Many times we must have asked ourselves this question but again I put it to you, “who is it (life) all about?”

Is it about you?

Your friends?

Your family?

Your job?

Or your God?

You may take some time to reflect before you answer me.

Whichever your answer is, you are right because It is how you feel at this moment and probably your past experiences, after all, “we are a product of our past, a brand of our today and the advert of our future”.

Growing up, we were often advised by our parents to be serious and stay focused, then it seemed as if it was all about our parents, the family. In school and other social gatherings, we wanted to feel among (friends), be associated with the best click, it felt like life was about our friends. Working now we want to outshine colleagues, make a name for ourselves, so life seems all about (us) you. In church or mosque, you hear sermons, they talk about God, what He can do and His expectations, at this point life seems all about God.

But hear is what I believe. Our life is about making things work, putting smiles on the faces of people around us and not giving up even when everything seem awkward. When you touch lives, when you make positive changes, when you stand for something, when you ensure that you do your best to make things work, when you follow your dreams and become an inspiration to others, then you would have justified living.

Your life is about everything that matters to you, your life is about making your dreams happen and making your life count. You don’t want to just exist, you want to live and impact, and live so good that stories of you would go on for generations even after you are gone.

Give it (life) a bigger shot; it is never too late to try again. “Know that if it is not working yet then you have not given it your best and if it is working, there is always room for improvement”.

Originally published May 1, 2011





In the game of chess, it is universally known that there are different officials on the chessboard with different level of strength and power, from the puns to the knights, and to the bishops and the rooks, and then to the queen, but the King is the most important of all. In fact, the queen can move both horizontally and vertically, and the King can only move a step to anywhere, yet the King has the ultimate prominence on the chessboard. It is interesting to know that no matter how talented, strong or versatile an official is on the chessboard, its primary duty is to protect the King from being checkmated or captured; the moment they capture your King, even with the queen and other powerful officials around, you have lost the battle, that is, game over. If you are primarily obliged to protect your King from being captured, then, the ultimate rule for playing the chess game is to think before you move.

There lived a chess grandmaster named Eugene Brown in the United States of America. He spent his youthful days as a drug dealer, and when the law caught up with him, he spent seventeen years of his life in prison. However, it was in the prison he finally found the purpose for his life and the ultimate rule of living. He played the game of chess throughout his year of imprisonment, and discovered that life is a game of chess, and everyone is a player. He painfully discovered that in his youthful days, he had only been moving his officials on the chessboard without thinking; he had been living his life carelessly without weighing the consequences, and the consequence of that unfortunately is that his King took the fall. After he was released from prison, he managed to secure a job in a high school as a cleaner. He had the chance to watch over the juvenile delinquents of the school in their confinement room, and showed great prowess in keeping them in order, and that was how he started impacting in the lives of the youths, he started to teach them the game of chess and its relevance to their respective lives. Even though he was later sacked from the school due to the revelation of his being an ex-convict, he later set up a chess club which produced excellent chess players and character-refined youths. Guess what the slogan of his chess club was- ‘think b4 you move’.     

Many youths nowadays also make the same mistake Eugene Brown made and had cost him seventeen years of his life. Yes, he did make a better life out of himself after been an ex-convict, but just imagine if he had been thinking before moving, and he had rather spent seventeen years of his life living his dream and living right, just imagine what he might have achieved. That is exactly the same with youths now, most of them don’t think before making decisions, and they later make costly mistakes which they bitterly regret. It is one thing to be talented or gifted, it is one thing to have big dreams, crystal-clear visions and impeccably structured future plans and it is one thing to have a good character. It is one thing to use the queen, knights, rooks and bishops to destroy the enemy’s defense, and it is one thing to keep yourself from losing by protecting your King. The King is your character, it is something you must protect to earn dignity and integrity, and dignity and integrity are the things you must earn to keep your talents or gifts, dreams, visions, plans, ability, capacity and agility relevant to the service of humanity. Your moral force or character is the stronghold or pillar of whatever you possess or might possess, and the moment things go wrong with your character, all other things like admiration, reputation, personality, prestige, power, honour and even wealth crumples onto the ground, and trust me, the rare chances to build them back up is very slim, and is not worth taking the risk. Therefore, protect your King jealously, protect your character carefully, and do that by ‘thinking before you move’.     

By Gbenga Kajopaiye

Read more from this talented writer especially his latest book

Title: The Married Bachelor

Genre: Modern African Fiction (Novel)

  Description: The story is set in the middle of a Nigerian economic recession; two young couples with an agile romantic were caught up in it. Their marriage is almost a year old when suddenly the roses of romance became pricking thorns of violence. Simi believes Teju is cheating on her and pursues justice. Teju on the other hand strives to show his unflinching love to Simi without knowing someone has come between them. And when he gets to know, he commits murder to save his marriage, but it is accidental. Would he be able get back his wife’s trust, can he save his marriage or would his strong love cost him his life?   

