Group picture at the 2019 end of the party in Hefei

The year 2019 was a year of mixed feelings for different people and nations. Back home, we had an election that ushered in a new government in the same year and works towards the collective growth of the nation has been ongoing. For us at NiDO East China, despite the challenges, the year 2019 was more about building great bridges across creeds, divides, and nations, and not walls. We were fast to acknowledge that no single nation became great by building great walls. China was never a contender behind her closed Great Wall until she started building the world’s longest bridges connecting continents and nations of the world. It was based on this deliberate knowledge that the NiDO East China thought it wise to be the bridge herself by bringing together various Nigerian groups and nations in a very unique style in Hefei, Anhui province via an end of the Year party co-hosted by Association of Nigerians in Hefei (ANH).

Picture Gallery: Faces of NiDO East China-ANH 2019 End of the year Party in Hefei. Credited to Mr. George A.

As a bridge, we are not oblivious of our origin; we understand that Nigerians represent some of the finest minds from Africa in China and with our education, exposure to different cultures and ethics, we can leverage on our collective strength in our togetherness driven by passionate and visionary leadership built on knowing, going, and showing the way. Like this, our hopes to thrive together and to build the Nigeria of our dreams beginning from here is possible.

Over 100 people were in attendance cutting across different nations of the world. In attendance also, were the representatives of the Ambassador of Nigeria to China, Amb. Baba Ahmad Jidda (OFR), represented by Mr. Alkali D. M. and the Consul General, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Shanghai, Hon. Anderson Nkemakonam Madubike, who was ably represented by Mr. Sylvester Owuh. Others were captains of industries, researchers, students, technocrats, politicians from across great nations amongst others.

The President, Mr. Elijah C. Odii NiDO East China delivering his opening speech.

The event came to full life with an opening speech by the president, NiDO East China, Mr. Elijah C. Odii. In his seven-point speech, the president charged all Nigerians in the diaspora to ensure a strong bond amongst themselves, focusing more on building collective sustainable prosperity. Next was the Ambassador’s speech delivered by Mr. Alkali D. M. He acknowledged that though a very few persons might have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, the general reality about Nigerians in China is that most Nigerians have depicted a high sense of patriotism, dedication, and innovation in various fields that have made us proud. He urged everyone to keep up the good work of representing our dear country positively. In his conclusion, he prayed Nigerians in China to continue to support the embassy in actualizing all her dreams.

From right to left are the representatives of the Ambassador and the Consul General, Consulate of Shanghai, Mr. Alkali D.M. and Mr. Sylvester Owuh respectively.

In the goodwill message of the Consul General, Consulate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Shanghai, read by Mr. Sylvester Owuh, he admonished everyone to count his or her blessings, naming them one by one. For it is by doing so, that one can see what God had done. In a thirteen point message, he stated that though the year 2019 was not without challenges as individuals, groups, families, especially as a nation, we must not forget that tough times do not last but tough people do. Though we are passing through challenging times, our greatest assets lie in our ability to manage every situation and bring out the best for the collective interest of humanity. He urged everyone to salute all our compatriots, leaders and officials of NiDO East China for their sterling contribution in building the platform where all Nigerians can thrive in all possible terms.

NiDO East China is known for its responsibility and accountability system. We believe that to win the trust of every player in the project of a dynamic community that is built on the strength of our togetherness, our EoY party was yet another opportunity for the current leadership to demonstrate accountability.

This was marked by the presentation of “NiDO East China Togetherness Report” for the year 2019 by the General Secretary of the organization, Mr. Bem Shadrach and financial report by the Financial Secretary who was unavoidably absent, but whose report was read by the vice president of the organization, Dr. Adebisi Muslima.

The togetherness report captured many achievements in the year under review to include amongst others, offering genuine leadership opportunities in the 21st century, creation of e-commerce platforms where members can jointly work together to generate multiple strings of self-sustaining income and other services. The report also captured webinars on healthy living; featuring medical experts who shared with members some medical advice and opportunities in accessing better medical and health packages and programs for their loved ones back home in Nigeria and China.

Left to Right: The General Secretary, Mr. Bem Shadrach, and Dr. Adebisi Muslima, Vice President during the presentation of NiDO East China scorecard for the year 2019.

Friends and family in the struggle, a report of this magnitude was not without moments of deep reflection. One of such moments featured financial interventions for our members on special needs ranging from health-related issues and challenges in payment of school fees. We cannot forget how NiDO East China helped to publicly raise funds in thousands of RMB for UGO’s medical bills and working closely with the patient’s family and the hospital to negotiate for the best treatment intervention for the patient. We were however brought to our knees on the news of his demise. We lost him and had to assist the family in further conversations with the hospital. May the soul of Ugo rest in peace.

The end of the year party was not without heavy entertainment and exhibition of talents. Over the years, our dear nation has proven to be a reservoir of talents that have not resisted to take the world by storm. This was exactly what our 2019 end of the year party and community engagement offered when the trio of Olarenwaju, Ire Toluhi, and Iyinoluwa took the stage for their individual performances. Indeed, it was a moment when Nigerians were proud to be Nigerians and our guests from other nations so wished they were Nigerians.

