Gratitude #1 -United Nations, New York (1) by Mary Ajayi, 2015
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
March 2016, I was in New York at the UN 60th Session on the Commision on the Status of Women to talk alongside my @moremiinitiative sisters on the work we’re doing and lessons we’re learning along the way.
I faced challenges I didn’t think I could overcome. I had managed to get my visa in time but needed funds for travel, accommodation, and feeding. Icalled everyone I could. I emailed people and organizations. Nothing worked. I prayed. Nothing seemed to be shifting. My sister @adeola_ope took to Facebook to solicit for help. Olisa.tv blogged about it. @dejifan took to Twitter. Friends like Mayowa Okediran and Niyi Onabanjo pitched in personal funds. I began to have hope.
Then few days to the conference, Whole Woman Network said, “Hi Mary, send your account details.” I was like, what? I sent the details. Midnight, I woke up to find an alert from my bank. A huge amount had been paid into my account. Dear Lord.
But this New York that we’re going sef, we will shall not be living in subways and eating trees at daybreak, eh? What to do?
Then Rasak Malik stepped in. Rasak and I hardly talk but seeing I needed help, he contacted Tohib Adejumo in New York. Next thing, I was on the phone with Tohib and he says, “If you can get the air ticket, you can come stay with my family. Don’t worry about any other thing”. Jesus! What?
From the day I landed at the airport and the moment I showed up at Tohib’s door, I became part of his family. They took me in and gave me access to everything. I could eat anything. They provided warm clothing since I didn’t have the common sense to come prepared. I could watch anything on their TV and at anytime! I even got “pocket money”. I had practically all I needed.
You know the most amazing thing about this family? They’re Muslims and they took in a Christian without second thoughts and treated her without any form of bigotry. (to be continued).
Click Here to read the concluding post [part 2/2]: #CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa.
Also read Mary Ajayi’s full speech at the sixtieth session of UN CSW –Platforms and Possibilities: Birthing a Generation of Confident Young Women Leading Global Development.