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INTERVIEW: Leadership is about passion-Amb. Osagie

Ambassador Dion Osagie

In this exclusive interview with ISAAC OLAMIKAN, Ambassador Dion Osagie, founder of a non-governmental organisation, Godsent Foundation (GF) talks about his projects and his ambitions





Tell us about the activities that Godsent Foundation(GF) has been involved in in recent times.


We did so many activities in the last couple of weeks. Every year I do
my world tour. The purpose of the tour is to do my best to unite all
Edo people globally on how we can come together and make a change in Edo. We came out with a slogan called “make Edo great”. In the few last few weeks I was in Italy to host a Godsent family reunion and
summit. The Godsent family is one of the biggest online family. We
have been doing a lot of great work here in Benin City so we felt that
there was a need that every one of us to meet. So we created a summit
in Italy. Over 300 persons from 20 countries around the world were there. We came to Benin last weekend. We did a solidarity movement
with our women and a lot of children in some major part of the Benin
Metropolis. We went to the Oba’s Palace and also to the House of
Assembly where we met the speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye. We intimated him of the women need to be given a fair chance to
survive. A lot of women are not surviving many of them are in pains. So many widows don’t have benefits. The speaker gave us his word that we should come up with a proposal on what we can do and how we can do it to benefit the women. We are determined to be the voice of women.


Talk about this project of yours tagged “Random Act of Kindness”


We created it because we don’t want people to get the notion that the
people we help are only those from Edo State what we do is randomly go out to pick somebody who is in need. We don’t care where they are
from. We do not care about their tribe or religion. So, Random Act of Kindness is an initiative that we created to randomly assist anyone that is in need and that project has been going on for the past two


Talk about the orphanage you operate


I don’t want to call it an orphanage. Orphanage means a home for
people without parents. We call it a rehabilitation centre. Many of the kids that we accommodate and train have parents. We call it
Godsent Rehabilitation Centre. We believe that we can change the lives
of many of these young boys on the streets. We can change their
stories. All they need is love. Many of the boys you see on the streets are from abused poor homes, that is why you see them on the
street to fend for themselves. They go on the street because that is
the only source of survival that they have. Imagine a young boy of ten living with his parents who can only eat once a day. Many of these
young boys come from very poor background. We take them up from the street and put them in our shelter. We ask them their situation and
send them to schools. What we do now is that once you are not from Edo State we find out what the problem is. Many of these boys are not from Edo state. They just find themselves in the state. If not well taken care of some of these boys can resort to crime. So, directly or
indirectly we are helping Edo state to reduce crime. It costs us so
much to feed these boys every week so we need support.


Sometime ago a physically challenged upcoming artiste under your care
was able to secure government sponsorship. So how would you describe
the level of government support for your project?


The physical challenged upcoming musician you are referring to, I sent
a letter of appreciation to the government even though the government
refused to recognize the fact that we were the one that projected the
boy. Many young boys on the streets who are not physically challenged
are talented boys who are not given opportunity to excel. How many
such physically challenged people are scattered all around town that people walk by but ignore. We took this boy in because we believed in
him. We saw his potential. We knew that he is great. He performed in front of the governor and he blessed him with N10million. A physically
challenged boy who came to our office to beg for food now have his own car; now have his own apartment; now have his own studio and living his dream. There are many more like him and that is why we created a concept called Edo Got Talent to be able to discover young people who do not have access to their potential.


Back in those days Edo State used to be the cradle of show businesses now the story has changed.


That is because of failed system of leadership. We give positions to people who do not know what to do. I cannot be an accountant and you
appoint me as a commissioner for entertainment. I cannot be a doctor and you appoint me the commissioner for lands and survey. Leadership
is about passion. You have to give those critical positions to people
who are passionate about them. I am so ashamed of Edo state which is known for Arts and Culture have the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre that is not in use. It is a big failure. The edifice can generate nothing
less than N10 billion yearly there are lots of artefacts in Igun Street but the street is hidden. It is supposed to be in the city centre. These bronze artefacts is what we are known for. There is nothing bad in moving all those selling artefacts in Igun street to
Oba Akenzua for easy access. People will come from all over the world
to patronize them. There is nothing wrong in converting the abandoned Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre into a magnificent hotel facility and creating a theme park inside the facility. There is so much we can
benefit from arts and culture but we just need the right people who
are passionate about it to be in charge. We need to promote our heritage. I am not a politician but I found the need to promote culture. We have given out almost 10,000 Queen Idia pendants to people
around the world. This is a way to promote Benin culture. We need people who are passionate about what they are doing to be in positions


National Festival of Arts and Culture(NAFEST) will be hosted by Edo State by October. What is your view about the festival coming to Edo State?


It is a good step to promote culture but I think it is the wrong step
in the right direction. The festival is a good step to promote culture. Before we can promote culture in Edo State we must look back at those who started it all. We are talking of people like Fabomo, Solee Solee,  Osayomore Joseph, Victor Uwaifo, Osula. We need to bring such people along. If we cannot do that then the NAFEST Edo would be
hosting it is a wrong step in the right direction. You cannot tell me you want to promote culture and those who have contributed immensely
in that regards in the past are left behind. Our legends must be given
the recognition they deserve. The event cannot be functional unless I am carried along. I am not bragging. I am one youth in Edo state that have promoted Edo culture more than any person in the world. In other countries I would be contacted to give my contribution. I have given
the state government so many proposal that have not been given approval and it is very frustrating.

Have you ever thought about setting up a hall of fame in Edo State?


We cannot do that until our legends are recognized. If not for me
Fabomo was forgotten. Itiendo music is the most downloaded Edo music
in the world. We need to promote and project our legends before we can
set up a hall of fame and that is why we created Celebrating The Icon
whereby every year we pick one legend that we promote. In the future
we can now bring all of them together and create a hall of fame.



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