OYA UPGRADE!

“Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future”.  Brian Tracy

The concept of “thinking big” is a big one everyone seems to neglect because we want to make fast cash. What about working to make earnings that will continue to serve us for a lifetime? Never equate quick cash with thinking big.

I have often look at the necessity to grow and the necessity to develop and remain relevant as a vital part and should as well be a vital sight to behold. The majority believe they have earned their first degree and since they are not going into lecturing so they do not need postgraduate studies. Today, some people look at the idea of studying more as a waste of time, money and effort. But, what if you need it in the future to better your career?

Let me tell you that upscaling and upgrading should be an essential point of view to growth. It is not all about gaining or having the certificate, sincerely, I know that, but doing this is also a way to add more needed skills to yourself and it is a pathway for capacity building. Do you have to remain the same way you began? The major reason why you should have more certificates, certifications or pieces of training.

Most certificates we earn might often not fulfil our expectancy but can help us to have a safe landing in future which we might not see at the onset.

A lot of people tell themselves, I am working and I am making cool money what do I need new knowledge for and they get comfortable with the little they make but will always be complaining about the salary been little. They end up getting married and the struggle begins. Even, at the retirement age, they will find nothing to do. Imagine if a secondary school teacher when in service had his Masters and Ph.D., then after retirement he is able to work as a university lecturer. They don’t wait for pension or a child to take care of them.

Don’t you ever want to leave vacant a post for another to occupy? For instance, if you started as a primary school teacher you can move to be a secondary school teacher then to a university lecturer. These positions tell a change in level and status but reading between lines, efforts were undergone to climb this ladder. These efforts were the N.C.E to Degree then Master degree and on. I have seen people I knew from childhood be at a particular level and still remain there, then further look unkempt. I wonder if it was always meant to be like that.

Let me not dwell on the colourful careers, let me come down to the level of the artisans and the “gbogbopreneur” guys. You are a tailor but you do not know of the new design or style that is in vogue? You do not even think of telling yourself there is a certificate on “Pattern Drawing” can I be a  partaker? You never envision your life as moving beyond the level of a roadside shop owner to a duplex house workspace that you can call ” House of Dress”.

We keep complaining that things are not changing but our own status is not even changing. No upgrade, no new skills added and you still expect the world to dance to the 1940’s training you have got that was World-class at that time. My brother, you will just remain at the same level and you will watch your mates climbing the ladder to progress.

We keep saying, “it is not about the certificates but, about what to you?”

You might not have to have a masters degree in psychology, which was your first-degree course but you can take courses from other fields of interest. Of recent, I heard of a woman, her name is Bunmi Banjo of Google, she is the Google sub-Saharan Africa  Brand and Reputation Manager. I read more about this young lady and I was wowed, I told myself, “these are the kind of people I love to meet”. Young people who are not leaving any stone unturned.

We marvel at their success, we really want to be like them but we don’t act like them. We are comfortable with that penny we earn but is it all about the “now penny”? Do we think of the future and what it can hold? They continue to climb the next ladder and you continue to waggle your tongue around saying, “They are rich people” but have you tried investing in yourself the number of hours or days they have spent to become a force to be reckoned with.

Upgrade your status, don’t always feel that was the only status or stage you were meant to occupy. You have so much to learn, earn and give. Remember it is the efforts of today that pave way for the greatness of tomorrow.

 

Do you know your subordinates idea counts?

I am often not a movie fan but when I see a good movie I cling and do not let it slip off. December 2016, brought me close to this movie “The Men who Built America”. It is a historical movie that digs to make available the trace of the historical growth of the United State of America (USA). Great men as Rockefeller, J.P Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Merkel, Theodore Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison, these are few among many other characters unnamed. These personalities of great Impact believed in growth, challenges, focus, persistence, and result in actions.

The urge to talk about the need to respect and honor ideas or pieces of advice from subordinates sprang up from the third episode of the Movie titled ” Changing the Game”  which talks about the growth of electricity through Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison was the inventor of the direct current used in the distribution of Electricity. Later, Nikola was opportune to work with the man whom he adores so much, Thomas Edison.

