Sunday, December 3, 2017

WIZKID and DAVIDO win big at MOBO awards.


The Nigerian music industry and fans are still excited on the big wins by Ayodeji Ibrahim  Balogun popularly known as Wizkid  and David Adeleke popularly known as Davido at the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards which took place at First Direct Arena, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Wizkid emerged as the Best International Act while Davido won the Best African Act category.
Wizkid edged out accomplished stars like JayZ, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B amongst others to clinch the award.

Davido beat Wikid, Mr.Eazi, Maleek Berry, Sarkodie, Eugy, Juls and others to emerge tops in his category.

Notable personalities including Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari, former president Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Senator Ben Bruce have sent congratulatory messages to Wizkid for the unprecedented feat. Wikid, id the first African artiste to win the award.

Interestingly, both artistes have had an ongoing feud of supremacy which has variously manifested on social media. In his congratulatory message, Nigerian artiste, Banky W, wrote; 

"Wizkid and David are both extremely important to the Naija/African music movement and culture, and I personally HATE it when people try to make it seem like you have to choose one or the other,"

"There's enough room in the sky for all of our stars to fly, so instead of us encouraging a childish, petty narrative that never ends well(remember Pac/Biggie?), we should encourage all of our acts to be all they can be. I don't wanna choose. Why should I have to?," he added. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Accentuating the Positive by Dr. Tony Alessandra

It's been estimated that we each have upwards of 50,000 thoughts per day. How many of yours are negative? Sometimes you have to do a mental spring cleaning to get rid of those negative ones that have become ingrained attitudes. Stopping self-destructive thoughts is like stopping any other bad habit—it takes time and effort.
Among the most effective ways to do this are visualization and affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements about yourself that you repeat over and over in your head until they're programmed into your subconscious.
Visualization, or "imagineering" as Walt Disney called it, is mentally picturing yourself the way you want to be. You've heard the old saying "I'll believe it when I see it"? Well, the reverse is also true: "I'll see it when I believe it!" Affirmations and visualizations may not feel true at first. They may not even be true! But they can become so.
Consider what happens when you tell yourself over and over, "I'm lousy at remembering names." There will never be any improvement there. So if you catch yourself saying, "I'm terrible at remembering names," stop and immediately say to yourself, "I'm good at remembering names."
Or consider the effect of telling yourself, "I'm feeling pretty good today." Or "I can lose ten pounds." Or "I am good at getting people to see things my way." Anything you say to yourself over and over will actually influence your reality.
Writing down your affirmations in some handy place-above your desk, on your bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car-will help keep them in mind as well as in sight. Use affirmations and visualizations to project what success will feel like and look like. Imagine, in as much detail as you possibly can, how you feel as the boss singles you out for exceeding your quota, or how the audience hangs on your every word during your speech, or how your confident presence causes heads to turn everywhere you go.

-- Dr. Tony Alessandra
Picture Credit:5 Ssukhram Colony Blog 

Where are you, in life, today?

Apart from unforeseen events like natural and some man made disasters which contribute in setting people back in life; where we are , in our lives today, is often a consequence of the choices we made and failed to make.
Doing what needs to be done at the right time saves a lot of energy and guilt. Imagine, the rot we allow ourselves to get into, as many months and years go by, when we often know the right thing to do but fail to do it.
Bouncing back to regain these lost  opportunities is often a mirage. Most of the things we need to do, in order to become successful are within our reach, but we allow neglect or procrastination to creep in, stealing our life's goodies.
According to, Jim Rohn, one of the greatest life coaches that lived, "not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more... and on and on it goes."

Make a decision today. Would you keep neglecting to do what is needful? Or, do you want to be where you ought to be in life, because, you have done the needful? The choice is yours, to make.
Picture credit; Fursysusa

Thursday, August 25, 2016

30 Fun Facts Every Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Should Know

By Jan Dizon Tech Times

  ( Cristiano Ronaldo/Facebook )

