SHIFTING RESPONSIBILITIES AMONG NIGERIAN GENERATIONS

Few people seem optimistic that things will be alright with Nigeria in the nearest future, some are pessimistic with regards to the direction Nigeria is heading towards presently, and most, are uncertain of what the future holds for Nigeria. The fact will always be that things will remain the same except someone begins to act. I do not think it will be too much to ask, that we decide with resilient action to bring the proposed passion and energy we promise to have in the future into this present moment for us to create a better world here and now. Probably, this would turn Nigeria into a desirable nation. But sadly, our present reality is rather absurd;

OLDER GENERATION MAKING EXCUSES INSTEAD OF TAKING ACTION

Most Nigerians in their 50s upwards, when confronted with the question on the present condition of the nation, how we got to this point and what hope awaits, are mostly of the opinion and are quick to reveal that the older generation has failed on their part to redeem the nation and they also claim that it is up to the younger generation to salvage the country. I consider this excuse, quite absurd because from my understanding of failure, everyone one has had shares of failure at certain points in their lives. Failure will not and has never been a final destination or an end, it is simply part of life. What we do after failing is all that matters. Do we choose to accept failure? Or do we choose to pick ourselves back up, learn our lessons and try again with hope for better results. Sadly, the older Nigerian generation from 50 upwards are finding solace in accepting failure in governance and nation building. Sadly, they know the right steps to take but will rather not champion the right cause because they are unable to find the right forces to join their cause within their generation. Hence, they have resolved to stay in their comfort zones, accept fate, mind their businesses and family and simply gripe about bad governance and poor nation building whenever they have the opportunity or platform to. It has become comforting for them to easily say they have failed the nation and that everyone is looking up to the younger generation to redeem the country.

YOUNGER GENERATION ARE NOT READY TO PAY THE PRICE

Although the younger generation which comprises of those in their 40s downwards, are pointing accusing fingers at the older generation for permitting the deteriorating state of the country’s affairs, unfortunately, the younger generation are not willing to sacrifice anything to make sure things change for good. Rather, most of the younger generation are buying into the idea of finding succor in other countries. They are simply eloping in mass to other developed countries where life is way much better than ours. Our best young human talents are exported without limits to other countries where they are getting adequate values for their hard works, creativities and innovations. They simply jump at opportunities to migrate because on daily basis, hope in the nation seems to fade away. Are we to blame the younger generation for simply looking out for themselves and their families by migrating in mass to other countries or is the fight to redeem this nation a lost cause?

This simply means that our reality of having a better nation is simply a mirage until we learn to change our perspectives and take action.

REACHING A COMPROMISE

Would it be too much to ask both the younger and the older Nigerian generations to come together, create a force and find solutions to get rid of the common enemy that spells doom for us as a nation? My guess is that it will be a good idea to bank on the experiences of the older generation with a combination of skills from the younger generation to bring an end to the challenges we experience as a nation. Uniting in the fight against our common enemies such as; corruption and nepotism in all sectors will yield a much needed result. We need to come together, bridge the gap, identify our problems, face our fears and be confident that we are on the path to redeeming our nation from the claws of destruction.

It is true that the problems of our nation which are obviously human created are quite much. The best thing we can do for a start is to identify them. The journey of a thousand mile begins with a step. We have to be brave enough to identify our problems before we can proceed to confront them and find lasting solutions. We might fail at several attempts but we need to build up ourselves to the level where we are not afraid to try again and again. Failure is not an end, it is a process.

Feel free to identify some problems facing Nigeria at the comment section.

Glad I could share a piece of my heart with you.

Heart of Dave

THE POLICE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND


People decide to join the police for different reasons best known to them. From my understanding, some joined because they are passionate and care about human lives, probably same way some doctors feel about human lives. These set of police officers would go the extra mile to unravel mysteries even if it means putting their lives in the line of fire. They are quite emotional and when you have the opportunity to meet them, probably to report a crime, they tend to be kind, understanding, assuring and ready to put in the extra work required to ensure that things are alright. Some chose to join because they are passionate about law and order. Those who joined because they crave to enforce law and order are those you might consider as strict officers. They do not flip or act weirdly, they simply do everything by the book, they dislike disorder. These set of officers prefer to keep it professional, they never want to be found wanting. Some people also joined the police because of power. They simply love it when they are in charge. These set, find it fascinating to be in control of others in ways they desire, hence, the police has become the safe haven where they feel supreme and in control. Finally, some people joined the police because it was the only available option of being employed . These set do not care about the hazards or commitments that come with the job, they simply want to be in a safe zone long enough to get their salaries at the end of every month. Although it is tempting to think, I choose not to believe that there are people who would join the police simply because they crave to bear guns and enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with chasing bad guys as we see in movies.