Link to the book: http://www.okadabooks.com/book/about/the_married_bachelor/13851  

​You are responsible 

​You are responsible learn to take responsibility

​In the end, we are responsible for how things turn out for us. Not the gods neither is it the unseen spirits, not fate neither is it destiny, it is simply the cumulation of all the choices we have made; one choice after another!

Recently, a friend of mine lost his job because of an obvious silly act, and when he was asked what happened his response was, “it was the devil” (I am sure the ‘devil’ must be so confused by now considering the number of accusations he/she gets daily). Then I simply asked him, ” did the devil make those choices for you?”. He wouldn’t reply, he just kept starring blank. This is exactly what most of us do, when things go sideways, we are so comfortable at passing the blame, while others use words like “God understands, it is well, I can’t kill myself etc.” to cover  up for their laziness and indecisions. Don’t get me wrong, supernatural forces are real but 99% of consequences are as a result of bad decisions; our own choices.

Too often we shy a way from taking responsibilities for our mistakes, bad choices and nonchalant attitudes however, we are quick to take credit for things we got right. Life works both ways, sometimes it is just so perfect while other times it seems like we can’t just get anything right, unfortunately, we have to be responsible for both outcomes. We want to ask questions like; why me? what kind of luck is this? who should I blame? When the most important question should have been ‘will I be able to bear the outcome of this choice?’.

I know most often wrong choices are as a result of pressure, pressure so powerful that our natural line of thoughts become distorted. Such pressures include peer pressure, greed, hunger, body desires, laziness, anger, jealousy, alcohol, drugs, cravings etc. but the truth is, no matter what is responsible for the pressure, when the did is done, no one sees the pressure and distortion again but the fact you made a choice and you must face the consequences; even where you don’t pay the ultimate price, the scar just never goes away. 

Now I am not going to assume, we all have equal self-control, in fact I agree it is often easier making a wrong choice than the right one, right decisions require more sacrifices and sincerely it takes lots guts but we also must have it in our subconscious that we will be responsible for the outcome of our actions. If it’s our action then the responsibility cannot be passed.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn.

To achieve your goals in life you have to take responsible for your actions and inactions, and you have to be disciplined enough to make right choices, even when they really don’t sit well with your immediate desires. Apologize when your choice affects others most will forgive your sincerity, when you give your words honour them because second chances are very rare, own your problems and be about solutions, and don’t feed your lazy thoughts by being inactive, even the devil needs an idle hand before the devil can manipulate.

It is your life and you are responsible for the outcomes, you hold the pen to write your own story, the moment you drop the pen others will pick it and write whatever pleases them for you. I don’t want that and I know neither do you. So don’t handover the control of you life to someone or something else, own your existence and make this one life that you have count for something good.You are responsible for your life, so learn to take responsibility!

Live To Be

Live To Be
What is your greatest desire? What do you want more than anything in this world? What gives you joy whenever you do it? What do you think your happiness is tied to? What burns in your heart and gives you sleepless nights? Note, the question is ‘what‘ and not ‘who‘, these are questions that can lead you to what you should live to be(come). 

Do you know making your dream come true is solely your responsibility? The kind of people you allow into your life, the kind of thoughts you entertain and the amount of efforts you are willing to exert would eventually determine how far you will go. Having desires don’t count for dreams, what count are realizable desires backed by plan course of actions and drive to make them happen. Because you want to be a millionaire doesn’t make being a millionaire your dream but when you say you want to make millions as a professional and you pursue that profession with all you have got, then you have a dream.

Life is meant to be lived and living is to be; become something, be yourself, be purposeful, be a better you and so on. Many people live just to please others; parents, spouse, friends, colleagues etc., they have pleased people for too long they have lost the idea of who they are or who they want to be; that is not living! Living goes beyond sleeping, eating and working. Living requires having direction, have a destination, a goal or purpose. We don’t just want to be another figure on the world’s population, we should be amongst those figures that truly count.

When it is a decision about your life, you come first. You don’t have to lose your happiness because you want to make someone happy. You never should have to become small so that someone can feel comfortable around you!

There are so many things we can sacrifice; money, clothes, comfort, time etc. but of all things, no one should ever have to sacrifice his/her happiness. Whatever gives us joy, happiness, satisfaction is not worth sacrificing. You don’t have to become small so that anyone can feel comfortable around you. If you have identified who you are meant to be, then only people that shares that vision with you is good enough in your life. You can compromise on so many things but never your vision and happiness. 

