TIMELESS Published Since April 2003
Vol. 9 No. 10
From the Editor-in-Chief you with contempt for owing and carrying one. Sometimes in the 1970s, our then Head of State stated unequivocally that lack of money was not our problem but how to spend the much available money. We lent money to other nations. The naira exchanged at good rates with the dollar and the pound. Nigerians didn’t have to travel abroad for medical check-up.
The world itself is constantly changing. We have had several world orders that have brought one form of change or the other to the world through their cultures and technologies or way of life. The Assyrian Empire – The Babylonian Empire – The Persian Empire – The Greek Empire – The Roman Empire. The British Empire. What happened during Noah’s time is not what is happening today. There have been changes in knowledge, changes in thinking, changes in circumstances, changes in lifestyle, changes in attitude, changes in the economy. From our perspective of positive change, there is always a better way of doing things. Before the advent of colour television, we had black and white TVs; before that there was TV without sound. Now we have the Cable News Network and satellite TV. We have had the Betamax, the VHS, the CD, the DVD and now the Blueray. The GSM phone technology and email have now become common place. Before we had to rely on telegram and analog phones for our communication purposes. There is something waiting to be discovered by you. The men and women that led these discoveries and made these changes of monumental proportions are men of like mind like you and I. They did not have two heads, or four eyes or 15 fingers. They were willing to pay the price to see change and be the change agent. They were willing to lead change. What was Nigeria like in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? Nigerian universities were amongst the best in the Commonwealth in the 60s. We were the leading exporters of cash crops like cocoa, oil palm, and groundnut. Our green passport was highly respected. Nobody frowned at you or looked upon
What is the situation like today? There is no power supply; the roads are bad, our medical infrastructure is so deplorable that treating malaria and typhoid has become a problem for our doctors, there is no food and people are going hungry, education is poor with those who can afford it sending their children to US, UK and even Ghana, Botswana and South Africa for higher education; the private schools hae virtually taken over the primary and secondary school sectors yet there is no improvement in WAEC and NECO scores. Unemployment is at an all time low, our currency and economy are weak and cannot support basic manufacturing and trading processes and the attitude of the people towards their nation is weak and deplorable. In short things are tough. How did we get to the situation we have found ourselves in? Several reasons could be adduced for our problems with the main one being leadership or a lack of it. We have had poor, uneducated, uniformed, visionless, uncommitted leadership by largely selfish and ignorant people who lack proper training and character. You cannot give what you don’t have. What must we do? (1) We must be ready and willing to change: there must be a willingness to leave the past and move into the future. Change cannot happen if the people are stuck in a time warp unwilling to move forward. (2) We must see the change: This is where vision comes in. We need people who can communicate that change to others. Myles Munroe said “you can only lead people to the degree of the future that you have gone yourself. The act of leadership is taking people from where they are to where they have never been before. The result of true leadership is discomfort and change. The most important source of leadership is vision.” The change we yearn for must be something that can be easily communicated to others. (3) We must find the people with the appropriate character to lead the change: leadership is all about personality and character. Again it was Myles Munroe that said “an army of sheep led by
a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” It’s all about character. Nigeria, a nation of 150 million people is not short of human resource. It’s just that the system keeps throwing up those with corrupt and questionable characters. That must change. (4) We must put in the processes for change: Processes in our educational, religious, electoral, and legislative and governance systems that will bring about change must be put in place. If someone has tried a process that works that brings about change, that process must be documented and taught to others and replicated across all spheres of our society. (5) We must commit to and be faithful to the change: We must be ready as a people and as a nation to endure the hardships and the consequences that the change will bring about. Change is not always easy. People naturally will always want to remain in their comfort zones. They have to be forced to change their thinking, their attitude, their way of life. We must be faithful as a nation to such changes What are the things we need? Education; Vision; Determination; Strength & Hardwork; Truth, Boldness, Honesty, Integrity; Capacity, Skill and Gift; Fairness What do we need to do for Nigeria? (1) Corruption must stop (2) People must be enlightened, informed and emboldened. (3) We must insist on clean electoral processes. (4) We must search for right leadership with the right character and proven track record, encourage and support them to participate You must be ready to get involved at whatever level, starting with yourself and your environment. It is possible and Yes, We can. God bless Nigeria.
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TIMELESS TIMELESS Success OUTLETS Habits Published Since April 2003
Vol. 9 No. 1
Ituah Ighodalo EDITOR
...for the New Year As Selected by You - Our Readers
1. UNILAG Bookshop, Akoka 2. Edysyl Bookshops, Jibowu Str, Yaba & Kodesho Str, Ikeja 3. Royal Dividends Store 4. Iman Cosmetics, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi 5. Total Filling Station, Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi 6. Media Store RCCG Christ Church, Gbagada 7. MM1 & MM2 Local Airport 8. CCD Stores, Ogudu 9. Pharm Affairs, Ogudu 10. Cheeses Stores, Ogudu 11. Terra Kulture, Tiamuyi Savage, V.I 12. Prince Stores, Diya Street, Gbagada Culture A Dissection of Chimamanda’s “The Thing Around your Neck at Farafina Book Review Style The Coolest Watches Money can Buy Society “My Vagina is Embarrasing...”
Adeleke Adeyemi SENIOR EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Tola Majolagbe EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
R E TT
rds 0 wo 0 3 an . re th gift item o m t a of no receive s r e t let will nd in y month e s can ver You letter e r A sta
u ssco e l e im
Matthew Osarenren CORRESPONDENTS
Godwin Thomas Taiwo Tunkarimu Tolu Ifekoya Kunle Michael GRAPHIC DESIGN & PRODUCTION EDITOR
Agbele Olusola BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL SERVICES DIRECTORS
Victoria Tandoh Nneka Nwobi Bayo Rotimi HEAD, SALES, MARKETING & CIRCULATION
Steve Atannoye MISSION STATEMENT To establish a well Structured, Educative and Informative Newsmagazine based on Sound Moral Values; providing Honest, Unbiased Reportage in Fairness to all.
SEPTEMBER 2010 TIMELESS
CSR in National Development
orporate Social Responsibility, popularly known by the catchphrase CSR, is another name for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. Depending on which side of the divide you are on, many agree it has more to do with how business is done than what the proceeds of business are used for. It is fast gaining recognition as a business concept or philosophy worthy of note and capable of changing society for the better. A lot depends on which side of the divide you stand.
Notwithstanding your opinion on the definition, however, the consensus remains that CSR is indeed capable of making significant contributions to the development of society as a whole. CSR is a veritable tool for national development. This is in spite of the fact that the reality of what is practiced as CSR in the Nigerian corporate environment shows that we are still at the nascent stage in the evolution of the journey of this rather noble concept/philosophy since it was first identified. The security challenge currently facing the Nigerian state is a ready example. Many will argue that today’s world has degenerated from the past. It is common to hear older folks say morality is on the decline while lawlessness is on the increase. This is perhaps explained with the way children are brought up in today’s society unlike the way things were in the 70’s/80’s. Most kids today are raised by ‘house helps’ than their parents who most times leave before the kids wake up and return home after the kids have gone to bed. Just in case you’re wondering what corporate social responsibility has to do with this; you will agree with me that while virtually every employment letter here in Nigeria stipulates an 8am – 5pm work time, it is not uncommon to find superiors question subordinates who pick up their bags to leave at the dot of 5pm, with the phrase “Where do you think you’re going?!”. Corporate organisations while mostly living up to the maxim that ‘businesses are established primarily to make profit’, have sacrificed the wellbeing of their employees at the slightest challenge they face. In a lot of cases, the training budget is the one of the first items to be sacrificed during a recession. In other cases, it is items that have to do with safety like some have claimed to be the case with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where it has been said that the well head which blew up, had been due for replacement way before the accident occurred. It seems as though businesses (as represented by business owners and/or mangers) fail to realise that “a business cannot succeed in a society that fails” (Bjorn Stigson, leader of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development)! 6
Many of Nigeria’s hip-hop stars for instance who have left children as little as 3,4, and 5yrs old singing their vulgarity laden songs live on shows and endorsements from the big businesses, and incidences in the past have shown that they could have these artists dinging the right tunes with rich messages if they so pleased. They could have them sing songs that will ensure that Nigerian kids grow up with the right values, as against growing up drowned in songs with very wrong messages on sex, violence and alcohol. In another vein, I am reminded of a statement someone made a comment following the banking reforms that swept away many of the nation’s ‘top’ bankers. He said that if only they knew, they probably should have invested in prison reforms as part of their CSR. First of all, I’ll like to seize this opportunity to correct the misunderstanding between CSR (no matter the definition you abide by) and CSI (Corporate Social Responsibility). CSR as clarified earlier is more of a business concept or business philosophy that borders more on responsible business practices, while CSI as the name connotes has more to do with investing in society. This (CSI) is where philanthropic activities in businesses ought to be domiciled. Now, with the definition out of the way, and noting that what the maker of the statement meant to say is probably that these former ‘top bankers’ may have invested in prison reforms as part of their CSI activities, it will help to also acknowledge that there is a lot of truth in it. Like Bjorn Stigson said in his quote; a society cannot succeed in a society that fails, and business managers should realise this! They cannot shy away from fighting corruption simply because they fear that those interest it seems that society remains corrupt will victimise their businesses, they need to realise that should they insist on not doing the right thing, that decision will come back to haunt them.
The point here is not that businesses are responsible for all of society’s ills. This can’t be farther from the truth, because all of society’s stakeholders have more or less equal responsibility in this. From those responsible for governance; politicians and civil servants alike, the clergy, etc. Rather, the point being made here is that businesses are in vantage position to help with many of society’s many ills, and they should help by adopting responsible business practices. They should help with the atmosphere by not throwing waste materials into their surroundings, by not sending dangerous gaseous substances into the atmosphere (and this shouldn’t start a climate change debate), etc. They should adopt family friendly labour policies that promote win-win situations between the company’s goals and those of its workers. The list of such examples goes on and on, but the point remains that companies/businesses have a significant role to play in national development! The importance of the role businesses play in society cannot be overstated. Some reports have stated that some companies are richer than the forty poorest countries in the world for instance. As many organisations are quick to show in their economic and CSR impact assessment reports, businesses affect more lives than those directed employed by them. They affect their employees and their dependants, their contractors and their dependants, their subcontractors and their dependants, their clients/customers, etc The list showing the impact of business is very wide. CSR I dare say is a business philosophy/concept that can make tremendous impact on national development. Abidemi David Edmond is Chief Responsibility Officer at The Nedola Initiative Ltd, TNIL, Lagos
Cover Feature Ayodeji Jeremiah
Celebrating Great Nigerian Icons A s Nigeria celebrates its 51st independence anniversary, there is the tendency for us to ask what exactly are we celebrating. Many are the hopes that have been dashed concerning this great country, the most populous black nation on earth. Many are the mistakes that have been made, the blood that have been shed, the resources that have been wasted and the profligacy of its people and its leaders.