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING

It is important to know that behind every man or woman in a police uniform, is; a father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, lover and even guardian. Yes, they are humans also just like us, which implies they are allowed to have mood swings, suffer from broken relationships, worry about a sick child, mourn the loss of a loved one and also think about children’s school fees amongst other bills we also worry about . They are not super humans, but are people who also look forward to the end of the month to take something home to family members.

CALL OF DUTY

The police are not expected to serve as your personal acquaintance. They are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce law, to ensure the safety of health and possessions of citizens, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their lawful powers include arrest and the legitimized use of force.

PRESENT DAY REALITY

It is glaring the police has not rightly enforced the law to a level the citizens are content with. We will agree that there are lapses when it comes to ensuring the safety of health and possessions of citizens by the police. They have not done a fantastic job in preventing crime so far. The citizens are not pleased with the conduct of some police officers who obviously have forgotten or probably did not know the duty call of the police. Hence, some citizens have decided to accept fate and take matters into their hands. Those who can afford private security services have all gone ahead to do so while those who cannot afford such luxury are taking extra precautionary measures to stay safe. Reports of police officers harassing and extorting citizens they are expected to protect is becoming the new norm.

POLICING THE POLICE

Hate cannot drive out hate. If we program ourselves to dislike the police, it will give some frivolous police officers more reasons to hate the citizens also. What if we try the love approach, probably it will give us the long anticipated miracle we long for with the police. By the love approach, I mean, complimenting the efforts of the police although they are obviously little efforts. By getting gifts to our regular neighborhood police officers probably for their children and by being generally nice to them. We can also look out for their basic needs while we expect them to look out for ours also. We can place our bet on love, considering love often wins.

We expect the police to be our friend. In a situation where they have not extended a friendship to us yet, there is absolutely nothing stopping us from extending our hand of friendship to the police. Who knows, they might be super glad to accept our friendship offer and be better police officers.

Love might be the way forward.

Feel free to leave a comment on ways you feel the police can improve generally.

Glad I could share a piece of my heart with you.

Heart of Dave


BECOMING A POLITICIAN

Aside from being let down after falling in love, there are other ways a person’s  heart can be broken. One major way, is when a country fails to deliver on promises. No doubt, our country has been found wanting when it comes to living up to expectations.  All fingers are pointing to the managers of this country as creators of the problem. Funny enough, most people still look up to the problem creators for solutions.

NAGGING AND LEAVING WHEN POSSIBLE

There are visible lapses in all sectors of Nigeria’s economy. Infrastructures are not adequately developed and utilized. From roads to healthcare, agriculture, education, electricity, natural resources management, employment and much more, there is a very wide margin that seems impossible to close when it comes to optimizing and properly harnessing our values as a nation.

I would not stress for a second in listing out problems that has befallen us as a nation because it will only serve as an unsolicited repetition of what we see and hear every day. We are constantly letting go of our strong, intelligent, creative and industrious younger generation to countries with less resources, but with capable mangers who are utilizing their potentials. 

THE MANAGERS

Zuma Rock, Abuja, Nigeria

It is the duty of politicians who are the country’s managers, to fix this country because politics involves activities associated with making decisions in groups or other forms of power relations, such as distribution of resources. A politician has to be active in party politics and can also be a person holding or seeking an office in government. It is the duty of politicians to propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and its people. This implies that a politician can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any government institution.

PRIORITY SHIFT

There is a very major shift of what politics should be as the case applies to Nigeria. Politicians who are expected to propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and its people are focused on using the benefits and privileges of politics to seek personal gains and push for personal agendas. True politics should not in any way be self seeking it is people oriented. Those in the practice of misusing political privileges for selfish interest are not in any way, qualified to be referred to as politicians. They can be addressed as opportunists because in its true essence that’s actually who they are. It is justifiable as with human nature, to seek out personal gains and ways to make a person’s living condition better, but it should not be done on the platform of exploiting a political office.

IT IS UP TO THIS GENERATION

The proven fact that the older generation has failed Nigeria politically does not imply that failing should be a Nigerian political thread or that we should live in the fear of getting involved in politics. Politics is not bad, it is an act of service for a greater good. We have to be involved in politics, bearing in mind that the office is not meant for us to push for personal gains or family interests. True politics is when we propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and its people without being bias. Bearing this in mind, Nigeria can be salvaged from bad politicians or opportunists.

