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Governor Sanwo-Olu, UBA Plc Present As Talking Drummer, Ara Unveiled Her Reality Show, “Eko Inspire Me” For Good Boys & Girls In Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu & Ara.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was present at the unveiling of the reality show tagged “Eko Inspire Me” by legendary female talking drummer, Ara Olamuyiwa, popularly known as Ara, the first female talking drummer in Africa.

Represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, the Governor reiterated his support for the project which aims at picking out those popularly called Area Boys and Area Girls in Lagos and rehabilitating them, thereby, making them meaningful not only to themselves, but to the society at large.

The representative of the Governor, Mr. Omotoso took time to tell the story of how he was picked by a man he never knew, who sponsored his education up until he was through with his secondary education, offering his a higher education in London, which he rejected, preferring to be educated in Nigeria, which he got to its maxim.

On his part, the Head, Media Relations, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Nasir Olanrewaju who was a part of the panel of discussants during the unveiling, said the bank has in her employ, a few former street boys and girls who work in various departments of the bank and are making huge contributions to how well the bank serve her customers.

In her speech, the convener of “Eko Inspire Me”, Ara Olamuyiwa said that project is a social initiative which aims at salvaging young boys and girls languishing on the open streets of stray and hopelessness and I choose to call them Good Boys and Girls, while other people identify them derogatorily, which is based largely on the belief that the youngsters are a pack of incurable NO-GOODS.

According to Ara, ‘To believe and to insist that the boys and girls who reside on the streets are hooked on wasting their lives and the lives of other people, amounts to kicking humanity through the window and I ask, Where is our humanity? Where is the love that is preached into our ears in the churches and in the mosques?

Ara says that ‘Inspire Me Academy’ is primarily about rescuing young boys and girls from the streets and putting them through a process of total transformation, a process that has high family- entertainment value, and in a nutshell, Inspire Me Academy is a Reality TV Show that will give young boys and girls of the streets a fresh, dignifying and lucrative start in life.

Inspire Me Academy is complimentary to efforts being made by the Government of Lagos State at improving the wellbeing of the people of Lagos. It ties with the Corporate Social Responsibility focus of companies that are committed to giving back to society in ways that actually lift the needy out of loss and lack.

Sharing the experience that gave birth to “Eko Inspire Me”, Ara says, I was on a visit to a suburb of our bustling city of Lagos, my car developed a fault and I had to park on this street that was littered with street boys and girls on a windy evening. I saw a pack walking towards me, naturally, I was apprehensive. I had my fears, no doubt. I thought they were coming to unleash terror, surprisingly and interestingly, they did not, but instead, offered to guard my car while I went searching for a mechanic to fix it.

When I returned from my successful search to find my car intact and to see the youngsters diligently doing what they had promised, I was moved. I got into a rather lengthy conversation with them and found a whole lot of good lodged in them. I saw in the boys and girls a strong desire to be useful to not only themselves, but the society.

They all spoke about their big and positive dreams. Some said they want to be movie stars like the faces they see on television. They expressed desire to attend school. One of them said he wanted to attend school to become like Professor Wole Soyinka! They touched my heart and I then on decided to initiate a project that will marry government and companies into a sustainable union that will help such young Lagosians to fulfill their dreams, and now, we have unveiled Inspire Me Academy!


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