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Friday, September 16, 2016

yOu aRe riGHt..

 


There is something so beautiful about this picture. How ballerinas from a very young age push the limits of the capability of their bodies..

One way or another we as humans always find ways to impose limitations on ourselves. At the end of the day we become a sum if our choices and experiences and so like the saying goes, if we say we can't - We are right; and if we say we can we are also right. Perspective makes all the difference.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

93 Days Movie -The Review

 

As I settle down to write this, I am bursting with excitement, not because of the movie but because i have so much to say about my experience (the good and the ugly) at the official premiere of the 93 Days Movie. Before I get into my  review, I must alert all you extra perceptive ones reading this that there might be some spoilers as you read this. This piece also includes a report of what went down at the Premiere, from Ebola jokes on the red carpet to a near audience riot so grab that cup of coffee or drink and enjoy your read.

The Official Premiere

The official Premiere of 93 Days was attended by way more than 8000 people at the Rock Cathedral in Lekki owned by the House on the Rock Church. The 6pm scheduled time turned out to be the start time for the red carpet as is the tradition with most Nigerian events, I was particularly impressed with the level of external organization and security at this event, believe me with what i was personally subjected to as a guest it would have been practically impossible to smuggle a nail into that venue. The Security also came in layers and all attendees were directed to a particular entrance while other entrances were either cordoned off or restricted to VIPs.

After passing security checks I headed  into the Cathedral to get settled in and to my surprise despite coming in early the hall was packed and sitting was only allowed on the 1st and 2nd galleries as the entire ground floor sitting was reserved for dignitaries and special guests of the organizers, this didn't make any sense to me at initially when i got there thinking we were all guests but alas when the Heads of the U.S and German Embassies walked in and much later other dignitaries like Bishop Mike Okonkwo (General overseer of TREM), Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (Nigeria's Minister of Transport), Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, Member of the Nigerian National Assembly and representatives of the Lagos State Government, it became clear why such reservations had to be made- There is indeed hierarchy even in heaven :)

It must have been quite a tedious day for the technical personnel behind the scenes  because while guests granted interviews on the red carpet, Producers of the movie led by the event Chief Host Pastor Paul Adefarasin simultaneously held a PRESS conference at another location within the facility which was also beamed to the audience in the cathedral intermittently with the visuals from red carpet celebrities like Sammy Okposo and  MC Abbey, Who managed to throw in an Ebola joke about how some were practically cooking with Sanitizers during the outbreak throwing the viewing audience into uncontrollable laughter.

Eventually the program properly kicked off a few minutes after 7pm, there were several things i found particualr uncomfortable one of which was the singing of the United States National anthem in a gathering of more than 8000 NIgerians

(while i understand the need for that considering the production and event was supported by the U.S Embassy  there may have also been a need to honor the Diplomatic Corp. I think it was unnecessary, we could as well have sang the German National anthem while we were at it).

There were  addresses from Pastor Paul Adefarasin, and the producers of the Movie (Steve Gukas, Bolanle Austen-Peters, and Otunba Dotun Olakunrin), Ambassador Martin Brennan Charg√© d'Affaires ad interim, U.S. Mission Nigeria and more. I felt like people basically came to watch the movie, while it was insightful to hear about the pain behind the production of the movie, we didn't  necessarily have to be bludgeoned with the constant detail of how dangerous we came to extinction.. We all lived through the Ebola experience first hand!! which leads me to my earlier point on the near riot that almost took place.

Considering that most people in the audience had to be at work the following day after the long Sallah holidays, all through the initial formalities and speeches there was  growing impatience in the audience manifesting as groans and side comments for a while. The audience must have tried to be as polite as possible after-all they didn't pay a dime to see the  movie. About past 8pm they had had enough of formalities after a loud revolt, the hosts managed to stylishly sneak in a remark from the representative of the Lagos State Governor who wasted no time in expressing his anxiety to see the movie and kindly walked off the stage -then crunch time!

I must say that because the movie was such a good one it covered for the pain of sitting through all the formalities. And i would recommend this one as a must watch it opens this Friday the 16th of September at the Cinemas.

