October 7, 2018 will always hold fun memories for me. It was a big honor to be recognized among Nigeria’s bold creatives currently shaping the creative space in Nigeria. Lipton Nigeria teamed up with the African Artists’s foundation with further support from The Yellow of Lagos to produce a truly special evening filled with delicacies of literature and exciting cocktails from Lipton Nigeria.
I have had it on my mind to buy myself a proper gentleman’s watch for a while now, but I had to wait for funds to be complete. As I have not yet become “Otedola with the money” 😂.
After I had saved the right amount to spare for what I considered a decent watch, I then faced the problem that haunts every gentleman on a budget, whether to buy a brown strapped watch or a black strapped watch.
Jinmi Abdul’s Music
I discovered his music on the internet and I enjoyed it a lot this year. His songs will most likely dominate my most played songs on sound cloud ! My favorites include Tinuke eko and Linda highlife.
I have always had plans of writing fashion editorials to bring some sort of variety to the site.
After my most recent photo shoot for grandeurtailors , I decided to write a fashion editorial about it. But I struggled to find what to call it or what theme it would revolve around.
I allowed this thought stay with me in my sub-conscious after the shoot. About a week later, during one of the lectures I take weekly ( It’s an NYSC thing), a fashion inclined speaker used the word svelte! Once the word dropped from her lips , I was immediately fascinated. I quickly sort to learn its meaning !
In a typical Nigerian home, the importance of making good grades in school is a song that would be sung into your hearing as soon as your ears are mature enough to make out sounds. You would be beat out of shape when you come home from school with bad grades. This is because it is widely believed that going to school increases your chances of becoming successful in life, and which parent doesn’t want this for their child?
Regularly, I still put on the uniform of scholars belonging to Albert Einstein’s school of thought, who believe time is only an illusion.
We all have our various theories and reasons, and here is mine.
We currently, measure time by seconds, which run into minutes , minutes become hours, and hours finally make up days. A day – which is defined by dawn and dusk.
But then, the concept of dawn and dusk is simply a make believe. Sun rises and Sun sets are a beautiful illusion created by the rotation of the earth around it’s axis, so if the earth decided to stop rotating or slow down a little, our entire idea of time comes crumbling.
I therefore see time as a GIFT that was created for us to make sense out of our world. Imagine if we did not have sun rises and Sun sets, how would we measure time? the entire world would not even make sense.
When I think about time, and think about sun sets and Sun rises, it only affirms by believe that there is a God – The creator of and master mind of sun rises and sunsets, the creator of time.
Time is a gift from God. A gift that allows us to count our moments here on earth and give our lives meaning. (I would share a complete exposè on my theories about time and all in a future article.)
Today , I want to reflect on God’s gift in my life – time.
I’m one score and two years old (Twenty and two years). Yesterday, I turned 22.
This means our earth has revolved around our sun 22 times since I was birthed. 😃
I love birthdays, not because I feel they are “special” compared to other days , ( my understanding of time doesn’t help much ) but because they help me appreciate the gift of time, and reflect on moments in the last revolution of the sun.
The year gone past consisted of several beautiful HIGHs and also a few lows to remind me that this is Life and it’s not a bed of roses.
I met several amazing people during the course of the year, I also strengthened a lot my past relationships , but some them also waned (well life 🙁 ) .
I made amazing new friendships. I graduated from school, published an online anthology , travelled out of the country, it was wonderful.
One of the highs would definitely include my experience with the Unilever Africa idea Trophy, which offered me the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people and have such a wonderful time , it offered a lot of learning and it would be really difficult to have me trade this experience for anything.
Let me use this opportunity to also talk about the Global finals I mentioned we were to attend in a previous post.
We eventually couldn’t go in person or rather, in “people” 🙂 , because our visas were denied, we however tried competing virtually, and left a remarkable impression on our judges.
I am immensely grateful to all the stakeholders and everyone who supported us and tried to ensure our success at the competition. My only wish was that we had the opportunity to deliver our best and to have seen it’s results, however, be assured that we did Nigeria proud. 🙂
I am also thankful to my team mates for such a wonderful experience together. We entered the contest as friends, but came out brothers.
Also, during the last revolution of the earth around our sun, I put out my debut collection of poems (Love diary) . It was a promotional collection, and it’s results amazed and really encouraged me.
I was really thankful for the support I received from everyone around me. I was even pressed to release it in paperback, which I plan to do in earnest, God willing. 🙂
During the past year, I also bagged my bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering :). It marked an end to five years of University life, five years that helped shape the person I am today.
