Saturday, November 9, 2013


As an introverted child I remembered my parents, older siblings and friends assumed too many times about what I wanted. Being that I was very shy, quiet and not use to saying so much made it more difficult for me to air my own opinion or win conversation even when my point is more valid than that of others. Nobody really cared to hear me out and that was really frustrating and annoying. I didn't like it a bit but still I felt helpless not knowing what exactly to do for the situation to turn around.

There are times I cry all alone in my closet, feeling ashamed of my inability and lack of courage to express myself. For more than two decades of my life many more people took me for granted, decided for me and assumed a lot of things without giving me any chance to really express my own views or feelings.

But somewhere along the line after attending several seminars and workshops, and reading a lot of books on the subject, I began to speak up for myself. At first, it wasn't easy, but the more I practiced and display courage in my conversation with others, people began to respect my opinions, views and ideas. It was a big breakthrough for me, as if I was released from the prison yard of imposition and forceful silence. I gained my own freedom, my human right privilege to speak and be listen to.

Today, I see many children like me around suffering in silence because no-one really cares to hear them out, most especially the adults. Most adults, including parents, believes that children don't have a say and should be decided for on what to do and what not to do. This is totally wrong and unfair.

In my opinion, I believe every person regardless of age, sex or social status have a voice that needs to be heard. Denying children the right to speak is against their human rights and the earlier we empower them to use their voice the better for us.

In fact, I believe most of the world's greatest challenges will be half-solved if only we can learn to listen to these innocent voices. Ideas and innovation does not only emerge from older people, children can also be inspired to create something new too.

I have been through that road of shyness, silence and intimidation before, and I cannot watch another generation of innocent, innovative and inspired voices to be forced through the same path. Never! Not in my lifetime.

Every child has a  voice and now is the time to give them the courage, guidance and platform to express their hidden talents.
I stand as a child advocate, speaking for as many children whose voices are yet to be heard.

Written & Authored by:
~ Ebenezer O. Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)
Social Worker| Writer| Social Media Strategist
Twitter: @gent2smile and @ARLFoundation

REGISTER your child (8-16years) for "SCRIBES AND ORATORS 2013", a one-week Creative Writing and Public Speaking Workshop coming up in December. The event is powered by Brainy Educare Services.
For enquiries and registration details, contact:
08102040382, 07089793568, 08036966461

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