Friday, 29 August 2008


Some people you envy today might end up being spectators tomorrow, while some that appear slow today might end up attaining and retaining lofty heights. Call it an ambiguous statement, but see what I mean…

Clearly, direction is more important than speed. If you’re heading towards the wrong direction, you might end up getting “somewhere” though, but certainly not where you ought to be if you had followed the right direction; the probability of reaching your desired destination would be slim. But if you’re heading towards the right direction, even if your pace is slow, you have a higher probability of reaching your desired destination. Thus, it is evident that life is a race and that there are different kinds of races in life. And these different kinds of races inevitably lead to different destinations. As such, before racing aimlessly in life, it is pertinent that you identify the right race to be run. It is equally important that you adhere to the track. And finishing the race is mandatory if you must receive the ultimate prize; there’s no shortcut to long-lasting success.

This behooves us to critically assess our lives. Pause. Have you been able to identify the reason for your existence (Why are you breathing? What is your purpose in the land of the living?)? What are your plans to accomplish your purpose? Is the race you’re running in line with your plan(s)? Will it lead to fulfillment and sustainable success eventually? All these demand reckoning. If you’re not on the right track, endeavor to retrace your steps. If you’re on the right track however, keep moving.

When running your race, ensure you don’t entertain distractions nor envy others. Be reminded that you are not in it with anybody; as your purpose and chosen track differs, so does your arrival time. As the Yorubas will say, “ma gun esin elesin sare” (which literally means “don’t ride another person’s horse to run”). You will eventually get to your desired destination, just stick to your race and track. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not going at the desired pace, the most important thing is that you’re on the right track; getting to the destination slow and steady via the right track is more important than speeding towards the wrong direction, so keep moving.

It is my wish that the rest of your life will be the best of your life. But I can only admonish, it’s left for you to run the race set before you (your direction, preparations, zeal, and the tenacity with which you run the race will determine the prize you’ll receive at the end) to victory or to defeat. Walk the talk, it’s all about you.

Peace and love.

Friday, 22 August 2008


You can never realize the vast opportunities and provisions available to help you further your cause until you commit yourself. Once you commit yourself, things will begin to take shape. I’m not just bluffing, I have some personal conquest experiences to back up my theory. Come with me as I prove my point…

During my NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) year, I was posted to a remote village in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria for my primary assignment and I took it without fear knowing fully well that I was going to survive wherever I was posted and it turned out that I not only survived, I thrived. Weeks after my arrival, after careful appraisals (I looked for the need of my fellow corps members as well as the community and I decided to fill the need), I invested the little savings I had into digital photography to survive. Although I didn’t hit it big in Imo State, but one thing that remains significant is the fact that I never lacked bread throughout my service year. The digital photography business took me round Imo State and I was privileged to meet the crème de la crème, one of whom is the erstwhile Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Barr. Noel Agwuocha Chukwukadibia. I later got close to his family and the wife was so impressed with what I was doing that she gave me a fully furnished shop (with furniture, air conditioner, carpet, to name a few) inside Imo State University, Owerri which I used free of charge as my studio for seven (7) solid months before I left Imo State. Call it a miracle, but the truth is that I couldn’t have met the woman if I had not diverted into digital photography and she wouldn’t have released the shop to me for free if she had not seen any commitment on my part.

The same feat repeated itself in Abuja, Nigeria. When I finished my NYSC, I worked briefly for a month in Ibadan before taking off to Abuja in search of greener pastures. Initially when I got to Abuja, I was doing “my thing” in an open park - Millennium Park (believe me I had to swallow my pride). Just two weeks after my arrival in Abuja, I met an artist extraordinaire in the park who offered to share her gallery with me free of charge. As if that was not enough, barely three months after my arrival in Abuja, I got a fully furnished office space (with furniture, air conditioner, carpet, to name a few) in Lagos House ,77, Ralph Sodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja for free too! I used this facility for months as my studio before I took a detour out of Abuja (for “doubting Thomases”, contact me for details and I’ll be glad to give you more information). Call it another miracle, but the truth remains that I couldn’t have met the “good Samaritan” that gave me the office space for free if I had not left Ibadan for Abuja and she wouldn’t have given me the office space if she had not seen any commitment on my part.

Do you need any other evidence before you believe in the power of commitment? Verily I say unto you, there are miracles in the offing waiting for your commitment. There are free offices waiting to be occupied. There are free grants waiting to be claimed. There are sponsors looking for whom to help. There are loans waiting to be taken. There are investors looking for where to invest. There are bachelors searching for committed spinsters. There are employers looking for committed employees to enthrone. There are publishers looking for good materials to publish and market. There are banks looking for good proposals to fund. There are music producers looking for talented and committed artists to promote. The list is endless. All you need to do is to commit yourself to your goal, and then providence will take it from there.

