If you don’t take risk, you don’t get to drink champagne – a Russian Expression

This timely statement can be assessed in a variety of ways. I will choose to look at it from the angle of achieving targets and goals. Champagne can be depicted in the form of other types of rewards such as a huge bonus, job promotion or attaining early and  comfortable retirement if one chooses.

It asserts that there must be a reward for success – a reward for hardwork, a reward for innovation and creativity. For example, if a hunter has caught game from his sweat (risk) in the forest, he surely is entitled to a large meal at the end of the day. The bible even alludes that a man must not eat if he has not worked. 2 Thessalonian 3:10 -11

As individuals or organisations, the impetus is to possess the drive, ambition and vision to create innovation that leads to a ‘Growth Phase’ I borrowed this growth phrase model from a colleague back in the days of banking.

Related image

It is important to note that the champagne does not qualify for gains and riches only. The goals of an organisation such as a charity called ‘War Child’ I read about recently was to have ambitious goals in terms of how many children in war and conflict zones they can reach in an impactful and meaningful ways with their programmes and activities.

I certainly hope to be clinking glasses in the next few months! Wishing you the very best in your projects.

Image result for clinking glasses

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

I have the heart and stomach of a King… says!

Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth I of England) said that “I have the heart and stomach of a King.” I surmise this as having the heart and stomach of a warrior personally. She made this speech or statement in August 1588 as there were questions being raised that her gender will restrict her from being the commander of the armed forces as the Spanish Armada was assembling in the North Sea ready to invade England.

The character of this speech implies that we must show ‘chiefest’ strength in the face of resistance. We must be defiant when confronted with battles in any of its ramifications. It illustrates that while acknowledging our weaknesses, it is our strength and guts that must reign supreme in the face of battles.

Image result for spanish armada

It echoes the soundbite from the great Nelson Mandela which he uttered at the Supreme Court of South Africa in April 1964, stating that “It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. The ideal this astute man was referring to was the total freedom of the African people – a struggle for the right to live on their own God-given land. Here was a political prisoner pleading for his life against an unfair and unjust apartheid state, however he was ready to be condemned to death for his noble principles for advocating for all races in South Africa to live freely and equally.

Image result for nelson mandela

How I wish the leaders in this African region and beyond can borrow a leaf of wisdom from our beloved Madiba when he says that “during my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Image result for nelson mandela

My summation is that life can be a battlefield to varying degrees depending on the battle that one is confronted with, it could be political, social, economical or even internal battles. We must be like the spartan warriors of the past that were ready to fight to the last drop in the face of opposition.

Here are some of the great soundbites uttered by leaders of a long-gone era in the face of political and social resistance –

  1. John F Kennedy (Cold War – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country).
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru (Indian Independence – “a tryst with destiny).
  3. Abraham Lincoln (Gettysburgh – Civil War – “Government of the people, by the people, for the people).
  4. Martin Luther King (Civil Rights – “I have a dream”).Related image
  5. Winston Churchill (WWII – “their finest hour”, “we will fight them on the beaches”).Image result for william wilberforce
  6. William Wilberforce stood at the House of Commons in May 1789 and said “let us put an end at once to this inhuman traffic.” This was said in the presence of many MPs who were merchants exploiting Africa through the transatlantic slave trade. Of course, and as expected the establishment did not yield to this abolitionist request until three days before his death in 1833 when the Emancipation Bill was passed.
  7. Image result for william wilberforce

Happy Reading!

 

A Conscious Traveller – an African viewpoint in the City of Love. (3mins Read)

I will like to consider myself a conscious traveller when visiting new places especially if those places (countries) have had interactions in the past with my beloved Africa (Afrique). This impetus was first imbibed in me as a student visiting Hong Kong in the early 2000s; we were doing late night crawling in Kowloon night market when the local police jumped out of their vans with batons to round up Chinese from the mainland for deportation. I wonder if this still occurs today since Beijing now has full control over the former British enclave.

This is in parallel to what I witnessed on a recent trip to Paris and suburbs – the City of Love. I like to look and feel beyond the aesthetic beauty of the Eiffel and the lovely boutiques displaying their arrays of luxury items on the Champs Elysees or the charming and soothing view of the River Seine.

Why we call Paris the city of love and romance... but is it really?

Related image

On my many trips to this great city I have always chosen to stay and visit the beauty spots only; however, I decided to take the family to other parts especially where the Africans resides legally and illegally – Chateau Rouge.

Oh Boy, I must say I was disappointed. My disappointed primarily lies with Africa. A continent that has continually allowed ethnic, religion and political issues; be it internal or externally imposed to stalled our developments and greatness thus allowing our young men and women to take huge personal risks to sojourn across the Sahara to conflicted Libya for further voyage to become unwanted labourers in another man’s country with no documentation.

What does it mean to live in a country where you have no status?

It means no right to live, no right to education, no right to welfare, in essence no right to LIFE thereby casting aspersion on the Universal Suffrage the city of Paris is known for. This further illustrates why these young men will take more risks by jumping into Lorries at Calais to cross the channel into Dover. If I ignorantly did not understand in the past, I do now. Any man would take such risk, because the bottom line is you die penniless on the streets in the City of Love. It appears the city of love is not reciprocating love to the illegals in Chateau Rouge.

Equally, was also disappointed to see police harassing and conducting raids in the markets where these ordinary people are trying to earn a living by selling roasted corn to their fellow kinsfolk.

Generally, any city of international reckoning will also have its own dark underbelly exposed by events as has been demonstrated across major cities from Grenfell in London, to protests in Charlottesville and more.

My summation is two-fold. Firstly, in other to stem the flow of illegal immigration to the west; the western nations (France, Britain, Germany) must not only use their influence to effect positive political changes but must move sincerely to remove the remaining invisible shackles of colonization that still restrict Africa from real development and freedom.

Image result for french africa

Secondly, African authorities and her people must move beyond real or ‘imagined’ issues of ethnicity, tribal affiliations and endemic corruption to know that it is the continent that bears the lost when her youths are roaming aimlessly and rudderless in countries that refused them legal entry.

Please feel free to comment, share and debate.

Thank you for reading!

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.

Image result for life

 

 

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.

Image result for Boy with a Pipe (The Young Apprentice) Image result for Boy with a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)

Image result for african original sculpture Image result for african original sculptureImage result for expensive african art

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.

Image result for most expensive porcelain

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.

Image result for african art

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.

Image result for african tribal marks Related image Related image

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.

Image result for live and let live

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.

Image result for picture of an african village Image result for picture of an african village Image result for picture of an african village child

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!