Hello everyone! Happy New Year!
Its been ages I posted here but if you are observant, you would know it’s for good reason.But if you are not (side eye), its because I took out sometime to revamp my blog, in terms of both content, theme and the general look and feel. I really love it now and I hope you feel the same way too.
I would like to start by thanking everyone who took out time to read, share and comment on the posts on this blog in 2016, it meant a great deal to me. For folks that are new here, I welcome you to my very little corner in the world where I try to use my e-voice (keypad) to contribute to important issues that impact my country (Nigeria) and the world at large.I believe very strongly in the power of writing and discourse to influence attitudes and provoke critical thinking.
I have so much new content to share on here this year, I am so excited. I don’t know where to start from but I think the best part is that I am going to feature other writers on this platform; so you don’t have to be stuck with me all the time. As one of my goals is to read more this year, I would be doing more book reviews too (I would love recommendations please). I would also share some career advice not just from me but from people with much more experience, who work in the Politics-Economics-International Development nexus. Also to give some of the issues I talk about a human feel, I would be sharing some stories of ordinary people trying to make it in this challenging country (continent).
Basically, the agenda for the year and the blog as a whole is to make this place a home for folks interested in Economics, Politics, Policy, International Development and suchlike.
But beyond these, I would also try to get more personal and make this blog more encompassing of my range of interests. I feel indebted to do so because I have learned so much from the internet .Honestly, we don’t lack information in this generation (discerning the useful ones however is a different topic); It doesn’t matter where you are located, you can follow amazing people, blogs, website, events and learn so much stuff. Finally, I hope to be more consistent by putting up at least one blog post per week; I am really motivated to do so this time around. If I fail to do so, please call me out.
On that note, I would like to share that in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty that was 2016, this blog was one of the best things that happened to me- this is despite the laxity with which I managed it.Apart from having a platform to share my thoughts on issues I care about, I started this blog not because I thought I knew how to write or because I thought anyone would read it but because I really wanted to hone my writing skills . I like writing but I struggled so hard during my Master’s programme because I could not present my thoughts as logically and analytically as was expected . So one of the goals of this blog was to help me to improve in that regard. Obviously, I am not yet a professional Writer/Blogger by means but owing this blog has helped me tremendously in that regard.
Sorry I digress, was talking about how the blog was important to me in 2016. It was important during my job hunting phase. I once applied for a job and as part of the process, I was supposed to do a test.I was supposed to write short essays in response to about 5 questions asking me to assess the political, economic and security situations in Nigeria and West Africa . I was asked to do some quick research and write these 500-800 word short essays under two hours and then submit via email. Fortunately for me, I had just written this post, so given the time constraint, I did not have to do too much research on the facts and figures, I just took out the relevant data and answered the questions.In addition to that, blogging on the issues enabled me to be able to present something that was nuanced and analytical. Also as part of the interview process, the panel seemed very excited when they learned I had a blog on economic and political issues; for them it was a good indicator that I indeed had a passion for the job and the field in general. Although, I did not get that job, I made it to the last stage but I didn’t feel too bad as I had learned a lot in the process.
The most important lesson for me was the relevance of having a blog or a platform or something that showcases your skills or passion, especially when you are looking for a job. In today’s competitive job market, you need to bring more than your degree certificate(s) to the table. Finally, the job I eventually got-a research position, obviously involves a great deal of writing and research. I genuinely think I would have struggled a lot more if I did not have this blog.
Hopes for you in 2017
Anyway, I realize last year was a tough year for most of us (Nigerians) as our economy tanked . I felt this personally as many people in my extended family lost their jobs and in my nuclear family we had to become more austere.I also know people whose emotional and physical health were impaired by the economic crises- It was a really dark year for most. At some point this year, I felt that everything was conspiring against me; I was jobless, broke and really sick but the year could not have ended on a better note. Not only did I get a dream job but all the challenges I faced only served to make me tougher, resilient and more empathetic. And this is what gives me hope that no matter what you are going through, there is surely light at the end of the tunnel. It may not seem like it now but in retrospect, all the dots in your life would connect and start to make sense. So please hang in there!!
As for Nigeria’s economy, I wish I could say I am positive about 2017 but I am afraid I can’t. This is because a lot of things that got us into a recession are still the same. The oil prices are still low; the Central Bank is still inconsistent with its policies and the economic team remains the same. Except some or all of these things change, it is hard to see a way out.
Nonetheless, I wish you all a fulfilling and rewarding year and I pray you thrive regardless of Nigeria’s economy. I encourage you to enter it with maximum vigor! For me, the three things I want plan to imbibe in my life to enhance my productivity are; focus, diligence and consistency. I did not realize how importance these things were until I observed that these were constant themes in the lives of the people whom I admire the most.
Guiding quote for 2017
“The world is a very malleable place. If you know what you want and you go for it with maximum drive, energy and passion, the world will often reconfigure itself around you much more quickly and easily than you think”-(culled from an amazing blog whose name I sadly cannot remember)
Go for it!!!