A kì í wo ago aláago ṣiṣẹ́.
Don’t measure your life looking at another person’s timepiece.
I have this tradition for the last five years. I try to write an annual review and a birthday note every year.
Here is a paragraph from my 25th birthday note, five years ago;
Step out of convention, rewrite the rules, overthrow the status quo and change the world. We might not grace TIME magazine cover, top Google searches, a deserving biography, CNN breaking news, but let ‘s keep making change happen in our own little way. Lets leave monuments and build structures in people as in their minds we write history to be told till the end of the earth.
I wrote this being an employee of First Bank of Nigeria. That Bank fulfilled its part of paying my salary on the 19th of every month but I was not just satisfied. I wanted more. More to me was being the master of my destiny, being in control of my goals.
I was caught in that banking routine for one and half years in the First Bank, Shomolu branch. I just wanted to leave but to where?
I always peered through Twitter and Facebook looking for what is running hot. At a time, I examined thoroughly was Chude Jideonwo. I stumbled that we were born the same year and as I peered through his profile, it was and still is astounding. Like he edits, produces shows, gives out Future Awards, meets with one icon or the other etc. What was I doing with my life?
I have lived in the trough of lamentations, keeping up with what he was doing. I even decided to enroll at a creative writing class organized by the Red Media Team. Just to wonder, how does one find his path and take on this tiny blocks of greatness. How old was he? 25!
One afternoon, I stumbled on a piece online that there was going to be protest as regards the former President Yar’adua, who went AWOL for months. Wow. I had to be at work while the protest moved on. He was leading the protest with other young people. 25!
I was following it up online but it got to a period I could not hold it anymore. Not anymore. I told my boss, Bola, to excuse me. They had just left Archbishop Vinning Memorial and were marching to Governor’s Office, Alausa. I joined them with my tie removed and my shirt unbuttoned. I was happy to be on the streets, left work at the Bank. Fela was blasting hard and we moved behind the convoy of cars. This is truly me, where I belong!
This movement would lead to EiE Nigeria, arguably BudgIT biggest partner in civic advocacy in Nigeria. I saw young people, my peers with amazing energy. Chude and Chxta always bring back the memories because I saw a raw wish for a better Nigeria in them as the Assembly gates were closed to us.
Even during the Occupy Nigeria period, I was lucky to have my annual leave start on the first day of year. I maximized it to join every protest before we built that iconic budget cut app that propelled BudgIT.
Few days ago, I met Chude at the airport, waiting for a delayed flight and we still shared those early memories of the creative writing classes his team organised and the mutual lessons we found in what we do. I was actually closer than I thought to my own glorious path.
Even though if it seemed the idea had not sparked in me in 2010 but it is only a matter of time, if only the zeal won’t wane. Few months ago, Chude’s PA emailed me to write a fellowship recommendation for Chude. I smiled. I gladly did and took the Skype call with the fellowship organisers in the most awkward time.
Last year, we were both nominated for the CNBC AABLA awards. I can’t be sad to lose that award to him and his partner. Him and Adebola have earned it more, at least I still have my Future Awards bestowed by them.
I did not strive to be another media personality like Chude. A man must find his glorious path.
If you see a zealous being with passion scattered all over him, he/she is actually closer than you think. A path, a trigger point and a big story is about to be told.
Find your path. Set your timepiece. God on your side, you are so close if your will won’t bend, as tough as steel.
This post is the part of the 30-day series on the “irinkinrido” adventure of Mr. Oluseun Onigbinde who clocks 30 this month.