Not many emotions can contend with the level of euphoria and feigned piety that happens upon a lot of people, and Nigerians in particular at the anticipation of the dawn of a new year. As the previous year begins to wind down, everyone puts on a reflective vest, waxing philosophical about the past and future. It’s not out of place actually. On the contrary, it makes absolute sense; at least the part where one feels the need to take stock of the past and the outcome of their actions and inactions throughout the year. The effect of decisions taken are vivid at that point. So, people overtly or covertly make resolutions. A resolve to do things a little differently in the new year – Start that business, lose the extra weight, save a little more, make that 6.0 GPA, be a better husband. But for some reason this resolve begins to wane almost as soon as the year kicks off.
Since last year I started to document and do a post on the lessons I have taken away from each year. It’s a form of yearly insight on the events that have shaped my year, and offers some sort of assurance that I am going into a new year wiser. A number of slogans resonated with me during the course of the year because they went from words which were passed down from a sage or generation to experiences I actually went through in my personal or professional life. It’s been a rather interesting and challenging year for me. If I thought 2015 was tough, then it was because I was totally ignorant of what 2016 was preparing to dish out at the beginning of the year. But, with everything that happens to me, I like to take away lessons…lessons which I summarise below;
Proclaiming it as the latest wonder of world wouldn’t be too far-fetched. Pundits, scholars and the media failed woefully with all of their “big grammar” and permutation on this one. Like the legendary Michael Jackson whose gravity-defying dance moves remained a mystery for a while, the emergence of Donald John Trump as the winner of the recently held presidential elections in the USA has defied the expectations of billions of people around the world. Someone or some force flipped the well written script that had cast current US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton as the preferred candidate. Souvenirs and paraphernalia of different kinds had been made to mark the auspicious occasion of the first time a woman would ever rise to such a position – the position of the first citizen of the most powerful country in the world. In fact, Newsweek had already celebrated Clinton as president-elect in their latest issue. But it was not to be.
They say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. However, like most cliches or advice, it’s easier said than done. This week I have struggled to write, but that’s a familiar struggle for even the most popular writers. Writing works well when you can just be at peace and articulate your thoughts on the subject matter well enough to pen them down. It can be pretty frustrating when you struggle with writer’s block, especially when it’s due to a horrid week or past couple of weeks. The flip side of this nonetheless is that one of the things that makes this vocation the best in the world is the free therapy it offers.
“Our motto is: When they go low, we go high”– Michelle Obama
I had all but concluded the piece for this week when I stumbled on a short clip of Michelle Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech. I immediately rued missing out on watching her give the speech live as I was instantly intrigued by the little I saw on CNN. Of course I had to see the epoch-making speech as soon as possible, for I had heard and read that she stole the show at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia which had thousands of people, and millions watching all around the world. I saw the full video at a later time and took time out to read the transcribed version of it, and to say I wasn’t disappointed would be a huge understatement.
I am not a life coach. As a matter of fact, I have a problem with that title, as I find it hard to accept that anyone person has all the answers to the issues of life. I also believe what makes the journey of life intriguing are the uncertainties that lurk at every twist and turn. Nevertheless, it’s amazing how we come to better understanding of ourselves (and our environment) as we grow older. As we ought to. The idea behind growing older should not just be about advancing in age, but the ability to harness all our experiences, observations and knowledge into making our lives a wholesome one. As we try to make sense of the conundrum called life, I believe we must reach certain points on our journey, some of which I’ll elucidate below:
“Be so good, you can’t be ignored”- Ololade Ajekigbe
22 years after receiving his first ever award nomination in an acting category, and 12 years after his first nomination for Best Actor by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,(AMPAS), American actor and producer, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Academy award at the 88th edition of the Oscars which held on Sunday. To say it was a historic moment would be stating the obvious. I have waited in heightened anticipation to write this article since I learned that DiCaprio had been nominated yet again by the Academy for Best Actor in a leading role for the eighteenth century enduring film, The Revenant. Like millions of his other fans, I was optimistic that this time around, he would clinch the award which has eluded him for over two decades!
“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”- Martin Luther King Jnr
If like me you live in Lagos, or any other city in the world that is characterized by the kind of fast paced life and madness that is synonymous with metropolitan cities, then I can hardly blame you if all you desire to do at times is crawl into bed and do absolutely nothing. One of my best moments is time spent in the solace of my room and on the comfort of my bed, away from all the commotion and pressures of our crazy world. Sometimes, one really wonders what all the hustle is all about since life is short and we aren’t going to take anything out of it anyway. All the degrees, material acquisitions, relationships and achievements will end one day, so why don’t we just pack it all up and go to sleep? It is a valid argument I suppose. Even the good book says everything is vanity. But then again, the same good book warns that a love for sleep guarantees poverty.
Hello guys! The video above was a project I had to do as part of the requirements for a speaking course I took recently. I decided to share it with you, my readers hoping it serves as some form of inspiration. I chose to speak on this topic because it was definitely something I could relate to. The words below were what I tried to encapsulate in the recording, but I’m not quite sure I did justice to it (…the nerves I guess), hence the decision to also publish the transcribed version. Please note that this video was recorded on only one take, so forgive any inadequacies you may observe. I must confess that I have been quite shy and hesitant to put this out, but I truly hope it inspires someone to pursue their passion. Enjoy the video and read.
It was during one of those spells of fuel scarcity that has become a staple of Nigeria. The few fuel stations that were selling the product had their shenanigans in full swing. Either they were selling above the stipulated pump price of premium motor spirit or collecting a fee before they would even commence dispensing fuel into one’s car or keg. The supposed government owned NNPC fuel station in my area decided to get into the game in a different way. Since they could not increase their prices outright or be seen to be demanding a fee before selling petrol like most of the other privately owned gas stations, they devised their own method which was to compel vehicle owners to buy engine oil before they could sell fuel to them.