Artists performing during the event. L-R are Olarenwaju, Ire, and Iyinoluwa.

In one performance, Ire Toluhi who had won the Nanjing’s Got Talent Most Popular Artiste award a few days to our event, performed her original. The peak of her performance was when she called on the entire audience to sing along with her as her piercing voice rang through the hall, on the song ‘Write my story again’. O yes! We all chorused “write my story again…” In another performance, Iyinoluwa gave a wakeup call, singing in clear and strong words saying, the time of sitting and lamenting was far gone. We must be that change that we preach…

My great people of goodwill, permit me to state at this juncture that we match into an era where everyone shall be upsetting the systems and changing the narratives. The brand “Nigeria” is a hot cake in this part of the world and there is every need to be proud of our struggles as a people. We are more than ever determined to match on. It was at a moment like this that the pioneering president of NiDO East China Mr. Debo took to the podium to encourage everyone that though there are enormous challenges back home, and thriving abroad become necessary than ever before, everyone must not forget his/her roots.

Can there be any event of Nigerians where the great variety of the Nigerian dishes are not tasted? Maybe in some other parts of the world but certainly not in any of NiDO East China events. The 2019 end of the year party was one of those events where Nigeria’s special dishes were more than enough for everyone. In a very special way designed to create orderliness, seat by seat, each person took to the back of the hall to be served by our vibrant team of ladies who did not hesitate to offer a free smile that radiated the atmosphere in the building.

Refreshment time with different classes of Nigerian dishes served. Pictures credited to Mr. George A.

The business of the day was about establishing family bonds on a platform where discussions on thriving together by building networks could take place. This was achieved by the constitution of NiDO East China’s Family Meeting Panel (FMP) that comprised Mr. Debo, Mr. Alkali, Mr. Elijah, and Mr. Chidi. The vision was introduced by the president of NiDO East China that centers on leveraging on the strong bond offered by a community to build an organization that can support itself based on the fact that each person can contribute something that is valuable to the community. He stated that it is rather intriguing how people of evil intention can come together with ease to carry out their evil plans but what is most intriguing is the difficulty in bringing people of good intentions together to execute a good plan. Nevertheless, he believes that with the ongoing engagement, and constantly refining our thoughts as we grow together, we can upset difficult systems and redefine the course of human existence.

NiDO East China  Family Meeting Panel (FMP) Community Engagement in Hefei 2019

At this moment, the floor was open for family discussion. Speaker after speaker, the message was clear and aptly captured. Though in different choices of words, the message was that:

(1) all things are possible if we all can come together and work as a team.

(2) For continued transformation and growth, mentorship was key. For this, NiDO East China was encouraged to always seek serious-minded leaders and not mediocre.

(3) Trust is omnipotent: economies do not necessarily run on money but on trust. Nigerians need to trust themselves beyond just rhetoric but in actions.

(4) Like in the book “The richest man in Babylon”, wealth creation cometh by putting aside one-tenth of all earnings and investing the same in profitable ventures.

(5) Nigerians must save anyhow, anyway just like the Chinese government, said one of the speakers. The passion and interest exhibited by members hit the roof of the building when Mr. Chidi decided to hand the mic to the audience to feel their pulses. One after the other, they shared their passion and reiterated their commitment to building a community that thrives together.

Ladies and gentlemen, at this stage, the event was almost coming to an end. To wrap up the activities, there was a presentation of awards to members of NiDO East China who have demonstrated passion, commitment and sacrificed enormously toward the growth of the organization. Amongst the recipient of the award were Mr. Debo, Mr. Chidi, Mr. Alkali, Mal. Ibrahim Saleh, Mr. Kachi Eluigwe and Miss Dorah Achu. They all received an award for Collective Sustainable Prosperity Advocacy (CSPA).

Award of certificates of recognition for CSPA at the event.

The event ended with a vote of thanks from the president of the Association of Nigerians in Hefei (ANH). In his words, time will not allow him to mention each and every one by name to thank them for making the event in Hefei one of the greatest events organized by NiDO East China and ANH, not just because of the attendance that beat any other event held outside Shanghai, but the manner in which the bonds that connect every unit of a large family were brought into full potential. In no special order, he appreciated the presence of the Ambassador and the Consul general who were ably represented and ended by thanking all the members of Association, the twin organizations of NiDO East China and ANH for ensuring maximum participation. He recognized the passionate, visionary and pragmatic leadership of NiDO East China in building a giant bridge across all units of a larger family such as the opportunity given to ANH to co-host this end of the year party in Hefei. He ended by appreciating all who gave their resources and time especially the members the Local Organizing Committee at large for ensuring the success of the event.

The president, Association of Nigerians in Hefei Engr. Ajibola Ogunbiyi delivering the votes of thanks

Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to conclude like this, “we have come to a stage where watching from the sideline as a spectator is no more fashionable”. NiDO East China is already upsetting systems and creating the platform for Nigerians in China and back home to tell their own stories in very unique ways. We, therefore, call on you all to join hands together to build a Nigeria of our dreams, beginning from here. Long live Nigeria, long live NiDO East China.

Happy Christmas and New Year to you and your family. Cheers.

Bem Shadrach,

General Secretary, NiDO East China.