Screenplay

While i appreciate the challenges the producers must have faced in making this movie, making a movie about Ebola had in the idea itself a ready made recipe for a box office hit considering the wide spread fear we all had to live with for the 93days of its sojourn in Nigeria- that's like the soccer equivalent of leading the Barcelona FC in its present constitution against Eyimba FC (sorry had to slip that one in :) ). The Screenplay was well executed for TV and would compete globally as we have already seen at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Steve Gukas, The Director referred to a comparism made by a panelist at TIFF to the star studded Hollywood movie 'Contagion' where it was said that '93 Days' was a better movie than the Contagion. Also in my Opinion Alastair Mackenzie playing Dr. David Brett-Majors (the Ebola expert from the W.H.O) had some of my favorite and most inspiring lines in the movie. Two of my favorite quotes from his dialogue include:

"Pick a bed and start fighting, the sooner you start the sooner you would win" this he said to Dr. Ada Igonoh after she was quarantined.

"It is not what's in this ward that matters, but whats inside you" - His response to Dr. Ada's complaint about the state of the hospital ward.

There were many other epic one liners sprinkled throughout  the movie.

Cinematography

From wide angle shots to a clever use of aerial shots, Yinka Edward the -DOP and Steve Gukas out did themselves on this production capturing the actual beautiful chaos of the city of Lagos from the good to the near ugly. 93 Days was so Beautifully rendered it made you proud to be Nigerian and it effectively showed what we as Nigerians can achieve when we unite to solve a common problem if we can put aside our political, religious and tribal biases.

Casting

Save for one or two actors, the casting was phenomenal. Bimbo Akintola brought home the role of Dr. Adadevoh Ameyor, Charles Etubiebi Oke also did great in playing Bankole Cardoso- Dr. Adadevoh's son to whom he bore a striking resemblance to. Keppy Epkeyong Bassey effectively portrayed Patrick Sawyerr (The Ebola Importer) as perceived by most Nigerians, but we may never know considering at the time most Nigerians were too angry with Mr Sawyerr to be bothered about his personality. Seun Kentebe could have been better playing Godwin Igonoh. Somkele Idhalama was also quite impressive. Overall the casting crew did a phenomenal job compared to what obtains in typical 'old Nollywood'

Make up

Going by the pictures emanating from Liberia and Sierra Leone the visuals in the 93 Days movie seemed more like a diarrhea epidemic than an Ebola pandemic thanks to the Makeup from Imoteda and Thelma Ozzy Smith. While it wasnt totally bad there should have been more facial and bodily sours and boils for the advance stage patients admitted. There is room for growth here and i am aware that SFx makeup is a whole different science even in Hollywood.

Fluffs

Attention to details is one thing that makes production budgets go through the roof. Kunle Afolayan another thriving and consistent Movie Director  knows this all too well. It is this simple fact that makes a mockery of spectacular productions and i could only pick out two of such fluffs in this movie:

  1. There was an in-car scene where the radio announcement in the background referred to the Shiite/Army clash that occurred in Zaria earlier in 2016, the Ebola outbreak happened to have been 2 whole years before that clash and it had no business being in the movie.
  2. I am not totally certain about this, but i would have sworn i saw an iPhone SE in two of the scenes, that product was also released this year.

Overall this movie is a must watch, and i recommend this movie as an instructional material on Sacrifice, Patriotism and leadership.

This movie has a healthy blend of wittiness thanks to the antic of Jatto played by Adebola Williams and that Cab driver, and drama and tragedy. that is a difficult blend to manage and these guys have done a spectacular job. You can watch the Trailer here. The movie comes to cinemas this Friday 16th of September, 2016.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

bEatiNg YoUR iDoL


I found this one picture particularly inspiring. It is no longer news that the Rio 2016 Olympics is on. Earlier this week Joseph schooling beat Olympic legend Michael Phelps to the gold medal in the Men's 100m butterfly swimming competition. That didn't seem like much of a big deal to me until I saw the following picture on Twitter and also hear that by winning the first Gold medal for his native country Singapore he also became winner of $740,000 promised by the Singapore National Olympic council. Quite inspiring!

