The fight against cancer has just received a boost as five women, determined and passionate, have teamed up to kick against the deadly disease. Rising to tackle this problem in an innovative way, they started up the G.O.A.L initiative. G.O.A.L, an acronym for Girls of Outstanding Aims & Lifestyle, was built to use entertainment, seminars, talent hunts and craftsmanship trainings to empower and educate women within the age bracket of 16-29 years.
One of the G.O.A.L team members, Ms. Omonike Fowowe, sat down with Connect Nigeria’s Ada Arinze recently to discuss the about an upcoming event, the DRIBBLE, and objectives of the organisation. Excerpts;
Can you talk tell us more about the DRIBBLE?
It is a G.O.A.L initiative, and under that GOAL we have the Dribble. Basically it is a competition for girls between the ages of 18 and 22 years; for them to come out and show us their soccer prowess.
What is your focus?
The focus behind Dribble is breast cancer awareness. We did it last year, and we are doing it this year again. It is a football tournament that consists of 8 female teams competing for the prestigious prize of first place. Season 1 of Dribble was a huge success, and now we are ready for Season 2. The thing is: the day these girls are going to play football, there is going to be a booth in the arena. This booth is a Cancer Centre booth, and it would be for breast cancer testing. Every female that comes for the event would have the opportunity to get tested.
That’s great. Can you tell us more about your team?
Oh I can’t go into much personal detail, but we all have unique talents that we bring to the table. For example, I am into marketing, another member is into graphics – people admire her work. We have two of us in entertainment and one more in branding. Five very vibrant ladies putting their all into making this thing work.
Soccer is a competition where, first, you have the opportunity of targeting a large audience. Secondly, we have the opportunity of introducing females to soccer. Female soccer isn’t treated with as much respect in this country as it should. Can you compare the popularity of the Falcons to the Super Eagles? But they are not any less good. We wish and hope to use the Dribble competition to celebrate ladies through football. So we want to draw women in; not with a dance ball, not with a gala, but with something highly charged, highly unique, just very different.
Nigerians don’t believe these kind of diseases – cancer, Alzheimer’s- affect them. What do you think about such impression?
I actually was part of those people that thought the same way too. I had this friend back in school who was so full of life. When she had this disease, she believed it was a stigma, and so she kept it a secret. She refused to tell people about it and it kept growing, and growing, until she finally died. When I heard she died, I was so angry! Why did she not talk? This disease is out there, people! She could have come out! So I want to appeal to Nigerians, that this disease is not peculiar, neither is it a stigma. Come out and check if you have it. Come out if you have it. Come out so that something can be done.
What is your support structure like?
It’s not been easy though! Our best support structure just came in last week. On social media platform we have so many though; Olorisupergal, Ladun Liadi, Best of Nollywood, Stella Dimorku, and many more. However, for sponsors, who say this is the little they can do to support this cause for cancer – we have MegaPlux, Sterling Bank, Zarron, which is a start-up make up brand that we are very grateful for, and of course we have Connect Nigeria… (giggles). Yeah! We have a number of people willing to support our cause.
Don’t miss this opportunity to go kick against breast cancer! For more more info on how to be part of the second edition add G.O.A.L on bbm : 2A5679B8 or 2269414E, or follow @dribbleng on twitter.