Message of Hope

Aanu Damola Morenikeji (ADM) and Nigeria's President, Olusegun Obasanjo - as the latter affirms his hope for Nigeria and Nigerians

Leading the Future

ADM and some pupils at one of his programme.

Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child

Aanu Damola Morenikeji and Obiageli "Oby" Ezekwesili (CFR); World Bank's Vice President for Africa.


Aanu Damola Morenikeji with the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun after becoming the first recipient of the Ogun State Youth Award for Excellence in Health and Community Service.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sign Your Autograph On Me

Its the last day in the month of October! I am optimistic to share a guest post from a friend and brother - Joshua Peter. I've known Joshua for a few years, and have the privilege of having him on our organisation's management team.

Apart from working collectively with team members and other members of our working community, Joeblaque - as i do call him - and I have always been having fun, thinking creatively, and investing in touching lives positively.

Over to Joshua's post titled 'Sign your autograph on me'.

I am very happy at the turn of events right now. As more evil prevail, we have more and more opportunities to show people we have bright-hearts. The darker the environment, the greater effect a light has!

I remembered seeing a film where a best-selling author has so many people asking for his autograph that he got a table and asked them to queue up. Wow! It was a long queue! He must have been really admired to have such a queue waiting for his autograph.

sign your autograph
Autographs aren't really new to us. Your autograph is simply your handwriting or signature. No doubt, you have seen people ask for other people’s autographs. They do this because they greatly admire those people and want to have a kind of souvenir with which to remember those they admire.

I have always fantasized that someday, I will walk down a street – any street - and people will rush out asking me to sign my autograph for them. I have carried this dream for so long until truth dawned on me. I discovered that my dream has long come to pass but unfortunately I deliberately refused to sign my autograph despite the desperate pleas of people I meet where ever I go.

The truth I discovered is that people have a silent plea in their hearts – a desperate plea. They ache for normalcy. They ache for affection. They ache for relationships. They are emotionally hungry and mal-nourished, without hope of being shown love or care. A simple smile will do them a world of good. A friendly hug will help lighten their burden. A sincere and sweet sentence will help a great deal. They silently plead with us: SIGN YOUR AUTOGRAPH ON ME. We move about each day oblivious of the pains and hurts in the people we interact with. We fail to notice the forced smile on their faces or the mechanical laughter they try to conjure in their bid to cover up their pains. Painfully, we leave them as we met them without fulfilling their silent but desperate plea: SIGN YOUR AUTOGRAPH ON ME.

What will you be most remembered for? Your insensitivity or sensitivity? Your lack of affection or your warm heart? Your coldness to others or the warmth you radiate? Your self-centered-ness or selflessness? Your value-added interactions or your value-diminishing interactions? If the summary of your existence with others is negative then it means you have successfully denied them their pleas to have you sign your autograph on them – on their hearts.

Have a minute’s thought? What will you be really missed for? Surely, you’ll be missed but for what? What will be the outcome of your interactions with peers, friends, team members, colleagues, neighbours and most especially, strangers? Will they miss you for the peace you bring or for the peace you take away? Will you be missed for your friendliness or for your hostility? Will that stranger you met today remember he/she met an angel? Common, it’s so easy. Just have a heart for others.

Don’t be stingy with your smile. There are more where it came from! You can’t exhaust the supply of smiles God gave you. A smile is so important yet its so free. Be lavish with your smiles and be sincere about it. Your smile kindles a spark of love in whoever receives it. It doesn't hurt to smile, even to a stranger, rather, a smile breaks the wall of hostility between you and others. It softens the heart of all who receives it when it is done sincerely. It makes others comfortable with you and it boosts your confidence. You don’t lose anything when you give someone a smile.

Choose to be kind! Kind people are held dear! The world will be so acidic and cruel if mankind has lost the virtue of kindness. Choose to allow others get ahead of you. Choose to help pick a fallen pen. 

Choose to clean a seat for someone. Choose to comment on someone’s dressing or beauty. Choose to help someone for free. Help that granny with a chair, she can’t stand for too long. Give someone else your seat when there are others standing while you are sitting. Consider the poor, the pregnant, the ageing, the disabled, the hurting and rejected. Choose to offer them a little of the kindness they desire badly but have been so long denied of. Common, it’s not difficult. Be an angel with a heart of gold.

It is a fact that every living being aches for love and affection. Maturity doesn't take that need away. Everyone you come across, no matter how old, rich, powerful, poor, educated or not educated, remember that he/she is begging you to SIGN YOUR AUTOGRAPH ON THEM. Don’t deny them that plea.

So, when are you going to start signing your autographs on people? Now?

If yes, begin with me. Hahahaha...just kidding!

Joshua Peter blogs at the LightHouse, and can be contacted via mail.

Monday, 28 October 2013

10 #ThingsToDo today

Today is another lovely day, with no errors yet in it. I'll be sharing 10 #ThingsToDo today.

1. Thank God for the day
2. Work on your To-Do list. Prioritise your would-be actions and time-guide them.
3. Envision the end, from dawn.
4. Believe in yourself
5. Approach others with a smile, a welcoming 'hello' and a cheerful voice.
6. Add one person to your network.
7. Make a mistake - if neccesary, but learn from it.
8. Consciously learn something new. Make the unfamilar familiar.
9. Appreciate everyone that have contributed to your successful day. Be prompt to show appreciation, and mean it.
10. Take action now; do not procastinate.

Good morning.

*Question*: what else do you do today? I will love to read from you. Hit the comment button, or let's connect via Facebook ( or Twitter (@damolamore).

