Runcie Chidebe, Global Health Innovator
Content created by Virtual Intern Anne Pratt
Through his nonprofit, Project PINK BLUE, Runcie Chidebe is changing the narrative about cancer in Nigeria. By engaging government, nonprofit, and private sector partners he provides advanced support to cancer patients.
Since his return home as an IVLP alumnus, Chidebe applies leadership strategies gained during his project to facilitate social empowerment and justice for underserved communities. As an active member of the Abuja Alumni Chapter, Chidebe uses his connections to organize events at U.S. Mission Nigeria’s network of 11 American corners. He seizes every opportunity to educate, inspire, and empower Nigerian youth.
Content edited by Sallie Bestul, Regina Navarro-Gomez, and Jenna Williams
Washington D.C. 10th April, 2016, "I HAVE A DREAM" by Runcie C.W. Chidebe
Today, I stepped my FEET in the same point where MARTIN LURTHER KING JNR delivered the "I Have A Dream" public speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United State and called for Civil and Economic Rights. This speech shaped the American History for forever.
I was in tears when I stepped my feet on the spot and I dropped my U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) tag. And I reminiscence three most significant dreams that I have for my beloved country Nigeria.
I have a DREAM that one day my beloved country Nigeria will be a country of model for Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress [as enshrined in our Coat of Arms] and NOT a model for describing hopelessness, self-hatred, tribalism & religious, poverty, corruption, pains, fear, insecurity and agony.
I have a dream that one day my beloved country will have leaders who would take the path of class suicide to save Nigeria and the weakened belief in a nation. LEADERSHIP is an absolute term, "IF IT IS NOT GOOD, then it NOT LEADERSHIP [there is nothing on earth like bad leadership, it's either leadership or something else]".
I have a dream that someday I will live in a country where our successes will NOT be defined by the number of cars, houses abroad and number of properties but, defined by the number of people who have been liberated from poverty, uplifted from the shackles of infliction, lives saved and positive impacts.
I stood on the Feet of MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR for a while and pray HEAVENLY Father you made this happen for Americans, I believe that you can make it happen for Nigerians. I remember South African how they suffered and battled Apartheid, which an external based conflict. But, today the pains of my country are NOT external, it is SELF-HATRED and SELF-INFLICTED PAINS caused by people who we willingly handed over our lives to take control of. Someone said me "it will take Nigeria over 100years to get to where South Africa is". Well, a critical look to this assertion gives me pathetic national thought crisis.
Today, we are now living like prisoners in our country, refugees in our country, fighting self and inflicting pains on self, corruption has defined our success, our justice system is now defined by pockets and not by standards, OUR LAWS are NOT MEANT FOR THE POOR, our cherished value system is now histories, young Nigerians are more interested to jump out of the country with their lofty dreams to contribute to other countries - where their talents will be appreciated, we have giving up on ourselves, we have become our own enemies and have grown to victimized ourselves on tribal lines.
I may NOT clearly understand what I AM SAYING nor how to go about this, or how to make this thunderous positive REVOLUTION, but, one thing I am sure - which is crystal; is that I didn't write this SCRIPT, neither was I consulted during the ART. HEAVENLY Father called me to ACT it and I shall give it my entire LIFE. I cannot do alone, I am yet to see greatness without shared glory. Search yourself and you would sincerely find that SCRIPT which is meant for you for our beloved country. Come on board and let's make it happen. Don't allow your past to victimize your present nor mar your future; STAND UP and Let's make this DREAM a REALITY for our children children.
Thanks to U.S. Government, U.S. Department of State , and U.S. Embassy Nigeria for inviting me to Washington D.C. for this INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE- International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) entitled "American Youth: Inspiring Leadership & Civic Participation".
Runcie C.W. Chidebe