Ojedokun Oluwabukola Beatrice, a child of God and a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos where she studied Radiography. She is a certified radiographer. She is very vocal on everything and anything related to health matters and known for her prowess in catering for the welfarism and health needs of people under her care.
She is an executive member in Peculiar Ministers. Also, she is currently the HOD of the medical department in Region 11 and also the Provincial Vice President in Lagos Province 19 Junior Church of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Rowland Nwokporo: Hello, I am Rowland from Peculiar Minsters Christian Movement. We are glad to have you here.
Bukola Ojedokun: Thank you for having me.
Rowland Nwokporo: Today, we want to discuss about “Growing in a Tough Neighborhood”.
Bukola Ojedokun: Okay.
Rowland Nwokporo: Firstly, can you help us give with a picture or understanding of what a tough neighbourhood can be?
Bukola Ojedokun: What comes to mind first with this question is “MUSHIN”.
I will create a picture with a short story of what happened to me. On a Friday in primary school, my elder sister and I were on our way back from school then we started to hear gunshots with people running to safety and we did the same because of our minds were already pre-informed on what to do in situations like that. It just shows how a tough neighborhood trains the mind of a child.
Rowland Nwokporo: Very well. Mushin (a locality in Lagos, Nigeria) is one of the examples I know too. I have heard a couple of similar stories from Ajegunle, Oshodi and the likes which are also in Nigeria.
Kindly tell us what it’s like staying, living, and growing in such an environment.
Bukola Ojedokun: (Smiles) I can imagine the “scary” stories you must have heard about those places. Well I didn’t really experience the tough part of Mushin because I stay and grew up in a Naval Quarters in an organized part of Mushin. Although, there were times when growing up in the neighborhood was scary. I heard stories of rape and also robberies which terrified me as a child.
Growing up in this environment helped shape me to be a better person because I felt like I didn’t want to be associated with the “bad” things Mushin is known for and it also helped sharpen my level of alertness so it is safe to say that I am really conscious of my environment and can sense danger before it happens.
Rowland Nwokporo: You did say that a tough neighbourhood shapes the mind of a child and sharpens the level of alertness. This security consciousness that can be noticed, is it as a natural outcome of being around such environment or it is as a result of self protection and personal development?
Bukola Ojedokun: Well, one can say it started from being the natural effect of staying in the environment because it was something I was taught from a young age. So, I grew up just knowing I had to make sure I stay away from the bad guys and run to safety as soon as I can if I cannot go home; but with growth, came a different level of understanding and what started as a natural effect turned to an issue of self protection.
As a young adult, I know and understand the reason for what I learnt so I do it as a result of wanting to protect myself not to hide from the bad people because hiding from the bad people does not mean you are protecting yourself. You can hide in a place that is not safe for you.
Rowland Nwokporo: Very well. You could run into a greater danger if not careful. We understand. So tell us, how has the mindset gotten from this rough area shaped your life especially when you find your self in a more convenient and secured place. Do you feel relaxed or there is this feeling of anxiety it drops in you?
Probably when you find yourself in Lekki, Victoria island and other more Tranquil environment.
Bukola Ojedokun: (Smiles) To be honest there is always a bit of anxiety wherever I find myself. Growing up in this environment triggered an extreme introverted nature so I prefer to be at home knowing I am safe than be outside where I know I can be safe a minute and be in danger the next minute. But it also depends on the relationship I have with the people around me in that area.
Bukola Ojedokun: I am coming out of it slowly and I hope with time, I get to be more relaxed when I go out and have a greater sense of safety than “hazards”.
Rowland Nwokporo: You have given us more than a picture, you have actually placed us in the scene. We know what it is like being in such environment. Let’s move further.
Growth as we know is the increase of a person mental, physical and also spiritual well-being. How can one grow in such an area balancing all these aspects in a man’s life?
Rowland Nwokporo: How were you able to grow, spiritually and otherwise. When it was also possible for you to be swallowed into the vices and atrocities common in such neighborhood?
Bukola Ojedokun: The first thing needed to grow in all aspects asides grace is discipline. Not just the discipline I got from my parents, but I also disciplined myself using that of my parents as the foundation. Discipline plays a vital role in growth because other things are attached to it, after discipline will be the sphere of influence.