It is this set of Nigerians who have broken barriers, who have gone beyond boundaries and distinguished themselves in spite of the insurmountable odds that Timeless is celebrating this 51st independence anniversary. It is our hope that this remarkable Nigerians will provide the necessary inspiration for the present and future generations of Nigeria.
But despite all these, despite the fact that the Nigerian nation is not where itâ€™s supposed to be, despite the wanton destruction, despite its many challenges, Nigeria is a great country with great people and resources. Stories have been told of Nigerians achieving great feats both within and outside the shores of the country.
Mr. Akintola Williams Akintola Williams is the founder of Nigeriaâ€™s oldest indigenous accounting firm and one of the countryâ€™s largest professional services firm, Akintola Williams Deloitte. He is a pioneer member and co-founder of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Music Society of Nigeria and he was also involved in the founding of the Nigerian Stock Exchange
Of course, we tend to hear more of the negative stunts being pulled by Nigerians home and abroad, but for every Nigerian who soils the name of the country, there are several others who have gone on to make the nation proud. In sports, business, philanthropy, journalism, academics, medicine, science, information technology, fashion, broadcasting and arts.
Akintola Williams was born 9 August 1919 to the family of Ekundayo Williams, a lawyer and farmer who was a son of a wealthy businessman from Abeokuta; his mother, one of the three wives of Ekundayo Williams was from the Fernandez family of Lagos. He started his education through private studies and then attended Baptist Academy, Methodist School Olowogbowo and C.M.S.
Grammar School, Lagos before proceeding to the Yaba Higher College where he earned a U.A.C. scholarship to study Commerce. He thereafter briefly worked as an assistant secretary with the Church Missionary Society, took examinations for an intermediate Bachelor in Commerce before attending London University majoring in banking and finance. He continued his studies and qualified as a chartered accountant in England in 1949 and serving the firm Binder Hamlyn & Co for his articleship. While in London, he was one of the founders of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa society, with Dr. Oni Akerele as President and Obafemi Awolowo as Secretary. On returning to Nigeria, he briefly worked as an assessment officer for the Inland Revenue service. In 1952, he set up his own firm, Akintola Williams & Co, the first chartered accounting firm owned by an African. Though there were already Nigerian owned accounting firms in Lagos, none was registered as chartered accountants, a service dominated by expatriate firms. He retired from the firm in 1983. Between April 1999 and May 2004, Akintola Williams & Co merged with two other accounting firms to create Akintola Williams Deloitte, the
cover feature largest professional services firm in Nigeria with a staff of over 600.
government in Nigeria and the endorsement of all Commonwealth governments.
Mr. Akintola Williams has been honoured as an Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR). He was the first gold medalist of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and in 1992, the Howard Business School Association of Nigeria named him businessman of the year. He was also honoured as an honourable Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). His CBE was awarded for services to the accountancy profession and for promotion of arts, culture and music through the Musical Society of Nigeria. The Akintola Williams Arboretum at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation headquarters in Lagos is named in his honour.
At the 1989 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chief Anyaoku was elected the third Commonwealth Secretary-General and re-elected at the 1993 CHOGM in Limassol, Cyprus, for a second five-year term.
Chief Emeka Anyaoku Born Eleazar Chukwuemeka (Emeka) Anyaoku on 18 January 1933 in Obosi, Nigeria, he attended the Merchants of Light School in Oba and (as a College Scholar) the University College of Ibadan, at the time a college of the University of London and from which he obtained an honours degree in Classics. In 1959, Emeka Anyaoku joined the Commonwealth Development Corporation. Following Nigeria’s independence, he was invited to join his country’s diplomatic service and, in 1963, was posted to Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. In 1966, shortly after the establishment of the Commonwealth Secretariat, he was seconded to the new organisation at the request of the first Secretary-General, Arnold Smith of Canada, as Assistant Director of International Affairs, later becoming Director and, in 1975, Assistant Secretary-General. In 1977, Commonwealth governments elected him Deputy SecretaryGeneral with responsibility for international affairs and the Secretariat’s administration. Nigeria’s civilian government of 1983 called on Chief Anyaoku to become the country’s Foreign Minister. On the overthrow of the Government by the military, he returned to his position as Deputy Secretary-General with the support of the new
Chimamanda Adichie 8
His current roles include chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on International Affairs in Nigeria; President of the Royal Commonwealth Society; President of the Royal Africa Society; International President of the World Wide Fund for Nature; Member of the Governing Board of the Geneva based South Centre, think-tank of developing countries on global strategic and development issues. In 2003, the University of London established a professorial chair in his name: the Emeka Anyaoku Professor of Commonwealth Studies at its Institute of Commonwealth Studies. His publications include The Missing Headlines, his memoirs: The Inside Story of the Modern Commonwealth and The Racial Factor in International Politics. Emeka Anyaoku is a traditional Ndichie Chief in Obosi (Ichie Adazie Obosi and Ugwumba Idemili). He is married with one daughter and three sons. General Theophilus Danjuma Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma is the Chairman and Founder of the TY Danjuma Foundation. Theophilus Danjuma started his education at St Bartholomew’s Primary School in Wusasa and moved onto the Benue Provincial Secondary School in Katsina-Ala where he was the captain of the school cricket 1st XI team. He received his Higher School Certificate in 1958. In 1959 he enrolled at the Nigerian College of Arts Science and Technology in Zaria (Ahmadu Bello University) to study History on a Northern Nigeria Scholarship. However by the end of 1960, Danjuma had left University in order to enrol with the Nigerian Army. Danjuma was commissioned into the Nigerian Army
Archbishop Peter Akinola
as second lieutenant and platoon commander in the Congo and in 1963 joined a UN Peace-keeping force in Sante, Kataga Province in Congo when he was promoted to captain three years later. In 1967, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel at the start of the Nigerian Civil war. Following his promotion to Colonel in 1971 he spent the next two years with responsibility for court-martialling Army officers proven guilty of corruption and indiscipline. In 1975 he was promoted to Brigadier and the position of General Officer Commanding (GOC) and in the following year he became the Chief of Army Staff to the Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo. He retired from the Nigerian army in 1979 In 1979, he founded the Nigeria America Line (NAL), the COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Ltd in 1984 and the South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO), a Nigerian Oil Exploration and Production Company in 1995. Since 1999 Danjuma has played an active role in Nigerian politics, including being appointed in 1999 as Minister of Defence to President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Cabinet. In December 2008, the TY Danjuma Foundation was created in Nigeria. The Foundation’s principal aims are to provide durable advantages through the implementation of development programs. The Foundation plans to operate more as a philanthropic organisation rather than simply as a charity. This would allow for the foundation to seek out other deserving causes and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to partner with and make grants available. Chief Mrs Opral Benson Chief (Mrs) Opral Mason Benson obtained a B.Sc. degree in Education from Morris Brown College, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in 1958, and a Master of Arts Degree in Education from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She obtained a Diploma in Administration from Pittsburgh University in 1961 and a Certificate in Communications from Michigan University in 1961. In Liberia she had worked as the Chief Administrative Officer as well as Coordinator for
cover feature Administration at the Department of Agriculture, Commerce and Labour that laid the foundation for the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Between 1966/67, she served as Registrar for Student Affairs, Admission Officer, Appointment Officer, and Information Officer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She was foundation Board Member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Nigeria (1971), Also, between 1970/77 she was amongst others, Member of the Governing Board of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, Principal Liaison Officer, FESTAC 77 (1971), and Member, Nigerian Olympic Committee (1982).
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, named for the flag of the short-lived Biafran nation, is set before and during Nigeria’s internecine war. It was published in 2006 and clinched the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her third book is a collection of short stories titled “The Thing Around Your Neck,” published in early 2009 in the US. She is arguably Nigeria’s most decorated writer. One worthy Chimamanda cause is a series of creative writing workshops that brings to literary nurseries around Nigeria an international faculty of accomplished writers. She’s also set to build and furnish libraries right across the country.
In her private capacity, she is the Executive Chairman of Johnson Products of Nigeria Ltd., Chic Afrique Enterprises Ltd, Creative Consults, Pretel Productions Lt., Opral Benson Beauty Training Institute, Bitts Travels and Tours Ltd., Bitts International Trading Company Ltd., the Outreach Foundation (an NGO focusing on women empowerment and youth development) and the Nigeria Stockbrokers Limited.
Peter Jasper Akinola He was elected primate of the Church of Nigeria on 22nd February 2000. Until his retirement in October 2009, Peter Jasper Akinola led nearly 20 million members in the world’s fastest-growing Anglican province (Nigeria), second in membership only to the Church of England. Through his strident opposition to homosexuality, Akinola made himself into a central figure in the global culture wars. He threatened to withdraw the Church of Nigeria from the Anglican Communion in 2003 if the celibate homosexual Jeffrey John was consecrated as Bishop of Reading or the non-celibate homosexual Gene Robinson was consecrated as Bishop of New Hampshire. Akinola strengthened the Anglican Church at home and redefined its relationship with the Anglican Communion. He said in a press conference that, “We are committed to the historic faith, doctrine, sacrament and discipline of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith.” He however, opposed attempts to redefine “our common faith.”
