In order to shed more light on our ongoing hunger campaign, #Someoneishungry. We have conducted an interview with the initiator of Afo-Hi, where he speaks on all there is to know about the campaign.
I am Afouda Samuel, an OAP, a Lawyer, a MC and and Entrepreneur. I’m the third child in a family of four children and I am based in Ibadan.
What inspired Afo-Hi?
Afo-Hi is a social campaign and a social experiment that was bore out of my personal experience and the understanding of the fact that whatever a man has been through, he should strive to change it for better, if he feels it is negative. So, as a result of my personal hunger experience I decided to create an awareness about the existence of that kind of hunger and the need for everyone to do whatever they can to eliminate it.
What do you mean by social experiment?
It is a social experiment because I have the leading to prove to the world that money is not really our problem, money is just one of the compensations for value rendered and it is neither the only thing nor the most important thing in life. So, Afo-Hi as an experiment is trying to correct the wrong impression that “Without money nothing can be done”. We want to prove that it is possible to fulfill purpose, and make great contributions to this life even without money. We are trying to preach value, that with creativity, hard work, goodwill and well maintained relationships, we can do almost anything that money can do. I was watching a programme on TV, not too long ago and a particular Grade A, Nigerian actress was talking about her passion to do something for the poor and needy and she was annoyingly saying all she needs is money, so she is expecting governments, politicians and rich people to give her money, so she can help others and I was like, so what exactly have you been doing with your fame? If God has positioned you in the place of influence, it is for you to make a difference. You have all what you need.
How far have you been able to go with the campaign?
So far so good, we’ve been able to make some progress. We set for our selves a target of reaching 30 million people online and 3 Million people offline. It’s a very tall dream but we believe it is not impossible and we are stopping at nothing. So far we are still far from the mark, very far and time is tickling but we are not relaxing and we believe by God’s grace we will get there.
How has the reception being so far?
We’ve done schools tour, we are still going to do more, we’ve done some media tours, we’ve released our message in a song titled, Someone is Hungry that was released on Friday, the 28th of July, we’ve been to churches, we’ve been to several events and we are doing all what we can on social media. The reception has been great, many people have supported us, and this experience has further opened my eyes to how “moneycentric” our society is. Many people feel the greatest help they can render is to give money, so when we tell them, we don’t receive donations, they are confused. Some even finds it easier to give Money that to help spread the message on their social media accounts. It sounds strange but unfortunately it is the reality. But many people have unashamedly identified with us, schools, churches, media houses and event organizers. We are still trying to get celebrities to key in though.
How do you intend to hit your target?
We have well thought of strategies and by God’s grace they are working fine, up till this moment. We have the tours and awareness phase, which is to create awareness about our existence on social media, and it includes schools, media, event and worship places tours. We visit this places to share the message of our campaign and solicit for their support, likewise we do the same thing on social media, using our individual pages to spread the message. After that phase we have the contest phase, which we will be entering in the month of August. We have outlined series of online contests which is still in furtherance of the campaign, the contests are to highlight some of our messages and spread them to some sets of people, it includes, Composition writing, Essay Contest, Article Writing, Picture contest, Poetry Contest, Music Contest, Drawing Contest and Skit Contest. The last phase of our campaign, which is expected to be the biggest is the Hunger Story Challenge. With this we hope to demystify hunger to let the hungry know, that being hungry today does not mean the end of life, so caution must not be thrown into the wind, and we should not be ashamed to speak out and seek help, of it becomes necessary. The challenge will feature stories of people’s hunger stories, and after a minute video in which the story is narrated, the narrator challenger 3 friends to share their own hunger experience. We believe with this, we can let people know that even the best of us have been hungry at some point in life.
So how can people support you since you don’t accept donations?
Thanks for that, like I said earlier, money does not define who we are as humans, it’s a compensation for your value, so we don’t want it, we need your value. So everyone should ask himself what is my value and he should please support us with his or her value. The first value everyone has, evenly given to all humans is time, 24hours per day. You can support us with your time, whether as a volunteer or by taking time to help us spread the message. If you are a pastor or Imam, sharing our message to your congregation is supporting us with your value, a media house, helping us spread our message is supporting us with their value, a printer, printing stickers or banners with the message is supporting the campaign with his or her value and so on like that. Influence is a value, and thankfully in this 21st century social media is a world on its own, an influencer on social media can support us with his timeline and so is everyone who has a social media account. This is one very key very strategic support we need from everybody, so we can hit our target of 30million people online. We realize sending messages to our contacts one on one could be cumbersome, especially on Facebook and Twitter, but thanks to technology, we now have a platform called Thunderclap, through which we can just submit our social media account details and on a chosen date, this application will automatically send our campaign message to all our contacts individually. So please if you are reading this, try and support us now, the link to our campaign on that APP is bit.ly/someoneishungry
. If you have 30,000 followers on Twitter and you support us with your account, that means we’ve been able to reach 30,000 people. It’s just like we need 30 million Naira and you’ve donated 30,000 Naira to us. We will really appreciate it, even if it’s 100 people you can donate to us. And you can actually support with both Twitter and Facebook. So please support us.
How will you feel, if at the end of it you’ve not been able to meet your target?
Someone said, we don’t regret what we tried and failed at, we only regret things we failed to try. Like I said its bore out of genuine concern to make a difference and we don’t set out to make any financial gains or impress anyone. Likewise we should bare in mind that it is an experiment, so we are committed to making a difference and at the same time making a finding. We will strive hard, we will pull, we will push, we will press, we will give whatever it takes, such that if at the end of the day we are not able to hit our target, we will have no regrets. So, if we are not able, we will be grateful to God and every one who has supported us in one way or the other to achieve what we can achieve. But I believe we will hit our target and even surpass it, by His grace.
So what happens at the end of the campaign on 15th October?
On October 15, 2017 we shall be drawing the curtain on the campaign #Someoneishungry. I’m a man of vision and direction. I don’t just do things on my own and I don’t move until I get instructions. So for now, sincerely I don’t know what will happen after that day, but I know we will close the campaign that day. Even I don’t know yet if Afouda’s Hunger Initiative will continue to exist after that day or I will move on to other things as the spirit leads. But for now, all hands on deck for Someone is Hungry.
What else will you like people to know?
Nothing much, except to let them know they can make giant strides with what they have right now. You don’t need to have more to fulfill more to make a difference, what you have right now will go a long way, and to touch the world, all you need to do is to touch the person next to you. Keep adding value to yourself and maintain healthy relationships. With those two, there is almost nothing you cannot achieve. And lastly, please support our campaign in any way you can, and God will bless you more. Thanks.