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Awakening the Giant Within You: The Potential Game-Changer

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“The ‘Zero’ that isn’t empowered will never Emerge a HERO; Reason being that Opportunities without adequate and necessary preparations would always yield to futility (vice-versa).” – Tolulope A. Adegoke, Ph.D., FIMC, CMC, CMS, MNIM, CIV

The Potential Game-Changer in this context is the number “Zero”. It is used in this context to describe someone who has the potential to cause a massive transformation, despite having the similitude of a failure.  It was Abraham Lincoln who said: “Nobody had ever expected me to become president.” He contested and failed severally before eventually becoming the President of the United States of America.

 Lincoln aside, the success of Portugal at Euro 2016 football tournament has a powerful message for every one of us, in every sphere of life. That Portugal beat France 1-0 to become the European Football champion in July 2016 is no longer news. The big news however is the fact that it was a substitute player who was not considered fit to start the same game, who scored the winning and history-making goal. Before the game, all eyes had been on the great Cristiano Ronaldo. But just in the 14th minute, he was carried off the field on a stretcher with a knee injury!

 Naturally, with Ronaldo, the star player, injured, panic erupted amongst football fans worldwide and the Portuguese team in particular. In all truth, Portugal probably thought their end had come! But Eder, a substitute from the bench, scored an epochal goal during the extra-time, thereby securing Portugal’s first European Championship title.

 Interestingly, when the trophy was presented, it was lifted by Cristiano Ronaldo, who had broken down in tears at the final whistle. That day, he and the watching world had learnt an unforgettable lesson: If you desire to see true success and progress, never underrate anyone. If you wish to see outstanding results in every area of life, you must be determined to pursue total unity and team work because a tree cannot make a forest and nobody is indispensable!

 Portugal won without King Ronaldo on the field! Never underestimate any man. Don’t despise your zero because it might end up being your HERO, just as Eder proved to be. We also have the biblical example of David, who emerged from being a mere shepherd boy in the wilderness to becoming a military general, and then, the king of Israel!

The other side of the “ball game”

So far, we have considered zero as a positive potential that must be nurtured from dormancy to vibrancy and greatness. However, there is something else that zero could represent and unlike the previous representations of zero, this does not require being nurtured but being neutralised. This is because like other forms of zero, this also has the potential to grow – in this case, though, into something destructive. This zero is the ‘zero of the weak point’

The story of some individuals would only revolve around their weak point, especially how it limited them from fulfilling their purpose and destiny. A weakness is often a behavioural flaw that prevents or limits someone from being (a game changer) fully effective. Whichever way this flaw is handled can result in great consequences. Both the Bible and contemporary history are replete with stories of individuals who had great potentials but did nothing to neuter their weaknesses and thus exposing themselves to failure and regret.

 We have the example of Moses who was called by God to the lead the Israelites out of Egypt, their land of slavery. The exceptional grace on his life made him a HERO. The Lord used him to perform many miracles in Egypt. Through him, God afflicted the Egyptians with ten plagues. The Lord also used him in parting the Red Sea and in demonstrating other wonders in the wilderness (Exodus 33:22-23). Yet, his weak point of anger terminated his mission of leading the Israelites to the Promised Land (Exodus 17, Exodus 32:19-20).

As the Bible records, the congregation of children of Israel had journeyed from the wilderness of Sin. Thus, the people began to reproach Moses and Aaron, their leaders. Moses had gone to God to present the complaints of the people and God had instructed him to speak to the rock for water, but he had struck the rock instead, as a result of his anger at the attitude of the Israelites. God was not happy with this. Eventually, Moses only saw Canaan from afar but didn’t get there.

Samson is another good example to be used here to describe the flaws of mighty individuals. In spite of his great strength, he was eventually captured and became a victim. Ironically, he had been born to be a deliverer of the Israelites (Judges 13). Due to the anointing of God upon him, he had become the most powerful man on earth. He could face 10,000 soldiers all alone, and he once killed a lion with his bare hands. At the height of his strength, the Philistines were afraid of Israel. However, he had a character flaw, which he considered to be a zero – that is, an insignificant weakness. That flaw was the love of women, especially wayward women, which was against the conditions given to him by God. That seeming zero would eventually lead to his downfall, when he revealed the secret of his power to Delilah, one of his wayward women (Judges 16). Towards the end of his life, the same Samson who had been a terror to the Philistines ended up as their puppet and slave. They blinded him and turned him to an object of scorn.

