Lessons from Rio 2016 – Quality Education will bring out the excellence in Africa

For the past 10 days, the flames of excitement have been consistently fanned by enthusiasm, energy and panache in the midst of the most colourful city in South America: Rio de Janeiro, where more than 11,000 athletes have assembled to engage in the world’s biggest sporting event – Olympics.

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A lucid representation of excellence is perceptible with a quick glance at the medals table.

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Perhaps, there is a correlation between the strongest economies of the world and the nations that jumped to the top five positions on the medals table. Maybe, they are just popular names we hear everyday.

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Michael Phelps: Passion – Humility – Education – Love – Practice – Success.

The top five nations on the medals table in ascending order are: Germany, Russia, China, Great Britain and United States. According to an economic report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a ranking of the world’s largest economies which is usually updated twice annually with the latest one released in April 2016; four countries among the five at the top of the medals table occupy the top five spots in the ranking. In descending order, the world’s largest economies are: United States, China, Japan, Germany, and United Kingdom. This only portends that these countries understood the nitty-gritty of excellence; they paid the price of preparation and harnessed all the resources at their disposal to achieve their goals.
With just a couple days to the closure of the 2016 Summer Olympics, some countries are yet to win any medal and only one African nation is in the top 30 on the medals table:

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David Rudisha, the giant among the giants.
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Jemima Jelagat Sumbong, the future is brilliant. 

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Brilliant performance of the athletes can be linked to the state of development in their countries. The underdevelopment in Africa can be associated with the poor quality of education available. One of Africa’s brightest leaders, Nelson Mandela, is the author of one of the world’s most powerful quotes on education; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Africa needs to morph into a conglomerate of developed nations. This change can only be realized when education is given top priority in decision making and financial appropriations. A change that heralds rapid development can be initiated when quality education is fully embraced.
Africa is one of the world’s richest continents in terms of natural and human resources. In the pursuit of quality education and higher standard of living, best brains from Africa have migrated to other countries. Migrations to developed nations imply that they contribute immensely to the economy of their new countries. This is one of the reasons why developed nations with favourable immigration policies will always top the chart when it comes to the rankings.
A sneak peak at the best universities in the world can give an idea of where the best of educational facilities and resources are obtainable. According to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2015/2016, the United States serves as home to six universities that are among the top 10 in the world. China has two universities in the top 50, Japan has two universities in the top 100, Germany hosts nine universities in the top 100 and United Kingdom has three post-secondary institutions in the top 10 in the world. The depth of qualitative education in these countries may be one of the factors that have enabled them to be in control of the world’s largest economies. Perhaps, they invested heavily in education because they have a perfect understanding of the words of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle; “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
Quality education in Africa needs a surge aided by financial commitments from private donors and government agencies. South Africa and Egypt are two African countries that have found their spots on the world map, because they paid attention to quality education. South Africa is a home to six universities that comfortably occupy the top 800 in the world with University of Cape Town in position 120. Egypt also has three universities in the top 800 while Nigeria can only make boast of one university in the top 800 in the world.

Conclusively, Africa is a name that resonates with excellence and brilliance; a habitat for great minds that can truly change the world. For the excellence in the loins of African youths to reach the continental stage, qualitative and standardized education must be made available to all and sundry. This will strengthen our economy, prepare us for the future and birth more athletes worthy of Olympic medals in Tokyo 2020.

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Let us keep in mind that all is possible under the control of the Almighty.

Osho Samuel Adetunji

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WE CAN CREATE THE WORLD WE DREAM OF

Habeeb is one of the founding members of One African Child when it was established in the largest town in West Africa, Ibadan. This is a successful attempt to share his success story since he graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI). Habeeb is a change maker and we are so proud of his lofty achievements.

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I don’t know if I am in the best position to write this, as I still have some way to go regarding entrepreneurship. But I have been asked to share part of my story so far;

About 9 years ago when I was in SS2, I created TISA. I wanted a collection of young minds who were going to explore the world with me and create new stuffs. There was this general saying that Africans don’t make stuffs, that they only consume. I wanted to change that narrative and reach young minds who were willing to innovate and who could teach others too to innovate. We could create the world we dream of or we could keep on talking about it. The meaning of TISA was The Indomitable Super Achievers (lol… wherever that came from). My friend designed a logo and I printed forms. When I went to photocopy it at a local business centre, the woman looked through the form and was impressed. I told her about the project and she liked it. She asked about my school and said she would send her child there. I don’t know if she ever did. However, I was unable to move it forward as I wanted to.