As an employee, it is a norm to be used to obeying instructions, orders, and guidelines from superiors. Nikola, who was a smart and intelligent employee, developed a new model of electricity distribution named Alternative Current. He informed his boss, Thomas Edison, of his new discovery but his boss turned him down and replied him by saying there was nothing as the “Alternative Current”. But after some time, Nikola Tesla decided to resign from work. Tesla resigned and went to partner with George Westinghouse. With this Partnership, Edison Lighting Company began to lose customers and his partnership with J.P Morgan was abruptly brought to an end, with “Alternative Current” taking the helms of electricity distributions in America.

If Thomas Edison had given Nikola Tesla an opportunity to talk about his idea he might have advanced the “Direct Current” and “Alternative Current ” equally and they might have made a great team.

It is vital that employers learn to listen to employees, and it is a great virtue for a business that would span a lifetime. When employers listen to their employees, it goes a long way to influence the commitment, interest and the dynamism through which an employee can function.

In the end, J.P Morgan bought this idea “Alternative Current” from Westinghouse, this was sold at a point when Westinghouse was going through a financial challenge. Thus, he had no choice than to sell it, this idea became the re-branded “General Electric”, a multinational company present in about 170 countries of the World.

When I don’t understand what empowerment means……

Last weekend, the Social Media and the National Dailies went agog with the news of the Governor of Benue State, Ortum, who gave the youths in the state wheel Barrows and hoes, also with Senator Sani distributing transistor radios to people in his constituency in Kaduna as forms of empowerment. Many regarded these forms of empowerment as funny and ridiculous. For instance, on Facebook, an individual posted that Senator Sani ought to be more enlightened, well, he is right at least Senator Sani is educated. Another posted that the world should come to an end.

In the Nigerian Constitution we have the freedom of speech, thus, everyone has a right to hold to his or her own opinion, so complaints, tweets, posts are warranted likewise my own opinion on this situation is warranted.

Can I ask, what is an empowerment to you? Anyone can come up with a dictionary definition and another can come up with another definition he or she feels is right or best suit the explanation of the word “empowerment”. In this vein, the Benue state government and Senator Sani are simply doing what they understand as empowerment, lol……

Empowerment means enablement or in explanation – doing what you feel is missing in the life of an individual or community to help attain growth.

Today, many States in Nigeria feed on the monthly federal allowance. Many States governors do not know what is missing in the state or what they can do that can be pointed as a sustainable achievement. They don’t know who to partner with to bring growth to their state, rather they would engage in capital projects that will give room for embezzlement. If they are going to bring allow the establishment of more industries in the state, what our state governors will first think of is, “How will it benefit me?” And not, “How will it benefit my people and the state?” Many of what our politicians do is not for the interest of all.

The Benue State Governor, Ortum, probably feels his people needs an implement to convey crop produce and so, he distributed the wheelbarrows and hoes. But while can’t he set up commodity boards that will allow the farmers to have money and assist them to have funds to buy more farm implements.

While Senator Sani, on the other hand, might have probably thought that his people lack access to information, and also having in mind that it is the north and what a lot of northerners in the rural parts of the north make use of is, a radio, so he distributed the radios. But Senator, can organize a program that is centered towards the enlightenment of the people within the rural areas, and thereby telling them reasons why they should be educated, also send their wards to school and if possible organize ways by which children are educated through school by scholarships. By doing this, people in his constituency would be able to understand the essence of being informed and the use of the information received.

Empowerment is all about filling a gap towards sustainability – doing things that can outlive you.

Opinion Writing.

Photo Credit: catchtvlive /naij.com

HAVE WE LOST IT?

IMG_2558The arrival of the Europeans changed a lot of things about our culture and heritage,

We were bought with sweets and guns, our forefathers sold out our heritage for an unwarranted gain.

They sold us to oppression and slavery in the name of westernisation.

In the name Colonialism.

They said they brought us religion, education, and science,

Alas! we have all this.

Today, our children are sojourners in the name of education.

Our rich culture and virtues are lost in the name of English,

Our children can no longer speak their native language because we have been bought,

Because our fathers sold us,

We had a heritage that we could preserve, where are they today?

Where is our organised political system?

Where are our strong, and vibrant Obas, who in those days were not a cheap for Golds?

Where is the Ogboni cult who compels the Oba to leave his post by death at the sight of a misdeed?

Where are the Chiefs who were only concerned about the villagers?

Where is our structure thrown into?

Where is our craft thrown into?

Where is our education thrown into?

Where are our children?

Are they all now sojourners?

Who at the sight of sweets lose their consciousness.