It is up to a select few from the younger generation, to redeem Nigeria politically. The process will be a tough fight, no doubt but every sacrifice made will be worth it.

Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts about the Nigerian political environment and what the future holds for us when the right people are involved in Nigeria’s politics.

Glad I could share a piece of my heart with you.

Heart of Dave

DARE TO BE BRAVE

A lot of people are not brave enough to live their dream lives because they are afraid to die. The truth is; the brave do not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.

BEST GIFT TO YOURSELF

The appropriate gift you can give to yourself without doubt of how essential it will be for you, with respect to the direction the world is heading to, is; bravery.

Bravery is simply a courageous character or behaviour that you build overtime. It is a state of having and showing quality mental and moral strength.

Some people, often wrongly conceptualize bravery as an act of rebellion, fury and arrogance, whereas, in its true sense, bravery is the art of living without limits and living life to the fullest within your capability.

PRESENT REALITY

Our present day reality reveals the fact that; opinions are all around us today. Everyone seems to have an opinion which they consider valid about you. They claim to have this super kind of knowledge about everything that concerns you even when they have no clue on what the subject or issue addresses. Once you let out a plan, idea or decide to share an issue bothering you, everyone seems to bear the full spectrum and have opinions on how you should go about handling such that concerns you, giving less room to your feelings and notions about the issue. From parents to siblings, bosses, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, relatives, partners and even neighborhood super market managers, everyone seems to have an opinion about how you should live your best life.

MANY VOICES SPEAKING

From social media platforms to social events, all the way to professional, business and religious platforms, a lot of voices and opinions are heard. Consuming all these opinions without the right filtering mechanism will only do you less good and obviously more harm, because at the end, you will realize that you are the captain of your ship and whether you succeed or fail, it will be no man’s doing but yours. Being aware that the full weight and consequences of your decisions will fall on you alone, I consider it wise to possess an amazing level of bravery with the ability to make up your mind to pursue those dreams that keeps you up most nights.

FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE

I have never heard of a mentally or an emotionally timid person who was able to conquer amazing heights. My concept of bravery reveals that the more you invest in developing the braver version of yourself, the more people consider you lucky and the more blessed you will consider yourself to be. Bravery opens up a whole new world of unimaginable possibilities for you. It also helps you discover your true self better. Bravery takes you out of your comfort zone and stretches you to an extreme point where you never imagined you could reach. The outcome of actions you take in bravery might not result in instant success but you can be guaranteed that it will make you a better person.

LOVE YOURSELF MORE

We are often taught to be selfless and to consider putting others before ourselves because therein lies the secret to making the world a better place. We are pressured into thinking that the suitable question to ask is always; what can we do for others? Hence, people who are brave enough to ask what they can do for themselves, are tagged selfish, self-seeking or self centered by a judgmental society. Is it justifiable to say that you spent your whole life helping others become their best at the cost of ignoring everything you want to become? Is it a crime to love yourself more than anyone or anything in this world? My view is that, you must first learn to love yourself before you can engage in act of loving others. You cannot change the world with a broken heart. It becomes a crime when you take what belongs to others for yourself. Once you become comfortable with your brave decisions to live your best life, you are placed in a better position to do things for others.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking advice from those you trust for anything and everything you dream about. Be brave enough to pursue such without fear of failing or the fear of what others will say or do to you. There are many voices in the world today, make sure yours is the loudest in your mind.

Just be brave.

Feel free to leave a comment, sharing tips on ways to develop bravery and how it can be better applied in our lives.

Glad I could share a piece of my heart with you.

Heart of Dave.

UNDEFINED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NIGERIAN MILITARY AND CIVILIANS

It is the duty of a country’s military to defend the citizens against foreign and domestic enemies.

MILLION NAIRA QUESTIONS

As a Nigeria civilian citizen, have you ever been in a position where you exchanged pleasantries with a random military member of any service branch (army, navy and air-force) and you thanked them for their service? It gets even closer due to the fact that some people have active military members as family members, friends and acquaintances. Have you at any point reached out or put a call through, or texted them, thanking them for their service?

WHAT IS EXPECTED

We expect the Nigerian military to be a special breed of warriors forged by adversity and ready to answer the Nation’s call with an uncommon desire to succeed while protecting the Nigerian people, and their way of life. The trust of those who they have pledged to protect is paramount and their loyalty must make them humbly serve as guardian to fellow Nigerians while being always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves.