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I revisited TISA in my second year at University of Ibadan. With the help of some other friends, we developed Geniuses, a quiz competition modelled to help students solve real life problems. We also successfully made a visitation to a public secondary school where we held a short talk admonishing the students to innovate and choose careers that make them happy. We also donated books to their library.

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Geniuses failed on the brink of success. We had made some excusable mistakes, much due to our naivety. But it was a great adventure after-all. However, as part of our failed bid to Google, we were to develop an app for Geniuses. From our failed bid, one of the team members felt we could work on the app independently, and he went on to create a new tech company which I am happy to be part of. There, we’re helping students learn better with the aid of technology. (www.geniusesng.com).

I tried again in 400L to make TISA work, but we were not really successful yet again. Our administrative structure did not really support our growth. So I took a pause on it and moved to concentrate on other things while I hope to get back to it later on.

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In its stead, I created Market Ibadan Business Festival and with the help of IvoryConnect and a host of friends, we were able to do our first event during my final year. We were supported by several organizations such as CocaCola, Diamond Bank, One African Child, Shyld Initiative, so on. MIBF was created to bring together small, medium and large scale companies together to help facilitate economic growth in the country. We wanted to bring the world down to the city of Ibadan to witness the diversity and brilliance of our culture, commerce, craft and community.

We tried to do a second edition in 2015 but we failed. Our core team had scattered over the country for one important reason or the other. We hope to be back on this soon.

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I’m currently serving in Umuahia. I teach English Language and Physics at a village school in Afugiri. It also brought me closer to the challenges rural farmers face over planting seasons. I immediately started working on solving these challenges so I could make them happy. So I remodelled TISA and started tísà- an agricultural care venture with the vision of helping farmers gain better return for investment and to also cautiously diversify the nation’s economy.

I applied for the British Council Enterprise Challenge and out of over 10,000 initiated applications, my startup was among the 20 that made it to the finals of the competition. It was a great boost, especially in morale.

The vision of tisa is to help farmers, most especially rural farmers, gain better return on investment. In Afugiri, I witness how much farmers put into farming. The end result is not usually favourable. With so much investment, in time, energy and finance, farmers usually get very little in return. Lots of their farm produce get wasted due to lack of storage and processing facilities, and middle men make off more gain than they do on the rest of the produce. I decided to visit the head of the female farmers in Afugiri and she poured out her heart to me. Each year presented tougher challenges to them. She was very frustrated. She invited me to meet with other women farmers during their townhall meeting. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do so, as I was in Lagos for the British Council Enterprise Challenge finals. I don’t know how, but I felt I could help farmers quench their frustration, and make them happy again.

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Training my lenses on agriculture in tertiary institutions, several of the people who could help farmers either don’t practice agriculture after graduating or are simply jobless. With tisa, we can create more jobs in the agricultural sector and grow collaboratively to rebase Nigeria’s economic structure.  While I don’t support bad governance, I think young people should focus more on helping the country rather than feel the country owes them something.  There is a lot we can do together.

At the bootcamp, I learnt a lot more on entrepreneurship and lessons on navigating startups for success, especially in the areas of strategies, branding, finance and accounting, and sales and marketing. I also got to meet other entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who were either starting or already making great progress in their fields. The experience at the bootcamp is helping me remodel tisa to solve the agriculture problem, and I am committed to making this change in the agricultural sector and change the way Nigerians farm. I also hope to partner with other colleagues who are working on agriculture.

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Being an entrepreneur is never easy, whether in new fields or in the face of crushing competition. You first have to make the bold decision of forgoing the more convenient path of being an employee or being self-employed. I’ve committed a good chunk of my years to learning. But the most important part is actually learning by doing. Trying and retrying until things come together. Never hesitating nor relenting. We can’t move forward if we’re afraid to fail or make mistakes. If you’re not getting pushed back, you’re not pioneering. And we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit. I have learnt a lot from my involvement in CrystalSpot, One African Child, StrictlyUI, Indypress, Swaliafrica, LLH, MIBF, MSSN UI, UITESWRITE, myschoolpodcast and a host of others. Volunteering has helped me a lot too. It helps to learn in real time and face real life challenges.

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I’ve always wanted to be many things in life, a writer, an engineer, an entrepreneur, a football coach and so on. But then, in the end, I just want to help a lot of people. I want to help solve some of the world’s problems and put smiles on the faces of many people. It’s not going to be easy, but I hope to have fun doing it. And hope to have more friends who understand, have similar drives, and are willing to make that journey with me.

