A Flare For Greatness

October 30, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

Heinrich Boll Stiftung photo



Paul Oluwafemi David



Self discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear and doubt. Self  discipline allows a person to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is the master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions”  – H.A. Dorfman


The first and best victory is to conquer self” – Plato


Through self discipline comes freedom” – Aristotle



Gordon B. Hinckley once wrote “Cultivate within yourselves the mighty power of self discipline.” This is probably the most difficult habit in the world, the ability to be able to alter and control your choices to the direction of greatest reward instead of inculcating a lifestyle of indiscipline and lack of self-control. This present moment is filled with youths making terrible choices through the worship of fashion and bling bling lifestyle handed down to them by average people who go about with a mindset of materialism at its maximum peak to negatively indoctrinate the eager minds of tomorrow. No great man in the world joked with his youthful season, they sowed and sowed expecting a bountiful harvest through the use of discipline and character. Successful pioneers in various human endeavors never delay action when the iron of time was hot and needing forging into the shape of greatness. Great people that came from different time zones of their history fought rigorously with self, conquered self, conquered procrastination, conquered excuses and laziness before purpose and action caught fire under their watch.


Gobind Singh wrote “Peace and happiness shall fill your mind deep within, if you act according to truth and self discipline.” You will be so happy with yourself that people will be inspired to know you, learn from you, and learn from the spirit of God that invoked history deep from the recess of your mind. This philosophical spread is for you, it’s for the eager youths of tomorrow who are being influenced negatively by entertainers who drown discipline and character every second with their display of materialism instead of optimism that provokes passion, vision, mission, conviction and deduction of original ideas that will exponentially accelerate the economic developments through the power of concentrated effort and auto suggestion that wakes a nation from its shame to its real name.


The future hangs on the most dominant thoughts and ideas roaming up and down through the minds of the youths, it depends on their innermost convictions to life. Life to some of us is nothing but a brilliant domicile where fun and pleasure can be consumed to stupor. Nobody can help a mind under slavery through its daily choices snoring on doom. As I woke early this morning I was inspired to write this article about the future of our youths, the direction it is unfolding towards and a need to start an awareness to shift their mind to the direction where names sell rather than money. How many kids in Nigeria can boldly point to their role models without tears streaming from the eyes of people whose names serve humanity and heaven?


There are many entertainers in Nigeria, some of whom are now role models to our youths, and our youths worship them and waste their potential under the feet of a storm. Entertainers are among the main problem of an average Nigerian youth, they run after them, add them on various social networks without even knowing who these people represent, or the course they’re fighting for. I was surprised after reading an article online about some Nigerian celebrities that have been charged for crime at one time or period of their existence. Yet Nigerian youths are so blind to see a reason to be humble and rigorously research the celebrities or entertainers they’re running after like gods. Successful youths don’t follow the crowd blindly without fully understanding what they’re doing and where it might take them in the long run, they absorb the information needed to shape and change the world positively like the holy books have always directed us towards.


I remembered my college days at the prestigious Titcombe College Egbe, my role models then were men of books and letters; I would browse them and see how great those people were and learn from them. Nobody rises alone without mentors, without some driving force propelling them to become great and successful using the principles of life. You cannot follow criminals and not end up in prison.


Entertainers are the main threat to the development of a nation or country. Professor Isaac Newton once wrote in a letter to his rival and colleague Robert Hooke saying “if I have seen further than others, it’s because I’ve rested on the shoulders of giants.” Nigeria cannot develop when the youths are busy wasting their minds under destiny inhibitors hiding under the party of entertainment. Entertainment has never stretched the mind positively to its full capacity, it has never awakened the giant within for the sake of performing at peak capacity instead of average. Professor Ben Carson isn’t a fan of entertainers, nor am I. In Nigeria the street is crowded with men and women bent on performing on stage without discipline and character. Character is an important attribute needed for the development of any country, character problems lead to conviction shortage, lead to downfall and stagnancy of innovations and clever comebacks. If you’re among the world changers you’ll come to agree with me that wisdom is not only a game changer, it’s a team builder. If we continue to allow our culture to be dominated by entertainers, we’re going to find our country begging through poverty and underdevelopment.


