Thursday, January 21, 2021

Walk With Widows Initiative



In today's world, widowhood is immersed in stigma that it has become social death with surviving spouse and children thrown into uncertainty or abject poverty. In many cultures, a woman is defined by her relationship; she is either a daughter, or a wife. Outside of both, she is treated as an outcast. 

This has led to immeasurable abuse and denial of assets which positions her to be inherited.

In 2011, the United Nations having recognised widow abuse as a global issue declared June 23 as International Widows’ Day. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was quoted assaying, “No woman should lose her status, livelihood or property when her husband dies", yet millions of widows across the continents face all forms of abuse.


Walk With Widows Initiative, an offshoot of Bola Memorial Watch sponsored by Cares Global Network is focused on the group is the holistic wellness,wealth and wisdom of widows. It was founded by Dr. Omolola Omoteso. The platform is guided by policies or rules of engagement laid down by the administrators of the group. This help members to mitigate contention and focus on the vision and mission of the initiative. 

Unlike other groups, Walk With Widows is action oriented. The board members coordinate members to focus on three cardinal points — enlivening widows, enlightening people and empowering stakeholders to demand that the government through the executive, legislature and judiciary protect widows from stigma, fraud, discrimination, dehumanisation, destitution and disinheritance. 

The overall vision is to End Widow Abuse and seek Justice for Widows. Clearly, the group drums the following: 

There is nothing shameful about widowhood. 

There is nothing inappropriate about helping widows or widowers.

There is nothing disconcerting about calling out fraudsters.

Widowhood is neither a stigma nor a curse, it is a call.

Widowhood can happen to ANYONE! 

Many widows have been beaten down and their silence is usually caused by the barbaric cultures, which includes fraud, discrimination, dehumanisation and disinheritance that has eaten deep into the core of minds. WWWI was founded to stand against such cultures to emancipate the widows and by extension widowers and orphans as well. 

Top rated consultants, counsellors, lawyers, community health practitioners and mentors are invited on board to help members become achievers and programmes take place on the group to assist widows, widowers, orphans and less privileged. Widows and non-widows (male and female) who believes in God are accepted to the group as it was founded on Christian ethics. 

WWWI continues to seek partnership with civil societies, private and government agencies.

The group is listed as the second widows' group that works with the Ministry of Women Affairs in Minna thanks to the hardwork and diligence of the board. Energies are combined to ensure that the awareness created by the group creates a ripple effect that would make FG—NASS—Judiciary to come up with an AFFIRMATIVE ACTION to #ENDWIDOWABUSE or enact the Widows Rights Bill. 

Various activities takes place on the platform daily: 

Sunday: Thanksgiving 

Monday:Pray Praise Assembly

Tuesday: Divine Connection (Relationship)

Wednesday: Consultancy + Career

Thursday: Clinic, Counselling and Advocacy

Friday: Colloquium (Training)

Saturday: Community Engagement (owambe, story time, wetin sele)

Skills are shared and acquired on the group, and opportunity to get personal mentor on the group is available. Testimonies from clients and counsellees who were saved from many pits including loveless marriage, purposeless lives, suicide, childlessness and parental crisis have been shared on the platform.To encourage members, awards are given to active and hardworking members in order to motivate members of the group.

A typical example is the story shared by Mrs. Fatima Shonubi (Haruna) who suffered from depression after becoming a widow with four children or adorables as she calls them. She was invited by a friend to attend BMW-Cares Walk With Widows Colloquium where she had a life changing chance meeting with the Chair. She was counselled by Dr. Omolola Omoteso not to stay idle because her eyes will live to see tomorrow's joy, that's if she treats herself well. During the programme she got tips from Dr. Omolola Omoteso and other speakers. She was greatly inspired; when she got home she began a laundry business. She equally attended catering classes by other agency. Now she is a widow looking forward to a better future. She is not a depressed widow anymore. 

Walk WithWidows is based presently in Nigeria and USA. The group can be reached for sponsorship, partnership or membership via contact form on carescoalition.webs.com, DM on Facebook or annecares@hotmail.com. 

