Monday, February 29, 2016

Between The Movement And The Monument - by Johnson Abbaly

I didnt do anything wrong...
I just...continued, as always...
I woke up to realise phones not ringing,
No new shows,
No cheques in the mail.
Almost as though I ceased to be...
Old clients...aint returning,
New ones...aint coming.
Then it dawned...
My yesterday's advantage...
Has been depleted by today's trend...
And I had failed to evolve.
People are attracted to the movement,
Not the monument!


Written by:
Johnson Abbaly
[Author| Leadership Expert| Consultant]
Follow @JohnsonAbbaly on Twitter

Thursday, February 25, 2016

17 Young Nigerians to be Honored by U.S. Consulate General

Consul General John Bray of the U.S. Consulate General Lagos will on Wednesday of March 2nd 2016, honor at least 17 young Nigerians who have in the last one year shown dedication and unequal committment towards advancing the livelihood of people in selected communities across the Lagos metropolis and Port-Harcourt.

These outstanding youths were about a year ago, admitted as Fellows into the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI); an initiative of the U.S. Consulate General Lagos launched in 2011 to promote the legacies of the iconic civil liberty champion, Ambassador Walter C. Carrington (Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria). On a yearly basis, selected Fellows (known as CYFI Fellows) receives financial grants, mentorship and networking opportunities to aid them in successfully initiating and implementing a result-oriented project in a community of their choice. Most of the projects are centered around Civil Liberties, Economic Empowerment, Education and Health.

So, having successfully completed their one year CYFI projects, the following set of CYFI Fellows will be awarded with certificates among other prizes:
Hope Ogbologugo, Kasope Akinkuowo, Adeniyi Olayemi, Omozino Eguh, Laolu Alabi, Quam Akanni, Nwosu Chinedum, Nissi Madu, Adeniyi Oluokun, Bassey Rachael, Kayode Awokoya, Moshood Abdullateef, Olufunke Olasode, Pamela Akinboboye, Chibuike B. Emmanuel, Lewis-Wikina Sira, Victor Okechukwu
You can checkout the profiles of individual Fellows at CYFI Fellows 2015

The award ceremony will be held in grand style at the official residence of the U.S. Consul General with rank and file guests from all works of life confirmed to grace the occasion.

Attendance to the prestigeous CYFI Awards and Graduation Ceremony night is strictly by invitation. Fortunately for me, I have my invite already, yay! Hope to see you there.

Written by:
Ebenezer O. Akinrinade -- CYFI Fellow 2012
[Photographer| Writer| Social Worker]
Tweet me @gent2smile OR @EbenAkinrinade

Will Ayodele's Story Trend The World Like Jumoke?

There is a long standing popular assertion among the elite and older folks that the present generation of young Nigerians are lazy readers with no zest for book knowledge. Hence the reason for high rate of unemployment, terrorism and other social vices. But in the midst of all these negative characterization of the average youth, a graduating student from the Department of Psychology, Daniel Ayodele Dada, has proven to be a different crop of young Nigerian as he recently sets a new academic record as the first person ever to graduate with 5.0 CGPA from UNILAG. An historic and record breaking feat which has never being witnessed before since the establishment of the prestigeous university.

So many congratulatory messages has been going around the social media space in celebration of our newly discovered genius Ayodele for his academic achievement. More so, few questions have also being raised by concerned individuals on social media if it would ever be possible for Ayodele to have his story featured on CNN or at least trend across the world like that of Jumoke Orisaguna, the bread seller who turned a super model after being discovered by Ty Bello during a street photoshoot?

Because, unlike those in the entertainment industry who from time to time get endorsement deals, media attention and all the paparazzi, it seem Nigeria hardly recognizes or celebrates her own geniuses in the academic settings which of course is one of the reasons why an average kid would rather look up to Olamide YBNL as a role model than aspire to be like Professor Wole Soyinka. I so strongly believe that Ayodele's story will set a new standard for the average Nigerian child and youth, if the same banks, corporate brands and media giants who lavished attention and sponsorship on Olajumoke Orisaguna would extend equal generousity towards Ayodele by pushing him into the limelight so that many uninspired students can take a cue from him and ultimately aspire to be like him--breaking new records.

