ROLE MODELLING & MENTORING : A continuous feature.



Many people have great brains but don’t really put them to profitable use. A person would only be able to utilize his or her talents if he or she discovers such latent gifts. Creativity derives from being creative. Every human being has some innate or inherent capabilities deposited in them by the Creator. This explains why people could be more gifted than one another in certain endeavours. Talents and capacities vary. It is possible for a person to be a talented vocalist, but a failure in playing the organ. To be creative is explained as ‘’having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas: using the ability to make or think of new things: involving the process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created’’ (Marriam Webster Dictionary) Being creative could be by way of inventions, or the ability of a person to use his or her brain or endowments to perform some tasks that are relatively unique. Thinkers are best positioned to be creative.

You must think deeply to be successful in every human endeavour. Thoughts are translated into gains.  Several people have carved their names in gold in the area of inventions. Some did, but were never known because they lived in obscurity. Others too invented some useful items which their societies never bothered to encourage and so, lost great opportunities. In the past few decades, remarkable achievements have been recorded in the creative industry. The age of the computer and the Internet are contributing phenomenally to the process of change and development.  Several people have carved their names in gold in the area of inventions and innovations.

Nigeria has also produced several geniuses that were, however, not followed by encouraged, to be able to tap their potentials to the fullest. Prophecies have come from the Throne of Grace indication that: ‘’Nigeria shall fulfill my counsel for the black race, the race that has been despised and enslaved. I will show forth my glory on the despised and enslaved. Through Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the Lord said: ‘’The way America is held in high esteem that every man in the world desires to go there, so shall I make Nigeria. ‘’No black man would like to die without visiting Nigeria to see my wonders.’’  A popular female priest in the United States, Cindy Jacobs of United States, in year 2002, spoke the mind of God: ‘’The Lord says to Nigeria, “I have given you a missionary spirit and I am surely going to change the nations of the earth through you. ‘’But now I will give you the anointing to change your nation. ‘’The Lord says I am going to begin to unravel the corrupt system in Nigeria that men will say it is impossible, but I say with God all things are possible.’’

 THERE IS HOPE — She continues:  ‘’There is going to be a revival in the universities and this revival will be of a large magnitude, that the revival in the universities will affect the secondary schools and primary schools. And God will change Nigeria to the next generation. ‘’And the Lord says the unity of the leaders is coming. It’s going to uproot and dethrone the occult, for I am going to overthrow the occult spirit. ‘’And I am going to use Nigerians to heal the rest of Africa, because what happens in Nigeria will affect the whole continent.’’ I commend this last sentence to politicians and the electorate. We must do our own part for these prophecies to come to accurate fulfillment without any delay. Nigeria’s dry bones will surely rise again. So says the Lord.

Young people, please know that you could be greater than any of the personalities treated in this compilation. Dream big. Resolve not to allow anything to stand between you and your goals. Most of those great people you know or hear about also have mentors that they copied or aimed at attaining similar heights. God’s blessings.

 INFLUENCERS — WOLE SOYINKA: THE NOBEL PRIZE WINNER IN LITERATURE: Prof. Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka, global citizen, activist and social critic, is also a playwright, poet and essayist. He won the prestigious 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category. His profile is recorded in the records of the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm as follows:

Wole Soyinka was born on 13 July 1934 in Abeokuta. After preparatory university studies at the Government College, and the University College,  Ibadan, he continued at the University of Leeds, where, later, in 1973, he took his doctorate. During the six years spent in England, he was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London 1958-1959. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama.

 At the same time, he taught drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos, and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been a professor of comparative literature. In 1960, he founded the theatre group, “The 1960 Masks” and in 1964, the “Orisun Theatre Company”, in which he has produced his own plays and taken part as actor. He has periodically been visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale.

During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka appealed in an article for cease-fire. For this,  he was arrested in 1967, accused of conspiring with the Biafra rebels, and was held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969. Soyinka has published several works: drama, novels, and poetry. He writes in English and his literary language is marked by great scope and richness of words.

As dramatist, Soyinka has been influenced by, among others, the Irish writer, J.M. Synge, but links up with the traditional popular African theatre with its combination of dance, music, and action. He bases his writing on the mythology of his own tribe-the Yoruba-with Ogun, the god of iron and war, at the centre. He wrote his first plays during his time in London, The Swamp Dwellers and The Lion and the Jewel (a light comedy), which were performed at Ibadan in 1958 and 1959 and were published in 1963.

