2015 Review: Trends, data and its foolishness

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Let me tell my stories that puncture the infallibility of data trends in few paragraphs below:

The first day of 2015, if someone predicted I would be married to Oluwaseun,  I would say that’s hugely unpredictable. Nothing factual or data-driven propels that assumption because prior to that date, my would-be wife and I never had a 15-minute frank discussion except the sparse DM(s) and phone calls. We just casually checked on each other till we had that first visit to Wednesday church evening service that left me with butterflies.

I look down the Premier League table and Chelsea sits on the 15th position with all that talent and money. That’s a club that won the league seven months ago. Who would have predicted that slump, that Chelsea will be in the  camp of relegation fighters.

Stephen Curry and his nearly impossible record this season, no one saw that coming.  In fact impressed with Stephen Curry, ESPN commentator,
Jackson reasoned that Curry’s phenomenal shooting ability is actually a detriment to the game of basketball as a whole.” That was a man, a record shooter, led his team to 67 wins and Warriors  to a Championship win since 1975.

The only time I saw Muhammadu Buhari, I was close to tears. It was in 2011. Like “Lord why not now?” “Why will this Philistines win this race again?”. I am one of those who lived all my thoughts in Buhari’s hype. That belief that our last chance of redemption was in 1985 till IBB snatched power and made corruption and official business of government. I just believed in the tall General and thought it will take a bloody revolution to take power from PDP. Buhari won, a man who had tried for 12 years.  Though I am getting impatient with his approach, I thought the chapter was closed after that moving speech that left the hall in tears in 2011. Buhari, in a hail of unpredictable fortune, is President of Federal Republic of Nigeria. Who predicts that at an age of 73 will be so much loved and voted for?

Oil prices refused to pick up hitting an eleven-year low at $32 per barrel despite the world not in a slump. Impossible to believe Donald Trump lasting this long as the leading candidate of the Republican Party. Donald Trump in a conservative party is a man who has had three wives, four bankruptcies and deferred draft into the war five times. Shocking.

There are bit of prediction staying firm as the Syria War keeps raging with ISIS showing a brutal angle, global refugees swell with attacks in Paris, Brazil economy keeps tanking  low  after a raft of corruption cases dented its credibility and emerging economies are facing uphill battles especially those dependent on commodity.

 
It is great to be alive but look at lives blown like paper plane this year, from North East Nigeria, Syria, Paris and in those corners of the world, one gets so scared of what the world has passed through in 2015. The Guardian calls it “A year of living dangerously”. I am so thankful that I scaled through in a piece.

It is time to look ahead to bright ideas, discipline, stewardship in Christ fatherhood, responsibility and more introspection. I keep committing myself to that tough goal of being pushing the borders of transparency and accountability.

I always feel I reinvent myself every 3 years, a trend I observed since 2006. I did internship in 2006, started work in 2009, quit banking to face BudgIT in 2012. While I look back to the 2015, it has to be walking down that aisle and putting all that singleness behind. Who says it has to be every three years to observe a trend? 2016 will trash the plot of data and start a new trend.

 

Forward, by His Grace.

Awards. 

Influence : God

Friend of the Year: Oluwaseun Agbelusi-Onigbinde (for loving me inspite of my imperfections and seeing the bright tunnel ahead)

New Friend of the Year: Fola Babalola (not just a friend but an ‘egbon’ who  risked everything to find me, he is family to me)

Book of  the Year : Zero to One (Peter Thiel)

Facebook Friend of the Year: Soni Akoji ( a witty and interesting fellow)

Tweep of the Year: @StateCraft (Selling a man as a dream to Nigeria, upsetting a status quo)

Person of the Year: Ibe Kachikwu (I think he is not perfect but for bringing down the walls of opacity around NNPC, he deserves an applause)

Happiest Moment of the Year: October 24, 2015. #ForeverSeun

Saddest day of the Year: Lives lost in North East with every attack broke my heart.

Song of the Year:  Hello – Adele & the multiple versions

Bible Verse: Deuteronomy 11:10-12

“For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; 11 but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God arealways on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.”

 

Uber, Matthew Effect and Inequality. 

  

Source: HMInsurance

“Longer than it took a culture to unravel, I suspected. I tried to imagine the Indonesian workers who were now making their way to the sorts of factories that had once sat along the banks of the Calumet River, joining the ranks of wage labor to assemble the radios and sneakers that sold on Michigan Avenue. 

I imagined those same Indonesian workers ten, twenty years from now, when their factories would have closed down, a consequence of new technology or lower wages in some other part of the globe.”

Barack Obama, Dreams of Father, Page 73

My wife hired a driver who takes her around with our single car. Recently, our schedules were clashing so I decided to let her go with the car. Stranded in our far corner in Lekki, I decided the best thing to do is to use the dormant taxi-booking Uber app on my iPhone.
Here we go. It worked like magic. A well kept Hyundai Elantra was infront my apartment and Stanley, the driver, gave me all the courtesies. He had sweets in the car, asked if I wanted Gospel or a specific radio station. It was a cool ride though he did not take me to the final decision as I didn’t know LBS had another campus down the road. So I took another Uber down another journey of 30 mins. Another amazing driver with patience and good sense of humor.

 The next morning, I wished my wife goodbye to office. I reached for my Uber app. Another person was here with a neat Geely car. I was getting addicted to the service. I rated them well for food service. I was about to leave office for an event, I checked Uber again but there no car around in YABA. 

I am thinking of two people – Victor, the driver we hired who I am getting tired of his erratic ways and the yellow public taxis on the road, roaming around for passengers in Lagos. Disruption is gradually happening to them but they don’t know. This is what the taxi unions are fighting in London and are failing to stop.  This is what Shoprite, SPAR and other retail stores are doing to brick-and-mortar retailers who stay in sweltering sun but they don’t see it. The disruption is on and no one opening their eyes to it. My wife told me of her cool rich friend who when bored just becomes an Uber driver just to have fun and meet people.

It is that “Matthew effect” keep me thinking:

Matthew 25:29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

That’s why Thomas Piketty is a recent rockstar economist because the way the world is wired, it keeps expanding the bounds of exclusion for the unlearned and inequality keeps rising as seen in his seminal work. 
Does the developing world benefit from globalization or that it has come to scrape off what we have? Just look at when we thought we could export out Shooting Stars, Rangers and Kano Pillars, we have all sunk in the EPL/La Liga football fest giving DSTV the leash to fix prices as it seems. What happens to our own when it is not up to standard? It crumbles, it keeps failing obeying the Matthew effect. 

That’s why China, the new taskmaster summons Africa and offers loans which is technically an offer of expertise to build bridges, dams, roads where Africa has none. India also did its summit,calls  Africa leaders far away for a historic welcome. It promises loans and grants but in essence just to keep its factories oiled and its population paid.

Open your borders, open your gates, we are coming for you with stash. Are they are to fish or teach us how to fish?  Is Africa rising on its own steam or just another raid that expands the left-behinds?

What are we going to do it as irresponsible greedy  acts of our leaders widen the gap? Is Africa not rising for a few and how do will deal with the fault lines of a more unequal society? 

The answers are not that easy. Like the Chinese took strategic decisions years back to expand its spectrum of knowledge, Africa has to take one too. As long as Africa looks outside to solve its own problems, it keeps holding the short end of the stick, transferring capital to the haves.

Inspiration from Pastor Poju Oyemade and Pius Adesanmi