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

YaRaDua's LetteR to jiMMy cARtEr

 

Yesterday I came across this letter written by Shehu M. Yaradua, while he was incarcerated in 1997 during the Abacha era. He penned this letter by hand to the former U.S President Jimmy Carter on the 14th of August of the same year. At that point in his life 2-time President- Olusegun Obasanjo was also in Prison for allegations of an attempted coup.

One striking thing I could deduce from just reading that letter was that deep down Shehu Yaradua was a selfless man who was genuinely in love with this country despite his incarceration. He was indeed a selfless leader who eventually died in Prison. 

Going by the current crop of politicians we have at the moment, one wonders if there still exists any trace of patriotism in the DNA of our current leaders.

Friday, May 6, 2016

wE aRe MoRe...


 
We are more than a sum of our individual experiences..
More that our eyes have seen, more than our ears have heard, more than a sum of the feelings we have felt, more than the quality of life we have..

More! More than more itself.. But most  may never recognize this life altering truth.
We are more than we can ever think or imagine because the GRACE of God is the critical differential that makes up for our shortfalls, inexperience, weakness or limited knowledge. 

Better to have that Grace and have an edge over every challenge than live without the Grace on a mediocre level. 

Embrace the more you are. Grace is not a cheat, it's a lifeline

-@gozzim

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

thE 5yR diFFeReNce

 
If this story does not inspire you, nothing will. In 2011, David Ebuka Onyemata (pictured centre) was a resident of Okota Lagos. fresh out of high school and looking to get into Uni.

As you read this, He is officially an NFL draft pick of The Saints being the first in the history of University of Manitoba Bisons football team to make it to the NFL.

Before 5yrs ago, Onyemata had only heard about American Football as we call it in these parts from classmates, he knew practically nothing about the game and had probably never seen a 'Football' . He grew up playing soccer in Lagos so much that it is a miracle how fast he has evolved into the NFL.

We may not understand the game in his home country (Nigeria) but there are several lessons to take away from the little we know about him so far: 
1. Be open to new experiences, they might just put you on the map.
2. Persistence pays off (for 2yrs after resuming at the University of Manitoba, he spent time on the sidelines training, observing, learning the rules of the game)
3. Only people who are humble enough to admit they don't know are in a position to learn.

No giant is too big to slay.

-@gozzim

 

Leading beyond your Station

 

There are two types of leaders: those who lead by positional authority and those who lead by influence. It’s important to remember that although she was a queen, Esther’s role was not a position that included any positional authority. 

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion? Then Esther told them to give this answer to Mordecai, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”- ‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Since she was not able to lead by virtue of her position, Esther chose to lead by virtue of her influence. Esther is a tremendous example of courageously leading up (leading and acting above your position in life) in both what she did and how she acted. Real passionate leaders will make a difference by any means neccesary irrespective of the constraints stacked against them. What kind are you?

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Shortcut to Contentment

Comparison drops you at the dead-end of discontentment every single time. Whether you come out on top and feel guilty, or don’t measure up and feel short-changed, comparison always leaves you dissatisfied. 

But there’s a secret to overcoming it: gratitude. The shortcut to contentment is thanking God, and it works no matter which side of comparison you’re on. 

How? It’s an instant perspective adjustment. When comparison makes you feel short-changed, gratitude can shift your focus to all the blessings you do have. And when you’ve been blessed with a lot, thanking God puts you in the humble posture needed to use those gifts well. 

Comparison is out to steal your contentment. But the habit of expressing gratitude is an easy way out of its trap. 

TRY THIS: Fill in the blank, I wish I had a ____ like hers. Pray about that desire, starting your prayer with a list of at least three things you’re thankful for.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

gRacE to sHacKLes


Olisa Metuh arriving Court from Kuje Prison



Seeing this pictures online this morning I couldn't help but wonder about the drastic change in lifestyle and comfort for these once high flying movers and shakers of the Nigerian polity. Indeed a sharp contrast to the bullet proof SUVs, multi million dollar fortresses for houses and luxury toys..

