Reviews

2014 in Review: Is All About Appreciation

Written by Elvis Boniface

Wow!

So many things can be actualized in a year. The English saying encapsulated in the idea of consequentialism:

The ends justify the means

Is in truth authentic!

The year started out on a very poor state for me with plethora challenges; beginning from the expiration of my blog, edugist domain name and my inability to renew it, I got about five rejection mails from some application that would have meant a great boost to my career and network, my inability to deliver a client’s job that will eventually lead to the closure of my small business, Gyvisco Global Multimedia Solutions- a business I’ve nurtured since 2010, an article of mine was labelled as libel and legal cum punishment actions from the ‘powers that be’ sanctioned on me. It took the intervention of a Professor from the Faculty of law in my university to regain my freedom. To this prof…I’m eternally grateful. Want to know the details of the libel? Sorry I can’t talk about it. The court ruled I don’t ever referenced the article, ensured it total withdrawal from all the channels it was published online and never talk about it. The law is supreme. Only an Obasanjo can flaw a court ruling and proceed to launch his book as a former president. Ordinary Nigerians obey the law.

My failed business

My failed business

And many other acerbities.

In all these, the year ended with many great things achieved. In life it is not what you see that matters but how you see it. Every occurrence is a passage of time, never make it a destination.

As I make thorough review of the year, 2014, it’s all about appreciation to God for all the events that unfolded and the great people I met who contributed in no small measure to making my year a splendid one. In the round leather game, it is called clinical finish. These wonderful people, events and their priceless contribution to my life you’ll find out below:

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Jonathan is the father of the Nation as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. While his administration might have failed in the area of security and combating corruption, some of his economic policies have complemented his transformation agenda. They have been a leap in agriculture, entrepreneurial support through Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN), ICT through the Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (ideaLab), railway, power (though small), road network, automobile, and support to the entertainment and creative industry.

I benefitted from the later; President Jonathan 3billion naira intervention fund managed by the Federal Ministry of finance through Project Act. After a rigorous process, about 204 of us were selected to attend courses locally (Nigeria) and internationally (US, UK, and India) on Scriptwriting, Directing, Production and Production Design, Special Effects, Lighting, Sound, HD Techniques, Acting, Cinematography, Make-Up, Editing, etc. I applied like every other persons and was selected. I trained as a filmmaker/director at the Delyork Creative Academy at a whopping $3500 and got $1500 as stipend. The training was an experience of a life time. To the president, thank you for this initiative. I’m utilising the knowledge and skill gained to better the education sector through EdugistTV.

In my film-making class

In my film-making class

Jim Ovia

A few Nigerians are stupendously rich either from their individual hard work, inheritance or politics. But we’re yet to catch up with the generosity and support system practice in developed economies like the United States of America. The proliferation of NGOs has not helped either since many of them don’t have genuine interest.

One man that is the direct opposite of the minus attribute described above is Jim Ovia. He is the Chairman of Zenith Bank, founder of Visafone communication, James Hope College and other investment in real estate. He has a genuine interest in youth, technology, and Education through his foundation, Youth Empowerment and ICT foundation.

My first meeting with him date back to May, 2013 when I just started my blog and photography with a faulty laptop whose powering on process can take two hours. I can’t recall in full details what transpired, but it turned out that I left that meeting with a laptop, a smart phone, and one year internet subscription. This was my first brand new laptop and smart phone. The boys at computer village (the biggest and gyp technology market in Sub-Sahara Africa) already know me and my friends’ quiet well that buys #12,000 laptop. If performance and durability is a direct function of price, then I leave you to imagine the durability and functionality of my previous laptops. This post was composed on that laptop.

Ensuing from that same meeting, it turned out I got a mail in February this year to send my credentials, upon which I got a scholarship of #150,000 on Jim foundation’s MUSTE (Mankind United to Support Total Education) scholarship scheme. Jim I can’t thank you enough sir. You believe in me, especially on this blog and all I hope to achieve with it. Many many thanks.

Social media Week

I volunteered for this mega event earlier this year as a media personnel. Social Media Week Lagos is a week-long conference that provides the ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world. The event features a central stage for keynotes and panels, multiple rooms for workshops, master classes and presentations, and an area dedicated to co-working, networking and interactive installations. This year event held between 17th – 21st February, 2014 on the theme ‘A connected Africa is the Future’. My reflection and report of the event will later connect me with Ayo Alli, a member of the Advisory Board.

