Chief Dele Momodu at the London OccupyNigeria protests
“By virtue of exchange, one man’s prosperity is beneficial to all others.” Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) French economist, statesman & author
While celebrities as a result of their opinion shaping figures in the society are also as human as every other person, it will be abusing their right of association by condemning their job and personality on the basis of who they choose to be identified with.
The process of creating wealth (just wealth) requires an inevitable phenomenon, the ability to creatively destroy the norm, providing a good and service that supplies a demand on which the buyer is willing, voluntary and mutually ready to pay for. This is as most, talking about working your way to the top, or to acquire wealth.
The story of Dele Momodu as a replica of a success derived in hardwork and dedication to one’s passion is story that inspires, motivates and is worthy of emulation. Maybe, not everyone who has met the man per se, but a great army of young men and women he mentors will attest to how this man in an extraordinary way has turned their lives around sharing his life experience and encouraging others never to contemplate giving up.
And, to think of how the graduate of Yoruba, who only arrived the bustling city of Lagos for the first time at age 29, etched a living from his passion and becoming one of the most celebrated journalists in Africa, is enough an inspiration to many young people, who believe that the change they desire to witness in your country starts right from oneself.
The self-styled businessman has not only demonstrated the sagacity of a radical (whenever a situation calls for it), but also has effectively proved to be an efficient manager of people and resources through the expansive Ovation International coverage, inclusive of staff and numerous vendors relishing the highest commission on any magazine.
But when a certain El-Darlington (esq) came up with a self-judgemental article, analyzing how he had come to the conclusion as to how truly, a businessman, but not a change advocate Dele Momodu is, the first impression I had was that of another person exercising his rights to speech. On a closer meditation though, it reflects the said article, which I regard as misleading, needs to be corrected, just so that you might not only misinform the audience, but also as a platform of information. To call Dele Momodu out as a client of Japheth Omojuwa also showed a myopia for reason and a refusal to allow others air their views. Japheth Omojuwa got the mention merely by stating his opinion on an issue. Japheth has not responded to this. He does that when he believes the issue is unworthy of his response.
The tenets of journalism, as relayed by Dele Momodu (quoting from the article), demand that all topics are treated objectively and all human beings good or bad are given a voice. Hence, your question of the poor being represented is a response on its head with the likes of Alaroye magazine, Nnkan Mbe (a popular real life experience program on TV), So daa be? (also a popular TV program), Tribune, The Nation, Punch and a host of other media outlets too many to mention, doing extensive coverage, calling the plights of the government to the poor, and their state of living. Such reporting however, is another style of being involved with the media. Singling out and mis-presenting Ovation whose cliché is in celebrating the success of Africa and Africans is a punch below the belt.
Every media house evidently has its area of specialization, and relatively important also, to distinguish between Ovation International (the Magazine) and Dele Momodu (the celebrity) unlike as muddled in the said article.
If this is about Dele Momodu, most especially about his voicing out his support for Ngozi Iweala, I believe he as a living entity is free to exercise his rights to association. And the fact that he is a public figure, capable of influencing public opinion, does not take away his right of association and/or friendship with whomever he pleases.
However, a poor nation certainly does reflect the armies of intellectually oppressed folks who would rather dump reason for a bag or rice, even with the conscious knowledge of doing it just for the rice and selling their votes.
Being poor is not a salutation attached to some name, but a state of financial wellbeing at a moment in time. Dele Momodu himself was once poor. And so is virtually a good number of people in this part of the world where income gap between the rich and the poor is unjust as a result of abuse of priviledges of political office holders, hindering any meaningful economic development.
However, creating a collectivist definition of the ‘poor’ is not a safe assumption, for not everyone that was once poor forever remained poor. The inspiration to leave the realm of poverty, and working your way into wealth is one secret Dele Momodu has been sharing, freely with as many people that desire to. This, he has been able to achieve by virtue of his garnered experience on his way up from poverty to prosperity. That, is the kind of an advocate for change that we desire.
Stating the obvious, I would have spent great deal of time on his change advocate exploits through PENDULUM, offering himself for political office, countless motivational speeches and talks, army of protégés as well as participation in change processes in Nigeria of today.
In conclusion, putting the personality of Dele Momodu under a broader perspective, Friedrich Hayek, world renowned advocate of change, seasoned economist and Nobel Laureate simplifies who makes a better world as the man that empowers others to success and not the powerful that obstructs you from the secret to their wealth.
“[T]he power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbour and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionary possesses who wields the coercive power of the state and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work? And who will deny that a world in which the wealthy are powerful is still a better world than one in which only the already powerful can acquire wealth?”
Dele Momodu is indeed, a successful businessman, and a true advocate of change.
Fiyinfoluwa Elegbede @Fiyin_Liberty