#DreamerDoerProfile: Meet Ibiene (@iamibiene)

#DreamerDoerProfile - Meet Ibiene

Short Bio:

Ibiene is a Nigerian twenty-something year old. She works as a security supervisor during the day and is the co-founder of The Love Eternity Foundation. She loves Ribena and is a sucker for good poetry. You can find a compilation of her odd thoughts here: www.twitter.com/iamibiene

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My dreams are valid

Ibiene O. Oguntoyinbo

 “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
– Lupita Nyong’o

What, to me, does it mean to be a dreamer? It means scars and bruises, but victory and attainment in the end. It means sticking out like a sore thumb, trying to communicate the things on your mind and in your heart to family and friends but it all sounding like gibberish as it falls out of your mouth. Dreamers are probably one of the toughest people around; because they move against the tide and keep on moving, feet swamped, legs aching.

I am a dreamer. I have been one since I was about 15 or 16 when I knew for certain that I wanted to spend my life writing and running an NGO. Of course, with my parents it was always: “You better go to school and get a degree.” Fair enough, education is great, so I went to school and got my degrees. But then what? It didn’t stop the fire in my heart from burning. One of the most challenging things about identifying as a dreamer is not seeing the same fire in the eyes of the people you talk to about your dreams; the people who mean the most to you sometimes do not understand the things that mean the most to you. I have sometimes gotten that nonchalant response from my family about my writing and social work. Till this day I feel as though my parents address the things I really want for myself casually, without understanding why I want these things and what motivates me to pursue them.

So, Ayokunle wrote me an email in October; he recently wrote a book of poems and wants to create an avenue through which a collection of people can communicate what it means for them to be dreamers. Part of that initiative is what you’re reading now. Reading Ayokunle’s email gave me mixed feelings: I was happy that there are several of us young people striving to do what we want with our lives, regardless of the obstacles we face. But I was also sad because I have been trying for so long to attain my dreams. I feel tired at times; sometimes I have doubts and question whether this is what I really want to do with my life and if at all I can accomplish it; I get unhappy that it seems to be taking so long to achieve; I get confused about the next phase; I feel stalled by circumstances (most especially financial ones).

Let me tell you a little about the dream I am currently chasing. I started an NGO with my fiancé last year, The Love Eternity Foundation (TLEF). We are a Christian charity aimed at reaching out to people in need. We exist to bring hope to the needy, the oppressed, the homeless, the poor, and are dedicated to helping the voiceless find their voice, the weak regain their strength and inspiring emancipation from the fetters of poverty. Our aim is to help people in their time of need, and partner with them as they transition to better, self-reliant lives. We aim to do this by starting small; by running outreaches to orphanages, prisons and inner cities. Our big vision is to build homes for orphans and the homeless, and to run free vocational schools where people can learn skills that will help them earn a living.

On 31st January 2015, TLEF will be launching in Lagos, Nigeria, with a visit to an orphanage in a suburb called Egbeda. We will be taking food items to the children who live there and will spend a few hours with them. We are really excited about the launch of the charity. It’s a small step but it is one step towards reaching more lives and making a bigger difference.

Like I said earlier, since I was about 15/16 I knew what I wanted to do, but the registration of TLEF and watching it become a reality just happened last year. That’s a 10 year time span. How many more ’10 years’ do I have, I wonder? With the money, time and hard work we put into getting TLEF registered with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission, getting a bank account open and a website up, you would think I would have been over the moon in excitement. But mainly, what I felt as I sent emails out mid-October 2014 concerning the launch of TLEF was tiredness. I just felt tired. No excitement. Just tired.

But I’ve got to keep going. Whether or not I want to. Whether or not I feel excited. Whether or not I get a response. Whether or not anyone even reads this post. I know that this is what I want to do and that I can achieve it. If I stop now ─ and I can’t, after sending God-knows-how-many emails announcing the launch of the NGO ─ I won’t accomplish anything. And I have to accomplish this. Because, cliché as it sounds, this is what I was born to do. And that is one of the most rewarding things about being a dreamer; knowing that you are right where you are supposed to be.

So, friend, if my dreams are valid, so are yours. Go chase them.

.///\\\.

Ayo’s Note:

Quite important to note, one of the ways to support the work that Ibiene and TLEF is doing is by helping to spread the word about the organization. Find TLEF on twitter (@LoveEternityNgr) and instagram (@loveeternityngr) and for more information online, at their website: www.theloveeternityfoundation.org.