L.R is me and other volunteers

L.R is me and other volunteers

In next year edition of Social Media Week Lagos, Edugist will be hosting an education event in one of Africa’s largest event. So stay glue to this blog for updates as regards the event.

Ayo has being pushing this to make it a reality. Dear Ayo I can’t thank you enough.

Olubukola Olanrewaju and Axiom Learning Solutions Limited

It is said, every young person should have at least one mentor to direct and guide him. However, one of the problems we usually encounter is, the good mentors are usually very occupied on their career, family and economy to have time for any protégé. I’ve a network of very influential and learned seniors but busy people who will never have time for me. I kept asking for their mentorship – since 2009 that I assimilated the ‘adopt a mentor’ principle.

At the beginning of this year, little did I know my search was going to end. Specifically on 31st March, 2014 I had attended the GT Bank Autism Programme on the theme: ‘On the Way to Future Inclusion’ to improve my knowledge of children and understand best practices for their total Education. Right in front of me was an amazon, an educator per excellence, a refined professional and quintessential leader, Olubukola Olanrewaju who raised her hands at the end of every presentation. Not to ask questions which was called for but to give some clarification, and point out practicable solutions to support children with developmental disabilities or special needs in Nigeria, especially Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

I must know this lady, I promised myself. What is the purpose of attending events if you cannot network I asked myself. After several adjustments, I finally approached her. As a teacher, she listened avidly. Alright…that is nice, she responded and gave me her email and phone number. A determine me would mail her two days after. Today the rest is history.

I introduced to you my mentor, Olubukola Olanrewaju, Managing partner, Axiom Learning Solutions Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading Learning and Development Company. Though I have worked for over three years with UNILAG Ventures (now UNILAG holding), you gave me the first opportunity to work in a structured organisation. Thank you Ma. A special appreciation to your Managing partner, Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo for supporting the decision to let me be part of your company since April. Ani is a versatile entrepreneur, a role model, expert in multitasks, a wit boss with effizy and veritable public speaker. While speaking with him, ensure to have your dictionary handy otherwise….

Olubukola Olanrewaju, Managing Partner, Axiom Learning Solutions Ltd.

Olubukola Olanrewaju, Managing Partner, Axiom Learning Solutions Ltd.

At Axiom, I met a small but vibrant and sophisticated team. I feel privilege to have associated with the industrious young people I met there. Tope, Tunde, Emmanuel, Uche(later resigned for further studies) and Eze (uche’s replacement).

In Tope I found a superior, consultant, project manager, another mentor, friend, brother, counsellor. The ease you use in accomplishing task amazes me. Unofficially, he is the office comedian and unserious guy. Well done Tee hunter.

Tunde, Ani has indoctrinated you for good. You did not only understand business development, you practice it. You’re concern about what is in for Axiom in number. Your client follow-up is splendid. Unofficially, don’t ever run out of cash for transportation fare or lunch. Tunde will be willing to help but at 400% interest pay back and sealed agreement. I gbadu you Tunde!

In addition to working with the Consulting, Research and Training unit, Emmanuel oversees the admin duties in the office. His follow-up to internal affairs and punctuality to work is commendable. Unofficially, as the minister of stomach affair, Emma will always ensure Axiom kitchen is not boring. Empty stomach cannot carry a thinking head is his principle. You’re appreciated Emma.

Wale is the company’s engine room. What is a 21st century company without technology adaptation? The guy is good. He is the go-to guy for everything techie from the basics of formatting in MS Word to graphics, web, troubleshooting and just about anything. Unofficially, he is the pastor, dancer and singer in the making. Well done boss.

Uche’s swiftness to all errands from anybody without being frank is applaudable. As you further your studies, you’re coming out as a star because Axiom has given you a solid foundation.

When Uche informed us of his resignation, the concern was who will replace a guy as nice and industrious as Uche, Eze fill this gap perfectly. Good one Eze.