Whether you are a die-hard fan or just merely curious, this 6-packed abs hunk, who sometimes may come off as arrogant, has more to offer besides being Real Madrid's player and one of the world's most decorated and popular athlete.
Cristiano Ronaldo lives and breathes soccer.
(Photo : Cristiano Ronaldo/Facebook)
Here are some facts you need to know about Cristiano Ronaldo.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was named after U.S. President, Ronald Reagan who was his father's favorite actor, and whom he greatly admired. 
2. Cristiano is the youngest child of José Dinis Aveiro and his wife, Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro. He was born in Madeira, Portugal on February 5, 1985 making him 30 years old. Happy Birthday! 
3. As a young boy Ronaldo had some not-so manly nicknames: 
"When he got home from school I'd tell him to do homework but he'd say he didn't have any. I'd be making dinner and he would jump out of the window and run off until late. He used to cry when he passed and his friends didn't score. People called him 'cry-baby' and 'little bee' because nobody could catch him," Dolores Aveiro said
4. At 15 years old Cristiano was diagnosed with a condition called racing heart. He had an operation that used a laser to cauterize the area of his heart that caused the problem. The operation enabled him to continue his training and love affair with football.
5. In his teen years, Ronaldo would train in the gym using weights on either of his feet and then dribble with the ball. He figured that training with the weights would improve his game to make him faster.
6. 130 km per hour is the speed of Ronaldo's free kick.
7. Ronaldo's jump generates five times more power than that of a wild Cheetah as it jumps in full flight. This speed allows him to reach a height of 44cm in the air, which is more than what an average NBA player can do. 
8. If you think you're a gym buff - Ronaldo lifts about 23,055 kgs of total weight during his training session, which basically is like lifting a total of 16 Toyota Prius cars. 
9. Ronaldo credits his start and success to his close friend Albert Fantrau who passed up a goal during a youth club game so that Ronaldo would be the one to be accepted into the Academy from Sporting (Lisbon). When Ronaldo asked him why he did it, he simply said, "You're better than me."
Even though his childhood friend is now unemployed, Fantrau now lives like a rich man with a house, and car. When asked how he maintains his lifestyle, Fantrau smiles and replies, "It's from Cristiano."
10. Ronaldo signed a profitable contract with Real Madrid that made him the highest paid football player in the world. 
11. Ronaldo's is said to have paid for the cancer treatment of a 9-year-old boy showing that this man has a generous and compassionate heart.
12. "We've had some fantastic No. 7s, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, some wouldn't want that jersey but his confidence was high even at 18. When he made his debut as substitute against Bolton he took the place by storm," said Sir Alex Ferguson as he handed Ronaldo the No. 7 Shirt. 
13. 2006 saw Ronaldo debut his fashion boutique in Madeira, Portugal. The shop called CR7 is his initials and his shirt number. 
14. In 2008 CR7 opened a boutique in Lisbon where he included jeans with leather pockets, patented buckled loafers and diamond-studded belts. 
15. Unlike many sports stars today, Ronaldo has no tattoos and has no desire to get one anytime soon as he regularly donates blood.
16. Ronaldo also does not smoke or drink alcohol as his father died at the age of 52 from alcoholism and he also deems it will affect his playing.
17. There is a university in Canada that offers a sociology course about Cristiano Ronaldo.
18. In July 3, 2010 Ronaldo announced the birth of his son and requested his privacy when he posted a reference on his official Facebook and Twitter pages. Ronaldo has full custody of his son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.
19. In June 2010 Ronaldo became the fourth footballer to be represented at Madame Tussauds waxwork in London.
20. We all know Ronaldo is fast. But did you know that he's REALLY fast. He recently went up against and defeated the Spanish sprinter Angel David Rodriquez in a zigzag spring challenge. 
21. Ronaldo's talent already shined at 11-years of age.
"When he got the ball he went past two or three players. At the end of the game the players gathered around him, they knew he was a special kid," his first coach at Sporting Lisbon, Paulo Cardoso said. 
22. Ronaldo does 3,000 abs per day, talk about a workout!
23. Ronaldo's achievements include, FIFA World Player of the year award, Ballon d'OR, the Golden Boot, and he has been named the UEFA Club Forward of the Year. 
24. Cristiano is regarded as one of the two best players in the world within his generation. Ronaldo plays an attacking role. Most often he plays either a striker or as a winger. He is also widely known for his finishing, pace, dribbling, positioning, crossing and free kick ability.
25. Ronaldo's body fat is at 10% making him a perfect sprinting machine. 
26. In November 2012, Ronaldo gave money to fund schools for children in Gaza which he got when he sold the golden boot he had won in 2011 for €1.5 million. The next month, he joined FIFA's '11 for Health' program that raised awareness among kids so they can be equipped to stay away from drug addiction HIV, obesity and malaria.
27. The Museu CR7 in Funchal. Portugal is a museum dedicated to Ronaldo and contains his rare photos, medals, trophies and other items related to him. 
28. In 2008 Ronaldo set a record of goals scored at 42, this earned him the FIFA World of the Year honor.
29. In 2003 Manchester United signed Ronaldo and paid him £12 million, indeed a record amount for a player his age. 
30. In December 2007 Cristiano's autobiography, Moments, was published. 
© 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Culled from Tech Times


