Christmas In Nigeria: Williams Uchemba And The Give Challenge
Nigeria, dubbed the Giant of Africa, is a nation of great diversity. Home to over 120 million persons, the country holds a horde of diversity ranging from tribe, religion, region, favourite musicians, football clubs, etc.
However, several factors come in to play a unification role to the several millions who call the Giant home. Sports is one of the foremost unification factors with history telling a factual story where a civil war was halted in order for the Nigerian national team to play an international match against their Brazilian counterpart. There are various other factors instrumental to the setting aside of diversity and prime among them is festivities or in Yoruba local (street) language Owanbe.
Nigerians are people that rever festivities (holidays) so much that each one is anticipated with so much enthusiasm and when it arrives, the various diversification factors are put aside in order for the festivity (Owanbe) to take place. An Igbo man would gladly attend the naming ceremony of a Yoruba man’s child and a Christian would gladly eat the Sallah ram meat of a Muslim and vice-versa.
In prior years, the deep position of the nation in the ocean of economic recession was never enough to put a hitch to the various festivities that recurr during the year. However, 2017 has proven to be different from its predecessors as the state of the economy of the nation has put a multi-hitch on the nature of celebration of festivities the nation is known for. From the inflated price of items to the current petrol scarcity in Nigeria, the average man is left gasping like a mare in the middle of a desert.
Hit most among the residents of the nation are the poor and less-privileged who have next to nothing to live on before even the mention of celebration. Asides living in very unhealthy conditions in the various slums nationwide, this set of people find it extremely difficult to irk a living on which to survive because no matter how hard they work, the stringent and intolerant policies of government and financial institutions make it virtually impossible for them to have and maintain a stable financial source. Whether it be street hawking or any other menial job, there is always a tendency that they will be harassed by security operatives and government agencies who always try to use them to fatten their pockets. Asides the extortion, there is also a high probability that they will be evicted from where they stay to hustle as the government try to better their various cities and states to the taste of the wealthy and the detriment of the poor/less-privileged.
As a saying goes, little drops of water make an ocean and a smile one puts on the face of his/her neighbour aids in the fusion of a better society. With this in mind, a young Nigerian actor cum musician has taken it upon himself to foster a challenge tagged the GIVE CHALLENGE. Recently returning to Nigeria from his residency base in USA, the young philanthropist Williams Uchemba was left stricken with grief on the high level of hardship in the nation upon his encounter with an amputee street hawker who almost fell in traffic while trying to sell his wares.
Williams Uchemba, who is an African Youth Representative to the UN, has taken to social media to initiate the Give Challenge with the sole aim of lending a helping hand to the less-privileged. He has called on various celebrities inclusive of Mavin Records boss Don Jazzy, Peter and Paul Okoye of the former boy band PSquare, Davido, 2Baba and several others. On a personal note, he has dispensed monetary gifts to various people in need and has also vowed to spend his Christmas celebration on the 25th of December with the residents of the Makoko community, a slum in the Yaba area of Lagos State with a highlight of distribution of several foodstuffs and relief materials to the community members.
The Give Challenge has received wide acceptance from the general public as various social media users have uploaded clips of themselves putting a smile on the faces of the less-privileged. Several well-meaning individuals abroad have even arrived or are due to arrive the country in order to participate in the challenge.
Even though the government and leaders have failed us, that is not reason enough for us to fail ourselves. Kudos to Williams Uchemba who has shown us that he is a man of his words by putting into action his popular quote ‘I don’t like what I hate’.
Article by Agwah Michael
(Founder 247NewsUpdate Blog, Researcher, Human Rights Activist, Social Critic and Political Analyst)