Later, satirical comedies are The Trial of Brother Jero (performed in 1960, publ. 1963) with its sequel, Jero’s Metamorphosis (performed 1974, publ. 1973), A Dance of the Forests (performed 1960, publ.1963), Kongi’s Harvest (performed 1965, publ. 1967) and Madmen and Specialists (performed 1970, publ. 1971). Among Soyinka’s serious philosophic plays are (apart from “The Swamp Dwellers“) The Strong Breed (performed 1966, publ. 1963), The Road ( 1965) and Death and the King’s Horseman (performed 1976, publ. 1975). In The Bacchae of Euripides (1973), he has rewritten the Bacchae for the African stage and in Opera Wonyosi (performed 1977, publ. 1981), bases himself on John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera and Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. Soyinka’s latest dramatic works are A Play of Giants (1984) and Requiem for a Futurologist (1985).

Soyinka has written two novels, The Interpreters (1965), narratively, a complicated work which has been compared to Joyce’s and Faulkner’s,  in which six Nigerian intellectuals discuss and interpret their African experiences, and Season of Anomy (1973) which is based on the writer’s thoughts during his imprisonment and confronts the Orpheus and Euridice myth with the mythology of the Yoruba. Purely autobiographical are The Man Died: Prison Notes (1972) and the account of his childhood,  Aké (1981) in which the parents’ warmth and interest in their son are prominent. Literary essays are collected in, among others, Myth, Literature and the African World (1975).

Soyinka’s poems, which show a close connection to his plays, are collected in Idanre, and Other Poems (1967), Poems from Prison (1969), A Shuttle in the Crypt (1972) the long poem Ogun Abibiman (1976) and Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems (1988).

Credit: From Les Prix Nobel, The Nobel Prizes 1986, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1987

INFLUENCER:  Prof.  Chinua Achebe (16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958) is considered his best work and is the most widely read book in modern African literature.  Achebe’s love for literary works made him abandon a course in Medicine for which he was admitted as a foundation student in 1948 to embrace literature. He abandoned the study of medicine and changed to English, History, and Theology. Achebe’s contemporaries in the Nigerian literary circles include Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark, Cyprian Ekwensi, Things Fall Apart is reported to have sold over 20 million copies and has been translated into several Nigerian languages.  Chimamanda Adichie, his mentee said of his mentor in an interview published by The National Post: “Chinua Achebe mattered very much to Nigerians in a real way. ‘’People read his books.

People talked about his characters as if they were real. People invested a certain kind of moral authority in the man. ‘’ He’s immortal. The man has died but the spirit lives. I think he’ll be read for a very long time. I think he’s going to mean a lot to Nigerians — to Africans, really — for a very long time.” Chinua Achebe also wrote several other notable books including: No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).

Chinua Achebe Biography: Educator, Author, Publisher (1930–2013) Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian novelist and author of ‘Things Fall Apart,’ a work that in part led to his being called the ‘patriarch of the African novel.’

Who Was Chinua Achebe?                                                        

Born in Nigeria in 1930, Chinua Achebe made a splash with the publication of his first novel, Things Fall Apart, in 1958. Renowned as one of the seminal works of African literature, it has since sold more than 20 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. Achebe followed with novels such as No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987), and served as a faculty member at renowned universities in the U.S. and Nigeria. He died on March 21, 2013, at age 82, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Early Years and Career

Famed writer and educator Chinua Achebe was born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe on November 16, 1930, in the Igbo town of Ogidi in eastern Nigeria. After becoming educated in English at University College (now the University of Ibadan) and a subsequent teaching stint, Achebe joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in 1961 as director of external broadcasting. He would serve in that role until 1966.

‘Things Fall Apart’

In 1958, Achebe published his first novel: Things Fall Apart. The groundbreaking novel centers on the clash between native African culture and the influence of white Christian missionaries and the colonial government in Nigeria. An unflinching look at the discord, the book was a startling success and became required reading in many schools across the world. No Longer at Ease’ and Teaching Positions

The 1960s proved to be a productive period for Achebe. In 1961, he married Christie Chinwe Okoli, with whom he would go on to have four children, and it was during this decade he wrote the follow-up novels to Things Fall ApartNo Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964), as well as A Man of the People (1966). All address the issue of traditional ways of life coming into conflict with new, often colonial, points of view.

In 1967, Chinua Achebe and poet Christopher Okigbo co-founded the Citadel Press, intended to serve as an outlet for a new kind of African-oriented children’s books. Okigbo was killed shortly afterward in the Nigerian civil war, and two years later, Achebe toured the United States with fellow writers Gabriel Okara and Cyprian Ekwensi to raise awareness of the conflict back home, giving lectures at various universities.

