January 23, 2013

Japheth Omojuwa: All I need is a blog post!

Bloggers matter, they count and they are crucial not just for the fledgling democracy we’ve got here but for our society where secrecy and lack of openness have done us more harm than good.
- Omojuwa

Planning iBlog has been exciting, I've had many hoolahoop moments where I've done a wiggle, a shake and a jump in excitement. This post, I'm telling you more about who you will be meeting at the event.

Japheth Omojuwa is one of our speakers. To describe him well, I'll have to tell you what others have said about him, what he has said of himself and what I think of him... then the rest is up to you.

Omojuwa has been described as a blunt critic of the Nigerian governance structure, practices and policies on twitter. He's been titled a Digital Activist and has been dubbed a detribalized thought leader. His 40 something thousand twitter followers are a testament to the fact that whether loved or hated, the public is taken by this bold and driven 28 year old. They may have been surprised into surrender at his brazenness or wooed into acceptance by his boldness but Japheth himself will tell you "those who love me really love me and those who hate me really hate me".

Of himself, Omojuwa has been known to say, "I am Omojuwa." That begs the question; "Who is Omojuwa?" Don't ask me. Ask him.

 As I asked him.

Was he someone who would shut up if "someones" in government put him in office?

"You've met me", he said, putting his verdict in my hands, "do you think I'm that sort of person?" This was his way of saying he is just what we see. His motive would not be corrupted or compromised by the allure of position or the pollution of money. We both agreed that by many standards money was considered success but of himself he said  " Success is too low a bar to set, I want greatness and money doesn't give greatness."

He's been described as arrogant, he told me.

I considered this for a while and concluded I didn't think he was.

Over confident? Maybe, but I did not see a reason he shouldn't or couldn't be if he was. He had afterall set a high bar and proved himself against it. He had afterall found himself and discovered his strenght.

I didn't begrudge the man his own opinion of his ownself.

I was simply relieved that here was one person who wasn't shirking his own responsiblity, asking me to believe in him because he couldn't do it himself.

"There is nowhere I go that people don't know me, to me that's big and I'm just a blogger not a musician." If the words he spoke showed arrogance, it certainly escaped me. I saw awareness that he had a voice, an angry, often angst inspiring voice even. And I saw gratitude that he had hearts who listened, who amidst and despite the insults, moved.

Was he making money off his presence online? He was quick to admit he was. It was a springboard for other dreams, other streams of income. "Blogging is for fun, speaking and travelling is the business".

Was he hurt by the generous, unedited insults he received on his platforms?

It worked two ways.

On the one hand, it was a measure of success as a blogger. "The day you get your first abuse is the day your blog has gone beyond your circle".

On the other hand, he wouldn't pass up the opportunity to repay in kind if he found a worthy opponent. His response reminded me of his ipad saga with Arik airline but he offered me an unsolicited example of "worthy", I paraphase: "If someone insults me on twitter, I check their twitter followers. If they have a few then it's not worth getting into and I forget it".

But he remembered and even favourited  an abuse  a comment  an "abusement" dealt him on twitter, where someone asked him to get a real job. His response? "Maybe I will when I'm done with my travels".

He has a tough skin to go with his big mouth. A big faith to go with his good heart.

"Yesterday morning I decided there was a need to speak up for the children of Bagega in Nigeria’s Zamfara State after a friend had reached me about doing it. These children are in danger of death if the remediation process that needs to be done before their treatment does not get done. Within hours the message had reached some 400 thousand people and we had access to more information to reach the powers that be to get something done"

Did he fear for his life? He has no fear but he wouldn't put himself in a position to be harmed. He has a deep faith that God watches over him and experience has made this faith as real as flesh, more real than words.

Like all things he speaks on, he speaks about blogging with passion. "Bloggers are bosses" he says to people who think it is a perfect waste of time and "Bloggers matter" he insists especially in the conversation to convert the unbelieving complacent to action that reaches the voiceless lost.

"All I need is one blogpost."

But don't ask me about my opinion of Japheth, meet him and see for yourself!

More details here

Nigeria is what it is because we are who we are…mostly selfish, short-sighted, parochial and a grab-your-own mentality obsessed group of people who make noise when not positioned to steal, who steal when positioned to do greater good. We have hit rock bottom even though the realities of modern day Nigeria make us feel our current office holders will breach even this bottom and take us further down. God forbid! We can forbid it too.
- Omojuwa

January 22, 2013

Step one: START!

iBlog is an idea I have been nursing since March last year. Amb. Stephen Oguntoyinbo had organised a National Youth Media Summit and wanted bloggers for a session of the event (I don't remember it clearly now). A friend of mine contacted me about it and I contacted him. "It would be in Lagos" he said. I suppose that was the end of the matter and the beginning of all the thoughts that have led me to this NEW BEGINNING.

I researched on the internet for similar ideas and wrote a million things down. It stayed written in a small jotter in my book case like so many of my ideas waiting for me to give them me. Whenever I got one of those broadcasts inviting me to a monthly event of some kind, I remembered my seed of an idea. Usually things like that would make me uncomfortable for a while then leave me with resolve.

Then three weeks ago, I read something on Remembering my Journey blog by Nnenna Ndioma and it again made me uncomfortable. Again I don't remember specifics except that it made me resolve again to do something about my idea. So I made the first phone call and committed myself. I was going to do a monthly bloggers networking event, it was called iBlog and it would kick off on the 27th of January 2013. Done!

