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“I have never shared this before. I couldn’t share my past nevertheless, my past has made me who I am today” – Bisi Akin-Alabi

FIRE SESSIONS

Episode 3

HOST: Kemi Ajumobi

GUEST: Bisi Akin-Alabi, Executive Director, Operations & Marketing for Fixmaster

On the third episode, my guest was Dr Bisi Akin-Alabi and she is currently the Executive Director, Operations & Marketing for Fixmaster, a brand of the Xchange Point Ltd. Prior to this, she was a Director at Ola Up Foundation, and was former Special Adviser on Education, Science and Technology for the Government of Oyo State. She is also the Founder of SchoolRun Academy and Co-founder of PIE Initiatives, UK. Furthermore, she is an Alumna of the University of Lagos, London Southbank University and Kings College, London.

A diligent educator with over 30 years post education experience; an education consultant and entrepreneur par excellence.

Her dedication and passion earned her recognition by the British Government (the former British PM in March 2001 for excellence in childcare and education), and an invitation to No 10 Downing Street, for dinner with Mr Blair and his wife, Cherie.

Talk about going through fire and Bisi’s story tells all about it.

She starts off emphasizing on the need for education which she says solves many problems. She says it is a prerequisite for development in any nation.

She tells me that she has the passion for doing the right thing because she believes it is the foundation for a sustainable society.

“You must have a formula to work with. You can review it and get better at it, but you must have the formula to work with” she said. Her latest Post Graduate degree was inspired by COVID-19. She took up the challenge since her first degree was in Botany and had courses on Virology, she decided to build on it. She sent an email to Kings College London and asked if she could do a postgraduate course in Public Health and that was it.

As an educator, she believes that when young people love what they are doing, it makes them more efficient and she therefore advocates for a better way of learning for the youths.

Read also: Court removes Babaloja General in Oyo State

On her fire sessions, she revealed that her life changed between the ages of 9 and 13 because her parents separated and she had to live with relatives. She was the youngest, which meant she was well pampered before the turmoil started.

She describes her process as “Going through hell”. “I went through a period I would not have anything to eat for days. All I would have for dinner and lunch was garri.” She stated.

At 11, she was sent out of the house by her guardian because she “offended”. She could not remember what she did precisely, because she was young however, she recalls she was sent out of the house. The first day, she stayed on the other side of the fence, begging to be allowed in, but she wasn’t given the chance. She left the neighbourhood and walked to her friend’s house who was a Princess. She told her what happened and she said she could stay with her.

Sadly, her guardian came to tell Princess’s parents that she was a bad influence on their child. She left and Princess followed her. That was how their journey began. They were on the streets for 6 months, stating that they were begging, hawking and wearing rags.

They left Ibadan and started walking till they got to the express road by Guru Maharaj Ji’s temple. They would stop vehicles to give them a ride and after 2 weeks, they found themselves in Lagos. They began sleeping under the bridge at Yaba. Young men tried to rape them, lure them to uncompleted buildings because they were begging for money to eat.

“I have never shared this before. I couldn’t share my past nevertheless; my past has made me who I am today. Some of the things that happened to me made me a blessing. I still exhibit the rough edges no thanks to my past”

Bisi lived on the streets and then decided to come back home to Ibadan to other family members who did not treat her badly.

Her mother was told to look for her and she did. She went to Ibadan and located Bisi’s guardian who did not say why she threw her out. The narrative was that she ran away.

Bisi came home and got back to school and as a bright child, she did well. Gradually, her life turned around for the better and she continued to do well academically, professionally and on the International scene as she was recognised by the British Government (the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair in March 2001) for excellence in childcare and education.

Bisi is the typical example of “what doesn’t break you makes you stronger!”

The programme airs 7:30pm WAT on WazobiaMaxTv on DSTV channel 259 and UHF 57 (Free to air).

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