Monday, November 28, 2016

Toke Makinwa’s “On Becoming”

On Becoming Cover
Sunday, 27th November marked the launch of the book "On Becoming" by award winning On-Air Personality, Toke Makinwa. The book chronicles Toke and Maje Ayida’s failed marriage. It was not a pleasant experience for Toke but she has picked up valuable lessons from the experience and she has made it into a book for sale.

Not all experiences were made to break you. There is a lesson from every experience in life – pleasant or unpleasant- embrace it as part of your journey. Rather than stay in the mud, sulk, and wait for people to feel sorry or laugh at you, you should get up, discover the significance of the experience and share the solution derived to people. There is an audience waiting to listen to you and ready to learn from you.

This is a key element for a Public Speaker. This is positioning. At the heart of every presentation for a Public Speaker is a Core Message. This message is often derived from our experiments and experiences. The tested principles that become solutions that your audience want to listen to.

Every Public Speaker needs to be a life-long learner; a student of the School of Life. Your mind has to be open to spot valuable lessons from happenings around you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your own experience, it could be another person’s but the important thing is that you have derived a formula or lesson or principle worth sharing.

Think about it; Newton’s Law, Faraday’s Law, Law of Thermodynamics and the rest of them, didn’t fall from heaven, experiments and experiences led to each one of them being formulated. And each one works when applied in ideal situations.

Why do you think employers always seek years of experience when hiring? It is because it is assumed that you have acquired some wisdom and principles in the past that can be beneficial to help achieve their business goals. Work experience is not necessarily about how many years you have worked, but the value you bring to the table from your past work life.

Are you allowing every of your experience pass away without taking note of the significant lessons from it? Someone needs to learn from your experience. Someone needs to make progress from your experience. More importantly, you can earn from your experience.

What solutions is your message providing?

Be solution-focused this week.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Don’t Get Stuck

It can be frustrating to become clueless at something you have the ability to accomplish but can’t seem to make progress in it.

Do you believe you have you have a message, yet you desire to know the passage to get that message across to your target audience?

Are you a CEO who finds it difficult to stand before people to address them?

Are you an entrepreneur with great products on offer but helplessly watch your speaking confidence suffer?

Are you that person that gets cramps everytime you are called to speak before an audience or you simply go blank because you have been chosen to speak?

Do you head a unit or religious organization but unable to get your followers to pay attention to you the whole duration of your presentation?

Are you a Public Speaker seeking ways to grow your influence and make profits?

Don’t get stuck when what you need is to increase your stock.

SpeakOUT Masterclass is designed to help improve your public speaking skills.

Facilitators include Emeka Nobis and Igbinoba Esohe who are set to help you improve and become better with your delivery.

By attending this training, you will learn:
- Ways to transform your knowledge into intellectual capital into products people can buy
- How to share stories that help create a personal connection with your audience
- The best way to craft your message to make impact
- And much more

SpeakOUT Masterclass Lagos comes up on Saturday 19th November, 2016.

Venue: 12 Oyefeso Avenue (The road between Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Fidson) off Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Lagos

Time: 10am

Fee: N10,000

To register pay into The Edge Enterprise Networks Global Resources, FCMB Bank, 3208012016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Child Marriage


In spite of the existence of the Child’s Rights Law and its status as Nigeria’s most cosmopolitan and most enlighten states, child and forced marriages still go on in several communities in Nigerian cities unabated, reports Uzor Darlington Ikechukwu, Executive Director Hold My Hands Women and Youth Development Foundation.

What is child marriage?
Child marriage is a formal marriage or informal union entered into by an individual before reaching the age of 18. Child marriage affects both boys and girls, though the overwhelming majority of those affected are girls, most of who are in poor socio economic situations. The Oxford English Dictionary defines child as, “a person who is below the age of adulthood; a minor, a person who is below the legal age of responsibility and accountability. Therefore, when a child engages in child marriage, it means shoving the responsibilities of an adult to a child, usually a female, and which that child will not be able to handle.

