Class of 2024, BA Global Challenges

Eko Cycle: FB's Journey Through Lagos


Someone once said that change starts where you are—using what you have. And doing what you can. I love stories, reading them, and especially writing them. I was inspired to use my love for writing to tell a story about an important issue. My Capstone journey began with a singular research topic: Exploring Storytelling as a Tool for Conservation Awareness and Habit Change in Lagos, Nigeria. And has culminated in a book that provides a solution to the problem. As a final-year student, this project represents not just academic achievement but a step towards contributing meaningfully to societal and environmental well-being.

A question I got during my Capstone defense was, why? Why did I not start a start-up or go directly into policy advocacy if I was passionate about addressing poor plastic waste disposal in Lagos state? My answer to these questions is from a quote by Chinua Achebe, "A storyteller has a different agenda from the emperor. [And yet] there's a limit to what storytelling can achieve. We're not saying that a poet can stop a battalion with a couple of lines of his poetry. But there are other forms of power. The storyteller appeals to the mind and appeals ultimately to generations and generations and generations." We all have different powers and skills and places where we shine. If we were all start-up founders, what would happen to the humble 9-5er? Storytelling is a form of advocacy. I don't have to be in the House of Commons to influence causes I care about. We are all part of an ecosystem, and I discovered that I can have just as much influence and even more from sitting down and diligently crafting words around issues that bother me and the society I am a part of.

My gratitude goes to the African Leadership University(ALU) and the School of Wildlife Conservation(SOWC) for the opportunity to learn and discover about wildlife and environmental challenges that inhibit growth and development in my society. My Capstone journey began with a singular research topic: Exploring Storytelling as a Tool for Conservation Awareness and Habit Change in Lagos, Nigeria. I wrote the first pages of this book during my internship in Ghana at a plastic recycling company, Nelplast. The company reduces the burden of informal dwellings by creating eco-bricks from recycled plastic waste and sand, solving both plastic waste pollution and the housing crisis in parts of Ghana.

It was a beautiful moment when I was surrounded by plastic waste at the factory; inspiration struck, but not of Ghana, of Lagos instead, where I was born and raised. In the cutting and shredding of the bottles that went on all day long at the factory, I thought to myself, "What if this bottle has feelings like us? What if it could feel and observe us? What would change if people subconsciously thought that plastic bottles had feelings? Would we treat them differently?" My curiosity made me write those pages that day, and help from a stubborn facilitator and friends encouraged me to finish the book. And here you have it: Eko Cycle: FB's Journey Through Lagos.

Eko is the Yoruba name for Lagos. But here, it is used as a pun for the ecological cycle of plastic bottles in Lagos. Have you ever wondered what happens to a plastic bottle after you suck in that last sip? Join FB, a sentient plastic, on a heartwarming, eye-opening ride through Lagos in search of human connection, a purpose beyond the trash heap, and hope for a cleaner future.

Book Description

Tossed after the last sip, swept away like a piece of trash, kicked around by human legs, and being stepped upon is the fate of most plastic bottles in the bustling heart of Africa's most populous city, except for this sentient Fanta bottle.

Go on a thrilling yet heartbreaking ride through the wild streets of Lagos as FB, our unlikely hero, witnesses the vibrant city unfold – from the joy of life pulsing through the crowds to the mountains of discarded plastic choking the environment.

Combining elements of adventure and environmental awareness, Eko Cycle: FB's Journey Through Lagos takes you on a whirlwind ride through FB's short life – the joy of human connection, the crushing despair of abandonment, the silent yearning for a life beyond the trash heap – as he's forced to come to terms with the purpose of his existence. While observing the city's struggle with plastic waste.

Will FB succumb to his destined fate as trash? Will FB and Orunsewa rewrite the ending for countless plastic bottles? Dive into Eko Cycle and discover the power of resilience, the importance of connection, and the fight for a cleaner tomorrow.


This is my strong attempt at creating change. Why don't you give it a read and let me know what you think?

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