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With Heroes & Helmets, we’re inspiring people to live for bigger causes -Toyin Adebola, artiste/adventurer

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Toyin Adebola is a man of many parts: entrepreneur, petroleum logistics services consultant, artist, biker and adventurer. He started riding motorcycles for fun about 32 years ago and bought his first adventure bike, a cruiser, in 2011.
The first of six children from a mother who is a nurse and first of 10 from a father who was a teacher, Toyin is the founder of Out of Nigeria, an adventure and social good organisation. He is an accomplished adventurer who has covered over 50,000kms on his adventures and undertaken a round-the-world motorcycle trip that covered 17 countries, starting in Nigeria through North Africa, Europe, North America to the Ice Hotel and back.
He recently shared his experience as well as provided insight into his pet project, Heroes and Helmets, which was put together to commemorate Nigeria’s 56th Independence anniversary, and to inspire a strong sense of patriotism among Nigerians at home and abroad. Enjoy it.

How did you come into biking?
I learnt how to ride motorcycles by observing my friends who already knew how to ride. This was mostly out of necessity because if you grew up in Kano, it almost became impossible not to know how to ride; it was almost cultural. Then, Vespa was common; there was the Honda CD 175, which was the road master and most prestigious; there was Kawasaki Z1000 and Yamaha 125. I rode a Honda CG 125. In 1992, I came to Lagos. Apart from work, what engaged me was church, where I was a member of the choir. I soon began to want something more distracting, more engaging, more exposing and more powerful than music. That was when I spotted a big, red motorcycle parked somewhere on Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island, Lagos. It looked like the answer to my childhood fantasy of riding with the Hell’s Angels. For about one year, it was on the same spot until I made up my mind to buy it in 2011. That bike, a Honda Shadow 750 was my first motorcycle; it was a cruiser. I did not want a sports bike because I did not want to go very fast; you need very efficient health facilities to ride those motorcycles.
Initially, I just rode the bike from home to Victoria Island. But the more I rode it, the more I wanted to go farther to places like Epe, Abeokuta, Ilorin and Abuja. But I wanted to ride for a purpose, to pass a message. That was when charity events like visits to motherless babies’ homes and borstal correctional homes were added to my motorcycle adventures. As a gospel musician, I have released six albums, which were made into hundreds of thousands of CDs that I have given out free of charge. For more than 10 years, I have been organising a Christian musical concert, Worship Unscripted with Toyin and Friends; we now hold two concerts a year, in June and December, with more than 700 people attending each show. Because I also make music videos, I added filming to my bike adventures, which has now overwhelmed me to the point I am today.

But people believe that bikers are people who are up to no good…
My pull was towards responsible riding; giving other road users the respect they deserved; not riding very fast or making noise between vehicles or scaring people. I wanted bikers to be seen as mature, responsible people. This was against the background of the stereotype that only gangsters and rich, spoilt brats ride bikes. My point is that there are responsible, God-fearing people who ride motorcycles just because they love motorcycles. I am one of them. I have never been in any cult all my life and I have never had issues with drugs. I love motorcycles because I love adventures.

How did adventures become such a huge passion for you?
As soon as I bought the motorcycle, I started seeing bikes everywhere. This encouraged me to reach out to lone riders like myself so we could start a club. This gave birth to the Eagle Motorcycle Club. Not long after, however, I noticed that we all had different personal pulls and that the reason we rode was not quite the same. I discovered also that the larger a group, the more difficult it is to pursue a common objective. I pulled out. Today, I have a core of just three members consisting of my younger brother, Gbenga, my friend, Dele Bamidele and myself. This is the nucleus of Out of Nigeria, an adventure and social good organisation that plans all our adventures, particularly the upcoming Heroes and Helmets campaign that will come up on October 1 to commemorate Nigeria’s 56th Independence anniversary.