In our contemporary times, there are many whose “zero” character and behavioural flaws such as careless use of the tongue, addictions to drinks and drugs, lust for the opposite sex, love of money, uncontrolled temper, have cut short their lives and destinies. The reason being that they did not realise where their unchecked flaws or could lead them until it was too late.

The fact, as has been stated, is that everyone has a weak point which can be easily dismissed as a zero. This means that within every hero, there lies a zero. Or to put it in another way, “there is a kid in every king.” What this requires is for you to tackle your zero so as not to be drowned in the valley of life. Starve your weak point to develop the hero in you, though the journey to achieving it may not be smooth, because it is truly not easy to be easy! Crave for a good change, work on yourself, by allowing the Potter (God Almighty) to break, remould, bake and make very good use of your earthen vessel for His glory; only via this means would you be able to overcome your flaws and emerge a global game-changer in your area(s) of calling(s) or purpose.

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Opinion

Voice of Emancipation: Yoruba National Day: Lessons from the Kiriji War

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By Kayode Emola

As we Yoruba descendants all over the world celebrate today the end of the Kiriji war that happened on this day in 1886, we remember those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom we all enjoy today. Many people in our generation may not appreciate the sacrifice our ancestors paid to give us the freedom, liberty, and peace we enjoy today. Many of them back then did not live to see the peace and freedom they fought for, nor did they know they were going to pay the ultimate price, however, that did not deter them from pursuing freedom with all that they had including their lives.

As we celebrate 137 years to the end of the Kiriji war today, I would like to dedicate this column to those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom we Yoruba have enjoyed so far. Although the war brought freedom to the entire Yorubaland and its people; especially those towns and villages that were under Oyo rule, the end of the war brought in a new master (the British overlords) over our affairs.

Shortly after the war ended, the British capitalised on our frailty and war fatigue to gradually colonise our land and take our inheritance by stealth. We did not suspect the actions of the new colonisers because we thought they had our best interest at heart. The rest they say is left to the history books and the journey to freedom continues.

Those who fought to see us free would be mad in their graves to see that the freedom they fought to gain from Oyo who is their neighbour was eventually lost to the British colonisers. They would be asking those of us around this day what we are doing to liberate Yorubaland from the corruption of Nigeria passed down by the British colonisers, since that was what led them to fight the Oyo rulers.

I do not believe that we have an excuse today not to stand up for Yorubaland and her over 50 million population who are being subjected to Nigeria’s misrule. The Yoruba people never signed any document anywhere with her eastern and northern neighbours on becoming one country, therefore we have no business being in Nigeria.

For some people who say that a Yoruba man is now the president of Nigeria, therefore we have the upper hand in directing its affairs. I will say being the president of Nigeria does not translate to development in Yoruba land. This is because Nigeria as a broken nation has gone beyond repair and cannot be mended. Not especially with the disoriented system of government that it currently practices.

Just like Slovenia and Croatia left Yugoslavia before they started reaping the benefits of nationhood. Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, or any other nationality in Nigeria cannot enjoy the goodness of a nation unless the people come together to decide their future. It would be better if this were to happen sooner rather than later to avoid the impeding danger the country may face.

We all know that Nigeria is living on borrowed time and those still behaving like they have a country to call home are just living in fools’ paradise. The only solution for Nigeria is complete dissolution, and any outcome short of this is just applying a sticking plaster to a gushing wound.

As we celebrate the peace we enjoy in Yorubaland today, may I use this opportunity to appreciate those who have kept the flames of peace burning bright. I also want to thank those individuals who have organised this year’s celebration and those who have volunteered their time and resources to see that the event is celebrated in style.

I also thank many of our diasporan Yoruba who are visiting Yorubaland, especially for the first time from places like South and Latin American countries, and elsewhere around the world. We appreciate your efforts in coming down to the homeland to celebrate this year’s event. May the peace of God be with us all and deliver the total freedom and liberty we all desire and grant to us our independent Yoruba nation sooner rather than later.