Israel is a name I will always use to inspire my fellow Nigerians, these sect of people are changing the world positively with their minds because they’re careful of what they accept as ‘entertainment’. Our leaders are also blind in this area, they invite these people to support their political aspirations leaving the bright minds behind to suffer in penury. Inviting a drop-out to be celebrated in Aso Rock is a blatant error on the side of merit and achievement. While drop-outs are invited and celebrated in government houses intellectuals with beautiful minds are forgotten with their ideas.


UNCTAD (1975) in “Social Science at a Glance” (2009), reports that between 1961 and 1972, an estimate of 300,000 highly skilled workers emmigrated, all from less developed countries to advanced western nations. But the United States 1990 census reports that there were more than two and half million highly educated immigrants of less developed countries residing in the United States. Indeed, Ong, Cheng & Evans (1992), Lowell and Findlay (2001) as well as the international labour organization statistics, suggest that highly educated human resources constitute more than 95% of brain drain from less developed countries to advanced countries. This means there are many losses created when a country refuses to brainstorm together and make things happen for the purpose of creating change and development, something that will inspire highly skilled Nigerian citizens to stay in their country and contribute meaningfully to its exponential development.


Brain drain is a potent force that less developed countries, especially in Africa, are experiencing because the governments have celebrated mediocrity instead of merit, changing the gear of engagement of a country to its proper hierarchy of global innovation. Our government cannot fight brain drain nor reduce it by lavishing wealth on entertainers who are always found displaying an extravagant lifestyle through their wasteful spending that later leads them to debt and liabilities. As wealthy as Michael Jackson was, he died broke because he was destroyed by entertainment, he welcomed lavish spending because of a lack of discipline and character. We’ve all seen the latter end of Nigeria’s most celebrated entertainers, most of them die broke because they’re not skilled in the education needed to nudge them to what assets and liabilities are.


I’ve read some of the books by Robert Kiyosaki who greatly explained the difference between asset and liability. Nigerian entertainers lavish all their riches on liabilities and wake up with debts way beyond human calculation. We have to get things right here because it’s important if we are ever going to make any worthwhile progress as a country or nation. Entertainers in Nigeria are recognized with their liabilities and vanities because that’s the only thing they have or possess in their mental scheme. The news that comes from these people are always scandals and sexual atrocities that will instill in the youths a passion for theft and thug life which is the last place we should be accelerating towards looking at our present condition.


We need assets in Nigeria not liabilities.


It wasn’t through wasteful spending that made Dangote an asset, made Elumelu an asset, made Iweala an asset, made Obasanjo an asset, made Adenuga an asset, made Alakija an asset, made Adichie an asset, made Obi an asset, made Achebe an asset, made Osundare an asset, made Soyinka an asset, made Awosika an asset, made Adeosun an asset,Sadiku an asset, made Habila an asset, made Atta an asset, made Coker an asset, made Moremi an asset, made Ezekwesii an asset, made Akunyili an asset, made Awojobi an asset, made Borishade an asset, made Umunna an asset, made Anyanwu an asset and also made Aliyu an asset to Nigeria because they’re contributing their quota to their nation. We don’t need entertainers and celebrities who will travel abroad to ridicule our name as a nation.


The way we celebrate our brains in Nigeria is a ridicule to human freedom, while the government is screaming brain drain, they’ve forgotten they caused it in the first place with their habits and attitudes. Attitude determines choices in life, if the governments continue to celebrate drop-outs constituting a nuisance to global development, I see no reason why Nigerian brains should not find their way abroad to a place where brains are celebrated in lieu of idiots. There are many beautiful minds from Nigeria wasted because of lack of opportunities for them; they’re tired of persevering in a country where drop-outs are celebrated and given more open freedom and leverage. It is a thing of shame when sharp minds from Nigeria leave the shore of their country towards Europe because of the way their country remembers them.


Why do we celebrate mediocrity instead of merit?


Why do we celebrate entertainers instead of winners?


I am sad looking back at the number of Nigerian brains lost to the heart of Europe because of a lack of implementation by Nigerian governments.


Do we even know the life of who we celebrate?