Chief (Mrs) Opral Mason Benson is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria, and a Member of the Institute of Directors, UK. She was the Contact Person for the set up on behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation of New York, of the Foundation for Environmental Development and Education in Nigeria (FEDEN, the host institute for LEADNigeria. Chief (Mrs) Opral Mason Benson has been conferred with Honours and Chieftaincy Titles nationally and internationally including, Member of the Order of Nigeria (MON), Commander of the Star of Africa (CSA), Liberia, Honorary Citizen of Atlanta, USA, ECOWAS Gold Merit Award 2000, Who’s Who among Women in the World, Who’s Who in Nigeria and Who’s Who in the Commonwealth. Chimamanda Adichie Her signature first name, already a mantra chanted with fanatical fanfare by hordes of readers, means “My God will never fall me”; alternately, “my spirit is unbreakable.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 32, is the most widely acclaimed Nigerian writer of the 2000s. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, published in 2003, won the Best First Book award in the 2005
Nike Ogunlesi At the age of 19, Nike discovered what she wanted to do with her life after dropping out of the Ahmadu Bello University where she was offered admission two weeks after resumption. This lady did not see her dropping out as a limitation, rather every time she stepped out of the shores of Nigeria she learnt all she could in tailoring and fashion designing. She also took a step further to buy and read books that enhanced her tailoring skills as her parents couldn’t afford to send her to the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, where she wanted to acquire some skills. Adenike Ogunlesi,
the brain behind Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, one of the biggest and largest stores known for making and selling children’s outfits never went back to school but did not stop attending short management courses to enhance her skills and grow her business. The most important thing to her was starting because once you get started, there is always a way to deal with challenges that come. Today Ruff ‘n’ Tumble is a thriving business with more than 50 employees and distributing along the West Africa coast because her passion for making clothes outgrew her desires to make money. ASA Born Bukola Elemide, Asa was born in Paris, France to Nigerian parents. She was two years old when her family returned to live in Nigeria. Asa grew up in Lagos. However twenty years later Asa returned to Paris, which is where her life as an artist took wing. When she came home, she discovered Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo, in whose footprints she dreamed of following. At 18, Asa was very familiar with frustration. The university was on strike, the choirs were snubbing her. During these frustrating times, Asa used to lock herself in her room and sing. Nevertheless, she managed to get her voice heard on a few radio talent shows and her first applause brought her boundless pleasure. She then signed up, in secret, for the Peter King’s School of Music and learned to play guitar in 6 months. In 2004 Asa met her manager and friend, Janet, who introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo, who in turn became her musical partner and producer. He enabled Asa, the free spirit, to find her bearings. It was at this stage of her life that Asa finally returned to Paris. This was her chance to test out her talent on the French musical scene, playing with artists such as the Les Nubians, Manu Dibango, Doctor L and Tony Allen. In the meantime, back in Nigeria, her first single, Eyé Adaba, then Jailer, were beginning to get airtime. MTV chose her as the ambassador for South Africa. Her popularity became big, that when she came back to Nigeria she opened for Akon, John Legend, Beyoncé and Snoop Dogg amongst others. She has also collaborated
cover feature with well known Nigerian artists such as 9ice and Tuface. Aṣa soon signed to the ‘Naïve label’. Partnered by Cobhams, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy, she produced her first album, Aṣha. Her second album titled Beautiful Imperfection was released on 25 October 2010. Pius Adesanmi Pius Adesanmi, poet and critic, was born in 1972 and obtained a First Class Honours degree in French Studies from the University of Ilorin (1992). He subsequently obtained a Master’s degree and a PhD in the same discipline from the Universities of Ibadan and British Columbia respectively. He has since pursued a career as a scholar of Francophone and Anglophone African and Black Diasporic literatures and cultures. He is a two-time Fellow of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and has guest-lectured widely in Universities in Africa, Europe, and North America. He has contributed essays on literature and culture to several learned journals, literary reviews, newspapers, and edited books. He regularly serves as a manuscript reviewer for literary publications. His poetry collection, The Wayfarer and Other Poems won the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize in 2001. He is currently an Associate professor of Literature at Carleton University, Ottawa Canada, and Director, Project on New African Literatures (PONAL). Kunle Olukotun Oyekunle Ayinde (Kunle) Olukotun is a pioneer of multi-core processors, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University and director of the Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory at Stanford. Olukotun did his undergraduate studies at Calvin College, and his doctoral studies in computer engineering at the University of Michigan. In the mid-1990s, Olukotun and his co-authors argued that multi-core computer processors were likely to make better use of hardware than existing superscalar designs. In 2000, while a professor at Stanford, Olukotun founded Afara Websystems, a company that designed and manufactured multicore SPARC-based computer processors for data centres. Afara was purchased by Sun Microsystems in 2002; at Sun, Olukotun was one of the architects of the 2005 UltraSPARC T1 processor. In 2008, Olukotun returned to Stanford, and founded the Pervasive Parallelism Laboratory at Stanford after gathering US$6M in funding from several computerindustry corporations. His recent work focuses on domain-specific programming languages that can allow algorithms to be easily adapted to multiple different types of parallel hardware including multicore systems, graphics processing units, and fieldprogrammable gate arrays.
Olukotun is also a member of the board of advisors of UDC, a Nigerian venture capital firm. He was elected as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2006 for his “contributions to multiprocessors on a chip and multi threaded processor design”. He became a Fellow of the IEEE in 2008. Funmi Olopade As a physician and scientist, Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade epitomizes the “bench to bedside” philosophy in her application of scientific discoveries to clinical medicine. An esteemed physician-scientist, Dr. Funmi Olopade directs a multidisciplinary research program in cancer genetics at The University of Chicago. Her research is focused on identifying and understanding the role that various genes and the environment play in the development of cancer. An internationally recognized haematologist/oncologist, Dr. Olopade specializes in cancer risk assessment and treatment of aggressive breast cancer that disproportionately affects young women. Dr. Olopade received her medical degree with distinction from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and served as a medical officer at the Nigerian Navy Hospital. She came to the United States as a resident in internal medicine at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, where she was named chief medical resident. She did her Haematology/ Oncology Fellowship training at The University of Chicago under pioneering scientist Dr. Janet Rowley and was appointed to the faculty in 1991 and became founding director of the Centre for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health in 1992. Dr. Olopade quickly rose to the ranks of full professor and has since become one of the most distinguished faculty members at The University of Chicago. She has served as a mentor to dozens of trainees and is a role model to physicians and scientists around the world. In addition, Dr. Olopade collaborates with clinicians and scientists around the world to reduce the global burden of cancer and improve health in resource-poor nations. For her efforts, she was recently named Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Chicago. Dr. Olopade is a Trustee at St Paul’s School New Hampshire and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is also the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar award, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist award, a 2005 MacArthur Fellowship grant, Honorary Degrees from Bowdoin College, Princeton University and North Central College. In 2008, she became an elected member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010.
As a mentor to many young students and medical fellows, Dr. Olopade effectively disseminates the benefits of her work, inspires students and colleagues, and is a role model for women scientists worldwide. Cobhams Asuquo Cobhams Emanuel Asuquo born January 6, 1981 is a song writer/music producer per excellence who started his professional training as a lawyer, but later branched into music full-time to fulfill a lifelong desire he had though unadmittedly but silently nurtured. His style comprises a wide spectrum of genres based on his careful understudy of such classical, jazz and traditional music greats as Tchaikovsky, Dave Grusin and Haruna Isola respectively. He is currently signed onto Sony ATV (Sony Publishing) London as a songwriter and has won awards in music as well as his other fields of interest. Cobhams Asuquo likes to say that his music career started when as a child he used to puff his cheeks to play the 12-bar blues. Today, he is known for producing some of the finest artistes in Nigeria. Noteworthy among these artistes is the Nigerian soul-singing sensation, Asa, whose 2007 debut album became an international hit. In addition to producing the album, Cobhams wrote and cowrote several of its hits songs. In 2005, Cobhams signed on to Sony ATV London as a songwriter. After working as Head of Audio Productions at a local label, Questionmark Entertainment, he set up his own recording facility in 2006. He is CEO/ Head of Productions of CAMP (Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions), an all-encompassing entertainment company that discovers, nurtures and exposes great talents. Cobhams has won multiple local and international awards for his creative and entrepreneurial contributions to the Nigerian music industry. Ifeyinwa Aniebo Ify Aniebo is currently a PhD student at the University of Oxford on a fully funded scholarship from the Wellcome Trust, the Tropical Network Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Professionally she has worked at TDL Genetics, Mediserve, the Cambridge Antibody Technology (Medimmune), Illumina Inc, the Sanger Institute, Cambridge and the Wellcome-Oxford-WHO unit in Thailand and has presented her research at leading malaria research conferences around the world. She has a BSc in Genetics from Queen Mary’s University, London and an MSc in Applied Bio-molecular Technology from the University of Nottingham and has enjoyed a scholarship from the Prince’s Trust. She has also carried out research at the Wellcome-Oxford-WHO unit in Thailand. She came into limelight in Febrauary 2010 when she bagged two awards for Scientist of the Year and Young Person of the Year (the most prestigious of the awards) at the 2010 edition of the Future Awards programme.
Sebeccly holds Capacity Building Breast Cancer Workshop for Media Professionals
n line with improving breast cancer awareness and reducing the incidence of the disease in Nigeria, Sebeccly, a registered, nonprofit organization working to promote the early detection and effective treatment of cancers in Nigeria and advocate for policy development and implementation of strategies aimed at reducing the cancer burden in Nigeria, recently organised the first in its series of Capacity Building Breast Cancer Workshop for Media Professionals. Breast cancer is the commonest cancer affecting Nigerian women; unfortunately most patients present in the hospitals at advanced stages. Late presentations are due to lack of awareness, ignorance, superstitious beliefs, secrecy, misconceptions, embarrassment, fear of dying, negative socio-cultural attitudes, fear of treatment, inadequate healthcare facilities and physicians, lack of funds to start or complete treatment. If more women present with early stage disease, there will be more breast cancer survivors. Part of the work at Sebeccly is providing information on the disease and striving to create awareness on early detection whilst advocating for improved treatment options in Nigeria. Part of the ceremonies at the event were the launch of the Best Reporter Award on Cancer Awareness and Advocacy for 2012 and presentation of the Press Tool Kit for Cancers in Nigeria. The event aims to improve the understanding and reporting skills on breast health and breast cancer issues, thereby increasing awareness on a National level. Sebeccly hopes to through this event promote intelligent and critical coverage of breast cancer and encourage excellence in reporting breast health and cancer across Nigeria. OCTOBER 2011
Unspoken Words Exhibition
nspoken Words, an exhibition of works by 3 Nigerian artists (Segun Aiyesan; Diseye Tantua and Gbenga Offo) took place recently at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. All three artists are artists of note who have been around for quite some time. Having enjoyed their era of making beautiful pictures, they came together to show results of their art, spotlighting their various styles while presenting their message. The “Unspoken Words” exhibition was a ‘collabo’ intended to draw together the wealth of experience of the three artists. The exhibition offered a broad band presentation of the mind of the different creatives; their experiences, likes and dislikes. The messages they carry educate and enlighten the society at large.
events V14 Ventures holds fundraiser for Sickle Cell
14 Ventures, a sole proprietorship owned by Valentina Chimonez recently organised a fashion sale fund raiser at SS Lounge, Victoria Island, Lagos with 100% of the proceeds going to the Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative (SAMI) founded by Ms. Toyin Adesola. A cheque for the sum of N155, 000.00 was handed over to SAMI on the 17th of September, 2011 at The Best Southern Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. The next fundraiser scheduled for Sunday October 23 is a bazaar where Nigerian delicacies like Isi-ewu, Nkwobi, Abasha, Uba, Ewa-agonyi, and some Lebanese and German delicacies would be sold. Like the last time, 100% of the proceeds would be donated to a chosen Sickle Cell foundation. The theme of the October bazaar is â€˜The Renaissance.â€™ Accordingly, the dress theme is costume from the 50\60s because that was a period of revolution and rebirth.Venue is the SS Lounge, Sapara Williams Close, Victoria Island, Lagos. Sickle Cell disease, a hereditary disorder affects over 2 million Nigerians, resulting in the death of an average of 150,000 children each year.