Without prejudice to the thousands of Nigerians and some foreigners who have lost their lives to Boko Haram  and the lives that have been flipped upside down, perhaps if these men had issued contracts to build better prisons and funded the Nigerian Prison Service even if privately funded perhaps they would be more comfortable in their current residences [prison]. Just a different thought..

-@gozzim

Thursday, January 14, 2016

#diARyofaGoOgleDad- #5 (Government!)






Happy New Year!
It has been ages since my last Google dad post, the Emperor has since turned One year and seven months (19months).
First let me start with the sub heading of this post 'Government'.. It might interest you to know that is the first word that came to mind this morning at about 3am when I woke up, not because of the ridiculous stories we have had to deal with recently like Dasukigate, missing budgets and yam and goat memes on Nigerian social media but because it dawned on me that my son is the commander in chief of the household.

As I write this, it is just gone past 4am and sleep is history because a certain Emperor decided there will be no sleep for we the masses. Gov't because this morning I asked myself why we didn't just name Nigel Government instead considering we are obviously his citizens constantly at his mercy:) and we surely would not be the first if we did.
 I have Learned to insulate myself emotionally from his tantrums my wife on the other hand ermmmm lets just skip that part..Between diARyofaGoOgleDad- #4 and this one a lot has happened. First the Emperor has had 4 experiences with air flight cabin pressure initially freaking out at the discomfort of popping eardrums. Secondly he has become more audible with words like 'I love you', 'How are you' (which by the way is what he calls his mum and I respectively for weird reasons I cannot understand), also words like 'Jeje O' and my least favorite 'I dunnor O ( I don't know. Which by the way he learned from his last nanny)'. Ah yes! I have also lost count with the number of rhymes he can sing on key by the way.. Let's just say he is one very smart young man. Keep in mind that for personal reasons we refused to put him in a commercial cr√®che. We figured it would be better to expose him  to our own brand of guidance first, but between his daily routine and Sunday school lets just say we may have created a nursery school singing rockstar. :)

Finally in the aftermath of the recent batches of vaccinations a while back he caught a stomach bug, perhaps as a result of the continuos teething. Initially we thought it would pass, but 6days no improvement : constant stooling, sore bums resulting from consistent wiping down and vomiting.. Within a few days the emperor had dropped to 10kg. He was admitted shortly after that to avoid total dehydration even though we had done our best to keep him hydrated despite the loss of appetite. I would later read online (Google dad get it?) that this stomach bug sometimes could linger for up to 20 days.. After some slight drama at the hospital we left headed straight to our Indian pediatrician who prescribed proper drugs and ointments for the sore bum.. 
My biggest lesson from the last few months have been this:

1. Be very observant as a new parent, don't ignore any signs and research (Google) unusual symptoms and developments you never know you just might save your child's life

2. Never discredit the fact that God's protection makes all the difference because no matter how hard you try, you cannot see every minute of your child's life so just do your best and trust God to protect your child.

3. It is really hard to control the influence of a good nanny on a child.

Thank you for reading along and please leave your comments below.

-@gozzim

Friday, December 18, 2015

ArCHiteCtuRe iN NiGeRia

















I have often wondered why our local architects are too guarded in their renditions. There is just something in this country (Nigeria) that makes them play it safe in their designs. One can hardly be wowed on a drive across Lagos.

Perhaps it's the state of the Nation finding subtle expressions in their work, or perhaps it is the innate need to keep construction costs down, who knows.. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

NeVEr giVE uP..



Some history here.. Actor Robert Deniro was a cab driver circa 1976.

Just because things ain't working out the way you expect doesn't mean your dreams are impossible. Keep pushing, your dreams are only a starting point for God.

By aNy mEaNs nEceSsaRy



In 2007 when I took a dive into the uncertainty of entrepreneurship, I was certain within in a few years I would become extremely successful within. 