Daniel Ayodele Dada (image credit: UNILAG Student Portal)

Doing this is very vital especially in a country like Nigeria where there are reportedly over 10million out-of-school children. Projecting Ayodele's story to all and sundry will help build up the much needed motivation amongst young people.

Daniel Ayodele Dada

As an advocate of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, I am using this platform to join my voice in sync with millions of other vital voices to make a clarion call to the Nigerian government, corporate bodies, media houses, international organizations and civil societies to scale up the investment (and efforts) in bringing illiteracy down to zero level in Nigeria.

Many fingers are crossed to observe carefully what the coming days holds for the genius, Daniel Ayodele Dada. As someone said, "Will Nigeria raise more hawkers than scholars?"
I 'hopefully hope' that the question gets the right response.

Written by:

Ebenezer O. Akinrinade
[Photographer| Writer| Social Worker]
Tweet me @gent2smile OR @EbenAkinrinade

Friday, February 19, 2016

Innovation: The World’s Cheapest Smartphone

At a time like this when the prices of smartphones are now competing with the cost of buying a landed property in Lekki and Banana Island, the good news about a newly invented/manufactured smartphone that has all the sophisticated functionalities one can ever imagine and yet comes for as cheap as One Thousand Naira (N1000) seem to sound too good to be true.

But according to a recent article on Geek NG, there’s a lineup of upcoming smartphones, simething as good as your Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6 but would not require you to break a bank or pay hundreds of dollars to have them. The smartphone known as Freedom 251 is set to be the cheapest Android smartphone in the world coming out of India.

Here's what the phone looks like:

Image credit:

Freedom 251 Specification

* Freedom 251 packs specifications worthy of a $100 phone and all these for just 251 rupees. That’s about $3.6 given the current exchange rate which translates to about ₦1000 (Nigerian currency).

* Freedom 251 has 4-inch IPS LCD screen with a qHD resolution (960×540).

* It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and there’s a 1GB RAM to work with.

* The phone comes with a 8GB internal storage but this is expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card slot.

* There’s a 3.2MP rear camera with auto focus and there’s also a 0.3MP camera at the front.

* Freedom 251 has a removable battery with a capacity of 1450mAh.

* It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and comes with a 1 year warranty.


The only bad news which we hope will change soon is that the Freedom 251 Android smartphone device won’t make it past the shores of India due to government restriction. Only Indians and persons living in India can have access to purchasing the phones. The reason for the restriction has been speculated to be that the real cost of the smartphone had already been subsidized by the Indian government inorder to make technology accessible to everyone citizen. The phone is made by Ringing Bells, a technology company that is barely few months old.

Perhaps the idea of #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira would make a lot of sense if the Nigerian government can as well invest in similar technologically viable ideas as a way of growing the economy and encouraging the Proudly Made in Nigeria products.

Written by:

Ebenezer O. Akinrinade

Tweet me @gent2smile | @EbenAkinrinade

Call/WhatsApp +2348027701092

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Perhaps you may have read several hundreds and thousands of love letters in your lifetime but you'll agree with me that there's one which seems most beautiful and perfect. Such is the feeling I have for this letter since the day I read it on facebook.

If I were to give the letter a title, it'd be "Dear Sister Gloria" and you may be wondering what a boring and uninteresting title, yeah you are right. One thing I've learnt is that beautiful things usually come in unexpected packages, so when next you see a book or article with a boring title, I beg of you to read it first before you pass your judgment.

Okay, enough talking. Here goes the love letter as written by the veteran actor and evangelist, Mike Bamiloye on the occassion of his wife's 52nd Birthday on February 4th 2016.

*********** ************* **********

I write to Celebrate my Dear "Sister Gloria" today. She is very humble...She listen to me! She is very wise....I listen to her! She is too Open....I caution her a lot! I am too practical...and too cautious.... She cautions me a lot...! I am too Telescopic and...could be too active...and step on many toes at time. But she is very Microscopic and...meticulous... So she cautions me.... She is very Prayerful and Consumes a lot of The Words... She keeps me running a lot of Pray and to read the Word too!

