Dr. Traore Shumbusho
Their calmness belied the burden of low esteem they had carried for many years. For Tayo Adelekan, Funmilayo Olufa, Omobolanle Abodunrin, Chichi Anosike and Olannye Dumebi, it was good to have their confidence restored.
Once, they lived like recluses due to dental deformity that twisted their facial appearance. Today, thanks to Project Smile Initiative, a project of renowned orthodontist, dental specialist and managing director of Smile 360, Dr. Amy Traore-Shumbusho, that sad and unfortunate era can better be imagined.
Project Smile is a dental corporate social responsibility initiative which seeks to identify people with flawed dentition in the society and give them a chance to correct their dental defects through a smile makeover contest programme.
As an expert in oral health care, Dr. Traore-Shumbusho has devoted her life to the pursuit of creating beautiful smiles, and helping people wear great smiles they never thought they could; the ability to change people’s lives with great smile.
The first edition was held in 2011 with Mrs. Chichi Anosike as the first beneficiary. And over the years, it has put great smiles on close to 19 beneficiaries. Project smile 3.0 was again launched on March 20, 2015.
On the heels of the 2016 World Oral Health Day, Project Smile restated commitment to its mission of touching the lives of Nigerians with flawed dentition through a complimentary smile makeover programme.
This, according to the Initiator of Project Smile, Dr. Amy Traore-Shumbusho is an acknowledgement of the achievements of the initiative in the past three seasons and milestones reached in view of the goal and mission set out to give great smiles.
“There is no better time to pause and recount our successes than on this momentous period in the dental world. The World Oral Health Day has always been epochal in launching each season of the Project Smile initiative. Like the past seasons, we should be flagging off ‘Season Four’ of Project Smile on 2016 WOHD,” she said.
Beneficiaries present at the media chat include Omobolanle Abodunrin, a sponsored beneficiary in Season 3; Tayo Adelekan, winner of the Moderate Category in Season 2; Funmilayo Olufa, winner of the Severe Category in Season 3; and Mrs. Chichi Anosike, winner in the maiden edition.
Omobolanle Abodunrin, a marketing communications executive said “my life is literally turning around before me” when asked how she feels about her ongoing treatment. She said she’s receiving a lot of compliments about the braces. Funmilayo whose dentition became mangled as a result of a fatal accident said “I had lost hope and became a recluse after I recovered from the accident. My life wasn’t the same any longer until I came across the Project Smile.”
Tayo Adenekan, a 24 year-old creative writer who enjoyed makeover courtesy of Project Smile couldn’t hide his excitement. According to Adelekan “It was a hell because before I talked to people I would have to look at myself. I lost my confidence. Dr. Amy changed my life and restored my low self-esteem.”
For 31-year-old Omobolanle Abodunrin who is still basking in the euphoria of this life changing experience, people who see her wearing braces don’t know it was a medical problem. They thought it was fashion.
For Mrs. Funmi Olufa, a 36-year-old civil servant, 2006 was a year she would not forget in a hurry. It was the year she had a fatal accident that altered her facial appearance. She carried this burden for eight years.
“I had an accident with my boyfriend on my way to work and was in a coma for six weeks. He couldn’t cope with what became of me and walked out of the relationship. Naturally, I was an outspoken person but the accident dealt a big blow to my facial appearance so much that I became a recluse and withdrew to myself. The staff members of Smile 360 are awesome. Today, my confidence is restored.”
Mrs. Anosike Chichi is the pioneer winner of project smile in 2011. Her story: “I had an accident as a child and the damage wasn’t pronounced until I grew up. I tried to see an orthodontist in the past but the bill was too much. I can say I am the life of the party as my confidence has been restored. Dr. Amy is an angel.”
Life has changed for good for Olannye Dumebi, a 22-year-old 400 Mass Comm. student of Babcock University. For someone who never dated due to her bad dentition, it was amazing. “My upper teeth were so bad and this always drove me out of the crowd. I was surfing the internet one day when I saw the advert and my mother encouraged me to put on for it. My bad teeth especially the upper one has come back to normal. I am blessed to be part of this Project Smile. My life is very exciting now, it has improved my speech.”