According to United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), Africa has the highest incidence rates of child marriage, with over 70% of girls marrying under the age of 18, in three nations. Among Nigerian women between the ages of 20 and 24, 76% reported marrying before the age of 18, and 28% reported marrying before the age of 15. As of 2006, 15-20% of school dropouts in Nigeria were the result of child marriage. In 2013, Nigeria attempted to change section 29, sub section 4 of its laws and thereby prohibit child marriages; however, it was opposed by the Islamic states of Nigeria. Child marriage seems to be on the increase in Nigeria, though laws have been made to stop this dilemma.

Child marriage, with its devastating consequences on the overall welfare of the girl child remains one of the sore points and clogs in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress. The country, according to UNICEF, has the highest rate of girl marriage in Africa with over 50% of women in the North married off before or by age 16.

According to a recent report by Ford Foundation, about 48% of girls in Nigeria, predominantly in rural areas, are married off before age 18. Cases of Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF), maternal mortality, have been on the increase especially in rural areas. Also, according to a 2013/2014 UNESCO report, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, numbering 11/5 million. This owes mostly to economic hardship and government’s indifference to children and the non-implementation of the Access to Universal Basic Education law in addition to the on-going anti-western education insurgency in the north.

Out of this figure, girls are in the majority. The gross lack of interest in girl education and welfare in many regions across Nigeria’s has given rise to child marriage as economically-hit families want to ‘do away’ quickly with their girl children so as to give priority attention to their boy. Child marriage not only deprives a girl of education and her childhood but exposes them to sexually transmitted disease such as HIV especially since they are unable to negotiate for safer sex.

A 2014 report by UNICEF titled ‘Ending Child Marriage, Progress and Prospects’ indicates that though child marriage in Nigeria has reduced by one per cent annually in the last 30 years, hundreds of girls are still at risk due to Nigeria’s peculiarly large population. It further revealed that of the world’s 1.1 billion under aged girls, 22 million are already married. The global body also expressed fears that if there is no reduction in child bride practices, up to 280 million girls will be married before age 18. That could even increase to 2.1 billion by 2050 owing to population growth.

Besides, child marriage directly hurts the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal SGD 5 which focuses on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.

Forced marriages and the impunity thereof is exemplified by the globally known case of the more than 200 girls abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok Town, Borno State, Northern Eastern Nigeria in April 2014 by Boko Haram insurgents. According to their leader in a recorded interview, the girls had been married off. Two years later, despite the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls campaign, not only have 219 of the girls captured from their hostel rooms had their educational dreams aborted, they are yet to be found.

Solutions To Child Marriage
Education opportunities should be provided by the government (Federal, State, and local governments), free education should be provided most especially at the primary and secondary school levels, thereby, reducing or even totally eliminating child marriage in the country. Proper Enforcement of Laws Prohibiting Child Marriage, although, laws forbidding early marriage exist in most countries, much effort is still needed in ensuring enforcement of such laws. Such laws should be enshrined in the constitution, and there should be punishment for violation of such laws. The government needs to provide free health care services to young women. These young girls and their parents also need to be informed of the dangers inherent in involving in child marriage and the risk involved in it. By so doing, reducing the rate of child marriage in Nigeria empowering young women through various programmes.

Finally, social and economic programmes should be provided for out of school girls, including non-formal education programmes. For girls who are not in school, these programmes will help build in her a sense of financial independence, as she will be able to develop business ideas.
Child marriage has indeed caused more harm than good as it has stripped many young girls of their childhood, their dreams, their basic human rights and their health, however if we can follow these recommended steps, then, we can be able to eradicate child marriage in Nigeria. Say no to child marriage, as it is illegal, unfair, and against the law.

 The World Youth Foundation must be commended for organizing the first "International Youth Conference on Child Marriage", which aimed to build global youth partnership to end child marriage which was attended by over 80 international youth delegates from 22 countries worldwide.

More than 80 participants thronged Melaka last month, discussing this very sensitive issue. Nigeria, too, was represented by a cross section of participants. The conference proceedings which will be forwarded to the United Nations will certainly exert greater pressure to relieve the girls from all over the world from this early child marriage syndrome. I am currently organizing the first Nigerian National Youth Conference on Child Marriage and I need all the necessary support to make it happen...Together we make the difference.

