Saturday, April 18, 2015

A special dedication to all my protégés/mentees...


By O’Tosin Baiyewu
My darling daughter, I have always loved you long before I bore you but there are a few lessons I have learnt about life I would want to share with you. Please take them seriously as it would help you forge ahead and make a difference in your world.
Now you are old enough to know that you should take responsibility for your own life. This has nothing to do with age, especially because mummy and daddy will not always be with you… I have taught you about your rights and that with the knowledge about your rights nobody can mess with you. There is a tendency for human beings to take advantage of others, never let anyone take advantage of you. Be assertive but don’t be rude or disrespectful. The beauty of a woman comes from within but what is beauty without brains or intelligence. There is no one girl that is dumb, some do not just have privileges of learning. People who have said that knowledge is power are very correct, no one should ever stop learning the day you stop learning, is the day you start to die. The knowledge that you have will always give you an edge above your contemporaries, be bold enough to show what you know. Knowledge opens doors to great opportunities.

There’s too much oppression in the world for you to be quiet, speak up! The world is waiting to hear your voice, speak against injustice, I see so much courage and determination in your eyes (smile), this is a sign that you will blossom into a strong woman. As a strong young girl that you are, you will begin to take some life decisions early in life…let the values of hard work, equity, respect, integrity, service, discipline, chastity, guide your decisions. Shut out the voice of peer pressure or crowd mentality. You are a smart girl, but you are human and as such not perfect, hence you are bound to make mistakes. Don’t blame anyone, take responsibility, own it, forgive yourself, learn from then but move on quickly.

My dear, whenever people tell you that you are a rare breed, special or unique let it be a reminder of your worth, this helps build your confidence. The journey to self-discovery is a daily exercise, know your strengths and weaknesses but dwell more on your strengths. Have role models early in life, in life’s journey you will meet great, influential and accomplished women who have gone ahead of you. Let their stories encourage you as many as mentor you.

Dare to dream, dream and dream audacious dreams.. . strive to achieve them and share them only with a few wise minds that can genuinely help you. You are an emerging influential young woman liberating your other sisters all over the world, you’re too precious to be a material for mediocrity.
Keep these few words of mine.

I love you unconditionally and permanently.

Your beloved Mother."

Friday, March 20, 2015

To Prove or Not To Prove? You Decide!

I discovered recently that often times consciously or unconsciously we feel the need to prove a point to people around us, you know, kind of make a bold statement, for people to hail you, have your ego caressed maybe, that Mr. Ogbeni or Ms. Lagbaja has finally arrived!!!! Yes, true that!  Don’t lie you have been there before, at least I have been and in all honesty you will agree with me that it has a feel-good- feeling!
Say for instance you need to buy and cruise that Bugatti Veyron and prove to the guys in your hood ‘who’s in charge’ it doesn’t matter if you emptied your bank account to achieve the feat, point made, point taken, gbam! 

It could even be the girls in your school; you want to let them know you are the reigning chic and you rock the freakingly expensive Channel ‘diamond forever’ tote bag to that event, oh! the thot of their eyes popping, tongues wagging, gossip spreading, kudos! Great achievement! *loud applause* The truth is we prove a gazillion points every day, to everyone and everywhere; school, neighbourhood, home/family, church, (yes church) school and even workplace where you can buy the latest model of your boss’ car just to prove to your boss who’s actually boss das all, God help you on this one!

Funny, proving a point is like pulling a stunt and there is an element of competition in it plus if you are an ambitious fella you would definitely go to great lengths in order to make your statements very bold and glaring for all to see. For me, proving a point is a constant need for someone to validate your person, there is a feeling of inadequacy, now, that is a terrible place to be. The typical Point-Prover loves challenges, what people run away from he runs towards by default.
There is no intention to make this a gender-based argument but it feels good to exercise my poetic licence, I like to think that this ‘proving point issue’ is linked to ego and men tend to have a lot of ego issues than the ladies otherwise how do you explain the fact that out of six people that tried to prove retarded points only one of them is female?  just saying, ( Point : To rustle some feathers; point made, point taken, gbam!

