The “Kete-kete” Phenomenon

The “Kete-kete” Phenomenon

The Kete-kete story was made popular by one of Nigerian music legends Chief Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, who illustrated how difficult it is to please people. I remember back in my university days, Omogbolahan, my flatmate, no matter how much you criticize his actions, the only response you get from him is “I have heard you, it’s just another Kete-kete phenomenon”. Often times, we get angry because he hardly listens to others’ suggestions but if you ask me now, I guess he was listening however he did not just let people’s opinion change who he is. He is a medical doctor now and he is doing pretty good.


It is hard not to care at all what the environment is saying nor care about the concerns people have about us but when we make that the focal point of our living then we won’t get anything done. We naturally want to please our family, blend with our friends, wait for the approvals of our colleague, carry along our superiors and at the same time seek the consent of our role models but truth be told we can’t have all at the same time because their opinion will definitely conflict. People have diverse opinion on how, where and when things should be done and often times they have an unwritten law about who and to whom it should be done. This is a big clog in the wheel of success, self actualisation and pursuit of happiness.

Hence, it is less strange when you find out that most successful people are those who focus more on who they are than on who people around them think they are, not that they don’t care but they have learned these five rules of the Kete-kete phenomenon:

1. Don’t try to please people
You cannot please everyone, it is better you satisfy yourself first and those who have accepted you for who you are will find satisfaction in what you have done. If you try to please everyone, in the end you will find out that you have pleased no one and worse of all you have sacrificed your own happiness for nothing.

2. Don’t wait for people before you make important decisions in your life.
To be successful, most of your decisions have to be accurate yet timely. Success is more about information acted upon swiftly. The truth is, many would have the same information same time as you but whoever acts first will reap the most benefit, therefore if you are waiting for the approvals of everyone concern, you might be too late to earn from the information. Action is more for the risk takers, those who are risk-averse will consult till people convince them not to take actions.

3. Don’t live your life waiting for people to appreciate you.
The major key to happiness is knowing that your happiness depends on you and not on anyone else. Hence, if you live your life waiting to be appreciated by others then you won’t be in control of your own happiness. Live your life because it is the way you want to live it, strive to be happy, appreciate yourself  and have faith in who you are, with time people will come around to celebrate your individualism.

4. Don’t do things because you are expecting people to reciprocate.
Many love just because they want love in return, some give just because they expect the other person to give back and others help so that the person can be oblige to them. Life really does not works like that. Love because your heart feels it, even if you don’t get it in return from the person, somewhere down the line you will see someone else who will love you. Give because it makes you happy to put smile on another’s face and somewhere down the line favor will locate you and yours. When you put your life on hold waiting for what someone will give you in return for a good deed you have done, you will loose the abundance that someone else just around the corner has for you.

5. Don’t let people determine for you who you are.
People will judge your actions because they don’t know your intentions and when you try to explain your intentions to them they will judge your personality. You know who you are, that should be good enough for you. Don’t live your life trying to be someone else just because who you are doesn’t soothe a friend, a family member or a colleague, because if you try to be someone else, you will always come out second best. People will have opinion about who and what you are, listen to them, see how you can use their criticism to improve yourself but never ever let their opinions, destroy the person you are.

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