Over 300 girls from public schools in Lagos recently converged on the Red Carpet Hall, Oniru for this year’s International Day of the Girl-child celebration, organised by Nineteen Youth Foundation, with the theme ‘Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable’.
The programme saw speaker after speaker emphasising on how girls can be the best they could, dream big and make use of the opportunity they have.
Speaking at the programme, the Chairperson of the foundation, Mrs. Biola Adegbuyi expressed delight that it has achieved its set objectives and that the girls have been well equipped to manage issues relating to their studies, sexuality, spirituality and write their own scripts for life-changing experiences.
“The girls cannot depend on people to do whatever they want to do; they need to have an aim, be focused and prayerful. I am happy with the outcome, over 300 students showed up. It’s amazing.”
On whether girls are excluded from some of the things their male counterparts benefit from, she said: “We just assume that the society will not allow us to do certain things. We don’t have to hinder ourselves, but to progress. I think we are not aware, but awareness is key, so if we are not aware of something, then we can say anything but we should let the girls know that they are all forces to be reckoned with, unstoppable and unscripted; and don’t have to be in a cage. The society allows you to fly if you want to, but if you don’t want to fly but have an excuse for not doing certain things, then don’t blame anybody. You should be unstoppable.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Tierra Bendita Limited/Asoasiko, Mrs. Morayo Olajide enjoined girls to be the best they could, saying that their future is in their hands.
She recalled that she worked with a particular organisation for 13 years but wasn’t fulfilled, adding that she had to start her own business and started solving problems for people.
“Success means different things, no matter where you are, you can solve problems. We need to look within ourselves,” Olajide said.
The CEO of Squeaky Clean, Mrs. Bisola Runsewe advised the girls to dream big, irrespective of their gender. “Your gender has nothing to do with how far you will go in life, if you can do, then you should not be limited in life.”
Runsewe, who disclosed that she is currently managing close to 1,000 staff, advised them to face their studies, embrace the qualities that come with being a woman and nurture their values.
“Wherever you have women, they are able to turn whatever they lay their hands on into gold. Women are thoughtful, emotional, compassionate and soft. You will need these qualities as you go ahead in life. Take good care of what you are doing, it will help you grow. Also learn to give back and share.”
An educationists, Ms. Tope Olaleye, who spoke on healthy relationships, said girls need to have a goal and focus on what they have to give to mankind.
She expressed concern that a lot of girls are not able to reach their potential because they are not exposed to knowledge and don’t know who they really are, adding that they need to key into positive values.
“You need to key into your real humanity and value yourself. You need to have self-control and be mindful of the kind of friends you keep. Through qualities like love, truth and loyalty, you would be able to hold your ground anywhere. Do not yield to peer pressure and do not allow peer pressure and social media to affect you, ” she stressed.