Tackling the traumatic effects of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic was the theme of a recent webinar. These and other issues were discussed extensively at the event, organised by Kemi Olowoyo Otegbade, executive director of Ideas Warehouse.
Explaining the reason behind the seminar, Otegbade said: “The global lockdown brought about by COVID-19 has made a lot of us appreciate the little things that we took for granted in our day-to-day lives. Being unable to live our normal lives made us sad and even depressed. We have lost income one way or the other in recent times, which was not planned.
“Our original plans for this year 2020 did not happen. We are here to assure one another that we are not alone; we are here to encourage one another. Whatever has a bad side definitely has a good side. So is the lockdown, apart from the death of loved ones. We have been able to think outside the box. If we haven’t, we should start now.
“Schools, meetings, documentary and some productions have been done online to our initial shock. New businesses emerged. Some hitherto dormant industries became buoyant.
“We are here to put heads together and form a premium networking forum. We will discuss our mental health and depression levels. Our professionals in the house will take us through that regularly.”
There were also discussions on how to sustain income in these austere times.
Olusola Olowokere, a consultant psychiatrist and forensic medical examiner, is CEO, Greysight Limited. He talked about how regular exercise and eating the right foods could help fight and overcome stress and fatigue. He noted that the Internet had a boost during the lockdown, which created many avenues for shocking online media news like regular deaths and other incidents that could affect the mental wellbeing of anyone. He, therefore, advised that such news, which could cause depression, should be avoided as much as possible.
He opined that people should visit family and friends and their support groups to avoid depression.
Speaking on sexual health and emotional wellbeing, Pamela Udoka, clinical psychologist, relationship and sexual therapist, highlighted the need for every man and woman to have a healthy sexual life.
“Having an erectile disorder can be caused by stress, lack of sleep and depression, which can lead to anxiety,” she said. Asked by a participant if age could affect a man’s libido, she stated that a comprehensive clinical assessment must be conducted to ascertain some deficiencies in a human.
Also speaking, Lillian Agbeyegbe, a public health practitioner gave an insightful lecture on how relationship issues and marital wellbeing could be overcome.
During the interactive session, a 21-year-old young lady caused a stir when she raised a personal issue. She said: “I am scared of life and everything. The major problem I have in life is all about money and nobody to look forward to. The government is not helping matters. There has been no job after my graduation and, at some point, I think of committing suicide. But during the lockdown, I realised that most Internet users are really addicted to pornography because some of my friends send nudity skits to me often. So, I’ve decided to go into porn movies and production, since I’m not going to hurt anyone and the income is huge.”
Ope Banwo, a social critic, applauded the young lady for speaking out. He said most Nigerian youths go into different social vices due to lack of proper parental upbringing, lack of education, and no jobs, among other factors. He advised youths to tap into e-commerce and digital marketing. He said the world was evolving and people around the world were making huge money daily through different online media platforms and affiliate marketing and so on. He highlighted how youths could make money by monetizing their Facebook and Instagram accounts. He equally explained how one could make short videos and post it on YouTube, if their account was monetized.
He explained that government could partner with some individuals to teach small groups of people entrepreneurial skills and ideas. He, therefore, encouraged the delegates at the webinar to rally round the young lady for mentorship and make her life a meaningful one.
Nigeria’s foremost stand-up comedian, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, popularly known as Ali Baba, gave a remarkable speech on polity, social wellness and how to create happiness in your own world. He encouraged everyone to be up and doing, insisting that the government could not solve every individual problems. Responding to the question about his darkest moment in comedy history, he reminisced on his early days in the comedy industry when he had nothing. “Comedy is one big thing you can invest in. You don’t have to put in money or any other material things, only your intellectual property because you can’t say the same jokes twice in one event.”
A fitness enthusiast, Angela Emuwa spoke about the role of physical fitness to happiness. She encouraged participants to take time out to keep fit everyday even if it’s just for 30 – 45 minutes. She advised that daily fitness routine improves mental health and keeps the brain alert. She also encouraged the lady planning a career in pornography to get a grip on herself and look elsewhere for gradual income. “Rome was not built in a day,” she added.
John-Bede Anthonio, who spoke on Business Survival Ethics, emphasised the role of integrity in day-to-day business activities. He understood that many businessmen are busy short-changing their clients after the lockdown to catch up on the business gains they might have lost. He discouraged all businessmen and women present to desist from such habits, and advised that honesty is the key watchword to business survival.
At the end of the event, the Nigeria Entrepreneur Club was introduced to encourage Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to patronise one another with confidence without the regular fear of the so-called ‘Nigerian Factor.’ It is a platform specifically created for Nigerian entrepreneurs globally to know about products and services of its members to support, patronise and give referrals. It was agreed that free business tips would also be given at least once a week.
There was a large turnout of online participants, including bankers, insurers, and estate developers, among others. There was also a large representation from the new Titan Trust Bank.
Many of the participants confirmed that the webinar impacted them so much. Some others said they had expected that it would all be about COVID-19.
It was observed that the COVID-19 lockdown had pushed a lot of entrepreneurs into new lines of businesses and need all the moral support and stability they could get.
The organiser, Otegbade, assured that the summit would be a monthly series. She said it would be a sort of contribution to the society by her company, Ideas Warehouse, in order to reduce depression among Nigerians.