I AM …


Who are you?

I AM

I AM! Those two words are the beginning of a definition – a description, an insight into a person so as I was walking back home from work the other day I decided that whatever I want to be, I first have to be AM.

Okay it doesn’t make sense just yet but listen – I AM ….

A – Accept Responsibility

To ever move ahead in life, one needs to accept responsibility for what they’ve done and learn to move on. Take criticisms in good faith and learn from your mistakes. Don’t always be defensive and at the same time don’t let people take advantage of you. We need to strike a balance and that’s life – striking balances all the time.

M – Maximise Opportunities

Wherever you find yourself, whatever you find yourself doing, do it to the best of your ability because not only do you not know who’s watching but you are also developing yourself. Respect people and things around you – Yes I said things! Respect your environment well enough to keep it clean, respect your body well enough to keep it healthy, respect your property well enough to keep it safe and the list goes on and on. Respect is commanded and sometimes demanded but the most long lasting form of respect is earned.

Ghanaija fam, who are you?

Remember I AM …. ! Whatever you are, those are two key things to note. They would help in your career, education, relationships and generally life as a whole.

Its been a minute and then some on here but you know I love you guys a whole lot.
Ciao for now,

Shay!

Take the initiative


How Much is Too Much?

When driving, people may ask ‘How close is too close?’ before it becomes an accident.
When drinking, they may ask ‘How far is too far?’ before they become nuisances to their surroundings.

In life one question we keep asking ourselves is ‘How much is too much?’. True, everything in moderation is the principle but one thing you can never have enough of is KNOWLEDGE! You can never get to the point of ‘too much’ knowledge or acquire too much of a skill. Take my four friends for example – This is what is:

Kola – A student who’s been working for someone in events management for the past 3 years. He works overtime and extra hours without pay but he loves decorating.
Onyinye – Another student in secondary school who loves teaching but at the moment is idle at home stuck on televison and spending her parents money.
Sherifat – A skilled writer who’s also a student. She writes in her spare time but really makes no money out of it?
Oscar – An 18 year old computer whiz – anything computers he’s your guy! He’s so into them that he chose to study a computer related course in school but again he’s broke and stuck at home this summer.

Now we have these same four people with what could be:
Kola: An interior decorator who does contract jobs and is also a student at XYZ University.
(Improved on his interior decorator skills and became an entrepreneur at 21)
Onyinye: One of the youngest public speakers in Nigeria and also one of the most influential who is in her second year in senior secondary school.
(She developed her teaching skills and went on to learn about public speaking)
Sherifat: A well sought after script writer and popular magazine columnist who sponsors herself through school and is about to release her first book.
(Researched different writing styles and went ahead to develop on them – The key was diversity)
Oscar: The foremost web designer and software programmer around. You have to book him well in advance because everybody wants him.
(Went above and beyond computers. The world is a global village and he decided to develop himself where his strengths lie)

These are the same four people with a difference – their skill level! The moment you understand that you have something to offer you become productive. The definition of success is doing what you like and making money out of it. It’s q simple formula:
(Knowledge + Increased capacity + Good character) – Inhibition = Success
We all want to be successful … Not so? That’s the first stage DESIRE. CAPACITY and OPPORTUNITY are the other two. There are many opportunities in the world today to improve on set skills so grab them and if the desire is there, the capacity will follow.
Finally I put it to all of us that we should make our priority learning what we’re passionate about not being passionate about what you’re learning. The latter is good as well but it’s easier to give your best when you’re doing something you love!

The Golden Chance


Mr Tola Adewumi is our next guest writer. He is the immediate former president of the International Students Association of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Personally Tola is an inspiration to me. Listening to his story and taking into consideration where he is now, I’ve come to the conclusion that if God is for you, NOONE can be against you and secondly that you decide the path of your life by your reactions to situations. Read on and enjoy!!!

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Bayo completed his West Africa Examinations (WAEC) JUNE 2007. His result was not the best to boast of, but was celebrated for a student who passed through a secondary school in Irepodun LGA Kwara state. He was ready to shift his academic transmission gear to the next level.