The Pestilence is Real

In October 2020, it was reported that Scientists in Nigeria have developed a cheaper and faster Covid-19 test kit that will enable testing within undertested population. The new test was said to be cheaper at $25 than other PCR tests, with results in less than 40 minutes, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) said. Sadly, months after, Nigeria Immigraton Service continue to charge 50,000NGN ($100) to travellers for mandatory test. 

While covid numbers are not soaring, death by covid continues and many wonder why. Why more covid cases when all that many continue to do are small parties with social distancing observed. All are mandated to mask, hands washed, temps taken. For drinks, grubs and photos, it’s mask off while chitchat continues uncontrollably. Folks can bet all are covid free BECAUSE only low tempers were admitted. Time to dance and the culture of hobnobbing to outdo others in spray spree takes over. No one remembers that covid lurks seeking lungs to latch on. Exhaling and inhaling is all it takes for corona’s visa, yet many are oblivious it takes much more than mask, sanitise and distance. 

My friends got it at a family party. The person who was unwell was said to have a stomach bug; no one masked. In days, he was dead; his wife widowed, leaving two in emergency, two quarantined at home; saved largely by divine knowledge – nutmeg and coriander blend. Panic was well distributed amongst family and friends! Had they not been cautious to decline my invitation to a dinner and I modest to accept and not fuss, I may have been an unfortunate beneficiary of the infection and so would my guests, 3 with two elderly ones with pre-exiting conditions that would definitely have aggravated any viral infection. 2 days after, we were in church, this was before the diagnosis. One day after I was with one of them, masked only because Holy Spirit reminded me to. 

Thousands and millions have died; the pestilence is real. Many who are asymptomatic have become ignorant jolly distributors… Yet, when fever strikes and coughing spikes, “it is not my portion” becomes the chant as you swear by distance to mask and sanitiser that it cannot be covid. Presidents have caught corona, beggars have died of covid outside the statistics of those who made it to the hospital… 
I cannot say it enough; we die once. If yours won’t be from covid, be led by the Spirit of God on what to do, where to go, who to visit and when. The living would have many more years to party. It is now time to withdraw into solitude and PRAY.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Dear President Donald Trump

Dear President Donald Trump, This is Dr. Omolola Omoteso aka Dr. Omolola Famuyiwa. I reside in Fort Lee NJ at a property racially zoned as Englewood NJ; a property, which sits on one parcel of land but is taxed double by the City of Englewood NJ in a bid to drive us; drive me and my family away completely from this property.. May I appeal to you that before you leave office you look into the issue of fraud against widows. Before my husband died in 2016 under questionable circumstance, we owned two properties with four units; we resided in one of the units. Upon his death, American judges connived with American and Nigerian attorneys to take away my successor rights and to steal all we own including pants, panties, jewelleries, cash, gym equipment, from our Edgewater property since April 2019. This is said to have been done by Jenny Flom, an American attorney. When I tried to stand my ground, Police sent me on wrong diagnosis to Englewood Hospital for confinement and later brutalised me. As of this moment, all we own have been taken excluding one unit of the property in the Fort Lee area zoned as Englewood occupied by a UN Women Staff (Ms. Pamela Odudoh). According to her, an attorney claims to have bought the property. This is FALSE. This attorney is said to have now started collecting rent despite the fact that the covid policy that came out in March/April forbids anyone from carrying on with any litigation that has to do with eviction, ejection, or sale of a property. As former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, "No woman should lose her status, livelihood or property when her husband dies." Sadly, even in USA, I have been made to go through unbearable trauma by institutions that should serve justice and I am asking you to step in as the President of the United States of America. President Trump, PLEASE look into the issue of successor rights fraud, connivance by judges and attorneys to defraud vulnerable persons. Also look into the issue of access to justice for those who are not able to afford astronomically high attorney fees, especially widows. If criminals have access to justice via state or federal attorneys, Sir, widows should. I thank you for your time. I thank you for listening and I pray that God Almighty will give you the ability to do something even before you leave office to wipe away my tears and the tears of other widows. Thank you. God bless you.

