Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Baaack! (Mase Voice)

wb

Recently, I quite have found it easy to tweet again. And I’m finding the experience much more pleasant and insightful than before. This post also, is my return to blogging. After reading the late Rolling Stone and Newsweek journalist, Michael Hastings’s advice to young journalists, I was persuaded to stop excusing my blogging hiatus because of my busy schedule. Dikachim, I’m sure you’re glad! You can bungee jump off the penthouse of the Cc-Hub now!

This blog would focus on entrepreneurship, career, and success in general. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and you have to be living on Mars not to know it’s buzzing in Nigeria and that it’s the future of the economy. Currently, the tech scene is getting a lot of attention and considerable support, but agriculture which has an equally (if not greater) potential and impact on not only Nigeria but food security worldwide, is not getting sufficient recognition from the public.

An obvious reason I believe is the fact that technology is much closer than agriculture, to the present generation’s heart. When last was anyone on a farm? Or handled a farming tool? I bet you’re reading this piece on one of the 3/4/5 devices you own. Then again, we all are not of the urban lot. Nigeria has a rural crop that can and should be the posterity of agriculture. From the almajiris imported to Lagos, to the rural young men migrating to the cities in search of jobs. So I diagress.

The conclusion of the post is Adegoke is back!

Seizing Opportunities

If there is a piece of wisdom I have gained from my interesting sojourn on earth, it is to seize the opportunities life presents. It is a primary method of assignment by God. No matter how insignificant they may seem, exploit them because you do not know where they may take you to.
As basic and common this sense may be, it is commonly ignored.
Newton sat under a tree and ‘accidentally’ witnessed the fall of a fruit from the branch. Thus began the study of the universal force that keeps everything on earth in place!
I believe the primary reason these opportunities, ideas and hunches are ignored is because they don’t appear grand or sophisticated but rather garbed in simplicity. Or the fact that the maximising of these opportunities are daunting so we ignore, procrastinate or whichever reaction we deem convenient.
God did not tell David to kill Goliath. David simply saw an opportunity and he seized it. Thus began his journey into fame and greatness!
Joseph saw his prison mates troubled, approached them (he didn’t hear God telling him to) and used his gift to interpret their dreams. One of the prison mates connected him to Pharaoh.
Use your gifts maximally. A man’s gift makes room for him.

BABAL’AWO

I marvel everytime at the poetic dexterity of my Yoruba ancestors, their linguistic proficience, not to mention their godlike wisdom. Compare these two words that have the same meaning: ‘Alainikanse’ and ‘idle person’, and English language just tastes so watered down. Alaimokanmokan – Ignoramus, Igbo irunmole – Forbidden forest, etc are literary comparisons that demonstrate my aforementioned view.

There’s a popular Yoruba proverb: “Ogun omo o le j’ore fun ogun odun” – 20 children cannot be friends for 20 consecutive years. Another says: “Aje ke l’ana, omo ku loni. Tani o mo pe aje lo pa omo?” The witch shouted yesterday, the child died today. Who does not know it is the witch that killed the child? Very moving proverbs drawn from mother nature and daily occurrences. If as a man speaks, so he is, then it must be true that the Yoruba fathers were outstandingly profound.

The Yoruba cult known as ‘Awo’ was initially pronounced ‘Awoo’ meaning ‘the seer.’ These sacred group of people sought knowledge, they sought to see – receive insights and revelations. However, their expeditions differed from that of Mongo Park, Christopher Columbus et al, in purpose and dimension. The British sought for people to colonize, the Awoo sought for hidden wisdom and both parties got what they wanted. Yoruba cults also have their own ‘bibles’. A compilation of incantations, discoveries and healing procedures. The trado- medic knowledge that upholds the multimillion naira company that produces Yoyo Bitters was researched and discovered by these ‘Awoos’ and then passed down the generations.

My point is not in the endorsement of cultism or demonology, it is the expression of the talent/gift of the black man for words, poetry, art and true knowledge. Our fathers had their literary, artistic and moral strengths, that the whites couldn’t match. Sadly, our strong morals, custom and culture is being eroded by westernization.

Adegoke Oyeniyi, Business Writer.