Life & Society
Dealing with Wedding Stress
Life & Society about every aspect of your wedding day, you have a lot on your plate in the time between your engagement and honeymoon. But don’t give up and plan to elope…there are ways to make your wedding planning less stressful and more manageable. Below are some tips to help you get to your wedding day without freaking out! Before we begin our stress busting, let’s see how stressed out you are already. Bridal Stress Test: For all the following questions, please answer with Yes or No, True or False: 1. I am getting plenty of sleep and I am sleeping well. [Yes / No] 2. I am eating enough and not too much, and what I am eating are mostly the right things. [Yes / No] 3. I do not find myself ruminating on topics that are bothering me. [True / False] 4. I am able to make decisions and feel good about them. [Yes / No] 5. My family is supportive and helpful when it comes to my wedding. [Yes / No] 6. My friends and bridesmaids are supportive and helpful when it comes to my wedding. [Yes / No] 7. My fiancé is sharing in our wedding planning process. [Yes / No] 8. I have time to do most of the things I want to do for my wedding and for myself right now. [Yes / No] 9. My wedding planning is not adversely affecting my job or my friendships. [True / False] 10. I feel good about how my wedding day is going to turn out. [Yes / No]
tress - it’s the one thing no bride can hide from in preparing for her wedding day. Acknowledging the stressful part of it up front is actually one of the most important ways that you can help to stay calm and centered throughout your wedding planning. Keep in mind that your wedding planning involves dealing with a number of different stressful
The results: If you answered No or False to 3 or fewer questions: You are doing quite well, and there’s no need to worry, at least for right now. If you answered No or False to 3 to 6 questions: You are moving toward being fairly stressed and probably want to re-evaluate how you are managing things. If you answered No or False to 7 or10 questions: issues, all at the same time! From managing You need to slow down! Things could be going your budget (money issues are stress triggers a lot better for you. Keep reading this section for most people) to dealing with the emotions now; you really need to de-stress!. and expectations of your family members (who even when very happy for you are also Tips for Cutting Down on Wedding Stress dealing with their own emotional issues around 1. Plan for Stress: Going into your wedding weddings and marriage) to dealing with a lot of planning with open eyes will allow you to be work and brain energy as you make decisions
Life & Society pro-active. Choose ways to help you manage the stress you are feeling or that you know may come. For some people, it may be about focusing on eating extra well and getting plenty of rest. Exercise is also a great way to manage extra stress. Make time in your day, between balancing work and wedding planning, to take a walk or watch a funny video. Keep your perspective—read a newspaper, listen to music, talk to a friend…about anything except the wedding. 2. Find a confidante you can trust: This should be someone who will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear. You need to be able to keep your mind open, and know that not everything this person tells you is going to be easy to hear. 3. Recognize that there are some things that you cannot change: Accept them for what they are. For example, you’re going to have to accept that that inconsiderate uncle of yours who tells off-colour jokes is not going to change for your wedding. 4. Be prepared to compromise: You are the bride, and it is your wedding, but there are going to be things that you will need to compromise on. Choose your battles carefully, and make sure the ones you choose to fight or choose to back off from are ones could really make a difference in how you remember your wedding. 5. Seek out positive people: You know the ones—people who make you smile by just being around. During stressful times, turn to the really positive people in your life for support. Think about what roles they can play in your wedding, so that you are literally surrounded by
positive energy during your ceremony. Friends or family members who continually drain you need to be held at bay. Keep your own energy strong and fresh by staying around people who look on the bright side of things. 6. Face the inevitable: Something will go wrong. Your wedding day may be perfect in every detail—after all, it is being put together by human beings, and none of us is perfect. Your cake toppers may fall off. The band may play a song that you told them not to. Your photographer may forget to get a picture that was on your list of moments not to miss. Laugh it off. Keep in mind that your marriage to come will include lots of not perfect moments. The more that you are able to be flexible and accept that, the more likely that your marriage will succeed. Your wedding day will be absolutely terrific and enjoyable, despite any flaws that happen. Celebrate the day, your love for each other, and the joy of being surrounded by family friends. Too many people get so caught up in the forest of details that they absolutely lose the trees.
with your future spouse gets neglected. Continue to date and talk about the future (after the wedding ceremony). 8. Delegate: Find trustworthy people who can take over some of the responsibilities of preparation. Consult with them every so often, but leave it in their hands. Frugal parents should realize that sometimes their time is worth much more than money. Hire some things to be done. 9. Pamper yourself: Listen to music, sit in the park, get a massage, take a bubble bath or whatever way you like to be pampered. These can be mini-vacations that help to take you away from the stress. 10. Laugh: If you haven’t learned it yet, learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t take the wedding day too seriously, it is an important day, but only one day of your life. Talk with married couples about funny things that happened at their weddings, so that you can laugh more easily at the humorous things that happen at your own.
7. Don’t neglect your spouse-to-be: It is very easy to get so wrapped up in the preparations for the wedding that time spent
Life & Society
Our Personality is the Blueprint of Our Lives • • •
The Wanderer The caregiver The Worrier
The Poet is a Liberal, openminded personality, yet driven by a strong curiosity and thirst for new ideas. They like to be unconventional and this often times makes them uncomfortable with structure and authority. The poet is that colleague of yours at the office who is creative, talented in the area of problem solving but frequently clashes with authority and finds meeting deadlines a big challenge. Telling a poet something is against the rule or policy and therefore saying that such an act cannot be embarked upon is not a good enough reason. You need to do better with theories and information. Poets need to be sufficiently challenged to bring out the best in them at work.
hat Makes You Who You Are? Is it your experiences, memories, likes and dislikes, aptitude, talent or the way you dress, the work you do, the list goes on and on…… Personality tends to describe in definite terms the answer to our question. Personality is the name we give to all those facets of our character from sense of humour to our anxious tendencies, our talents for numbers or passion for art…Louise Chunn, editor Psychologies Magazine. Psychologists have found that our personality influences most of our life decisions and hence the way we see it. The most five common archetypes i.e. the five dimensions of personality that many psychologists believe are at the root of any individual character are as follows: • The Poet • The Commander 18
The Commander is the exact opposite of the Poet. Very organized and works well with structure and order, sticking to daily routines. Commanders are efficient and plan ahead. Your typical Commander always draws a-to-do list and finds it difficult to adjust to last minute changes which makes them uncomfortable and anxious. The Commander is dependable and loyal with self-discipline and self-control as personal core values. Commanders are competent with very high work ethics, so you have to work hard to get along with them. Commanders have a strong sense of responsibility and therefore make good leaders. The Wanderer is the adventurous one, always looking and seeking pleasure-stimulating or risk-taking activities. The Wanderer loves socializing with the natural capacity for leadership. Studies have shown that wanderers are more likely to drink, smoke and less likely to get enough sleep. They excel at sales jobs not only because they are good at striking rapport and getting people onside by making them laugh, but because it’s a competitive
environment and the rewards are often high. They love the buzz of conquering obstacles, reaching the top or getting rich and enjoy taking risks to achieve it. They make good marketers, promoters, publicist and entrepreneurs. The Caregiver is sociable, agreeable and warm. They always put others first. This personality is very diplomatic, always forming and maintaining relationships. This peacemaker is often times caught in the web while trying to back away from conflicts even though he/she is right. It’s just hard for the caregiver to say NO. With a caregiver, you are guaranteed of undivided attention and are therefore best at working with teams. HR roles, counseling, coaching, teachers and social workers are roles that best suit them because of their accommodating style of communication. The Worrier is the fifth and last of the personality type. This is the intense and passionate type. The panicky one. However, the upside of the worrier is that because you are always focused on what could go possibly wrong with any situation, you become a great organizer. They are usually detailed and good at complex analysis. Worriers can shine when they have a cause to champion or a mission they are passionate about. However, their mood swings which can be volatile and the tendency to take everything personally; any job that entails dealing with the public (such as customer services functions) is considered stressful for the worrier. They make good writers and artist because it affords them an outlet for self-expression which can, on the other hand, act as therapy. Yes! Sometimes we can make a few modifications, “smooth out a few rough edges” which may make us a mix of two personality types; our personality is a blueprint of our lives. It is fundamental to our being and we can’t really change it. Rather, we should work on acceptance. We should focus on what we can fix such as annoying habits, work-related issues/ matters and breakdowns in communication rather than what we can’t. This article is culled from Psychologies Collections
Living & St yle FASHION
What to Wear To the Beach
Living & Style
love hanging out at the beach, I think it is super fun. Asides from it being a cheap way of getting a pedicure, the cool breeze that gently caresses your face gives a priceless serene feeling that we all long for. The vast space and captivating waves makes the beach side a fabulous party venue. So whenever I get an invite for a beach party, I almost always attend. However, just before dialing the RSVP number I remember I have to assemble an outfit. Showing up at the beach looking drab
or does it go on till morning? Do you intend to get wet? If you are keeping dry, then a pretty summer bright dress in bright colours will do. These thin fabric dresses make gorgeous beach wears. They are simple and easy to accessorize. Wear
them with flat sandals and beaded necklaces. You could also wear a beach hat and a pair of oversized sunglasses. If you are more on the practical side or terrified of skirts being blown by the wind, try a pair of cropped jeans or shorts. Match either of these with a loose white tee shirt and metallic sandals. If your party is running through the night, you may want to ditch the shorts otherwise the mosquitoes are going to have a field day! You can swap the tee shirt for a V neck spaghetti strap top. If you are worried about tan lines, tubes are a great option. This outfit assemble is simple, fun and chic. is not an option, walking down the water side looking slutty is not a bright idea either. My fellow beach lovers will agree that choosing a beach wear is no easy feat as there are a lot of factors to consider. First, what kind of event is taking place and what kind of crowd is expected? Does the party end late evening
Then there is the bikini option but girls, I am skeptic about this one. Unless the beach is a private one (where just you and your friends/ family/guests are only invited) I donâ€™t think a bikini is appropriate. Letâ€™s remember that this is Nigeria and like it or not, there is a culture that frowns at nudity. However there is a way to rock that pricey bikini and prevent getting snubbed at the same time. Wear it with a gauzy
Living & Style your wallet around. If you are undergoing a body toning process, skip the cream on the day you are headed to the beach and opt for a very good sunscreen instead. Remember to wear a hat and sunglasses. If you are wearing makeup, skip the foundation (especially if it is oil based) so your skin can breathe and doesn’t get dark in all the heat. Don’t forget your lip balm and blush. Lastly, remember to bring a cardigan if your party will run late. The beach is always icy cold at night.
loose-fitting cover-up in a complementary, summery colour. One with front buttons is ideal in case you don’t want to take it off while sitting in the sun; you can unbutton just enough
depending on how much of tan you want (that’s if you aren’t already tanned by the everyday sun anyway). You could also try a long see through
top over the bikini. Accessorize with wooden bracelets and strappy sandals or flip-flops. There is a need for the bag to put all your stuff in; big enough to stuff your mat, sunscreen, food, water, shades, umbrella into. And just in case you want to head over to the bar for a
You are probably thinking, ‘why can’t I just wear jeans and a top’; well I’m asking, ‘why shouldn’t you stand out and get noticed for being stylish and chic?’ Everyone is wearing that and honestly, I cannot understand how they can be comfy in all that get-up. So go out to have fun and look good while doing it. Don’t forget to take pictures!
while and don’t want to bring everything with you, consider bringing a small clutch to put your valuables in. Leaving valuables anywhere is not a good idea. Plus, it’ll look more chic than holding
Adeola, a former Editorial Assistant with TIMELESS is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about beauty, food recipes, fashion, leisure, home care, relationships, health and well being for various publications. She earned a Bachelors degree of Science from the University of Lagos and is presently undergoing a Postgraduate Course in Journalism. She is a fashionista at heart, huge Broadway and Bollywood fan, enthused about the fun things in life and a sucker for shoes! She loves singing and acting but her love for writing trumps all other hobbies.
