It Is Not Yet Uhuru





POSTED: SEP 23, 2016 AT 9:58 AM   /     /   COMMENTS (0)


By Adewumi Oni

The Nigerian Paralympics contingent returned back triumphantly earlier this week with a total haul of twelve medals, eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals. This performance not only surpassed their best ever outing at Sydney 2000, where we won seven gold, two silver and one bronze medals, it also saw Nigeria ranking the best in Africa and 17th on the overall medal table as against 22nd at Sydney 2000. The Games saw power-lifter Josephine Orji shattering the world record of the women’s 86kg event with a lift of 154kg to win the gold medal. It was indeed a moment of pride for Nigerians and a consolation for the poor outing at the Rio Olympics held in July.

It is pertinent to recount the ordeal this contingent went through before leaving for the Games in Rio. They left in low spirits on the background of poor preparation, which has come to characterize our sports sector. There were even fears that the athletes may not perform as much as the last events. They however pleasantly surprised Nigerians when the medals started rolling in, with the team eventually hauling twelve medals.

Having put up the best performance ever at the Paralympics, we should not to be carried away by the euphoria of this performance. It is important to analyze all the events in which we participated and review our performances, with a view to improving in future events. It is necessary to also point out that this performance is attributable to the positive spirit of the athletes and has nothing to do with the support provided by the Ministry of Sport or the Planning Committee. This again is a proof of the resilient spirit of the typical Nigerian. The moment we begin to match our resilience with good preparation on all fronts, we will begin to get great results.

The Minister for Sports and Youth Development, unabashedly had reportedly implied in an interview that one doesn’t need years of preparation to win medals at the Olympics. He said “From what they (Paralympians) have done, it’s now not about the issue of preparation, the Paralympic athletes prepared the same way as the Olympics athletes did. And if they have been able to excel, then the Olympics athletes have to reexamine their roles and participation at the Olympics and try to do better.” One wonders if this is a way of justifying poor preparations. Would we have recorded better performance if the Paralympic athletes have been properly prepared? Why did they perform better than the able-bodied athletes at the Rio Olympics? These are some of the questions one would expect the Minister to find answers for, rather than making such remarks.

The State of Emergency declared in the sports sector should remain in place until a proper roadmap is put in place and necessary supporting infrastructures provided for the next Olympic/Paralympic. It is time to set lofty targets for our athletes. If we start with aiming to among the first twenty in both the Olympic and Paralympic games, it is not too bad. Each of the field and track event should have a target for the 2020 Games, and these targets should be combined to form a blueprint for the next games.

The minister should come down from his high horse of belittling the importance of preparation. he should engage both the private sector and federal government on the need to invest heavily in the sector with a bid to have world class training facility that will enhance the performance of our athletes. To record any success at such private sector parleys, he must be seen to be providing the right kind of leadership for the Ministry.


It would be a big shame if we fail to surpass this feat in 2020 games. It will be a bigger shame if the able-bodied athletes fail to redeem our image by surpassing our Atlanta ‘96 performance. These are not ‘missions impossible’ but will only be realized if we don’t leave them as mere wishful thoughts.

We have the talents to achieve this, we only need to put the necessary infrastructure, supporting systems and incentives in place. Sports could be a viable tool for reducing unemployment, if we do the right things and at the right time. Before we lose all our talents to both neighboring and distant countries, let us do something about our Sports sector.

It is therefore not yet ‘Uhuru’ for the Sports Minister. He should see the Sports sector as an avenue of restoring Nigeria’s lost glory and work assiduously to achieve this aim. Until the Green-White-Green flag becomes the most hoisted flags at any Olympic game, the task of lifting us out of this dark hole is not over.


 Oni writes from Mowe, Ogun State

Mentalities that Destroy (4)

We have looked at three mentalities thus far namely :

The Average Mentality 

The Defeatist Mentality 

The Vendetta Mentality 
Today, we will be discussing the Victim Mentality. This is a mental block that makes one sees himself as a victim of life, circumstances, other people’s actions, and which consequently make the person give up control over his or her live. It is a mentality that assumes a situation of having no control over one’s life, thereby assuming there is no need to put up a fight. It usually makes the victim to throw pity party. Such people are fond of saying, ‘if only I was born by so and so’, or ‘if only my father didn’t die’, and so many ‘ifs’.
When someone is operating under this mentality, he avoids blame and doesn’t take responsibility for his situation. As a matter of fact, everybody else is responsible for his situation, except himself. And because he doesn’t take responsibility, he can’t make any meaningful progress in life. People generally avoid such people and they bypass them,  even when opportunities that could benefit them arise. 
To change this mentality, you must first know that you are the primary driver of your life. Two, people, situations and circumstances can only shape your life to the extent to which you permit. Three, you have to take responsibility for all that happens in and to you. The moment you start taking responsibility for your life, you have taken charge of the vehicle of your life. As long as you keep refusing to be responsible for your life, anyone and anything can drive you anywhere. 
The choice is really yours. You can choose to take charge and tame life, or continue to mope in self pity and remain a victim. 
God bless us all. 
Good morning! 

