February 27, 2013

Testimonials from iblog!

I had the choice of attending Iyanya’s album launch or iBlog on Saturday, 24th February, 2013. However, I had committed myself to iBlog long before so I decided to stick with it. I ran into Iyanya the day before who turned out to be so cool but yeah, there’ll be many other shows :-)

I attended the first iBlog meeting where I met an extraordinary man who had convictions and would stand by them, a man who is using social media to bring awareness and wake Nigerians up to see the bigger picture. I admire his zeal and the passion with which he drives his message. He has been told enough to discourage him but Japheth Omojuwa is unrelenting to put it mildly.

At this 2nd iBlog meeting, we were made to do some serious soul searching. The convener, Omonaikee stated that any celebrity could have been at the meeting but she chose this person. Her question – “would you prefer glam or real?” Real it was indeed!

We met someone exceptional who invoked all the possible emotions anyone could have. He looked troubled; he was pensive most of the time. From the moment he began to speak, his passion could be felt with every word he said, his passion almost consuming him, like he had the worries of the entire nation on him. I got a rude shocker when he said boldly “I will either be killed or my show will be stopped from airing. I have been detained, beaten and threatened but I believe I am fighting for a good cause. Every show I do, I do it as if it is my last”.

He has been a constant thorn in the flesh to the Nigerian government. He started with a show in Kaduna called ‘Oga Driver’ and eventually moved to Abuja. His aim is service to humanity, reaching out to the common man, educating everyone about their rights as citizens of Nigeria. The humble man I met has generally been called the voice of the voiceless. Inspired by the hardship he faced while growing up, in his words ‘poverty no good oh’, he strives to make life better for anyone he can be of help to.

He was detained two weeks ago, everything has been done to deter him but nay, he moves on. When a taxi driver, a cleaner, a gate man and every possible person tunes in to listen to a show, that certainly indicates its success, it has inspired hope in people. If a person is prevented from speaking freely, is that not a breach of his fundamental human rights? And Nigeria supposedly operates a democratic system. Well, Ahmed Isah the President of Berekete family by being himself and daring to be different has helped so many.

There was a story I listened to on the show of a woman whose daughter-in-law pushed. The woman fell, her leg hurt but she assumed her leg was dislocated. She had it massaged but it only got worse, it was swollen and she finally was taken to the hospital only to discover that her bones were broken and at that point, it had to be amputated. In summary, Berekete family got her an artificial leg and she is learning to walk all over again.

Another woman was in labour and was rushed to the hospital but the hospital staff asked her husband to pay the sum of 3,500 naira for fuel to be bought for the generator as there was no power. He could not afford to make the payment so his wife was left in labour for three whole days. When Berekete family heard this story, the woman was picked up. She had spent this whole time outside the hospital and by now smelt from within and out. Apparently the baby had died inside her. A surgeon had to be contacted who brought out the decaying baby; this woman was beyond pale at this point. Who thought she would survive this? Good Nigerians rushed to her aid and made what they could available for her recovery.

These are only two of the many stories Ahmed and the Berekete family have to listen to daily. People suffer much more than we are aware of. When the government is directly involved and they have to be called to account, it doesn’t always sit very well with them and someone always has to pay for it. Ahmed has no sponsorship for this NGO, he aptly described it as a Non Governmental Individual. Bad people have continued to succeed as good people will not speak out. Where the government is responsible, they are not held accountable. Generations unborn will require us to explain what we did about these things.

The one thing that kept ringing in my head as I left the meeting was the fact that our lives are but fleeting and the essence of our being is to make a difference. Ahmed reminded us all that if you live a life where only you benefit from it, it is nothing but a worthless life.

Nigerians do not know their rights and it is time we came together as one strong voice. Nigeria is backward, it is up to us the youth to take our Nigeria and move it forward. What better time than now when we are the strongest we can ever be? At the end of the day, that is the same message Ahmed and Omojuwa preach. We all are different and we all have a role somewhere, we don’t have to try to be like others but make ourselves relevant where best we fit in.

Want to listen to Berekete family? Tune in every week day from 7:30 am – 8:30am to Crowder Love FM, 104.5 Abuja.


February 25, 2013

Ordinary Ahmed Isah: Surprise Guest at iblog february edition

Hey everyone! I'm soooooo excited about this February edition of iBlog! It was a unique edition, coming during social media week! Social media is definitely trending this season, it's more than tech and tools, it's a culture! It's the way we live today.

