Monday, August 03, 2009


“What can we do to develop the community we so much desire?” asked Femi Aderibigbe. To find answers to the mind bugging question, he gathered some young people in the Mushin Community in a forum at The Gospel Faith Mission Int’l Ayantuga. If you have ever been to Mushin , you may notice that some parts of the community are better off than other parts of Lagos , especially the self-acclaimed “hot spots”. Judging by face value, the community looks very warm, clean and boisterous. But, due to its past records of notoriety, young people who live in the community are stereotyped and now have to work extra-hard to prove their worth, in order not to be limited by their background.

For an average young person growing up in Mushin , not only do you have to cope with the unsavory reputation of the community, but also the discrimination you receive anytime you mention that you are a Mushine. “I submitted my CV for a job to a top official in the Aviation sector, but when he saw my address his countenance fell. He promised to get back to me and till today he hasn’t” recounts a young resident on some of the discrimination.

So many people like the Aviation Boss still believe that no right thinking people live in Mushin . Thus, residents are often pigeonholed and denied opportunities to be. But today, youths in the community are saying no to the discrimination and taking up responsibility to correct all erroneous opinion. “Born in Mushin does not mean Mushin was born in me. ” Said Oshungbon, a student. In the past, Mushin was known to be very notorious; the community always records the highest negative impact of any riot in Lagos . “No matter the name Mushin has carried before now, there are a people of value in Mushin .” Indeed, value and integrity is what will take you places irrespective of your community or background.

Like every other community in Lagos , Mushines (people who live in Mushin ) have talent, intelligence, resilience, skill, and compassion. And the young people are ready to come together to harmonize their value to develop the community by taking back its steering wheel from hoodlums, and rebrand the community in order to make it marketable.

Most young Mushines were encouraged by Esther Afolayan, the Senate President of Nigerian Children’s Parliament, to start the trend by neglecting negative attitude that misrepresent the community. “Do not speak too loud on the phone, avoid dressing awkwardly, don’t endorse any stereotype, standout as a model to others, interact with people from other community in a positive way etc. It is not really about where you live, but about the values in you!"

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