She did more in bringing up our children in the Word of God... She is the Bible Teacher in our home....! She is very caring and loving. So caring to all our Office Staff and responsible for caring for them all these years...

The day I went to propose to her, I never beat about the bush or rehearsed any Love persuasive Poem. I never said anything like, "the Lord sent me" or " I felt the Lord is leading me..." Or " I dreamed and saw..." Or "I heard a voice from Heaven that..." I had said some of those things before to some sisters whom I thought the Lord was leading me to, and I was wrong.

This time around, I went to this new sister, after my usual "Much Prayers and Waiting". I was not even sure if the Lord was leading me or not again....My computers have been crashed and the memory virused by the previous disappointments I had met from the sisters I had thought were the will of God. So I had arrived the campus and the brethren were happy to see me. I usually came at evening time, for Drama rehearsals or if there were drama outreaches, I would come to go with them or lead them to the programs. But this time, I came during the day, at lecture time and many of the brethren were coming to me to know why or what information I had brought for the Fellowship Drama Unit members. I simply said I came to see "Sister Shola". And that was unusual of me. I don't come asking for sisters in the fellowship. I had no business with sisters, but with Fellowship heads and with Drama Unit Co-Ordinator in particular or with the Fellowship President.

So, some brethren spread out to look for "Sister Shola". And one sister found her in the school Library and grabbed her hand: "Bro. Mike is around. He is looking for you." Prior to that time, I had no business with Sister Shola, we were not close. We had only acted together on stage presentations before. She was not among the sisters who were closer to me at Fellowship. She carried her books and both sisters were rushing down to see " Bro. Mike" who had come to the campus at unusual time. The sister brought her and left. Sister Shola stood before me smiling, and waiting for the instructions, probably to the Drama Unit, or information of her being cast into a new Drama Unit presentation. I greeted her. She replied with a smile. I told her bluntly, that the Holy Spirit had not sent me, neither did I see any vision. Then, I asked her: WILL YOU MARRY ME?"

She stood before me speechless for some minutes, looking at me with some astonishment and confusion. She was never never expecting to hear such question from "Bro. Mike" of all people! She was lost for words, because it was the last thing she would expect to hear from me. I got my answer after one month of waiting. It was on a Sunday Morning. I had travelled to ILESHA and decided to worship in her church. I was in the congregation while I watch her standing tall and slender above the rest choir as they sang the special song for the morning. I never knew she saw me too. I had been praying for the whole month that the Lord would confirm this one this time. I could not imagine how I would feel if the Lord said this one was not the will of God again. After the church service, I went to wait for her at the front of her house. I just wanted to greet her again and look at her again, and maybe the Lord would answer my prayers this time.

She came not so long and ushered me into the house quietly. She was quiet. She was not showing any excitement, which got me more worried again. I sat down on a chair while she was writing something on the table. Then, she finished writing, and she turned to me with a small piece of paper containing ONE SINGLE LINE OF SENTENCE: "I WILL MARRY YOU" Silence. Grave Silence came down in the room.

At last. That was the first time in my life, a lady would agree to marry me. All the once I thought were the will of God for me had, unfortunately, been engaged before I got there. Oh! The Dilemma of a Single Searching Brother! And one of the Sisters even kept me waiting for three years, without giving me a "Yes" or a "No". Until I was delivered from the shackles. At last...! Right there I knelt down in Prayers and she knelt down in my front with her eyes closed. There, I told the Lord, as I held her hands in prayer, that, "Today, Lord, our Ministry have started. Today, Lord, we shall serve you together with all our life and with all our heart." We prayed further for His help and Mercy upon us. That was the day and time, our ministry, Mount Zion began. That was Sunday 4th, August 1985. And She was 21 Years Old then, while I was 25! Is it not evident that the Lord actually led me?

