada, where he presently resides. He is also the Director of the Project on New African Literatures(PONAL) at the same University.
Pius is one of Nigeria’s major intellectuals and writes two weekly columns for the influential Sahara Reporters, NEXT newspaper, PremiumTimes amongst others. His first book, The Wayfarer and Other Poems, won the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry Prize in 2001. He is the winner, Penguin Prize for African Writing 2010 with his book, You’re Not a Country, Africa! His latest book, Naija No Dey Carry Last, a compilation of his thoughts on a nation in progess is currently making waves in the literary world.
Coincidentally, Pius is the Keynote Speaker at the PLATFORM this year. He is widely travelled and knows what it means to be a Nigeria, home and abroad at a time like this. It is an honour and a rare privilege to have him on board for #ListenUpNG INDEPENDENCE EDITION.
TOPIC: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A NIGERIAN.
DATE: FRIDAY 2ND OF OCTOBER
2. BUKKY SHONIBARE
Bukky Shonibare is the CEO, 555 Consulting, an Human Resources and Strategy Company. She has years of experience in the HR consulting field, and possesses a certificate in Journalism and Creative Writing from the London School of Journalism, as well as certificates in Entrepreneurial Management, and Social Sector Management from the Pan African University in Nigeria.
Bukky, a passionate and compassionate soul is an active campaigner of the #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS movement. Since the beginning of this movement, her tenacity and selflessness has to be greatly admired. She is one of the few advocates who has been able to sustain the tempo of the campaign by daily tweeting a picture of herself carrying placards displaying the numbers of days the #ChibokGirls have been abducted, demanding for their safe return and for their plight #NeverToBeForgotten.
She has attended sit-ins at the Fountain and along with other advocates, has also visited the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in Yola, Nigeria. Bukky is presently a Coordinator, Adopt-A-Camp whose main mission is assisting the internally displaced persons(IDP). She has also written several articles advocating for the release of the girls. A regular TV guest, Bukky recently attended one of the sideline meetings at the ongoing UNGA on how to best assist IDP. It is indeed a great honour having her on board!
TOPIC: BRING BACK OUR GIRLS NOW AND ALIVE
DATE: FRIDAY 9TH OF OCTOBER
3. DR.JOSEPHINE OKEI-ODUMAKIN
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin is a PhD holder who began her career in activism as the Secretary of Women in Nigeria (WIN) Kwara State from 1981-1991 and the Coordinator of Women in Nigeria (WIN) Kwara State Branch (1991-1996) Chairperson, Rethink Nigeria (1987-1982) Chairperson, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Kwara State Branch (1990-1996).
She is presently the Executive Director of the Institute of Human Rights and Democratic Studies, the President of Women Arise for Change Initiative; Chairman of the Task Force of the Citizen Forum and the Spokesperson, Coalition of Civil Society Organizations and President, Centre for Participatory Democracy.
She has received numerous notable awards at both the national and international levels. A woman of steel and great courage, Joe has become a voice to the voiceless and the defender of the defenceless providing succour and hope in seemingly hopeless situations.
Her consistency and unwavering determination for survival of democracy in Nigeria led Professor Wole Soyinka to describe her as follows: “I present to you a tireless fighter with inner strength and resilience, purpose; a veteran of affirmative marches, of crude arrests and detentions, baton charges and tear gas who has lent luster to the struggle for justice and human dignity, who remains an inspiration of men and women, old and young.”
Adapted from LITE-
It is a great honour to have her on board #ListenUpNG INDEPENDENCE EDITION.
TOPIC: WE NEED TO REVIEW OUR REWARD AND VALUE SYSTEM
DATE: FRIDAY 16TH OF OCTOBER
4. CHUDE JIDEONWO
Chude is a dynamic young man, a lawyer, award-winning journalist and media entrepreneur. He concluded his Master’s programme in Media and Communication at the prestigious Pan-African University, Lagos and began his career as a TV presenter on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA between 2000–2005. Since then, the sky is the limit as Chude went on to add several feathers to his cap of achievements.
In 2011, he distinguished himself yet again as the youngest journalist ever to interview a sitting Nigerian president; securing an exclusive sit-down with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
In February 2013, both Jideonwo and Williams his partner, were named in Forbes 30 Under 30: Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs. The duo have partnered on various projects in Nigeria and beyond, including running the media campaign for the APC Presidential Candidate at the 2015 general election in Nigeria.
On 25 May 2014, his collection of essays, rhetorically titled ‘Are We The Turning Point Generation was launched in Lagos, Nigeria.
At present, Chude, a prolific writer and outstanding public speaker is co-founder and Managing Partner of Red Media Africa/The Future Project, a full service media-content, communication and development company that has worked for several national and international brands. The firm also owns The Future Nigeria Awards, reputed as Nigeria’s biggest youth event.
TOPIC: OUR NATIONAL CAKE
DATE: FRIDAY 23RD OF OCTOBER
5. ‘GBENGA SESAN
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria. An Electronic & Electrical Engineering graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, ‘Gbenga completed Executive Education programs at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University and Santa Clara University.
His consulting experience includes assignments completed for Microsoft, Harvard University, United Nations agencies, and other institutions, in over 30 countries. A 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, he is a Crans Montana Forum Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, Our Common Future Fellow and Cordes Fellow.
‘Gbenga served as a member on the Presidential Committees on Roadmap for the Achievement of Accelerated Universal Broadband Infrastructure and ICT Sector Restructuring in Nigeria, was listed in 2012 by CNN as one of the top 10 African Tech Voices To Follow On Twitter and by Ventures Africa as one of 40 African Legends Under 40. ‘Gbenga is married to Temilade Sesan, PhD, an expert on Energy Poverty and Development issues in sub-Saharan Africa.
TOPIC: LETTER TO MR.PRESIDENT @MBuhari
DATE: FRIDAY 30TH OF OCTOBER
I pray that via this edition of #ListenUpNG, we will all be adequately motivated and inspired to contribute our quota to make Nigeria great again!
You can join this movement for A BETTER NIGERIA by making more people aware of this twitter event. How? Simply click on any of the social media button at the end of this post to share to your friends and followers. Block these dates!