The fragility of life endears us to the true veracity of our existence…

These are the words that meshed through my consciousness when I dropped the phone after speaking to a dear old cousin…

As I got off the DLR at Canary Wharf, I sat on the platform perplexed and wept internally, whilst workers of all sorts were rushing past, to get into their offices on time ( I guess they don’t want some ‘snooty’ manager telling them off for being five minutes late past the hour). That’s the joy of the ‘rat race’ innit – you spend so much on transport fare only for the constant delays of trains to impact your closely-guided punctuality records. Oh dear! I hope it doesn’t affect your bonus next February mate!

Life happens to us all is a familiar phrase we usually utter when confronted by difficulties that others are bearing, we drew from our own experiences to comfort them by assuring that things will get better. We regimentally say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Is there really?

Of course, no one can really navigate the journey of life without some challenges. We all want to live and lead our lives in peace and in tranquility without punctures on the odyssey of life. As we have now realised, that there are no guarantees – there is no security (be it at work, or at home or in society at large) that cannot be breached. This reveals that ‘Life is indeed Fragile’.

I will stop here as I ponder my next move in the chess game of life.

In the meantime, I will implore you to reach out to your loved ones on this beautiful and blessed Sunday morning.

Have a nice Sunday! Thanks for reading.

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When great minds collude… Bill and Warren!

A masterclass on why it pays to be successful in your chosen fields. What this guys are emphasizing is that we cannot be idle (or remain stagnant) in a market-led economy. Otherwise, you will be left behind. Warren Buffett described a market-led economy as a traffic signals system that directs all the resources and its benefits to those that have immense talents. I admire their philanthropy to bridge the inequality gaps around the world.

It is important to upscale, re-train and specialised in order to have the capacity to be part of the Tech drive.

Hence, the reason I want to grow technologically. My next ‘Growth Phase’.

The intertwinement of life and provenance.

A piece of art with a fascinating story can be sold for a staggering $100 millions… Phew!!!

This dawn on me as I recently won tickets to the Victoria & Albert Museum. I decided to do some ‘digging’ – digging for art treasures!

I have always wondered why art works at auction houses such as Sotheby’s can be sold for a cool $100,000,000.00 or more.

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More importantly, why would anyone spend such an amount on a piece crafted, painted, sculpted or drawn in a dinghy workshop some 500 years ago.

I realised that this happenstance is due to the laws of scarcity, perhaps only a few of this works were commissioned by the ‘landed gentry’ or royals of the past. Perhaps, only few survived the wars and looting of such artefacts in the pasts. My fascination is that art has always been valuable throughout the ages and hence the very rich bourgeois and powerful have always seek to acquire those unique pieces of arts and antiquities to add to their collections.

This led me to discover the meaning of the word provenance. In regards to arts, it is the record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.

Provenance allows us to see (to value) things differently when we hear the story behind the art, or the painting or who has had ownership of such a vintage piece of art in the past. This allows the value to change in our minds. An authentic story with provenance is what changes the value of a piece of art or a family heirloom.

Authenticity, stories, dynasty connectivity, royal ownership and historical timelines are the ingredients for the reasons why the handiworks of the long-forgotten artist such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso can be sold for millions, and millions of dollars over a mobile device, bought by new money from Asia or North America.

A piece of porcelain such as below makes time travel possible by understanding the genesis of a piece of handiwork. It helps to connect to the histories, cultures and adventures of the past years or centuries.

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Photo of Samson Slaying a Philistine, Giambologna, 1560-1562, Italy. Museum no. A.7-1954. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Photo of ‘The Miraculous Draught of Fishes’, Raphael, 1515 – 16. On loan from HM Queen Elizabeth II; rcin 912944, (Luke 5:1-11)

Provenance also intertwined with our lives as individuals, by alluding to what value we place on our own history and heritage. Our true authenticity must be brought to the surface for us to be valued as we rightly should.

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Related image Image result for nigerian sculpture at cambridge

Related image Related imageRelated imageImage result for nigerian sculpture at cambridge Image result for africa most expensive painting Related image  In the Desert (Watercolour)

I am looking forward to visiting the V&A Museum over the summer, it’s been ages since I visited such an institution.

Have a nice weekend…

https://www.vam.ac.uk/

 

 

 

It takes a village to raise a child – an African proverb

This proverb implies that when a child is born, the entire community bears the responsibilities towards the upbringing and rearing of the child. They will ensure that he or she is equipped with the norms, traditions and customs of the land. The name given to the child will be in accordance with the family profession or line of work such as if they were goldsmiths, warriors, hunters or royalty.

The tribal marks below signifies the family edicts and origins of the tribes. In traditional Yoruba societies, every child is born into a patrilineal clan called idile baba in Yoruba language. The clan share clan names (orile), oriki (poetry), taboos (eewo) and facial marks (ila). The facial marks on the child assigns the child full clan membership rights. The children with facial marks are called Okola. Families or individuals lacking the normal features consistent with the tribe are not considered as acquiring full standing as agents in Yoruba society. They would also lack the capacity for meaningful behavior, such as greeting, stating and commanding.