Oh, my country!

Are we losing our heritage?

Are we losing our children?

Are we losing our values?

Are we losing our craft?

Are we giving up on our future?

Can we ever regain them?

Can we ever build a great nation again?

Colonialism killed us

Now neo-colonialism is doing what to us?

 

 

Design: Ooreoluwa Oshindero

MY JEWEL.

image

After nine months,
I gave birth to you my precious jewel,
You were my morning and my night,
You were like the star that shineth in darkness,
The moon that chased away all my darkness,
I brought you to the world in pain,
I believed bearing you would erased my sorrows,

I believed in the future you would bring to me,
I believed that with you all would be well,
I toiled day and night to mold you,
I worked to see us survive.
The joy of my motherhood was to see you survive,
The joy of my motherhood was to see you break-forth in storm
Would I have thought you could ever leave me soon?
So soon, you are leaving me behind.
I never imagined you would leave without me,
Leaving before me is like a danger unleashed,
I was never ready for this pain,
Neither, was I ready to be left in distress.
Where is the joy of my motherhood?
Where is the joy of being a mother?
I brought you to the world in pains,
And, in pains you left me behind.
My Jewel!

 

Photo Credit: Creative Writers Group (Facebook Group) Writing Prompt.

THE DECAY IN THE NIGERIAN HEALTHCARE.

“…Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”(Romans 6:1)

hospital

Should we always run out of the country before we can enjoy the benefit of a good health care facility? United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), India, Saudi Arabia and many other countries have been the final destination of many Nigerians for health consultation and treatment; former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua was declared dead on May 6, 2010 at a hospital in Saudi Arabia,  and Babalola Borishade a former Minister of Aviation died on April 26, 2017 at a London hospital and on January 23, 2017. President Mohammadu Buhari travelled to the UK for treatment and returned back March 10, 2017, still in the game, again he recently travelled on May 12, 2017, for medical treatment. Do we have to go to this extent to get ourselves treated? Do we see the urgent need to address the health care problems that have turned us to adventurers in the name of ill health?

Do we continue in this malady? When the future we see daily seems bleak and the society we live in spells doom. The 21st century, the era of technological advancement has not ministered to our own health care system. The system continues to rotten away under politicking, corruption, poor funding, lack of equipment, lack of personnel and the lack of data to analyze our own efficiency(a major disease of Nigeria’s developmental sectors). Doctor Quadri, a health practitioner in Ilorin says, “The future is not bright, in fact, the future is in trouble. I have said it on several occasions that a state of emergency should be declared in the health sector. Our health system is a dead horse, no matter how much you flog it, for now, it won’t wake up in the future.  We need a new horse, we need new concepts and workable policies. We don’t have reliable data that is why our planning and execution have been faulty. We depend on United State of America(USA), World Health Organisation(WHO) and United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) statistics sometimes to know what is wrong with us. Tell me how we can plan for the future when we do not know what we need?” Nigeria at the mercy of the white man’s initiative, we rely on foreign reports to be bailed out of situations but would the foreigners see what we ought to see by ourselves in our own country? Thus, the effect of the neo-colonialized Nigeria in the health care sector.

Young Nigerian Graduates are also at the mercy of the foreigners. A large number of young medical graduates are taking the British Licensing Medical exam that is administered by Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB), in search of greener pastures. Doctor Quadri says, “Doctors especially the younger ones are leaving the country in batches now. The funniest thing is that some are even leaving to the countries that are lower in global ranking to Nigeria but with superb health care systems such as Trinidad and Tobago Dubai, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana”.

When those who are to seek for a great future in the health care sector do not see the future in the sector, then what are we to work with as Nigerians? Doctor Ridwan a medical practitioner in Ibadan says, “The future to an extent could be predicted by the present, should we continue like we are doing presently, then we can extrapolate what the future will be, nothing but the further deterioration of the present state”.

 

Photo credit: Premium Times

AWO!

imageAwo,

I never met you but I grew up to see your footprints,
A man with a sense of mission,
The finest man of his time,
The greatest defender of humanity,
Your works are evergreen,
Your words are always spoken of,

They sought to be like the great Awo,
But they were no match,
In intelligence,
In service,
In integrity,
In love,
But the cap is no fit for any,

Thirty years after your demise,
We still relish your good works,
We celebrate you
The great Awo,
The lover of Humanity.