This weekend Lagos hosted “eRace Cancer” at the Muri-Okunola Park, a collaborative effort between the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), the 3rd one of its kind.
The 5-kilometre race competition designed to raise cancer awareness in Nigeria and funds for the purchase of 37 Mobile Cancer Centres valued at 613,000 dollars each.
“The whole idea is to provide for mobile cancer units across the country, one in every state, these are really expensive equipment, they cost about 620 000 dollars per unit, so we are trying to raise money for at least two units,”
In the first year, the cause raised a net amount of one million naira and last year it raised about 22 million naira – this year it aimed much higher with NSE contributing 20 million naira to the pool.
Participants in the race shared their thoughts on the cause and why they took part.
“As a good corporate citizen I felt Afrinvest should support and it is a very good initiative of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, another one is that I’m a sportsperson, I like to run about once or twice a week, so it is great fun to be part and hang out with everyone,” said Ike Choke, CEO of Afrinvest.
Nigerian Comedian, Alibaba attended the race and said he lost a younger sibling, a few friends to cancer and is participating to raise awareness.
“We have come to realise that we cannot dance around the issues, it’s either we raise awareness or create a cure and since the cure is not the corner, we are thinking why not raise awareness so that people can know the avoidable,” said the Comedian.
The high-profile race had musicians, artists and popular Nollywood actors like Gideon Okeke and singer Sheyi Shay.
“I am very proud of the corporate community for putting this together, I’m very proud to be Nigerian at this time and I am very happy that I was a part of this initiative,” said Artiste Sheyi Shay.
Burna Boy praised organisers and attendees, “As soon as it works it’s going to save a lot of lives because those machines are really essential, so it’s an honour to be a part of it – salute to everyone involved in putting this together.”
“With the mobile cancer centres, we’ll be able to screen for most of the common cancers and also other cancer related diseases, like diabetes, malaria, hepatitis which are also a risk factor for cancer and we can also treat some of the early cases of some of the cancers,” Abia Nzelu, executive secretary CECP-Nigeria.
Paul Alabi won the race this year and hopes to take it again in 2017.