I used to consider myself a 'travelling Ninja' with a black belt and there are signs of these. I have five different luggage sizes and I know the combinations to pick depending on the duration of a trip.
All my luggage are almost pre-packed except for toiletries and my refills. I once flew into Nigeria on a night flight arriving Lagos in the morning, had several meetings and had to take the night flight back to london the same day. One of the air hostesses on the flight out of Lagos looked at me and said 'I can swear you were on the flight last night' and I just smiled. I could have been wearing their lovely uniform too.
I can go on and on about many experiences but today I realised that COVID has demoted me to a white belter. I can't even throw my punches no more. From checking in, to security pass to wearing of the mask, to unconsciously becoming a mileage calculator (2 miles apart to other people), I felt lost in this new pond of life.
Is it better to be a small fish in a big pond, a big fish in a small pond, a small fish in a small pond or a big fish in a big pond?? What do you think??
For me, it doesn't matter as long as you swim, occupy and impact lives with no restrictions!!!
A fish must swim and swim I must. Looking forward to delivering impact sessions to the University of Lagos, University of Benin and Babcock University and other institutions back to back as I start my Africa Flexylearn Mobile App Tour this week. See flyers for more details.
While things are not normal, I am hoping I can crawl my way back to a black belter even if it’s a ‘virtual one’. But as I walked through Frankfurt airport today on a first trip after 18 months, I realised that when you are doing or about to do what you love, the joy overflows.
This was the only question a participant asked me after I delivered a one-hour training session on Internationalization of enterprise and self.
So I spent all my energy delivering this talk and all he was wondering was why I spoke in a Nigerian accent if I had lived in England for 18 years.
Haba my brother!!
Firstly, I was 22 when I came to England so my accent had formed. Secondly and to be honest I have tried to speak the accent and the thing is not letting me and I don't want to bite my tongue. 🤣🤣 Kudos to those who can speak 'spiri spiri'.
But mostly importantly and this is the hook, I discovered much earlier in my career that I might be living in England but it is my African originality that sets me apart. It is my niche and pride.
Africa has become the preferred destination for business and investment. No wonder overseas organisations and government are flocking to Africa. Well instead of going to Africa to know what it's about, guess what, I am African so talk to me (in my strong naija accent). But then I also show Africans how to truly excel in the new global era.
There is something no one can do better than you on earth and it is being yourself. You are the best at being YOU. So go excel cos you are worth it.
If you have been following me on here or wanted to hear me speak, you now have the opportunity to.
I will be delivering a supersonic session in Abuja on Internationalization of schools and resource mobilisation (winning international funding) at the CEBAR Learning Hub in Abuja hosted by my good friend and incredible education expert Carol Barlow @cebar_consultancy @cebar_learninghub
So if you are a teacher, school owner, educator, SME or entrepreneur or you know one, you need to call or get them to call the number on the flyer and book your space. Only 50 spaces are available.
See you in Abuja soon and have a lovely week people.
Her name is Kaela, a Hebrew name which means 'Beloved' but to me, she is Ima-Abasi, my baby girl.
At 2, I remember her first dance when the music came on and it was not just about the dance but the rhythm in her steps. Then at 5, she said she wanted to write a book and yes she did (though I wish she finished it) but nah, her creative mind was onto the next thing.
At 6, she picked up music and the piano was her resting place and by 7, she picked up drawing/painting and my house felt her colourful rage. 'Dad, I want this new art pen, she would say and when I ask her how much it is, the price would shock me cos I could buy 50 pens with it but what do I know, this pen is different. 'It highlights the contours of the painting dad' she would say and I would just nod pretending to have a clue what she is talking about.
At 10, she designed the cover of my career book, The Graduate Code and all through the COVID lockdown, she was my trusted photographer and cameraman for my many video sessions. And oh, she is not cheap I can tell you that. I wonder where she got that from🤔
At 11, she composed and performed a rap piece which was the highlight of my 40th birthday party and at 12, she started her little company drawing customised events cards for friends. She has still refused me to invest in her company. 'I don't want to owe anyone, she says 🤣
Respectful, Godly and courteous with flare and not to forget our big intellectual arguments which I love because she has a mind of her own. You better watch how you talk about 'women' around her, because she will hunt you down 🤣
As you celebrate your 13th birthday today my dear, May the good Lord bless you richly and expand you to fulfil his design and purpose for you and I am grateful for the opportunity to be your dad.
To those who have been impacted by my writing, my talks, or heard me talk about her, please wish Kaela a happy birthday.
The dictionary defines an 'expatriate' as a person who lives or works in a country other than their country of citizenship, often temporarily and for work reasons.
Two months after I got back to the UK from Nigeria, while I was still doing my PhD, I got the job in the #UK which paid 500 pounds a day and I had to go for my medicals before my first official trip. After two jabs, the nurse asked me where I was from and where I was travelling to? She was surprised when I said 'I am from Nigeria and I am travelling to Nigeria'. So why am I giving you all these jabs? She asked 🤔
Yes she was right because two months previously, I didn't do all these medicals to go to #Nigeria.
It dawned on me that 'levels had changed' when I arrived on my first trip to Lagos, and had two security details, an elaborate airport pick up plan and all the 'toppings' of a expatriate. They almost didn't allow my own dad get to me because he was not on my 'declared guest list'. What abomination!!! 🤣🤣
Funny thing is I am a proper #lagos boy - born and bred but that's the point exactly. I had not grown taller, bigger or even wiser but in less than two months my status changed because someone placed a new value on me. I was a student but I was also always an 'expatriate' but it needed to be expressed.
