Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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News Desk

Band A: “We don’t want 24 hours electricity anymore,” Obawole residents lament to NERC, EKEDC

"The increase is too much. They should take us back to Band B. We were not complaining," Mrs. Victor lamented to The Record.

What did Prince Harry and Megan Markle do in Lagos?

The couple visited Kaduna and, of course, ended their visit with a trip to Lagos, the centre of excellence, on Sunday, May 12.

Akanmu, UNILAG’s Best Graduating Student, named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University

He is one of five Africans, and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution, to join the 2024 cohort.

Workers protest ‘unlawful sack’ of 391 Lagos Water Corporation staff

Members of the Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations Civil...

LASEPA vows to improve air quality in Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental Monitoring Research Protection Agency on...

Annals Of Legislation

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Land ownership issues: Lagos Assembly steps in with new bill

The Lagos House of Assembly is considering a Lagos...

State police: Lagos Assembly rejects IGP Egbetokun’s position

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against...

Lagos Assembly to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Land grabbing

According to the resolution, the planned meeting would involve the state government, the police, the judiciary, traditional rulers and others.

Navigating Lagos

Nine highest-paying occupations in Lagos state

According to data from the Lagos government in 2021,...

Preserving Nigeria’s Legacy: Inside the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos

The National Museum Lagos boasts an extensive collection estimated at 47,000 objects, crafted from various materials including wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta.

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos in first two months of 2024

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos...

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Where to find co-working spaces in Lagos Mainland

As remote work continues to shape contemporary work culture, these spaces provide valuable solutions for those seeking flexibility, connectivity, and a dynamic work experience in Lagos.

Eko Lifestyle

Discover seven alternative Lagos beaches to Landmark, Oniru, others

Despite these alterations to the landscape of Lagos' coastal attractions, the state still boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches waiting to be explored. At Ikeja Record, we have compiled a list of viable alternatives for you.

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Top 5 budget smartphones, as recommended by Computer Village vendors

  From communication and entertainment to productivity at work and...

Top exotic Spas for self-care in Ikeja

Spa treatments is a form of self-care which offer relaxation, stress relief, and physical rejuvenation, all of which contribute to overall well-being.

Best spot to eat authentic pounded yam in Lagos

The culinary gem nestled in the heart of Lagos not only offers meticulously prepared pounded yam but also embraces the rich tapestry of Yoruba culture in its aesthetics and ambiance.

The Political Scene

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Is the storm over between Sanwo-Olu and Obasa? 

Is this renewed joviality in the best interest of Lagosians?

Lagos is spending big on infrastructure. But choking on debt.

As of December 2022, Lagos was the state with the highest debt stock across the Nigerian federation.

Three reasons why Lagos House of Assembly rejected Sanwo-Olu’s 17 commissioner-nominees

Beyond geographical and religious factors, the possibility of pending disagreements can not be ruled out.

What Ojodu residents want from LCDA Chairman Segun Odunmbaku

The residents made the requests following celebrations marking Segun Odunmbaku’s two years in office as Executive Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.

Persons Of Interest

Living with Lupus in Lagos: Misturah Owolabi shares her inspiring journey

“ Lupus is not a death sentence, it is a very manageable condition. Do not believe that Lupus is going to hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Lagos-based startup, Midddleman, is bridging trust and logistics gaps in the e-commerce world

Additionally, the co-founder shared that e-commerce companies can now send Yuan/CNY/RMB to their Chinese suppliers through Middleman.

‘I left Ibadan for Lagos to grow my career in tech and now I love the lifestyle offerings’ – Tech Sis

One year after this decision, she found it to be one of the best choices she has ever made. It opened more doors of opportunities that were unavailable to her in Ibadan.

Behind the Wheel: Pelumi Nubi opens up about London to Lagos solo drive

“ I wanted to inspire more women to step out of their comfort zone and do challenging stuff.”

I moved to Lagos for love and found so much more, Zimbabwean lady, Ngamira, shares her experience

Instead of returning to either Zimbabwe or her second home in Zambia, she decided to follow her heart to be with her partner in Lagos, Nigeria.

News Desk

Band A: “We don’t want 24 hours electricity anymore,” Obawole residents lament to NERC, EKEDC

"The increase is too much. They should take us back to Band B. We were not complaining," Mrs. Victor lamented to The Record.