Living & Style
Merc’s yacht-inspired limo van
his is the Mercedes-Benz Vision Pearl Concept, and it’s perhaps the most splendiferous van ever created this side of MTV’s Pimp My Ride. It might look like a Transit with posh wheels, but inside it’s as luxurious as a millionaire’s yacht - it even has wood decking covering the entire floor.
Mercedes calls it a “living space,” arguing that it’s more than just a van to get from one photo-shoot to the next in. To that end, it has Wifi access so that its residents are never without social networking.
The six-seat van comes with two-tone leather captain’s chairs, brushed aluminium trim and a Bang & Olufsen stereo so loud that they’ll hear it across the Atlantic. Proper luxury comes in the form of electro-chromatic tinted windows that darken at the touch of a button so that the paparazzi can’t see what’s happening inside; Mercedes uses similar technology in the roof of its new SLK roadster. Externally, the Viano Vision Pearl is finished in a unique paintwork called “magno pearl grey”, while the design has been revised with integrated LED daytime running lamps and bespoke alloy wheels.
Mercedes-Benz says that the Viano Vision Pearl is inspired by modern sporting yachts, describing it as a “yacht on wheels”. The concept vehicle was showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
“We want to show what can be done with the Viano. The Viano Vision Pearl is not merely a functional van, but also a stylishly designed living space,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We have created a vehicle which combines generous spaciousness with an impressive design. Anybody who
attaches importance to stress-free and at the same time stylish travel will find that the Viano Vision Pearl is the ideal companion. The interior design and technical features make the Viano Vision Pearl the S-Class among vans.” There are no plans for production, though as ever with these things, anyone with the means and the will can have Mercedes build them one.
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Making the Right Investments in People An Accenture Human Capital Development Study By James M. Benton, Susan Cantrell and Meredith A. Vey
magine owning a car and confidently extolling the virtues of gasoline—but without the benefit of a gas gauge, a means of determining fuel efficiency or any way to tell a bad engine from a good one. Curiously, corporate management often takes a similar view of its employees: Although executives regularly affirm the importance of their people to overall business success, few companies have in place any systematic way to measure their total investment in human capital assets, the return on that investment and which areas of that investment are most likely to produce an increase in overall business performance. To be sure, measuring the effectiveness of human performance is a more complex proposition than taking your car to a mechanic. But if human capital management is not automobile repair, neither is it magic or art. To help bring needed rigour to the management of organizations’ people assets, Accenture introduced its Human Capital Development Framework. The framework is a diagnostic approach to assessing human capital capabilities and the processes that drive them, ultimately linking human capital assets and approaches to overall business performance. Based on analysis of the initial implementations of the framework with a group of 19 organizations around the world, Accenture can now definitively identify a set of particular human capital processes where investments have been shown to help businesses achieve high performance—both in terms of superior workforce performance and in terms of bottom-line business results. In other words, what had previously been a hunch is now a fact: Organizations that put people first finish first. One important focus of Accenture’s continuing research into the characteristics of highperformance business has been the mastery of key business functions or competencies, including human and organizational development. This research indicates that companies that master human performance processes and programs get maximum performance from their employees. Best Practices Although companies can spend anywhere from 25 percent to 45 percent of their revenue on human capital, most executives feel that they
have no definitive way to justify their belief that better human capital management pays off in better business performance. As a result, executives are unable to clearly prioritize these investments based on the business value they’re likely to yield. Even more frustrating, few executives have the knowledge they need to develop insights into how different kinds of human capital management actions and programs affect overall workforce and business performance. The Accenture Human Capital Development Framework uses best practices and Accenture’s experience in the fields of human resource development, learning and knowledge management, and workforce productivity, and then combines that information with state-of-the-art measurement techniques. The framework is unique in that it helps organizations do more than look at spending levels to get a sense of the effectiveness of their human capital development efforts.
human resources executives, and online survey responses from more than 3,300 employees and 100-plus HR personnel. Analysis of these initial implementations had two objectives. The first was to assess the framework’s reliability as a measurement technique. The second was to demonstrate empirically that investments in human capital assets and processes affect a company’s growth potential and its value to shareholders through their impact on key human capital capabilities and drivers of financial success like innovation and customer satisfaction.
Conclusive and Provocative The Accenture Institute for High Performance Business, in partnership with SAP as well as with Accenture Human Performance service line, implemented the framework in 19 organizations around the world, representing a variety of industries. Implementations involved collecting data on all four areas of the framework: human capital processes, human capital capabilities, key performance drivers and business results.
Results from our analyses were conclusive and provocative. We have found that: 1. There is a strong and powerful link between the maturity of an organization’s human capital processes and its overall financial performance. 2. Companies can, in fact, focus their human capital investments in several key areas that are more likely than others to produce better financial performance. Specifically, our findings affirmed the importance of • Human capital strategy: processes that align people initiatives with overall business strategy. • Work environment: processes that provide employees with supportive and positive work environments. • Employee development: processes that expand and enrich employee capabilities. 3. These human capital processes drive important business capabilities like leadership, workforce performance and employee engagement; these capabilities, in turn, have a significant impact on key drivers of organizational performance such as innovation. Making a Difference Our research and these implementations of the framework strongly suggest that human capital management practices really can make a difference to the bottom line. But what distinguishes high performers with respect to the way they manage and develop people? We set out to answer these questions by measuring the maturity of human capital processes in those organizations implementing the framework.
Business results were analyzed by looking at an organization’s two-year average capital efficiency relative to an industry peer group. Analysis was based on an examination of actual HR and financial data, face-to-face interviews with more than 75 business and
Processes were carefully chosen based on previous research and thinking concerning the people programs and practices that most likely affect workforce performance and business results. They included not only core human resources processes such as recruiting, career
The framework draws on information from surveys and interviews, as well as on hard human resources and financial data, to enable a more rigorous and reliable assessment of the true effectiveness of each human capital process and capability. With the framework, an organization can better assess its core human capital capabilities, such as leadership, workforce performance and talent management; identify the human capital processes that will likely improve those capabilities; and then prescribe the specific process adjustments that will improve the capabilities and, as a result, overall business performance.
Business development and competency management, but broader human capital processes as well, such as workplace design, learning and training, and knowledge management. We explicitly assessed the maturity of each process: the use of best practices in each process area, how well the process supports employees, and, borrowing from measurement techniques used in quality improvement and software engineering, the reliability and repeatability of the process. We found that effective human capital management practices do matter. Those organizations with more mature or effective human capital processes have better financial performance than organizations with less mature processes. Indeed, more than half of the 13 human capital processes we measured have a statistically significant relationship with a companyâ€™s overall financial performance, as well as with key human capital capabilities like leadership and employee engagement. This sends a powerful signal to anyone who has ever doubted the business value of investing in people.
terms of the expected return, human resources, training and other human capital executives have often been hampered. Which investments in people are most important? What are the particular human capital processes, the particular programs and investments, that deliver on hard measures like revenue, margins and shareholder value? The Accenture Human Capital Development Framework gives these executives clear data to guide their spending. Investments in some human capital processes will generate better returns than others. Specifically, our analysis concluded that those organizations that focus on processes devoted to the following three key areas will most likely achieve far greater economic success than those that do not. Human Capital Strategy: Gaining a Seat at the Table Our analysis demonstrates that successful companies design human capital strategies to ensure that the right people capabilities are in place to effectively execute the business strategy. Top performers from these initial framework implementations had very different
with business strategy. These organizations make clear priorities and track their people programs based on the business value they create. Take the experience of a well-known cell phone manufacturer weâ€™ll call CellTech. In the mid-1990s, CellTech was at the top of its game. But later in the decade, new players flooded the market, and analog cell phones slipped along the product lifecycle curve toward commoditization. CellTech sought to stem its shrinking margins by developing the next wave of industry innovation: digital cell phones. Although CellTech had a new business strategy, it lagged in devising a new people strategy to support it. The company neither acquired nor developed the skills in its workforce that would enable it to create and produce the new technology in time. Because CellTech had never developed the human capital strategy process that would have enabled it to anticipate a new workforce need based on a changing business strategy, it was unable to execute its plan in a timely way. It lost significant market share and millions in potential revenues. Positive Work Environments: Supporting Employees Based on these initial implementations of the framework, we can also say that highperformance organizations have an effective employee relations process specifically devoted to ensuring that employees are informed, satisfied and engaged. These organizations effectively address employee grievances or concerns, inform employees about business issues affecting them and establish programs to reduce the impact on morale when the company undergoes a major organizational change. During the recent economic downturn, these companies resisted the temptation to cut costs by scaling back employee health and well-being programs and flexible work arrangements. Our analysis indicates that the organizations that did not sacrifice such programs outperformed those that did.
Return on Investment However, in todayâ€™s business environment, where every investment must be justified in
human capital strategies; what they had in common was a mature strategy process for formulating and aligning human capital initiatives
In addition, we have seen a statistically significant relationship between human capital infrastructure processes and financial results. Having the infrastructure and systems in place to support core HR processes consistently and effectively across the business is an essential capability, yet for many organizations, it is still something of an aspiration. Besides the
Business basics of being able to pay people reliably, accurately and on time, robust human capital infrastructure processes also provide business and human resources managers with reliable data and information regarding their costs and their people.
interests who get together to share knowledge, solve problems and informally collaborate across functional boundaries. The company even rewards employees for participating.