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Opinion

Soliloquy: Between Big Brother Naija and Tastee Spelling Bee Competition

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By Michael Effiong

This past Thursday, I was privileged and honoured to attend the Tastee Spelling Bee Competition organized to commemorate the 10th Remembrance anniversary of Mr Oluwabunmi Adedayo, who we used to fondly called gentle giant.

Oluwabunmi who was the Executive Director of the famous quick service restaurant, Tastee Fired Chicken (TFC) made quite an impact while on earth. He was warm and humble, and always willing to help others, little wonder that his dear parents: Pamela and Kunle Adedayo decided to turn their personal tragedy to a force for good by establishing the Bunmi Adedayo Foundation.

As I sat down to watch the primary school pupils wow us with their knowledge of English pronunciation and spelling, my mind wondered to my days as member of the St Joseph’s Boys High School, Surulere Literary and Debating Society, and a smile spread across my face.

Then my mind again meandered to the video of the quiz competition that occurred at the Big Brother Naija House which has since gone viral, my reaction this time was that of disgust.

In case you missed it, in the said video, the contestants were asked a pot pourri of questions ranging from mathematics to current affairs. What really caught many people’s attention was the scandalous answers that emanated from theses “celebrity” contestants.

One was asked who was Nigeria’s first president, the contestant did not know! How embarrassing was that.

Another was asked what was the meaning of CAC. She went : ” CAC (she pronounced it kak), CAC”, she looked so shocked as if she had been asked to climb Mount Everest and then blurted some gibberish as answer. All they wanted her to say was CAC is the acronym of Corporate Affairs Commission. How difficult can that be?

It was, therefore, a huge paradox and heart-warming to see these pupils, including a contestant from Pacelli School for the Blind, show their proficiency in the English language.

They lapped up their questions with effortless ease, in fact, some of them were spelling words that I, with my over 30 years’ experience in journalism, was encountering for the first time.I was really impressed.

When one juxtaposes the wondrous performance of these kids to the woeful performance of the Big Brother Naija Housemates, it is not hard to see why our country is where we are at the moment.

When I expressed my angst to an older friend on the Big Brother Housemates show of shame, he laughed and asked me what I had expected

He went on to explain to me that the criteria to be a housemate and win over 100 million naira, juicy prices and endorsement deals did not require any intellectual rigor.You are not expected to be intelligent or take any aptitude test. Just fill out a form, upload a video saying something about yourself and a photo!

Then, you must be articulate, interesting and willing to share your must private thoughts in an open forum to strangers and also be ready to cavort ceaselessly! That’s all!

He therefore affirmed that expecting any seriousness from the Big Brother Naija housemates was like Waiting for Godot.

I believe it is time for us to begin to change our mindset for the betterment of our country. What exactly is our priority as a nation? What are the things that interest us? What are the things that we spend our money on and what are the things that we spend our time on?

In contrast to the huge advertising and sponsorship that is poured on big brother naija, knowledge-based shows like the Spelling Bee, debate shows and quiz compettions never get any traction or attention by Nigerians. Winners hardly are appreciated with the kind of cool cash and media frenzy associated with big brother.

This kind of mentality has to change. If we are to turnaround the fortunes of our country, we have to change our attitude to knowledge and education in general.

It is time for corporate Nigeria to stop paying lip service to talent shows that are intellectually-focused, yes, not everyone has to be educated, but the large number of a country should rank up on that index especially even if to just showcase your talent, if Nigeria wants to take its rightful place at the top table of world prominence.

It is said that “Ideas rule the world” and that soft power is the new gold. How can we compete if we do not invest in our kids and youths like the Bunmi Adedayo Foundation.

Indeed, BAF has taken education as its focus. It has been in the forefront of training teachers and improving the learning experience of pupils.

According to the Foundation “It’s not about building schools, it’s also about building teaching and learning. That’s how communities flourish. They’re agent of change”

The Foundation is devoted to changing lives of children, by innovatively improving the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian public primary schools.

The Foundation has so far organized 103 trainings, intervened in 1300 plus schools, built one state-of-the-art library, upgraded 5,200 plus teachers, donated one 40-seat ICT laboratory, worked in 56 plus Local Government Education Areas and impacted 15,000 plus pupils.

There is no doubt that we have to catch them young, feed them with the right ideals and ideas that will build them into worthy citizens.

