This is not an article. It is a sincere blog about my birthday yesterday and some of the lessons and experiences I have garnered in the past years. Read for fun or read to share from my experience J. Whatever you do, look at your self and not me.
- If I had any doubts, yesterday showed me something very scary; I cannot afford to do certain things. I’d not only bring shame to myself, I’d let many people down. I felt the weight yesterday and for one hour I was depressed by the fact that I had a lot of expectations on my shoulders. As usual, I came around and realized that it was a blessing too because knowing that there are expectations helps one to keep grounded. I want to keep myself grounded and remain in touch with my essence. I was moved and for once, I saw a lot more purpose in who and what I am about. People are everything! I am glad by the fact that I am not moved by material things, I am moved by people and yesterday, I saw again a need to continue to be me but of course being me would not be enough….
- I need to be a better me. One of the goals I set for myself is to be a little more patient with others. I am the sort that likes to get things done, so once we are on our way to doing it, I hate to hear excuses. But some things are bigger than just going ahead, some things require chilling a bit. So yeah, I want to listen more. To be less harsh and to take a chill pill. May be this is some old age thing in me talking but my gra gra needs to chill mehn.
- In my usual way, I mended fractured relationships yesterday. Despite my obvious boldness and readiness to deal with whatever anyone throws at me, I get moved when I have issues with my friends. I love my friendships and I want to invest in those more than ever before. It was great to apologize to those I had issues with in the past year. I sent a tweet about settling old fights to start new ones but of course that was a joke, I was really interested in settling old issues. I am good with my friends now. By the way, if you’ve still got issues with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s iron it man to man or man to madam J
- Hey! Let us not get carried away. There are people that would still hurl stones at me even if they saw me lying at the bosom of Father Abraham. They are these little men – some are in their forties but a little man is one in the way he uses his head not in the age of his head – so these little men who because they serve as PAs to Commissioners and because they are able to collect tashere contracts will not allow Nigerians to express themselves about their government again. They encouraged me yesterday because even on my birthday, they made sure to activate their hatred more than ever. What would I be without them ehn? Let me also say it is my fault at times, I say things just to activate them J
- My friendship cuts across ethnic divides and political parties. I met a top Nigerian politician in 2011 who told me I’d have a lot of issues with many people with my way of doing things. That I was really bold and direct and that Nigerians were not used to that. He told me they’d come after me. They did and still do. He told me I would never do what I do well for long without earning good money and staying true to my values. Today, by God’s grace, I earn really good stuff from endorsements alone. I never asked the politician for a dime and he never gave me a dime. Even till today. To make a point about not begging politicians, a young wannabe activist begged someone he felt was going to run for the Presidency for money, somehow that one couldn’t or didn’t give him. The young man came a twitter and was abusing the politician. The real story finally came out. Today, that young man now defends every move of the same government he did not just criticize but cursed. Lessons to be learnt here. If you dey abuse government to get paid by politicians, last last na those wey you dey abuse you go kiss dem a** last because na dem kuku get money pass. I am okay when people say politicians sponsors me. They are the same people that’d scream, “he’s proud!” if I share my sources of income but no need to shout sef. The words he shared with me that day in Abuja got me to sit down for days and think about my future. Even he would be proud of how well things have turned out for me 24 months after. I have been on top panels and worked with world-class brands and organisations. This person knew nothing about any of these opportunities. When I travel to places, he sees them on twitter like others. All he did was tell me I was on a path that needed more than noise. I am forever grateful for people like that. I am also glad that unlike another former friend who knew the same man and asked to be helped to travel to a foreign country – the politician couldn’t/didn’t help and they fell out to the point the young man calls the politician names on twitter but of course the young man would never say what happened between them – I am glad I saw more than “oga anything for the boys” and a chance to “chop their money” when I met this man. He is stubborn, he says it as he feels and in many ways is well above the pretense that reigns in Nigerian politics. I am also glad that he respects my space and has never said to me to attack anyone and all that. That would have cheapened him greatly. I love to be in charge of myself all the time. It’s the reason I never looked back after I left home.
- Not every body in government gets carried away by the, “those at the corridors of power” syndrome. I have a friend whose family has always delivered a whole state in elections. When we met, though much older, we were gisting like mates. I was even threatening him at times. I said stuff like, “ah! You said that about PDP? I will blog it. Nigerians must know even PDP members know PDP is useless” and we’d laugh. I once attended a dinner hosted by an ambassador and this person in the midst of his other powerful friends called me out and spoke to me as though we were some business partners. Long before I met him, a fellow young Nigerian emailed me about an opportunity to work with him and I said to the young man at the time to please take the job but remember “You don’t have to do any wrong to be hated, taking up the job makes you a hate figure already but you can prove to be a difference.” I also said to him that, “…always remember that where you are now is not worth dying over considering tomorrow’s possibilities.” That was two years ago but my friend has kept his head up still. Except you are told, you’d not know he is in government. He is on twitter and yet continues to represent his conscience. If I ever serve a government, I’d have a lot to learn from him. I learn from everyone but considering what happens to people in government in Nigeria, these two folks teach me humility in a different way and guess what, they are members of the PDP.
- One woman who has made a lot of difference in my public persona is a renowned name across the continent and in some powerful circles globally. I don’t know if I should say this but she is the ONLY person that still scolds me like I am a baby. Well, to her I am a baby J If you’ve seen any change in me, a lot of credit must go to her. In fact, if not because it is hard to stop bad habits, I should be better than this sef but I am trying my best. When I met her for the best time, she did not pretend at all. Imagine being so excited to meet someone and she is treating you like you are some little Obama. I was moved. Like today, that day I was a Nobody but she saw beyond what her eyes saw. I am proud to call her mum. I banned a politician from writing on my blog until recently because he attacked her. She of course did not tell me to but yeah, don’t step on her toes because I’ll come for you. So yeah, I need to learn a lot of humility and seeing people like her is a constant reminder than I am just a little boy. Even though this has not reflected a lot publicly, my one on one engagement with people have reflected my lessons on humility. My tweets are in many ways me, but there is a perspective that is just fun, IDGAF or just outright free styling or just baiting. I am a better man because of this relationship.
Argh! I will share the last 3 later. Lots of words already J. Like I said, this is a blog, this is me having a conversation with a friend and is nothing like an article. It is okay to have sincere conversations right? J If you don’t know what to take from this let me help you, don’t look to collect money/visa and all that from powerful/rich people, they are not fools. They are likely to give you but what does that make you before them? Yeah! Another beggar. There is always more. Trust me on that!