Archive for December, 2007

2007 : Me, Myself and Eye

December 31, 2007


2007 was a very eventful year; unarguably the most challenging year since I started doing my washing. It was really a time I had to look for the eastern star, guiding me towards unexpected adventures and as well bringing me face to face with the choice of a long calculated future and a quick blast into perceived success. It was a time I found myself in the craziest of crossroads, trying to relay my dreams to the people I love most, who incidentally were on two sides of the bridge – it was hell. But I persisted, hoping I have made the balance but most importantly I found the road. I’m not giving details of what really transpired, but if you really want to know, then wait the wait until they are ready for public view.

I have decided to capture some of the interesting parts of 2007 in pictures. some of the memorable moments of course are unavoidably absent; times like working as a field officer in the Open Net Initiative research team in Nigeria, as well as working on various PIN consulting works. Also not here my moments at the National Youth Service Corpes Camp in Lagos – the exciting three weeks includes; drills, sports , of which my football team won gold, room arguments as well as crazy moments. And finally, moments at elearning-Africa 2007 and few other speaking engagements.

The few Images below seeks to highlight those people and moments that made news in my life during 2007. To mention but a few; Ahmed Muyideen, Ayo Ojeniyi, Korede Asunni, Temilade Agbaje, Emeka Dim, Esther Uzoh, Eugenia Agbakwuru, Matthew Ibiwoye, Mrs Stella Hunter, Peter Stephenson, Akin Oyeyemi, Bola, Mary Joyce, Anne Musyoki, Gladys Muhunyo, Olisa, Pita, Tochei, Bright Njoku, Ayo Oladejo, Tope Soremi, Edward Popoola, Ndiwe, Bro Tunde, Eloho, Mosun, Tunde Akinbode, NYSC Infotech Corps, Jubril – our security officer and of course most importantly, My (Nwosu) Family, ‘ Gbenga Sesan and Nnenna Nwakamma.

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Building from the Pulpit : A Nations Burden

December 27, 2007

Winners Auditorium

This post is not supposed to be a verbal assault, neither is it intended to go against God’s word by disobeying, “Judge not so that you will not be judged”. Over the years, there has been a lot of arguments about the sincerity of purpose as regards the various Religious Institutions that have besieged our various communities. As this year winds out there has been a lot of religious events; from Redeemed Christian Church of God’s “Next Level” to Shiloh 2008 – the annual Winners Chapel ritual, and of course House on the Rock’s “Experience” among a whole lot of others. These gatherings are always filled to the brim. In most cases, the congregation always look up to their leaders as a final say, you hear things like, “my pastor said…” “remember what pastor said”, “God of pastor A…” and a whole lot other phrases. We have also witnessed some extreme situations where church members have changed  their name or added the name of their leader as a suffix to their own names even when the man has been convicted of murder. These go a long way to show the power these churches wield in our society today.

Having worked with young people and understanding the impact of role models as well as peer influences on the general development of individuals, I want to believe that the church as an institution can help us reach the critical mass of under served or rather economically challenged citizens. Various young people look up to these men of God as much as so that they put them first before their own parents, especially those that have a few of the good things of life. My argument is this: the church, being driven being the tenets of our lord Jesus Chris is expected to have the highest values in terms of ethics and rule of law. And thus, if all these are implored, with a divine direction, is it possible for the church to start economic “incubating activities”? Giving the expected drive and commitment by members, is it possible that we might be on our way to filling the “economic gulf” between the havs and have-nots?

A lot of Churches will rise up and tell me they have built schools, they have food charity centers, they have built hospitals et al, but how affordable are these things and what are the real motives behind these ventures. Agreed, it’s expensive to maintain some these structures and it’s also expensive to maintain high standards, but what do these members, who have dedicated part of their earnings, energy and support for the projects get from it? We find church schools that do not even have up 10% composition of members because of the singular reason that they cannot afford the fees – meanwhile they all contributed to build the project. As a social entrepreneur, I understand what it means to drive towards sustainability and I also understand what it means to drive towards profit, they two different issues. Therefore a church cannot drive towards profit and claim to be moving towards sustainability.

For an end of the year talk, I will not write further, but I look forward to a 2008 that church congregations will start looking beyond miracles and search for the true values of life. I also hope that the churches will come together and work with development experts to fashion out programs that will uplift their members economically; if this happens then we will be looking forward to an unprecedented economic independence and even less corruption among our citizens. I stop for now but will revisit this issue as soon as we usher in the New Year.

Crossroads: the divide

December 22, 2007

Maybe I should just act like one of our popular email clients, and say, “And we are …” you can complete that but in this case the “we” might be I. Having been away for sometime, I feel good writing here again. It sure has been a moment of self resuscitation, trying to create a balance between what people expected me to do and what I actually wanted to do but I will talk more about that in my next post. Today I want to make a quick review of a regional; should I call it best practice or attitude.We currently talk about the digital divide when it comes to the use of ICTs, and a lot of noise has been made about this, even steps are being taken to building a bridge. But we have all failed to talk about the “economic divide”. I work with ICTs and I honestly agree they are levelers but without the right attitude and cultural adoptions we won’t find a platform to apply technologies. The spark to write this article was evoked as a result of a recent discussion with a senior colleague. We were amazed at the fact that all flights traveling to the southeastern part of Nigeria has been fully booked till December the 27th at exorbitant rates of about 105% increase. Travel by road has also not been spared as intending travelers besiege the bus terminals as early as 5.am only to pay tripled fares and wait for unavailable buses. One starts to wonder where all these cash flow comes.

This can of course be attributed to the yearly ritual by these group of Nigerians (largely made up of the Igbos) of spending the Christmas and especially the New Year’s eve holiday with relatives in their home town. In most communities, there are mandatory New Year’s Eve prayers, thanking God for a successful year and at the same time asking him to bring forth good things in the New Year, while making resolutions on perceived ill lucks for the past year. But how can everyone or a critical mass travel at the same time with all the massive financial implications. According to this senior, “this goes a long way to show that a large amount of cash flow in the country comes from this group”. Unlike other ethnic groups where you find a large “economic divide” between the elites and the others, the money is evenly distributed, creating an important middle class in this region.

Nigerians from the southeast are found in most sectors of the economy, maybe not at the very top, but they always occupy a critical middle position wanting to survive against all odds. They have proved their mettle in the act of trading amidst a healthy competition amongst themselves, creating clusters of “same origin business men” dealing on the same commodity. It simply seems everyone has a place to join a venture no matter how saturated the scene may look. Finally, I would like to conclude that I am yet to find out the real cause of this economic balance among the south easterners, but what ever gave rise to this needs to be discovered and possible replications implemented in other parts of Nigeria.