Ever felt excited to introduce yourself to someone only to get a cold reply or several unpleasant follow-up questions? Welcome to my daily struggle as a Nigerian. A Delta Igbo, to be precise. My short introduction of “hi, my name is Uche. I am from Delta state…” It is often accompanied by “but you are not our sister na, you aren’t pure Igbo”. Wow, I didn’t know there were some impure tribes.

And I am sure other tribes suffer from this segregation, which means I am not the only one feeling the same way. Being a citizen of a multilingual country having several tribes, you wouldn’t expect everyone to be from the same state, right? And the gospel truth is not everyone would accept you. But we all strive to live in harmony together. I have had some good and bad experience.

Here are some advantages of being in a multilingual country

  1. Enhanced communication skills:

Being in a multilingual country helps you learn from different people about their language, which improves your communication skills. Learning their native language is one of the first steps to founding a lasting stable business relationship either by knowing your clients or boss language. This would elevate your relationship leading to better business results if you travelled there to seal a deal, which improves your communication skills and makes your short or long trip hitch-free.

  1. It breaks the ice:

Speaking with someone from your tribe or a different tribe in a new environment breaks the ice creating, that ‘safe-zone’ feeling between both parties. It would make both parties feel more comfortable living together and improve their confidence.

  1. Changes your perspective:

The journey of learning a new language and meeting different people from different tribes makes you open up to different cultures and lifestyles; in doing so, it affects how you think, the way you see things, and even the way you talk. It changes your perspective in a good way. You could even become more tolerant of people and their attitudes, and in the long run, you would realise you’ve adapted to their way of living, or you’ve learnt new etiquette that is good and needed.

Sadly, here are some disadvantages

  1. It may fuel unhealthy competition:

Being in a situation where both parties do not understand each other, especially at the workplace, this miscommunication would probably lead to unhealthy competition. You think he or she is your rival because you both have different work ethics and, top it up, speak different languages.

  1. You may struggle to get along:

Getting into a different environment may be exciting to a lot of people. It may not be for some people, because you don’t know anything about their culture or language, and buying necessities in the market may be a huge struggle because you cannot communicate fluently in their language. You may also feel a bit detached in a gathering where everyone speaks a particular language that you neither understand nor speak.

  1. It may result in crises:

Being in a different environment where people are absorbed in their culture or conscious of the religion they practice, if you do something different or offensive to their belief, this may quickly result in crises if not handled properly because a lot would think you are insulting their religion or culture and wouldn’t know you are yet to understand their belief, so we are advised to thread with caution if we find ourselves in such communities or environment.

But I would say my personal advantages outweigh my disadvantages because I love travelling. I love meeting new people; even though unpleasant questions always accompany my short introduction, I wouldn’t stop introducing myself, “Hi, my name is uche” isn’t going anywhere soon.

So, let me know your personal experiences living in a different environment, good or bad I am open to learning more in the comment section.



A few days back, I enrolled in a writing class, and we were given a template for the introduction. Our tutor said we could use hers as a guideline, with a strong instruction not to copy the template verbatim. The assignment was to be submitted before the end of the day.

As I was running out of time, my first instinct was to copy it, change a few words, and submit. I followed my instinct, but during the proofreading process, I realized it wasn’t me talking. I literally could hear neither my active nor my passive voice. I wouldn’t introduce myself in that manner.

Remember that I was really behind time. I just wanted to submit and head on to the next task, but then, a friend’s voice changed everything; “be original, do not rush, do your thing,” he said. I heeded that counsel and chose to do the right thing – to be original. It may not sound like a pro, but it would be me talking.

So, I erased everything I’ve written and started fresh again. I was surprised, it came out really nice, and I felt the originality of my introduction.

This scenario reminded me of how the “cover song” originated. A cover version is a new performance or recording by someone other than the song’s original artist or music composer.

A cover version was originally described as being a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the recently released (original) artist or composer of the song.

