BUILDING A THRIVING COMMUNITY THROUGH JOINT ACTION: MY TUDUN WADA STORY
It is believed that you are not yet conversant with Jos until you can describe the location of the ever popular Tudun Wada which according to many, harbors the good; the bad and the ugly. Tudun Wada is a very large community that plays host to over 38 “hamlets” and also has an atmosphere for peaceful co-existence amongst people of different tribes, religion, socioeconomic status and ethnic background. The community has quite a number of interesting and untapped tourist sites such as the Mado tourism, the “Rafin maza” amongst others. Trust me, if you happen to visit Jos and forget to pass through Tudun wada then you simply just took a stroll!
While growing up as a child on the streets of Tudun wada, I learnt quite a number of life lessons and all these were birthed from the different experiences I encountered. Considering the scarcity of water in my community, we had to wake up every morning by 4am to head to the well and when the scarcity got intense, we had to wake up even earlier. I still remember one faithful day my sister and I had to wake up by 2 AM, just to make sure we got to a “big well” located at a nearby area called “Angwan Zion Guys” before anyone. You will be shocked that upon our arrival we met a young lady already fetching water from the well. Sincerely, we couldn’t but wonder how the lady got there at that time alone and what time she slept not to talk of the time she woke up to have made it to the well before 2am. But then, its Tudun wada, this should not be so much of a surprise!
I still remember how the transformer at Tudun Wada park will spark and that will mean no light for several weeks and at some point even months, today as I see everyone having the #DontLeaveMeChallenge I just smile while remembering how some few years ago when the “Angwa’s” in my community were always engaged in a #NoLightChallenge and how every dry season we are left with no options but to participate in the #NoWaterChallenge too. It has not been a funny moment but all these have not stopped us from becoming who we are, because we strongly believe that our Tudun Wada will be great again.
My community has many challenges. Aside the lack of water, we also dabble with high rates of social vices involving teenagers and youths which later results to several episodes of drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, crime, getting locked up behind bars and in some cases; death. We have also had cases of female teenagers undergoing unsafe abortion in the “Lungu’s” and “Korror’s” which is almost in every corner of Tudun wada.
In like manner, many good things have come out of Tudun Wada. Tudun wada has produced political leaders, international footballers, Academic Professors, high ranking military personnel, musicians, great clergy men, amazing doctors, lawyers, exceptional medical laboratory scientists, engineers, pharmacist, nurses and much more. We have a reputation for greatness and that’s exactly why we are not letting these societal ills define who we are, no matter the challenges we face as a community we are still keen on making sure that we rise against all odds to defend the plans we have for the Tudun wada of our dreams.
We have acknowledged the challenges in the community and through joint action, some highly motivated and well spirited team of young people in the community have commenced efforts to establish a community library in Tudun wada (The Tudun Wada Community Library) which will provide a safe space for teenagers and youths to read, think and innovate ideas for personal and community development. We strongly believe that by building and sustaining this library project parents in Tudun wada can have their young teenagers engaged in academic, creative and innovative activities which will keep them away from the social vices ravaging the streets and that with time we can successfully produce a generation of enlightened, highly educated and skilled professionals cutting across different professions.
Every community has what it takes to eliminate the societal ills that is resident in its environs, community development is most effective through joint action. We never saw any change in Tudun Wada until we took a joint action through platforms like the Tudun wada vigilante unit, the Tudun wada Youth Forum, the Tudun Wada broadcast, Tudun Wada community initiatives, Black warriors football club also known as Nike Boys, Tudun wada Football Academy, Young Stars Football club, Lucmarae Media and many more which were initiated by different individuals of different ethnic background with the aim of projecting the untapped potentials hidden in Tudun wada.
A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson says “What we fear of doing most, is what we most need to do”. Most times we know what to do in order to curb that social vices bedevilling the community, we know what to do in order to keep our environment clean and hence stay healthy. But we keep waiting for someone else to initiate the idea which we already have in our heads. We always have that “What will people say” mentality which limits us. We step out and feel sorry for ourselves because we still face these challenges every morning when we head out and we still get disturbed by them every evening when we return home and in worst scenarios we end up becoming victims of the problems we fail to address.
Going forward, trends like #TwadBreed #BornAndBroughtUpInTwad amongst others have also helped to nurture community consciousness in the minds of each member of the community. You cannot successfully change the perspectives of a community until you are able to change the perspectives of its residents about their community.
This is a call to take responsibility and commit to changing the narratives of your community. Building a thriving community is not the responsibility of the government but of all the residents of such a community, you are the wearer of the shoe, you know better where it hurts.
As a community we are united and determined to create a positive change. We have started making efforts in this regard and we are seeing results emanate from our little commitments. It is the responsibility of everyone in Tudun wada to build and support the growth of the community, through community joint action, you too can make your community great again but first you must understand that your community is not necessarily where you’re from but rather where you reside right now. You must take a bold step forward if you so desire to make a difference!
Odinaka Kingsley Obeta
Medical Lab. Scientist | Community & Youth Developer | Nat. Project Lead @Blockmalaria
Pictures from Tudun Wada broadcast
Facebook/LinkedIn: Odinaka Kingsley Obeta