What did Prince Harry and Megan Markle do in Lagos?

The couple visited Kaduna and, of course, ended their visit with a trip to Lagos, the centre of excellence, on Sunday, May 12.

Akanmu, UNILAG’s Best Graduating Student, named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University

He is one of five Africans, and the only one from an African-based tertiary institution, to join the 2024 cohort.

Workers protest ‘unlawful sack’ of 391 Lagos Water Corporation staff

Members of the Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations Civil...

LASEPA vows to improve air quality in Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental Monitoring Research Protection Agency on...

Annals Of Legislation

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Land ownership issues: Lagos Assembly steps in with new bill

The Lagos House of Assembly is considering a Lagos...

State police: Lagos Assembly rejects IGP Egbetokun’s position

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against...

Lagos Assembly to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Land grabbing

According to the resolution, the planned meeting would involve the state government, the police, the judiciary, traditional rulers and others.

Navigating Lagos

Nine highest-paying occupations in Lagos state

According to data from the Lagos government in 2021,...

Preserving Nigeria’s Legacy: Inside the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos

The National Museum Lagos boasts an extensive collection estimated at 47,000 objects, crafted from various materials including wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta.

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos in first two months of 2024

Road rage: 342 accidents claim 22 lives in Lagos...

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Where to find co-working spaces in Lagos Mainland

As remote work continues to shape contemporary work culture, these spaces provide valuable solutions for those seeking flexibility, connectivity, and a dynamic work experience in Lagos.

Eko Lifestyle

Discover seven alternative Lagos beaches to Landmark, Oniru, others

Despite these alterations to the landscape of Lagos' coastal attractions, the state still boasts a plethora of breathtaking beaches waiting to be explored. At Ikeja Record, we have compiled a list of viable alternatives for you.

From ruins to restoration: Discovering the treasures in Freedom Park Lagos

I discovered that the park, located on a prime location in Lagos Island, had a historical past—it used to be a prison during Nigeria's colonial era.

Top 5 budget smartphones, as recommended by Computer Village vendors

  From communication and entertainment to productivity at work and...

Top exotic Spas for self-care in Ikeja

Spa treatments is a form of self-care which offer relaxation, stress relief, and physical rejuvenation, all of which contribute to overall well-being.

Best spot to eat authentic pounded yam in Lagos

The culinary gem nestled in the heart of Lagos not only offers meticulously prepared pounded yam but also embraces the rich tapestry of Yoruba culture in its aesthetics and ambiance.

The Political Scene

One year after: Key decisions taken by 10th Lagos State House of Assembly

The 10th Lagos House of Assembly was inaugurated on...

Is the storm over between Sanwo-Olu and Obasa? 

Is this renewed joviality in the best interest of Lagosians?

Lagos is spending big on infrastructure. But choking on debt.

As of December 2022, Lagos was the state with the highest debt stock across the Nigerian federation.

Three reasons why Lagos House of Assembly rejected Sanwo-Olu’s 17 commissioner-nominees

Beyond geographical and religious factors, the possibility of pending disagreements can not be ruled out.

What Ojodu residents want from LCDA Chairman Segun Odunmbaku

The residents made the requests following celebrations marking Segun Odunmbaku’s two years in office as Executive Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.

Persons Of Interest

Living with Lupus in Lagos: Misturah Owolabi shares her inspiring journey

“ Lupus is not a death sentence, it is a very manageable condition. Do not believe that Lupus is going to hinder you from achieving your goals.”

Lagos-based startup, Midddleman, is bridging trust and logistics gaps in the e-commerce world

Additionally, the co-founder shared that e-commerce companies can now send Yuan/CNY/RMB to their Chinese suppliers through Middleman.

‘I left Ibadan for Lagos to grow my career in tech and now I love the lifestyle offerings’ – Tech Sis

One year after this decision, she found it to be one of the best choices she has ever made. It opened more doors of opportunities that were unavailable to her in Ibadan.

Behind the Wheel: Pelumi Nubi opens up about London to Lagos solo drive

“ I wanted to inspire more women to step out of their comfort zone and do challenging stuff.”

I moved to Lagos for love and found so much more, Zimbabwean lady, Ngamira, shares her experience

Instead of returning to either Zimbabwe or her second home in Zambia, she decided to follow her heart to be with her partner in Lagos, Nigeria.