Dr. Omolola Omoteso-Famuyiwa is an broadcast 
journalist and advocate for press freedom, human rights and social justice.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Excel leadership Academy



Hello, 

I'm Victor Adenuga, one of the trainees benefiting from mentorship. I'll like to tell you about Excel Leadership Academy and to invite you to register for any of the 5 tracks namely:

1. Mentorship Programme

2. Master Class

3. Media Course 

4. Mission School

5. Management Course

Excel leadership Academy is designed to inspire people, especially emerging leaders, to excel.

At ELA we MEND minds i.e. Motivate Educate Nurture Develop people mentally so the can become excellent leaders in any calling or career.
 
Why is ELA a necessity? 

The motive behind this initiative is to nurture the purpose, stir excellence and help the minds of people to grow and develop into a well rounded valuable personalities with balanced character.
 
What I have gained so far in ELA? 

Myself and others have testimonials on what and how we have learned to be confident to and to communicate our questions politely, how to communicate excellently, and the reason behind doing everything in an excellent way. I have become more optimistic and enthusiastic about life, and we are cultivating the art of listening and understanding.
  
Who has been the MENTOR for this training? 

Dr. Omolola Omoteso! Yes, Dr. Omolola Omoteso's a world class transformation strategist, educationist, counsellor, coach, writer and publisher among others roles. She has been mentoring and nurturing myself and 11 others for months now.

Where is the training been held? 

The training has been holding virtually. I was recently admitted. History tells me that current cohort started right after a conference on "Girls,Guys and God" to which Dr. Omolola Omoteso as Guest Speaker. She thereafter invited volunteers for the Inspire to Excel Conference in honour of Deaconess OLUFIKAYO KEAZOR-FAMUYIWA after which she tooks those who stood out under her mentorship. Mentees have record of how they have been able to apply the lessons from ELA to their personal lives, day to day activities and their relationship with people. Some have been able to apply it to their businesses and to their character.
   
As Dr. Omolola Omoteso said, "Excellence in communication applies to all languages." Excellence in everything done involves an action, which is called "going the extra mile".

This is a call and a plea to everyone who desires success and wants to be an inspiration for others to take the extra mile route as excellence is required to excel. "Whatever your hand finds doing, do it with your might, your strength and your heart" is conspicuously on Dr. Omolola Omoteso's Facebook page as watchword. There is a reward for hard work and diligence. 

I  invite you to be part of the Excel leadership Academy! 

Thanks for reading! God bless YOU.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Love Me. Love My Scars.

I have five permanent tattoos. 😁 Appropriately put, 5 badges of honour. 

1. My badge of care, a scar right under my lower lip. At 8 years, as I stepped on the plank that served as walkway in front of our face me I fight you house, it gave way. I was heading backwards, being mindful that I had a baby (my youngest sibling) on my back, God in me catalysed a decision to fall forward. In falling forward, I hit my mouth on the edge of the gutter and a tooth went right through my lower lip with my blood splashing all over. Neighbours came to our rescue. I got no accolades but I wear my badge with gratitude.

2. My badge of hospitality, a fading scar on my arm. I was cooking for my siblings, I left the water for the amala (yam flour) on fire to BOIL WELL as I was instructed. When I removed the pot cover, the hot steam instantly peeled off my skin. I got no appreciation but I wear my badge with gratitude.

3. My badge of faith, a scar on my left big toe. I was seated at the owner's corner in a vehicle with my sister and her friend (my school daughter). God ministered to me that there would be an accident meant to take her life but if I swapped with her she would be spared. Interestingly she had begged me to swap earlier so she could chat with her friend but I said NO. It was a challenge to swap knowing the accident could not be averted. I later asked the driver to stop and I swapped. I became prayerfully pensive like a lamb being led to the slaughter. Soon, the accident happened. Despite medical treatment, the toe never healed, it became gangrene... I learned to dig into it periodically as part of self treatment until I did a surgery about 17 years later. I got no attention, but I wear my badge with gratitude.

