June 17, 2016
By Sunday Okobi
Gbenga Adesida is a 47-year-old man. He was visually impaired from birth. The impairment was like a determined barrier to shut down his dreams and life aspirations, but Adesida decided not to throw in the towel. At the age of 10, he was abandoned by his parents to fend for himself. It was a difficult period for him no doubt, but he decided to put behind this ugly memory in order to pull through life.
Having endured a lot of hardships during his years of abandonment, he dreamed of a better life for the children, and prayed that their path would cross with greatness. Adesida shared this dream with his wife who also keyed into it. They both nurtured the dream together, but something greater thwarted it; the parents of the wife took her away and the two kids were taken to orphanage homes. There were growing fears that he will not be able to raise a family and cater for their needs due to his health conditions.
At this moment in Adesida’s life, he was at a cross road. His only source of succour and joy has been taken away from him. But his hope was revived, when a good Samaritan, Mrs. Rose Ayanlege, who offered him a temporary accommodation around Agbado area of Ogun State, and also nominated Adesida for Airtel Touching Lives television programme.
In an interview with THISDAY, Adesida said the children left him, and that his life has been very sad for him until Airtel’s intervention, adding that he almost committed suicide at a time. Due to his inability to see, his keyboard and other technological aids were stolen from him.
Things also got bad that his landlord evicted him. Ayanlege who offered him a temporary accommodation around Agbado area, later nominated him for Airtel Touching Lives season 2 which altered the cause of his sorrowful life.
The programme by one of Nigeria telecommunications firms, Airtel, which is a television series, is targeted at individuals and communities with a story to tell. It offers a platform to celebrate humanity, inspire hope and enhance people’s quality of life. The programme identifies extraordinary people from various walks of life with dire needs and impacts their lives. It has helped build a culture of giving selflessly and nominating extraordinary individuals who ought to be given a gateway to a better life.
Nowever, the Airtel Touching Lives season 2 has wiped tears from Adesida’s eyes, as the telecommunication giant built him a befitting apartment equipped with electrical fittings and potable water project in an estate at Agbara area of Ogun State. Adesida response to Airtel kind gesture was a whole expression of immense joy and delight as GSM company has also built the opportunity to re-unite him and his family.
Similarly, Ayanlege commended Airtel for making Adesida’s dream come true. She said life would have been meaningless for Adesida without the help from Airtel, “but with this support I think he will go places,” she said.
Adesida said: “Right now I’m an artist though I have not been doing much with it, but God has been helping me. In life when you are very plain and open, God will definite meet a need in your life. My contact with Airtel happened last year when I was listening on a programme on Star F.M through Sister Moyo and Mofe programme about Airtel which created opportunity for people to call in.
“Then I dialed 947, and to my greatest surprise, a month after, I was called to the office and I was interviewed by a white man. Today, I feel great and happy because this is the dream I have been pursuing all through my life.
“First and foremost, I made effort to own a land and a house which Nigerite tried to assist me, but my in-laws stole those property. God has used Airtel to achieve my dream in life and I’m very happy. This is the beginning of the road to re-uniting with my family because at moment, my family is more able than me. For instance, David my son is 8-year old, and my daughter, Esther, will be 10 by October 6 this year.
“This is the beginning of new blessings in my life. I will like to appreciate Airtel and Olukpede who made it possible for me to own the property. May God bless the entire staff of Airtel. I would also appreciate if Airtel can continue to assist in other areas necessary. This building already has made me become much more fulfilled. My father is a king, but he refused to come to my aid, I cannot do another thing than ask God to bless them.”