I probably don’t particularly appreciate promoting cover songs. I guess because I feel so much effort is put into remixing an artist’s song for publicity when you could sit down, think of your lyrics, and be original.

The same goes for plagiarism. People saw plagiarism as being smart or creative but thank God it’s a punishable offense.

The ability to think independently and creatively should always be encouraged, and that is originality. So, here are a few secrets to help you remain original.

  • Reason #1 Originality makes your business stand out – No matter how someone tries to copy you, yours will always be distinct.
  • Reason #2 Originality builds your identity and image into something influential – your originality keeps you ahead of your competition and makes you influential.
  • Reason #3 Originality brings fun and excitement: remember the adrenaline rush you feel in your body when you think of an idea no one has thought of, or you write an original content no one has written about, or a business idea your striving business can leverage on and grow, you become excited! That’s what originality does to you.
  • Reason #4 Originality breeds new ideas – If you get used to being innovative and imaginative, you would always think outside the box and have something new to offer. Originality helps to stretch your mind and train it to think beyond the norm and not waiting for someone or something to copy from.
  • Reason #5 Originality gives more respect – Everyone wants someone to look up to. As they realize you have your principles and you stick to originality, you are more respected. You become a role model for them.
  • Reason #6 Originality fosters a better relationship – Being original leads to a better relationship because you do not pretend to be someone else. You are honest about who you are and what your values are.
  • Reason #7 Originality brings security – Who wouldn’t feel secure around someone straightforward; someone who isn’t a copycat.
  • Reason #8 Originality creates trust – Trust can only be built when originality is being practiced. Trust is how well people work together, listen to each other, build an effective work relationship, and improve productivity in any organization.

And lastly, originality keeps your customers – You could attract traffic to your site or customers to your business, but what happens when they find out that you are a copycat? News flash; they would jump off the window.

So, I urge us all to be original. Do you have other reasons to be original? Could you share with us?

Undervalue Fields we must Pay More Attention to

Undervalue Fields we must Pay More Attention to

Everyone would attest to the fact that while growing up, we all looked forward to career day with all enthusiasm, where we could all play grown-up roles and act out our future careers. We would eagerly rush to the school hall to hear our seasoned speakers mount the podium and address us.

But sadly we only saw but a few speakers who were doctors, engineers, nurses, lawyers, an accountant, Nigerian army personnel and a few more and at the close of the lecture by a doctor, when asked: “how many of you want to study medicine and surgery?” 80% of hands were raised, funny, right? Hahaha

None of us knew what life had to offer, and you wouldn’t blame us even our parents saw these professions as the only worthy profession which could have a regular paycheck monthly, after all, who wouldn’t want to secure his or her child’s future.

But surprisingly, there is a long list of Noble careers which still give you your regular paychecks and fulfillment, and sometimes even less demanding. I call these careers my rare gemstones. You know, everyone knows about gold, diamond, and silver. Still, only a few know about Tanzanite, Red Beryl, Black Opal, Burma Ruby, Emerald, etc. and by the way, some are more expensive and valuable than a diamond.

In no particular order, here are a few careers that are overlooked and should be given due attention and encouraged.

Agricultural Science:

Despite the establishment of agriculture-based universities in Nigeria, this course is still underrated. Agricultural students are usually referred to as “farmers.” Nobody wants to be a farmer when there are white-collar jobs. Still, the untold truth is this is one of the wealthiest sectors in the economy, and you get to be in charge of your business, and with a well-managed farm, you won’t need to rely on the government’s monthly check for survival and maybe to earn daily.

Hospitality and tourism management

The hospitality and tourism sector is fast growing in Nigeria. Not many people have this specialized skill, with a degree in such hardly popular course, you could be of more advantage, you could write to hotels with a good cover letter and sell yourself, or you can decide to start up on your own, you could own catering services, a travel agency, tour operator and much more.

Public Health

This branch of medicine deals with holding sensitization programs, prevention of diseases, awareness programs, etc. and most times the Nigerian government pay even in dollars, you could work with the government or with NGOs and live a fulfilling life, you could also be a health coach and be self-established.

