- Post 12 June 2011
- Last Updated on 12 June 2011
- By Jon Chikadibie Okafo
I pride myself as being an individual who is relatively lettered-a man who strives as much as time and space permits to remain “in the know”. Recently, I found myself grappling with a scenario that left me considerably gasping for breath-metaphorically and otherwise. The myth with which I surrounded myself was effectively shattered on the 28th/29th of May, 2011.
On the dates referenced above, I was part of a walk to raise awareness in my community on the dangers of prostate cancer. This event was organized by Prostate Action UK, and the London chapter of the National Association of Seadogs. Prostate Action UK is a registered charity organization that concerns itself with amongst others, raising funds to find a cure to the prostate disease and raising awareness amongst the men folk, whereas the National Association of Seadogs seeks to also improve the lot of man through its focus on HUMANITARIAN IDEALS. The event was quite fulfilling.
For a man that held the belief that he was somehow ensconced in the realm of “enlightened men” to be confronted with the glaring and unnerving reality that he knew nothing about prostate cancer, was exceptionally disturbing. The fact that this notorious cancer kills more Nigerian males made the discovery both humbling and humiliating. A lecture at the end of the walk ably presented by Dr. John Akumabor and Jack, a gentleman from Prostate Action UK changed my perception of my abilities for the better.
At the risk of sounding immodest, I have made myself an ambassador of Prostate Action UK; though self-imposed, I believe I have every right to cling to that title. Though not too surprising a discovery, I have come to realize that most of us die out of ignorance. Most men I have spoken to lately confided in me that just like me, they knew very little about prostate cancer; this is a realization that ignorance is still a major killer amongst the African community. It becomes more disturbing when one is confronted with the fact that our health care system in Nigeria remains something akin to a Stone-age scenario.
Though the walk entailed trekking through some 50 or more kilometers of the beautiful city of London, though it was a daunting task for my colleagues and I to endure the rain and the vicious pangs of hunger, thirst, sore feet and all the tasking vicissitudes of walking for such a “long distance”, I went home with a huge feeling of accomplishment, pride and gratitude. Gratitude in this instance is the most humbling experience I went home with because I was happy for being a part of an event that was aimed towards celebrating the brotherhood of man. It is my philosophy that we exude so much love when we live for one another rather that clinging to the much talked about “every man on his own”.
My philosophy of life remains stout when I recollect the comradeship and chivalry displayed by every individual that participated in this charity event; new friends were made and so much love and laughter shared. At the end of the day, we all went home armed with that beautiful feeling that we did something that was entirely charitable. As was expected, we raised so much awareness about the dangers of prostate cancer, as is the case with every good cause, people donated funds. I remain eternally grateful to Prostate Action UK, and to the National Association of Seadogs, London chapter for giving me and my mates this wonderful opportunity to do something for humanity. I will be glad to be part of any future event of this nature. Thank you.