In not a surprising way to cap up his exploits in the 2016UEFA Champions league and Euro 2016; Cristiano Ronaldo emmerged UEFA's Europe player of the year for 2016. 

The Real Madrid forward beat team-mate Gareth Bale and Athletico Madrid striker, Antoine Greizman in the voting to emerge tops. 

Ronaldo, 31, in a sensational season,scored the winning penalty for Real in the Champions League final against Atletico and captained Portugal to Euro 2016 glory in July

In his acceptance speech, Ronaldo, the greatest soccer playing cyborg, ever made or animated, mentioned that he beat finalist/Real team mate Gareth Bale in the Euro semifinal and finalist/France and Athletico Madrid forward Antoine Greizmann in the Champions Leage and Euro finals
This is the second time the hard working winger would emerge UEFA'S BEST PLAYER IN Europe.He towered above his main rival, Lionell Messi last season through his achievements for his club and country.

Photo credit: Claude Paris/AP

Friday, April 22, 2016

How an obscure Nigerian ex-player became one of English soccer’s most powerful men

This piece was published in Quartz Africa in December 2015  soon after Jose Mourinho was sacked  as Coach of Chelsea Football Club. Michael Emenalo, a former Nigerian international who featured for the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the USA'94 world cup remained as a backroom staff of the club after Mourinho's exit. Today, the little known Nigerian ex-player has become one of the most powerful men in Chelsea FC rising from a chief scout to the Technical Director of the club.

The piece below will fire up discerning minds and further buttress the saying that, 'it does not matter, where you come from. What matters is where you are going to.'

Michael Emenalo, is indeed, on top of his game. Enjoy the piece. 

Chelsea's Mike Emenalo attends a team training session when he was assistant coach in 2010. (Reuters/Eddie Keogh)
In the last few days, the news of Jose Mourinho’s sacking has been the biggest news in world soccer. The manager, just over two years into his second stint at Chelsea, was fired after a poor run of results which had left the league champions and its expensively assembled squad facing the humiliating prospect of being involved in a scrappy battle to avoid relegation from the English Premier League.

While Mourinho’s name and cult personality has dominated the headlines, Michael Emenalo, a Nigerian ex-international who is now Chelsea’s technical director, has also come into the limelight, so much so that some fans are even calling for his head. For someone with, at best, an average professional football career, his rise to become a close and trusted ally of Russian billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and one of the most powerful men in football is quite remarkable.
Emenalo’s football career began in 1985 at Enugu Rangers, one of Nigeria’s oldest football clubs and a year later he enrolled at Boston University where his academic ability impressed university officials who advised him to pursue a career in law rather than professional football. Emenalo chose football and his professional career spanned two continents and six clubs. His international career saw him turn out 14 times for the Super Eagles with his best moments being appearances at the 1994 World Cup against Argentina and Greece. Mostly anonymous and away from the spotlight, Emenalo endured a journeyman football career mostly with clubs in lower divisions in Europe.

Retiring from active football in 2000 after turning out for Israeli club, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Emenalo returned to the United States where he eventually joined the Tucson Soccer Academy as director of player development in 2006. But Emenalo did not stay in the role too long as only a year later he was offered a route to the big time by Avram Grant, his former coach at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Grant had been hired by Chelsea in 2007 to replace Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese was sacked in his first stint at the club. Following his appointment, Grant brought in Emenalo as Chelsea’s chief opposition scout, a role he held till 2010 when he replaced Ray Wilkins as Chelsea’s assistant coach. Twelve months later, Emenalo landed his big break as he was appointed as the club’s technical director thrusting him into a key role as he became in charge of overseeing recruitment strategy and shaping the club’s playing personnel. Emenalo’s work as technical director has been crucial to changing Chelsea’s financial model as the club, in light of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rule which prevented clubs from spending beyond their revenue margins, could no longer solely depend on the deep pockets of its Russian billionaire owner.
The highlight of Mike Emenalo’s playing career was at the 1994 World Cup. Here he is, for Nigeria, up against Italian superstar Roberto Baggio.(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Inevitably, his role meant constant interaction with Roman Abramovich. Now a prominent member of Chelsea’s board, Emenalo stands out as the only member with tangible football experience. The other members, Bruce Buck, Eugene Tenenbaum and Marina Granovskaia all have long standing personal or business relationships with Abramovich leaving Emenalo as the man with unique football insight and thus earning the trust of Abramovich on football related matters at the club.

