You haven’t been to Lagos if you have not visited Akoka, Yaba. You haven’t even really lived in Lagos if you haven’t been to that part of Lagos. You can smell ‘youth’ in the air. Apart from the popular University of Lagos, many other schooling institutions dot the area and add to the area’s constant bustle and movement. And now we have totally fallen in love with the area.
Why the sudden love? The Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), an initiative driven by MTN visited the Federal College of Education (FCE), Akoka, Yaba, to teach the young students about the growing problems of addiction, substance abuse and the reasons to stay away from the crazy stuff. (The things we heard gave us a headache)
So, here’s why we fell in love with the place
- Dance Is Life: Music, dance and youth are faces of an awkward three-faced coin and that has been a well-known fact for decades. Yet, FCE Akoka, showed us another level of attraction to dance. The students who filled the Popoola Hall of the school were filled with utter exhilaration as they watched ASAP dancers move on the stage and to watch it through their eyes was mind-blowing. Their excitement filled the hall in seconds!
- Surprises Are Still The Best: Many people will tell you not to surprise or shock them, they would prefer to be prepared. But not our guys at FCE. When one of the dancers swallowed a bandana during a dance routine, the looks on their faces said it all. They were mesmerised, amused and some were a little queasy.
We still cannot believe the guy swallowed the whole thing!
- We Need To Stay Clean: Life is too short and we have too many bright dreams for us to cut it short with substance abuse. A young man Annayo, a 200 Level student of Computer Physics, explained that he had lost contact with a friend who had tried his hand at a deadly substance – cocaine. He explained that when things got worse, his friend begged them not to let his parents see him that way. The young man had turned into an embarrassing shadow of himself. “We had no choice, we had to take him home. His mum could not believe it.” He couldn’t look the man’s mother in the eye. The pain was too much.
- Live, Love and Repeat: YOLO (You only live once) – that was the loudest message that day. Do what you love, be around those you love, do what will allow you to continue doing what you love. Every curious, excited person in that room wanted to be there to learn, to laugh, to watch, to dance. Some wanted to join the movement, some wanted to help just for a day. They had listened and were moved to do something. It was inspiring to watch them move to action.
It was easy to love the students and their spirit. It was even easier to be inspired by their zeal.
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