Do we care to know?


Many don’t care as long as it empowers their selfish and greedy political agendas to power. We cannot pretend that entertainers are nation builders without destroying the power of the mind and its creative coordinations producing ground-breaking innovations and discoveries. We spend millions of naira on entertainers and leave winners in intellectual realm with crumbs like ‘if education was not the passport to the future’, as told by Malcolm. There are many people who dropped out abroad to change the world positively so as to concentrate and focus on their idea to help the world become a better and safer place from danger and violence. I’m not against dropping out to become Zuckerberg, to become Bill, to become Steve, to achieve a lifetime dream that will put radiance on the faces of people because you didn’t quit your dreams.


The situation is different in Nigeria, people drop out to become radicals, terrorists, criminals and entertainers that will accelerate violence and terrific experiences a human being can experience in a lifetime. Most of these entertainers are not successful people that should be exposed to our kids if they will not drop out from school searching for money instead of developing their minds creatively and coming up with an original idea that will shock the world. We need to frown on these average people without discipline and character to train our kids in the way of religion and science.


The way of religion and science is the most mundane yet powerful road any country can take to achieve massive change. Underdeveloped countries will be doing their selves a lot of good when everyone is taught about religion and science, when kids are taught to celebrate the greatest gift given to them by God. People who walk into your life either as mentors or friends without possessing discipline and character will leave you stranded and wounded more than you expected. They will change your direction of focus into a nightmare of doom. People who lose discipline and character end up losing their focus and concentration, this is true if you’ve been brain washed by some entertainers invited to a podium in your school or other avenues used by them to perpetrate their schemes with a theme of destruction.


Fela Anikulapo is a global name in the realm of afro hip hop entertainment in Nigeria, but a critical analysis of this man showed a man who didn’t finish strong. I could continue to mention other entertainers who got killed by their dreams because they never had discipline and character. I’ve always found myself among the assembly of thinkers and men of letters because with them you’re going to be expanded to your peak performance. It’s now a culture among young Nigerians to run towards entertainment all in the name of fame and name, they break themselves through many illicit habits to achieve nothing. It’s now easy to get money when you lack discipline and character, you can hide as a rapper, actor, actress, speaker and elicit the most outrageous deeds to be named ambassadors of destruction.


If you’re a parent and you’re asked to allow your kids to stay with a successful Nigerian who will you choose? Entertainers delay potential through darkness. How many bright kids have ruined their future with just a night show to become another dream?


I’ve done a critical analysis of entertainers and what they represent to know. Without doubt Ben Carson was right when he said they’re not world changers when you view them critically under the microscope of wisdom and understanding. This is highly shown through their rate of divorce and lifestyle. Most of us will come to agree that happiness can be deducted through marriage without making many mistakes in the long run like Aristotle in his deductive reasoning. People who cannot stay in marriage lack discipline and character. If you do a head survey of entertainers you’ll come to see how they top the divorce tree due to a lack of discipline and character. We tend to hear some atrocities perpetrated at close range by this category of people because of who they are. If you’ve ruined your own life searching for money, it doesn’t mean you should target the ones that chose the right one through discipline and character.


How can we entrust the future of Nigeria to entertainers knowing full well that it’s going to end up in jeopardy and chaos? I remember my college days when most of my friends were worshiping the streets with lack of discipline and character, most of them would miss classes and expect to get the same grades as me. I’ve always been a leader anywhere I find myself because of the discipline and character that flows through my habits every day. I once stayed in a room reading a book a whole day to forget I’d not eaten only to be remembered by my mum who screamed in surprise.


You cannot inspire a country with a mind under slavery, with a mind brainwashed by parties and shows where sins are committed as entertainment. We’re at the border where an action must be taken to stop average men from influencing our future world changers through the entertainment wagon. I’ve studied the achievement of professor Alexander Animalu in theoretical physics and admire this man. This was a man who was nominated for a Nobel Prize, who worked on superconductivity and created a name for himself both at home and abroad to distinguish himself as an intellectual representing the academy of science in Nigeria and a pioneer in solar power. I was surprised when I saw this man at the prestigious university of Nigeria Nsukka walking into the auditorium with a name screaming of discipline and character. Money will not change your name, it’s your name that changes money. Professor Wole Soyinka isn’t the richest, yet his name changes money because it has worth and value that contributes tremendously to the development of Nigeria as a whole. 1986 is a year where history was made because a black man, the first in Africa was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature for his work on shaping drama into a new dimension. Since 1986 no Nigerian has won the prize either in medicine, physics, chemistry, peace or literature because of a drastic decline in intellectualism and witticism.