4. My badge of grace, a scar running down from my navel. It reminds me that I survived grief and miscarriage that led to 1 surgery during which 83 tumours were removed, rigours, internal bleeding followed by another surgery, 10+ pints of blood (in a country where screening is not thorough) and 3 cycles of infection, with each potent enough to take my life. I got no awards but I wear my badge with gratitude...

5. My badge of strength, an invisible scar with visible feature; a knocked knee. I can speculate that it may have been from being forced to walk earlier than my mind was ready... I wondered recently if it was hereditary since Grandma Fatolu had exact condition... I was still a young child but I recollect vividly MAMI talking to a doctor in his office who said I needed corrective surgery. She was nice to him but back home she was vehement in her submission that “Omo mi o se surgery!” Thereafter, any attempt to stand anyhow got me the look or a light kick which promptly reformatted my brain, and I learned painstakingly to stand STRAIGHT. Soon, I forgot I had knocked knees and put in all the effort at Odogbolu to be admitted into Cadet then Man O’ War. I began to walk tall, climb trees and scale mountains! I rose to become the only Chief Training Officer in Nigeria who earned the NUMOWCHIN Award of Deputy Supreme Commander. Many years after, while teaching abroad, a child said to me, “Mrs O., why are you walking like that?” “Like how?” I asked, completely oblivious of his reference. He pointed at my legs as his friends tried to dissuade him from continuing the conversation. Then, he went on to mimic my walk. In that moment, which was a mix of teary appreciation for the sincerity in children and the foolhardiness of seeing a walk than my worth, I woke from years of repression. As I responded to him kindly, I owned this scar and stepped confidently into full healing that I am BEAUTIFUL and GRACED.

My GRATITUDE this 12.12.2020 is to GOD ALMIGHTY who saved and healed me again and again.

When you meet me, my scars may be the first thing you see or be hidden from your view... But they are part of who I was and who I am.

All women have scars, visible and invisible. If you meet a woman and want to denigrate her scars, you may just be denouncing her struggles. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Tribute to a Great Man of God

I shared this last year at a time when eyes were loaded with tears and hearts with grief. At death everything the departed was, stays the same - Pastor Ewuzie’s character and credibility remains untainted by sadness. 

As 365 days have rolled by, I share again in hope that it would wipe tears and brighten hearts...
 
Many thanks to the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Many thanks to RCCG Olive Tree (OT). Many thanks to the Redeemers International Leadership Academy (RILA). Many thanks to family and friends for the ceremonies so far in honour of Pastor Ebenezer Chimezie Ewuzie.

I was in New Estate Baptist Church around the time himself and Pastor Pitan were there. I was a child. We give glory to God for the Nigeria Baptist Convention (NBC), a ministry that has done so much to train giants of FAITH.  

Our paths crossed prominently in OT when Pastor Ben was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating OT’s contribution towards the partnership with Divine Connection (a ministry to mature singles) for Harvest Of Marriages Empowerment Summit (HOMES) in 2013. Other partners include Throne of Grace, Tabernacle of David and The Covenant House. I did not have to lobby him or wait on him, despite the fact that OT would be host. His commitment to the success of the programme was highly commendable, every part knitted so well like we met regularly for meeting. His selfless service led to overflowing blessings for many mature singles.

In 2013, Pastor Ben was part of the team that organised a graceful well coordinated Service of Songs and Funeral Service for my beloved, Bola Omoteso​​. I got to the church and saw the choir dressed in a robe that depicted my favourite colour - wine. This was exactly 3 years and 10 months to his own home call. 

I look back and give thanks for the gift of Pastor Ebenezer Chimezie Akujuobi Alachulam Abundance Ewuzie to the world especially the body of Jesus Christ.

What legacy will you leave? His 58 years of life has become a sermon to me and you.

Pastor Ben left an unparalleled legacy. He fast tracked his race and completed it well to receive a crown of glory that never fades. He lives on in his works, his wife and children. God has a perfect way of keeping them in His loving care. I know He will raise destiny helpers for them beyond our human imagination in Jesus name.

My charge to you - family, church and friends, is that his widow and children must NOT be abused. If you truly loved him or were a beneficiary of his service, keep them in your prayers and on your agenda.

