A story of a tree with green, fresh and lush leaves. After years of beautiful strategic roots, shooting down in earth-aims boosted by natural anchors to the supernatural; it was the year to bear fruits. The fruits dropped, he needed just one person to pick it up and enjoy the fullness of the amazing journey, lo and behold, one became three. At a point where he stopped searching, a new search begun, to choose who gets the best bite.
Maybe that is a story that is wrapped in terms not shown but the realities is an experience now felt.
As I longed for touches with beautiful rhythms, songs in mind with careful lines etched in the depth of future memories. Every touch had a marker, every feel dug a depth and every sight caused a bang. In the midst of all, each drum made me dance to a different tune; each time, the tune seemed like the one that mattered the most.
From your heights you can call it confusion; from my depths, I see it as a journey towards clarity. Two roads diverged in an earthly move, but we choose the moods that gave us the deepest soothing. For now, I am in Eden; Tigris holds my heart, Euphrates leaves me gasping for breath, Gihon knows the different tones that lit my spirit while Pihon anchors me deeply in places I love to go. I am nourished on all sides, but in my search for the tree of life, beyond the level of the knowledge of good and evil, I am naked and waiting for God.
The business of meeting people is an awesome asset to invest in.
People- they are the building block of major achievements in life. You will work with people, work for people, add value to people or other people-centric efforts to move from one stage of life to another. Hence, understanding how to leverage your *connect –relationships- is important.
Joel Ogunsola is a friend that I am happy I know. The fact that I have his number on my speed dial almost certainly gives me a surety to getting to someone I need to meet. Often times, he knows someone that knows someone that has a solution to the problem you are trying to solve.
So when I heard he was going to be giving a talk on this awesome gift of his –connecting the right people- at #CSiInhouseTraining, I made up my mind not to miss it for anything. Armed with my red coloured diary-4C issue (You know the way those FBI guys talk about their bureau issued pistol shey?), my blue inked biro and a mind inked with an internal plan to take a leap, the journey started.
Already, it houses FourthCanvas, Prunedge, TwickMedia Group and CSi. The plan is to turn it into a silicon valley of solutions; come to think of it, the current brands in the area are already dishing out globally relevant innovations.
So I was in CSi HQ for the first time, for a meeting I was attending for the first time…to equip me with ready skills of making an excellent impression with people I meet for the first time. A lot of first times.
Toyosi Ayeleso, another awesome guy, one of the men steering the progress wheels of the CSi ship (In my mind, I called this like US Navy ship, Nathan James) ignited the fire for the day. He spoke on the need to identify people based on the kind of value they can bring to the table, ranging from Emotional to functional, psychological and yes, the one you want to hear, monetary. Most importantly, having excellent people skills is a great asset. Understanding where you stand in terms of giving or receiving value is an important part of the whole fit of self-awareness; which is important in beautifully tailored growth.
So what kind of value do you offer to those around you?
I love gospel tunes. I have a few favourite artists. However, today I had a new name – Muyiwa Famuyide. Google to the rescue. After downloading the necessary background information, I adjusted for new lessons.
Mr Famuyide set the pace with explaining that understanding yourself and what you can bring to the table is the first step towards maximising the relationships you have in the journey of life.
“Having exposure, contacts and the likes do not have the desired effect if there is an issue with the inside”
When that is done, next step: Know the people in your life for reasons, the ones in your life for a season and the people who are there for life. This gives your life a needed balance in the drift of life.
Also, he emphasised the importance to be real in relationships. Be you. This helps you to maintain a trustworthy experience.
I met Joel for the first time when I was planning for my event in Akure- Leadership Clinic with DayoNigeria. The relationship has grown over the years and he has grown to be a connecting fibre to timeless sources of relationships, opportunities and information. So when he stood, my ears stood in readiness to glean.
One key thing,”Read! Read! Get as much knowledge as possible, this will help you maintain excellent conversations that will launch you into new levels of relationship”, he explained. He emphasised the need to be constructively sincere in our dealings with other people. For Joel, it is important you learn to listen well and be genuinely interested in meeting people. “How many Cards do we collect that we never use again, never pick again and may never even think of …but holding value oriented conversations that leave a long-lasting impression is important”. In my head, it just screamed like “Cards o jawo mo! Let the cards be the extra added information when a conversation of value has been planted, the seeds will germinate into valuable connections”.
On converting relationships to clientship and vice versa, Joel advised that “When you commit to something, do it. If you cannot unavoidably meet up, be prompt in sincerely giving reasons why you could not meet up”.
When you love something, things you can do for free…keep at it, continue to build value that people will need and money will come- Joel Ogunsola.