Through the 1970s, Achebe served in faculty positions at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut and the University of Nigeria. During this time, he also served as director of two Nigerian publishing houses, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd. and Nwankwo-Ifejika Ltd. —                  

TIMOTHY MOFOLORUNSHO ALUKO – AN ENGINEER & NOVELIST: A preparation in the sciences does not preclude gifts in literary works from being executed. A very good example is the exploits of late Timothy Mofolusho Aluko, an Engineer, and native of Ilesha in Osun State, Nigeria, who qualified as early as 1948, worked in the Civil Service of Western Nigeria and went on to be a great writer and author. Aluko’s One Man, One Wife (1959), a satirical novel about the conflict of Christian and Yoruba ethics, relates the disillusionment of a village community with the tenets of missionary Christianity.

T.M. Aluko was born June 14, 1918Ilesha, Nigeria—died May 1, 2010, Lagos. He was a Nigerian writer whose short stories and novels deal with social change and the clash of cultures in modern Africa. A civil engineer and town planner by profession, Aluko was educated in Ibadan, Lagos, and London and held positions as director of public works for western Nigeria and faculty members at the University of Lagos. He first became known through his short stories, several of which were awarded British prizes and were broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation African service.

He was educated at Government College (Ibadan), Lagos University, and the University of London. He was director of public works for Nigeria’s Western Region, and in 1966 became a senior lecturer in engineering at Lagos University. His most accomplished novel, One Man, One Matchet (1964), set in pre-independence Nigeria, depicts with comic verve political conflicts between traditionalists and modernizers in a coca-growing village. His first novel, One Man, One Wife (1959), was equally shrewd in 

its depiction of village politics, pitting Christians against the authority of traditional chiefs. Other novels include Kinsman and Foreman (1966), about a civil servant struggles to resist the demands of his relations; Chief the Honourable Minister (1970), which deals with the problems of government at the top; His Worshipped Majesty (1972), which focuses on the loss of political power by traditional chiefs; and Wrong Ones in the Dock (1982), which denounces certain aspects of the Nigerian legal system.

Encyclopedia Britannica states that: A second novel, One Man, One Matchet (1964), humorously presents the clash of an inexperienced district officer with an unscrupulous politician. Kinsman and Foreman (1966) incorporate Aluko’s professional experiences into a penetrating study of an idealistic young engineer’s battle against the corrupt practices of his highly respected public works foreman, who is also his uncle. 

Chief the Honourable Minister (1970) satirizes the calamity resulting from a schoolmaster’s appointment as minister of works in a newly independent country. His subsequent novels include His Worshipful Majesty (1973), Wrong Ones in the Dock (1982), and A State of Our Own (1986). The economy of style, graceful prose, and gentle irony of Aluko’s novels brought him critical acclaim. He also published My Years of Service (1994) and The Story of My Life (2006), both volumes of autobiography. (Encyclopedia Britannica)


There are enormous potentials and opportunities available in Nigeria waiting to be tapped. One of the problems created by the discovery of crude oil is the neglect of Agriculture which used to be the mainstay of the economy. People abandoned the farms in millions to seek greener pastures and good living in cities and urbanized settlements. Youths too look up to thousands of Nigerians making a living in Western countries and seek to join them. If they can’t go through the legitimate process, they pursue the ambition of travelling abroad with reckless abandon. They forget that the Western nations of decades ago are no longer as vibrant as they were because they now have their own challenges that have made them tighten immigration regulations. Those living abroad will inform you that the good times are gone. There is unemployment in the Western world, just as their are homeless people, failures and criminals roaming the streets of the developed world. This is in addition to social problems that are not in tandem with the cultures of Nigeria.


I wish to appeal to our young people that the situation may not be as hopeless as you may think. All you need is patience, quiet determination and the willingness to build. In 2011, a major global investment firm identified Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (abbreviated as MINT) as four countries likely to become part of the ten biggest global economies by the year 2050, because their large populations mean there would be many young people and a strong workforce. Nigeria’s numerous rich natural resources plus the oil and the well-regulated banking system, make it a good candidate for a strong economy.

My dear young people, why not learn a vocation in addition to your degree and start your own business? With Chinese products gradually becoming expensive, Africa can be the next factory in the world to replace China. We can become the world’s solar energy headquarters if we could develop cheaper solar panels using our local materials. With so much land available, farming for export is a wonderful opportunity. Our young people should consider converting the internet and social networking sites to forums for sharing best practices with their overseas counterparts on how to modernize artisan professions like building, mechanic, tailoring, textile design, farming, metalwork, etc. The world is eagerly waiting for our products in the global market.…/



Partners and Official Media Partners