Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
A transcript of my telephone conversation with IT returnee/Final Year Students of RCF LAUTECH 8/9/2014 2:58pm Eastern Time
I appreciate you all for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. There is so much to share with you that time will not be enough especially knowing that it is almost 5years since I was your coordinator when you moved into your first year in the university. Today being the occasion of your returning from Industrial Training (IT) back into campus and the official beginning of your final year of your undergraduate experience on campus, there is a number of things I wish to share with you.
I am sure many of you know that you are “The Light of the world” generation. We started on this theme since 2008/2009 and I am grateful to God that through the power of His Word, many of you have made the ultimate decision to become children of Light. As much as I will like to go over all that we discussed in time past because I still have all the notes I taught you from with me here including the Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs we did those good old days, I am only going to hinge my conversation with you today on what has already been discussed years ago. First and foremost let me remind you that “The Light of the World” is a profound statement and it’s deep. Jesus first called himself Light:
(John 8:12 KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
(John 9:5 KJV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
And when He further said:
(Matthew 5:14 KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
We know He was referring to us becoming like Him. This is how John put it:
(John 1: 3-5 MSG) Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
So we need to appreciate where we are coming from. The Light source is Jesus Christ and as many of that receive Him as our Lord and saviour become Light like Him and we are called to live a blazing Life-Light that overcomes darkness. But there is a more pertinent issue that I want us to discuss today and that is to raise the question: so we are Light then what are we here to do?
Let me draw your attention to something very important that I discovered during my recent research – it is something quite alarming. While Christianity has continued to grow arithmetically, contrary vices: sin, evil and all the likes committed by humanity and those living especially close to where Christianity prevails, have continued to grow geometrically. This is disturbing. I have tons of example but let me give you just one. Global religiosity index points Nigeria as the second most religious country in the world. This is greatly overshadowed by transparency international corruption perception index where Nigeria ranks high as a very corrupt country. This is a stark pair of contrasting qualities. So I want to remind you of why we became light in the first place.
If you recall in Genesis, it was when darkness covered the face of the deep that God established order through by decreeing Light. We know that The Light was and is Jesus and now, ye are The Light. We are called to be Light in the first place because a need arose. There is an urgent cry in the heart of men like it was said in scripture:
(Matthew 4:16 KJV) The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
We see corruption and all the evil in our day and we keep asking the question where do we find the incorruptibles? Is there still hope? My answer: you are the incorruptibles, you are the hope, you are the Light of the world. The Light is here! You are here!! Darkness must not persist!!!
Let me put these high-sounding spiritual terminologies in perspective as I round up. What we are called to is to reverse the propagation of evil first in our immediate environment – the very present place we are right now – and then allow it spread to the outermost part of the earth. I know as simple as it sounds, it is not easy. It is this same course that I have thrown myself into and I can tell you there is great sacrifices to be made. But we are God instrument of change in this time and season. We must understand this. It is in witnessing. It is in working excellently and handling mundane things with divine touch so much so that men will see our good works and recognise our heavenly Father. It is in taking our academics seriously and coming out in God’s flying radiant colours. It is by not being sloughtful in business but fervent in spirit (Romans 12:11).
My time is up and I still have much to share. I hope to be with you in October so that we can discuss these and more as we gradually move into what God has already began to do in us and through us. As a family, we are praying for you and trusting that from this meeting you will arise and take you place as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. Our time is now and more responsibilities fall on us as we run our final lap on campus and especially to those of us that holds various leadership positions. I spoke with Odunbaku Damilola earlier and I’m sure he more than ever before understands His current role as the PDS coordinator. I’m constantly in touch with my son and brother Awotayo Temitope Jacob who happens to be the current President of our great fellowship, please hear him because he not only consults myself and a host of other alumni, he ensures to take his time to seek God’s face before he comes to you. Together we must ensure we hand over a hot spiritual baton to those coming behind us. RCF yi ti gbogbo wa ni!
Thank you for taking time to listen and please feel free to contact me on social media. You will find me on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Flickr, Email and BBM. Let’s keep the fire burning. I love you.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Although my wife is Canadian because she was born here; her ancestral roots traces back to the West Indies and ultimately Africa. My wife studying history and eventually furthering in Modern Slavery make both of us a team for Africa emancipation. If we're not talking about promoting African values in our Canadian context, we are busy putting the lines together about Africa: the news, reports, economic analysis, the society, environment etc. So when she sent me an email containing a link to the set of pictures below during one of her research, I wasn't at all surprised. The pictures were published on CNN’s Inside Africa website with the caption: “Stunning photos show Africa through African eyes”. The publication was part of the the IBM Research Africa 12 Global Research Lab Project
My wife naturally connected with the stories that followed each picture because of her education and of course the many trips we have made together into Africa and African related attraction around the world. For me, however, I connected with those pictures because I saw myself in them. They told my story.
This is Africa. We are Africans. If we have come this far why go back? Our faith has been strengthened because daily, we face challenges that forces us to exercise them. We have experienced mountain moving faith as we see mountains of poverty and economic hardship sublime. We are hard working and we also believe in honest dealings even though corruption is fast making this assertion an illusion. We have grown because we strengthened our communities by caring for one another in a most unique way. These is Africa, where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the house of three different people you met on the street. We take care of our own, we don’t let one another down. This is the Africa I have grown into from the 1980s into the 2000s. All the evil that has happened in recent times must be be reversed. We will not sit and look at them take away our glorious future. We will reverse it. We will fight it with our words across the diaspora.