Finally, my social enterprise “Hold My Hands Women and Youth Development Foundation” have been advocating for end to all forms of child marriage in Nigeria and West Africa at large using education and women empowerment as a tool to prevent child marriage. We have organized several campaigns in different communities, primary and secondary schools in Abuja creating awareness about the dangers of child marriage using young people as a focal point. Recently we created the Hashtag (#TooyoungToMarry) and petitions directed to government and legislature to ban child marriage in Nigeria.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Leadership Nugget – Getting Organized

Shirley is an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a Pharmaceutical company. She is highly jovial and possesses great charisma. She is loved by people because she is hardworking and exudes warmth in her interaction.

Shirley’s challenge is her inability to create order around her. Her job role involves multitasking activities which is often characterised by scattered office desk, distracted work hours, difficulty to learn new technology and leverage on it, inability to absorb negative feedback amongst other issues that leads to burnout daily.

A leader’s ability to stay organised is a great asset. It all begins with self-mastery, creating a zone that induces performance, ability to prioritize, being able to delegate tasks and excellent time management skills.

What skill do you need to acquire to up your game?

P.S: Starting July 16th, I’ll be taking a limited number of professionals who wish to improve their office management and administration skills on a journey of learning. Call 07035953367 to book your seat TODAY before this offer closes.

Friday, June 24, 2016

#Podcast - Raven-Leader Part 2 -Ep. 3

The 3rd episode of Leadership Edge podcast is in continuation of a 3-part series of the concept of Raven-Leadership. In the first episode, i defined who a Raven-Leader is and the characteristics of leaders who exhibit Raven Leadership style in the workplace.

You can read it up here or simply download

Sometimes due to the unfounded believe that a team member who constantly gets recognised may soon take over his role; a leader may develop the mindset that every achievement made by the team must recognize him as being the head. In no time this will leave team members demoralised. 

In this episode of the podcast, i highlight some of the reasons why a Leader will exhibit traits of Raven-Leadership.

Some of the reasons include:
  • Issues of Self-Esteem
  • Lack of Job Security
  • Unclear Value systems in the Workplace 
  • Lack of Leadership Experience 

To listen to this episode, download it here

I would love to hear from you some other reasons why you think someone will exhibit a Raven-Leader’s traits and possibly your experience with any in the past.

Leave your comments below after listening to this podcast

Monday, June 13, 2016

Leadership Edge - Assertiveness

Patrick is the Head of the Sales team of a fast growing publishing company. Part of his job role is to motivate staff to achieve sales target as well as to discipline erring and non-performing members of the team.

Ozioma is a member of his team and is close to the CEO and so enjoys her attention. This makes Ozioma lackadaisical to work and is in the habit of threatening to make Patrick lose his job if not careful.

On a certain day, Patrick summons the courage to “put her in her place” and so calls her into his office. Upon suggesting to suspend her, Ozioma slaps Patrick and dares him to carry out the action before walking out of his office.

Cowardice is being afraid to talk about a problem because you don’t want to offend another person. Cowardice is running from a problem or pretending it doesn’t exist.

A great Leader ruffles few feathers. He questions the status quo and works to achieve a solution to a problem. A leader must choose his battles wisely. Knowing when to apply the finger with "honey" and the finger that chastises is a skill a leader must have. The ability to assert yourself in communication and action is vital for the success of any leader.

Do you wish to learn how to develop your assertive communication skill? Let me help you discover this ability by dropping your comment below.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Leadership Nugget - INFLUENCE

Gbade is a thought leader with great and loyal followership. His aura is such that every word, action and product Gbade dishes out has his fans latching on to it.
Helen is also a thought leader who has enormous followership too. She is reputed for taking her followers on a journey of exploration and discovery everytime she speaks.
In one of Helen’s materials, an analogy is drawn which was misconstrued by fans of Gbade as a slight on their “idol”. This got them furious and started making derogatory remarks at her. Gbade knows Helen respects him and would not do such as being alluded to her but it felt “good” to him to see Helen being ridiculed and called names on several social media platforms targeted at tarnishing her image. Rather than make clarifications as a way of calling his fans to order, he maintained a deafening silence and allowed the damage go on.
Leaders must always recognize and appreciate the influence they wield and must never abuse this influence. Even in the face of provocation, a leader must NEVER subtly or openly allow his followers engage in destructive behaviour or actions.
When necessary, a leader should make his stand known and lend a voice in matters that are capable of causing ambiguity that could lead to disaffection.