Food nutrition and Dietic

We all love food, but these people make food and nutrition their daily job. Trained in health, science, and human development, these professionals enjoy careers as independent specialists, government employees, research scientists, and educators, and it ensures a lucrative career.

Physical & Health Education

The sports industry is growing in Nigeria, more and more people in the middle and upper class are paying attention to fitness, professional fitness coaches are still in low supply, what we have are emergency fitness coaches. Sport based businesses from the gym centers to health clubs to even standard sports centers are regularly opening, and as a professional physical and health educator, you stand a chance of employment. You could also delve into physical therapy, and be self-employed.

Human Resource Management

They are very much sought after, and in high demand, their importance in any organization cannot be overemphasized. They are versatile; they are also paid a reasonable amount of salary, and it’s less demanding.

These are my few lists of underrated careers, which I advise we pay more attention to; they are my rare gemstones. “wink” venture into any and thank me later. Do you know any of other gemstones career you need to bring our attention to, please let us know at the comment session?

Same traits, But it Kills

Same traits, But it Kills

I attended the same secondary school as my elder sister. She’s that type that will collect all the academical prizes during the awards and prize-giving day. To say that she’s super brilliant is an understatement. As a result, every teacher knew her, and she was quite popular among the students as well.

But the unintended consequences of her academic success were on me. Every teacher believes I should be as good as her and the expectations of the students were too much for me to bear. Getting into senior secondary school did not help matters. The comparison got really bad; my attitude was on the check, my grades where constantly being monitored, and I was asked more difficult questions than every other student in the class.

When it was time for introduction, and I called my surname, statements like – “oh Ngozi’s sister, right? She was very brilliant. I hope you are too” – was not uncommon. It was a bit difficult for me; to make matters worse, she was a senior prefect, and I wasn’t qualified to be one when it was time. I almost died, lol, but that aside, I had to prove myself every time to people. Subtly, I hated such a comparison.

So, my niece and nephew came visiting during the holiday recently, and I noticed that anytime I wanted to correct her I would say “stop doing this, can’t you see your brother doesn’t!” Because she is way more hyperactive than him. But later in my quiet time, I realized I was doing to my niece the same thing they were doing to me back then.

It suddenly dawned on me that I was not in any way better than those teachers and students that wanted me to be just like my sister. Regardless of the good intention I had, I realized I had started passing the same trait of comparison I suffered during my secondary school days. You might have fallen victim to this comparison syndrome as well – whether as an object of comparison or as somebody that unduly compares two people, especially children.

Like many others, I wouldn’t want my niece to feel the same way I did. Unhealthy comparison causes more harm than good, and here are three reasons:

Comparison stalls a person’s progress: If you spend your time comparing someone, you hinder the person’s ability to reach its highest point. It’s like wanting the fish to jump like a monkey or the monkey to swim like a fish.
No one has a perfect life: Everyone is uniquely created, even when we have our flaws, but that’s what makes us unique individuals. There would always be someone better, someone, more organized, more intelligent, even more, good looking. But that shouldn’t make you inferior; after all, there will also be somebody you are better than.
Comparison turns friends or siblings to rivals: It kills that genuine love both has for each other.

In whatever you do, do your best to resist the temptation of comparing. The urge can be strong sometimes but always find an alternative to correct. Focus on improving the individual because our beauty is in our diversity.

Have you ever being unduly compared? Does it have any negative impact on you? I would love to hear your story. You can share it with us using the comment section. You can also let us know if there are better ways to handle the unhealthy competition.

The Lessons About Values from Mr. Ibu

The Lessons About Values from Mr. Ibu

When I use to do Nigerian movies, one of my favorite actors when it comes to comedy was John naira Okafor popularly known as Mr. Ibu. In one of his movies, he found a wallet full of several hundred-dollar bills and some few a thousand-naira notes in a “danfo” bus.