We expect the Nigerian military to place the welfare and security of other Nigerians before theirs. They should be able to control their emotions and actions regardless of circumstances and always serve with honour on and off the battlefield. We demand uncompromising integrity and discipline to be their standard while achieving the mission and goals established by the country.

We expect the Nigerian military to be guided by the very principles that they serve to defend the citizens.

ISSUES

Having stated out what I feel an average Nigerian citizen expects from the country’s military, here are some observations and issues that don’t look really pretty for our military.

PROHIBITING CAMOUFLAGE CLOTHING FOR CIVILIANS

I have come across several video publications where civilians were been punished and subjected to discipline by Nigerian military members for wearing or possessing camouflage print clothing.

There are only 18 countries of 195 countries in the world that prohibits civilians from wearing or possessing camouflage print clothing. Nigeria is one of the 18 countries where it is prohibited by law for civilians to possess camouflage print clothing.

To justify this prohibition, some military members have concluded that since civilians are not part of the military, it implies that they do not have the right to own or wear camouflage print clothing. My perspective is this; when you own the jersey of your favourite football team, you are fully aware that you are not part of the team, but just a supporter. Your support and unwavering commitments as a fan and supporter makes you go the extra mile to put on the jersey of your favourite football team. It’s simply done out of love and not because you train with them or play matches with them. Some football supporters go the extra mile of putting on jerseys with the name of their favourite players on them. It does not make such individuals having the name and jersey of their favourite player imposters, it makes them supporters.

I’d suggest that there should be a closer bond between the Nigerian military and civilians. A scenario where military members who see civilians on camouflage print clothing, sees supporters who appreciates their service rather than imposters.

Here’s the list of 18 countries where camouflage print clothing is prohibited for civilians: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

PARTIALITY AND INTIMIDATION

It is really disheartening to find members of the military being used by self titled high-class citizens to intimidate other citizens who are presumed to be less valuable to the society. I will spare myself the headache and emotional pain of sharing scenarios and instances of such occurrences. A good military member is one that can protect and defend citizens who are unable to defend themselves and we don’t expect less from the Nigerian military.

PICKING UP PIECES

Change is constant and I believe that if the right values are adopted by the Nigerian military and civilian citizens, this proposed relationship will be blissful and profitable for both parties.

Be brave enough to say; ‘thank you for your service’ to any random Nigerian military member you come across or to those you know. Hopefully, we will get the best out of them in return. We need to have trust in our military not fear.

This article addresses just the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air force. It does not feature the Nigerian police, because they are law enforcement officers and a separate article might be done to address the wide gap between the police and citizens if need be, or we could just leave them to God for divine intervention.

Feel free to leave a comment below on your view or suggestions on how to have an improved relationship between the Nigerian military and civilian citizens.

Glad I could share a piece of my heart with you.

Heart of Dave

CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC COULD BE A CHANCE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN

To those who have lost loved ones to Corona virus, take heart and be comforted. The sun will rise and you will smile again.

To those presently infected with COVID-19, have faith, you will recover.

To medical practitioners at the front-line of this war against Corona virus, thank you for your good works, sacrifices and perseverance.

THE WORLD WAS MOVING TOO FAST AND WITHOUT DIRECTION

The world at some point started moving really fast, I mean swiftly fast. The rich kept getting super richer while the poor on the other hand were finding it rather ridiculously impossible to break from the ugly cycle of poverty. Depression was hitting really hard among the younger generation below 35 who were more vulnerable to societal pressure. These vulnerable younger individuals felt they could not live up to the fancy lifestyle seen across various social media platforms. It was really hard to tell which direction the world was actually heading. It was indeed a circus of crashing carousels. It was obvious people were engrossed in some sort of pursuit that kept eluding them. Was it the pursuit of happiness? Whatever the pursuit was, more people were being trapped in oblivion.

COULD THERE BE A GOOD SIDE TO THE BAD COVID-19

The truth is, there is a good and bad side to everything including the dreaded Corona virus. Corona virus is bad no doubt, because it makes people sick and can also kill them. But looking at the positive policies designed to curb the spread of this pandemic we are faced with at the moment and their impacts, such as the sit at home policy, it is obvious that there is some sort of balancing happening. The world has finally applied brakes and we can breathe again. Here’s how:

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS RESTORED

Stay at home, obviously has affected several businesses that were considered non-essential during this pandemic period, but it has to a large extent, restored family values and trust. For several weeks, most people across the world were mandated to stay indoors and work from home so as to avoid contracting or spreading the virus. This really fostered good relationship among family members who obviously had no place to go to outside their homes, as most public spaces and services were closed. People who had super busy work schedules that gave them little or no time to appreciate family, could actually slowdown to think of ways to connect and reach out to family members.

