•For Students, As DEBBIE RISE Performs
On a day to celebrate love, many young men and women gathered at a corner of Alausa in Ikeja in Lagos. They were invited for a purpose; to meet their mentor and helper who has given them hope and lifelines in the midst of intractable challenges. She had urged them to: “bring your boyfriends and girlfriends along” It was a memorable day for many undergraduates, graduates and people who came to really confirm whether information about the founder of Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation, Engineer Funmilayo Waheed was true.
Prior to the event, many read and or heard about her philanthropic activities. Majority of those who had benefited never met her in person. So when the Valentine Hangout came, they saw it as an opportunity to personally meet and hear from the person who has touched many lives and has continued to help the indigent.
It was a gathering where tears flowed freely; from the elderly, young and steel-hearted. Yes, they were tears of joy from people who never thought help could come, people who needed just a little to make life more meaningful and Funmilayo Waheed rose to their rescue. People attended the event from different parts of Nigeria.
WHAT FUNMILAYO WAHEED SAID
In her welcome address, young and pretty Engineer Funmilayo Ayinke Waheed, in the company of her Engineering Professor husband, a former DVC of FUNAAB, was all smiles as she went down memory lane to explain why she started the Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation.
She gave details of how far she had gone and showed videos of what has done for widows as well as single mothers in Ogun State. Funmi, who narrated how the Foundation has been catering for students at all levels, thanked donors and Nigerians for the display of love and appreciation to her course.
For those who heard of the Foundation’s activities for the first time, Funmi explained that the reason they were asked to fill forms at the point of entry into the venue was to collect their data and see how the Foundation could help them.
THE LECTURE BY FUNAAB REGISTRAR
The Registrar of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr Bola Adekola, gave a lecture to encourage the youths titled ‘Charting your own Course and Destiny’. It was a moving lecture which shared his own story of how he became an orphan at age 6. He lost one of his parents at age 4 and the second two years later on the day, he came back from school with his school result. Undaunted, the Registrar today he holds a PhD and occupies an enviable position in the society.
AWARDS AND GIFTS FOR THE PHILANTHROPIST
Then came the awards and appreciation. Many of the young and old who came with gifts for the humanitarian shed tears as they gave testimonials on how they initially doubted that help could ever come from someone who didn’t know or never met them. They showered their benefactor with paintings, cake, roses, and various other gift items.
Although some others could not share their experience due to time constraints, all in attendance were amazed by Funmilayo Waheed’s humility as she danced and shared jokes with the FHF family and
OGUN NANS HONOUR FOR FUNMILAYO WAHEED
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) sent in a powerful delegation to honour her as their patron. The student leaders reeled out Funmi’s interventions on behalf beneficiaries – in primary, secondary and tertiary schools – who ordinarily would have dropped out of school. Their chronicle of her achievements was so long that the Masters of Ceremonies had to interject.
DEBBIE RISE SHINES
A major highlight was the electrifying performance by former BBNAIJA star and guitarist, Debbie Rise. Her performance left the crowd asking for more. Her renditions appealed to both the elderly and the youths. There were other performances by members of the FHF family.
WHAT FUNMILAYO WAHEED’S HUSBAND SAID
In a private chat with her husband, it was observed that it is one thing to have a husband, it is another to have one who supports unconditionally as you pursue your dream. Professor Waheed Adekojo was there to fully support his wife. He couldn’t hide emotions as people appreciated how his family has touched their lives, given them hope in a society where hopelessness pervades every sector and homes. Undoubtedly, he left with a feeling of satisfaction that his decisions about his wife and FHF were right after all. To him, it was truly fulfilling and worth all the efforts the wife had put in.