It’s an important role at a club where the owner has spent liberally. After an initial outlay of £140 million to purchase Chelsea Football Club in 2003, Abramovich has now spent up to £2 billion on the club. As the club’s financial model evolved, Abramovich’s investment also changed from hand-outs to interest-free loans now valued at more than a billion pounds. The club itself had run up cumulative losses of around $1 billion in in 10 years to 2014/15 season. Most of those losses come from expensive player signings which now comes under Emenalo’s role as technical director.
Operating as a buffer between the board and the manager, Emenalo has become a powerful man at Chelsea thus limiting the powers of the manager. In 2013, when the news of Mourinho’s return was confirmed, Emenalo offered to resign (paywall) knowing that Mourinho might be averse to the club’s new structure which limits his powers but as a testament to his rise in stature, Abramovich turned down his resignation. In the aftermath of Mourinho’s sacking, when the club needed to make a strong statement to clear the air on circumstances surrounding the Portuguese’s departure, it was Emenalo, who was put forward.

“It was a decision taken to protect the interests of the club,” Emenalo said during an interview with Chelsea’s own cable TV channel. “While there is huge sentiment for the individual, who has done so much for the club, the fact remains Chelsea football club is in trouble. The results have not been good. There obviously seemed to be a palpable discord between manager and players and we feel it was time to act. The owner is forced to make what was a very tough decision for the good of the club.”

Chelsea fans, dominated by Mourinho loyalists, were upset Emenalo never even mentioned by the former manager by name, at times referring to Mourinho as “the individual”.

As the dust around Mourinho’s sacking settles, it appears more likely Emenalo had a more of a say in the final decision than was previously imagined. In less than a decade, the little known Nigerian ex-international has gone from simply being a member of the club’s backroom staff to deciding the fate of the most successful manager in the club’s history. Even though Emenalo has come in for severe criticism from Chelsea fans who remain hugely sentimental towards Mourinho, he retains the trust of Roman Abramovich who, going by all indications, possibly considers Emenalo to be the new ‘Special One’.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