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fault Finding or Panacea Placing?

Oh! What a pleasant weekend.

I had a great time speaking on 'State of the Nation - Whose Fault' at a Royal Banquet Against Corruption organised by Eagle Ping Crusaders against economic and financial corruption.

I however believe in panacea placing, rather than fault finding. Thus, as part of the most important arm of governance (the people), we should seek remedy - instead of faults-, be corageous to challenge the status quo, start thinking outside the box, model the way through the right value, behaviour, influence and enagage the government near you.

Most importantly, let's CONTRIBUTE, more than we criticize.

Nation building is a collective responsibility.

God bless Nigeria.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Interested in Taking Initiative? Answer these Questions!

I have been an advocate of young people taking initiative to solve societal challenges instead of just complaining, sitting, and waiting unendingly for government and others. This is why taking initiative is encouraged through what we call the 'Impact Community Project' - an essential component of our youth leadership academy - Studership.

Over time, after discussing with some other young persons at various fora, i can not but notice the underlying passion for making a contribution, starting a project or building an organisation.

As good as these drives are, it requires reason, planning and commitment. Take out some time to answer the following questions and note the suggestions.

What is the purpose of your initiative? What is its mission? As a friend used to say, 'anything that is not written down does not exist'. Try writing out clearly what you want to achieve with the initiative. Writing it will help in clarifying your mission. After writing the mission, place where you can see it consciously, to help you focus on accomplishing it.

As suggested by Julie Loosbrock, Where do you plan on implementing this initiative? Just in one location or several? Is the location rural or urban? Do you (really) need office space? Perhaps keeping your plan small to begin with, will give you room to make adjustments and changes as you see fit. You can always expand. It's a lot harder to start big and then have to cut back.

How do you plan on executing your initiative? Who will be involved? What skills will be needed? How many people do you need for each community? How many days a week will your program be? What materials will you need? What support from each community do you need? How will you go about developing support for your program/initiative in each community? Who needs to be involved? What level of commitment do you need from the participants to keep the program going?

Once you can dutifully and simply clarify the WHY, it will help in the clarification of your WHAT, WHERE, HOW and WHEN. Get a team or group of people (of like minds, but diverse experience) with whom you can share ideas and discuss what you want to do.

As important as taking initiative is, it is more important to know / envision the resultant effect of your action (and inaction). Stick to your vision, share it with others. It is feasible, it is achievable; you can make it happen.

If you can answer those questions, then you have passed the first stage required in taking initiative. Get going, pull resources together and stay committed to the bigger dream (the VISION).

I will love to read from you. Drop your comment in the comment box, or send me a mail via TakeInitiative!

Question: What initiative are you taking? What impact have it made? What challenges did you face and how have you been able to overcome it?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Be Prepared for Leadership

A wake-up call has gone to youths to prepare themselves for leadership positions at all levels in order to make the positive changes the nation requires for development. Delivering a presentation at a 2-Day Studership 2.0 Leadership Summit held recently, the Team Leader, All for Development Foundation and a 400L Plant Physiology and Crop Protection (PPCP) student , Mr. Aanu Damola Morenikeji, described leadership not as a position, rank, privilege, title or money, but pure responsibility.
Be Prepared for Leadership - FUNAABite Tasks Youths
According to him, the qualities of an effective leader include having basic intelligence, clear and strong values, high levels of personal energy, the ability and desire to grow constantly, vision, curiosity and a good memory. Alluding to the maxim which says, “the future has no shelf life”, future leaders will need a passion for continual learning, a refined, discerning ear for the moral and ethical consequences of their actions and an understanding of the purpose of work and human organisations”. He advised the youths to be mindful of their character as competence would get them to the top, while character would keep them there.
Be Prepared for Leadership - FUNAABite Tasks Youths

Mr. Morenikeji added that the four things that stand leaders out are: having a clear idea of what they want to achieve and why. Secondly, leaders change the way people think and not just the way people do things, as well as living up to expectation when there is a crisis or special problem.
The Fellow of the M121 Social Leadership Academy, USA, demystified the ‘Studership’ word to be a combination of students and leadership.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Toyin Arowolo, advised the youths of the country to be resilient, adding that they must accept the responsibility of leadership.
The Vice-Chancellor encouraged Nigerian youths to make the most of their leisure, taking advantage of their time to engage in productive programmes, instead of idling away.
In his Goodwill Message, the Ogun State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Honourable Olugbenga Otenuga, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Youth Development, Mr. Salami Adetokunbo, commended the organisers for the well-organised summit.
Answering questions from FUNAAB Bulletin after the programme, one of the Participants, a member of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana, Mr. Abdul Basit Osumanu, said “we face the same challenges of leadership in Africa. We have frustrated youths across Africa not trusting the leadership”. He, therefore, advised the youths saying “we need to trust whoever is leading us, adding that “the change we need should come from us”.
Also, Mr. Serge Kpoglo, a student at the University of Lome, Togo was elated to have been privileged to visit Nigeria for the first time and promised to share the knowledge gathered at the Summit with his colleagues back home.
Similarly, Mr. George Gambadatoun, a student at the National School of Applied Economics and Management, Cotonou, Republic of Benin, lauded the hospitality of Nigerians, a country he had visited thrice, saying that “I feel at home whenever I visit Nigeria”. He said his country shared a lot with Nigeria in terms of culture, dressing and language.

You may read the news from the source: Federal University of Agriculture's website
The Studership 2.0 Leadership Programme was featured on the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta's website. It is worthy of note that the summit was supported by the institution.