I remember the story of a girl who set out to prove a point in school; to top the class in the toughest course in school and make a fool of her lecturer’s grades! This was a great feat and there was a game plan. She broke the jinx quicker than expected but she wanted more so she drove herself harder, the feeling is as intoxicating as alcohol. Towards the end of school it suddenly dawned on her she had  robbed herself of having fun in school, she didn’t have a life, sad enough she could smell the gold prize but couldn’t touch it. She eventually says to herself one day, I’m done with point-proving, that’s the morale of the story.

They say life is a bitch and we unconsciously slip into that zone and the need to prove a point emanates from a myriad of life’s expectations particularly in the workplace, where you see people unleashing tricks of all sorts, God help you if have a number of these ‘sophisticated crooks’ in your workplace, but then again that’s work my friend. Don’t get it twisted, work is about fun too, its hanging out with your colleagues and having a good laugh that comes from your spleen not cooking up some points in your head to prove per time. Yes, you work hard and set goals but don’t get overtly ambitious otherwise you become mean, selfish and hated by everyone. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan rightly said “I don`t believe in proving a point to anybody. Nobody is that important.” I agree with this statement except that some people are important but you are not under any obligation to constantly prove a point .

Was I trying to prove a point with this article? Oh yes, if you ever again feel a need to prove a point to anyone again in whatever circle of influence you find yourself and you need an audience, go stand in front of the mirror, that dude you are staring at, prove your point to him/her that’s your benchmark. –point made, point taken, gbam!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Monster Called Corruption

I am sad.

Terribly sad about the state of the nation.

What worsens my state of mind is the limiting thought patterns and mindset that the Nigerian people have about their own country and why it may never change and as such have accepted it.

I for one, believe that a New Nigeria is emerging despite the seemingly hopelessness we find ourselves in, particularly how our name is now synonymous with corruption world over.

The other day I was in a bus ride home, people were discussing generally about the elections and the difference between the APC and PDP with regards to corruption (in situations like this from experience I do not join issues with them or argue it out, experience and wisdom has taught me that it is better to listen). The argument ended with a unanimous decision :" if I was the one occupying that position that the "leaders" are occupying I will also do the same or  even do worse"

Huh? In 2015? This is where we are? Sad reality I must say.
And please before you give me that sneer, cynical look or castigate me because you think I'm claiming 'saint' or ' holier than thou', please think this through with me; how do we as a people intend to fight corruption with this kind of mindset? This is not the first, second or third time I have heard this phrase ( I think it has even become a philosophy that we live by), as a matter of fact I have lost count on how often we use it especially when  it comes to talking about our leaders, we now praise them for how much of pubic funds they have looted and the property they have acquired with the stolen.

I'm not going to spare us 'the youths' from this, particularly the so-called youth leaders or advocates who use the opportunity given to them to lead to enrich themselves and live in luxury from ill gotten wealth. Do not get it twisted, I love money and the good things of life but I would be happier and more fulfilled if that money came from hard work and not from compromising my values and selling my conscience and pledging my allegiance or loyalty gullibly to a corrupt leader. You cannot go far if you fall into this category, yes you! reading this article. Repent from your selfishness and greed, let's salvage our dear country together. Stop deceiving your fellow youths that you're committed to change meanwhile you're fraternising and conniving with the real enemy of our future.

Let's be honest with ourselves there are still a few Nigerians who are people of integrity and No! They are not wretched...they believe in hard work, it is very frustrating to do business and make good profit  in the corrupt system that we are in but their business still thrives nonetheless. Nigerians are known to be hardworking and conscientious people, let's bring back our glory days.
Just yesterday, at the ongoing Africa CEO Forum, the monster of corruption was discussed, bribes shouldn't be taken or given, to say it is one thing to adopt it as a lifestyle is another.
Stop pointing accusing fingers at the leaders when deep down in your heart you're nursing thoughts of greed and avariciousness, that's the mentality of a mediocre and never-do-well. Recently I added #saharajets on my #instagram  I love the pictures of the insides of the jet, so much opulence, class and luxury and immediately I told myself I'm going to ride in one those soon, you see that's an ambition, a desire and to make it happen I have to work hard, do legit business deals ...basically have an action plan to make it a reality not steal or defraud.

This has nothing to do with the #2015elections...but it would be nice to think about this as you make your decision on who to vote.
#BringBackOurValues #LEAPAfrica #Values and #Leadership #GodBlessNigeria