In the African society, there has been much belief that people with disabilities are neglects in the environment, but the signs of our times keep changing as CoCaCola Nigeria, honors special people amongst us that participated in the just concluded 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

The presentation was held on December 7, during the lightening of Africa’s tallest Christmas tree. The event presented an opportunity to celebrate opportunity and positivity.The Nigeria’s Paralympics gold medalists at the 2008 games, Iyizi Eucharia Njideka, Ray Ishaku, and Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike,were honoured at the two-hour lighting ceremony. The arena erupted in thunderous ovation when these three were called to the stage and became the first recipients of Coca-Cola Nigeria’s Live Positively Awards.

A cue should be taken by this bold step taken by CocaCola, Nigeria by government parastatals and other private bodies. Recognitions and Awards will motivate the special people around us, thus helping them to engage in reputable and professional careers, consequently becoming respected people in the Society.

Leadership as it has been addressed several times still remains our problem in Africa. We must move to the next level of motivating special people amongst us and this is calling our leaders to action, not only them but people that have found themselves in a more privileged position. Perhaps, Nigeria is written amongst those awarded gold medals in the 2008 Olympics. When there is proper motivation, then there is a will to achieve a goal.

Author: Oludotun Babayemi

I work on for profit or not - for - profit projects as a Project Planner, Grant Writer and Information Manager.11 years ago, I started Cloneshouse Nigeria, 10 years ago, I started Follow The Money, with a Colleague in 2012, a citizen-led movement that promotes social accountability in rural communities, which a year after, got registered legally as Connected Development [CODE]. In the past 7 years, I have evaluated projects on Water, Power, Education, Health, Disaster Risk in Nigeria, and West Africa countries with the United Nations and the Japan International Corporation Agency. Education and Fellowships include Stanford University, USA; Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; School of Data, Open Knowledge International, UK; USAID - Crisismappers. I Tweet @dotunbabayemi and am an email away at

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