Over the years, several organisations have drawn the world’s attention to the vulnerability of the female child. But not many remembered the male child. This led to the creation of Debra’s Palace Initiative, which is balancing the equation in the country, empowering the male child.
The founder of the NGO and Convener of the Boy Child Conversation, Ms. Damilola Odiye at the conference, which held at the Lagos State Model College Badore Ajah Lagos, expressed some fulfilment over the empowerment of the male child.
In the words of Odiye she had always wanted to give the male child that platform to thrive and be responsible persons in their homes, the society and the nation.
“This idea came to me many years ago. As a student of this college then, our teachers always taught us, the girls, how to behave, but none for the boys”.
This got her cheesed off as everyone augmented focus on the girls but jettisoned the boys to grow up unguarded, a situation the Nigerian society is wrestling with today.
“We wake up to the increase in criminal activities in the society as seen on social media daily. As it shows, it seems the boys are the ones committing all of these atrocities”, she added.
Consequently, in further mediate for the boy child, through her platform – Debra’s Palace Initiative – Odiye is pitching her tent in secondary schools across the country starting with Lagos state.
She avowed: “This is the maiden edition. We have four more editions for this year: two in Lagos, one in Enugu and one in Jos. We hope to reach out to a lot of the public secondary schools, private schools inclusive.”
Since experience is the best teacher, the foundation filed three life coaches and experts in their various fields: the Director, Trellis Group of Company, Mr. Akinlabi Akinbulumo; Soap Opera actor and media personality popularly known as Dayo, Seun Ajaiyi; and a Tech Entrepreneur, Evans Akanno.
“It is not the responsibility of the government to train up the male child. it is the family responsibility. People are injected into the society from the family, including people in government, Ajaiyi reminded.
According to him, the family needs to bridge the communication gap with the boys more about being in touch with their passion, their emotions and less about being strong and tough.
The actor reprimanded the society: “Boys are not super humans. We should start showing more love to the male child.”
For him, this society is more particular about training the girls. “Who is talking to the boys about taking care of their wives, being responsible fathers, or protecting their families? We need to find the balance. There are too many stereotypes”.
Addressing the large audience of boys, the Director Trellis Group of Company, Akinbulumo, was extremely impressed with such a start for the boy child. “This kind of gathering for the boy child is very important. We need so many more of this”.
He also called for a balance in gender empowerment. “One of the things I always say is when you are seeking equilibrium about something, you don’t realise that the other end needs to balance up”.
The motivational speaker registered displeasure over how a lot of conversions had gone towards the women, who are becoming more aware and conscious.
He reiterates: “There should be more ways to balance it and build the boy child: how to treat other people and this thing about kingship and greatness is about responsibility not about reward.”
He, therefore, encouraged the male child to believe in himself. “Your dreams are valid. Nobody should tell you your dreams are impossible. The world is changing so fast. What may make you great could be what a lot of people said was nothing in the past.”