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I must now say that these practices have now largely ceased in accordance with Child Rights Law across the land (a ban I totally support).

I sighed heavily though because now in the modern era, a lot of this precepts that gave us ‘true identity’ has now been eroded largely in part by colonialism and the unfortunate transatlantic voyages did untold and irreversible damages.

This brings me to the issue of immigration. Migrating from one part of the globe to another is what the world was built upon. People across centuries have always fled to various parts because of religious intolerance and persecutions, wars and conflicts. Some migrated because of trade in spices and commodities (such as the Silk Road), others fled because of natural phenomenon such as adverse weathers, rising sea levels, earthquakes and so on.

Humans like other species have constantly been on the move. We ‘humans’ are not created to be stagnant, we are ‘moving’ beings. Hence, it will be helpful to bear this in mind over this contentious immigrants debates in the West. Perhaps, we must ask ourselves, what role did our ancestors or (nature) play that has now resulted in having someone of different breed and colour has your neighbour, doctor, accountant or even as a lover!

The crust of my observations is that in light of modernity and enlightenment, we must hold on to the practices and customs that gave us our true meaning as a race, or culture. An example is that here in the west, there is the concept of ‘live and let live‘ – an idiom expressing the ideal of allowing each other to live their lives as each sees fit. However, sometimes this does not ring true in some cultures hence the reason for lack of assimilation and integrations in some communities.

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As an African (plus a Brit I must say), I get frustrated when I see some (and I say some in terms of few) African descents not living to the ideals of their proud origin. Frustratingly in the sense, that if we cannot correct or teach them to the norms of what is expected in fear of evading somebody space. This meant that for us as a community we have been rendered powerless in raising our children (and our neighbours children) for fear of retribution.

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In drawing to a close, we must seek to respect everybody’s rights (old and young) equally, however that respects also infers correction where it is needed. It is our collective societies that looses out in the end, if we do not correct bad behaviours in our several communities be it in the black, white or Asian communities.

Finally, the best antidote to this looming immigration issues is partly economic developments and good governance in the affected countries. People will rather stay in their own land to be part of the growth story and live their lives in accordance to their beliefs.

Let me know if you have differing thoughts and contributions…

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

Some birds aren’t meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright… (2mins Read).

This is a line from the great movie  – The Shawshank Redemption.

Yes, our feathers are too bright for the mundane or to be caged in one way or the other. Life like nature has a way of getting one over us and can throw you off-balance if care is not taken. It is almost like ‘life’ dares us to reveal our true nature, our innermost characters are revealed. Life is saying ‘I am the Boss’ show me what you got!

The question I ask my ‘inner’ self is, how do I keep my eyes fixed on the bigger prize whilst the boat of life is being rocked? How do I navigate my way through the rough edges of life when life itself is refusing to budge or to cut me some slack?

We have come to the mid point of this eventful year thus far, a lot has happened in the last six months politically and socially, the resulting impacts will reverberate for many years to come. If we are a corporation such as Amazon or Coca Cola, we will be comparing TY vs LY, we will be assessing and reviewing our corporate strategies against the 1st and 2nd quarter results. This is when management will be thinking of introducing new products into the market or downsizing, or as in Brexit; thinking of offshoring job functions (they usually get this wrong most of the time).

What is my point here?

My emphasis is that we must always review our plans and goals just like a corporation does on a regular basis. In my case at the beginning of this year, I set my goals to learn and acquire new skills of which I did (to gain practical work experience in project management/business analysis). I learnt new skills and tools and gained insights to the importance of data and evolving technology. It has helped me in my current role and projects including creating this blog space, but I must admit I did took my eyes off the ball for a while when ‘life’ says I am still here.

There lies the crust of my searching question again  – how do we reach our set goals and visions whilst life challenges still persists ( I would like to learn from you – please comment below).

I was having this discussion with one of my colleagues and she asked me to check out ‘Jay Shetty’ online – and in one of the videos he illustrates that to be successful in achieving your goals, you must spend and invest most your time i.e 80 – 100% on the area you are ‘most’ good at, which leads to the quadrant of success.

Enjoy the link below…

My City of London: Overcoming Stalemate (5mins Read)

The very sad incidents over the last month has cast long dark shadows over my city of London, and the moods of the people have generally been muted. The fire at Grenfell Tower has shown the dark underbelly of a first class city, in which the local authority response was ineffectual in the early days, however the response of the public was beyond commendable.

We have all come together in small and big gestures of love and community esprit to send a message of our unyielding standing and stance with those who made it out of the inferno. My heart still bleeds for all the unaccountable victims of this tragedy, and others at the Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park mosque.

These occurrences have exposed deep issues within our communities. As it can be in any relationship there will be conflicts, and measures must be taken to resolve these issues.

