BY FAITH OLANIRAN
One of the firm beliefs upon which the SA+1 week was built is the fact that the week started out with a mountaineering experience on the nearly 200 feet – the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University prayer mountain within the University Campus itself. Apart from the imposing feature of the mountain and other surrounding hills, the area boasts of an ear-tingling scenic and landscape beauty all preserved in as much pristine condition as possible.
The expedition started out at about 8:45am with a proud collection of eager hands and ready feet, willing to scale the jagged, all-imposing sides of the mountain. The climbing resumed with cheerful chatters and comic reliefs by members of the expedition team with intermittent reliefs of refreshments and rests. Prayers were also made at the peak of the mountain.
Beyond the thrill and un-channeled risk of common day climbing, the SA+1 climbing had as a goal to build a fine mesh of youth connected by choice for noble engagements and worthy involvement in service. It is in the justified bid of achieving this mandate that the mountaineering expedition was organised. Perhaps, a more satisfying outcome of the experience was an overwhelming consensus that life, much like climbing, is a string of risks that yields best to calculation, intention and character. These, we all agreed remain veritable tools in any strife for positive change.
The expedition had the support of the Amusan family and had also in full attendance great minds pulled from acquaintances, collaborations, supports and friendships made at the Federal University of Technology, Akure; the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife itself as well as other various locations.
As Nigerians, it would amount to great hypocrisy and self-deception if we turn blind eyes to the inadequacies of our men of the force. Indeed, we admit that the Nigerian Police Force, much like other public instruments is fraught with its fair share of unworthy conducts. We hear and witness these trends from every part of the country where we come from and hold as true the fact that this constitutes one of the biggest assaults on the Nigerian image.
We admit that the corruption scourge has nothing to do with the black uniform such that there still exists a fair amount of officers who still hold in reverence the timeless creeds of honesty, patriotism, diligence and industry. We also must also recognise the effort of the entire force in securing civil peace, protecting lives and properties amidst the daunting common challenge of corruption and work place inefficiency, worsened by inadequate government reforms and policies.
We in the SA+1 team thus resolved on a different approach in confronting this international challenge. We hold the value of gratitude as a tool for reward and as an expression of a heightened sense of expectation. One good turn, deserves another, goes the dictum.
As part of the SA+1 WEEK OF IMPACT and in redeeming the above firm belief and resolution, we paid a visit to the Modakeke Police Station, a community police post largely responsible for the relative peace and security of the Modakeke Community, a community emerging from the rubbles of bloody communal hostilities with the Adjoining Ife Community – both in Osun State, Nigeria. The visit also witnessed the donation of food items and accessories, drinks and clothing materials. A recognition award lauding the efforts of the division and expressing more expectations from the force was also presented to the Police division by the team.
In an emotional reaction, the heads of the division, over-awed by such gestures lauded the efforts of the team; stating that appreciating the police amidst the unwavering torrents of public condemnation and criticisms is one of the rarest sights in Sub-Saharan Africa. He encouraged the team to do more and re-affirmed the commitment of the division in executing its highest mandates of civil security of lives and properties. We also affirm that this is a herald in the endless string of related events and initiatives by the team
VISIT TO MODAKEKE HIGH SCHOOL
Much like the other days in the SA+1 one week of impact, spirits were high. Everyone was raring to go and ready for the task of the day. The value and impact of education on the growth and future of the Modakeke community is much well-known to be ignored by any forward thinking individual. If we will develop a people, we have to ensure they get the right education. This is what prompted the visit to the ancient and prestigious Modakeke high School, Modakeke, Osun state for a career talk and book reading.
As expected, our first sights as we approached the school were the usual menaces you can always guess. Students were scattered around the school and it was looking much like a playground. At this point, the change we crave moved from being a burden. It became a heart cry. These kids are growing to be the future of this country. Our visit then became so well thought, well timed and on point.