On the day of the spelling Bee, which was won by my name sake, Michael Ofiemum, with Toluwani Toluwani and Janet Oseni taking second and third respectively, the Adedayo’s again showed that their milk of human kindness never runs dry when they extended full scholarship to six pupils of Navy Primary School.

Just like the Spelling Bee winners, contestants and their teachers went home with many prizes, gifts and loads of joy, the smile on the faces of the parents and relations of the scholarship recipients was indescribable.

There is no doubt that the impact of the Spelling Bee Competition and Scholarships by the Bunmi Adedayo Foundation will be etched on the hearts of these pupils and many years later, they will grow up to discuss how this rare opportunity shaped their lives and trust me, at that time, no one will be talking about who won Big Brother Naija 2023.

Let us all decide to invest wisely today by touching lives one child at a time!

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Opinion

The Mastery of Strategic Alignment

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“You need a plan to reach your goals. It is your plans that take or get you to a place, not just your dreams. Dreams without an active plan will take you to nowhere. It is a plan that empowers and exposes you to the discipline and responsibilities required to achieve your dreams or set goals. A plan teaches you “HOW” to get there, it is your blueprint. This is your time to set in place some plans that lead you to an ‘expected end’. By the time you get to the ‘end’, you shouldn’t be surprised, because success is intentional; it is deliberate. It is plans that takes you to success, and it is planning that helps you succeed for greatness. Therefore, set it up and step it up!”

– Tolulope A. Adegoke, PhD., FIMC, CMC, CMS, MNIM, CIV

 There should be synergy between your actions and ambitions. You should be able to look at your actions and tell your ambitions. From your ambitions, I will be able to tell where you are going by what you are doing. If what you are doing doesn’t tell or prophesy where you are going, then you are doing the wrong things. Since you are a limited resource, then you are not enough to go round; that means, you have to choose where you have to expend your energy. You cannot tackle everything at the same time. What you are doing must reveal or prophesy where you are going.

A plan is important, not just a dream. A lot of institutions teaches about dreams and vision, but they tend to dish the real deal in parts or halves. You need to understand that getting your plan lined up (to align) with where you are going is far more important. You need a plan to reach your goals. It is your plans that take or get you to a place, not just your dreams. Dreams without an active plan will take you to nowhere. It is a plan that empowers and exposes you to the discipline and responsibilities required to achieve your dreams or set goals. A plan teaches you “HOW” to get there, it is your blueprint.

This is your time to set in place some plans that would lead you to an ‘expected end’. By the time you get to the ‘end’, you shouldn’t be surprised, because success is intentional; it is deliberate. It is a plan that takes you to success, and it is planning that helps you succeed.

The Book of Life says: “write the vision, make it plain, so that whosoever that reads it may run with it.” Somewhere in your life, there ought to be a perfectly Mission Statement: your Vision, Purpose and Goals. That’s what is done in business, and you are in a business to earn a living. What’s your vision? What’s your purpose? What are your goals? With the aforementioned, you are able to choose what is yours wisely. Such that when people offer you things that are not in your Mission Statement, you can say NO because that’s not what you do. A lot of things can be very good, but if they are not in alignment with where you are going, you just have to let them go because you are a limited resource, which is specifically wired for a purpose or calling.

The Book of Exodus 25:1-9 unveils so much: “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, that they may bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed, red and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the patterns of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”

Could God have designed a tabernacle? He is a Master-planner, but He invited His people into the process and planning, and gathering the raw materials. You can quickly tell or deduce by what they are gathering that they are getting ready to build something. Also, one of the most profound statements spoken by God to Moses in the above verses is “Build according to pattern”. In other words, you should have a pattern for living. What God meant by the above is that: “I want you to build according to what I have showed you, do not build outside my plan.”

What you need is that you should get your vision from the Lord; this is simply the vision of where you are going, and this is “WHY” I put you on Earth; this is the purpose I have for you to do. Your job or duty on Earth is to build on Earth what God has already shown you. So what has God shown you? whatever God has shown you is your purpose and vision. A plan simplifies the process of tasks for an easy accomplishment of set targets. Pattern helps you grow; it builds you and gives you a niche. You are here to build on Earth as Man according to purpose and pattern which has been revealed by God.