CASAP visits Hearts of Gold

I have always wanted to do something for an orphanage but you know the drill… we are always too busy sucked up in our world. But yesterday, even Amadioha could not stop me. Miss Ikaz a.k.a Iyalaje a.k.a Iyawo Bey, had been pulling me all year to do something with CASAP. So, yesterday because I was two hours behind, I took a bike literarily from the outskirt of Lagos into Onilegogoro, Surulere, Lagos, to meet with other CASAPians at the Hearts of Gold Children Hospice. CASAP by the way is the acronym for… ah! Zaynab! What does CASAP mean? I just realized I do not know…
HOG is a pretty structure, commissioned by Governor Fashola but what I was about to see was not pretty. Greeting me on entry at the children’s floor was Demilade – a dark skinned skinny boy of probably four years of age. He laid on his chest because he could not bend and his whole body was shrivelled. He looked more like a flat plank on the floor and he moved around by rolling his body over, sideways.
“Uncle! Sit down.”
I sat beside Demilade on the floor.
“I want to eat.”
Timah, another CASAPian told Demilade his food was on the way. I feed him when his plate of Indomie arrived but he would not allow me to give him water to drink; he managed to handle the cup to help himself to drink. Holy Moses! Demilade eats faster than Lionel Messi…
After the meal, he asked for my phone so I brought out my Blackberry Palasa (its an exclusive model of Blackberry Curve range that can go two years without being stolen) and played Iyanya’s Kukere video. The kids were grooving. It was at this point Chinyere ran down, snatched my phone from Demi and ran off! Jesuuus! Chinyere is a bully. She is a terrorist. Just imagine Aki and Pawpaw in an orphanage; that was Chinyere! I think I heard someone say she is autistic. All of the kids in HOG have one mental or physical challenge or the other. Zaynab and the other CASAPians all said visiting HOG was the most touching of all their visits to orphanages. Departure time was very saddening; the kids knew we were about to leave so they turned moody and clung harder to us; we leaving them without being able to take away there problem was troubling. Chinyere followed me to the door; her countenance was melancholic; she almost made grown men shed a tear.
CASAP is a group of young people with a burden for forgotten children. If you have anything to give to the orphanage, you can contact @Miss_Ikaz CASAP will deliver it.

Adegoke Oyeniyi, Business Writer.

Adegoke Oyeniyi, Business Writer.

KWARA FA!

I love Ilorin! I like Kwara State. It is indeed the State of Harmony. When I and my team got to the residence of Alhaji Danbaba Musa, owner of Dan-Musa African Gold Rice, shouts of halleluyahs thundered from the back of his compound, occupied by a thriving church. Later, Alhaji Danbaba would have us know that his christian wife runs the church! He also sighted Obasanjo’s CSO, Bukola Saraki as prominent locals whose marital life is an epitome of the harmonious coexistence in Kwara State. However, there are some radicals in the predominantly muslim state. During my three day stay in Kwara, I noticed a number of vehicles parked with their side windows wound down; a blunder you cannot try in Mushin, Lagos. The state is primarily a civil service state with a lot of subsistent farmers and traditional life. Thus, the residents are very conservative and communial. A Kwara billionaire, prefers to live in a simple duplex amongst his people than in a mansion in Maitama. Reminds me of my interview with the Kwara State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Mohammed Babakpan Isah. A small framed man probably in his sixties whose appearance was like that of Burea de Change mallams. He answered the questions fielded to him intelligently and fluently; my camera man was surprised. I enlightened him, “here, they are very conservative. You will not know how educated or wealthy they are.”

Expectedly, there is a sharp contrast between the older generation and the young crop of Kwararains (lol). The younger generation ditto elsewhere, want the urban lifestyle – high income, glamour and fun. There is nothing wrong with this desire but the obsession of it has led to the neglect and gradual eradication of the identity and potentials of the natives. Youth who are fluent in their mother tongue are faking accents for acceptance and those who can’t pronounce a syllable in their mother tongue are not in the slightest way ashamed. Cakes have taken the place of Akara and farming is perceived an occupation for the aged and broke. I was surprised when the former presidential candidate Alhaji Danbaba Musa, lamented that many unemployed youth have gone into farming made loads of cash only to dump agriculture and migrate to the city in search of a white collar job. Unbelievably, I had just read a few hours earlier, of a Ghanian professor who narrated to agriculture stakeholders in Washington DC, how he met a young tomato farmer who had made tangible profit in his first season and even bought a new bike. He visited the young man’s farm another time, only to be told he had dumped his farm in search of a white collar job in the city!