PRIORITIES SET RIGHT

People were actually able to recognize and value things that matter most to them aside just their jobs or businesses. A lot of personal questions were answered which in turn will help people live better lives. The high rate of depression among young people will no doubt drop because they had listening ears and were able to connect with family members through this pandemic period.

IMPROVED PERSONAL HYGIENE

Personal hygiene which was treated with frivolity by many before the COVID-19 pandemic, can now be said to be a thing of the past. We now notice a general improvement in personal hygiene which is commendable and trusted to stand the test of time.

WE SAVED OUR PLANET TOO

While the lock-down or stay at home directive lasted, there were less vehicles on roads which implied less emission of substances that affects our air.

The list goes on, but I’ll put up my pen here to read your comments.

Do you feel you this pandemic will have a way of healing the world? Feel free to share your experience on how you’ve been transformed into a better person or not by this experience.

Leave a comment below

Just a piece of my heart.

Heart of Dave

AS I TURN 29

It’s a fact that you haven’t heard from me in a long time. I see no reason why this situation should keep up this way, do you?

I have been thinking a lot and also remembering – with a great deal of nostalgia – the days we stayed in touch with updates and information about our activities at Heart of Dave. I loved your feed-backs and I know the conversations we had were like balsam for us. That’s how true friendship from the heart really works: It brings peace of mind to all those who have the pleasure and privilege of enjoying it.

It is true that some people we care about often follow different paths for no particular reason and it’s also true that we all have days when the sun that brightens our lives chooses to stay away from us, leaving us in dark corners where no one sees us.

I’ve had my shares of both experiences. The sun that brightened me went away for a while, leaving me in a corner where it was simply impossible for you to see or reach me. While at this corner, I followed a different path for no particular reason, thereby leaving you and your care about Heart of Dave to your imaginations. It was a lonely path less traveled.

Now that I have got hold of you, I would like to enjoy your company again and make the most of this new opportunity. During the time we somehow lost communication, there were moments when I craved to tell you about new life lessons I’ve learnt. I also longed to inform you about activities I engaged in. Activities such as my love and exploration of the African continent which birthed HD Africa Magazine, my new magazine project that focuses on African leadership and lifestyle for a global audience.

Having said that, what do you think about getting together again? Let’s make up for the lost time even if it takes me climbing mountains and swimming through oceans to get to you.

I must assure you that I am closer and my heart will be more accessible to you than you could imagine. Frequently, I’ll use this platform to reach you through controversial topics I find engaging whilst still providing you with best advice.

Feel free to leave a comment below and we will think of something together.

I will always be available for you.

Thank you for being there.

Just a piece of my Heart.

Heart of Dave

IDEAS AND LOVE: TWO THINGS THAT DO NOT COME FULLY FORMED

ESTABLISHING FACTS

Ideas and love don’t come fully formed. They become more realistic as you invest in them with a firm believe that; as long as you are brave enough to start, you will succeed. It is a common feeling for most of us to crave for those things we feel are perfect. We simply love it when we get things the way we want them at first attempt. Our understanding of perfection is, when things turnout the way we planned they would. The truth is, having things turnout ship-shape, gives a special kind of joy. But the reality is; this often happens in movies and they can be all wrong.

However, from my understanding, there are things we can never have all perfect at an initial stage. They simply become clearer once we have the courage to embark on them. Two things I am convinced that never come perfect are; Ideas and Love. You simply have to be brave enough to start and rely on the chances that you will succeed as time goes.

UNDERSTANDING IDEA AND LOVE

A new and original idea can often lead to innovation. Idea is a collection of thoughts that generates in the mind with an intent. Ideas are usually birthed during brainstorming sessions or through discussions.

Love is a deep interpersonal affection of compassion and affection towards another human. Love is to be shared.

The fact that they don’t come perfect or fully formed further implies that you must invest in them for them to be perfect. You must invest your time, efforts, money and every other essential thing such as patience where needed. The journey from getting from not-fully formed to becoming fully formed is dependent on what you patiently do in-between. A definition I comfortably accept about patience is; Patience is not just the ability to wait or tolerate delay, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

MAJOR INGREDIENT

Discipline is a major ingredient to pull through on ideas and love. The secondary school (high school) level of discipline is what we require here. Remember how you had to show up to school every single weekday morning regardless of how you felt. Remember how you also had to show up to school every morning even when you were scared of not having done your assignments and knew you were liable to be punished by your teacher. You still showed up because by discipline, you were programmed to do that every school day. This level of discipline is what is expected from you towards your ideas and love life.

