Sobolation: Don’t Be That Ibadan Boy

That Ibadan boy…

He conceives an idea and sets to work at it. Day and night, he is on the grind – tweaking his ideas, chasing connects and find every conceivable means to get the idea into an enviable one. Slowly and gradually, he begins to make progress and, laudable achievements begin to come along his path.  He takes his progresses and achievements and keeps them in a place where no one can ever find them. He tucks them all away and keeps grinding.

When he is asked why he is not putting himself out there, he says smiling almost sheepishly: “I am yet to get there”. He raises his hands above his head to indicate a vertical ascent. Ask him what “getting there” means, he doesn’t really know. Ask him how he plans to “get there” – he really can’t tell but he is only trusting God. Sometimes, sef, he self-deprecates. He knows he is good and solid – but he says he is a nobody, a small fish in a big pond.

He may even agree that he is good at what he does, then he’d say:

“I don’t want to blow my own trumpet.” In other words, he is waiting for the universe to find him in the corner of his room and show him off to the world. He argues with you and says: “all I need to do is to focus on the work, my success will draw people to me.” Time is ticking past, the world is spinning too; Ibadan boy doesn’t seem to realize these.

Ibadan boy stays in a corner – he is brilliant and so he thinks trainings are a waste of money. Rather than pay N5000 for knowledge, he’d rather go to Shoprite and treat a girl. Or, maybe buy beer for boys at the next hangout. Or, sometimes, he’d rather just have the N5000 than spend it.

Lagos boy starts a venture, he is a hustler among almost 10 million other hustlers. Lagos is a jungle – no padi-padi. Lagos boy understands that putting himself out there shamelessly is a vital key to growth just as much as knowledge or skill is. Once one shipini success like this comes his way, he milks it.

One or two successes and he packages them and puts himself out there. Lagos can be a place for the wilding – if you are not careful sef, someone will steal your trumpet from you and blow it till you’re deaf. That’s Lagos.

Lagos boy gets it that in this century, everything is short – life, attention span, success etc. and that while you are waiting for someone to blow your trumpet, everyone else is blowing theirs.

That is not Lagos; that is life.

The Lagos boy understands that visibility rarely comes to you in the comfort of your corner, so he puts himself out in the most daring ways he can. He opens social media channels, jumping into tweets and thereby connecting with people that he could only see in his dreams. Without seeing him, you feel him. You can see what he is about so that when you meet him eventually, he doesn’t have to tell you what his hustle is about. Lagos boy understands that putting himself out there is an extremely important part of the hustle as pepper must rest.

While yet waiting to blow, Lagos boy treasures knowledge and information so he goes for events and trainings. He wants to be better because everyone is getting better. He knows that fighting to be seen is not enough, being well cooked is too.

So as he is putting himself out, he is gaining knowledge.

What’s the point of this piece?

People in Ibadan are doing some amazing stuff but no one knows them. Except family and friends. Lai se MTN bundle package. 

The “I-don’t-want-to-loud-it” mentality is killing us. Sometimes, I wonder if it is fear or shyness or humility. I don’t know. We are waiting for the world to pause and look in our corner and find us. We are waiting to blow first before putting ourselves out there. We are waiting to be celebrated first, before we celebrate ourselves.

While we are waiting, the giant in us expects the dwarves to come and worship him and make him king. Ibadan boy totally forgets that the dwarves’ dreams are that they should take down the giant.

________

If you are in Ibadan and you’re doing amazing work, don’t be that Ibadan person. If you’re doing anything worth celebrating, don’t hide it. Don’t be afraid to be seen. Don’t be afraid to stretch. Don’t be scared to fail. No one can blow your trumpet like you would.

Only those who understand the times can conquer the times.

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