2015 began for me in December 2014. I vividly remember I woke up on Christmas day, happy and all, getting my daughter ready to go to my Mother in-law’s. That’s usually where we spend Christmas; everyone comes to hers we all cook, eat, drink, gist, have friends over, etc.
The Hubs went to the minimart around our estate to get booze, and I was getting my coolers ready for take away food (MIL cooks something extra for me as her favorite, smiles) when the call came in… Hubs asked if I was ready, and I said yes, then he went, “I just heard Tope passed away.” I said, “Which Tope?” He said, “Tope Ogun.” My head spun. Tope was our family friend & our designer. He was the CEO of Dudu Basewa Couture in Anthony, a detailed designer, and he was a focused being. 2015 was supposed to be the year he’d break into the international community, his clientele had surpassed his imagination… What on earth happened? Let me leave out the long details but let’s say that while people were eating and being merry, I was inconsolable. I cried my heart out. I couldn’t imagine that someone I saw a week before was gone just like that.
Fast forward to Dec 31st 2014, at the Cross over service in church, I kept asking myself what I could do to make a difference in my community and society at large because I was so afraid of death. I was scared it could come anytime and my creator will ask what I did on earth. I’m very paranoid about death, its effect on me is crazy, so I try to stay away from the news of people’s passing, but Tope’s death had an effect on me, and a terrible one at that, so I decided that in 2015, I’d reach out to the less privileged in the society.
The Birth of EGB Foundation
In January, I decided to reach out to widows, give gifts and spend time with them. I got on Twitter and a few people joined funds with me, and we visited about 35 widows in the Iju Ishaga area of Lagos state.
I thought that was the end until I kept getting sleepless, and the urge to reach out to more people became necessary. In May, we visited The Down Syndrome Foundation in Surulere, and that was the eye opener for me. I spent time with both kids and adults at the home, I learnt more about down syndrome and I knew I was hooked to charity for life. I even met a boy who said he was in love with me, chuckles. He was my companion through out the whole time I was there, and when it was time to pray for me, the little angel prayed that God will remember me for good and give me a son. Now, that struck me because I didn’t tell anyone there about my family, so how did he know I wanted a son? Let’s say I left there in tears because I knew God must have put it in the heart of that boy that my daughter’s sibling will arrive soon.
Fast forward to July, we were at the Heart of Gold Hospice in Surulere with gifts, where I spent 2 hours with friends and the kids. I also cried here, seeing kids crawl on their tummy, some without limbs, many of them abandoned on the roadside by their parents because of their disability. And I met a very pretty three-month-old baby girl who couldn’t move her neck. I kept going back to her cot to stare at her, I wished I could take her home with me. Her smile was so infectious, I carried her and kissed her several times.
During all these charity visits, my Twitter family remained my greatest support system and they are still #1. The love was and is still amazing. Through someone on Twitter, I was called for an interview with Ebony life TV in October, hahahaha….
Same October, we visited the Old People’s home in Yaba with our gifts. It was at this point I knew growing grey and old is lots of fun and fulfilling. We shared bants with the aged and saw many of them behave like kids again. I said a silent prayer that I’ll grow old too, Amen!
November came and I began to think, what can the Foundation do during Christmas? I decided on hosting kids in a Christmas party, and that’s how #AVeryMerryXmas came to light. With a fifteen man committee and an aggressive campaign for funds, we hosted 109 kids on the 16th of December at The National Orthopedic Special School in Igbobi. Words fail me because through charity, lines have fallen in pleasant places for me, I have found favor with men and with God. I have met several people who many have to go through a lot of protocol to meet with. I remain grateful to everyone who has supported this vision in the last 11 months, your seeds will always multiply in a thousand folds.
Family life, business et al-
This year was tough, filled with struggles, but God showed up at every point when I was broken and couldn’t move on. Is there any marriage without challenges? Sigh! We went through dark tunnels but came out stronger, I also connected with 3 songs that brought me out of sorrow into light. Nathaniel Bassey’s Imela, Preye’s Ebezina & Frank Edwards’s Mma Mma. Spiritually, I lost ground but regained it after a while. I see my daughter growing before my own eyes and its so beautiful. Even with struggling finances and all, Hubs and I still reached out to people who needed urgent help. I cried so much this year. That’s the only way I heal when I’m hurt or in a dilemma.
Business-wise/career-wise, I moved forward, but not as much as I’d have loved to. 2016 is the year I return back to school. I promised myself I must get a PHD, smiles.
I’m also looking at towing Mo Abudu’s line sometime in the future, I need $$$$$- lots of it- but if you can think it, then you can DO it!!!!
I started the year with music and I’m ending it listening to some of the best albums released this year, music for me is life, its a deep connection.
All in all, I didn’t achieve all I set out to do, but I look into the hills and I’m rest assured that in 2016 help cometh for me and mine.