If you missed last month's event, we hosted Supper blogger, Japheth Omojuwa. Our interaction with him remains memorable. Omojuwa shared tips that have optimized his use of social media.

Let me recap for the benefit of those who weren't there:

He mentioned that he sees his twitter followers as real human heads and tries to imagine the numbers by looking at the membership in his church. Your page views and subscribers aren't just stats, they are real human beings who are connecting with you from around the world.

He gives social media the commitment required of a real job, he tweets everyday and is a strategic commentator. He influences trending topics by starting the conversation. The first comments influences the rest of the conversation.
He said that incidents that route trafic to your blog can be planned to occur frequently, an example was attaching your growing brand to a big and known one. About the quality of content, he said it should be unique and also connect to people's hearts. Look out for the interest of your followers and amplify your content over multiple platforms like twitter and Facebook.

Watch the video for more here- http://www.omonaikee.blogspot.com/2013/02/watch-iblog-experience.html. We also had special appearance by OAP and my friend Meka Akerejola, (yes he's back on his feet) and of course, YOU!

Our guest yesterday, is no ordinary man even though he has an all too common name and insists he should be addressed as ordinary when he is called.

I first listened to his popular radio show along with over 10 million subscribers on the way to work. It was quite accidental. Every cab i entered in the mornings was tuned to 104.5 Crowder Love FM. I would listen to the show until my cab arrived at work then on my way into the office I would hear the rest of it from all the security guards who would also be tuned in and by the time the cleaners came I would get the end of it as they listened while doing their work. Initially i didn't know what the program was called or who the host was or the name of the station but I knew the cry "heeeeeeeembelembeh" and the reply "olololohhhh!"

I soon discovered an innovative and interesting show which I looked forward to every work day from 7am-8am. It was a mobile court of sorts which dealt with personal, communal and societal issues as reported by citizens. Like every reality show, it had the right blend of interesting characters, Barrister Agbolahan the in-house lawyer, Amaka the go-to person and other supporting cast members.

It didn't take long to decide that I had to meet him and invite him to iBlog.

He was kind enough to see me in spite of his busy schedule. It was obvious there was a lot on his mind. He told me he hadn't rested, he couldn't sleep well and he hadn't eaten that day. But he wanted me to eat on my visit and served me himself adding that he wasn't a gentle man ooo, he was only trying to impress me. But he already had.

It wasn't his appearance which was starkly different from who I had imagined. I thought he would be a fat guy with a protruding belly from which resonated those cries, calls and bellows he made on the show.
"ha hi ha hi ha hi hain eeiiiiiii hemmmmmmmmm berrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlembeeeh"
I thought he would be semi educated at best, if not where did he pick up his "piecessed" not just broken English.

"Gu-do morninggi, na who me and am de vano, wetin be your contributed"

But his degree in theatre arts and masters in psychology is responsible for his epic, Gringoro slangs.

I thought he would be gruff in his appearance like he was uncensored in his speech "my mouth no dey wear pampers" but I met a well spoken and refined gentleman and he cleaned up really nice.
Still It wasn't any of these that impressed me.

In the time I was with him he received a lot of calls. The show continues long after it ends. It was late evening but the calls refused to close from work and go home. People wanted to tell him about issues that needed his intervention. To one he said after a series of grilling questions, I can't help you. "The story is not straight" he told me. To another he said you can help yourself. "I need to wake her up from that helplessness she feels" he said explaining why he answered her bluntly. I saw his point, the caller could rally help herself to solve what looked like a simple problem. To yet another he said go to the studio tomorrow and collect 10,000 Naira.

"How do you know he is sincere", I asked. " Do I need to?" He asked me this time. I reflected on it. He was right, help is help, if you want to help, help.
He spoke about death thrice while I was in his presence. Two times he was referring to himself. "They" were after his life he said. "Even if they get me, it won't stop". "It" was the growing awareness his show was bringing to the rights of Nigerians as a people. "Nigerians don't know their rights" he said, "The average Nigerian doesn't know the difference between his rights and privileges."

"They want to shut down my program, what did I say that wasn't true?". His show was off air recently, I thought his studio was being upgraded. "They picked me up" he told me. I remembered my nurse friend narrating how she saw him bruised at National hospital last year after an alleged incident with a government agency. "If what I am doing pleases God, let him protect me. I have no fear."