PERSEVERANCE

As long as you are breathing, you can start all over again. Don’t give up on ideas and don’t give up on love. You might fail at first attempt or even a couple of times but that shouldn’t be a reason to quit. Thomas Edison as popularly known perfected the light bulb invention after trying 10,000 times by January 1879 at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Failing a class in secondary school (high school) does not imply quitting the class. You repeat the class until you succeed in it. Same applies to ideas and love.

CHANGE IS CONSTANT BUT WINNERS NEVER QUIT

Change can be embraced but quitting is usually not an option. You can change an idea to one that is more suitable and exciting. You can also choose to stop being in a less progressive and toxic love life to a more passionate affair. Regardless of what form you choose to embrace change, it is way more beneficial to invest than to quit on the concept of following through ideas and pursuit of love.

Glad I could share a piece of my heart with you.

Leave a comment on your thoughts.

Heart of Dave

SPICING UP PHOTOGRAPHY

THE PHOTOGRAPHER WITH A SUPER-BIKE 

 

Photography is the art of creating durable images and it is a new wave most young people are obsessed with at the moment. Probably because it is a job that requires a lot of mobility, or it could be the fact that you can easily setup a work station from your comfort zone, or probably just the fun aspect.

Whatever reason most young people are having a thing for photography, I cannot say for sure. But I sure do know one individual who is really spicing up photography in Nigeria with his style.

Captain Ifeatu Chukwuemerie is a Nigerian based photographer and super biker. His passion for photography and love for super-bikes has taken him across and beyond the country.

I had a conversation with this amazing super biker and photographer. The major lesson to be drawn from his story is; determination.

As long as you are brave enough to start, you will succeed.

BACKGROUND

Captain was not born with a silver spoon. When he moved to Lagos from eastern Nigeria, he served in a food canteen just to make ends meet before he stumbled on photography and it became his passion. He did not allow his background to define him, as he always dreamed big and was inspired by top business executives. Captain is a self trained photographer.

Captain claims growing up was a struggle as he did not have the ideal childhood or anyone to ask him what he wanted to do with his life when he got older. This condition made him realize that he had to take charge of his life and destiny.

STYLE

As a photographer, Captain stands out because he rides a super bike. Although not yet verified, Captain feels he is the first photographer to distinguish himself with the use of a super bike in Nigeria. With the combination of Captain’s job as a photographer and a super bike rider, he has visited almost all states in Nigeria and some West African countries also. When he gears up to ride in response to calls from clients, people are always fascinated and stare in awe and amazement when he arrives.

Captain is also known to capture unique moments in an artistic way he sees and understands, leaving his models or clients looking back at those memories with pride.

Nothing good comes easy. His initial challenge or struggle was being unpopular and not having a lot of clients patronize him. Also, lacking the right equipment at an early stage was also a challenge for him.

With limited resources, Captain pushed himself to be his best and satisfy his clients. He started getting good referrals and invested his profits to get the right equipment for his job. Having the right equipment makes his job a lot easier now.

With his super bike, Captain is always trusted to arrive early to any event.

Captain also understands that the economy of Nigeria is still growing and in most cases, he is flexible with his pricing and gives his clients pocket friendly payment options. In cases where his clients cannot pay in full, a deal is struck where they can pay in installments.

As a way of giving back to the society, Captain provides free photography lessons to youths and unemployed Nigerians who wish to venture into photography in his studio. He plans to take it further by establishing a free photography school in the nearest future for the community. 

As a photographer, Captain claims he is definitely not spared of criticisms and he feels criticism helps him to learn.

Some funny moments for Captain includes; bumping into highway robbery attacks while riding through some states in Nigeria during his tours. He has never been stopped or bothered by these highway robbers. They just tell him to carry on, probably in fascination.

Captain also feels it is wrong for people to assume that photographers are poor. He claims at some events, people tend to look down on photographers, but that does not stop him from proceeding with the job. He tells other photographers that as long as they know their worth, they should not be bothered by such.  Photographers can also boast of exotic cars and properties across the country.

Captain once asked one of his student why he chose photography, his response was: “I want to be like you sir, and own super bikes someday.”  That was a misguided answer according to Captain, because he believes some skills in life take time, passion and mastery to perfect. His advice to young aspiring African photographers is; to believe in themselves, remain consistent and improve every day. “…Of course, along the way, you may get confused and have questions, but like my son would say: ‘Google it!’ To succeed at anything at all you do, you must have a passion for it. You must be consistent. You must endeavor to be the very best at it.”