The kind of people you surround yourself with also has an impact on how you grow in all aspects but you cannot choose the right friends if you are not disciplined. Other things included are self control, a high self esteem, looking at what you want to achieve in future so as not to be carried away among other things.
Bukola Ojedokun: My parents played a vital role in my growth. I was born into a Christian family so I went to church regularly on Sundays, but my parents took it a step further by ensuring I participated fully in church. They encouraged me to go for quiz competitions, to partake in church activities and from there I became conscious of God so it was because of my participation in church that I was able to caution the things I did as a child.
I also had friends in church that had a similar understanding like I did so we pushed one another to be better and to be focused.
Also, I can say I had the fear of “what would people say about me or my parents” and I did not want to disappoint my parents and my teachers so I had to comport. 😂
Rowland Nwokporo: Well said… Grace, discipline, and parental care are few of the secrets surviving in such jungle.
Rowland Nwokporo: Being discipline is one gift not everyone can offer to themselves. I don’t know churches survive in places like Mushin. Tell us what it is like having worship on such ground.
Bukola Ojedokun: Wow! Really? We have churches in Mushin. Worshipping in such environment is really funny, if worship actually meant the serene and solemn assembly, then churches in Mushin would have not progressed at all. There are sometimes you go to church and you can smell Indian hemp from the next compound. Some days, it may be songs being played from somewhere not far from the church which has a way of interrupting and distracting people’s attention.
But worship in this environment has just shown me one thing that indeed “Where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there”. Services are great, testimonies are evident from services and God is still glorified irrespective of the environment.
Rowland Nwokporo: Thanks to God. Thank goodness it’s a success story.
Miss Oluwabukola, you have a success story, from your profile one can tell. Being the HOD of a medical department, a beautiful radiographer and one who cater for the welfare of people under your care. Thank God for you.
Bukola Ojedokun: Thanks to God for His grace.
Rowland NwNwokporo: There are people going through hard times trying to survive in such environment. What would be your message to them?
Bukola Ojedokun: Just be you, don’t try to fake it or adapt. It is okay to be the odd one out, to be the uncool one because you refuse to adapt. Don’t be influenced by your environment because you will not be there forever but the mark you make and the difference you make will speak for you so have the understanding that your life is a light that must shine forth to bring others to your source (God). Make your life count! Make it count for God!
Rowland Nwokporo: Make it count… I must confess, It felt like you were speaking to me directly.☺️😊
Rowland Nwokporo: With your story, I’m sure you wouldn’t choose to grow your children in such environment, as one who has some experience.
Tell us, what is the one thing you learnt from such environment or what light did you see out of the dark tunnel?
Bukola Ojedokun: (Laughs) No, I do not want my children to stay in Mushin in as much as I feel like they can always turn out to be better than me, but I will not take that risk.
One thing I learnt from my environment is that your friends have a larger influence in your life than what you actually allocate to them in the influence percentage. Despite the discipline I had, if I chose the wrong set of friends, things might have turned out the other way. To chip this in, you are not what you have gone through or where you grew up in. Most people see me and cannot believe I was born, grew up and still stay in Mushin. The light at the end of the tunnel was “Bukola, you are different so let your light shine and show people the difference”
Rowland Nwokporo: It has been amazing discussing with you and I really appreciate you for your time and perseverance.
Bukola Ojedokun: Thank you so much for discussing with me. I had fun doing the interview, your questions gave an understanding to the answers I had before. Thank you so much
Rowland Nwokporo: On behalf of the entire crew of Peculiar minsters Christian movement, I say thank you and thank you for sharing your light, Miss Oluwabukola.
Bukola Ojedokun: Thank you Peculiar Ministers Christain Movement for the privilege and thank you Mr. Rowland for interviewing me. I really do appreciate it. God bless you.
Rowland Nwokporo: You are welcome. We call it a wrap here as Miss Bukola has done her best cracking the nut on the topic “growing in a tough neighborhood”. I’m Rowland Nwokporo, please stay blessed.