|Famous Tabloid Journalism King, Mike Awoyinfa with Celebrity Blogger, Gbenga Dan Asabe|
Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger,
and the other represents opportunity
–John F. Kennedy
study that Saturday morning, still trying to figure out how to fill in the
missing links in the document, Millionaire’s
Guide to Financial Freedom, which my Mentor had given to me
during one of our sessions. The one he had given to me before contained nine
steps, but he had upgraded it to twelve steps. And he wanted me to provide all
the information before our next meeting.
of deep meditation and reflection when my daughter rushed into my study shouting:
“One man is looking for you”. I walked to the door, and guess who? It was my
Mentor! I was wondering what he was up to that time. We exchanged pleasantries
and, predictably, he walked in the direction of my study. I offered him a chair
but he remained standing for about three minutes, gazing at my shelves. He was
just nodding his head and intermittently muttering “that’s good” Apparently, he was satisfied that I had increased the
stock of books in my study beyond what he had seen the other time he was in my
that the reason he was in my house was to tell me that he would be travelling
out of the country that Saturday and he wanted to confirm whether I was at home
so that he could give me a very important capsule. I thanked him for taking the
trouble to come.
Perceived Mistake Contains a Seed of Fortune. Now, let me ask you a question and I want you to be frank in your
answer: ‘Have you ever faced a difficult situation? And what was your reaction at that time?”
was a tough question. I had gone through difficult moments, but the one that
drove me to the cliff happened when I was in my final year in the Department of
Political Science at the University of Ife (now Obafemi
Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife). We were preparing to write our last
examination paper for the final semester in part four. In that particular
paper, I had earlier scored above thirty marks out of forty in the continuous
assessment. The paper was scheduled for a Saturday from 12 noon to 3.00p.m. On
I was at the cafeteria in my Fajuyi Hall hostel doing a
last-minute revision for the paper. At about 11.20 a.m. when I was getting
ready to move to the venue of the examination, a colleague in the department
walked up to me, looking worried. I thought he had come to call me so that we
could go to the venue of the examination together. Instead, he dropped a
bombshell… the time for the examination had been changed to 8.00 a.m. and
they had just finished writing the paper I was still reading for! He explained
that all efforts at contacting me had proved futile.
“When you encounter difficulties, don’t brood
over them; don’t say things like, God
why me? The questions you should ask are: ‘God, what are you saying to
me here? What strengths are you trying to draw out of me? Where are the seeds
of opportunities in this situation? Once you develop this habit, you will only
be failing forwards and not backwards”
least, I simply lost all my senses, I picked my bag, rushed to the venue of the
examination, but the lecturer had already gone to the staff quarters, a
distance of about six kilo meters from the venue of the examination.
raced to the lecturers’ quarters. Ben Johnson couldn’t have done
better. I explained the situation to the lecturer, but he refused to budge. But
after prolonged begging and some measure of crying, he eventually agreed to
assist me on the condition that the Dean of the Faculty was still around. We
drove in his car to the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University.
by the time we got to the Faculty, we were told that the Dean had just left a
few minutes earlier. I was confused. We both waited but the Dean was nowhere to
be found. After a while, the man drove off. But I was still hanging around.
After about ten minutes of waiting, the Dean returned and I explained the
situation to him. He was sympathetic and wanted to help. I rushed to the
lecturer’s house again, but unfortunately, as I learnt later, he went to town, Ile-Ife, after leaving the Faculty and
there was nothing the Dean could do. It was a very tough situation. The
following Monday, when my Head of Department got to know about it, he wrote a
strong letter on my behalf to the Dean, saying among other things, that I was
the best student in the Department. The Faculty wanted to help, but there was
another strange problem: my file was missing! To cut the story short, I could not
graduate with my colleagues. I was the only one in the Department who had to re-sit
the examination. To be honest, suicide was not far from my thoughts”
Mentor said, and then asked: “So, what
happened thereafter and how did you find yourself in journalism?”
meditate and pray to God for I did not know what to do”, I replied. “But a voice told me to utilize the time
writing articles for newspapers. Before then, I had developed a consuming
passion for reading Newswatch Magazine particularly
its business section. I knew every writer there. I wrote a few articles on the economy
which was published by The Sketch and National Concord newspapers. I was very excited. I documented it in
my diary that I would like to be a financial journalist”.
posted to serve at Moslem Comprehensive High School, Imepe, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
While at the school, I set up a Press Club and one of the activities was
reading the news at the Assembly ground every Wednesday morning. It was so
popular that people around the school would sometimes gather to listen to the
news. An idea occurred to me to launch the Press Club. I did and I was able to
draw to the place journalists I had always admired. Yanju Adegbite formerly of Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State
(BCOS), Ibadan, and Soji Akinrinade
of Newswatch were
also there. They were both impressed. Apart from donating money, Mr. Akinrinade offered to employ me at Newswatch or assist me to secure a job in
another media house after Service. He fulfilled his promise. I was given a job
at National Concord as
a Proof Reader. I accepted the job as it would enable me to pursue further
education. It was while at National Concord that I enrolled at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ),
Ogba, Ikeja, for a Postgraduate Diploma where I got the Director’s Prize for
the All-round Best Student at the end of the programme. I also enrolled for my
Master’s programme at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Yaba, thereafter”.
Concord Magazine, the then Editor, Mr. Bayo Onanuga (now Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The News Magazine) persuaded me to
join the Business Desk. I did and have been in business journalism since then.
Financial journalism has taken me to countries I couldn’t have dreamt of
said several times. “Now, I don’t have
much to say again, your story has said it all. But let me share these few words
with you on this topic. Usually, what we call failures are not failures at all
but points and platforms for God to either bring out a particular strength in
us or take us to the direction He wants for us in life. Every informed
millionaire knows this. When I was listening to your story, the question that
came to my mind was, ‘where would you have been today, if you had not stayed
behind on the campus, if you had not served where you served and if you had not
met those people you met?’ There is a lesson I want to leave with you today and
it is this: ‘if you have absolute trust in God, He can turn what you consider a
disappointment into a gem of opportunities’. Remember, His ways are not our
ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts”.
them; don’t say things like, God why
me? The questions you should ask are: ‘God, what are you saying to me
here? What strengths are you trying to draw out of me? Where are the seeds of
opportunities in this situation? Once you develop this habit, you will only be
failing forwards and not backwards, as John
Maxwell would put it. ‘I had gone through several trying moments myself and
God had always unfolded gems of opportunities after each experience”.
it is in coming out stronger every time we fall into difficulties. We are
permitted by God to fail several times. And if you have not failed before how
would you appreciate what success is? That is what the late Tai Solarin meant by his quotable
quote, May your road be rough.
“I am sharing this with you because you will certainly come across
trying circumstances in your journey to financial freedom. You will lose money.
Friends will betray you. Advisers may confuse you. But every time you fall into
difficulties, don’t despair; just ask those sets of questions again and you
will come out better”.
gave me two books to read. The books are: Failing
Forward by John Maxwell
and Wisdom for Crisis Times by Mike Murdock. He sipped
some freshly-squeezed orange juice before departing. I thanked him sincerely
once again for sparing the time to come to my house. He also thanked me for
sharing my intimate experiences.
the book: “THE MILLIONAIRES CAPSULES” by AYO AROWOLO. Read “How to Sharpen your Business
Intelligence” tomorrow on this blog)
|Ayo Arowolo, Publisher The Millionaires’ Capsules|