Thursday, February 28, 2013

Eat The Honey, Not The Bee.

The greedy only think of ME and ME.

He eats both the honey and the bee.

No thought of US, except and only ME.

But what if generation's past had eaten it all

Would the greedy have had anything left to eat all?

Heed my voice, you who is greedy

And amend your ways and change indeed.

Begin to think of US and not just ME

If you do, even you will be glad you did.

Written by:
Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ebenezer Akinrinade Rated As 24th Best Contemporary Poet In Nigeria

Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)
It was about twenty minutes past the hour ten in the night while I was busy reviewing a yet-to-be-published book by a friend, then the a thought just crept into my mind (a domineering thought) telling me to goggle my name on the internet. A mere distraction, I thought it was, but the voice in my head just would not allow me to concentrate on what I was doing, so I decided to take a break and see what rumor or truth has got to say about me.

Interestingly, there were links to some recent articles on my blog (Use Your Mind), my profile on Facebook, twitter and linkedin as well as a few stories about other social projects via Arlfoundation, Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, YEC-Academy and a few others. It was very fascinating, so I moved on to other pages to see more, and to my biggest surprise I found my name tagged with an article I never knew existed at all. The article titled "Top 50 Contemporary Poets Who Rocked Nigeria in 2012" was published on EGCreativity Blog with my name rated as 24th on the list, wow!
I was thrilled to find my name on that list. At that very moment, I realized that sometimes it is those little things (gifts and talents) that we fail to appreciate and value about ourselves are most times the very thing that other people seem to appreciate us for. According to the writer, the list and rating was done through nominations and public opinions, but then am wondering who and who could have nominated me (the guess is endless) because I could not have imagined myself being on that list if I am to be very sincere but someone somewhere made it possible by nominating me.

To GOD who is the giver of inspiration, and to those who have spent their valuable time reading my short poems and even going this far to nominate me, I say a very big THANK YOU.

Now that I know how much you appreciate my poems, I must re-awaken the poet in me and keep those flames of inspired thought burning until the very end. Once again, I say THANK YOU.

See the full ratings here:

Written by:
Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)

Monday, February 25, 2013

CYFI Awards and Closing Ceremony: YEC-Academy Wins Best Team Project Award

Towards the last quarter of year 2011, the United States Consulate General in Lagos launched a youth engagement initiative known as Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI). The initiative was named after the renown former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter C. Carrington. After which an application was announced for interested Nigerian youths with vision, passion and transformational ideas to apply for the one year fellowship program. According to reports, over two-hundred and fifty persons applied, fifteen people were finally selected after scaling through the interview and selection process.

The fifteen CYFI Fellows were later grouped into five teams to initiate, develop and implement projects targeted at solving a pertinent issue affecting the Nigeria society. The groups are: (1) Education Team (2) Civic Liberty Team (3) University Outreach Team (4) Health Team and (5) Vocation Training Team. All the five groups gave the projects different names that suites the cause which they were pursuing. And each projects were duly funded by the U.S. Consulate General through the CYFI program for the period of one year.

To mark the one-year end of fellowship program, a closing and award ceremony was held on Wednesday, February 13th of 2013 at the Lagos residence of the Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins (U.S. Consul General, Lagos) with Ambassador Walter C. Carrington and his wife present as guest of honor. Indeed, it was an unforgettable moment for the 2012 CYFI Fellows, the participants as well as the newly selected 2013 CYFI Fellows who also graced the event. Ambassador Walter C. Carrington, the man whose ideals the CYFI Fellows are striving to promote, stood firm on the podium as he reflected on his youthful years and his first visit to Nigeria in 1959, everyone was moved and fired up because his passion to see the world a better place still lingers and has not yet dwindled.

At last, the moment everyone was waiting arrived and out of the five projects implemented by the CYFI Fellows for the year 2012, the Vocation Training Team with project tagged "Youth Entrepreneurship and Creative Academy (YEC-Academy)" emerged was awarded as the "Best Youth Team Project 2012", while a member of the Education Team, Tosin Taiwo, received the "Consul General's Award" for being the most outstanding CYFI Fellow in 2012.

The winning team, YEC-Academy, trained over forty-five (45) youths in Ibadan, Oyo State on Photography, Film-Making, Shoemaking, ICT and Entrepreneur. The YEC-Academy team also hosted a successful "Creative Youth Exhibition" at Alliance Francaise, Ibadan on the 19th of January, 2013 as part of their promise to create a platform for their trainees to launch into the global market.

The YEC-Academy team is made up of four CYFI Fellows:
Tunde Aboderin, Obinna Echendu, Ebenezer Akinrinade and Sunday Olaniran.

You can partner with the YEC-Academy team for further enquiries / partnership / sponsorship via:
Twitter: @YECAcademy
Facebook Page: YEC-Academy
Phone: +2348027701092, +234827189275, +2348166516277, +2347033955770

 READ the full details on CYFI Blog:
Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative: Congrats and Welcome: CYFI Closing Ceremony: The outgoing 2012 CYFI fellows celebrated their projects with the program's namesake, former U.S. Ambassador Walter C. Carrington, at th...