Meet the man who swam across Third Mainland Bridge to raise awareness on silent killer among Lagosians

Growing up, Dare Samuel Akinrodoye, also known as Coach Dreh, had a privileged upbringing and excelled academically. Despite his somewhat fortunate life, he felt a deep sense of emptiness in his heart and struggled to find purpose in life.

Akinrodoye tried his hand at various trades, from learning how to sew to training as a cobbler, but he still felt a void after completing each training. After waiting for admission into a university in Lagos State for four years, he decided to leave Nigeria to study in Ghana.

During his first year at the university, he stumbled upon the swim team one evening and decided to join. It was there that he discovered his love for swimming and the fulfilment it brought into his life.

On March 30, 2023, Coach Dreh made history by becoming the first man to swim the entire length of the Third Mainland Bridge, the longest of three road bridges spanning the Lagos Lagoon. His remarkable feat aimed to raise awareness on mental health issues.

In an interview with The Record’s Omon Okhuevbie, Coach Dreh revealed the true intent behind the swim. He also discussed the extensive preparation it took for the swim and shared insights about his swim academy.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity

Can you introduce yourself and share a bit more about yourself?

My name is Dare Samuel Akinrodoye. I am a graduate of the University of Ghana and I studied a combined major of Archaeology and Political Science. I am the CEO and founder of Ocean 28 swim academy in Lagos. I happen to be the first man to swim the entire length of the Third Mainland Bridge.

What motivated you to embark on such a challenging task?

There are two major stories behind it. The others are secondary. So, the first is the way I grew up; I am not from a poor background. I would say that my background is okay. There was just a part that was slightly missing while I was growing up and that was the fact that I was unable to really identify my skill and my talents while growing up, even though I had the best form of upbringing. It didn’t make me feel alive so much.

I got into swimming because it gives me that sense of purpose. It gave me that sense of belonging, a family outside blood relation. Since then, I knew I had a tool that I would use someday to actually impact my society. 

The second reason was my friend. He was attempting to commit suicide. I am grateful for the part that he was able to share that thought with me. We were able to talk him out of the experience. What caused this was that I tried to get his exact location. I just couldn’t get it; he wasn’t willing to share. So, I made a little bit of a discovery. I discovered that there was a pattern with things like this. This is what they usually do. If that was the case, it means we have quite a number of people out there who are actually dying in silence. So I decided to use this initiative to break the silence. 

Can you tell us about any personal experiences or encounters that inspired you to advocate for mental health awareness?

While growing up, I felt there was something missing. I knew I didn’t have a sense of direction in a number of things I was doing. One might say I was young and all that. But I knew there was something missing. I tried my hands on quite a number of things. Tailoring, shoemaking, and other things but there was just nothing that I could actually call my own.

Did you know how to swim before you joined your University’s swim team?

I thought I knew how to swim, but when I got to the University of Ghana, it was a different story entirely. I will give the credit for my excellent swimming skills to the University of Ghana. I got to be the captain of the university team (swim team) and later I became the Sports President of the University and the first in 70 years.  

So, why the choice of Third Mainland Bridge precisely? Mental health awareness, particularly regarding suicide and depression, is a crucial issue. Why did you decide to use your swim as a platform to raise awareness about these issues?

A survey was conducted and it came to light that a high number of suicide incidents occur on the Third Mainland Bridge. So, the site is actually significant. It is something that has to do with young people. When they just get tired of life, the next thing they do is just to jump into the Third Mainland Bridge. So that location is actually very significant. 

I didn’t just want the campaign to look like the usual thing, not one that gets you to come on TV and talk about it. Then after two days nobody even knows about it. We decided to create an experience around it. It can last in people’s minds for a long period of time and then we can get information to the right set of people. 

Could you share with us the preparation process leading up to the swim, both physically and mentally?

The training  actually started sometime around last year, in October. We just started prepping for it gradually and we went for a number of competitions, including the Lagos Open Water Championship around December. Then in January we went into full training.

You keep mentioning ‘we’, do you have a team or you did this alone?

The truth about it is that no man can do it alone. You need quite a number of people to help you in your journey and it’s part of what we are actually campaigning about. You need to get the right set of people in your circle and around you. SMy team actually helped me prepare to get there and I say thank you to them.

Where exactly did you practise?

