By Simeon Christian Chukwu, ONE Champion
When the ONE Campaign team travelled to the University of Ibadan to partner with the Students’ Union (SU) during their 2016 SU Week, there was so much frenzy and anticipation from the entire university community – especially seeing and hearing that Falz (The Bad Guy) and Waje would perform live.
A few days ago, I was lucky enough to witness the performance first hand and see just how impactful celebrities are in delivering important messages. Falz and Waje presented a show in what I believe was a magical push for the #MakeNaijaStronger campaign.
These #MakeNaijaStronger ambassadors have a huge audience, which makes it easier for important messages to be driven home when they handle the mic on stage. There are many issues Nigerians contend with, but education and entertainment (edutainment) have showed us that there is a way we can address these challenges.
Falz got on stage and thrilled them with his ‘H’ factor accent. Hear him:
“Ladies and Gentlemen……In fact, this manner of a reception, I didn’t foresaw it…so so dangerous… In fact, my personal emotional dispensation at this moment, I’m close to tears. Because the amount of love at which you are showing me at this moment, is not something I can predict”. The crowd went wild screaming, jumping and laughing enthusiastically.
He gathered them back and spoke critically about how women and children are dying needlessly because there are no drugs and poor equipment at our health facilities, and how many more lives we can be saved if we invest more in the Nigeria health system. This is what the #MakeNaijaStronger campaign is pushing for: increased investments into the government health system for all Nigerians. Falz asked the audience to get their pens out to sign the petition cards that had been distributed to them by the ONE Champions and members and encouraged them to go to ONE.org (pronounced as ONE.horg – ha!).
By the end of the day, hundreds of signatures were gathered from the 2016 University of Ibadan Students’ Union (Health Day) Week thanks to the many students and members of the UI community who turned up en masse to see our #MakeNaijaStronger ambassadors!
The lessons learned were enormous and the message was amplified thanks to its delivery by popular figures Waje and Falz! These are voices that many young people respect and are encouraged to hear them talk about important subjects like health. The combination of fun and education is appealing and engaging to this generation of Nigerians!