International African drummer Aralola Olamuyiwa shares how she lost everything after abandoning her ‘Eko Inspire Me Project’.
Ara, as she is affectionately known, said she was homeless and hopeless in 2019 after selling four cars and moving out of her home.
She said so on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu with her project beneficiaries.
The talking drummer said, “The ‘Eko Inspire me’ is an initiative to inspire hope in Lagosians who have lived in darkness and have been exposed to negative influences.”
She further stated that the initiative started 10 years ago. But that she got frustrated and abandoned the project in 2019 due to financial reasons, adding that she had to sell her property which led to her becoming homeless.
“I was hopeless and homeless, I lost everything and it was someone that gave me a room in a hotel that I slept with my son for a year. I did not have anything, and I had to wait for kitchen food before I can survive.
“When people give me a token like N15,000, it looked like millions to me then. It was really terrible.
“It was my late mum that came to my aid, prayed for me, and got me a car. I started afresh after COVID-19 and I am grateful to the governor for believing and supporting this ‘Eko inspire me’ project.”
She explained that her project was to take drug addicts and illiterates out of Lagos streets and that the initiative would engage and empower those taken out of the streets.
She said, “A lot of them were not born like that, they were victims of circumstances. Our initiative will bridge the gap and give hope to these people on the Lagos streets.
“We are going to be doing auditions where we will discover new talents and also assist them in becoming something great.”
Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-olu praised the entertainer’s initiative and said it could help the government reach out to the underprivileged on the streets.He described Ara as the person who changed the face of the creative industry. .
The governor also expressed a willingness to work with speaking drummers to help more people on the streets benefit from the project.
He said, “My responsibility is to make life easy and comfortable for my citizens. Ara is doing part of our duties and we are going to support her in making sure that many people are taken from the streets.”