“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein.
If I have to comment on the above stated quote, I will challenge the squirrel and the monkey taunting the fish for its inability to climb a tree to enter for a swimming contest. But let’s just go ahead.
Just few days ago, I was in Eko Hotels for an enterprise conference. Our new kid on the blog, Ayodele Dada, the 5.0 graduate of Psychology department, UNILAG was equally in attendance. (By the way, I comot cap for that dude; so you mean he never made a single B from first year to final year?). Of course by virtue of that feat, Ayo has received several awards and job offers from different organizations since the news broke out. But in this particular event, Akin Alabi, the founder of NairaBet (I will talk about him shortly), made a cash donation of One million naira to Ayodele and also offered him a chance to work with NairaBet in any capacity, if he so desires. Now, you are probably asking what is wrong with your own brain, why you couldn’t bring such honour to your parents and make your family proud as Ayo had done. “Is it not the same one head; is it not the same school fees we all paid?” Aren’t those the questions going on in your head right now?
But then, let us look at Akin Alabi. He is the founder of NairaBet – the biggest betting site in Nigeria and number nine in the world. I don’t need to tell you how many millions of Nigerians that bet on that platform, but I sure know it is quite huge, in fact at a point I was wondering if you are the only young person I know that does not bet in Nigeria (Of course, I am yet to start betting myself). Akin is a multi-millionaire today, or maybe a billionaire. But just before making that cash donation to Ayodele, he told us that he was unable to pass JAMB after several attempts. Yet he managed to start NairaBet.
Now, look at it this way, Akin and Ayo were both standing on the stage, one made 5.0, the other couldn’t pass JAMB. Both of them are “role models” to different sets of youths today, both of them are millionaires, both of them are impacting lives with their results and performance. I think it is safe to say that both of them are successful, yet their routes were quite different.
Tell me why you should permit someone to make you feel inferior just because you are not the best in a particular field? If he is taller than you, I am very sure that he is not shorter than you. If you can’t be a Pat Utomi, you can be a Dangote. If you can’t be a Dangote, then you can be an Oyedepo. If you can’t be an Oyedepo, then you can be an Okocha, a Genevieve, an Omotola, a Linda Ikeji, a Chike Obi, a Chinua Achebe, an Ayodele Dada or an Akin Alabi…
So the next time someone taunts you by making you feel you are wasting your time studying ‘too much’ for first class that will end up been ‘useless in a jobless society’, just tell him to wait and see. And if the first class guy wants to mock your 1.8 CGPA, tell him not to conclude so soon, because though it is true he will get a good job paying like 12 million naira per annum- if he is really that good anyway, but someone has to create the job, and that might just be you.
God has been so generous to deposit enough talent and potential in everyone. That you have not done well in a particular field does not mean you are a useless nonentity. Your job is to discover that area where you can be the best, if you are yet to discover that, you can pray to God and He will be more than willing to reveal it to you. And if your problem is how to make a living using your potentials, feel free to talk to us, we are here to help you. Remember, no one should judge you by your ability to climb a tree except you are a squirrel.
As Christian youth however, we must remember that our talents’ source is God and we owe it to Him to use all our talents to his glory. So, although you can be motivated by anyone around you, including any of the above mentioned excellers, allow the Holy Spirit to fine-tune your talents to bring God all glory and give you joy, cool cash and satisfaction. Like the biblical parable of the Talents, the master will hold us accountable for how we exploited our talents. You can’t afford to fall hand. Have a great life!
Written by Kachi Ogbonna
Mr. Kachi Ogbonna is an entrepreneurship/youth consultant. You can reach him via Kachi@myunihostels.com