We used Landmark Beach. We used to go there on Sundays. On weekdays, we just do the pre-workout session. We made sure that Sundays were dedicated for open water practice so that you have the proper experience.

Did you face any fear or doubts during the challenge in the Third Mainland Bridge and if so, how did you overcome them?

To be honest with you, the worry was not even when I was in the water. The worries were before the actual event. That morning, I wasn’t feeling so well. I had swollen eyes. At that moment, anybody would have actually given up. The challenge, the worries, the fears, whatever it is that you want to talk about started just before the swim. The moment the swim started, it was all gone. All that was on my mind was to get to the end. 

What about setbacks or challenges?

The major challenge is the fact that we had quite a number of doubters. We needed a number of people to come on board to support the cause. However, the more we tried to talk to some people, the more they told us that it was a ‘no-go area.’ Some people actually joined in but towards the last moment of the actual swim, these brands or people were pulling out. This made us spend more money to actually get it done. But I thank God. I didn’t just give up despite all these. 

How did you manage to maintain your focus and determination throughout the two hours and 33 minutes period that you were under water?

I kept reminding myself that this is something that I had practised. I had so much support, like so much love. We had about four different boats and everything was actually filled up with people cheering from the beginning of the swim to the very end of the swim. I don’t think there’s any more support that is more than that. That alone, you can’t just mess it up. So I persevered.  

Many people still find it hard to believe what you did is possible, what do you have to say to the doubters?

Why is it not possible? First of all, you need to understand that if it is measurable; it’s doable. That’s just it. 

Can you share a bit more about your swim academy?

In Ocean 28, we promote the fitness lifestyle through swimming. That is our major objective. We’ve been in existence for quite a number of years now. We offer a number of programmes such as ‘Learn To Swim,’ ‘Competitive Swimming,’ ‘Lifeguard Training’ and ‘Cabin Crew Training.’ So, we offer a number of services pertaining to water and safety. We also branched a little bit to do pool construction and maintenance, among others. Basically, we offer services that relate to any kind of work in the aquatic field.

What was the inspiration for starting the academy?

The idea started when I came into the country in 2018. I had my National Youth Service Corp posting in Osun State Police Command, serving with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO). We were getting quite a number of newspaper reports about flood cases in Osun State. I felt that I needed to do something about this. 

We embarked on a community development service project on swimming and drowning prevention. This was to help and educate people. I see how they can actually save themselves in terms of flooding and some other related cases. 

I planned on training about 50 people but when we reached out, we actually got over 116 people. We felt that it was now a community. I felt that if we could get that kind of community in Osun that means there is a market for such service. That is the Genesis of Ocean 28. We just made it into a company. Ever since, we’ve been helping as much as we can.

In what ways do you believe society and the Lagos State Government can better support individuals struggling with mental health challenges?

Everyone around needs to make sure that they listen more. You need to listen deeply because people who actually go through this thing have their means of communicating. So you have to make sure that you are listening very well. 

That’s the first part. The second part is anyone that needs to be helped needs to at least be able to help him or herself too. Those who are actually passing through it also need to voice out. For the state government, quite a number of workshops need to be conducted on this. We also need to create an avenue where you can be able to meet these people.

What advice would you give to someone who may be experiencing mental health struggles in a bustling state like Lagos?

Go out a lot as much as you can. Ask for help because I don’t think it’s actually bad or wrong to ask for help. Just ask for the help first, whether they refuse to do it or not. When you do ask for help, you have a 50-50 percent chance of actually getting that help that you need. 

When you stay quiet, it’s zero because people don’t actually get to know what you’re going through. So, I’m asking people to just make sure you speak up; ask for help when it’s needed. Be a little bit more resilient. You have to be more confident about life, stand up and just keep knocking on the door till it opens. 

I’m not there yet, like I’m not perfect. The little I have is just what I’m actually using right now to reach out to more people. 

Looking ahead, do you have any plans for future advocacy efforts or projects related to mental health awareness?

I’m actually in the fitness space. Obviously, we will continue to use fitness as a means of reaching out to people. We will continue to use the fitness space to preach mental awareness and then make sure that everybody is just okay. Talking about future projects, there’s quite a number of them. You guys should just watch out for them. 

 

Omon Okhuevbie
Omon is a staff reporter at the Ikeja Record.

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