Although we found it rather surprising that such basic processes differentiate high performers from the pack, we heard time and again from the executives we interviewed just how important it is to perform these fundamental processes well. Not only do they help create a more supportive work environment, but these processes, above all others, enable human resources personnel to gain credibility and trust from both employees and senior leaders.
Eskom, a vertically integrated South African utility, is using results from the framework implementation to assist in overall planning for possible government restructuring of the electricity supply industry. As Eskom evolves from its current environment of a vertically integrated utility to one that will be characterized by competition and expansion, it will require new skill sets consisting of project management, engineering and technical skills. Although some of the skill sets will be acquired externally, Eskom also plans on primarily developing the skills of its existing workforce. This strategy will require robust learning management and knowledge management processes to succeed.
Employee Development: The Skills to Succeed Companies that actively develop their employees and provide them with opportunities to learn and grow also achieve superior economic success. Our analysis revealed that career development, succession planning, learning management and knowledge management processes are all strongly associated with better financial performance. The chief operating officer of an Australian professional services firm with very strong financial performance put it this way: “Of course, we need to hire the right people. But once we have them, it is extremely important that we continuously deepen their skills or develop some of the skills and behaviours that might be lacking. Our competitive strategy is based on delivering a leading-edge skill set to clients in our local market; a crucial part of executing this strategy is having strong processes such as knowledge management and learning.” What does this firm do differently from other companies we looked at? First, a larger proportion of its employees believe they are getting the training they need to excel at their jobs and prepare for future ones. Employees are also given more opportunities to formulate career plans and goals than their counterparts at other organisations. Employees meet with their supervisor or career counsellor at least twice a year to discuss specific career development plans; employees in most of the organizations in our study do so less than once a year. Third, the firm has established communities of practice—groups of employees with common 26
Pursuing High Performance Results from initial implementations of the Accenture Human Capital Development Framework suggest a number of ways it can be used in the pursuit of high performance. 1. Targeting high-impact areas where human capital processes and capabilities are currently weakest. The framework can be used to identify areas that are most strongly linked to positive financial results as well as currently in a state of least maturity or effectiveness. These areas are likely to yield the greatest return on investment. Relatively mature processes linked to financial performance may produce incremental financial benefits based on a small set of highly targeted improvements in the processes. Improvements in less mature processes that are not linked to the economic success of a company should take secondary priority; these processes may produce improvements in important human capital capabilities like employee engagement or workforce adaptability, but they are less likely to produce immediate financial benefits. 2. Targeting areas of competitive advantage. Results from the application of the framework may also be used to identify those processes that, if improved, will also likely result in an improvement in the key value propositions
on which an organization competes. Not all companies generate high performance the same way. Depending on their unique industry and marketplace demands, some achieve it primarily through superior customer service and satisfaction; others focus on attracting and retaining customers based on high-quality products and services. Still others achieve high performance primarily through the continuous introduction of innovative products and services. 3. Justifying people investments. The findings from these initial implementations, used in conjunction with the framework’s externally validated assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s human capital processes, can support and justify investments in people programs. The framework can also be used on an ongoing basis to track the impact and improvement from investments in human capital, and to continuously refine those investments for maximum effect. Corporate executives deeply knowledgeable in human performance issues are often frustrated by the inability to be sufficiently quantitative about the value of their disciplines. Today, advocates of people programs no longer need to base their budgeting requests on faith or exhortation. They can build a business case that empirically justifies human capital investments to all relevant stakeholders. They can also identify the particular processes and programs that matter most to the bottom line, enabling them to chart their own unique course toward high performance.
Course/Workshop Titles 1. Active Participatory Teaching and Learning 2. Effective Classroom Management 3. Reading & Phonics Workshop 4. Intentional Teaching: Choosing the Best Strategies for promoting Young Children’s Learning 5. Teacher Effectiveness 6. Conflict Resolution: Understanding, Prevention, and Conflict Resolution with Students. 7. Coaches, Crusaders, Mother Hens, Innovators, Movers, and Shakers – Building Teams That Work Effectively. 8. Open Communication and Levelling: Interaction strategies that encourage Active learning. 9. Leading &Managing a Learning Organisation 10. Poise & Etiquette Skills
11. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review: Are we doing what we say we are doing? 12. Curriculum Development and Practice 13. The Hand that Rocks the Cradle: Introduction to the High/Scope Infant -Toddler Program: 14. Supporting Quality Early Years Education - Introduction to the High/Scope Approach 15. Numbers Plus: A Comprehensive Preschool Mathematics Curriculum Workshop 16. Supporting Early Literacy With the Message Board. 17. Real Science in Preschool 18. Effective Use of Time 19. Interpersonal & Communication Skills 20. Scaffolding Children’s Learning at Small Group Time
Mrs. Oyindamola Sonola, the CEO of SOAMS is an experienced and qualified education consultant trainer with 25 years of teaching, consulting and administrative experience. She has featured prominently at various training workshops organized by worldwide renowned organisations such as UNICEF and OMEP. She has also associated with high profile Nigerian seminars like the World Bank sponsored Lagos State Eko Project and training workshops organised by Alpha Learning. She is the first qualified and endorsed High/Scope trainer in Nigeria. She has a Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counselling.
Understanding Your Child The years between the ages of six and twelve are often referred to as the middle childhood years. Sometime during these years your child starts to move outside the family. Your child may start to move their world away from just the home to exploring the wider world. Your child’s world will start to expand. It is a normal time for your child to start a journey to independence. Children at these ages start to make friends they head out of the home to proper school or to secondary school as the case may be. They start to let go of your hand. They make friends form groups pick up ne w interests. They start to deal with school, teachers and, successes and failures, tasks and responsibilities. They start to understand that their actions create reactions and have consequences. They start to understand that mummy or daddy cannot fix everything and cannot be everywhere all the time. In these middle childhood years, children continue to develop albeit at different rates. Some seem still immature while others may develop a high level of maturity. Sometimes they are shorter while others within these same ages are far taller. They can be skinnier or much fatter than the norm Behaviour starts to and continues to develop and to change. Personality and behaviour is affected by the child’s experiences and interactions with adults and other people around. Somewhere sometime within these years your
child might start to look at you very differently. The rose coloured glasses might start to fall off. Instead of seeing parents as “the always rightnever wrong- know everything” they may start to question parents. Your child might start to judge you the parent according to your actions and not just your words. Due to children’s natural curiosity and they start to question the world they live in. It is usual to have questions concerning good and evil. Most things they took for granted before are subject to questioning. “Why are people bad?” “Why is there war?” “Why do people kill people?” Middle childhood children begin to require more detailed thought out answers as opposed to the general fuzzy ideas they were earlier satisfied with They begin to struggle to process the information they are confronted with daily. During these ages, it is relatively easy to manage children’s behaviour by reasoning and discussing with them. The Middle Childhood years bridge the gap between dependence and independence. The earlier years of unquestioning wonder and simple acceptance start to dissolve. Your child will become more self conscious and self aware. Enjoy your child
Tayo Olarewaju is the Director of Delightsome Land School, a nursery and primary school in Victoria Island Lagos. She studied Accounting, Educational Leadership and Management. She is passionate about children, enjoys reading and writing and is learning to stay away from chocolate biscuits. She is married with 3 stars and a dog named scratch. If you would like to be a part of the all stars team send your name, date of birth and phone number to 08033527272 or email it to email@example.com
PreSchooler activities for Preschool Children from Age 2-5
Say the name of each picture. Say the name of each letter. Trace the letters. Write own letters.
A a B b C c D d
A a B b C c D d
Color the number 3.
A a B b C c D d
Trace the number 3.
3 3 3 3
Circle groups with 3 items in the group.
Hand and Foot Print Painting
Name The Shape
Children often like feeling paint squidging between their fingers or toes. Protect the floor and let them make some hand and foot print paintings. (Always have a bowl of water and dump cloth to hand, in case any paint gets where it shouldn’t). Pour some paint into a tray and let children press their palms into it, or use a brush to paint their own palms. Get them to press their hands firmly down onto some paper to make handprints Let children step in the paint, or paint their feet, and then walk across paper to make foot prints. Your children could also make print into pictures, handprint can be turned into a five legged bugs. Several prints in a circle can make a hand print flower.
Learning to recognise shapes and spotting the differences between them are important pre-reading skills. These activities give your child the chance to develop them. You could cut up pages from old magazines into different shapes for your child to stick down on some paper. Don’t forget to talk about the name of the shape as they do so. Can they make a picture using just triangle, or circle? Ask your child to look out for shapes around them. Can they spot a circle (a wheel), a square (a paring slab) or a rectangle (a door) for instance). Let your child roll out some modeling dough or pastry, and shaped cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. OCTOBER 2011
Is Your Child Having Reading Difficulties? Helping a child learn to read, is a gift that will last a lifetime. We provide phonics, reading, writing, speaking and vocabulary related programmes and activities for children ages 4-8. We also organise seminars and workshops for parents and teachers.