Captain also has a very supportive family. His son who is multi-talented, while at secondary school won the best photographer award in his school and this made Captain proud.

As a photographer, Captain’s personal goal is to become a person that is looked up to; a role model for the younger generation. On a professional level, his goal is to be a renowned photographer called upon to capture moments and cover events all over the world.

Captain Ifeatu with David Anaka

How we Created Global Entrepreneurs From a Nigerian University

Abdul Rasheed Na’Allah, for 10 years, 2009 to 2019, was the vice chancellor of Kwara State University in Nigeria, from July 1, 2019, before he became the Vice chancellor of University of Abuja.

Prof. Abdulrasheed talks to David Anaka about entrepreneurship in Nigeria, how he led a university to achieve world class standard through entrepreneurship during his tenure and also shares lessons from his latest books.

Presently, the major problem facing well over fifty percent of Nigerian graduates is that of securing a rewarding job in line and synchronisation with their field of study or discipline immediately or in most cases few years after their graduation. Most of these graduates, in a bid to make ends meet and also appreciate those who bore the cost and responsibilities for their educations, have ended up with jobs and careers far from their areas of specialization, interest and passion. They have reluctantly accepted these jobs just to have pay checks at the end of every month so as to ‘survive.’ 

This system or cycle only spells doom for the country because, it limits innovation and creativity, leading further to economic stagnation and backwardness.

This unpleasant story is getting quite different with a new ray of hope emerging through a visionary university executive who has decided to alter a system which only spells doom for the giant of Africa. Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the vice-chancellor of university of Abuja, Nigeria, and the pioneer vice-chancellor of Kwara state university, Nigeria (an institution often referred to as the university for community development, because of its role in spearheading several projects aimed at improving quality of life and living standards of communities around the university) is passionate about creating global entrepreneurs and job creators from his institution.

 From Kwara state university’s commencement of activities in 2009, Prof. Abdulrasheed used every opportunity that came across his path to create entrepreneurial platforms and also remind his students then of the university’s expectations for them which includes; becoming job creators and not job seekers, and also turning out to become global players within the business circle as solution creators and problem solvers. 

Prof. Abdulrasheed  embraced an amazing entrepreneurial model for the university that can be described as a positive-part solution to curb the problem of unemployment in Nigeria. This entrepreneurial model adopted by Prof. Abdulrasheed, has created a system  where all students of the university are mandated to go through an intense and advanced entrepreneurial training spread across three years and in synchronisation with their major disciplines. The entrepreneurial training which is broken into theoretical, practical and mentorship stages also makes it mandatory for students of the university to have a duly registered business name before graduation. A registered business name gives each student of the institution the privilege to operate enterprises recognised and backed by the Nigerian law.

 Thus, he set Kwara state university on the track to producing global entrepreneurs yearly and not just mere graduates.

Questions by David Anaka and responses by Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah.

Speaking about some challenges  experienced while implementing the entrepreneurial model adopted for the university at its early stage, Prof. Abdulrasheed had this to say;

Prof. Abulrasheed:

The challenges I experienced at the very beginning was to convince and mobilize all my colleagues especially at the Senate to support the Entrepreneurship training model for our students. Almost all had not seen any University in Nigeria that had done this. There was no single public university and only one private University, then Pan Atlantic, taught entrepreneurship studies. This was 2009/2010 academic year and the idea of adding courses in entrepreneurship to general studies from 2nd year to 4th year was not popular. But I prepared and backed The Centre for Entrepreneurship of the university in its explanations and sought the trust of the university’s Senate that we were doing what was right for our nation. We also had the advantage of the strong review and backing of the Board of The Centre for Entrepreneurship where I was chairman, and where most were successful business gurus. I think the university’s Senate was also encouraged by their comments and strong recommendations.

When asked about recommending the entrepreneurship model to other tertiary institutions in Nigeria, Prof. Abdulrasheed responded with this.

Prof. Abulrasheed:

Absolutely, I will recommend this model, as I am convinced there is no better model out there. All compulsory general course in entrepreneurship! 2nd year are generally introductory to the concept, ideas and practice of entrepreneurship; at other levels, students learn how to prepare and conduct business surveys, establish relationship with  banks and lending agencies, then next level is Enterprise Creation and Management, establishing a company and registering the company with CAC (Corporate Affairs Commissions), to connecting to successful business firms and personalities around the country in a mentor/mentee relationship, providing them role models and advisers, and finally to actually practicing their chosen businesses. By the time a KWASU student graduates from the University, he or she already has grown into becoming an Entrepreneur with a clear choice in entrepreneurship. The next stage which in which a lot more investment is needed is in Incubation, which is a Post-Graduation facility for Kwasites. The Incubation currently is located in the Zango contact office Ilorin,  which needs expansion and to be more functional, so that graduates who still need support and services in their business firms before they can stand on their own will use the KWASU Business Incubation until they feel they can move out and be on their own.

