I joined twitter five years ago after a rather dark period in my life which is how I came about the handle @Survivor17 but I wasn't particularly active on there. However when I relocated to Nigeria about three years ago, I felt the social network site was the best way to help me settle in quicker. I was deeply appalled by the level at which things had deteriorated in Nigeria regarding human welfare. Initially, the more I tried to right as many societal ills as I could around me, the more I was made to feel I was fighting a losing battle and it was a horribly lonely feeling of despair and dejection. I was bent on my spreading the quest for peace, justice, harmony, satisfaction, and so on as far as I could.
I slowly felt my way around twitter, watching, learning, chipping in, etc and then one day I came across the handle @Gidi_Traffic. The concept of GidiTraffic was so simple yet so complex and I immediately knew it was going to turn out huge and successful. Here was a person who connected people and made life bearable for all concerned by tweeting traffic updates and thus saving thousands from the stress of getting caught in unpleasant traffic situations. GT spent his/her entire time initially sourcing updates and uploading for all to see, and as time went on, people voluntarily tweeted their dilemmas on the roads and off of it at him/her. It felt like I had met a kindred spirit as I was, and I still am, awed at his/her utter devotion to being #AllHeartsAlways. His/her pay off is "Lending Each Other An Eye" and it reflects in the variety of requests that people send in and how quickly they get answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. One incident that sticks to my mind was when there was a national strike and a woman went into labour helplessly in her house, a midwife saw the tweets for help and help birth the baby safely, all via @Gidi_Traffic. (I get a tear in my eye each time I recall that day)
Before GidiTraffic, there were a few other traffic-spewing handles on twitter but GT was uniquely different because of two things. One, he/she has a wicked sense of humour that is out of this world and secondly you could literally feel his/her genuine passion and care for others. I was drawn to him/her and I have learned a whole lot from him/her in the way he/she relates with others with utmost respect and patience. I have never seen him/her being rude to anyone, not even to the most insolent tweeps. GT's sarcasm is second to none and it led me to start the hashtag #GTReplies (Yes, I started that.;) Oftentimes when I'm thoroughly stressed out, I go through the hashtag and have a good laugh. People have asked me if I'm the one behind the handle and I find it laughable because even I learn positively from GT and aim to be as thoroughly selfless and patient as he/she is.
GidiTraffic's dedication and devotion was soon noticed by all and sundry and in came a grand sponsorship deal from Nokia. The pride I felt in my heart the day this was announced cannot be put into words. Here was a young person whom I watched , through hard work and sleepless days and nights, grow from having a few hundred followers to having almost one hundred and fifty thousand followers and then got a sponsorship deal as a Nokia Ambassador and even launced his/her own Application. Day in, day out GT selflessly and tirelessly churns out life-saving information and helps make life more bearable for Lagosians and Nigerians at a large.
I know it hasn't been a walk in the park for GT as several times, attempts have been made to sabotage his/her efforts and put him/her down. At some point, a particular person took the time to open multiple twitter accounts to spew venom at him/her and slander him/her but GT always kept his/her cool and refused to stoop to conquer this particular person. Despite the antics, which also included stealing tweets and editing GT's handle out of them (clear cut case of plagiarism, if you ask me), GidiTraffic rose above the bile and kept his/her wits and morals about him/her.
GidiTraffic is an epitome of selflessness and humility wrapped in a cloak of mystery, humour and passionate talent. If you ever require a worthy role model for your colleagues or children to emulate, GidiTraffic is the best example of such, especially in such a downward-spiraling morally bankrupt society as ours. He/she has won several awards and gotten commendable recognitions across the globe such as his/her nomination for a Shorty Award (this award is like the Rolls Royce of social media awards) in the Life Saving Hero Category and he/she was actually in the same category as the Fire Department Of New York. The BBC flew in for the ceremony in New York just to interview him. Dare I say that the concept for the Lagos traffic radio also came GidiTraffic's impact and achievements.
I celebrate his/her achievements with him/her today as he/she clocks three years of tweeting via the handle @Gidi_Traffic.
P.s. The tantalizing mystery of his/her gender remains....... :) ;) ;)