I am not where I hope to be, yet I am grateful that I have moved from where I used to be. I am also thankful to my family and friends who have been very supportive. I hope to make the most of life’s experiences and choose to see opportunities in challenges.

I have met awesome and inspiring people, I hope to meet more. One thing I have learnt is that, dreams do come true, if we have the will to pursue it. So; dream, dare, explore, do something, keep moving, don’t stop believing, never hesitate and never relent. Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone.

Habeeb Kolade

#EveryoneHasAStoryToTell

Facebook: Habeeb Professorr X Kolade

Twitter: @Habeeb_X

LinkedIn: Habeebullah Kolade

Instagram: habeebkolade

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2016

More than ever,  women continue to contribute to social and economic development of their communities. How much more preparing our girls early to be the best for themselves,  their community and the society at large?

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OneAfricanChild Foundation is committed to training and creating opportunities for girls to learn and be included in social transformation. We believe in training a girl child to influence a nation positively.

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Life starts with the smile of a woman, grows with the care and Love of a woman, gains experience through the passion of a woman, shelters hope thanks to a woman, and owes a woman Beauty and Peace.

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There is always a small voice, inside each of us, telling we are wonders and treasures; that undying harmony, turning differences into diversity and teaching us the night is a sweet step to the dawn, is the breath of a woman ~ René Ndebi (OAC Cameroon)

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Today we celebrate girls and women from across the globe. Happy International Women’s Day!!!

THE VOICE OF AN AFRICAN CHILD #1africanchild #poetry #children #Africa

In the heart of Nigeria, shines a light that was born from the wombs of Mother Africa. The sense of Hope and Faith. That light is called Emmanuel Fada, a young leader and a 17 years old scholar of Jumpstart Academy, Nigeria. He is passionate about Writing and Drama. Emmanuel finds great pleasure in impacting lives of African children and youths. He desires to be an African leader, a resource person and an outstanding movie producer in the near future.

Emmanuel Fada, the vision of a young poet.
Emmanuel Fada, the vision of a young poet.

Emmanuel has a word from his soul, and he decides to share it with your soul. Here he goes:

The Voice of an African Child

I am confused… I am fed up…
How I wish papa could give this a stop
Though Mama tries and so hard
Having us just a meal per day, Oh how sad
For good clothings and shelter, I doubt if we will ever come across
I doubt tide ever helps carry this heavy cross
Well, this is our fate
Is there anything to celebrate?
In the humiliated lives of these eight to grow
Including my very self and the poor widow
We are subject to hate and baits
Seeking for freedom where derision reigns
Oh poor hands of mine, seeing off my sibling
That young life in the bed of sickness shivering
Oh, subconsciously I am echoing out my thoughts
(Sigh) I am not surprised at why Mama thinks a lot
I feel upon us
Poverty is like a curse
And blessing seems hollow nurse
But thanks to papa I learnt to yield grace
And I dug mud and earth for money to be raised
And my heart suffered as my siblings begged for food
When my mind was begging for school
I wait for the course of the wind to change
I hope today is the day before the change

Mama! Mama!
The fire has boiled the herbs well
We can now treat my sister
So that she will be well.

Emmanuel believes in simplicity and justice, and he knows, as a prophecy, that Africa shall rise again and stand strong. His word is a call. Do not listen to him, but listen to your own soul; you shall then understand the need of Africa. The need of a wonderful future for children. 

OAC IBADAN MENTORSHIP PROGRAME #OAC ANNIVERSARY #MENTORSHIP #TEENAGE UNITY AND PEACE

As part of the one year anniversary celebration, One African Child Ibadan had a mentorship programme at Jumpstart Academy at Bodija. Ibadan.

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Jumpstart Academy, Bodija, Ibadan a place for all was the point of call. Jump start academy is a place that houses students from several schools in an after school hour kind of programme, skills and different trades are learnt at no cost.

Love Out Loud Africa, LOL-A

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a United States of America based organisation partnered and sponsored the event. 

_The programme featured a filmshow with a film titled THE LOST MEDALLION.

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The film portrayed the need for unity towards a common goal and to defeat the enemy. The film also helped to relate messages such as Unity and Peace, need for good leadership amongs several other important messages which they took home individually.

The children were also divided into smaller groups

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to aid One to One mentorship to ensure better communication, to make them feel free and express themselves.

Do you know there are people out there who just need you to say a word or two to them and they are fulfilled for their lifetime? What do you have that you think is too small to impact into someone else? Try to meet someone today and you’ll be shocked that your “too small” may be somebody’s excess.

Your speech, your facial expression can make or mar someone’s day.
BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE AT THE BEST PLACE POSSIBLE AT THE BEST TIME POSSIBLE, BE THE BEST ALWAYS.