One great pick for me from Joel’s impact-laden talk was: Gatekeepers are important. Gatekeepers in this context mean people that the principal — the person you want to meet- value their opinions. This can range from drivers to personal assistants, children to neighbours, partners to friends. Treat everybody rightly and politely, you do not know who has the key to the ears you want to speak to. This was for me.
At the end, the crux of the matter was that carefully manage relationships that you create the right expectations from both sides; mutually beneficial value exchange and forward driven conversations that can give your life a leap.
Since I published the last post about leaving radio for a new journey; I have gotten calls, messages and different levels of interactions with mentors, friends and colleagues.
One major question, “To where?”
I have always been a content person- I write. Writing has consistently knocked on my door in different forms: Poetry, news, articles, “Those interesting chats”, conversations etc. My drift, determined by the face of words I meet when I open the door.
I also like to build.
And I have soft spots for people who are committed to building excellent platforms and organisations. It gives me great joy to see young people dedicated to giving Nigeria and Africa by extension, an enviable position in the comity of nations.
So while radio brought me to Akure, I related with some of the best young minds I have seen in my life. I met Kitan David(CEO, PlanetNest) while organising my first Leadership Clinic with DayoNigeria in the City, this spark, ignited a wild fire of connections in the tech ecosystem. Within the next few months after the first clinic, the second edition (Akure Clinic 2.0) brought together some of the biggest young tech players in and around Ondo State…it was huge and that was the big bang.
I met Joel Ogunsola, co-convener of the AkureTechUp community (A community I am actively part of)…got actively involved with the operations of FourthCanvas (they handled the visual communications for Akure Clinic 2.0) — Victor Fatanmi and Bolaji Fawole. The big bang happened and a new world was created.
Radio stayed, but another journey started side by side.
My knack for a better society got infused with my voice on radio — Campus Vibes and Youths Hangout.
Next stop, my partner came knocking, we formed Zumalo.com.
So I had my responsibilities as the Radio genie, social communications at 4C and editorial job at Zumalo.
At this point, I think I have answered: “to where” right?
The big bang happened, a new world was created- A leap.
Strong and well-nourished roots are needed for beautiful flowers. I am a part of two upwardly mobile and massively growing start-ups; it is pretty important I invest myself to see the brands excellently achieve their set goals.
The “why” is longer…so let’s make it a little while longer (pun intended).
Now you know to where. I know a lot of my teeming listeners will still be in the thoughts of “Is the leap worth it?”
In the last few weeks, I have moved from uncertainty to certainty.
If you were born in Nigeria, Mosquitoes are normal.
I spent few moments in Eneka. Sandy, real air, devoid of the major Port Harcourt bustle, but brimming with the City’s hustling spirit. Rumuokwurusi ,some Ikwerre’s are angry, it’s now called “rumuokwurushe”,that’s was easier to pronounce for the very many Yoruba Taxi drivers then. But maybe in a bid to take back their land, everybody drives the taxis now,especially the cup sized yellow painted NAPEPs. It’s more tribeless now. Maybe the real pronunciations will come back.
Back to the story, Rumuokwurusi welcomes you, Tank is a melting point enroute Atali, then Elimgbu and finally, Eneka.This was the first place I got a new name for Mosquitoes, Gbemisola calls it “Mosquero”.
After wonderful experiences of the insects, we gave it another name, like the dreaded name that should not be mentioned, the Harry Potter way. They are that dangerous.
They are neighbors,but they suck blood.
When I hear of countries like the United States of America, where it’s been completely eradicated, I imagine how life would be without those small insects with powerful bites. Then the wa-hun sounds, that’s like the arrival of the itchy warriors,contemplating the part of your body to conquer.
The tales. The Clap, sometimes the slaps. The jumps and pains when your claps of fury misses it’s prey. I wonder why it settles for the night to attack.
If you are fortunate, you wake up in the night;then the feeling of being unfortunate comes, when you put on the lights. A swarm of angry looking mosquitoes all over your body.
Yes. Even in Nigeria, mosquitoes are place specific. They frequent places that help them breed. Breathe.
While others have used technology to fight this battle against the tiny legged warriors,some have other chemical and natural means.
I spent few days in Offa, we used Odomos. My house in Rumuokwurusi, mummy bought Mosquito repellent sprays… I hear there are now tech solutions.
Even Sterile Mosquitoes, I wonder how people thought of using sex to ignite a kill switch.
Anyway, these mosquitoes must die.
But this night, the Akure Mosquito brigade, has had its fill.
On Sunday, 11th of December, 2016 the second edition of the Leadership Clinic with DayoNigeria held in Akure. The event with the theme: Achieving my dream Nigeria through Technology brought together some of the best tech minds in South West Nigeria and youths who are passionate about positively impacting the world, one community at a time.