For more information, donation, inquiry, partnership, etc., you can contact info@theloveeternityfoundation.org or ibiene@theloveeternityfoundation.org. Also, TLEF just got their first batch of t-shirts printed, so you’re encouraged to check them out on their instagram page.

Just for fun, I asked Ibiene: if you could go back to a specific moment in history, where would you go, and why? Her response: I would go back to the sixth grade; when Crystal Karam hit me during PE for no apparent reason. I would have hit her right back so that she realized that, like the rest of us, she was not invincible.

With what’s been said, I think the bar’s definitely been set high for the next guests who will be sharing their experiences in the #DreamerDoerProfile series. If you’re reading, no pressure…

of Dreams And Deeds | Hi, 2015

How time flies! Can’t believe it’s already 14 days into the new year.

If you’re reading this, I wish you a very happy new year, and do hope that it’s off to a great start wherever you are.

Keeping up with the tradition of the previous years on this blog, I’d love to share with you readers my intentions for the blog this year 2015. As it was last year – where I only had a post for each quarter of 2014 – my posts on here will intentionally be limited. Unlike last year however, most of what I’ll be sharing will not be from me. To make sure that happens, I have sought out dreamers who do (dreamers-doers like myself) who’ll be contributing to this blog starting this month, and in the months to come.

The idea for this – which I wrote about in this post – started in 2012 but sadly, I never followed through with it. That, of course, is changing this year. As I shared in the post,

Life is too beautiful not to dream. This is the purpose of this blog, to document those dreams, and the deeds that are being done as I journey to achieve them. However, I am interested in not only documenting mine, but others’ as well

So, it is in light of this that I’ve decided to create a section on this blog called G.O.O.D which would document the dreams of others…since I’m not the only dreamer here. It would be a great delight to share the dreams of others, and the deeds they’ve done (or are doing) to achieve them…

So be on the lookout for amazing friends of mine who will come here to share with you the things they are passionate about.

In the words of John Lennon, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us

Each contribution will be a kind of profile on what it means to be a dreamer-doer, hence the #DreamerDoerProfile tag that will precede the title of each of the posts. At the minimum, you should expect 12 contributions this year, which if that turns out to be the case will be posted on the 28th of each month as a way to commemorate the date I published the post that started this. The first contribution has already been drafted, so look forward to it 🙂

With that said, here’s to an amazing 2015!

N.B – If you’re a fan of social media, you can connect with the blog on there. Twitter: @ofDreamsnDeeds, and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ofDreamsAndDeedsBlog.

Now, that’s new!

Getting Out Our Dreams…

You might have at one point or another come across this slogan…but if not, then you can from today say you’ve come across it. G.O.O.D is the imprint of an egomaniac whom we’ve come to adore or at least hate more over the years…Easy to figure out of whom I’m talking about, right? You can call him someone who is full of himself, a megalomaniac, an arrogant idiot, a jerk, a jackass, or whatever adjective you may (which might be true to some extent), but one thing that cannot be doubted or undermined though is his passion for the often ridiculous dreams he has. In a society like ours where conventions are applauded, which extends to music and “art” – two major things he’s passionate about, he breathes for the sole purpose of breaking those molds. He’s almost become the first to take a particular route;  and then everyone else follows suit.

Me thinks by now you should really know who I’m talking about….and if you don’t, well I’m sorry!

Now what does this have to do with this blog? It should be clear since this is a blog about DREAMS after all. As I said in the post before this (click, you’re welcome),

Life is too beautiful not to dream. This is the purpose of this blog, to document those dreams, and the deeds that are being done as I journey to achieve them. However, I am interested in not only documenting mine, but others’ as well

So, it is in light of this that I’ve decided to create a section on this blog called G.O.O.D which would document the dreams of others…since I’m not the only dreamer here. It would be a great delight to share the dreams of others, and the deeds they’ve done (or are doing) to achieve them.

“You, you may say  I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one I hope some day you’ll join us And the world will be as one” – John Lennon

So be on the lookout for amazing friends of mine who will come here to share with you the things they are passionate about. For the most part, it’ll ease me from having to bother you guys with what I have to say (what a relief that is!)

And if you’re passing by here, and think you would like to share things of which you’re very passionate about – your dreams!, send me an email @ ofdreamsanddeeds at gmail dot com so we can share with the rest of the world, and they’ll hopefully find your deeds towards achieving your dreams helpful enough to emulate as they journey to achieve their dreams as well.

We are ready, to Get Out Our Dreams. The world is ready to hear us (or at least I think this enormous cheering sound is indication enough that it’s time for your voice to be heard…so speak on!)