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I will make my assertions clear below using marriage as an analogue  –

Marriage as well as society are interchangeable, they are birds of the same feathers and both goes through a period of togetherness and conflicts at times.

I grew up in and around West London back in the noughties – a few miles from Grenfell, and it had an atmosphere of tolerance, in comparison to other parts of London. This acceptance and inclusion was partly praised for a lot of the media houses (such as the BBC, EMI) established in the area which brings a lot of liberal minds into the community and also does employs a number of locals of which I was a beneficiary (I spent two years at the Beeb working on the production of factual programmes such as Top Gear amongst many others).

In addition, there are the wealthy enclaves in the surrounding areas of Chiswick, Fulham, Holland Park, Notting Hill to Bayswater and it does not matter where you are from in the area, you felt like you belong. We all ate Jerk chicken at the Ochi take-away in Shepherds Bush after a night of clubbing in the West End, after getting off Bus 94 from Regents Street or 207 from Trafalgar Square (oh I must say this was also the best era of music, we are talking about the like of Jodeci, LLCoolJ, Mary J Blige, Oasis, Blur and the likes, even the Spice Girls) and no one goes into the club strapped with a weapon. How times have changed right!

What is my point here? Things have changed, attitudes have changed, the people have changed; partly blamed on new arrivals and most importantly gentrification. Gentrification in the sense, the BBC has moved on (to Salford City, Manchester) and sold the studio and offices for conversion to luxury flats and boutique hotels. What is the cost-benefit analysis to the residents by having luxury hotels on their doorsteps instead of a behemoth employer like the BBC? What is the loss to the residents of White City, Harlseden, Latimer Road, North Acton, Ladbroke Grove who rely on the BBC for their sustenance. Yes, other companies have shoot up in the area, but cannot be compared to an employer that employs thousands of residents.

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What can the local authorities do and the government at large, (as in marriage) we cannot avoid conflict, we cannot ignore the issues otherwise the ‘sleeping lion’ will lay for a while until resurrected into something more destructive as we have witness recently. We must stop looking at the less priviledge as a nuisance to the system, those who have (the have-yachts) must invest locally and share their resources with the locals to resolve conflicts and use their resources to build a prosperous local economy.

We must note that the people are only reacting in the way they are (as anyone would with this senseless loss of souls), because they felt no empathy from the authorities. Empathy allows us to develop deeper understanding and insights into people’s daily issues and to come up with good lasting solutions.

In conclusion, local and national unresolved issues must be dealt with promptly through the set up of community-led public inquiry. Trust must be restored, it cannot be artificial. Real trust is what the local residents needs at this point.

This is my tribute to those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.

Please share your thoughts in the comment page

I wish you peace…

 

 

 

Tips for men: A good woman, a better man.

Hmmm I hear you say… I’ve been looking to bring this notion into the public light. Why would I utter such a bold statement?

I happened to work in an industry where the ratio of women to men is 10:1 (lucky dude I hear you say). I am fortunate, in the sense that it has helped me in a number of ways to understand women and issues that concerns women in society at large. Let me make my assertions below –

Women talk or should I say women can talk! In my office, my ear is constantly ringing about delicious topics such as how well the date went with John over the weekend, fake eyelashes, glutes expansion, brazilian hair or which make-up brand is better suited to different shades and texture of skin types. In fact, I have a product in mind to launch to serve this growing market.

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How has it made me a better man? It has in the sense that on occasion where I have been invited to contribute to their discussions, I have to do it from an empathetic standpoint. I cannot be too macho about it or too dismissive, if for example it is an emotional topic such as a relationship that has gone sour or other emotive subjects.

It has allowed me to be respectful towards women (1) because I value their strength and assertiveness (maybe I have a twinkle for a woman with power perhaps) (2) some are go-getters (some have moved from small towns or other restrictive countries and they are now thriving in the big city with a prosperous career which in turn challenges us men to want to continue to flourish as well and to attain more).

How has this knowledge translated or transplanted into my own relationship? Simply, I have learnt to just ‘shut up’. Truly, I have learnt to listen and to be more understanding; and a realisation that men don’t always have the answers. To get the best out of a relationship (and working with women is to work collaboratively), you need to mull over the details and figures, sometimes it can lead to ‘analysis paralysis’ but it is well intended as we must avert risks at all costs.

It has helped me to be a well-rounded individual thus allowing me to broaden my horizons and learn about other topics. For example, I recently encouraged all women in my circle of influence to vote in the UK elections, as I made a point that women were not allowed to vote in the UK until 1918 (1920 in the US, and African-Americans not until 1965).

To conclude, I will state that my masculinity has not been diminished with the rise of feminism rather it has been enhanced by it, as it has allowed me to value my own strength and my own vision. Society will be better served if we sometimes look at issues from a woman’s viewpoint.

I am a father to two boys and I am raising them on this personal motto: To respect a lady is to respect yourself.

Do you have a contrary view? All feedbacks, share, comments are welcome.