Mentalities that Destroy (3)

Another dangerous and life wrecking mentality is the vendetta mentality. It is a mental block borne out of deep seated, anger, resentment and urge to revenge. It blinds the mind and eyes of its victims from doing the right things. It is sometimes fuelled by the injustice in the world system. 
When you are operating with the vendetta mentality, you will make serial errors and ignore the path of sensible reasoning. Your focus will be shifted from goals that will benefit the greater people to fulfilling your vengeance mission. You will mismanage your resources and public resources. 
One of the reasons why most of our leaders in political positions don’t succeed is because they have a Vendetta Mentality. They are after their political enemies and opponents. They will deny the constituencies of their opponents of infrastructural amenities because of their quest to hit out on their opponents. The cycle is repeated when the opposition gains power and the public suffers for the Vendetta Cycle. 
When you set out on a vendetta mission, whether in your personal life, business or politics, you will not only fail but also affect other lives negatively. This mentality will warp your sense of reasoning and make you do things that you would not have done naturally. 
If you have been operating with this mentality, it is time to let go. Vengeance belongs to God, the true and righteous Judge. 
God bless us all. 
Good morning! 

Mentalities that Destroy (2)

We started this series yesterday with the Average Mentality, and concluded that it is the worst mentality anyone can have. Nobody who operates with such mentality achieves anything remarkable. 
Today we are looking at the Defeatist Mentality. It is a mental block that allows one to expect and accept defeat without putting up a fight. It is borne out of a negative mindset, which could be experiential, circumstantial or psychological. 
To avoid being a victim of Defeatist Mentality, you must do the following :

Separate events from personalities: The fact that you  fail in a task doesn’t make you a failure. Anything could have led to the failure. 

Always believe nothing is impossible: Even if you have not succeeded in achieving that goal, it does not mean it is impossible, it only means you have not found the possible way. 

Believe in yourself: The main problem behind the Defeatist Mentality is lack of self confidence or low self esteem. You must stop belittling yourself and start visualise yourself achieving great things. Stop expecting failure and start expecting success. 

Start with small tasks: As you achieve those small tasks and have a record of successes, you will begin to silence the defeatist inner voice, and your confidence level will grow. 
Don’t allow defeatist mentality anymore. Get into the winning mode. You can make it. Yes, you can. 
God bless us all. 
Good morning! 

Mentalities that Destroy (1)

Have you wondered why people you spent your childhood with end up either very successful or pitiably unsuccessful? Or why you seem to be either lagging behind or miles ahead of your schoolmates, classmates or age mates? I am sure we have all asked ourselves these questions. 
In this series, we will discuss some of the reasons, which are actually called ‘mental blocks’  or ‘mentalities’, responsible for where you  are today. These mental blocks reduce the chances of reaching full potential or even stop potentials. My hope is that, at the end of the series, you would have identified your own mental block(s). Or if you don’t have any, you would have learnt how to avoid these mentalities. 
The first mentality is the Average Mentality. Average is perhaps the worst word ever invented. It depicts a ‘slightly  better than poor’ position. Portia de Rossi puts it succinctly, “Average. It was the worst, most disgusting word in the English language. Nothing meaningful or worthwhile ever came from that word.” 

An average mentality makes one to accept to just be slightly better than the worst. It is a mentality that never strives for the best. Such a person always put in minimal effort to escape being the worst or least person. You cannot amount to anything worthwhile with the average mentality. 

It is average mentality that makes students to read to pass, rather than to understand and excel. It is this same mentality that makes an employee aims only to finish his task while being less concerned about time spent and quality of work. Same mentality is responsible for people settling for less than the best in life. It is a destroyer of destiny. 

You must hate this mentality, fight it off and replace it with the Winning Mentality, if you are to make any mark in life. You always have a choice to either settle for average or aim for the best. 

God bless us all. 

Good morning! 

War Precedes Peace

More often than not, for you to enjoy peace, you must wrestle or battle against several factors, both physical and spiritual. You have to contend with both internal and external forces,like fear, procrastination, discouragement, criticism, competitions, lack of resources and so on. 
Having a mindset that is prepared for all these is therefore important if you will ever win in life. Whenever you set out to achieve anything, make up your mind to overcome every challenge you will encounter. This is called the Winning Mentality. You have got to have it, otherwise you will always give up easily. 
You will have to sustain the mentality throughout your lifetime because if you are moving forward, you will keep setting higher goals, so the cycle keeps repeating itself. So get the winning mentality by all means. 
God bless us all. 
Good morning! 

Nothing Done In Secret

There is a story on social media about a woman who  betrayed her friend by spilling the beans that the child of the friend belongs to another man. There have been all kinds of reactions against both friends, but that is for another day. 
The focus here is that there is nothing you do in secret that will not be revealed sooner or later. No matter how well you try to hide a lie, truth will always catch up with it. A Yoruba adage says ‘If a lie has travelled for twenty years, the truth will catch up with it one day.’ 
Don’t build your life on lies. Don’t lie to win a contract. Don’t lie to win a office.  Don’t lie about your age to get a job. Leave the job if you are overaged. Don’t bring another man’s child home to your husband as his. Sooner or later, it will be revealed and you will be put to shame. Not only will you be put to shame, others may partake in your shame. The story of the two friends would have come to light one way or the other, so it is not about the friend betraying, it is about lies.
Let us be truthful in all we do. Many of our woes as a nation today are the consequences of lies of our past leaders. Together we can rebuild this nation if we start acting and speaking the truth. 
God bless us all.  

Good morning!