Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Hope for the future

I met an old gentleman the other day. We were at the Nigerian embassy and everyone was stressed and irritated about the inefficiency and disorderliness of the system. There weren’t enough seats for everyone and so immediately someone’s number got called up, it was a scramble to get their seats. The lucky winner of the seat next to me was an old gentleman. I watched him shuffle and settle down. He picked up his phone and left a voicemail for someone explaining that his trip to the embassy would take much longer than he had expected and so they should not bother to expect him soon. He only hoped he would get his whole business sorted before the embassy closed for the day. As I watched him I smiled to myself. He was cute. Not in a pervy way oh. This guy was old enough to be my grandpa but he obviously had a sharp mind. He could still work his phone to fill in appointment dates on his phone calendar and he spoke impeccable English. I love cute old gentle men because they have a mass of knowledge and history to happily give away and so I decided that I somehow had to strike up a convo with this man to pass the time in this dreadful place.

I can’t remember now the first question I asked, but we did get talking and somehow the convo drifted to the Lagos he knew before he left Nigeria in the 1960s. All the British and a few Nigerians in the upper echelons of society lived in Ikoyi while the normal Lagosians lived in other parts like Surulere. Despite the division, he clearly remembered that things were good. There was always electricity and water. Not any more I joked. He frowned slightly at this and said that after going back to visit over the years, he had seen his country get worse and worse and somewhere along the line he lost hope for a better Nigeria.

A few seats away was a man passionately arguing that it was wrong to be watching British television in the Nigerian Embassy. “Don’t they have AIT?! This is the problem with Nigeria; we don’t like to appreciate our own things!” Some nodded in agreement chanting “It’s true, it’s true!” Others just looked on, worn out from waiting hours to be attended to. The old man next to me slowly shook his head and said “Oh, I don’t like to even think about Nigeria’s problems”. He said it so vehemently that I felt sorry for him. This man had lived his whole life hoping for a better Nigeria and nearing the end of his life, he had given up carrying the unfulfilled hope around with him. Better to forget and die peacefully I guess, than be driven to your grave frustrated and disappointed in your home country.

It made me think though, one thing he doesn’t have that I do have is time and the opportunity to do something. This man obviously didn’t contribute much to Nigeria because he left when he was 20 and only came back as an observer. His whole life and children were in England and so maybe it was easier for him to give up hope. The morale of the story is if we fold our hands and do nothing, nothing would happen and the lawlessness that prevails in our country would continue to prevail. We have to be actively engaged in building Nigeria. Than man doesn’t have the chance to be in the future of Nigeria anymore but we do! We are young and we have the power! If only we believe. I love my country, I really do and as bleak as it seems now, I have hope that a glorious future looms ahead of us. If we look clearly we can almost see the first few strains of light coming through. The full coming of that glorious day however depends on YOU and ME!

I absolutely love TY Bello! I am so excited that she's back and I love this song, the message, the video. She's so beautiful as well...I could go on and on, she deserves her own post.

Please Leave your comments! Would love to hear your thoughts :)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Who's up there?

So, we go on and on about how we need to walk the walk and talk the talk. Truth of the matter is that we would all really like to see other people who are walking the walk and talking the talk to reinforce our drive to do the same. We are after all social beings, what we do mostly comes from what we see around us. We wear what the designers are putting on the runways, what the hottest celebrities are wearing. We learn the new move in the latest hit video. (The dougie, jerk. we will all be doing the 10/10 dance in Naeto c's video soon. thank God that one is easy. lol) Yes, we are inherently all copycats. (Even if you refuse to admit it :p)

God knows this and thats why He said we should stick our heads in a church and "not forsake the brethren" because we need to see people professing the same faith we have and walking in our chosen paths to keep our faith alive. That's not to say I support the herd mentality or that we should totally put our future into other peoples hands! The Good Book still tells us to "work out OUR OWN salvation"
But basically, my point is whatever it is we want to do; sing, run a successful business, get a first class on your degree, live passionately for God,(I just listed all the things I wanna do..feel free to insert your own it always helps seeing people that are doing the same thing successfully. It assures us that it is something that can be done especially if the current successors are in our immediate vicinity, then the smell of success/achievement becomes even closer and sweeter! It is very discouraging to say the least not having anyone to look up to and this has killed many dreams.

I have been actively trying to find people that I can look up to. People who are already on the path I would one day like to be. That is, generally people of excellence...there are too many mediocre people out there today and what's worse is that we are all comfortable stagnating in this mediocrity! That's where excellent people come in...they make us UNCOMFORTABLE!