Soft Skills Training Solutions, HR & School Consultancy (A Service Brand of Verdure Consults Limited)
Please call (234) 7070210116, (234) 8034559663, (234) 8023194296 for a free consultation
Insights for Christian Living
It is good to be rich!” I looked up to see the pastor smirk his lips in exaggerated aplomb. The congregation screamed “Yeah!” I said to Kanu beside me “The question is, what is our definition of rich?” “Rich is rich now. When you are rich, you are rich. I mean, everybody will see you are rich.” “No sir! You know that, Kanu. Don’t pretend. The person you consider rich may be a poor man in Mike Adenuga’s book. In the same way, my friend, what human beings call rich is poor before God.” My friend looked at me askance. “But we pray and God blesses us. Is He not the one that makes people rich?” I realized that my brother in Christ had need of enlightenment so I asked “Do you realize that there are two perspectives in this life?” Kanu inclined his head. I continued, “There’s the Creator’s perspective and there’s the creature’s perspective. The Creator has a standard which His creation is supposed to follow and uphold. But the creature rebelled and chose his own way. That, you will realize, is the story of the fall of man. God has His standard; man has chosen a different standard for himself.” “But we are children of God,” he protested. “Oh yeah? Well, God knows His own! You can’t serve God and mammon.” Sadly, the Church has been teaching believers (I use the word very loosely because the Church seems to harbor all sorts these days) the world’s definitions and standards, quite at variance with the word of God. A few examples will suffice. How does the world define success and how does the word of God define it? To the world, a man’s success is measured by the abundance of his material possessions. So the latest brands in automobiles, fashion, state-of-the-art architecture etc and other material trappings flaunted by individuals become the yardstick for evaluating that individual. But will the world and even the church listen to the Master and allow His word to sink into them? Said Jesus to the people around Him when one from among the crowd requested His help concerning their father’s estate: “Beware!.... Real life is not measured by how much we own.” This should shock any serious believer and make them to begin to ask questions. I mean, ask deep questions. Yet another example is what the world pursues –
Whose Standard? Omololu Okuboyejo
the blessing! Whereas, the word admonishes us to diligently seek the Blesser. How can man be so bereft of common sense? If you seek God, you’ll have access to all He has. If you seek His blessing, you’ll only get so much per time and sometimes not at all. The Church has been feeding its members with these and the result is usually one of two things: compromised Christians who are ‘prospering’ in the world’s ways and flaunting it; or frustrated Christians who follow God’s standards but have not been able to access the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Christ to prosper in God’s way. They are truly liberated in Christ but poor and frustrated, a condition black American preacher Bishop T. D. Jakes calls the frustration of liberation. So that the scripture in Hosea continues to be true even in our day: My people perish for lack of knowledge! One will truly be amazed at the average believer’s understanding of the very famous Matthew 6:33 with which we seek to nail unbelievers: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto you. Before then, Jesus had been telling the people not to worry about food and clothing and such other mundane things because the Father already knows that we have need of them. He even went further to ask, ‘Why be like the unbelievers who worry about those things?’ Unbelievers should understandably worry about those things because they haven’t a father who will provide for them. When I mauled over that question, I wrote in my bible that maybe some of us are actually unbelievers thinking that we are children of God! I love the Daily Walk Bible rendition of Matthew 6:33. It reads: He will give you all that you need from day to day if you live your life for Him and make His Kingdom your primary concern. Now, I don’t know any other way you can interpret ‘living your life for Him’ to mean anything other than ‘because of Him’ or ‘for the sake of Him’. It means everything in your life is all about Him and nothing else; that makes Him top drawer. Nothing should compete with Him for first position in your heart. So that when you open your mouth to speak, it is for Him or because of Him. When you choose not to speak, it is because of Him. Now don’t get ludicrous –choosing to speak or not to speak is moderated by only one thing: your love for Him, so that you will not say what will displease Him or fail to say what will
please Him. In short, your choices and decisions are motivated, driven, propelled by your love for Him and your to please Him all the time. The heart of the matter is that this is a matter of the heart. That was why Jesus Christ stridently and consistently talked about our heart, which only God can see. It also explains why men are so well able to put up a front much at variance with what they hold in their hearts. We call it deceit, a trait traceable to the master deceiver, the father of all lies. It is also understandable why men find it difficult to live their lives for Him or make the Kingdom their primary concern – the deceiver has succeeded in luring them from that goal by enticing them with the transient vanities of life like wealth, power, fame etc. Admittedly, it is not easy to follow the straight and narrow path because it does not admit of the delinquencies, indulgences and indiscipline of the wide way. The few that ‘find’ the straight and narrow path actually enjoy the abundance of this present life and have the assurance of eternity in the life to come. But they must first dig up, discover the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ and diligently apply them. It will help to change their mindset, their thinking; in the process they become wealth creators and not consumers, propelled by the desire to be His instrument to reach out to a lost world with His love and compassion. I know it is possible because I experienced that transformation and have dedicated myself to sharing this liberating knowledge with believers to remove them from the frustration of liberation and guide them to experience true prosperity in His righteousness. By His grace, I have a dream, a vision of a Nigerian nation that prospers in His righteousness. The best way to predict the future, it is said, is to create it. I am creating that future: a Nigeria of justice and opportunity, where God is enthroned in the hearts of the people – by training believers to become models of success according to God’s word. Welcome to the future. Omololu Okuboyejo, is an editorial consultant and publisher as well as a personal transformation coach. Tel. +234803 820 4157. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promoting African trade By David Cameron and Goodluck Jonathan
hen you want to hang a dog, first give it a bad name! Evidently some powerful constituencies in Nigeria viscerally dislike privatisation and the notion of private-sector led development. They prefer the prebendal, statist, semi-feudal development (actually underdevelopment!) model in
it takes away their control over the destinies of our nation and its peoples.
which banks, refineries, telecommunications companies, electricity generation and distribution utilities, hotels, airlines, newspapers, television and radio stations etc are controlled by Abuja and bureaucrats, politicians, traditional rulers, government contractors and sundry patrons and wards of the state control all economic resources and determine who gets rich or stays poor! This coalition and their agents hate privatisation as
them that massive corruption is endemic in state-owned enterprises, but they carefully scrutinize privatisations for opportunities to call the kettle black! And they succeed in persuading some naïve or hypocritical “comrades” (who own private professional practices; carry three mobile phones; work for private banks and telecommunication companies; and appear regularly on private broadcast stations!!!) to their cause!!! The current leader of this
But they can’t say this, can they? So instead they focus on persuading us it has failed! That privatisation is over-rated and state-owned enterprises are better after all. It doesn’t bother
“Anti-Privatisation Coalition” is Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who ironically as Chair of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) presides over privatisation. In Sambo’s view, “80 percent of privatised firms are moribund” (Thisday May 13, 2011) and “the process of privatisation has been going on for about
ten years but has not been successful due to obvious non-performance” (Peoples Daily May 12, 2011). Meeting with the Russian Ambassador, Sambo re-stated that “many of the privatised companies have not been able to meet the aspirations of government” (Punch June 28, 2011). Unfortunately Sambo may have persuaded President Jonathan! The Nation newspaper’s
Viewpoint screaming headline proclaimed “Privatisation has failed, says Jonathan”!! This at the inauguration of NCP!!! Jonathan’s late boss, Umaru Yar’adua reversed the privatisation of refineries, which were concluded just before ex-President Obasanjo handed over to him. Yar’adua also refused to proceed with the expected privatisation of unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) entities; and later formally outlined a policy championed by Rilwanu Lukman, which rested the private sector electricity model in favour of state control. Should we then expect that Jonathan will abandon the Power Sector Roadmap and Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 both of which are based on privatisation of electricity generation and distribution, while transmission is billed to be concessioned to the private sector? Is the power road map dead on arrival, since we can logically expect Namadi Sambo to frustrate expected privatisations? Interestingly a replay of Yar’adua’s strategy of stalling Obasanjo’s power reforms, (as Engineer Foluseke Somolu recently pointed out), through public disinformation that $16billion had been wasted on power; and Ndudi Elumelu’s House of Representatives Power Committee probe appears ongoing! The Senate has commenced its legislative agenda with an adhoc committee investigating privatisation!!! Senate President David Mark while inaugurating the panel declared that privatisation has not achieved the desired objectives and actually blamed privatisation for loss of jobs, financial deprivation and loss of revenue to the federal government!!! If the Senate had already reached these conclusions, why did it bother setting up an investigation? I urge Nigerians to be calm and circumspect in responding to the “alarming revelations” emerging from the Senate probe!!! By all means, any clear infractions must be dealt with based on law and due process. Indeed this columnist has long identified conditions which make for successful privatisations - an independent technical agency overseeing the process; proper valuations of assets being disposed of; open, competitive and transparent bidding by all participants; a process that first establishes technical qualification of bidding firms before proceeding to competitive financial bidding; and the absence of corruption and
political interference, except in cases of national security and overriding national interest. The industry structure must ensure existence of a competent regulator; and privatisation must not result in private monopolies. Where specific transactions breached these principles, that is not a failure of privatisation but the corruption and political irresponsibility that afflicts our nation! But the bigger picture is that the private sector has been vastly more successful than government in Nigeria. Can anyone compare Oando and Conoil to Unipetrol and Nolchem? Would First Bank and UBA have survived (remember Continental Merchant, Allied Bank, IMB, NMB etc) government ownership? Can you compare Federal Palace Hotel, Golden Tulip Festac, Ikoyi Southern Sun, Notore and Eleme Petrochemicals to their rotten preprivatisation predecessors? Does anyone miss the scandal-plagued, massively corrupt, preprivatisation African Petroleum or NAFCON? Aren’t Nigerians aware that military rulers and bureaucrats used Aluminium Smelter Company and Ajaokuta Steel to enrich themselves? Can’t we see what difference private capital and management has made in telecommunications, financial services, aviation, newspapers, radio and television broadcasting, private
universities, hotels etc? Do we miss the days when Nigerian Airways, Daily Times, New Nigerian, NTA, Radio Nigeria and inefficient and politicised government-owned banks were our only alternatives? Does anyone want a return to the days when state-owned parastatals consumed billions of naira every year without returning a kobo to the treasury? I don’t!!! Culled from www.opeyemiagbaje.blogspot. com Opeyemi Agbaje is a strategy and business consultant, financial sector expert and lawyer, and former Head of Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Business Environment at the Lagos Business School, Nigeria. He has worked extensively in banking, and consults actively in strategy and management, business environment, policy and corporate law. He is Senior Consultant/ CEO of Resources and Trust Company Ltd (www.resourcesandtrust.com) and Managing Partner of Legal X-Rays (www. legalx-rays.com). He holds Masters degrees in both law and business and has conducted extensive research on competitive and corporate strategy, and political economy.
CHRIST LIGHT SPECIAL SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF (SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF PROJECT)
Christ Light Special School for the Deaf aims to provide sound, affordable and quality education for the physically-challenged, especially the deaf. The Director of the school Mrs. Apeh is a trained Special Education expert with over ten years practical experience in the handling of the physically-challenged. She and her husband started the school (founded on January 3, 2000) with their meager resource and personal savings. Since then, they have been trying to put many amenities in place to ensure that their vision is achieved. The school has made modest achievements having graduated a numbers of pupils who are doing well in various Secondary Schools now. However, they are constrained by several challenges such as a permanent site and a bus to help alleviate the sufferings of the pupils and logistics. They need your help. The school is therefore launching an appeal fund. Make your donations to: First Bank Account No â€“ 45520230005739
For further details and information about the school, call or visit 22, Ona-Ara Street, Off Ajilekege Street, Idimu Pipeline 08033778415
Creche Playgroup Nursery Grade School After School Care Mobile Creches Consultancy Training & Workshops
26, Mabinuori Dawodu, Gbagada Phase 1, Lagos Telephone: 01-8934834, 01-8113816, 08033117630
e m o h m o r f ay w a e m o H . . .
