Thursday, June 25, 2009



This is the title of the presentation I gave at Babcock University (one of the private Universities in Nigeria) on the 22nd of February 2009. I addressed a lecture theatre with a little over 50 students and they listened ( I say this because it is usually quite difficult to address university students, on a Sunday evening, who would much rather be hanging out with their pals or just generally chilling in their rooms, preparing for the week)..

I was privileged to have had the opportunity to address them and it was quite a timely topic, since they were meant to start exams in another week, ( some of them the next day, which they only just discovered today, and I bet you patience would have been the furthest thing on their minds) and we know how impatient some students are, about reading, they would much rather, put together cheat notes and smuggle them into exam halls, or worse still , us their bodies as new writing material, just so they can pass exams...(they usually think this is the best options) but short-cuts never helped anyone in any area of life, either during exams, getting a job, or evening being elected into public office.

Some of the lectures and officials of the school were also in attendance. Apart from my speech, another highlight of the day, was the performance given by Cobhams (one of the best producers and composers in the country, who by the way is blind) , he played the piano and sang as well and got the whole crowd on their feet at the end of his performance, he is one individual who I admire, and who made me believe that nothing is unachievable or is beyond your reach as long as you can dream it, work towards it, preserve, plan for it , be ready to perspire for it , be patient enough to get it and armed with God (or whatever spiritual being you believe in), you will BE GREAT and SUCCEED . He is an inspiration for me and many young Nigerians, this I told him when I had a chat with him.

There were other great performances by the students of the school and I was amazed at the amount of talent we have in this country, but which is wasting away because we are losing focus on what matters, which is building talent of these young ones, and rather focusing on how to make quick bucks, in the shrewdest of ways…

Youth Development Zone was organized by an NGO called Heritage Alliance in collaboration with the Cross River State Government, with YES Country Network Nigeria, YOUTHCARE and KIND as co-collaborators. It was a youth forum put together during the annual Calabar carnival to avail the youth the opportunity to interact with experts in different fields (such as entertainment, entrepreneurs, social workers), thereby helping build their confidence..

I was privileged to speak during one of the sessions which highlighted making ones’ dreams come true. I had to talk about my journey so far, discuss issues bordering on parental influences and how to get their consent, taking charge of your life as a young dreamer, building your self esteem, in a nutshell, how to journey along the right path in our bid to achieving our dreams. It was a very interactive session and I got to listen to some difficulties some of the young ones face and helped in my little way in advising them on ways to overcome these problems.

We also had a question and answer session, which went on for a while, before the group was dismissed and we had fun photo sessions (please see pictures on…..). There were over 50 youth present, of both genders and I have kept in touch with a few..