Heroes and Helmets, what is it all about?
Heroes and Helmets is an Out of Nigeria passion project of Toyin Adebola, midwifed, planned and executed by Patrick Row, a PR company that truly thinks outside the box. Out of Nigeria is an authentic Nigerian adventure dream. It is a unique platform that we developed to celebrate men and women of the Nigerian armed forces. Generally, they get more negative than positive reviews from the populace. Whilst some are genuine, we tend to forget that without the armed forces we probably would not have a nation; we would have no one to protect our borders or maintain law and order within our borders. They keep us safe. As private individuals, we have chosen to celebrate them on October 1, which is a nationally important day of patriotism for Nigerians.
Our primary event on October 1 is to recognize the sacrifices of Nigeria’s past and present heroes by honouring them with a selfie world record-setting attempt that will involve the participation of all Nigerians. Our goal is to set a record for the ‘Most self-portraits taken in 24 hours’. We are challenging Nigerians, anywhere they are, to take selfies that include armed service professionals, notably the Army, Navy, Airforce, FRSC, NSCDC, and post them on key social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) with the hashtag #heroesandhelmets on October 1, 2016. Just that day only!
While that is going on, my partners and I would be riding on and off-road around Lagos. We expect that at least one of our partners from the USA, Ron Grace, would join us for the adventure. We shall start from Victoria Island, then ride our dirt bikes along the coast from Tarkwa Bay or a little farther all the way to Badagry from where we shall ride other bikes to Ikeja all the way to Ikorodu. From there, we shall again ride off-road through the sandy areas to Epe, and then back to Victoria Island. It is a huge thing we are trying to do in one or two days, that is, take-off on Saturday, October 1 and finish on the same day or finish on Sunday, October 2, if we get too tired to continue by the time we get to Epe.

Why pursue the Guinness World Record?
It is like a good credential; very solid to say: ‘On October 1, 2016, Nigerians all over the world took selfies with members of the armed forces and they broke a Guinness World Record’. It will go down in history as a landmark achievement, and it would not be forgotten.

But why just Lagos for the motorcycle adventure on October 1?
Because Lagos is where we live, where we feel this is our home. It is important we do it here to show appreciation to Lagos State because we live here, pay our taxes here and love this state. I have lived in Lagos now for 24 years and I call this place home.

What is in all this for you?
The satisfaction that we did it. It is a personal goal that has personal fulfilment of having done it. We are not looking for anybody’s recognition. We are doing it just for patriotism, inspiration and education. We want to be an inspiration to someone. We want to challenge others to do causes bigger than them.

So what is your ultimate goal?
It is covered by a simple acronym, P.I.E, derived from patriotism, inspiration and education. These form the bedrock of why we do what we do with motorcycle adventure. We are doing this to show we are patriotic to Nigeria; if we are not, no one will come to build the country for us. If we do not celebrate the armed forces who would celebrate them for us? We want to inspire people to go outside of their comfort zone to live for causes bigger than them.

As a motorbike adventurer, how many places have you visited?
All the states in South West Nigeria; Edo, Delta, Anambra, Ebonyi, Cross River, Kano, and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. Nigeria is beautiful topographically; the only challenge is the quality of the roads to get to these places. Internationally, we have undertaken riding adventures to all the countries in West Africa, except Sierra Leone and Guinea. We have travelled as far as Morocco, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden to which we could not ride our bike because of heavy snow. We did the Nigeria/Europe ride in 50 days between March and April 2015.

How do you find the time?
It is my passion; if you have passion for something, you will make time for it.

Have you ever been involved in an accident?
Nothing serious; I am too gentle. I am a risk taker but one who is too calculating. I think of so many things, so I do not go fast, between 100 and 140kmph on a stretch of good roads; and 60 – 80kmph on not very good roads. I do not try things that I know are beyond my skill level. Accidents can happen at any time but I basically do not push the envelope.

What is your staying power?
God. I have been through pretty difficult periods in my life but because I have faith in God everything has turned out right. That is why when I am on the road I fear nothing, not because I am reckless but because I believe God has got our back.

Given a choice between a car and a bike, which would you pick?
Common sense says a car because I have a family; joy and happiness says a bike. But because of my responsibilities, I will choose a car.