His third reference to death brought tears to his eyes, he didn't hide them from me. "She understands me". He was talking about his late wife. I noted he spoke of her in present tense. Perhaps to him she is present, I hoped he received comfort from this.

"If you want to be rich or if you want to impress people you can't do what I am doing".

I was impressed.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Who better to share how he has gained traffic of over 10million subscribers on the ground breaking radio phenomenon "Hembelembeh" than he.

It was an extraordinary iblog with Extraordinary Ahmed Isah, the voice of the voiceless!
I call him every woman's maternal son and every mans blood brother!
Our facilitator for the event was abujafood.com- Abuja’s Number 1 website. It is An Online City Guide blog for Abuja, an interactive business directory and a link between Abuja businesses and targeted leads. They showed us practically how to increase traffic to our websites and blog pages through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Videos and photos and highlighs coming soon, in the meantime download the february newsletter FREE here

Thank You's go to YOU and to all our supporters, abujafood.com, oodera.com, Buzz, Pearls International, Cognito Studios Photography see their work here and www.cognitostudios.blogspot.com, omojuwa.com, E- 101 magazine, Acada magazine, Juice place 2, www.2feetafrica.com and all the bloggers who blogged, tweeted and rebroadcasted. We thank thee! See you next month!

This event is powered by OMONAIKEE MEDIA COMPANY. Omonaikee Media Company creates media content for print, radio, television, events, online and social media and owns the iBlog franchise. Contact 08023550822 for inquiries, adverts, partnerships, services and license to operate iBlog in your own community.

February 17, 2013

Don't just make connections, Convert them.

As you prepare to be at iblog, there are a couple of things I want you to consider. The first is called "Connections"

Connections are events and people which connect us to a desirable goal or dream we have. These events and people present themselves to us everyday.

If you watched Omojuwa's interview at iblog, he makes reference to the event "occupy Nigeria" as a catalyst which amplified him and his blog. Are there impending or current events presenting opportunities to you?

The scholarship you need, the sponsorship if only you could get, the easy way out you wish you had? What if it was in your phone?  Make the connection.

The second thought I want you to ponder on as you prepare to be at iBlog an exact week from today is called "Conversions"

Conversions are desirable actions or behaviours you want your connections/customers to have. For instance on my blog, when a visitor goes from landing on a page to reading an article and leaving a comment, I have had one conversion. If he or she only reads and makes no comment then I have none. Conversions can also be in levels. E.g Level one can be having pages of my blog viewed, another level could be having comments as a result of what was viewed, another could be having return visits by the page viewer and yet another could be having that viewer subscribe.

For this blog, in addition to entertaining, I hope each article gives reason for reflection, dialogue and conversation long after the visitor has left. That something sticks in the memory and forms a part of their resolve to take action of some kind.

So the question is, what behavior do you want from people who connect with you through your blog or social media?

Are you getting conversions? Are readers becoming customers, are posts accruing to sales, are page views leading to shared views? Is there any value, is there any dialogue?

Think about you and the reasons why you or your organization puts thing out there, then see if you are achieving conversions with the way you are going about it.

Recently, a colleague of mine said out loud, "I did not come here by chance." What he was alluding to was there was a reason why he was in the environment work had planted him in and he sought to see his positioning beyond a job for the present but as a connection to the future either one of his own imaginings or one equally pleasant but totally beyond his immagination.

The conversation continued leading me to ask myself some questions.

What was I there for too?

Were there opportunites my open eyes couldn't see?

Connections my receptive heart wasn't making?

Connections my "open" mind wasn't adding up?

Food for thought.

The influence you seek, the money you wished you had, the book you'd always wanted to write? What if it is in your blog? How can you convert your blog to that book or blogging to business making?

How can you convert those connections on your phone to cash?

How can you convert people you are meeting to information you are looking for?

Think on these things.

It is not enough to make connections, convert them.

When they say to do what you've never done to get what you've never got, I don't neccesarily agree. It might be worthwhile to do nothing new or meet no one new but just look at what we currently have or where we are and use that better!

See you at iBlog.

February 16, 2013

Omojuwa: on the aftermath of #occupy Nigeria! Watch

February 15, 2013

Goldie Harvey: speaks her loudest yet!

If Jesus and you went to school together or if he was your neighbour and you knew his potential you'd think he died before his time.

You'd lament about the impact he would have made if he were still alive, the many more he would have healed, the numbers he would have reached with his message.