I thought I had the temperament and 'ballz' on lock. As time went on I began to evolve into social circles beyond my tax bracket without the necessary account balance to match such relationships or 'Lagos Friendships' as we call it. 

It soon began to dawn on me that while I aspired to building a successful business, I had unconsciously began to compare and hold myself to the standards of my fellow young millionaire friends who by all accounts were living the life. 
I soon realized I was doing myself a huge de-service as it became more apparent that with some of these guys things were never what they seemed. I may not be where I ought to be yet, but I am definitely not where I used to be and I thank God for that.

Thing is, before you begin to envy your peers and wish you were them, stop and consider for a minute if you can take the kind of risks they take. The Nigerian society is too perception driven and we all tend to draw inspiration from any semblance of success we can see. 

The next time you read about a young successful person like a Linda Ikeji, or a Daniel Kanu, don't just consider the naira or dollar signs or the flamboyant life styles they have come into, but also the risks they take on a daily basis and what they stand to lose if eventually their true leverage (which most successful people are never quick to reveal) become public knowledge. Things are never what they seem. I realize that some of us have suffered too much to see anything wrong in the 'by any means neccesary' approach to wealth creation, but please understand that I'll gotten wealth never lasts.

Monday, December 7, 2015

eMpeRoR of SoUNd

I guess when you have successfully made a career out of your passion and made a tonne of money while at it, you become extremely qualified to publish a book on success while also entertaining your readers. Thats what Timbaland's new book "Emperor of Sound" is about.

In The Emperor of Sound, Timbaland offers fans an unprecedented look into his life and work. Completely uncensored and totally honest, he reveals the magic behind the music, sharing the various creative impulses that arise while he’s producing, and the layering of sounds that have created dozens of number one hits. Cinematically written, full of revealing anecdotes and reflections from today’s most popular music icons, The Emperor of Sound showcases this master’s artistry and offers an extraordinary glimpse inside this great musical mind.

A photo posted by Timbo the King (@timbaland) on





Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Buhari, Boko Haram & Biafra

A wise man once said: “ walk a mile in my shoes, see what I see, hear what I hear and feel what I feel. Then maybe you'll understand why I do what I do”

All of a sudden the former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan doesn't seem so clueless after all. More than 6months into the new government we seem worse off as a people: while Boko Haram may have lost ground in the North East, sadly they have opted for more deadly lone wolf attacks. Simultaneously the Biafra protests (which in my opinion is an effort in futility) are gradually festering and looking like another powder keg waiting to explode. All sorts of neglected vested interests ( all in the name of the Change agenda) are in subtle revolt about their neglect by the new government.

As things stand the GEJ led Gov't may have been 'the most corrupt' administration in Nigeria's history as has been claimed but he sure as hell had a clear sense of direction with his government even though he couldn't adequately articulate his intentions. 

After all the promises made during the elections I'm  glad the current ruling party is gradually learning the hard lesson that National leadership is beyond just political rhetorics but more about balancing your desired goals with general public expectation and sentiments.

Monday, November 16, 2015

wHeRe hAve i bEEn?

Lately I have been pre-occupied with expanding the reach of my other brands like HolyHolla and Swagcraft Media, and i have hardly had the chance put up posts on my personal space. I have also received 'DoGD' requests from my friends and some people i didn't even know read my posts on here, well i guess you never know who is reading or listening. 
In the past few months we have successfully designed and implemented a very dynamic platform on our christian entertainment and lifestyle platform holyholla. Holyholla which started out as a Sunday morning 4-hour life radio show and has since evolved to include the website portal holyholla.com - feel free to check it out.

Finally I hope to write more on my series 'Diary of a Google dad(DoGD)' my journey as a new parent without 'elderly guidance' (a cultural thing in Nigeria where Parents are involved in helping their children become better parents) on parenting but Google as an unending source of wisdom has come in quite handy. With respect to the tragedy of terror around the world in recent times and in Nigeria, I pray that God comforts the friends, Families of all who have lost their lives to these senseless extremist ideologies.

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