An AWESOME World

The more time I spend as an inhabitant of this world, the more I am seeing that a successful existence here is not about skill, knowledge or good character. It is all about one’s ability to exaggerate one’s self. We all tend to flock towards the people with the biggest personalities, those who have the gift of making the most meagre and simplest of things seem cool.  I say one thing and it sounds dull. Then another person comes and says the exact same thing and this time it seems out of this world. It is never about content. It is all about presentation.

This fact is becoming a lot more real to me as I fill out applications. I naturally hate hyperbole and loudness. A part of me sees exaggerations and embellishments as deceitful, a lie. Instead, I tend to say things as they are, smiling only when I am genuinely happy and offering compliments when there’s actually something to praise. Instead of prefixing every second word with amazing, excellent or awesome, I reserve these adjectives for things that are truly amazing, excellent and awesome. And that’s the approach I take with myself as well.

Apparently, that’s the approach every admissions office doesn’t take kindly to. Up until now, I have been able to hide under the shadow of my grades to help me up the academic ladder. Even with plain, unexciting personal statements and cover letters, I have been able to end up in good places. However, it seems that the postgraduate world, nay research in general, thrives on exaggerations – the amazing, excellent and awesome. Everything is presented as over-the-top and being more ‘WOW!’ than reality. To be honest, no one can blame researchers. The illusion of supreme importance and over zealousness is the best way to secure money in a stingy funding climate.

I recently handed in a scholarship application. After writing the initial draft, I went over and made everything fiery and wonderful. “I am interested in” became “I am keen and passionate about”, and “I want to” transformed into “I have a sincere desire to”. “I graduated with a good undergraduate degree” turned into “I displayed an outstanding performance in an extremely gruelling undergraduate programme”.  Out of desperation, I compromised and caved into this loud, awesome world. Once I clicked on the ‘Submit Application’ button, I felt like a liar. I find myself unable to cope with this exaggerated person. But it is this fraudulent version of me that the world wants to see and praise. The truth is, I am a rather normal and average person – definitely not outstanding – and in reality, that’s what 99.9% of us are. Yet, success chases after those who make their normal look better than other people’s normal. All I can hope is that this discomfort in my chest is not in vain, that an offer comes out of it all.

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Let’s support our athletes

The Rio 2016 Olympics is over and once again Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy has underperformed. Why?  It’s simple really: No support.

Our athletes fund their training and work their way to competitions with little or no support from the government.  But the blame isn’t just the government’s; we are also guilty of limiting the potentials of our gold-medal-worthy athletes. Their self-esteem and drive run low as we, the general public, do not take enough interest in athletes, our ambassadors.

Football is a national religion so it’s well funded – at least compared to other sports. It will be terrible, if not blasphemous, not to give to the work of holy football. So it’s rather unsurprising that they won a medal. But even the Dream Team’s trip to Rio wasn’t without hiccups. Delta Airlines (an advertisement stunt, no doubt) and a rather philanthropic Japanese plastic surgeon had to step in to their rescue.

There is so much talent that we, as a nation, are trampling upon. There is quite literally no reason why Nigeria can’t compete in every single category, why we shouldn’t top the medals board.

Don’t let other countries snatch our talent. Think about the joy you have when you see a Nigerian name on the results table for winning a race or match in a championship. Now imagine the disappointment when you discover he or she represented another country. To be honest, I don’t blame them for competing under another flag. They are better paid and have a greater chance of development.

There’s only so much a sportsperson can do on their own. We need to lift them up with funds, adequate training facilities and praise. Celebrate them. We have this terrible habit of talking about them only when they do well; but even when they fail, encourage them and push them to do better. Invest in sports and give people jobs, give them the opportunity to travel the world, boost their spirits and watch them win.

By the way, do look out for our awesome weightlifters in the Rio 2016 Paralympics starting in September!

I Support A Campaign

As with all things in Nigeria, I hope this is true: The #NotTooYoungToRun Bill seeks to reduce the age qualification for the office of the President from 40 years to 30 years; Governor 35 to 30, Senate 35 to 30, House of Representatives 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly 30 to 25.

SÉAFRA

I whole heartedly support the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign going on in Nigeria at the moment, I strongly believe if implemented will go a long way to bring about a fulfilled change.  TO know more please visit their site. http://yiaga.org/1226-2/#

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