I want to officially welcome you into this wonderful and gracious year 2021, a year of greatness and accomplishments. I believe at this point, the holidays are over and business is gradually coming back to normal, but with this second wave of covid-19 and lockdown here and there, what do you expect? The question now is what next?
I remember how much we wanted the year 2020 to come to an end, our hopes, dreams and aspirations for 2021, our new year resolutions and all…. We screamed “happy new year” at 12 midnight on the first day of the year with so much excitement and joy in our heart; the hypes, the food, drinks, reunions and excitement of the new year is gradually going low and reality is setting in…. So I want to ask you, what next? Now that the music has stopped playing, food and party is over, everyone has gone back to their base and you are alone in that corner of the world, what next for you?
This rhetorical question is to intrigue something in you, to make you realise that there is more work for you to do and your success lies in what you spend your time doing. The truth is you’re not alone, there are several others that don’t know what next to do as well but I’m glad you’re reading this to put yourself in the right direction towards achieving greatness this year.
I don’t know what you’ve been meaning to do all these years, what business you need to start or that courage that you need to face every day life as it comes, but I’m here today to tell you the best time to start is now. Life is 99% what you do for yourself; the remaining 1% is just others supporting you. You need to be in charge of your life in this year 2021, take control, be bold and daring about your actions. If you need to fight, fight the good fight and make sure you win!!! Don’t let anybody talk you down or shut you up, this year 2021, your voice must be heard and it has to be for good.
This made me remember December 2010 when my parents found out about my acting career, I had just started going to locations and was still trying to find my feet. So both of them called me into their room and asked if I went to PEFTI Film Institute, I told them yes confidently. They said “ehn ehn (I think I was on my knees that day; you know how our parents could be), so you’ve started acting? You that you have not gained admission and don’t even know what you want to study or do with your life? So you are acting? Don’t you know this may distract you from schooling? Most female actors are tagged prostitutes and don’t have good marriages, is that what you want for yourself?” I was mute but in tears…. I knew what I wanted, I know and understand myself best and I was not ready to let go. Besides I was 18 at that time, but who was I to make decisions for myself when my parents haven’t given me the go ahead? Well, I am different. My life experiences, the books I’ve read, my dreams and aspirations shaped my thoughts and I was determined to stand firm for what I wanted. So they asked, “is that what you want?” I BOLDLY SAID YES; still in tears, they asked me to leave. I got back to my room in tears. To my parents, it was youthful exuberance. And I thought to myself, “Just leave me alone and let me be what I want to be, I am not going to be rebellious, wayward or end up as you think, I’ve got great vision for myself “.
This action made me start the year 2011 on a very high spirit: strong, bold and determined. I sought God’s face like never before. I changed my church, and rebranded myself into what I truly desire. I became more confident to go for auditions, locations, social gatherings and my network increased. Around February 2011, while in church, the Holy Spirit dropped The Jewel Empowerment Foundation(JEF) on my mind. Initially, I didn’t understand what it was, but I jotted it down and continued with my everyday lifestyle of auditions, location and socialization, while pursuing my admission into University. Everyone could notice the transformation in me and I was ready to go all out. I said all I had to say whenever I need to and then go back to my shell because somehow, I thought no one understood me at home. l actually suffered mild depression at that time, I was always crying and I got stuck to my journal to express my feelings in writing (you won’t believe I still have my journal)…. After some time, I realized my parents became friendlier and calm about my chosen choice of career. Years later, I asked my mum why they let me be, and she said they (her and my dad) were scared that I may commit suicide. I was like really???? That never crossed my mind, all I wanted was to live my life. Don’t live your life through me; don’t tell me to study or do what you wished you had done. Don’t compare me with anyone, I am different and unique in my own way. The bottom line was that I was fighting for myself, for my freedom to be me.
Self discovery is sometimes a journey and the moment you catch, that’s it. But it may be difficult for people to accept or understand your actions towards achieving your goals. You may not even understand what you are doing, each day comes with clarity, understanding and direction. So you can’t force it or put yourself under pressure, it comes naturally. Fortunately for me, that same year I gained admission into university and I started JEF almost immediately when I resumed school in Abeokuta.
My point today is for you to fight for your dreams. Make the people around you understand what you truly want. We shine the most in the light of what we love doing. Hard work becomes easy in an atmosphere of willpower and determination. Please don’t settle for less, don’t take no for an answer, don’t give up so easily, I beg you. Don’t let this year be like every other year, everything starts and ends with you, and that’s why you must be in control. From the first day of 2011, I started to live with high hopes, dreams and aspirations. That year laid the foundation of everything that I have become and would be; there was a shift on my destiny, I set it on the activation mode and most importantly I TOOK CONTROL. Those who knew me then will confirm this story, I didn’t just suddenly become me, I fought the good fight. I became very outspoken, confident and happier. I paid attention and started to love myself more. People will come to love and accept you for who you are and everything will be alright. I still haven’t started, I have a long way to go but I am happy that I have found my purpose on earth. And I am gradually unleashing what God has deposited in me.
Please live your best life and don’t let this year go by like every other year; you just have to make this year significant. You are unique and strong and the world can’t wait for you to unleash your potential. See you at the top!!!