On his first attempt of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board exam (JAMB), he pulled through to gain admission into one of the best universities in Nigeria, University of Ilorin, after scoring a total score of 180 among the four science subjects, English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. He must have been a very lucky boy as everyone congratulated his one time achievement, with other students scoring higher marks unable to put their names in the admission list for the 2007/2008 academic year. I believe many students truly deserve honorary awards from the Joint Admission Matriculation examination board for their consistent annual tremendous participation but fruitless efforts to successfully pass one of the most controversial examinations in Nigeria.

Bayo was presented with a golden opportunity many sacrificed for, as it was the only visa to become an undergraduate student of any government owned university in Nigeria, and since most parents could hardly flex their financial muscles to send their wards to any of the private institutions in the country it was the only way to progress. Some individuals paid huge amounts of money to examination agents and sometimes staff of the university in the quest to secure the 6 digit 2 letter matriculation code, but were left with sober reflections afterwards.

It was the beginning of a new life for Bayo, a tall dark skinned handsome guy who kept his afro clean, with his dark shades on sighting the well endowed ladies around campus, but one I believe will linger in his memory forever. It was barely two weeks after registration, the blood of a Jambite rich with red cells of beautiful ladies and plasma of regular clubbing began flowing through his veins, making his heart pump fun through his system. He was punctual in missing classes as g=he spent time with his friends, but was able to scoop the social award for the student with the best wardrobe at the departmental social awards night.

So soon, Bayo had forgotten the home he came from if only he had kept good company of friends he might have excelled in his 100 level. The first and second semester soon passed as the judgement day wasted no time to show his academic savings account statement: “You are hereby advised to withdraw from the university” was the most captivating sentence of that A4 paper carrying the faithful logo of the university, with the signature of the Registrar, showing a breakdown of his academic transactions through the year. It was more than an advice, he had simply been kicked out of the institution. He eagerly looked through the result of his other friends but was amazed I believe some few currents of shock would have passed through his spine to discover his friends knew their way better. He was on his own, he realized.

After the intervention and support from a family friend, he was offered another opportunity to change his programme from Microbiology to Agricultural Science. But refused it, stating he never saw himself being an Agricultural Scientist. I asked myself, who should have accepted farming or fishery instead if not him? I personally warned him, but the words I spoke were only sound waves that were reflected by his ear canal. He decided to start his university life again, forgetting the ‘god of Jamb’ gave only one chance. He has now written the Joint Admission Matriculation board exam four times since 2008 while his friends were among the graduating class of 2011.

I feel so sad that just like Bayo, many of us have lost our sense of purpose like a feather in the wind with no direction. Many people blame circumstances for their challenges in life, like Bayo who lost his mum at a tender age.

But we can also celebrate some individuals who lost both parents and some even from poor backgrounds and despite all odds still struggled to make a better life. Your challenging background should not be an excuse for failure, but a motivation for excellence. I have used several challenging times I faced as a young boy to inspire myself for greatness. Our future lies in our own hands. Some people today just like Bayo had great opportunities which could have put their names amongst the most successful people today but are full of regrets, they blew their golden chance. They sometimes sit in front of their TV showing their children their classmates who are currently excelling in various fields in life, they make mention of ministers, governors and business men who were their friends, while they managed nursing poverty. They have lost hope as age is no longer on their side, it has become too late for them – if only they had also taken the golden opportunity placed before them. My dear friend grab that opportunity now, have a clear mental picture of a preferable future, act fast and never give up. Your success in life is certain.

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Choose now while its not too late and grab your opportunities. Learn something from Bayo’s story and plan towards an achievable future. Follow Tola on twitter @tola_ade.

Happy new month!!!

22nd April 2012


We’ve all heard ‘You never know the value of what you have until you lose it’. Well its true to an extent but for the past few weeks I’ve realised that

‘When you know the value of what you have, it makes losing it harder’.

– Bondess007
What I’m saying in essence is that appreciate people, things and opportunities around you at every chance you get because you don’t know exactly how long they’ll be around for.
Have a great week people!!!