A craze for shoes will not develop Nigeria, a craze for clothes or gold wrist watches is not needed to catapult our nation into greatness. The only thing we’ve learnt from entertainers is fashion and passion for materialism. That is not what we need, what we need is a craze for ideas, discovery, innovation, creativity, service, patriotism, optimism, selfless commitment and worship of the infinite intelligence that is the source of wisdom and understanding. We need to invoke religion and science through our imagination and allow it to catch fire through our environment for the sake of shaping and moving it into a modulus of history.


Cars you can create, shoes you can create, perfumes you can create, jets you can create without worshiping them like entertainers who can only destroy instead of create. Nations that cannot create end up as slaves, they end up with a craze for consumption instead of a craze for invention.


Who is your role model?


This is your chance to be sure you’re with the right person, it’s your chance to scrutinize his/her intentions to be sure you’re inside the right boat.


In the Genesis account God did not give man fashion, he gave him passion, He told him to SUBDUE it, subdue here literally means to ENGULF, OWN, SHAPE and KEEP. This cannot be done with fashion, it can only be done through passion streaming from vision.


Passion doesn’t sing to make the audience naked,

Passion doesn’t dance to make the audience demons,

Passion doesn’t speak to make the audience rebels,

Passion doesn’t dress to make the audience sinners,

Passion doesn’t destroy its audience.

Passion awakens,

Passion instructs,

Passion inspires,

Pasion directs,

Passion invokes vision.


This is ‘subdue time’ when you refuse to be a slave, to be cajoled, to be imprisoned, to be caged, to be wrecked, to be locked from the gentle voice within speaking to assist you when you’re missing it, when you’re tilting towards the angle of darkness sponsored by entertainers with only money.


This is ‘subdue time’ when you refuse to be normal, to be average, to be broken, to be disabled, to be shattered from the humble voice within running to assist you when you’re down, when you’re worshiping mortal men instead of a game changer.


They can drop out from school not you,

They can display violence not you,

They can abuse women not you,

They can commit suicide not you,

They can become terrorists not you,

They can fall apart not you,

They can become demons not you,

They can become prisoners not you,

They can become drug addicts not you,

They can become darkness not you.


This is ‘subdue time’ for you to meditate about your life and not miss it, for you to finish strong without tears coming out from your mind. Are you ready to subdue your future or allow entertainers subdue it?


Samson allowed a woman to subdue his, he died with his enemies.

Judas allowed money to subdue his, he died missing heaven.

Pharaoh allowed power to subdue his, he destroyed his kingdom.

Solomon allowed women to subdue his, he died without wisdom.

Moses allowed anger to subdue his, he died starring at the promised land.

Saul allowed the crowd to subdue his, he was dethroned as king.

Cain allowed envy to subdue his, he died laboring.

Satan allowed pride to subdue his, he missed heaven.


You can combine education with your dreams.

You can combine discipline with your dreams.

You can combine character with your dreams.

This is subdue time for you to grow and succeed.

You can combine religion with science.

You can combine thoughts with time.

You can combine mind with wind.

You can combine faith with focus.

You can combine discipline with character.

At subdue time nothing is impossible.





Paul Oluwafemi David

Paul Oluwafemi David is a Nigerian Scientist, Philosopher and Poet, he is a student doctor at the college of human medicine university of Nigeria Nsukka. His poems have been published in AFRIKANA, AFRICAN WRITER, PRAXIS, PRIDE, NANTYGREENS, KALAHARI WORDS, TUCK, BANGALORE, MUSE and THREE DROPS. He’s working on some collections of poetry at the den. He can be reached on facebook via www.facebook.com/davidfirstnapaul.

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