Leaders of tomorrow, agriculture is dignifying and profitable. It is the means whereby the 7 billion people on earth are fed! Yea, man shall not live by bread alone… but bread is part of it! Man must wack! Everyday! It’s a global market out there for agriculture. Nigerian youth must begin to see and harness the potential within agriculture. America, Russia, Britain et al cannot farm as much as we can. We have more arable land, perfect ecological condition and a lot more farmers. This is what we have got as a nation, as peoples. Let’s not be blind to it! I was on a remote 250 hectare farm in Oke Oye, Kwara State, muddy, dirty and all. A chinese man was there with us, trotting on the same land! I asked myself how he located this agricultural gold mine all the way from his country. Foreigners see our resources and they are making it there’s. Mr Woune (spelt with pronunciation) showed me the picture of his company’s industrial farm in Kebbi and I was startled! I thank God for a few like Cynthia Mosunmola who started farming from their backyard but now own hectares of land and a name.

Adegoke Oyeniyi, Business Writer.

Unto A Land That I’ll Show You

After what seemed like the amount of time it will take Konga to convince Beyonce to marry him, the urge to blog suddenly came upon me. Recently I launched this blog and have been blogging business but this urge wasn’t that type. It was the type of urge that made me start blogging four years ago – the alert of self discovery, the platform for self expression, the closet for monologues. The urge welled up in me around 10am; its 8pm and I still do not know what to blog but I’ll blog nonetheless.

I never thought I’d do paid employment. Few days ago, I got an appointment letter to be a full-time assistant editor of a publication. Its funny how we plan something but life drifts us somewhere else (I’m yet to satisfactorily understand the subject of Destiny). As a kid, I loved business, LOVED puzzles and I loved Mathematics. I dreamed of being a world reknowned scientist. Algebra aroused me (I drew A LOT too).
2x + 3 = 9. Find X.

Gosh! How I used to stare at ‘X’ like the corpse of Jesus; I was eager to know what ‘X’ was. I pursued Mathematics as a discipline at the University of Lagos but in my 3rd year I discovered writing and my love for mathematics began to deplete. Years later, I was living off literary writing (freelance) but it didn’t end there. Emptiness and unfulfilment so engulfed me I was having difficulty writing literary pieces and even getting jobs. So I started praying to God for direction and early this year I went for the interview of a contract writing job for an entertainment outfit. The interviewers asked me for strategies I thought they could use for their idea, as I opened my mouth their pen started sprinting on paper; I was the only one (of all those asked that question during the interview) whose business suggestion they considered worthy of noting. What your favourite station? CNBC Africa, Bloomberg and CNN. Which site do you visit everyday? Fastcompany.com etc. I was bluntly told, you are not our man, you are full of business. I got home a changed man!

I reflected on all the enterprise I had engaged in while in Unilag – Ovaloaded.com, House on the Rock, Arsenal Official, Wells Comics, MTN proposal, NB proposal etc. I became aware of my business side so I switched from literary writing to business writing. That’s how I started this blog did a lot of business writing jobs and that’s how a friend referred me to the MD of an ad agency and I was hired to be the Assistant Editor of its publication and now I’m considering a course at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism or some advertising or marketing course; a picture totally different from what I painted as a 14 year old. But I still see an underlying passion in all I’ve wanted to be as a kid and what I’m now – it is the love for research, solving puzzles, analysing, thinking. Writing is more of thinking than writing.

Jesus take the wheel!

X the BOX: My Free E-book

X the Box is a small collection of different literary works I have done over the years – short story, poetry, essay, article, radio play script and blogpost. This pet project consists of pieces with different tones from serious to humour, and you are sure to met a piece you would love. Download, enjoy your read, comment, spread the word and possibly contact me!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.