You’ll Never Grow Unless

Thanks to Bella Naija. Game Toppers brings to you a new piece by Nigerian model, actor and TV personality that Uti Nwachukwu, wrote exclusively for Bella Naija .
The 32-year-old who recently celebrated his birthday in South Africa, previously penned an article  about not carrying vultures into your new life.
In “You’ll Never Grow Unless…”, he talks about moving to a place of success and more.
Yeah, the headline caught your attention didn’t it?
Sounds like the curse of an angry relative, spouse, friend, abi?
The truth is…you will never grow unless you show that you are ready for the blessings by rising above your current situation.
Sitting at a popular lounge in Lagos, I watch a group of girls all well dressed chatting, laughing, toasting to life and saying “we run this town” even breaking into the Rihanna chorus. Now that’s a LOL moment.
Not far off is also a group of young men in designer apparel throwing it up with 10 buckets of champagne and shouting “where ya me ya rozay (rosé)”.
1.) Fiction: Wow! These peeps are living the life and their dreams
2.) Fact: Na only one person dey pay all the bills while others are follow follow, pose pose
3.) Worst Case Scenario: They finish partying, have no money to pay and leave their phones or car keys behind till they settle their bills.
Permit me to laugh out loud at this point : bwaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaah.
Okay that’s done….
It amazes me how people with crowd mentality are constantly waiting for that super natural blessing to come and take them out of their current situation. Comparing themselves with the leader of the group while they wait to covet.
Really, you are praying and fasting? And then you go back to your clique to pretend to pop rosé and run this town? Wake Up!
Especially the young generation today, are you kidding me?
Okay, let’s say you get a blessing, how are you going to handle it? How will you cater for it?
The same you that will say “Ah I won’t go through this or that or suffer ‘cos God will not give me something I cant handle”. Exactly!
If you show God that you are an irresponsible little pretentious spoiled brat, how do you expect him to load you with blessings fit for a king?
Just imagine leaving your only child in the care of a baby sitter that allowed 6 puppies to die under her care. Your answer is as good as mine.
Then there is the clique mentality. Show me one HUGELY SUCCESSFUL man that became successful while being part of a clique?
Show me one that became successful, then joined or started a clique and remained or became more successful? (Even music bands split and only 1 becomes the star).
Names anyone? Talk Nah? Oh your still thinking abi? Ponder some more while I go on.
To succeed, you have to rise above the clique. In my other article, I said to rise you have to die a little on the inside, you have to be broken…alone! Yes no man is an island I know I know, I’m not saying be a recluse o. Not at all.
But I’m saying you cannot move and live in a clique constantly. Have times you set out for friends.Don’t make it a lifestyle.
Do you know only one person can cause you chronic delay? (Remember Abraham and Lot?…. Your eyes are opening now ba?)
If you are in a clique now. Think of how much progress (legit) you have gotten with your so called ”hommies and babes”. Yeah your starting to realize?
Success, failure and stagnancy are highly infectious! How many people will sit and watch you make it out of the clique and leave them behind? You are dreaming, if you think it’s a reality.
I Uti Nwachukwu have been on both sides. And for every time a new chapter was to begin, I often found myself in a place where not a lot of people are around me, a time where the things that excite the juvenile become boring, a time where spending time with God became deeper, and then BOOM! New blessings! New Doors, My new Chapter.
You cannot be irresponsible and expect God to give you the responsibility that comes with being blessed. If you do not know how to manage yourself at NOTHING, then SOMETHING will never come to past in your life.
You will see that you will continue to live the false life of complacency and the false hope of the lazy man.
It’s time to rise up! Rise above the life of cliques! Start doing something no matter how small, sober up.
Take the bull by the horns. Stop being a liability to people and move on to the new friends till they too get tired of you.
Start being a provider and cater for your own self and your family and be a helper to someone.
I’m no pastor or shrink, I’m just a man who learns from everyday experiences and shares with the lives of people whom God has decided to use me to touch.
A word is enough for the wise. Start now before it gets too late. Try it and see how once again you shall rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of your past mistakes with the lessons as the wind with which you shall glide upon with the help of God.
And remember…
It always begins with a choice.
Picture: courtesy,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Thoughts are Powerful

Determine from the moment you stop reading this to fill your mind only with positive and happy thoughts. Do it in such a way that whenever a negative limiting thought creeps into your mind, you fight it and replace it with positive and reassuring thoughts. Get back to this blog after about three hours and drop your feedback.

Our thoughts affects us in many ways. They affect our emotional state and also determine what we do or say to people. A life of constant gratitude generates positive thoughts. If we constantly worry about our past or a future event that has not even occurred then we have negative thoughts.

Positive thoughts refreshes the body and create healing. It produces joy in our lives. Positive thoughts reduce stress in our lives.

Thoughts affect our heart rate. When you are afraid or embarrassed, it shows on your face. Likewise when you are joyful, your face glows. It shows that our mind and body are interconnected.

Because our thoughts are powerful and determine what happens to us, we must control them. Why get disturbed over a future event that has not even occurred? What if it never happens?

Choosing our thoughts will help us dwell on the kind of thoughts that count.  Always evaluate your thoughts and consider what your next thought would be.

When you learn to consciously control your thoughts by replacing negative mindset with positive thoughts, you would find out that you have extra energy to work out every day.

Negativity is captivity. Run away from it. Watch your thoughts, they determine your actions, which determine your behaviour.

Your thoughts rule your world.
Picture: courtesy,

Monday, June 16, 2014


Twenty years ago, Nigerians sat glued to their television sets, apprehensive and expectant, wondering what would be the outcome of the nation's first game in FIFA(Federation of International Football Association) world cup, USA 94. The Super Eagles surpassed expectations by pundits as they thrashed highly rated Bulgaria which had the likes of Hristo Stoichkov by three unreplied  goals.