Somewhere between my freshman and sophomore year, I set a slightly ambitious target CGPA, in the end, I came as close as one could ever come and ended up with an excellent result. which reminds me of a quote from my physics teacher in secondary school, he always said, “aim for the stars, maybe you will land on the moon”. By the way, the moon, is a pretty nice place to land.
So guys, if you have any construction works to be done, a qualified engineer is just a dial away 😊.
The University also offered me an avenue to make awesome friendships, friendships I would deeply miss and forever cherish!
During the course of the year, my laptop and phone also got stolen. If you have been following me for a while , you would already be familiar with this sort of happenings, I’m praying for it to stop however. ( When it’s not that I’m some magnet that is always attracting thieves 😀.
This was going to set me back, as I lost a lot of important stuff on my devices, I lost my documents, pictures, short stories, poems, CAD designs, vexscheworld related docs etc.
But I have decided to use it as a spring board . I have made a commitment to bounce back stronger. Turn the bad vibes to good ones, and so far, that’s been working out fiiine.
All in all, this year gone past has been a great year.
Moving forward, I look forward to an exciting period serving my country,NIGERIA on the National youth service Corps (NYSC) scheme, Concentrate on writing more beautiful stuff, grow the @vexscheworld brand, experiment more with my music, plan for the future etc.
I am forever thankful for the kind of friends and family God has blessed me with. They always make me feel like a rockstar everytime it’s my birthday and did just that this time around. God bless.
Bye… Till my next post, which would be soon (hopefully) .
Hi there! I appreciate the time you are taking to read this post, you are the best 🙂 . I always try to draw life lessons from everyday occurrences and I have decided to share them via this platform. So here goes the story behind this haircut!
I still fondly recall an incident that occurred while I was growing up. I think I was in primary 2 or 3. A boy in my class brought a beautiful drawing and said his big brother drew it for him, it was a picture showing a basketball player slam dunking into a net (I think it was the picture that used to be on the milo tin )I don’t know if it still there.
This picture was so fine and everyone in the class gathered round to admire his big brothers artwork, and I wished my big brother could draw one for me. But I did not have a big brother, as I am a first child and I longed to show off a drawing to my friends too. I then remembered I had an uncle who was an architect, so I decided to ask him to draw me a basketball player slam dunking.
Being an architect, and obviously oblivious of the gravity of my plight, he just took a few seconds to sketch me a line drawing of a boy throwing hoops. I was not satisfied in any way , but I appreciated his effort. I did not show my friends in school though, because really it was just a quick sketch.
Fast forward to almost a decade plus half a dozen years later, my nephew (not blood relative – a family friend ,but he calls me uncle) asks me to draw him a sonic drawing he had seen on my phone saying he wanted to show his friends. Nostalgia floods my head as I quickly recall when I was around his age and I longed for a similar thing. I painstakingly took my time to draw the beautiful piece you see above.
What makes this story special is that even if my uncle did not totally understand my plight some 16 , 17 years ago, I had the experience to understand my nephew’s plight.
Morale : Do to others what you would have loved to be done to you, and sometimes when people don’t meet your expectations still appreciate their effort 😊 .
I hope you enjoyed my story! Drop your comments below
Laolu informed me sometimes in June, 2016 about a contest he wanted us to enter into as a team. He explained to me about how the Unilever Ideatrophy works and that you could enter individually or as a team of two or three. He further explained that he and another friend of ours (Feranmi) had entered individually for the 2015 edition but did not make it past the first round. He believed we stood a better chance if we entered together as a team. He also tells me that for the first stage we would be required to write an essay of not more than 250 words about an idea for a close up advert, and seeing that I write, I was saddled with that responsibility. He gave me the idea he wanted for the essay piece and I was to put it into writing as soon as possible.
I was battling with a photoshop tutorial on a calm evening when I heard my phone buzz , Laolu tells me through BBM that we were moving closer to the deadline set for the essay submission and I had not delivered on my end of the bargain. I made a mental note to draft something out the next morning. As soon as I woke up, I constructed our entry essay but struggled to keep it down to 250 words. I eventually sent him 300 words and asked him to get it down to 250 words and forward it to Unilever along with our details.
( A few weeks later ) .BUZZ, BUZZ . Feranmi sent a message to us informing us that we had made it to the second round and the email had been lying in our spam for a few days. As it was, we had less than 3 days to make a video advert depicting our 250 word essay. I asked him and Laolu to come over to my place the next day so we could discuss how we could go about it!
The next day was a Saturday. At that time Dotun (a good friend of mine ) and I were taking the Vexsche music beginners’ guitar lessons every Saturday. Laolu and Feranmi walked in on the class and I went out to see them to discuss about the technicalities of the video when it occurred to me that we already had our cast for the video advert in the students of our guitar class. I went in and explained our situation to our students (who were also mostly our friends). Also, I had another friend (Keke) who was good with video editing and directing, so we asked him to help us. We all decided to meet after church the next day.
