By Vivian Onyebukwa
The outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Coronavirus, caused a lot of devastation around the world. Many countries including Nigeria, were forced to lockdown as one of the measures to check the spread of the disease which killed thousands of people around the world.
However, after about 6 months the government decided to ease the lockdown by opening up businesses and other activities for people to embrace what is described as the ‘new normal’.
The decision to ease the lockdown, was a compromise between the heavy economic costs, including the hardship on citizens who depend on daily earnings, and the choice to contain a public health emergency.
Addressing the post lockdown and its traumatic effects, Kemi Olowoyo Otegbade, Executive Director of Ideas Warehouse, organized a webinar class on zoom on Tuesday, 29th September, 2020 to address these issues and many more.
Explaining the reason behind the seminar, Otegbade said, ‘The global lockdown brought by COVID-19 has made a lot of us appreciate the little things, which we took for granted in our day to day lives. Being unable to live our normal lives made us sad and even depressed at one lives sad at one time or the other. 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 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”.
Other interesting features like how to sustain income in these austere times were also discussed.
In attendance were Olusola Olowokere, CEO Greysight Limited, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Forensic medical examiner. He talked about how regular exercise and eating the right food can help one overcome stress and fatigue during the lockdown. According to him, the internet had a boost during the lockdown, which created many avenues for shocking online media news like regular deaths, etc, which can affect the mental wellbeing of anyone. He therefore, advised that such news should be avoided when we can as it can lead to depression. He opined that people should visit family and friends and also their support groups in order 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, depression, which can lead to anxiety. She stated that a comprehensive clinical assessment must be conducted to ascertain some deficiencies in human, when she was asked by one of the participants if age can affect the sexual libido of a man.
Also speaking, Lillian Agbeyegbe, a Public Health practitioner gave an insightful lecture on how we can overcome relationship issues and marital wellbeing.
During the interactive session, a 21 year old young lady among the participants, names withheld, raised an important 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 are not helping matters, no job after my graduation and at some point, I think of committing suicide. But during the lockdown, I realized 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 and wealth apostle encouraged 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, no jobs et cetera. In his opinion, he further advised youths to tap into e-commerce and digital marketing. He said the world is evolving and people around the world are making huge money on daily basis through different online media platforms via affiliate marketing and so on. He highlighted how youths can make money by monetizing their Facebook and Instagram accounts. He equally explained how one can make short videos and post it on YouTube if their account is monetized.
He further stated that government can partner with some individuals to teach small groups of people on 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
Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, popularly known as Ali Baba, Comedian and influencer, 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 because the government cannot solve every individual problems. Responding to the question about his darkest moment in comedy history, he reminisced back to 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”.
Also, Angela Emuwa spoke about the role of physical fitness to happiness, being a fitness dance enthusiast herself. 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 21 year old girl who was almost going into pornography to get a grip on herself and look elsewhere for gradual income and that Rome was not built in a day.
John-Bede Anthonio who spoke on Business Survival Ethics emphasized the role of integrity in our day to day business. He understood that many business men are busy shortchanging their clients after the lockdown to catch up on the business gains they might have lost during major lockdown. He discouraged all businessmen and women present to desist from such, and advised that honesty is the key watchword to business survival.
At the close of the day, Nigeria Entrepreneur Club was introduced to encourage Nigerians at home and in diaspora to patronize one another with confidence without the regular fear of “Nigerian Factor”. It is a platform specifically created for Nigerian entrepreneurs globally to know about products and services of its members to support, patronize and give referrals. It was agreed that free business tips will also be given at least once a week.
There was a large turnout of online participants including bankers, insurers, estate developers etc. There was also a large representation from the new Titan Trust bank and they all stayed till the end.
Many of the participants confirmed that the webinar impacted so much on them, that they had wrongly assumed that the conversation will be all about Covid-19.
Covid-19 lockdown has pushed a lot of Entrepreneurs into new lines of businesses and need all the moral support and stability they can get.
The organize, Otegbade, promised that the summit will be a monthly series as a give back to society by her company, “Ideas Warehouse”, to reduce depression amongst Nigerians.