NOW TODAY, THIS GIRL IS 52! Very Dependable woman! Strong and Visionary! Caring and Loving! Woman of Faith and Vision! Submissive and Humble! I am not flattering...! I HAVE POSSESSED MY POSSESSIONS IN HER! Happy Birthday!!! Sister Gloria!


********** ************ ************

Isn't it lovely? The perfect question for you and I to ponder on now is: "What will my love story be like after a few years down the line?" I can only hope and pray that it turns out to be as beautiful or even more beautiful than that of Bro Mike and Gloria.

Thanks for taking out time to read, learn and hopefully working at living an inspiring love life.

Written by:
Ebenezer O. Akinrinade
[Photographer |Writer|Social Worker]
WhatsApp: +2348027701092
Tweet @gent2smile | @EbenAkinrinade

TIPS: How to Revive Your Friendships

Sort out your 'sappers' from your 'growers' and make time for the people who matter most.

As life gets ever busier, it's easy to neglect our best friends, and then feel bad about it, while we allow other friends to dominate our time and sap our energy.
But we can learn to balance our friendships, says life coach Michael Heppell , author of "How To Have A Brilliant Life" (Pearson Life, £9.99).

1. Identify the 'sappers'.
They're the friends who take more than they give, and leave you feeling worse, not better, about yourself. Make an effort to spend 50 per cent less time with them.

2. Upgrade the 'growers'.
Go out of your way to engage with the friends who make you feel great. Remember, you become like the people you spend most of your time with.

3. Act, don't talk.
Every time you say 'we must catch up' put a date in the diary there and then - even if it's a month or two away - otherwise don't say it.

4. Go back to basics.
If you can't spare an entire evening at the theatre, for example, find 45-minutes for a coffee or a drink, rather than reschedule.

Four Tips for How to Revive Your Friendships - Psychologies

Thursday, February 11, 2016

APPLY: The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016

Entries are now open for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016; submissions can be made until 1st May 2016.

This year’s theme invites young people to think about whether or not it is possible to be living responsibly and tolerantly in an increasingly interconnected Commonwealth. Through the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, the Royal Commonwealth Society provides an opportunity for young people to share their stories and have their voices heard.

The overarching theme for 2016 is 'An Inclusive Commonwealth', which is also the 2016 Commonwealth Year theme, and a topical theme for today’s youth. Both Senior and Junior topics give young people the opportunity to think about aspects of the theme such as: the significance of community; the importance of diversity and difference; the question of belonging; the values of tolerance, respect and understanding; and the sense of shared responsibility that exists within the Commonwealth today. The topics are a chance to develop critical thinking and to express views in a creative manner.

** Born after 1st May 2002 (under 14 years)
1. Imagine inviting a stranger to your country. How would you welcome them?
2. My ideal community.
3. Are we really so different?
4. Tales of an ‘insider/outsider’.

** Born between 2nd May 1997 and 1st May 2002 (14-18 years)
1. Let them in.
2. How can you balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the crowd?
3. The wealth we have in common.
4. Is it possible to have an inclusive and tolerant society?

* The Competition is open to nationals or residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories.
* Entrants must select a Senior or Junior topic depending on their age on 1st May 2016.
* Only one essay per entrant is allowed.
* Entries must be written in English.
* The maximum word counts are 1500 words for Senior entries and 750 words for Junior entries. These word limits apply to all topics and all formats (essay, poem, letter, etc).
* Exceeding the word count will result in automatic disqualification.

Every year a number of students are disqualified because they are suspected of plagiarism. The final copy submitted for the competition MUST be the entrant’s own work, and cannot be unduly corrected or improved by another person. Essays can only be uploaded in either word doc. or pdf format.

Prizes have traditionally been awarded only to the first prize winners in the Senior and Junior categories and also vary year by year. This means RCS is not able to confirm what the prizes will be until after the winners are announced in September 2016. Past prizes have included certificates, resources for winner’s school, visits to Cambridge University, a trip to London and a week of activities, work experience at international organisations, and having your entry featured in worldwide media.


|More Information|
You can find more details about the contest at The 2016 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

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