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12-year-old boy kills landlady as condition to be initiated into a cult

Ethiope East Local

A 12-year-old boy, who allegedly robbed and killed his landlady at Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, was among those paraded for various offences by the state Police Command, yesterday.

 

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Mohammed, who briefed reporters on the arrest of over 60 kidnappers, robbers, murderers, cultists and ritualists in the last three weeks, said the teenager confessed that he committed the act because a cult group told him that one of the conditions for initiation was that he must have been involved in a criminal act.

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Headlines

Super Falcons striker, Asisat Oshoala, comes to Falz defence with regards to statement about glorifying fraudsters

Asisat Oshoala

Nigerian professional footballer, Asisat Oshoala, who plays as a forward in the Chinese Women’s Super league for Dalian Quanjian F.C., took to her Instagram to express deep concern about how people are now proud to be fraudsters.

 

 

In Falz’ defense, she insisted fraudsters shouldn’t be glorified.

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Foreign

Zimbabwean Church leader in s*x scandal as photos naked photos and sex acts with 33 girls is exposed

Church leader
A Zimbabwean church leader, Nyasha Light Nyatsungo is enmeshed in a sex scandal and might also be facing legal action, after his ex-girlfriend flooded social media with his nude photo.
It was gathered that the Nyatsungo allegedly sent a nude picture of his Cape Town based ex–side chick, Shingi Mavenge, to his other girlfriend only identified as Beula who later broadcasted it on social media.
According to H-Metro, in an apparent fit of rage, Mavenge posted a WhatsApp chat she had with Nyatsungo’s wife identified as Nyasha Nhahumbi as well as a group chat with some of her former lover’s concubines.
According to Mavenge, she has gotten information that Nyatsungo has at least 33 girlfriends and has ditched his wife of eight years.
She adds that Nyatsungo bedded a girl who was their neighbour as well.
Mavenge said that the church leader’s wife revealed that they even consulted their local pastor in Mutare who failed in his attempts to mend Nyatsungo’s ways.
According to H-Metro, Nyatsungo, a married father of two, has denied ever circulating the picture, labelling Mavenge as a bitter woman whom he just flirted with on Facebook and nothing more.
“This Nyasha guy must be stopped in his tracks. He is going to pay for all the damage that he has done to me. He was the only one who had that leaked picture and I am shocked why he would forward it to some other girl,” fumed Mavhenge who is working on taking legal action.
 
“I started dating this guy in 2015 and never knew he was married. He lied.”  fumed Mavenge yesterday.
“That guy is full of lies and at some point, we opened a group chat with his wife and some of his girlfriends. He normally targets single mothers” added Mavenge.
H-Metro was furnished with six other cellphone numbers of his girlfriend that include Fadzai, Mutsa, Essy, Juliana, Barbra among others. Mutsa confirmed she once had a relationship with Nyatsungo have since terminated it since she discovered he was married.
Mavenge confirmed they met once in Johannesburg when she had to fly from Cape Town to meet her man sometime in April.
“That night he didn’t even have money. I had to pay the R800 for the accommodation as he had no money. He wanted to have sex with me but I flatly refused. He even wanted it without protection and I said No. he looked terrible with clothes in a plastic shopping bag. I want to write a letter to Pastor Rex who is the head of (the church) in Harare so that this guy be stopped with his tricks and lies,” added Mavenge.
When contacted over the phone in Mutare Nyatsungo confirmed he knew Mavenge but never had a relationship with her.
“I know her and we once flirted on Facebook. We never had a relationship as she is alleging. I don’t know why she is bitter. I haven’t seen the nude pictures she is talking about but I heard about it from Beula. We live in a democratic country. She can go ahead and sue me if she feels her rights have been infringed upon. All the allegations she is making are false and I don’t know her motive in trying to tarnish my image,” said Nyatsungo.
He said he was still with his wife whose phone rang without response yesterday afternoon. Despite his denials, H-metro was furnished with pictures of Nyatsungo and Mavenge, the time they met in April.

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