Most people have no pattern. This is where mentoring comes in to lead you to act according to a designed pattern or system. Mentoring is about giving somebody a pattern to operate with; it is about giving or revealing and availing to somebody what they can see: walk the way I walk, step the way I step. Ask yourself, genuinely, “do you have a pattern?” Do you have a pattern for a successful career, marriage, business or ministry? Have you ever been around someone who is succeeding? You cannot imitate what you have not seen! People who don’t just hear the word, but do the word prospers and keep going up, challenges notwithstanding, but they continue to succeed because they are obedient and attentive to a laid out pattern of success.

A plan is a clear strategy which is usually documented for the purpose of succeeding, leading, conquering and achieving set-targets or goals in any facet of human endeavours. If you must prosper, then you must not fail to plan!

You must understand that success is always intentional, though many people act as if it isn’t, but it really is. You do not graduate from College and be surprised how it happened; you don’t lose weight by accident; you don’t run a marathon and say you do not know how you did it! The authentic truth is that nobody succeeds by accident.

The next thing you must not fail to understand here is that, you need to forgive yourself for making mistakes. You may have done something so foolish. Success isn’t a magic pill, but an intentional act for a change to occur via the renewing of your mindset, it is a process, it is going to take a little time, but it will work if you work it.

Invest Extra Income

Any unexpected income that is beyond your budget is the kind of money you should invest. Stop engaging in lavish spending. Understand that you do not need to buy what you do not need at all! Other people are investing in the idea that you will spend; that’s why they built a mall; that was their investment, expecting you to spend your money in it so that they can save it. You open up streams of income by investing your extra income, and you don’t start spending like the prodigal son (a fool). Don’t spend beyond your limits again. Now, you have understood that there is need for added investment pockets. In the Book of Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus Christ taught the same concept about investment. Even if He didn’t teach it, you still need to know these concepts of investment because you need to do it for your own good!

One of the biggest errors or mistakes we make is that whenever we a get a lump-sum of money, the first thing we try to do is to pay off all our bills, and what you do not realize is that when you are trying to pay off all your bills, you have bills again. You need to maximize opportunities. Gradually continue to pay your way out of debts by using the measure called DISCIPLINE. Keep the money by saving it; Grow the money by investing the money!

The Book of Life says, “you should bring forth fruits, so that your fruits may abide.” God implies that: “I am interested in getting you to a place that you stop losing everything I am giving you. What you know now will change the next five years of your life.

How can you love somebody and not have a life insurance? So you leave them struggling, evicted and uncared for? It isn’t about the luxuries or the expensive gifts or items. I charge you to convert them into assets, and get an insurance! Set your priorities straight in-line with what makes sense!

Stop accepting what keeps depreciating, and stop ignoring what keeps appreciating. Stop paying for your emotions! Even if you love a thing or luxury or property, don’t buy it if it is beyond your financial means or budget. Quit the emotion, where motion is required for your legs to step back. Stop spending too much on what is not necessarily important for you. Buy the basic needs and invest the rest so that as you rest, the profit yields!

A plan makes you a planter (sower). The idea is the seed; the plan makes you the planter. Every planter (sower) is eligible for the harvest of whatever he or she sows or plants! Ensure that you update your plan on a regular basis, because things change, so that you can make this year your year of effective and sufficient productivity. You must have things in order. Every of your steps must count! Are you positioning yourself in the line of your dream? You need to get ready to do it before you do it! You need to look like it before you are it! Remember, God anointed David to be king while he was still a shepherd boy. God was gradually positioning David into Royalty. God told Samuel in the Book of 1Samuel 16:13 (paraphrased), “I have got a Man in the House of Jesse, find him, I want you to anoint him to be king.” At first, after David was anointed to be king, he was still a shepherd boy, but rumour heard it all across the territories in his time that David was going to be king. You need to realize and understand that God is much more interested and focused on “WHERE” you are going than where you are, at the moment; and He is committed to plan and ride with you, if you will be reasonable enough to take responsibilities and endure the processes required to arrive at the successes that leads to greatness through a PLAN or pattern (strategy) that is well detailed for shifts and positioning to prosper and prevail in your areas of calling or purpose.

…to be continued.

Dr. Tolulope A. Adegoke is an accredited ISO 20700 Effective Leadership Trainer

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