So the atmosphere was charged with patriotism, innovation, excellence and discussions aimed at creating indigenous solutions to the myriads of problems facing the nation. The first edition of the clinic which held in September revolved around the Practicality of Leadership; Pastor Akin Ojo and Segun Omojola led interactions that beamed the spot light on the thought that you are a leader where you are. However, this edition focused on how technology can be used to solve problems.
With this objective in mind, we carefully chose very excellent panellists and speakers; people who are already making efforts aimed at making the world a better place, one innovation at a time.
Usman Abiola (He’s the co-founder of cMapIT; An innovative geospatial company that won the Most Innovative Tech Company in the Emerging Markets Award by MongoDB (New York). He’s the GDG lead of LAUTECH. He mixes pixel(Graphics/UI/UX) to create good digital products ). You should have seen him articulate the importance of data in creating usable solutions. He stressed that you need to think like the people you are innovating solutions for, while also explaining that excellent market survey is important in ensuring sustainable tech business models.
Emmanuel Odunlade (Co-Founder DevsDistrict and winner Access Bank Prize for Innovation 2016) stressed the need for students and youths to create ecosystems that are suitable for creating solutions. In his words, the beauty of Nigeria will only be achieved by Nigerians.
Victor Fatanmi (Lead Creative at the brand identity-specialized design agency FourthCanvas. With years of a wider design experience, working on presidential media campaigns in Nigeria and Ghana as well on ground breaking media campaigns like the StopEbola (2014) and a number of other projects for businesses in Lagos and New York, he readily comes with a wealth of experience in the visual communication/media industry.) Explained that it is increasingly becoming important for brands to create user friendly identity, hence the space is open for youths to get engaged in.
Evi Uwede (Campus Director, Hultz Prize and INTEL ambassador FUTA). Evi opined that there are a lot of opportunities for women in technology. She called on parents, institutions and systems to encourage ladies to be part of the tech ecosystem creating and innovating tech solutions.
Olufemi Iroko (Co-founder, Career Drive Academy and GEMSTONE Ondo State Coordinator) enlightened that Technology has become a leveller; citizens at different spheres can now effectively play a part in building Nigeria. He emphasised, more than ever before Nigerians should engage in rebuilding the systems, working with those in the TECH ecosystem to build the Nigeria of our dream.
Aboluwarin Kitan-David (Co- Founder Planet Nest – An incubation hub in Akure focused on helping student entrepreneurs create and grow successful businesses) explained that in creating successful businesses, we should always leverage on quality relationships based on areas of strength. He stressed that when we focus on value, money will come.
In his keynote address, Joel Ogunsola (founder/managing partner for Prunedge a social enterprise poised to advance humanity through technology. Prior to him co-founding Prunedge he was the Microsoft Education Technical Advisor for Microsoft Nigeria. He is the curator for TEDxAkure, an independently organized TED event. Joel founded Tech4Dev – a technology non-profit organization that seeks to create proactive and reactive solutions to the world’s greatest problems, with primary focus on public health, education & Civic engagement) opined that with the increasing access to technology, it has become imperative for Nigerians to collaborate towards creating solutions that are people centric and aimed at developing our communities.
The event also provided a platform for great minds to network, we agreed that: Collaboration is the new competition.
Can we build the nation together?
Hey my name is Opeyemi….and you?
Together we shine bright
More than ever before, we need to begin to channel the discussions towards making impact. We need to support platforms that encourage the values of truth, values, equity and justice. We should network with like minds that think social development. The leadership Clinic with DayoNigeria Akure 2.0 has come and gone in terms of time, but the impact will be long lasting.
I want to take out this opportunity to appreciate Joel Ogunsola ( Managing Partner, Prunedge), Segun Ketiku ( VP Raves Digital), Emmanuel Odunlade ( Devs District), Kitan Aboluwarin ( Planet Nest), Uma Photography ( You have seen the pictures, this brand was beautiful!)FourthCanvas –they handled a lot of our designs and branding, Adetimehin Ademola, Areji Owolabi, My Pastor – Akin Ojo and many others for their support in making this programme a success. Thank you DayoNigeria for nudging me towards putting my thoughts into action.
For those of us that attended, I hope you learnt and made connections that will brighten your horizon, thank you very much for coming. I learnt something. My network has been boosted.
With all hands on deck: I, you and all our partners, the next edition – Leadership Clinic Akure 3.0 will be better.
Sometimes there is this crave to want to sound objective, not biased , “Intellectual” etc. that you begin to leave your faith out of discussions,interactions and posts.Especially when you have a lot of intelligent free thinkers, Atheists ,those that are confused about what they want as spiritual anchor and non Christians around you – offline & Online.