Here are a few excellent people that I have come across this week that have inspired me.
Tosin Otiloju who was featured on Bella Naija this week.

She was a head girl at Queens College Lagos, had the best SSCE results in the country in 1996. Got a first class in Electrical Engineering at Howard University. Got a scholarship to the California Institute of Technology for postgraduate studies. Was awarded the young person award of the year for 2006. She teaches at the University of Lagos (Also taught at the University of Yola). Published a collection of poems and has acted in five full theatre productions! Sounds like superwoman. Do you feel uncomfortable now?! lol.

Next up, I stumbled upon one of Lola Adesioye's articles today and found my way to her website.

She looks very pretty right? I assure you, she is more than just a pretty face. She graduated for the University of Cambridge with a degree in Social and political science. She is an inspirational speaker, socio-political commentator and writer and contributor to established publications such as The Guardian, The Economist and The Huffington Post and Arise Magazine. She has made guest speaker appearances on CNN, BBC, Channel4, BET and AOL Voices. She also performs as a singer/songwriter and she runs a multi-media company called something2say. She has a beautiful inspirational blog and oh! She is a self professed born again christian! Erm...did I here 360 degree woman??..... yup I think I did!

This is just two of many! We all need to have people we know fighting the good fight. I am personally on the lookout to find a mentor (I don't really know how to get myself one of those *_* ) Who are some people you look up to? and If the answer to that question is non-existent, do find yourself someone/people. They do exist, you just have to look hard! And if all else fails...well you have Jesus! We are told to look up to him as the author and finisher of our faith!
Stay steady dreaming!

Monday, 7 February 2011


Writing has always been my thing. I wouldn’t say hobby, because that implies that it was something I just did mindlessly in my past time. I wouldn’t say gift/talent either because I feel there is a mass of way more talented writers out there who write blogs, magazine articles and books that inspire me constantly. It being my thing implies simply that it’s something I hold dear, something I do all the time and with purpose as a channel for my thoughts. I write because I am.

As a uni student, just recently turned 21, the prospects of graduating into the real world in these gloomy economic times, I have been hit by a stark dose reality and somewhat approaching what you could call a quarter life crisis; The frantic questioning of your existence and the usefulness of your life on earth so far. This may come at different stages for different folks; I’m assuming that the cut off age to qualify for “quarter life” goes all the way up to 30. At my age, you could say “oh, but you still have a lot of time”. But I only have to look around to see boundless examples of young people achieving impressive and amazing feats. And once more I curl back into my shell of frantic questions “what exactly are you doing with your life?!” I love fashion and dressing up generally ( as most girls) but if I was a real fashionista, I could have well been on my way to establishing a name for myself like the young girls behind the Virgos lounge collection recently featured on Bella Naija . Music, is also one of my passions, if it really was then I could have been churning out hits like the 21 year old Adele who is responsible for such beautiful hits as “Make you feel my love” and “chasing pavements”( Her new album 21 is stupendously beautiful by the way). And if, indeed I had any promise as a writer, I could well be on my way to publishing my first book like the 19 year old Chibundo Onuzo, who recently signed a two year book deal with the English publishers Faber. These are all examples of young dynamic people blessed with the opportunity to follow their passions and who are in fact beginning to make their mark on the world at such young ages. So, I’m afraid young age is not an excuse for anyone.

We may not all be opportune to get two year book contracts with a British publisher, nevertheless, we can take baby steps in whatever form we find to making our marks and living lives that count. For me, that could involve honing my literary voice through whatever medium I have found, blogs or otherwise. Practicing and improving on my singing and seeking out opportunities to perform in whatever I can, church choir, school shows...etc. But alas, as with the execution of every great idea comes obstacles. In my case, it was the big PROCRASTINATION leading to piles of school work and applications to be sorted through. It then progresses to the blame stage and we happily pour all of it on the devil even though he probably has no hand in this. I mean he is a liar, but you, not him, convinced yourself it would be a good idea to sit and watch the latest episode of Gossip girl instead of actually getting productive work done. Be it starting that business or just getting that first class degree that you had always pinned for. At the end of the day, like our shining examples earlier we have to pick ourselves up, dust off the grit and dust and put ourselves where we belong. Yes, I said “put ourselves”. I am one of those optimistic activist people who believe that we are in control of our destiny. Even if it means starting slowly and way earlier (age wise) like I said earlier at least you are moving! Needless to say, it’s never too early or too late either. So, here I am, in my room, typing away on my laptop...hopefully typing to my way to making my mark.
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