Maybe this will make you do something to create a new beginning for yourself too. Maybe you will read this and take the first step to making real a possibility you have held in your imagination for sometime.

I hope it does.

I also hope you make history with me and come for #iBlog! I'll be looking out for you!

More details here

January 18, 2013

iBlog- where bloggers meet!

 Hey everyone!

I’m absolutely excited to talk about iBlog! It’s a monthly networking event for bloggers and a resource for bloggers to improve the content, graphics, branding, traffic, ads, popularity, and impact/influence of their blogs.
It’s also a community where bloggers come to support each other whether they blog for fun, to make an income, promote their brand, advertise their business, pass their message, share their work or keep a dairy. 
It will hold every last Sunday of the month in Abuja ( for now) hosting a special guest each session. This first outing will play host to Japheth OmojuwaHe is a supper blogger, has been called a digital activist and has deeply held beliefs in the power of social media as catalyst for positive change.


Theme: "Meet my blog"
Date: 27th January, 2013
Venue: Juice place II, Funk Shui Lounge, 25b Libreville Street, near DSTV, Wuse II, Abuja.
Time: 5:30pm
Ticket:N3,500 (N3,000 for Omojuwa’s Followers and mine on this blog)

1.      To register, send your name, blog address, contact details and a brief description of you and your blog to Omonaikee@yahoo.com.
2.    Pay
Registration closes on 25th January, 2012. Limited spaces are available. First Five at venue enter free courtesy of www.folanski.wordpress.com
What you stand to benefit at this event

· Improve your blog

· Gain traffic

· Network for business

· Have a great time

What to bring

· Your very important self

· Desktop, Laptop or iPad (Optional)

· Your complimentary cards (Advisable)
This event is not restricted to bloggers.
We can’t wait to blog about you meet you. See you there!
-The iBlog team
Powered by Omonaikee Media Company. Supported by Pearls International (Lady O), Events Abuja, Buzz, White Rabbit Concept, Venussbay , Sleeick Stories and Analyze these (Moye Media).

January 11, 2013

It's up to you!

Getting into work mode and picking up from where we left off before the holidays will gradually wear off the "new" of the new year. It is expected that work will peak even more and life will return to it's busy pace. But these few days that begin the year present an opportunity to focus on what we want for the year and how we can attain it. (What can you do in 12 months?)

It is this period that lots of prayers and planning happen. Prayers for direction and plans for execution.  While i'm all for embarking on quests for divine direction and one- man strategy sessions, it is of greater importance that these exercises are productive.

The question to ask ourselves is,

Are we gaining clarity?

To achieve our goals for 2013, clarity is required. As we do these retreats, planning must be detailed enough to provide clarity. Prayer, fasting and study should give insight and perspective.

Are we seeing a course of action?

To achieve our goals for 2013, action is required. How effective our moments of deep thought and our practice of intense prayer are depend on what they help us DO afterward.

Are we getting prepared?

To achieve our goals for 2013, preparation is required. Our prayer and fasting should prepare the heart, our study prepare the mind and our planning prepare the feet.

The answers to the above will show us if our efforts are at best good habits and at worst uneffective strategies. 

At the end of the day, all the planning and praying in the world can't take the place of "DOING"!

Have a Happy new year!

It's up to you!

January 02, 2013

You can have a happy new year.

Happy new year!

You hardly can say it without feeling some excitement!

Every year we wish our family, our friends and colleagues... indeed anyone we see on the 1st of January, a happy new year.

We do it out of habit, we do it because we are happy to see them in the new year, we do it because we are excited to see another year, we do it because it feels good!

But the phrase is more than a greeting when we think about it. It is a statement. It says the year is a new and happy year. It says the year is happy and tells us it is so because it is new. 

If you think about even more, you gain the audacity to interprete it as a piece of advice that tells us what we will have to do if the year is to be happy. Do something new.

So lets see how happy your new year will be?

Are you trying out for new things? 
Check your activites. Are you applying for a new job? Are you applying for a scholarship? Are you applying for sponsorships to attend a conference? Are you applying for your masters degree? Lots of companies will be hiring at the start of the year, are you applying?
How much of what you are focusing on will open up new opportunities for you to do something new, something different or something you’ve always wanted to do?
Are you actively seeking out new opportunites or are you doing your routine?
Are you finding out new information along the lines of your cherished dreams? Are you finding out about the opportunities around you or have you isolated yourself in your current situation without thinking of getting out into other possibilities?
Are you planning anything new?

Is there anything you are about to do that is causing you any excitement? Are you going to do anything in the next three months that can give you that new experience you’ve always wanted in the following three? Is your life exciting because of the new things you are setting up for yourself or is it boring because you are going with the flow and leaving occasional exciting experiences up to chance? Are you trying to meet someone? Are you making arrangements to go someplace new? 

Are you taking the first step or waiting for everything to be perfect?
 You might not have the money to travel abroad but you have the money to get your international passport or pay the visa fees for a visa to that country you want to go. Take the first step and see.
Are you making anyone happy?
Are you giving anyone a gift this year? Are you making anybody's dream come true? Whose life will you change? Who will you get a job? Who will you push to take the next neccessary step in their journey? Who will you help? Whose prayer will you answer this year? Who will you pray for? Whose hand will you hold?
Yes it's a new year and it should be a happy one but like I said in the title of this post, you can have a happy new year, if you set it up to be.
Have a Happy New Year!

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