May the hearts that would wish them suffering know pain. May the hearts that would see to their healing, comfort and celebration know peace. #EndWidowAbuse

Dr. Omolola Omoteso

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Honouring Bobby K. @50



It was on a Sunday morning. Security at Atlas Cove was infiltrated. The man who was head made up his mind that no one would be left behind. He saved many... Sadly, his last trip into the blast silenced him but not his legacy of love, kindness, courage, candour and selflessness.


As the dark clouds of the night, gave way to usher in a new dawn, nothing foretold the imbecilic attack by militants on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Atlas Cove facility in Apapa on the 12th of July 2009. I can’t believe 11 years have rolled by!



Navy Commander AKJ Awe and three naval ratings were killed during that attack, while oil pipelines at the jetty were destroyed. Kolawole Awe was committed to mother earth on Friday 24th July 2009. The church hall was filled... All class, creed, culture came to bid farewell to a worthy man. 


Many knew him as Bobby K, some knew him as Kosigiri - literal means no convulsion but it spoke more to his no hustle stance as God’s beloved. #KosigirifomoOlorun



Dele his friend wrote:


“Kola, my main man, your death has created a big wound in my heart and in the hearts of those who knew you, ever cheerful fellow. This wound will be healed by the precious memories of your great personality and the positive impact you've had on peoples' lives.... you'll live on as you'll forever be fresh on our minds.”



Today, as we remember his 50th Posthumous Birthday, I had a word with one of his sisters, Mrs. Taiwo Ojo nee Awe on the desire to honour him and commemorate his birthday:


Who is being honoured and why?


We honour Navy Commander Akinwale Joshua Kolawole Awe (AKJ), a beloved son, husband, brother, father and uncle. 


Many did not meet him, can you share why he should be honoured and remembered?


We honour him because of the good life he lived and the good fight he fought even for his country Nigeria. He died serving his country. 


What should be done to honour, remember and memorialise our beloved AKJ and bring others on board to do same? 


In memory of this hero, we will make short videos speaking about his life and all the positive impacts he made while here on earth. Others can join by posting messages, images and videos as well. For those who get it in by 09.12.2020, we will put together as a video.



Where would the honour and remembrance take place?


Remembrance can be done on his Facebook page and other platforms. We trust that this will be seen by all his friends and fb contacts so that many more can participate. 


When should the honour and remembrance take place?


His birthday is a perfect time to do the remembrance. And this year is particularly a good one because he would have been 50years.


Indeed December 10 is perfect, I always prefer birth date which reminds us our loved one was and remains a gift, rather than death date. Interestingly, this date is also Human Rights Day and the last day of the #16DaysofActivism. How do you suggest Bobby K can be honoured or remembered by all who intend to participate?


He will be honoured by as many live videos as possible. We can even make a picture collage of his time here on earth. Others are welcome to honour him in ways that speak to their beautiful memories of him.



What is the God factor that would make this a window of opportunity... For instance, how would whatever you do help people remember your beloved and heal from the loss?


In his lifetime he taught love and peace. These are Christ-like attributes. He was a loving person, very accommodating and always willing to help. He could give his eye... Jesus Christ encourages us to show love always. Our beloved AKJ may not see the videos, but the truth of the matter is that some of his good acts when talked about would touch other people's lives and change their perspectives about life generally. Also, we were brought up to always remember our loved ones, it gives some sort of peace and also a reminder that this life is not forever. We all will die one day, and when we are gone, the legacy we leave behind will be remembered and help others live better.


I know how challenging it must still be to talk about such a loving brother who departed early. One thing we all agree on is that Bobby K remains a gift; a life given whose memories still speaks of kindness. 



Attached video is by his youngest sibling, Mrs. Yetunde Olatunbosun nee Awe, inviting all who knew him to be part of honourng Bobby K.


To all his beloved, especially his wife Bunmi, and children, Oluwatobiloba, Mogbadunolaoluwa and David, may the peace of God envelope us now and always. 


I’ll end this as I did on 24 July 2009:

Adieu brother. Though your candle burned out rather soon, the light it shone brightens still.