My eclectic abilities jump from Hillsong to Ayinla Omowura Anigilaje, conversations on Marlian Culture, to the life and times of famed pugilist, Joe Louis in comparison to that of Muhammed Ali, a sit-down for hours for football tactical breakdown or the legacy of Abdulkareem in NBA. As someone who tries to offer something new, I see new ideas as mostly a combination of old ideas, fed in the subconscious, and that find new meaning again. So, I am constantly hunting for varied knowledge.
However, I don’t get it all. If there is a place that I know too little about – the movie industry. I might have heard of Game of Thrones on the sidelines but who sits to start a show that he won’t finish? I have a short attention span and a very summarizing mind, and to sit with a movie for hours, how do I do that? But, I did. In 2019, I went on the movie binge – Greenleaf, The entire eight seasons of Games of Thrones, Sex Education, Ozark, The Crown etc. I intentionally watched Game of Thrones and ended it with long prose on leadership.
It was very funny but the real scenario of life was to see me argue like a pro with those who started watching GoT in 2011. I started in January 2019. It might have taken years for a few, it took me days and we ended with same hurried conclusion of the series.
I have seen enough to know that the cause of one’s life is a big unknown, firmly in our Creator’s hands and Asa mentioned: “ as the river keeps moving, I keep moving on”. I have seen enough to know that one should never look down on anyone in its current state because the future is a mystery. Who would have imagined a turnaround that could lead a newspaper to nominate me as a Nigerian of the decade? Sometimes, I really pinch myself.
Some fly high right now, drive the best cars or on that privileged life that we deeply wish, but everything in life is of time and chance. As someone wrote, we overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what can be done in a decade.
2019 was more for family and less about a new idea or chasing BudgIT in breakneck speed. A large chunk was spent during my Obama Foundation program that ended in May but also included several shuttles to Maryland, where my wife and children lived. My wife, a pillar and rock, has borne a lot of burden raising two kids and also doing most for our second daughter, Ireoluwa.
After my program, I felt out of place and as stated in the well-chronicled story, I joined the government as a technical advisor but partisan vuvuzelas in and out of government asked that I take my bow. I did so gracefully. My sense of purpose just got a notch higher. I am so thankful for everything. I am facing the reality that my family wants more stay in the US, allowing me to roam around as I try to do my part for Nigeria. I am spending two consecutive New Year celebrations in the US. The times are a-changin’.
I am also thankful for my wife, children, parents, my siblings and friends. The amazing backbone that I received this year from my Oluwaseun, Mum, Mrs Ezekwesili, Steve and Niyi, the assistance of siblings, Iyanu, Dr Kole Shettima, Ory, Vishal, Deji, Lisa, Zack, Emily, Funmi and the burst of new energy from Baba Agba, Kehinde, Damen, Mariam, Abel, Gabriel, Seyi, Hannah, Ireoluwa, Victoria, and Elvis. I am grateful for my Lions family, BudgIT team, Obama Foundation cohort, Tutu Fellows and friends from around the world.
2019 was for stability to align focus and the beginning of another new race, a new decade. I want to try new things, push new heights and this brings me back to “Kwikly” and the great work that’s being crafted. My book did not happen in 2019 but believe me that I am closer than I was in 2018. Watch out in October 2020.
I don’t have a New Year goal for 2020. I decided to do a two-year plan till 2021 with firm faith in God for a healthy and prosperous family, a new vista of ideas that brings wealth and opportunity and a new sense of purpose to transform the society. While the lands (Deuteronomy 11: 10-12, Hebrews 11:10) that I dream might look so far in current horizon, I seek for divine acceleration, like I flipped through GoT seasons in one sitting.
May the Lord keep up strong, well and steady till His glorious appearing.
All the Glory: God
Friend of the Year: Baba Agba (he could have been so busy but always looking out for me. A key player in taking the government role. I never regretted the experience).
New Friend of the Year: Opeyemi Olugbemiro (I like his consistency and how we found an intersection. He’s always close but with spaces to breathe. I believe we have great things to do)
Book of the Year: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Facebook Friend of the Year: Adeola Ogunkoya (her burst of energy to see complexities of my life – the energy, the naivete & passion – warms my heart)
Tweep of the Year: @AishaYesufu (a paragon of courage who reminds us to we did not elect a king nor an emperor. Her thick skin wears out partisans and leaves them gasping in their wake. She is a gem)
Person of the Year: Femi Falana (I am grateful for his consistency over the years and the tenacity on Yele Sowore’s case. He is a national treasure. I aspire)
Happiest Moment of the Year: Speaking at the Daystar’s Excellence in Leadership Conference. What a moment!
Saddest day of the Year: Professor Pius Adesanmi’s passing (Ikú lóró. This really hurt me and I was graced to deliver a piece in his honour. It pained so much. May his memory be blessed)
Song of the Year: Reckless Love ~ Cory Ashbury
Bible Verse: Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all who are unfortunate and defenseless (Proverbs 31 vs 8)