By Lolu Akinwunmi
The response to the piece I posted on Usifo and Chidinma has totally amazed me. I wrote from the heart, concerned about what has happened to a young lady and his late consort. I felt we all needed to have a discussion on it as they both are symbolic of the dangers that face our young ones and even some elders in their pursuit of pleasures. I didn’t expect such a response. I am in the words of an actor, “flabberwhelmed and overghasted”. As of today almost 400 comments and several shares on Facebook alone. WhatsApp appears to have done more. It’s obviously a serious issue of concern.
I am convinced Chidinma was not born this way and at some point something happened that turned a normal girl into what she has become. I was touched by the avalanche of hate messages towards her, with few offering any remediation and compassion; she could have been our daughter or sister, cousin etc. Very few examined the issue from compassionate angle. Ah well.
Many of the comments and even calls from so many places outside Nigeria thanked me for what is considered “bold”. I suppose because I publicly admitted that during my teenage years I did some drugs, truancy etc.; what so many people did anyway. It’s no big deal. The joy of it is that in spite of these things, God touched and redeemed me and I can be a good example to many. Above all, I felt and still feel we should be thankful to God for sparing our lives and saving us from destruction. And for these reasons we owe it a duty to do something to help adolescents in Chidinma’s position; and possibly men who engage young girls like her immorally.
Out of the 400 or so comments, nearly 99% were so positive I was embarrassed. A church has invited me to come speak to their young ones.
Still, I hear a few seniors who went to Compro are miffed. My offence is that I “presented Compro in bad light” as if it was a bad school. I think they got it wrong. Very wrong. The issue goes beyond Compro. And there’s nothing I wrote that isn’t true anyway. They said perhaps I should not have mentioned these things publicly. Really!
I have been misunderstood. I wrote an article with 13 paragraphs and mentioned Compro in just one; all I wrote is true and happened in most schools of the period.
I have seen some of their disrespectful comments. But as a good Compronian I won’t respond the same way. All I ask is that they read my piece again and again and focus on the advocacy. I am sure they can connect with it.