Prof. Abdulrasheed’s view on the direct impacts and results the entrepreneurship model has on the Nigerian economy?

Prof. Abulrasheed:

The direct impact on the Nigerian economy is that KWASU graduates are creating wealth in the nooks and corners of Nigeria. Many may not yet notice them but this nation would soon realize the tremendous contributions of KWASU graduates to changing our nation and mobilizing the God-given resources and talents and population of Nigeria for wealth creation, and ensuring that the number of graduates roaming the streets are reduced, since KWASU graduates are drastically never part of the roaming syndrome. At KWASU  graduating students are told that their University will disown them if they abandon the wealth creation ideas they developed in KWASU and join those roaming the streets. We encourage their parents not to go around taking their CVs to Government ministries lobbying for government jobs for them, but to support them in their training to create their own business ventures and be on their own.

We created a record in this country as a University, with CAC (Corporate Affairs Commissions) informing KWASU that it is the single entity in Nigeria with established thousands of registered companies, mostly by own students. This is a thing of pride to KWASU. Kwasites are all over Nigeria and the world now creating wealth and managing their firms and companies very well.

When asked what the approach of the students to this entrepreneurial model had been like, considering it has taken them out of the comforts of the classroom and exposed them to the ‘real world,’ Prof. Abdulrasheed had this to say.

Prof. Abulrasheed:

The students’ approach have been very exciting and Joyful, as most of them understand the crisis of our nation and how its able-bodied youths suffer from unemployment. Most came into KWASU wondering what the future holds for them, even wondering whether they would join the bodies of unemployed and roaming youths of Nigeria after graduating. Many have their brothers and sisters just sit at home or go around constantly to government ministries looking for jobs unsuccessfully.

So the students are excited about the concept that KWASU is introducing to them from their 2nd year and the Entrepreneurship courses they take up till 4th year. They are proud to own businesses and to practice these business ventures and start earning money even as students. For example, the Farm to Wealth program, part of the Entrepreneurship General study, especially introduces them to Agricultural businesses and how they can turn our fertile soil to wealth, including storage, processing, adding value to the raw material, and more, and finding and delivering products to end users, and exploring e-businesses. What is even more rewarding is the way most students pursue and create original ideas and bring new products to the market, something highly needed by the Nigerian teaming population but never done before! Obviously the customers are satisfied and grateful and become loyal as their needs are being met easily. The students’ excitement in the Entrepreneurship programs is contagious!

About Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah   Prof. Abdulrasheed describes himself as an Ilorin boy, but also a Sokoto boy, a Koko boy and a Yauri boy, as he grew up in these towns and cities and claims his childhood experiences especially the Ilorin experience are reflected in his creative and scholarly writing. As a thinker and scholar, his goal is often to take up society matters and unwrap them for clearer understanding. Cultural issues, identity issues and more. As a poet, his poetry come in the mode of popular and grassroots poetry that explore metaphors that are enjoyable and recognizable by the people so that the urgent messages contained therein won’t miss them, even as they enjoy the powerful images and personification and more. A graduate from the great University of Ilorin, who taught there for some years before going to take his PhD from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and later taught comparative literature, folklore, African and African American studies, and worked as higher education administrator in the United States. He also attended programs at Harvard University, all of which prepared him for the leadership role of starting a University of the Twenty-first Century.  

BOOKS

  Recently, Prof. Abdulrasheed launched three books to the public. ILORIN O – Poetry of Praise, Globalization and OBAMA-MENTUM: An Anthology of Transformational Poetry.
 
When asked What salient message the public  can we take away from each book, here is his response?    Each of my 3 newest books has lots of messages that can be taken away from it: the Obama-Mentum is a celebration of the inspiration of the people of the world towards their aspiration for Barack Hussain Obama’s transformational presidency of the United States, and putting in white and black the world’s response to the emergence of a Black President in USA. Globalization is about the effect of the global capitalist and post-human exploitation of the down trodden of Africa, and especially how the forces of globalization have affected the African values and the traditional products like the oral poetry. Ilorin O, is poetry of praise for my city of Ilorin and her people, invoking my people’s love and dreams, and providing for others around the world some knowledge of what it means to be Ilorin.