I’m not alone on this theory, a thinker in person of William Murray said something similar. Hear him: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings, and material assistances which no man could have dreamed would come his way.” His words are omnipotent and it can work for you if you plug-in to its eternal precept.

Stop waiting for a miracle, initiate the miracle by committing yourself to your objective. Move providence! Succeed!

Friday, 15 August 2008

I DARE YOU – A prose by Ibukunolu Ishola

You are nothing but a product of mistake.
You are an afterthought.
Your existence is meaningless.
I DARE YOU to prove me wrong.

You are an insignificant cog in some terrifying machine.
You have nothing good to offer your generation.
You are useless; a waste of resources.
I DARE YOU to prove me wrong.

You are limited by making.
You remain limited.
You can never rise above your limitations.
I DARE YOU to prove me wrong.

You are failure personified.
You can never ever succeed in life.
Your fate is sealed.
I DARE YOU to prove me wrong.

You will die unfulfilled.
You will die uncelebrated.
Your memory will fade completely after death.
I DARE YOU to prove me wrong.


Friday, 8 August 2008


While taking stock of my life during the week, I had reasons to compare myself with some of my childhood friends. Presently, some are doing better than me while I’m also doing better than some. A probe into the cause of the variance led to a discovery and I can’t agree more with the Yoruba adage that says “Bi aba ri eni fehin ti, bi ole laari.” (which literally means “Without backing, it‘ll be as if one is lazy.”) I reasoned that some of my childhood friends would have been better than me if only they had the backing I got while growing up and I also reasoned that I would have been better than some too if only I have the backing they’re still enjoying. If truth be told, it’s not easy to strive all by oneself without receiving any support; it’s a lot easier with backing. But, the good news is that anyone can attain a lofty height even without any backing, just that it might take more effort and time. So strivers, don’t give up yet! Hold on! Keep pushing, you can achieve it!

I reiterate that “Bi aba ri eni fehin ti, bi ole laari.” Let me share an experience I had some years back that confronted me with this reality with you. I had the privilege of covering (as a photographer) the 2005 Glo-CAF Awards in International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria where Samuel Eto'o Fils was awarded the African Player of the Year. At some point during the event, the erstwhile President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was summoned to the stage to receive a Platinum Award. Also, the Executive Director of Globacom (a fast growing telecommunication firm in Africa) was summoned to the stage to present the Platinum Award to the President. As the young Executive Director of Globacom (who happens to be the son of the founder of the company) mounted the stage, the whole of my body began to shake to the extent that I couldn’t even snap him when he eventually presented the Platinum Award to the President. It suddenly dawned on me that I had a long way to go. Though we are age mates, I knew there was a big difference between the young Executive Director and I: he had already joined the caucus of successful people whereas I was just a wannabe trying to secure bread through photography. I wasn’t lazy and I bet he’s not smarter than me, yet he was ahead of me in all ramifications because of his father’s backing. To be honest, I coveted his position that night. I envied him. I felt so bad, but I didn’t allow the incident to weigh me down. Instead, the incident stirred the giant within me and it marked the beginning of another era in my life. There and then, I swore to be at par with the young Executive Director someday. I not only swore to be at par with him, I also resolved to overtake him someday. And to achieve that, I mapped out a 25 years development plan. I’m still on it and I’ll share the success story someday, just give me time.

So dear striver, you are not alone. I know your pains. I know your struggles. I feel you. I know how discouraging it can be when you have great dreams and plans but without any backing to pull them through. I know how difficult it is to survive with a meager salary, not to even mention saving to fund your plans. I know how demoralizing it can be when you can’t seem to pinpoint something tangible you’ve achieved over a period of time, especially when some of your friends are doing wonderfully well. I know how painful it is to be crawling when you have the capacity to soar. I know all about it friend; believe me, I’ve been there. But, be not dismayed! Cheer up! You may have some limitations right now but you can overcome them with careful planning, hard work and persistence. The future is there as your consolation and you can still attain and retain that lofty height you covet eventually. So, don’t loose focus. Keep pushing!

The start of a race is not as important as the end; the end matters most. Experience has taught me that someone that started well can even end up not reaching the finishing line, not to even mention winning any prize while someone with poor starting can end up clinching gold. So, there’s hope! The fact that you didn’t have a leverage to build on from the start does not mean you cannot reach the very top. Since you’re still breathing and active, you have the opportunity to finish strong. So, critically assess your situation, and then realistically map out a development plan that will serve as your blueprint for achieving your set goals. And then, be committed enough to follow through. I must warn you that it won’t be easy though, but it can be achieved if you endure.

Keep pushing, your struggles will eventually pay off someday. Be strong!