On reaching home, he took the notes and pasted the dollar bills in his room as decoration. A friend who knows the value bills came visiting and asked to have the remaining bills so that he, too, can use it to decorate his room. Mr. Ibu reluctantly gave him the remaining large chunk of the notes. You can imagine what happens next.

As I was reminiscing on this story this afternoon, two things lessons became clear to me, and I will love to share it with you.

1. Ignorant of a value does not reduce the value.

Simply because Mr. Ibu doesn’t know the worth of those hundred-dollar bills does not reduce the worth of the bills.

Let’s look at the business perspective. Because some people are ignorant of the value of your product or services does not appreciate, it does not mean the value has reduced. Do not cut your value to their level of understanding rather help them to increase their understanding of your value. That’s why effective value communication is a fundamental part of your business activity.

Alternatively, you can focus on those people who understand and appreciate your value. I mean, those whose values resonate with yours. Hence the need for market segmentation. The two can even go hand-by-hand is you have enough resources to pull it.

Now from an individual perspective, of almost 8 billion people on earth, you are the only version of you. That means you have something to offer or do in a unique way that nobody else can, and that’s your value. The fact that you have not discovered it yet does not mean it’s not there. So, don’t ever think you are worthless.

2. If you don’t know your value, others who do will use you.

The world is full of several of Mr. Ibu’s friends – people who know your value and know that you don’t know your value. And instead of helping you to discover it, they will rather exploit you. It could be your friends, your employer, your clients, and even your customers

Always ask yourself, am I really been appreciated for the value I’m bringing to the table? When it comes to the exchange of values, never think the next party is doing you a ‘big favor.’ That does not mean you should be an ingrate; it does mean you should strive to know your value and what it worth.

Life is a journey, and one of the exciting things about it is a fact that it is a journey of self-discovery. The more of the adventure you undertake, the more you understand what you are capable of, which sets you apart from others. How much of your value do you know?

Do you learn any lesson from Mr. Ibu’s story? Share with us.

CAPACITY BUILDING NETWORK – What we have to say about rape.

CAPACITY BUILDING NETWORK – What we have to say about rape.

It’s no longer news that the word “rape” has taken over the Nigerian internet’s street lately.

Millions of Nigerian have taken to the social media to lend their voices against rape, and the members of the Capacity Building Network (CBN2020) are not left behind.

Here are some critical thoughts by some of them and I bet you, you will find a lot of wisdom in there. Enjoy reading,

Olaniyi Emmanuel

We need to educate every boy and guy about rape and its implication, not just rape, but sexual harassment and molestation.

Oluwatunmike Esther

Teach the boy child that every female should be treated with respect. Teach him how to care for his sisters or females around him right while growing up, so he will not depart from it when he is grown. Teach our boys that sexual urge is very healthy, but it is essential to have self-control. Teach our girls not to “lead guys on”, if they are not interested in them.

Ayorinde Olawunmi

Make our men understand that we are not a thing, we are not an object, we are human, and we are women!

Teach them self-control else they will make life miserable for girls while she lives with pain and stigma forever. Teaching our young women to value and respect their body and avoid exposing what is ought to be covered so as not to increase the sexual urge of the opposite sex

Jolayemi Momoh

I am sorry to disagree on the issues of exposure and what is being taught. I believe in the old days, girls wear only wrappers to the stream. Moreover, even now, children are being raped. Abuse, of any type, stems from the same or closely related causes. Teach the male child he is not a god, teach him to respect himself, show him he can be vulnerable, and teach him to value weakness. But even more importantly teach your girls to protect themselves, people get killed every day; men women children, so teach her to fight for herself.

Oluwabunmi Abiola

Let all parents be taught to be responsible to sow good seed into their children. Let them be taught to raise all their children the same way and be intentional about it, both boys and girls are being raped

Timothy Ameloko

Let us create a petition platform for the Nigerian lawmakers against rape for people to sign. They need to review the crime of rape and its punishment because as it stands, it is tough to prove a rape crime beyond reasonable doubt not to talk of winning a rape case in the country.

