Saturday, December 20, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
With Nigeria's elections drawing closer, a new initiative has begun that seeks to harness the power of music to encourage those who believe in a better future for Nigeria and Africa.
The project, titled Chime Asonye presents #Songs4Change, is a weekly dose of revolutionary music to inspire social progress in Nigeria and Africa more broadly. The songs – a mixture of old and new – advocate for positive change and awareness of important issues such as malaria, epileptic power, and domestic violence, amongst others. The initiative will feature primarily African artists but will occasionally include songs from others who promote social advancement and political consciousness. "I believe knowledge is created, not just by words on a page, but in fluid and dynamic ways," said Asonye, a development practitioner and social commentator, when describing why he started #Songs4Change. "Ever since I was young, I was shaped by politics shared in creative spaces like spoken word, debate, dance and theater. Music was always a constant fixture in these spheres and could touch people uniquely. Drawing on music to create critical consciousness in Nigeria borrows from my personal experiences that often combined art and politics."
The goals for #Songs4Change include but are not limited to, (1) increase dialogue on important development concerns using the hashtag #Songs4Change, (2) provide inspiration and encourage activism in and around Nigeria and Africa, and (3) stimulate the creation of progressive music from entertainers and upcoming artist. As a generation passionate about the change we want to see, it is imperative that we begin to challenge the status quo and require more from our entertainers and ourselves.
Africans have consistently unified and connected through music. Historically, it has been used to provide a source of inspiration and draw attention to important concerns on the continent. As the late great Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti said, "As far as Africa is concerned, music cannot be for enjoyment. Music has to be for revolution." #Songs4Change will be partnering with YNaija 2015,Jaguda.com, Gidilounge, AmeyawDebrah.com, Omojuwa.com, NigeriansTalk, Amplified Radio, NaijaDC, The ScoopNGand Tribex Marketing Group to help spread these songs all over Africa and the Diaspora.
"We look forward to a growing list of media partners as our message reaches more people," Asonye said. "I believe these songs can become this generation's soundtrack for revolution."
For all things #Songs4Change, visit http://bit.ly/songs4change or subscribe here to receive weekly updateshttp://bit.ly/s4csubscribe. For more information, contact Chime Asonye at Songs4ChangeNG@gmail.com.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
We have heard that 2015 is the year for entrepreneurs and small businesses. While James Caan, a serial entrepreneur and investor summed it up as the year to shine, Tony Elumelu, CON, a Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist in his article, "The Rise of Africapitalism" predicts that 2015 will be the year where African entrepreneurs will take their place on global stage.
Do you share in this high doze of optimism? What is your prediction for 2015?
If you are still taking stock for the year 2014, this might also be a good time to look in the mirror and do some serious personal and organizational reflection.
I spent ample time chronicling stories of entrepreneurs this past week and I found two issues dominating the conversations with them – the need for mentorship and an enabling business environment.
For the wanna-be entrepreneurs, before you quit your job and run after the dream that has been tugging at you since kindergarten, it might be worth considering other possible ways to position yourself in the booming entrepreneurial space—dip one foot in to test the water as suppose to diving in with your whole body, one entrepreneur advised.
When I asked them what their major challenge was in running a business– funding is not what jumped on the list—surprisingly so. Most of the young entrepreneurs said that funding is the least challenge. As a matter of fact, one shared how he had all the money he needed to run his business but a few wrong decisions left him cashless and broke. This would have been avoided if he had the right mentors or network.
Mentorship is the key that opens key doors. Seek a mentor, one advised. Don't underestimate the power of business mentorship. Until you find a right mentor, keep searching.
An enabling business environment would include- stable power supply, good road network, favorable policies etc. These of course, are currently limited in supply.
But—not to shut down on the optimism, as we all position ourselves to leverage on the opportunities 2015 will bring to the business eco-system—here is raising a glass to all entrepreneurs bootstrapping their ideas to the next level.
An original article:
First published on Enterprise54.com: http://enterprise54.com/year-2015-the-year-that-entrepreneurship-will-boom/
Monday, December 08, 2014
Sunday, December 07, 2014
I want to let you know that this time.....
YOU HAVE PICKED ON THE WRONG GIRL
With eyes lit by moonbeams,
You are every maiden's dream
Your perfect smile makes hearts leap,
But I've strapped myself so i don't trip
You sing to me rhymes you haven't heard
You paint for me pictures you can't even see
Your vile intentions now glaring
Flashes of lust, so easy to tell
Flee far from you, I would
Clinging to The One who wishes me well
Your words are smooth as butter,
But as ready as Fire -
Ready to wipe out everything in sight
Ready to leave the land desolate
Ready to bring pain and tears
But I'll run, I'll run before it's too late
You brewer of lies,
Your sugar coated tongue produces foul scents,
Packaged in attractive candy wraps
I certainly will not BUY THEM
For within lie dangerous traps
As I was told by my father,
What is sweet in the mouth becomes, in the belly, bitter
I want not your BBs please
You say it's just a blackberry
But i know your ways,
You'll give much more
A Big Belly and a Bastard Baby,
What else do you have in store?
Spare me the floods of sweet forged messages,
Spare me those clichés "sugar in my tea",
Spare me those precious gifts in pretty packages
Spare me, I beg, and let me be
I'm sorry for you, my dear
I hope that quickly you realize,
All efforts are futile, move on
Go and pick on someone your own SIZE!
Friday, December 05, 2014
Happy International Volunteers Day [IVD]!
For this year, I thought I should share this short video-- actually it was an interview for "On The Street", a youth program aired on TVC.
I hope you will encourage young people around you to start early? For more insight on how it might work with combining full time education and volunteering, you can read a copy of my new book "Half a Loaf and a Bakery." You can also download it from Okadabooks app on your android device or buy copies from Terra Kulture Bookstore Lagos, Florence and Lambard bookstore Lagos, or the Media Store, Silverbird Galleria, Abuja. The book covers youth volunteering, education, entrepreneurship and transitioning.
I am excited about today and tomorrow! On how the non-volunteer journey has been so far since... you can see the second video below:
For anyone who might have failed while attempting something this year, hey, cheer up! Failure is a good opportunity to do something differently in an improved way next time.
Here is wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a lovely 2015 of magical thinking and fruitful exploits!
There is a God.