Monday, February 18, 2013


It's a new dawn.
Yes, a new day!
The sun will rise again
The raven will sing a new song.
Oh, I will make hay,
Bid goodbye to yesterday,
Embrace the new day,
And start anew with a clean slate.
Today is my day.
I must garner my strength,
Make haste,
And go my way.
I can't wait,
I must not .
Discouragers and doubters lie in wait,
Hunting like a lion in search of a prey
Yet, I will go on my way.
But while I draw near to their snare,
I'll carefully watch and pray
Believing that GOD will save the day.
Written by:
Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Alumni Fellow)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Against all odds, skeptics and doubters, the Super Eagles of Nigeria surprised the African continent and the world at large by winning the most coveted golden prize at the AFCON 2013 competition after 19years. Indeed, they deserve to be appreciated for giving nigerians atleast one thing to be happy about especially at this crucial time when nothing seem to be working right in our polity. It has been highlighted severally that football as a sport is the only unifying factor amongst the nigerian people. And whenever there is a football match, Nigerians would usually put aside their socio-ethnic and religious differences to enjoy the game from start to finish, only to continue with their differences after the match is ended (how ironic).

The news about the Nigerian government splashing millions of naira as well as national honours on the Super Eagles team for winning the AFCON 2013 is actually not surprising, why? Because this is not the first time this is happening, however, this supposed show of gratitude is beginning to reflect negatively on the present administration as being squanders and frivolous spenders. We are not saying that the Super Eagles should not be celebrated or rewarded, but the question is "are we doing it the right way and for the right reasons?"

We must not forget that there are over 40million youths on the streets without job, even those who has got great ideas cannot start-up due to lack of capital and absence of basic social infrastructures which are not in place. It appears that the government of the day is very spontaneous when it comes to dashing out money to show-off while leaving pertinent issues to suffer without urgent attention. For instance, the plots of land dashed out to individual football players could have been given to hundreds of fresh graduates with great ideas for agro-farming business and other productive ventures which in later years would contribute to the nation's economic power and reduce the rate of unemployment.

As for the national honours, I don't know the criteria for which the government selects her recipients so I won't say much except to point out the fact that there are many remarkable nigerians who have done so much more for this country and are yet to receive such honour. Having expended more than is expected on the Super Eagles, Mr. President, further urged each of the 36 state governors to join in on the wasteful show by making sure they reward the team in each of state respectively. Fortunately or unfortunately, the Dangote Group, Globacom and Tom Tom has also joined the highest spender popularity contest.

Let me say it categorically to all our elected goverment officials, and perhaps to the privileged few who don't know where to invest their money, that entertainment and sport is not the only thing that the nigerian youth knows how to do best. We are creative people with fantastic revolutionary business and socio-developmental ideas geared towards putting Nigeria in the circle of developed nations. Entertainment and sports are good venture, but no matter how hard you try, it won't make our present challenges with poor power supply, bad road, poor educational standard, amongst other things disappear until we place the right people in the right positions to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. They  should have it at the back of their minds that the Nigerian people, especially the hungry, the jobless, the unpaid pensioners, the homeless citizens are all watching!

Written by:
Ebenezer O. Akinrinade

NEWS PAPER REPORT (online sources)
1. Gov. Fashola of Lagos State splashes N59 million on Super Eagles.
a. N500,000 for each goal scorers
b. N2.5 million to Coach Keshi
c. N2 million to Asst. Coach Daniel Amokachi
d. N1.5 million to Technical Crew & Captain
e. N1 million to 22 players each.
f. N4.5 million to Supporters Club
g. N15 million to backroom staff

2. President Jonathan splashes Cash, Lands & National Honors on Super Eagles:
a. Lands in Abuja for each players & officials of Super Eagles.
b. N10 million for Head Coach, Stephen Keshi
c. N5 million for Assistant Coaches & Players.
d. N2 million for Technical Crew
e. Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) to Stephen Keshi
f. Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) to Asst. Coaches & Captain
g. Member of the Order of Niger (MON) to Players & Technical Crew
Note: President Jonathan also urged governors to honour and reward the victorious national team in their respective states.

3. Aliko Dangote splashes N130 million on Super Eagles, says it's part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to encourage sport development.

4.Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State named Asaba Stadium after Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi.
a. N2.5 million to each player
b. N4 million to Asst. Coaches
c. N8 million to Head Coach
d. N2.5 millions to deltans & Warri Wolves Players in the team
e. N5 million for Warri Wolves FC

5. Mike Adenuga splashes $1 million on Super Eagles
a. $200,000 monthly salary for Coach Keshi

6. Tom Tom splashes $22,500 for Super Eagles
a. $10,000 to Victor Moses (Most Valuable Players)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

CYFI brings Ambassador Walter Carrington to Lagos

On the 13th of February, 2013, one of the most respected and celebrated U.S. Ambassadors, Walter C. Carrington (Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria), will be hosted in Lagos as a special guest of honour at the 2012/2013 Awards and Closing Ceremony (2012/13 project) of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI).