So sometimes we want to leave religion out of it. Often times,even among brethren,you can hear “Let’s leave the bible now and face reality”. Then I wonder.
However,I never want to get to the point where I will sacrifice who I am- a christian on the altar of sounding “intelligent”, ” Unbiased” and other convenient themes that fit the bill.
But there is a balance, I will relate with all without judging, I want to learn and continue to grow towards providing solutions that positively affect lives beyond the walls of faith. After all,I am a light to lit the world and salt to preserve the earth. So I love to celebrate the meeting points and let love be the modus Operandi.
I am a christian. I accept/agree with the infallibility of the scriptures. I have my issues and delinquent moments,but I am on steady growth trips.
I respect the views of others and appreciate our ideological fault lines.
Side Bar: There are smart Christians. A lot. Cos ,often times the experiences of people in Nigeria (Africa) have made some people associate mediocrity with the faith. Sometimes, they even think we don’t Think. So this is a call,do you have Christ? Let the world see his greatness through you. Live out the best. Be the best.
I am still looking for a word that properly captures when “ You really did not want to do something, then someone you respect or who is your boss makes you do it and at the end you begin to thank God you went/did it” . Do you have an idea of what I can call it that will not sound spiritual? Let me just call it grace ordered steps jare.
So I had planned to spend the 17th of November, 2016 with a close friend; she had not been around for a while, the town had been a little boring, so we wanted to hang out.
Then On the previous day, 16th
“Ope…come”, I jumped to meet my Head of News (who has been an inspiration yea! Steadily pushing my limits), I thought he wanted to give me something-maybe money with the way he called. But then he handed me a piece of paper, with the words “Cover this event”. My mind just screamed: Ope your plans!
I tried to appeal, but with smiles written on his face, he disagreed and the last order was “Cover this event”.
The D-day, Thursday, Sunview Hotel Alagbaka, I was on sit before the programme started. Little did I know that I was in for an awesome ride.
It was a public presentation on Election Security Threat Assessment towards the 2016 Governorship Election in Ondo State by CLEEN Foundation.
The presentation was handled by a professor of Political Science, Prof. Shola Omotola. It was a detailed research on identifying trends, issues and security hot-spots ahead of the governorship election in Ondo State. If I am to describe the work and presentation in one word, I will call it: Excellent. I learnt and my recent nudge to do some mass media research works were reawaken.
Prof. Sola Omotola during his presentation
Few minutes into the session, tea was served, with small chops, pepper-fried chicken and meat pie. How won’t I listen?
Then the Director General of the Electoral Institute of INEC, Prof. Abubakar Momoh shared practical applications on how the findings, conclusions can be used in real life situations, citing historical perspectives.
I really learnt.
Apart from the fact that it was an assignment, it was rewarding in all ramification. Let me add that there was a buffet at the end of the presentation: I just did coleslaw, fried and jollof rice, Roasted Fish, Chicken and an Apple to complete the munch routine.
The only time I have seen a training this packaged in terms of Quality content, participants well taken care of and a serene environment is when you pay to attend. But this, you dint pay to attend. However, it is important to know that nothing is free, most likely the financial burden would have been shared by sponsors and partners. DFID (Department for International Development) – stuck to my mind as one of the partners on the banner.
I am excited about happenings like this. I like well packaged programmes aimed at impacting lives for the better and making the world we live in a better place. This programme has endeared me to CLEEN and I can only wish that a lot of the development initiatives (Sponsored locally and internationally) are leveraged to really bring the needed help to those that need it.
Again, I am encouraged to push on with the little effort I am starting with Dayo Nigeria in Akure – The leadership Clinic. The first edition was mega impactful (at least from the feedback I got from those that attended) as we discussed the practicality of leadership.
This next one, we want to leverage on the technology for Social development space and discuss: Achieving our dream Nigeria through Technology; The leadership perspective. I am working with excellent minds like Joel Ogunsola ( Prunedge), Kiitan Aboluwarin ( Planet Nest), Emmanuel Odunlade ( DevsDistrict) …( I hope this list increases). The plan is to have an ideathon that will engage participants in discussing leveraging technology to champion an inclusive national development from the grassroot. Sunday, 11th December, 3pm …if you are in Akure or you know someone in this town who would be interested, let us make it a date ( You can register here or for further enquiry: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I hope one day it grows and surpasses the standard CLEEN exposed me to.
There are reasons to give up on my wonderful country, but I remain hopeful. In our quest to build the Nigeria of our dream, together we shine bright.
*CLEEN Foundation is a non-governmental organisation that seeks to promote public safety, security and justice sector reform.