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Mirror Mirror John Delano
“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all ? That’s what I heard, as I brushed my teeth this morning. And as I recall the story, the answer that came back from the mirror was displeasing. Snow white, said the mirror, who could not only see her face but the heart as well. “Mirror Mirror on the wall ..” You know the story. The wicked Step-mother had a magic mirror. It could search out the land and pinpoint the fairest of all. But that magic mirror never could lie, not even to the wicked. The mirror is upright. Mirror Mirror on the wall ... “What strange thoughts in my heart lies?”
heart never lies. How could it? When you look in a mirror do you ever see a face other than yours? No. What you see is your own reflection. Who you are. Likewise what you reap in life what you sow. By the measure you give, you determine the measure you receive. If you forgive, God will forgive you. If you don’t, he can’t. How could he? He’s a God of justice not double standards. If you are merciful, you can count on his mercy. When you give to the poor, the needy, the displaced you lend to the Lord. Oh I could go on, but I won’t. A word is sufficient for the wise. Jodelano (c) 2011 14 09 London
The mirror, the Spirit and the word are one. The mirror is your life, your priorities, your deeds. The mirror of your
Honour Nigeria Ituah Ighodalo It is a shame therefore and a bit unfortunate that after 51 years of independence – in the year of our Lord 2011 – Nigeria has not quite gotten to where it should be. A friend of mine said recently that perhaps in our lifetime, we might get to a state of good governance, a state of good statesmanship. He said we might not be able to get to a state of excellent governance or high level statesmanship.
igeria is one of the greatest countries in the world and has been extremely blessed by God. A land of about 150 million people with huge natural resources, wonderful weather, no known natural disaster, where almost anything of agricultural value can grow; a place that has been blessed with several mineral, agricultural and human resources – an extremely capable, strong nation with hardworking, motivated and intelligent people with a lot of energy.
That is the reason why at this point in time, we must find a way of honouring Nigeria. The good thing about Nigeria is that it is not all a bad story. Nigeria has brought about some of the most outstanding people that the world has ever seen. A while ago, a friend’s wife was
Cardinal Francis Arinze
ill and needed to have a brain operation and because of the state of our health facilities, she had to be flown abroad for the surgery. When she got there, they did a few tests and said she must have an operation within three weeks. Unfortunately, the doctor most qualified (and one of the best three in the world) to do this operation had a waiting list of six months. The lady’s family asked for the name of this doctor and it happened that he was a Nigerian who had come out of the University of Ibadan Medical School. They called on my brother (who went to UI) and asked if he knew this fellow and my brother said yes, he did. My brother picked up the phone and called this guy, they renewed acquaintances and my brother told him of this lady who needed this surgery done as soon as possible. That was how this gentleman, agreed to perform this operation within the stipulated
Whatever the case may be, we must set ourselves on a path of excellent governance and leadership. That is the way and direction Nigeria should go and that is our creed at this point in time. We must begin to galvanise well thinking people to come together under a platform to help build this nation. We must begin to put aside personal interests that jeopardise our collective dream. We must begin to look for the interest of the common good and begin to expand our coast and think beyond ourselves. We must begin to think of leaving an enduring legacy for the future generations. Nigerians must begin to think of how we can build an outstanding nation.
Podium this nation that gave rise to icons such as Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Simeon Adebo, Wole Soyinka, Emeka Anyaoku, Chris Ogunbanjo, Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, Grace Alele-Williams, Kole Omotosho, Fela Sowande, Herbert Macaulay, Samuel Ajayi Crowther and so many others who need to be celebrated. We must begin to honour our own, say good things about Nigeria and as we do that, God in His infinite wisdom and mercy will begin to move the right people into the right places.
three weeks. This ladyâ€™s life was saved because this doctor is a Nigerian. Everywhere you go in the world, you will see a Nigerian doing great things. We have a Nigerian engineer, Jelani Aliyu designing cars at General Motors in the US; we have Kunle Olukotun, a professor of Computer Engineering at Stanford; we have the highly respected Dr. Funmi Olopade, one of the best brains in Cancer research in the world at the University of Chicago; we have the young Ify Aniebo currently doing her Ph.D thesis at Oxford University and a leading Malaria researcher; we have the popular Chimamanda Adichie, award winning author of several bestselling books; we have the highly popular and respected
Chinua Achebe, a professor emeritus at Brown University in the US; Dele Olojede, a Nigerian publisher has won the highly coveted Pulitzer prize in the US; mention must also be made of Ben Okri, who once won the Man Booker prize award, Cardinal Francis Arinze, the current Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni (succeeding Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI) since 2005 and one of the principal advisors to late Pope John Paul II, Hakeem Olajuwon the Dream, who played centre for the Houston Rockets between 1984 and 2002 and was selected one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. These are just a few amongst the several Nigerians doing wondrously well all over the world.
We must all join hands together, and work hard to ensure that in the next 10, 30 and 50 years, Nigeria has become truly outstanding and has made its mark amongst the committee of nations. We must begin to look right now for the right kind of leadership; we must begin to look into the right kind of processes that will take us to where we are going; we must begin to make use of our natural resources and use them optimally; we must begin to encourage again the spirit of labour, hard work, honesty. We must begin to look at the things we can do to take Nigeria forward and begin to say no more to all the elements of backwardness that has held this nation back. And that is why we are honouring Nigeria.
We must begin to celebrate all these people and begin to celebrate the good about Nigeria and as we begin to speak great things about this country; as we begin to raise up bright and new role models; Nigeria will begin to be outstanding. As we honour Nigeria and outstanding Nigerians, thanking God that in spite of all that has happened, Nigeria is still standing as a nation; that in spite of all that has happened in Nigeria, Nigeria is still looked upon as the giant of Africa and one with the greatest potential on the continent; in spite of everything, Nigeria is still a dominant force along the West Coast and represents one of the largest economies in Africa and amongst the top 20 in the world. In spite of everything, Nigerians are still friendly, accommodating and forward looking people; in spite of everything, Nigerians are still hopeful that things will be better. It was Grace Alele Williams
Random Musings with Ayodeji Jeremiah
and when they want it get done. It is not because they have aides to assist them that they can achieve this time management but it is in their attitude. Some of our own leaders with all the help they can muster have made it a point of duty to arrive last at functions they are invited to. Every one of us of course simply follows in their steps. If the Governor is going to get there at 10.00a.m, I might as well get there at 9.45a.m. This is for a programme that is supposed to start at 9.00a.m.
hy is Africa called the ‘Dark Continent’? Why do we seem to have more troubles than the other parts of the world? Why do our people seem to do better when removed from here and taken to places such as Europe, Asia and the United States? Why do we have the socalled Nigerian Time syndrome? Why do we have more corruption in Africa? Why do we seem to crave for mediocrity in all our activities? It is very easy to give answers to the above such as bad leadership, corrupt governance, illiteracy, poverty, hunger and the likes but have we stopped to think of what causes these problems in the first place. Why do we have bad leadership and corrupt governance in the first instance? Why have we not been able to increase the literacy level in Africa beyond 30% of the population? Why is the per capita income lower in Africa than elsewhere in the world? From what I gather, our habits, our attitude, our mindset, our thought pattern answers most of the above questions. We don’t respect time. We disrespect good ideals. We worship wrong and bad models. We disrespect order. We surround ourselves with sycophants. We indulge in the “Chicken Little mentality”. We settle for the mundane. We are not interested in the esoteric. Some of the most successful people in the world, the busiest and the most powerful are usually the best managers of time. Every hour of their life is planned for. They know they can’t afford to be loose cannons thrown around by circumstances of each day. They are usually where they want to be when they want to be. Unusual circumstances may make a mess of some hours or days here and there but they still get done what they want to get done
It is all in the mind. If you start planning from now on and making it a part of you and a point of duty, notwithstanding how busy you may be (or you think you are) and you try to manage your time by the book, you will get irritated and out of sync if you time gets wasted. Even God advises us in His good book to make the most of the time. A wasted day today becomes a wasted yesterday tomorrow. It cannot be reclaimed. It is a part of your life that has come and gone. Effective use of time is one of the mind needs of Africans. You get more things done over a planned day than one in which you allow yourself to be drifted by the circumstances of the day. Also if you respect good ideals, you will attract those good ideals. This is another mind need of Africans. If you respect wisdom, you will attract wisdom. If you respect orderliness and good organisation, you will attract those qualities to yourself and eventually become orderly and organised. If you respect knowledge and intelligence, you will attract those virtues to yourself. If you respect rubbish, you will attract rubbish. How many young Africans respect Nelson Mandela in the real sense of the word? They probably think he is a foolish, tired old man who didn’t know what power or money is, else he wouldn’t have handed over so soon. We respect ill-gotten wealth, we respect abuse of power, we respect crass materialism and we respect societal ills. We give honorary degrees to people who don’t deserve it. In a state of disorderliness or chaos, nothing excellent usually comes out of it. The attention in such an environment is on trying to walk around the chaos and making the most out of such an environment. It is an uptight atmosphere where much planning cannot be done and needed things are always being looked for. Where there are lots of people in such an environment, nobody is responsible for anything. The ability to maintain order in our lives and environment is another miracle of the mind that we Africans need. God created the world in an orderly manner over a period of six days and He didn’t create it to be in chaos. Not
maintaining order in our lives and environment is actually living against the grain of the universe against the will of God. Nothing simply works or if it works does so in an epileptic fashion. God must have thought of the commotion that will arise if He had created the whole world in just one day (not that He couldn’t) or if He had created the animals before creating the light or if he had not given man dominion over the things He created. From the smallest social unit - the family to the biggest governments of the world, there must be order and organisation. Finally, why do we find it so difficult to think or to think above the mundane? Does God give good ideas or creativity only to those outside our continent? Why have we not been able to turn our good ideas and creativity around to work for us? It is because we are always in a hurry. We are too busy. We don’t take the time to sit down and indulge in activities that will impact positively on our minds. We don’t invest in mind development materials such as books for examples. We had rather prefer to spend three hours gossiping with friends and ‘catching up’ than sit down and listen to a lecture on e.g. ‘developing a small business’. Someone once said that if you put pressure on your mind to deliver something for you, it would deliver. A large percentage of Africans work in small, medium and large scale family, foreign and government organisations where they are told what to do in what way and at what time. Formal education that teaches us to go to schools and get a job after graduating is not enough. We have to start putting pressure on our minds. We have to start putting challenges on our minds. Set goals for your mind to achieve. Read widely. Watch interesting and stimulating programs on the T.V. Browse the web. Know what is going on around you. Don’t get caught up in the daily vagaries of life until life passes you by. Listen more to people who know better than you rather than trying to impress them with cheap talk. Whatever you are doing or are involved in, avail yourself of the latest resources and information. Don’t be too proud to say, “I don’t know”. Don’t surround yourself with people with negative attitudes who do not want to see you get above them. If someone is doing something that inspires you or someone is better at something you too are involved in, never let go of any opportunity to learn from such a person. Be prepared to take a further step even if the others with you are not interested in doing so.