CYFI is a dynamic youth-based initiative launched in 2011 by the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, to bring together selected number of Nigerian youth with exceptional vision, skills and experience to design and implement projects that have a positive impact on Nigerian society. As a champion of
civil liberties, democracy and closer ties between the U.S. and Nigeria, CYFI fellows are committed to putting the ideals of Walter Carrington into practice.

The theme of the 2012 CYFI year was “Youth Engagement.” Fellows are grouped into teams based on interest, and teams then develop and implement their own Youth Engagement Project (YEP) over the course of the one-year fellowship duration. In addition to working with their team to bring their YEP into fruition, CYFI fellows have enjoyed the opportunity of attending various networking events, roundtables and forums on relevant social issues, hosted by the U.S. Consulate General,
Lagos. The 2012 CYFI year is set to conclude this February 13th, 2013, with the awards ceremony for fellows, after which fellows will be inducted into the CYFI Alumni Program.

The Awards & Closing Ceremony which is strictly by invitation will hold amidst tight security at the U.S. Consul General residence in Lagos. Other special guest would include the current U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence P. McCulley, Jeffrey Hawkins (U.S. Consul General, Lagos), government officials and other high profiled individuals both from U.S. and from within Nigeria.

To know more about the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, you can send an email to "" or visit the CYFI Blog at

Written by:
Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Holy Book of AFCON (2013 Edition)

The Holy Book of AFCON 13: 1- 13.

1.And the day came, even the day
of the Lord, this Sunday.

2. That the adversary of Nigeria, these Burkinababes came
3. And Stephen, the son of Keshi, the
commander of Nigeria Army entreated the praying Nigerians to pray
4. And in churches and mosques, in
mountains and camps prayers were
5. And behold on the battle ground, the army, these super eagles fought forcing the Burkinababes to retreat
6. But their champion, this Goliath
called Bance came flanked by his generals
7. But the Spirit of God stirred one
son of Mba, even the one called Sunday, the least in the Nigerian camp
8. And thus he said to the commander, Who is this uncircumcised Burkinababes that he should defy the armies of the giant of Africa,
9. And he was told to sit down that even Mikel, Victor, Yobo, ..... these warriors that have done battle in far countries cannot dare this Goliath, Bance or Pitropia
10. And he told the commander for this purpose was I named Sunday, to do battle on the day of the Lord,
11. And the commander, Keshi urged him go
12. And Sunday arose and caused havoc in the camp of the
13. And the armies Burkina Faso, these adversaries of Nigerian was utterly destroyed.

Attributed to: Syntosyn

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Who am I?
And, why am I here?
The questions in my heart keep multiplying from time to time
I thought my parents would have an answer
But unfortunately, not even my mum or dad have a clue.
I spoke to my grandpa, and he asked me to look in the mirror.
So I ran back home to have a good look of myself
But the me in the mirror only stare in my face and mimic my gestures.
Of course, I saw a reflection of me in the mirror
But it never said a word of it own.
In fact, staring at him for that long made me feel dumb and dumber.
So I ran back to tell grandpa a piece of my mind
And on getting there, they said grandpa is gone.
He left without telling me the answer that I seek.
Now, I must keep on searching until...
Or should I return to that mirror and look a bit longer?

Authored by: Ebenezer O. Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)
Follow on twitter @gent2smile

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Learn From Your Followers

At times, we focus on the big picture and loose sight of those tiny pieces of the puzzles that makes a whole. Most leaders have lost their capacity to achieve more in life because they see themselves as the surpreme and lord of all knowledge. Listening to other people's opinion, especially someone who is of lesser rank / junior staff / follower is out of it because they assume no-one knows as much as they do or perhaps, no idea can be better than theirs. Here is the hard truth, and you better listen; He who knows the value of learning will not look down on any man's idea. In fact, there is a saying that "no man is an island of knowledge," and that happens to be something I believe in. And, not only do I learn from people, I also learn from things. Without any intention to shove my faith into your throat, I want to remind you of that portion in the bible where Jesus Christ referred some people to go study the 'ants' so they can gain knowledge (talking about a thing). There is another example where he asked one of his disciples, "who do people say I am?" and secondly he asked again, " who do you say I am?" What he was simply doing is to get an idea or an opionion of what his disciple think of him. How many leaders of our time does that?
So much knowledge and energy flows around us and it's only a few of us who are truly awaken and aware of it.
Most of the discoveries we see in science today were inspired by someone sharing an idea, a suggestion or opinion. While some others have been inspired to create technological tools just by observing animals like eagle, ants, dragon fly, tortoise and so on.
Believe it or not, the moment we begin to think we know it all or can do it all, is the very moment we begin to diminish. You have to decide and choose to listen out to people first, even when their idea sounds stupid and ridiculous. In the end, you might hear that will save you from many years of fuitless labour in the future.

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." ~ Winston Churchill

As for me, I strongly desire to always be a learner, why? Because it's the only passport that qualifies me for leadership.
I learn from anyone, everyone, anything and everything.

Written by: Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)
© Copyright Reserved, 2013

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