To you the readers of this blog who are mainly educators or lovers of education, permit me to introduce Axiom Learning Solutions Limited, a private organisation that provides integrated and seamless solutions in learning and development to the public and private organisations as well as organisations working within the third sector (NGOs, CSOs, etc) to you. The company work in three distinct areas: learning and development solutions, customized learning, and Teachers development – Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Axiom is not a business, it is a solution, a vision, and intervention, a disruption and a mission to the overhauling process that is long overdue in our education system. The company is currently working on Affordable learning chain of schools in the country with initial pilot in Lagos. I’ll give you more details about this in subsequent posts. For more information of what they do, please visit their website.

Ambassadorship  

On May 1st this year, I got appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador of the A World at School, a global movement with a mission of synergising effort to ensuring the over 58million out of school children in the world are enrolled in school by the end of 2015.

My ambassadorship has being a great experience, especially representing a country that has 10.5million out-of-school children in the world. Through the media, NGOs, multinationals and concerned capable individuals, I’ve advocated, campaigned and supported loads of initiative to drive the reminder that education is the key to opportunity and the right of every child. I feel honoured to be part of this movement. I commend the effort of Sarah Brown and Chernor Bah.

Some great moment in this role so far includes the celebration of the Day of African Child at the African Union (AU) headquarter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Gordon Brown’s support during the launch of the Safe School Initiative in Abuja, Nigeria.

Ambassador Elvis

Ambassador Elvis

Data Management and Analysis

I got a small project of doing an educational survey for a foreign client that stumbled on this blog through Google search.  After I had painstakingly developed the various instruments I used and administered, a friend, Tijani charged me 82% of what I got from my client to analyse the data. Bad deal for me.

The quest for a better deal would later challenge, if you like motivate me to enrol for a certificate in Data management and Analysis at UNILAG Consult, University of Lagos. Barely two weeks into this training I delivered my client’s job, and have done great things afterward. Tijani thank you for pushing me.

Mofe Oyatogun

Sometime in October, Adediran Adebare called me and introduced herself as the Personal Assistant to Mofe Oyatogun, the producer and anchor of the popular show,’Talking Back Closer to the Heart) on star 101.5 FM. She wanted me to be their guest in a week’s time to discuss the Education of the Nigeria child. I oblige the request. So on 29th October I was the guest. It was a big exposure for me.

As you know, the purpose of this blog is to positively influence education using media and technology. Upon leaving the studio, my blackberry would later go red before getting home because of calls from people who wanted to ask me more question on the topic discussed.

One of the calls came from Nick, an American who consults for UNICEF in the country. He claimed to have listened to our discussion on radio and was very impressed. He asks me to meet him in his office. This meeting is one of the best things that happened to me. May I informed you, an education-focused program to air on radio and TV is being developed by your darling blog, edugist, as a result of this meeting. Thank you Nick for the support amidst your tight schedule in and out of Africa.

And a mega thank you to Mofe Oyatogun.

Education Documentary

Education Documentary

My Neighbours.

To my neighbours who don’t even know my name because our culture of communal living has been eroded by westernization, thank you for being wonderful neighbours.

To the big men who turn down my interview proposals with some weird reply like, what is edugist again? Thank you but I’m coming back in 2015. Every big dream started somewhere…I stand gallantly and highly convinced that the vision of www.edugist.org will be achieved, this is the #1 Education Diary in the country.

Above all, to the Almighty God, I call you the COSMIC TEACHER, ABBA FATHER. Without you I am nothing. Take all the glory always.

Just so you know, I truly appreciate each and every one of you and I’m grateful that I had an opportunity to really connect with you. The regular readers and followers of this blog, thank you bountifully. I disappointed you in 2014 by not posting regularly on the blog. I promise you 2015 can’t be like that. Much concentration will be given to edugist.

Thank you for the support. Here is wishing you a happy Christmas celebration and a fruitful 2015. My instinct says 2015 is going to be the BEST ever for those of us who are in business with a purpose and a cause with a goal of making a difference!!!!

On your part, what are you grateful for? Share with me in the comment box below.

 

 

 

About the author

Elvis Boniface

Ordained Evangelist of the Education Ministry. Learning is my lifestyle, credo and religion. On a mission to disrupt and redirect Africa's Education conversation using Technology and Media. We can do it. Open to discuss any Education initiative and idea. #peace

Speedy reach: +2348185787349 & elvis@edugist.org

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