The next one hour or so of our time was spent engaging the SS3 students in a career and capacity development talk. The celebrant himself, Sola Amusan, being an indigene of the community and having been schooled through the same cradles began by spelling it out to those kids that greatness is within reach. Starting up in life much like them, he chose to pick on the edge of originality to grow his brand, making himself globally competitive. He made those kids understand they can become anything they want to be.
The initially distracted and disorganised students were becoming curious. They had never heard anyone say words like this to them in their lives. The other team members also took time to encourage these kids to dream big, read books and be law abiding on their trek to stardom. What a level of response from the students! The same way anyone will be excited to suddenly be opened up to a new world of possibilities and greatness. Greatness beckons, they were made to believe.
The visit was brought to a close with a book reading performed by the convener of the one week of impact, SA+1, Sola Amusan as he read a copy of his book “ARE YOU BRANDED OR STRANDED?” to them. Various gifts; books, biros, mathematical sets among others were distributed to the students.
The students were told to cultivate a 21st century compliant attitude and develop a reading culture.
The excited and very responsive teachers, particularly the vice-principals, were also sensitised, appreciated and presented with various gift items.
VOLUNTEERING TO TEACH AT FORESIGHT GROUP OF SCHOOLS
The next point of call was Foresight group of schools – an upwardly educational outfit located around Egbedore area in Modakeke, for volunteering to teach. Education; quality, delivery, substance and content is still the main issue to be impacted. The teacher impacts the child who later grows to take charge of the community. The child is limited and confined to the quality of the teacher. This implies the society will only grow as much as its teachers will make it. The celebrant himself, Sola Amusan SA, being a growth consultant, is much aware of this chain.
The team, arriving early enough, was joined by peeps from the famous Obafemi Awolowo University for the exercise. The idea was not to raise the standard; it was rather to suggest a new 21st century complaint approach to teaching and a more interactive structure. Learning has moved on from the dictatorship approach – teachers had better known.
The various team members then took-up different classes taking the students through different subjects ranging from Mathematics to English and all sorts. The classes were quite interactive and the students were excited about the experience. Those kids were also inspired and re-positioned for greater ideals.
It was then time to have some sessions with the teachers and executive staffs of the school. Everyone left there with a new perspective and paradigm. There is always a better approach to everything, this we were able to inspire and communicate.
The celebrant then thanked the staffs and presented gifts to the school. All the students in the junior secondary school arm got a copy of mathematics textbook. What a way celebrate and live!
VISIT TO THE SCHOOL OF THE LESS PRIVILEGED
There is every likelihood they have not had such a nice time for a while. As a matter of fact, most of them have been exonerated from life and its fantasies. Everyone seems comfortable with it but not him. Sola Amusan, the SA+1 initiative convener, chose along with his team to spend some time with the less privileged in the society. The visit to the school of the less privileged in MODAKEKE is born out of the same impact driven heart-cry that has become SA’s first instinct.
The team was well received, the students were made to realise that they are integral parts of the society and they can go as far as they want to go with their lives. A musician was also on set to treat the students to some nice and inspiring words in music. They felt hope. They saw abilities in their disabilities.
Food and Gift items were presented to the school and the teachers were encouraged to keep up the good work.
What a way to contribute your quota to the development of the community.
HOMAGE AT THE PALACE OF THE OGUNSUA OF MODAKEKE
Modakeke as a town in Ife land, has been through a lot of turmoil and unrest over the last decades. Someone steered the ship through those times and brought peace back to the people. The SA+1 team saw value in paying homage to Oba Francis Olatunji Adedoyin in order to bring to his notice, the efforts of the team during the one week of impact and the strides of the celebrant, Olusola Amusan toward local community development.
The Oba was excited to receive the team and was particularly proud of SA – pouring encomiums on him, encouraging him to continue in his concerted efforts towards developing and enhancing human capacity development at the grass-root level. He took time to pray for the celebrant and wish him many happy returns.
The team after leaving the palace made a stop-over at the Obafemi Awolowo University Museum to catch-up with history. Exciting times building up. Top notch anticipation. All is now set to recieve the dignitaries coming into town to launch Olusola Amusan’s unlimited edition of “Are you Branded or Stranded?”