LAGOS: About 200 people gathered in excitement under the popular Ojuelegba bridge in Lagos State, Nigeria, to receive free meals. These people have no place to call home and live under the bridge.
On December 20, 2022, they had a visit from Nneka Ngene, a lady who was out to celebrate Christmas with the poor and needy. Each of them received a plate of rice and stew, chicken, and a bottle of drink.
With happy faces, they lined up as Ngene dished from some giant thermal food containers into disposable plates, serving each beneficiary a plate.
“We did this to show respect to them and tell them they are worthy of being treated as important people. And that they also deserve a better life,” Ngene said.
Since she returned to Nigeria in 2014 after completing her studies at a Canadian university, Ngene has become something of an advocate for underprivileged people in Lagos, to whom she sponsors at least one outreach every two months.
Ngene said she sees her acts of kindness to the underpreviledge as part of her contribution to her country; and that she learned giving from her parents. Her father, Patrick Ngene, is a businessman. And her mother, Patricia, is a medical doctor.
“It is hard to express how I feel each time I reach out to people. It is like I am doing what is expected of me because I grew up seeing my parents give so much to people,” Ngene said.
She divided the Christmas outreach into four segments – each on a separate day. Widows received the first visit, which took place at the Bonny Camp military barracks in Victoria Island, Lagos. Ngene and her team gave each of 15 benefiting widows monetary donations and encouraging words.
“What I usually do is send money to the woman I partner with; she buys whatever is needed and carries out the outreach. But this time, I wanted to experience things myself,” she said.
The second phase was at the Hearts of Gold Children Hospice- an orphanage in Surulere, on December 14. She donated items such as rice, beans, noodles, antiseptic, and tissues papers to the fifty children currently being catered for in the orphanage.
The third phase was a free street feeding outreach held on December 16 at Mushin, where about 200 people received meals. The outreach under the bridge at Ojuelegba was the last.
Ngene partners with a food vendor called Soupamarket for each outreach.
Meanwhile, her mother was so happy about her daughter’s generosity that on December 21, she took to Facebook and wrote: “By this time yesterday, my daughter, Nne, was done with the last in the series of maybe I’ll call it meeting and greeting Gods children.
“I had done with my morning routine and opened my phone , li and behold. I held my heart. But babe was in an ocean of calm apparently, a zen zone. Doing her thing. I’m looking at the clips again now and I have exhaled several times; behold the children whom the Lord has given me; they are for signs and wonders …”