At the side of the coin is that some women use rape to blackmail men. Let the punishment for those found guilty of that be severe as well.

Women hardly rape men; it is mostly men raping women, so I would not say much on that. Rape punishment should not be 6months imprisonment; it should be up to 10years imprisonment with hard labour


Rape is a sin, and all crimes have root causes. The trending stop rape everyone is posting will make little or no impact if the contingent causes are not addressed.

This may be needed, but how about when females present themselves as a sexual object in music videos. The lyrics also address them as sexual objects.

Our society is filled with harmful activities, and we are expecting a positive outcome? We need to critically examine the causes of rape and launch strong campaigns against them. Rape is a product of some abnormalities.

Gloria Okorafor

I am weak. The whole stuff is painful. First off, accusing all men, as rapists will not solve a thing, instead, it lends succour to the “rapists” that they are not alone. So much perversion everywhere, the system is sick. Perpetrators know that little or nothing would be done to them. How many rapists have faced judicial trial in Nigeria?

 We live in a society where fornication is excused for the males, with excuses made for them that it is like food to them and they cannot stop once they are turned on. We cry out to the girl child to be self-controlled and how her husband would value her chastity, but no one or few people address the males. Boys will always be boys are our slogan, see us now.

Many youths are engrossed in porn sites and magazines. We do not lend our voice to fight against some organizations that use the lives and destinies of young boys as a business; we just keep quiet and hope none of our loved ones gets involved.

Human nature is sorely deprived, and an overhaul of the system is needed. Personally, I believe prayers and right actions will go a long way. We must not wait until we carry banners and placards.

It can begin by telling the little boy not to touch his little sister’s privates; admonishing the mother to discipline her ill-mannered son and not make silly excuses for him. We cry against the entertainment industry.

If society is not keeping them in business, they will not be in business. We sing their songs, dance seductively, and then complain about the effects? That is so wrong. I personally do not like some of the Success videos that seem funny as they portray disrespect and dishonour all in the name of making a joke.

Still, some families sit together and watch these things and everyone laughs and we all marvel when a little boy talks rudely to a big aunty.

In summary, a reformation is needed, and it begins with us

Morenike Egbeyemi

Although much has been said, I would like to add my little quota, which might be similar to some answers already given. There is more to rape than meets the eye.

However, I believe before society can be reformed, the basic building blocks that make up this society have to be dealt with. Here, I refer to the family and each individual that make up this unit (the family).

I am a staunch believer of the statement ‘ We are a product of our nature (environment) and nurture (upbringing). The different environments we find ourselves in and the nurture we get, play a significant role in who we become. A good and quality education would help.

In this case, I mean excellent and quality family education, children education, sex education- all forms of quality education. That could pass across messages against rape, sexual harassment and assaults.

Aside this, individuals (especially grown-ups -males and females) need to nurture themselves, I mean, renew their mindset themselves.

They need to teach themselves to be of ethical conduct. “A good individual, no matter how much quality training he/she receives, further trains him/herself to become the best”- Another Yoruba quote I believe in.

Even in cases where he/she did not have access to the best upbringing, it is never an excuse for acting irrationally; I feel such a person can become better. People have been in such shoes, yet they came out strong, theirs will not be the last

Rape is a consequence

The society indirectly endorsed rape the moment she supports all forms of porn, suggestive images and animations. Women are portrayed as sex objects in our movies and music videos.

You don’t expect to teach a child to avoid rape and yet permit the media to distort his sexual innocence from a very tender age.

When the bible says “Train up a child in the way, he should go, And when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6, he is not talking about just using rods but also protecting the child’s innocence.

We are going to fight rape, but let’s start from the root cause. Shouting “#saynotorape” on social media cannot stop the rape if we are not going to fix the rapidly decaying morality in the system.

The act of rape is a consequence of the decaying system. Leave that out of your narrative, and you will never get it right.

The world needs Jesus.