The question though is: would I have been an expatriate if I had not left Nigeria and had to go back? Is being an expatriate tied to geography or expertise?
Whatever the correct answer is, I now know that being elevated for value creation starts with finding ‘the YOU in You’ and expressing it.
Recently, some said to me: many Africans travel overseas and totally forget their roots or home countries. The person was really confused about why I do what I do with a special focus on Africa and the African people.
Everyone has their paths and I am just trying my best to follow mine.
Well, I thought to share with you just a few screenshots from the several tens of thousands of messages I receive from amazing people encouraged and guided because of what I try to do. I don't take it for granted and I am ever grateful for the opportunities.
For me, it's like a heart warming drug hearing the testimonies of lives and careers transformed just because knowledge broke through the rubbles. Why do you do what you do?
You still have time to register for the next cohort of the International Career Coaching Program which starts next week - https://lnkd.in/dUbPUg7
Please share and follow me on LinkedIn for more impact - https://lnkd.in/dnWQymM
Last week, I drove 1500 kilometres on a family holiday road trip covering five UK cities over 7 days (#Leicester, #Bristol, #westonsupermare, #cornwall and #Stoke-on-Trent).
While on holidays, I sent some pictures to a great friend of mine who also happens to be SVP at Flexylearn @dr.nelliekangwa and her response to the pictures made me laugh so much. She said 'so whose career are you building in these pics?'. I didnt realise that I was that predictable but I guess when it comes to supporting and developing interest and passions, I probably am.
While the holiday was to relax and spend time with family, we did design specific activities around the gifts, interests and passions of the kids. My nine year old son is crazy about science and space and so a visit to the National Space Centre in #leicester was for him and it did ignite his interests further. Before you know it, he was speaking in 'space tongues' of comets and black holes in no time'.
For my twelve year old daughter, a visit to #Bristol, the UK Capital of Street Arts and Graffiti and birthplace of the global artist Banksy, was non-negotiable. And if you know my daughter, you would know that it was like being in 'creative heaven' as her face lit up with every art work all over the city. She started conceptualising her next art work. At one point she said 'so can we relocate to Bristol?'. Hmmm, babe, that's another matter, I said 🤣.
I wonder how many parents consciously and intentionally protect and guide the innate gifts and interests of kids or do we pass the responsibility to their teachers? But what if the teachers don't also know what to do? Who suffers?
It's the reason I have written 'The Career Code', a special family and schools career book with clear instructions and activities for kids, parents, teachers and everyone that is responsible for young people including pastors, counsellors etc
We, the guardians of latent talents are the custodians of the potent impact they are designed to provide on earth.
It has happened again my people!! Full Scholarship.
Many of you remember the story I told about a young man who after I delivered a big career at the university of benin in 2018, he reached out to me and said 'Doc, you don't have a Wikipedia Page' and offered to create me one. Of all the students that were scrambling to get my number, he was the only one who did. He understood the power of volunteering, service and value.
He then volunteered to set up my social media accounts and managed them incredibly before going for his NYSC. He has been my mentee and now has become a friend.
Guess what? He just resumed for this PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland USA after obtaining a full scholarship, Research Assistantship and Dean's Fellowship. He didn't even need to do his Masters degree and many people don't even know that. He has been well guided and exposed to new ways of thinking and attracting opportunities. Look at that multi-million dollar smile he wears.
Naivety is okay when you are young but ignorance is unpardonable when there is knowledge.
Sign up for my UK Certified International Career Coaching Program (ICCP) - https://www.flexylearn.com/programmes/iccp/ and get enhanced - See flyers for info and contact Whatsapp numbers on it. Link in my bio.
Please help me congratulate the incredible Livingstone Imonitie and many blessings bro. Super proud of you.
You just missed the opportunity! I don’t think so.
In the 1st year of my PhD at Lancaster University UK while working in a care home for the elderly as a part-time job on a night shift, I sat down to rest after cleaning the toilets and bathrooms. Yeah, I was a carer and cleaner.
I wanted to watch the then '24' TV Series but I thought let me do some writing instead. I picked up my laptop and saw an email asking for applications for the British Council Shine Awards. It seemed boring but I thought to apply anyway.
Weeks later, I receive an email from the British Council that I was shortlisted as the winner for the North-West of England and moved to the national finals.
At the National finals, after a judging panel assessed all the 12 finalists, I came tops and won the crown as the Best International Student in the whole of the UK out of over 2,000 applications.
Funny thing is, it was all based on the non academic things I did - writing a book, volunteering for different charities, working in a care home for the elderly, supporting partnerships and supporting international students too. Is it not interesting that 80% of my life and career now is based on all these things and not even on my PhD?
I had a reception by the then Prime Minister in Downing Street, Tony Blair; had a reception by the VC of Lancaster University and another one by the High Commissioner of Nigeria to the UK in London, the incredible Prof Christopher Kolade. All these formed the defining moments of my career.
Sometimes I wonder, what if I just watched Jack Bauer on '24' instead?
If you want funding in biology, Google ‘international funding in biology’ it doesn’t matter what you want, you will see a long endless list of opportunities on Google. The difference is that while others scan through, I apply for twenty opportunities until I get one and with time, better strategy of application and a great track record, it’s has become much easier.
I used to think opportunities are like a flowing stream and all I have is a bucket to fetch. But now I know better- 'I am the creator of my stream'.