It was all tears and hope last Sunday April 15 at Oko-baba… Have you ever seen over forty children fight over a pack of Cabin biscuits? Quite unlikely. This was one of the first sights to welcome ‘The Breakfast Parlour’ crew to The Destitutes’ Home, Oko-baba on Sunday morning.
The next shocker was the announcement of a death to the crew . It probably was not the news of the death of the woman itself that shocked us, but the casualness about the announcement and the fact that nothing seemed amiss initially. From that point however, it occurred to the crew that ‘death’ lived among these people.
The Destitutes’ Home was built 14 years ago by the Buba Marwa administration to house homeless people; but somehow, many things seem to have gone wrong. They have been abandoned – even though, some of the leaders say the government send in food once in a while. The home is divided into three sections with individual leaders – Blinds, Lepers and Cripples.
These people need more than food. They have no water, they do not have access to free or qualitative health, no drainages (faeces float on the toilet floor and outside while all the water they use in the compound stays in the compound), no counselors (to advise on family planning/hygiene, the importance of education/ the need for the abled bodied ones to earn a living, amongst many other things.
On the brighter side, some of the children attend neighborhood primary schools. There are also some commercial bike riders, cobblers, tailors, a petty trader and footballers here. It is also worthy to note that despite the harsh conditions, the children are quite smart. Some speak English very well and they sang many popular songs to the crew happily. There is also a building (they call it a school) where some of the kids are taught to read and write once in a while. (Sometimes weekly or monthly, by a man who grew up in the home). Currently, there are about 2,000 people living in the home. The children are estimated to be over 700. They are the Okobaba2000
The Breakfast Parlour crew hopes to create and spread awareness about The Destitutes’ home, Okobaba via blogs, social networks and every available platform till they get an upgrade.
The Breakfast Parlour is an SMG and G Muzik initiative to create awareness about homeless people and their problems. This edition was a joint effort between SMG, G Muzik, Phoenix Osinuga (Rhythm 93.7 OAP), Omalicha Anita Isedeh (Rhythm 93.7 OAP) Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi (The Beat 99.9 OAP), Toolz Tolu Oniru (The Beat 99.9 OAP), Kore Brown (Top Radio 90.9 FM) , Sauce Kid and The Buzz Warehaus.
Here are other pictures from the charity event… Please note that some of the images are quite disturbing.