In a bid to make this year’s World AIDS Day highly impactful, the Nigeria Red Ribbon Coalition, a strategic public-private sector alliance, organised a novelty football match yesterday in Lagos to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and also provide free HIV Testing and Counselling services.
The celebrity football match featured ex-international football stars who have carved a niche for themselves in the soccer sporting world as well as notable celebrities in the Nigerian music and film industry.
Leading the Ex-international stars were Emmanuel Babayaro (health Ambassador and Ex-Super Eagles Goalkeeper), Ifeanyi Udeze, Victor Agali, Emmanuel Okocha, Abdul Isah and several others. Representing the movie and music industry were stars like Belinda Effah (actress and presenter), John Njamah (actor/movie producer), ID Cabassa (popular music producer whose real name is Olumide Ogunade), Sound Sultan (a Nigerian rapper, singer-songwriter, actor, comedian and recording artist, born Olanrewaju Fasasi), and a host of other celebrities who took time out of their busy schedules to join hands in pushing back the scourge of our common adversary – HIV.
The coalition convened by Coca-Cola , Nigeria comprises Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF), Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), Society for Family Health (SFH).
Declaring the match open, the convener and Community Affairs Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Emeka Mba, reiterated the company’s resolve to support grassroots innovative approaches aimed at improving lives nationwide. He noted that the Coalition which started last year, was building on the successes made at the inaugural edition in 2015 by mobilizing and sensitizing people to know their status with the provision of free HIV testing services in a friendly environment, tackling issues of stigmatization, discrimination and fear of getting tested, promoting social inclusion and adequate care for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and stimulating a larger stakeholder involvement.
Mba added that no individual, government, or organisation can single-handedly make meaningful progress in the fight against HIV/AID, hence the need for a coalition.
In her remarks, the Executive Director, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), Anu Ishola underscored the coalition’s strategy of leveraging each party’s organisational strength and corporate core competences that has brought the pan-Nigeria alliance thus far.
“We decided to have a strategic alliance that boasts of credible NGOs like Society for Family Health, Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF), YEDI and other private sector partners like Ford Foundation, Federal Palace Hotel, Owu SportsWear, etc. Coupled with celebrity advocacy – with a star-studded Novelty match on the side, we have been able to reach out to a large spectrum of people who have come out not just to watch football, but also to voluntarily get tested and counselled for HIV.”
She expressed gratitude to global beverage giant Coca-Cola – the chief funder of the initiative and MAC AIDS as well as other partners who are contributing immensely to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
On the impact of a novelty match in combating HIV, the leader of the ex-International who is also a health Ambassador, Emmanuel Hyacinth Babayaro, older brother of former Chelsea and Newcastle United player Celestine Babayaro said:“We are leveraging celebrity advocacy and role modelling to mobilize people because behind every celebrity or role model, there are a thousand and one people who would like to emulate them.
So we have all of them here today for free because they believe in this cause and they want to contribute their quota. Young people came out here today to be tested and get accurate information about HIV/AIDS. Our target this year is to provide free HIV Counselling and Testing to 18,000 persons across 11 states in Nigeria including Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Edo, Enugu, FCT Abuja, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, and Oyo with a combination of activities including this novelty match. I’m happy to be a part of this.”
In her views, Iwalola Akin-Jimoh the Executive Director of YEF, the novelty match and other activities were important as they serve as ways of reminding the Government, private sector organisations and the general public that HIV has not gone away and that collectively, there is the need to increase awareness, fight prejudice and stigmatization, improve awareness/sensitization channels and develop appropriate funded programmes to maintain the drive towards eradicating the scourge.
The fun-filled novelty match which drew a huge crowd within the Lagos Island environs, including Mr. Ibrahim Umoru, Executive Director, Good Health Educators Initiative and former coordinator, Lagos State Chapter of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, ended 5-3, in favour of ex-internationals who played against celebrities and corporate Nigeria. There was also a celebrity placard display with various messages to raise awareness about HIV as well as o one-minute in respect of those who have died as a result of the dreaded virus.
‘Being Divorced Is Nothing To Shame Anyone For’ – Toke Makinwa Blasts Reno Omokri
The former presidential aide had shared a tweet where he urged the media to project ‘natural beauties’ like the late Nigerian first lady, Mayram Babangida as role models for youths, instead of bombarding them with photos of ‘bleached and divorced women with surgical enhanced bodies.’
Irked by the tweet, Makinwa, who is a divorcee, rebuked Omokri and she labeled him as an ‘embarrassment.’
In her words;
“Wow, at your age? Your wife and kids must be cringing for you, such an embarrassment. “Divorced” is nothing to shame anyone for, life happens. People like you are the reasons why a lot of people stay in unhealthy situations and lose their dignity and In some cases their lives.
“You can celebrate a version of beauty without putting another down, you don’t have to meddle in women’s business too. If you have a daughter I hope she gets the courage to never deal with a man as uncouth as you, stop with the misogyny.
“I don’t care about shots intended my way, what I do care about is the group of women you singlehandedly insulted with your “Divorcee” comment, to divorce is not a crime, every divorced person has survived something and sometimes getting a divorce is the only option they have
“Enough with the divorce shaming of Anyone, I don’t see a divorced man being shamed for living his life after his failed marriage, people like that clown are probably in unhealthy marriages too. God forbid I marry a man who tweets that kind of garbage, sighhh.
“Everyone has a divorced person that they know, it can happen to anyone, that we divorced and alive should be encouraged, people are dying each day living in unhealthy situations and while I’m not advocating for divorce, if leaving is what you need to do, do it in peace.
“You cannot survive a bad marriage, survive a mental breakdown and then now have to deal with judgement from people who have not walked a mile in your shoes, it should not be encouraged. Someone’s journey does not have to be your cup of tea, that’s ok but you must respect it.
“Dragging my divorced slay queen naked ass back to my holiday and waking up to the most beautiful view. In my bed and outside my room. Love and light xx” Toke tweeted
See her tweets below:
Comedian Woli Agba Gifts Cars To Crew Members
Nigerian comedian and gospel singer, Ayo Ajewole alias Woli Agba, recently surprised three members of his crew with brand new cars.
The comedian’s right man and ministry son, Mide Oladimeji, otherwise known as Dele Omo Woli Agba, took to his Instagram page to share the exciting news.
Dele Omo Woli Agba posted a video which captured the moment each of them received the car gifts.
The young man captioned the post with the words;
“Words fail me I can’t contain my JOY. My daddy bought me a car. IPM not only me oooooo and also to our manager. Ko tan sibe. Pastor OJO is not excluded 3 cars at a time KPK. Thank you Daddy @woliagba_ayoajewole Thank you @olori_olaifeayo”
See the screenshot of the post below:
‘I Don’t Want To Return To Lagos’, Toke Makinwa Says From Her Vacation Abroad
Popular media personality, Toke Makinwa, has shared her desire to remain at her vacation spot and not return to Lagos via her Snapchat account.
The actress, author, vlogger and entrepreneur says in the video:
“People, I am serious about this. This is the life I was made for. Like, I did not come to this life to suffer. I don’t want to come back to Lagos.
I just want to enjoy, just be relaxing and be taken care of. I have lived a ‘stressless’ life in the last two days. This has been an ultimate getaway for me.
I am absolutely loving it, guys. I’m loving it. I don’t want to come to Lagos again.”
Watch the video below:
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