Today, Nigerians are expectant again. There is also a level of apprehension because the Super Eagles team have not been spectacular in their pre-world cup friendly games. The 1994 team which paraded the likes of Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke, Daniel Amuneke, Jay Jay Okocha, Uche Okechukwu and Finidi George were rated the fifth best team in the world this is as compared to the present Eagles who are rated 44th in the world according to FIFA rankings.

However, there are some similar scenarios between the 1994 Super Eagles and the present crop of Super Eagles. Both teams went to the world cup as African Champions having won the preceding African Cup of Nations. Also, the coaches in-charge stayed over two years taking charge of the team before the world cup. Clemens Westerhorf took over as Super Eagles Coach in 1990, four years to USA 94 FIFA world cup while Stephen Keshi has been in charge of the Super Eagles since 2012.

Nigerian Football authorities have a reputation for easily firing and hiring coaches. Bora Mulitinovic , Adegboye Onigbinde and Lars Largerback were hired to coach the Super Eagles to the France 98, Japan/Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010 FIFA world cups respectively a few months if not weeks before the world cup.

The die is cast as Nigeria faces Iran tonight. Will the Super Eagles win this game? The last game the Super Eagles won in the FIFA world cup was against Bulgaria in the 1998 world cup. With Argentina in Nigeria's group in a fourth world cup, this is the time to win Argentina, not because Super Eagles have the best talent but because of pride and the 'Naija spirit'

Brazil 2014:
This is the time to shine again. Go Super Eagles! Go! Fly in Brazil.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do not Let People Define You by Your Failures

I sat perplexed as I heard his story. His songs re-echoed in my head. I could imagine him playing the guitar. Every touch on the string brought out melodious music, so inspiring; touching me deep down in my soul. Yes, I could say that even my bone marrows were shaken. He sang those songs that have become favourites in church choirs in Nigeria.

"I ran away from school. It was so unbearable. I had got an extra year in the university and so I returned to school to face it. It was necessary that my extra semester courses had to be up to fifteen credit units... "

He kept quiet again. He was still staring into space. Then he took a deep breath, turned his head and stared right into my eyes. 

"But I failed again, seven credit units in all."

What he said, hit me. My heart was racing. I had thought my own story was the worse.

"That was when I ran away."

I thought about his running away. I could imagine his strides as he raced to nowhere in particular. But that was not what he meant. This was a young man born with a silver spoon who was privileged to be an undergraduate of one of the best private universities in the country.

"I was frustrated. I saw myself as a failure. If it were even a third class degree or pass, at least I would have something to show for my years in the higher institution."

I readjusted on my seat. I brought my arms closer to my chest. My heart was racing fast. As I folded my arms, I was able to calm my anxiety.

"Home was hell. Nobody saw anything good in me. I got no single encouragement. My father saw me as cursed . "

He paused. Then he looked at me again.

"I will never forget the day my father took me to a white garment church for prayers. Oh! that day..."  he shook his head, "they beat the hell out of me."

I thought about who he was today. He had performed in major concerts. He had links with the best music producers and entertainment bigwigs in the country. I could remember seeing his pictures with Cobhams Asuquo and Wale Adenuga. These are great minds he had worked with.

"Those songs you so much love were written when I was at the deepest pit in life. There were what I used to encourage myself when I felt the world had rejected me."

I was not alone, I could remember how I often felt like an outcast back home because my parents were looking down on me. I had an extra year to contend with in a public university at a time when my younger ones who had attended private universities had both graduated. Now, I had seen someone who had a worse story to tell. 

"In all of these things, God has been so kind to me." He said, as he patted his hands on my back.
Yes, he was right. I beamed with smiles, I was lifted.

 We were two of a kind. Though we were both undergraduates of Mathematics in our various schools, it was my love for music that got me to know him. While I was going to face my extra year courses, as soon as the lecturers in Nigerian universities call off their strike action, he had given up on his own. Then I thought about my church choir. I was going to lead the worship session on Sunday. I knew his story was going to reverberate all over me when I sing. The world needs to hear his story.

This is not a time to give up on your dreams. Even if the people closest to you have written you off. It is time to tell yourself that you have what it takes to excel. There are people out there that you are better than. Follow your passions and do not let people define you by your failures. That you failed does not mean you are a failure. Brace yourself up and believe. The forces of nature will work in your favour when you persistently determine and work to succeed. 

And do not forget, just as my good friend said in his story, 'in all of these things, God will be kind to you.'

Thanks to my friend Mercy, for telling me his story.