Birthday as act of lifting others: The Natasha perpective

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By Dada Ahmed.

Birthday as succinctly defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the “day of a person’s birth,a day of origin and an anniversary of a birth”.

Barr.Natasha Apoti displaying certificate of her good deed to people of Okpameri Kingdom in Edo state.


Ordinarily, marking one’s birthday is supposed to be a private affair, an act of thanking God for ensuring the beginning of a new year in one’s journey of life, especially when such benevolence goes with good health and resources to carry on the remaing years.

In such occasion, the celebrator, if rich in enough,calls on family members,friends, colleagues and acquaintants for get together for merriment,ganished with sumptuous dinner or stuff like that. Some Nigerians even display affluence by advertising to the world through the media to herald such ritual.

The aim, in a narrow perspective, is basically to appreciate God Almighty for His magnanimity and sheer privilege for not being among millions that have gone on the journey of no return.

However, in recent time, there are Nigerians, who in their milk of human kindness, have decided to expand the definition of birthday by using such glorious occasion to pay back to the larger society and in the process, affect humanity positively.

But Natasha Hadiza Apoti,a 42-year.-old kogi state born politician cum entrepreneur and philanthropist, marking birthday goes beyond merry making, this she typifies recent by redifining the concept of birthday.

Matching concept with action,she caused the rehabilitation of 1.4-kilometre road Okene-Lampese-Ibillo-Lagos road in the neighbouring Edo state, specifically at the Okpaneri Kingdom with her resources and commissioned the facility for public use as part of the activities marking her 42nd birthday.

For many years, the road,a federal facility which passes through the kingdom, has been in terrible shape, making life unbearable for motorists and other users plying the road on a daily basis.

The residents of the area, especially those at lower level of the society, the social, economic and psychological experience is better imagined than said.

However,little did they know that a “messiah” will soon come to their rescue and wipe out their tears, ably done by Natasha, wiping out commuters’ tears of going through the rigours of the road.

Of course, Natasha’s patrotic, altruism,unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others,snow balling into charitable acts did not go unnoticed as the people of the kingdom trooped to Okpameri Grammar School, Akoko-Edo, enthusiastically,to give her with Chieftaincy title of Osasafe of Okpameri Kingdom.

While conferring the title on Natasha, the Chairman of Okpameri Descendants Union, Kingsley Ekundayo,ecpressed delight over the action of popularly called “The amazon and pride of ebira nation.”

The highly elated Ekundayo said, “We are sure we have got the biggest gift of the season from Natasha and hence, the title Osasafe (one who repairs home)”.

The people corroborated the assertion of their Chairman, describing the portion of the rehabilitated as a death trap and nightmare for motorists and commuters, recalling that travelers spent days on the road with the attendant oddities such as loss of lives, damaged vehicles, exposure to kidnappers, armed robbers and other dangerous instances.

They described the rehabilitation of the road as a dream come true and a phenomenon that would remain indelible in their minds for years to come.

Mr Andrew Joseph,an indigene of the area, described Natasha as “am amazing personality with amazing milk of human kindness.”

“The road she helped us to rehabilitate may look small in kilometre to the uninformed about the trauma we have gone through on this road,but it covers long kilometres in our yearning for the physical development of the highly delapidated roads in the area.

“May almighty God continue to bless her pocket,to enable her do more for the upliftment of thousands of others in dire need of one assistance or the other, to make worthy of living,”he prayed.

Speaking at the elaborate and crowd-pulling occasion, Natasha thanked the people of Ibillo-Lampese community, especially the youth,for the support and cooperation they gave to the workers during the rehabilitation works on the road.

Natasha,a former Kogi State Governirship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP),called on citizens to see nation building as a collective responsibility, stressing that those God bless resources needed not wait to occupy position of authority before making meaningful impactinng in the life of others, particularly the poor.

“Nation building is a collective responsibility which requires citizens to positively influence the environment in whichever way they can. If you find yourself in a position where you can make an impact, please do not hesitate.

“You don’t have to be in office, you don’t have to own a position of authority. You can make an impact of service and a project.” Akpoti said.

Akpoti proceeded to her Ihima community, her home place of Kogi State where she officially unveiled a street named after her late father, Dr. Jimoh Akpoti and also flagged off another road that will link Ihima with other parts of Edo State.

The birthday event was sealed with a surprise party in Ihima where the Nigerian superstar artiste, Patoranking held the crowd to vibration and elation.

In all, feelers from series of gesture by Natasha to the less privileged in the society lay credence to the fact, time has come for those whose life represents God’s benevolence to glaring wider gap between the rich and the poor.

This will go along way in reducing poverty and acrimonious relationship that metamorphose into crises, giving the government and the governed sleepless night, to the barest minimum and the world will be a better place for mankind.

Ahmed is a Journalist, blogger and media consultant.

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