_The mentorship programme had support from several people and we would love to show appreciation most especially to all our mentors who volunteered to be part of the programme, to our friends around the globe and our ever ready partner LOL-A, Love Out Lout Africa for their advise, monetary supports and encouragement. We say thank You, Gracias, Merci beaucoup  …

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Food is  also needed to function
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Supru doing what he does best

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Tosin and co. celebrating LOL-A

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Mentorship in progress

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To our One African Mummy we say more Inspiration to you as you have begun the journey of a new birth year. We love you all. We wish you a HAPPY AND fulfilling 2015

Together we all can make Africa the best place to live in. Togetherness is the bedrock of greatness.

By Author RAY NDEBI

CHILDREN OUR FUTURE #oneafricanchild #children #literature #poetry #Africa

We see our future in the eyes of yours
The reason why we unite our efforts
For one day we were the children you are
And we are still dreaming of the same star
A wonderful world where you dance and sing
A happy Africa to stop crying
From today on we give you all our best
With our hopes and your dreams we make your nest
And with the line of your wonderful smile
Shall we build the roof of your merry while
You are the world we need to be happy
You are the blue heart of humanity

OneAfricanChild

By Author RAY NDEBI

LET’S TALK ABOUT #LOVE

If there is one thing which should be considered as the root of Happiness, the basis of true and innocent smile, it is LOVE!
Love… Each time I think of it, my heart becomes heavy. Normally it should be light just like a petal flying over and over again by a blooming season. My heart is heavy, because LOVE is still a luxury in this world of ours. Love is still a categorised notion.
Earlier today, I went out in the street to get people’s advice on Love. It is very sad to realise that Love is reserved for some occasions.

– Have you ever said I LOVE YOU to your mother? I asked a man randomly chosen in a restaurant.
– No, he answered. I know that I love her and she knows it as well.
– Have you ever said it? I asked again. I had to insist on that.
– No. I’m too old for that and I feel ashamed just thinking of saying I LOVE YOU to my mother. I am not used to that.
– Well. Thank you sir.

I went out and I saw a beautiful lady chatting on the phone. before closing the call, she said “I Love You”. When I heard that, I decided to ask her a simple question.
– Hi! Excuse me Lady! I am a bit lost! Could you help me please?
– Hi! Sure! But hurry up please. I have to rush to… How can I help you?
– Have you ever said I LOVE YOU to your father and to your brother?
She was not expecting that one.
– What? Excuse me. I have no time for that.
She turned round and got into her car. A few seconds later she called me in.
– Why are you asking?
– Because I need an answer. I need your answer.
– No. I have never said it.
– But you just said it on the phone.
– It was my boyfriend. And it is different.
– How?
– It is just different.
– Ok. I can understand. Well, have a nice day.
– One minute please. And you? Has your sister ever heard from lips I LOVE YOU?

LOVE… the most beautiful gift humans ever received. What are we doing of it? Here is what we are doing of it.
We have reserved I LOVE YOU to people we believe “special” (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, suitor, fan). Because we believe that we are having something “different and special” with them. And to a certain extent, which is the reason we hide behind “shame” or “habit”, we place I LOVE YOU and physical pleasure in the same basket. That bad use of Love makes us deprive our parents and relatives with a unique pride no gift will ever replace. Even with our own children, we have the same behaviour; when they are still babies, they are covered with all our I LOVE YOU each and every minute. Once they grow older, we think they are old enough to understand that we love them. We can offer all the things they want, but we reserve our I LOVE YOU to our partner or to please a suitor… Our children only do what we teach them.

People tend to say “Love hurts”. I cannot go along with that, because they make Love a weapon, a means to achieve selfish goals. Love is pure and cannot harm. The key to Happiness is FREEDOM! A Heart is like a bird. If you let it spread wings and fly, you will never suffer; but if you give it a direction, a way to follow, you will suffer many wounds and you will never meet enough beauty to make you smile like a child.
Other people think Love has many faces, but they are wrong. Love has only one face. And it is a SMILING FACE. Saying I LOVE YOU means the same thing whoever is there to receive it. We have to say it to anybody without discrimination or perspective of interest of any kind.

Say I LOVE YOU to your neighbour, to your friend, to your family members. Do not think they already know. Let them hear it. Do not say “You know that I love you”, only those three words are enough: I LOVE YOU.

If we want tomorrow to be a better world, let us start by teaching our children how to let their hearts fly.

To all those who know me and those who have never heard of me, to everybody I LOVE YOU.