Femi and I, along with Tony and Michelle arrived at 805 early to set up and receive our guests. As a trickle of people started to arrived, I began to get nervous knowing that if numbers were short then our costs would be high to us. I was told to relax and have faith, I reassured myself ‘African time o’ and of course most of the people that had requested a place arrived, by the end of the evening over 40 people had joined us.
People’s kindness and thoughtfulness never ceases to amaze me. Shortly after arriving a friend of WFA Mr Ernest Oladipo Okoh just dropped in to say sorry he couldn’t make it but left us a sizable donation.
We officially commenced the party with an opening prayer and the delicious buffet was served. We sat down to an abundance of Nigerian cuisine including rice, pounded yam, plantain, moi-moi, fish, chicken, tripe, Egusi and gizzards. Everyone appeared to enjoy the feast and there was plenty for seconds!
The evening of course was in aid of our fantastic charity Wish For Africa and part of the event is to report to everyone the things we are doing. At this point some of our guests are invited to speak about their involvement. Ayo Akinfe author of "Fuelling the Delta Fires" gave us a reading from his book and shared why he believed that healthcare in Nigeria needs to be improved.
We were introduced to all our speakers by our hostess, the lovely Lola Atkins. We also heard eloquently from Muyiwa, Mo Abatan , Gyles Morrison, Titilayomi Shonubi, Jacqueline Wabara, Bianca Cotton AKA Miss Nubian, Joyce Sam-Amaga, all speaking about their involvement and support for WFA.
I then gave a synopsis of the WFA’s events over the past year and an outline of the amazing things Femi has been doing in Nigeria. I also spoke on why I feel WFA is such a worthy charity to support. How I have seen with my own eyes the great works being done and the impact that WFA is having on the lives of many that live in such deprived surroundings. I know that money donated to WFA is being ploughed into helping many in Lagos and this is a charity of good standing and morals with forgotten people at its heart.
Finally Dr Femi Olaleye took to the floor. He had said that he would keep it short and only take five minutes!! But I never believed that for a second.
As usual Femi was factual, inspiring, and motivating! He put over his dream of improving healthcare in Nigeria, something that WFA believes should be a right for all not just for the wealthy.
This amazing man [Femi Olaleye] not only talks the talk but he walks the walk too. He left a comfortable lifestyle in the UK with a vision to make an impact and a change to those that can’t help themselves back in his home country. He has put more time, effort and money into this vision than many would ever realise or appreciate. He has humbled himself and relied on God for everything, often to the point of despair. God has always been good and has always provided when all has seemed lost, and WFA will never be beaten or trodden down by the politics and chaos that Nigeria often throws at itself. We will battle on God led for the deprived and needy in areas of Lagos that many choose to ignore or don’t even realise exist, even though they are many.
The evening concluded with the usual photo shots with everyone looking fabulous, ladies in their high, high, high heels and dresses and the gents looking handsome in their suits.
A successful and fun evening with some loyal friends and many new faces all equally welcome and much appreciated. I would like to thank Mrs James and all at 805 for their great service. I would like to say many blessings to those that donated above the price of the meal to WFA, without your support we would struggle to make the difference we do. Finally I would like to thank everyone for attending and supporting the event whether in person on the night or by sharing WFA with their friends through media such as facebook. Please shout about our good work and pass our vision on, you just don’t know the next person that you share our name and work with may just be the person we need!