We never like to see a good thing end. We never like to see a life end. Maybe because it reminds us of our mortality. That if it could happen to one, it could happen also to the other.

I didn't need to meet Goldie to feel like I knew her. The scary news of her death leaves me as cold with sadness as I would feel if I had met her at all. This comment on Bella Naija this morning shows the mixed feelings people had about her persona-

" I didn’t give this girl a chance. Didn’t “accept” her. Didn’t respect her hustle. Got irritated by her. Laughed at her and now I feel bad. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves respect. We all need one another cos we all have our struggles and fears".- Ayoyimika

Yet Goldie thrived. Even though she projected a persona we were not used to, which earned her harsh critics and bemused fans, it was to her credit because it made her different, unique! And even that IS admirable!

Perhaps her loudest impact yet is the lesson she leaves us. That what you do with your life still is your choice. Obstacles, critics and even personal flaws don't have the power to make that choice for you.

When we look at life we realise that life isnt necessasarily the reward of those who know how to use it. If not Jesus, Steve Jobs, Pastor Bimbo Odukoya, Pastor Akin, Goldie Harvey and the departed we know would be living.

But if these same people were alive they would keep doing their thing. Goldie would have woken up and continued to shop her reality show" Tru Friendship" with her best friend, Denrele. She would have continued to tweet about the Grammy's to her fans. She would have continued to live HER best life.

There is a comfort in that.

Time may only have presented her with better technology, greater opportunites to expand the impact of what she was doing but she would still have been doing the same things.

There is a lesson in that.

Do what makes YOUR life worth living. Do it everyday. Do it while you are still living.

Jesus fulfilled his purpose, everyday he lived he preached, healed and did the works that the father gave him up till he died. Young! At 33. To us, that would be dying "Before his time", but in the books, he completed his life, he said "it is finished".

So the matter is not time, it is what we do with the time we've been given. Of whatever lenght it is.

We can live  fulfilling lives everyday doing the things that are important. That's what the wise do when they realise they are living on borrowed time. They don't do everything that takes their attention they do the things that matter. As Rick Warren says in his book "Purpose driven Life", there is no time to do everything but there's time to do what's important. Prioritize.

In a sense we die every day. Sleep is a type of death to activity and awareness of life. When we go to sleep we do not mourn that time has passed and darkness will hinder us from doing more . Instead we willingly embrace our beds and retire from our labour. I'll take it further and say that death like sleep is rest. Rest from all our doing in the day. And it is sweeter when we have done that one thing we are proud we did.

Everyday we can do the core- follow peace with ourselves, with God and with man. Do well whatever our hands find to do and make the most of our lives in every way we can so that when sleep comes, we can Rest In Peace.

If you've not signed up for iBlog, please do! It's going to be Big. Watch the previous edition here:


February 14, 2013

WATCH: the Iblog experience!

iBlog is a monthly networking event for users of social media powered by Omonaikee Media Compnay. The January edition of the event themed "Meet my blog" played host to Japheth Omojuwa in Abuja, Nigeria. Omojuwa has become a thought leader and peer "influencer" using social media to communicate his views on politics and governance in Nigeria. In his interview with Omonaikee at iBlog he predicts that the messianic leader Nigeria is looking for will appear in 2019. He shares how he makes income from social media and also reveals a persona that is equal parts work and play. In this video, all this and more with the bloggers/microbloggers of Abuja.

Don't miss Feb. edition, surprise Guest alert!

iBlog-The aftermath

Omonaikee and Omojuwa
If you missed out on iblog, let me fill you in quickly.

The event was themed "Meet my blog" and played host to Japheth Omojuwa in Abuja, Nigeria. Omojuwa has become a thought leader and peer "influencer" using social media to communicate his views on politics and governance in Nigeria. In his interview with Omonaikee at iBlog he predicts that the messianic leader Nigeria is looking for will appear in 2019. He shares how he makes income from social media and also reveals a persona that is equal parts work and play. Please bear with me, I will reupload the video before 8pm today, it's a must watch people!

In the mean time, Dolapo has done a stunning job of summarising the event here , so has Mohammed here and Tosin here

Iblog February edition promises to be even better, sign up:

Thanks to Abujafood.com for featuring me on their site here

February 04, 2013

iBlog in pictures






GET THE IBLOG EVENT PACK HERE: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BydyIJHdYA-sRkRzZDFpazJnWWM/edit?usp=sharing
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