- “Moradeun is no longer here but she’s here. I want to keep her memory alive. that’s why we’re doing all of this” – Opeoluwa Balogun.
On Monday, August 16th, 2021, the MoBalo (Moradeun Balogun) Fashion Awards, organized by the Immerse Coaching Company, awarded outstanding female fashion entrepreneurs who have made profound statements with their different fashion brands.
The MoBalo Fashion Awards is an appendage of the Moradeun Balogun Purple Elephant Foundation, a non for profit organization established in the wake of the tragic demise of the 28-year old who was mugged at Charity Bus Stop, Gbagada and consequently denied treatment by an unnamed hospital; a procedural gaffe that led to her untimely demise.
Following her death, her family and loved ones rallied support to birth a foundation whose focal essence was to, amongst other objectives, whip advocacy for patients of gun-shot or related injuries to receive swift attention from medical facilities as against the procedural bottlenecks that hitherto, characterized the system.
The foundation is also geared towards facilitating opportunities for communication, quality improvement initiatives and exchange of ideas and experiences in healthcare quality, as well as provide the platform for partnerships with reputable international organizations, fellowships, fundraisers as well as other social paraphernalia in furtherance of its aim and objectives.
In recognition of her passion for the fashion industry, the MoBalo Fashion Awards was consequently birthed to help further the conversation of using fashion to create meaningful impressions, particularly in an era when being fashionable is fast evolving into a cult.
As gathered, the first edition of the awards held sometime early this year, while the second edition was slated for August 16, to commemorate her posthumous 30th birthday.
After a long, arduous vetting process of sieving out dozens of applications, five fashion brands were selected for their innovation, creativity and enterprising deployment of their fashion lines to make profound statements beyond the conventional platitudes of “looking good.”
The top five brands in this year’s second edition of the awards were: Ireoluwa Bolajoko, creative director of 5ft Outfit, Christiana Rotimi-Williams, CEO, CRW Style, Temitayo Johnson-Laleye, founder TJL Signature, Itunuoluwa Akinola, founder, Ellie Pierre, and Temitayo Balogun, creative director of May Coutures.
Ireoluwa Bolajoko clinched first position in the pecking order with a total of 394 points.
READ ALSO: Gone But Not Forgotten; Family, Friends Celebrate Moradeun Balogun Posthumous Birthday
There were also highlights from the activities of the Purple Elephant Foundation as Nathan Bassey, Moradeun’s ex-fiancé and one of the conveners of the foundation introduced some of the beneficiaries of the foundation- Mrs Adekoya Bolanle, Mrs Halimat Mohammed, and Mrs Olubunmi Adekoya Christiana; three women who have so far benefitted from a Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) operation sponsored by the foundation.
All three women, who spoke with Eko Hot Blog, expressed their unflinching appreciation to the foundation for its incredible generosity.
Speaking in an interview with Eko Hot Blog, Mr Nathan said that Moradeun’s tragic demise under avoidable circumstances was the driving force behind setting up the foundation.
“The idea for the foundation started a few months after the passing of Moradeun Balogun. The circumstances behind her demise we felt was very avoidable. It sort of set off things in motion to be able to save a life. we usually say that if we can save another life from a avoidable death, we would be meeting our objective with the foundation,” he said.
Opeoluwa Balogun, Moradeun’s mother and the Founder of Moradeun Balogun purple Elephant foundation described the fashion awards and the foundation as vestiges to keep her memory alive and also celebrate the incorruptible virtues she stood for while alive.
“Today is Moradeun Balogun’s birthday. Since she’s passed. It’s actually something she’s been looking forward to. We already had plans, so we decided to mark it for her in her own way, and then the MoBalo Fashion Awards started last year after her demise. This would be a yearly thing to recognize fashion enthusiasts, to acknowledge their passion for fashion.
“Moradeun is no longer here but she’s here. I want to keep her memory alive. that’s why we’re doing all of this.”
“I feel good, I feel happy, I feel accomplished. I feel satisfied. I feel like all the training we gave her actually manifested. I never even knew she was this loved. I’m happy and overwhelmed by what I heard. This made us very proud of her even in death.”
Debola Deji-kurunmi, Founder Immerse Coaching Company, said the fashion awards has metamorphosed from its original purpose into an idea that would help young female fashion entrepreneurs hone and parlay their skills towards more meaningful ends
“I really believe that, even though when we started out it was just to honour Moradeun’s passion for the fashion industry, by this second edition it’s already clear that our work is cut out to position and prepare young female fashion entrepreneurs to take the global stage, especially in Africa.”
Speaking on the ‘The compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots Act, 2017,’ a legislation which provides for the emergency treatment of gunshot and other related victims. She said:
“There already some progress made along the lines of policy, conversations help for injured victims gaining access to immediate medical care even with a police report. But obviously, with policy especially in a developing country, things sort of take some time to evolve and be concretized. I would say we’re still in the dialogue stage and getting the attention of lawmakers and decision makers in the country.”
“That’s the greatest honour to award to any life, to continue to extend their impact long after they’ve passed. It’s exciting to see that someone who lived with such intention and such passion for everyday life continues to be celebrated. It’s because her values were strong and the impact she had on everyone of us was strong. The true definition of impact is measured by the impact you create on others. If you truly create impact in the lives of others they’ll go on and on talking about that change for a long time even after you’re gone.
Mr Adegboyega Balogun, Moradeun Balogun’s father, who also spoke with Eko Hot Blog, said the fundamental idea behind the foundation was to pitch in as private citizens and not depend on the government to solve all of society’s problems.
“There’s so many people suffering unnecessarily in Nigeria. We set out to do our little bit. to bring succour to some people. To help those who cannot help themselves. We can’t leave everything to the government. Government is doing its own little bit, I think we can do our own as well.”
“We want the hospitals to be alive to there duties. treat the patients, particularly accident patients. asking for the police report before you treat is a little bit harsh. There’s a law that is backing that up already. in 2017 a law came up which stipulates that you treat the patients first and ask questions later.”
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“we should have a foundation that is going to push this one through and that will be able to help people medically, people who could not afford the medical expenses.”
He also called on well-meaning individuals to contribute their material and intellectual resources towards assuaging some of society’s grave adversities
“we need individuals who are interested in helping people,” he added.
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