We shot the video clips we intended to use with our mobile phones, we also all contributed in building the story for the video advert. During the shoot, I figured our idea was too elaborate for a 40 second video edit and I decided that a picture story would be more appropriate to tell our story perfectly.
I got home and collated our video clips and started to extract relevant pictures from them. Laolu was there to help me and we worked overnight, by morning we had produced the beauty below.
We submitted our video, and for some reason we were confident and full of faith that we would make it to the next round. But then, we started seeing other videos from students all over the country so we knew there was good competition. Anyway, we still believed we would make it through.
Alas!! We got another mail a few weeks later; we had made it through to the boot camp!!! We were given a brief which basically stated that we were brand managers for close up at Unilever and we were to come up with a marketing plan for the re-launch of close up. Also, mentors were assigned to us. Our mentor was in Russia at the time and would not be physically present, but she gave us all the help she could through e-messages and mails.
We worked with our brief for several days before our boot camp. We conducted surveys and drafted a word document which detailed heavily the intricacies of our marketing plan. We drafted what stroke us as a pretty decent PowerPoint presentation filled with numbers, figures and charts.
After we were done with work, we were again very confident that we had what it took to do extremely well at the boot camp.
The Nigerian boot camp was awesome, we met all these amazing personalities, and I must confess, I developed cold feet within the first few minutes of meeting all these vibrant youths. I thought to myself, how would we compete with all these outspoken and confident lads. But then, I was here right? Something had to be in me too 🙂 .
Since our mentor was not physically present, we had to attach ourselves to a Unilever staff. We approached Mr Demola , who was visibly very tired after a very stressful day of receiving all the 36 students from all around the nation. We pleaded with him to take a peek at our work, and thank God he did! He took a quick glance at our work and told us that our business plan would be awesome for winning a contract and not a competition, and then he left us with these simple words. “Tell a story with your presentation”. Those were all the words we needed to hear.
That night, we thrashed our previous plan. Also, I had gotten a glimpse of how cool the presentation design and layout of some other guys at the boot camp , and I knew if we would stand any chance at this thing, we could not use a simple power point design ! I knew I had to call on my “photoshop” skills. We worked all night, every night on perfecting our presentation and story till the day of the semi-finals.
We gave a brilliant semi-final presentation, and when we finished, we were confident we had made it to the finals!!! We could read it on the faces of all the Judges.
For the finals, Laolu had suggested earlier that we do the “dab” for our introduction. I was not fully for it at first, but after seeing its warm reception earlier at the boot camp when we did creative team introductions, I had a change of heart. So we went on with it, and the reception we received after the dab gave us confidence to give another super presentation (video below). We eventually went on to clinch second place behind Team Adobe from the University of Ibadan, and we were crowned best presenters of the competition. Cool yh ?????? As second placed team, we also qualified to represent Nigeria at the African regional finals in Johannesburg.
We soon received another brief, a more technical brief. We quickly came up with an idea for the presentation within a few days after reading the brief, but continued polishing it up until the finals. We also had a fantastic team of Unilever staff assigned to us as mentors who guided our ideas every step of the way. Our idea required quite a bit of graphic editing and “photoshopping” and I could not be more thankful for the tutorials I took myself through a few months ago.
The Unilever IdeaTrophy gave me my first experience away from West Africa. I had already been to the republic of Benin, Togo, and I had been to the border of Ghana too. Also, I had only been on a plane for a total of about two hours, the Unilever Ideatrophy took my total flight time tally to a little over 20 hours.
We met beautiful and creative minds from all over Africa, and also had a lot of fun carrying out different fun activities, and learning about each other’s cultures. We had a lot of fun exploring a new country. We were lodged in awesome hotels and got to visit cool places like Nelson Mandela’s house in Soweto, The hard rock café in Sandton, etc.
The semi-finals and finals held at the Gibson Institute of business science, University of Pretoria. (This campus resides in Johannesburg) . We were to come up with a limited edition close up variant with two flavour options geared towards solving a problem obstructing closeness among youths in Nigeria.
We gave a good semi-final presentation and again, we were confident we would make it to the finals. We did , and did our “dab” again, received a good reception and followed through with an awesome presentation (see video below).
We came second 🙂 and get to represent Africa as team Nigeria , at the global finals in London, later in may this year!
Thanks to Unilever for an awesome opportunity to realise resources we did not know existed within us, and above all, I am grateful to God for seeing us through.
A fresh round of the competition comes up shortly. If you are an undergraduate, I have got one word for you……………………………. APPLY !!!!!