We are not where we want to be, yet, we are not where we used to be. The road is still very far. We must not allow idiosyncratic people who have crept into our communities deny us of our glorious destination. We must not fail to connect with our core competences, build on our strength and secure future generations. I personally don’t expect a sudden change but one thing I’m sure of is that: myself and many others who share similar vision will not give up. Africa will arise to take its rightful place among committee of nations. It has already begin to happen, the chart below shows Nigeria is the 3rd fastest growing economy in 2014 and hence a major destination for investment (Wealth Professionals Magazine Issue 2.2 pp8,14). By 2050, global economic dynamics would also have shifted in Africa’s favour. Keep in mind that this are assumptions and pre-included are very high risks factors. If we continue to work on reducing these risk factors: ensure political stability, a stable society, we can exceed these growth estimates by very wide margin.
Its time Africa, We must not give up!
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I love writing about economics, raising issues through economic data, and it wouldn’t take you too long to notice so many chat and economic discourse on this blog. However for this piece I want to talk about something slightly different (but that will somehow make economic sense in the end ;) This discussion revolves about listening to inner, divine, witnesses as a secrete recipe for making headway in our ventures. As I looked on twitter homepage this morning, I was shocked by reports streaming from Nigeria showing crowds of about 60,000 unemployed young people in search for a national job for 20,000 candidates. The first thing that dropped in my mind is: “can we have a Start-Up Canada-like initiatives bringing the private, public, NGOs and ordinary people together?” I reckon that its not even the lack of initiatives rather a need for us to overhaul our thought pattern and emancipate ourselves. So the ultimate issue is that people need to see themselves as solutions, job creators, in a better estate and then walk up there.
So can I ask you: who told you that you can’t be who you want to be? Who told you that you cannot be happy? Who told you that there is no hope for you? Who told you that you can’t be better on that job you just got? As you will see in Shawn’s video below, everything is about looking within yourself and away from what people say in general. Let me take it a step further from Shawn’s scope. When God was asking Adam and Eve “Who told you…?” in Genesis 3:11 it wasn’t to threaten them it was to bring them to the realization of “who created a false impression in your mind of the perfect estate God has kept you”
(Genesis 3:11 KJV) And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
We have constantly been tossed around in a world that keeps making us feel inferior. Our sense of self worth drops to its lowest level as we see ourselves not being able to meet the current demand at our workplace, school or whatever venture we are engaging. Its stunning to know that even though Harvard is perhaps the best school in the world, a very large number of their student still feel like they are a failure. People have talked down on us and we have been bamboozled, hoodwinked and brought to our lowest low. Please don’t settle for less. Arise and answer that inner voice and say I can make it. I will make it. This is my time. This is my week. This is my day. Who told you that you are not a bundle of success?!
Watch Shawn Achor and make sure you take the notes that will help you brighten your week
Saturday, February 22, 2014
I woke up this morning and quiet unusually, asking myself: what can I do better in the coming weeks/months to make me more effective? Am I serving my family, place of work and community effectively as I should? And how am I responding to development challenges and things that seem to challenge my thought patterns? And then the ultimate questions followed: Am I changing (for the better) or am I still clinging to my comfort zone? Am I growing, developing or just adding the number? What do I need to change or respond positively to today?
Such questions will most certainly come from the mind of people who have decided to commit themselves to a worthy course; individuals who are determined to ensure they monitor their progress in life and especially in a new year as they set to achieve their goals in a realistic perspective. But the answers didn’t come straight away. I asked myself another critical question: why do I so resist change sometimes even though I know its for my personal benefit? A follow up question to that is why do we all generally resist change despite realizing that if we continue in our current state we are bound to fail?
According to Anna Dornier, one word explains it all – COMFORT. “People like to live in their comfort zones. Change is uncomfortable – most of the time. You have to make new connections in your brain and you have to use willpower at first before you can make any change permanent or at least long lasting.”
“One thing I’ve learned throughout the years of setting goals and the process of achieving them is that we have to be COMFORTABLY UNCOMFORTABLE. This means always challenging ourselves to step out of our comfort zones, taking our game to the next level, and being comfortable there. This means never being satisfied with good enough. This means always thinking, “What can I do better?” or wondering, “How can I improve?””
People that changed the course of human history radically first started by becoming uncomfortable with the way things were going. Despite the fact that it will be a change that promotes equality for all, William Wilberforce struggled for 20years with his fellow parliamentarians in passing the Act that led to abolition of slave trade. take a few second to imagine life today without telephone or internet [Imagine how long it will take to deliver a letter. People would put a message into a little container on a carrier pigeon's leg. The bird would fly to the person receiving the message. Fast backward to 1870s and early 1990s when although the telephone came with certain initial challenges like hundreds of telephone wires becoming common in large cities, critics who resisted the use of telephone further claimed that the cellphone microwaves could beam through human heads thereby damaging nerves.
Another critical factor in making that critical change for the better is by setting up a right change support system. Many people fail to make lasting changes because they hang out with the wrong people. I once heard that we are the average of 10 people we surround ourselves with.
As much as this is about setting ourselves up for overall effectiveness, its touches briefly on accepting some changes we witness in our lives. For example wrinkles on our face, ears and nose grown larger, hair suddenly begin to recede leading to baldness. As Lao Tzu once said: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow”
I am hoping that like me, some of you reading this will respond positively to changes as they confront us. I personally have to respond having travelled so far from my home country in Nigeria and now settled in Canada, I recognise everyday, the need to constantly appreciate changing cultures, environment, society etc that will ultimately make me a better person overall.
Let me conclude by retorting that its also a spiritual process as God doesn’t want us to conform but that we are constantly changing (Romans 12:2).
So keep trusting, keep believing, keep changing for the better and never give up!