Live to be, don’t live to please, what good is life if not well lived. Be about purpose, you have not come this far to end up as a none-entity (nonentity). There is something about you that draws you to something new waiting to be unleashed, open your mind and follow the ray of light. No time is too late and none is too early. Live to be!

When You Don’t Follow Your Dreams

When You Don’t Follow Your Dreams

We all have dreams no matter how small or big they seem, we all have ideas, opinions, things that we think could work and change both our lives and the lives of people around us. Some may have been dreams we had while we were younger, some as a result of brainstorming while others could be just spark of imagination but not all of us will do something about it. Very few wake up the next day to pursue an idea that kept them awake all night while most just move on like nothing happened. 

To the few who have followed their dreams, on behalf of everyone, I want to say thank you! Thank you to Mark Elliot Zuckerberg for changing the face of social media, to Alexander Grant Bell that made the first telephone, to Benjamin Franklin that dedicated so much to electricity, to Bill Gate for Microsoft, Steve Jobs for Apple, Galileo Galilee for new science, General for Kentucky fried chicken and to so many others whose dreams have changed the world, you guys are appreciated. You guys gave lots of time and efforts; you endured criticism, fought against demoralizing comments and resisted the naysayers. You guys were persistent even in the face of inconsistent results; you did not give up on us, you did not give up on making life better and living your dreams. You are worthy of emulation!

But to you who see no reason to follow your dream, here is what you are actually doing. You are denying the rest of us a better life; that dream you are trying to bury is supposed to make the difference for so many people. Even when you think it is small and insignificant, it could actually be a light to guide someone else to doing greater things. Don’t be mean, don’t be selfish, know that a lot depends on what you do with your dream, not for you alone but for everyone of us. If you have conceived it, then it is part of the master plan to make the world better. Don’t bother yourself with how realistic it is, start first, act and somewhere along the line people with same dream will come around and help you fill in the missing parts.

Your dream is a blessing to the world, don’t deny us. Act on it now so it doesn’t be another “what could have been”. Take it a step at a time even when you cannot see the big picture, it will come together in due time but you have to start first. Don’t take life’s beautiful gift back to the grave, live your dreams and start that now!

Life’s Decision: What Do I Do?

Life’s Decision: What Do I Do?

Picture these:
You just rounded off fabulous years of academics, you have served your nation as it is mandatory and now you have high hopes of what the future holds. Then you remember your Uncle Paul who finished some 5years ago but still lives with his parents because his job can’t pay the high rent. In the same thought, you remember Uncle Dan who got a job with oil servicing firm and now drives flashy cars and has a nice house at a choice location. Again you thought of Aunty Grace who is into interior decor and event planning, you just love her schedule as she is often free, a boss of herself and so rich….sigh! but then you can’t forget Aunty Rose who also went into personal business of Cake making and small chops, and still she begs for change whenever she comes around…

I hope you can relate with these pictures.


Life is about choices, decisions we make that permanently impact on our lives and some times impact on the course of history. Maturity and self awareness often present us with three major choices:

1. Do I go look for job?
2. Do I still further my education?
3. Do I start my own thing?

What we have seen of others and how they came out, too often leaves us confused about what next to do. The pictures above look too familiar; same thing one person did and got result often may not work for another, leaving the rest of us wondering which is the right path to take.

In this article, I will breakdown each of these options then I will leave you to make your own decision.

1. Do I look for job?
“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Getting a job, any kind of job, is easy. All you have to do is to apply and be ready to take any amount you are offered. However, getting a good job means you have to prove you are better than every other person eyeing that same job. You must have the best qualifications, best certifications, best command of skills and presentations, and in some cases know a few more persons than your closest rival for the job. In the current economic situation, opportunities at these Blue Chipped companies are rear, recession has stiffen their desires to recruit more hands and the old hands have just refused to retire. The question now is, are you ready to compete for those good jobs like Uncle Dan or you will be comfortable with just any job like Uncle Paul?


2. Do I still further my education?
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo
Growth comes with learning and with learning comes the key to unlock opportunities. Furthering education in any book is a welcome development; it is investing in yourself, becoming more valuable and increasing your worth. However, you must have understood yourself, identified your values and known your current worth before you can say that you want to (grow) add something; this is the only sufficient reason to further your education. Furthering your education is not restricted to going for higher degrees, you can go for certifications, diplomas or just learn something new like a trade or how to use your talent better. Whether you want to get a job, start a career, use your talent or go into business, learning is imperative. From our mental pictures, Uncle Dan and Aunty Grace must have improved themselves significantly, one way or the other, which has made them above board but like I said earlier this must be done for the right reason. The question here is, if you think you need to further your education, is it for the right reason?

3. Do I start my own thing?
“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
People often mistake chasing one’s dream for setting up one’s personal business, No Sir! Some people have the dream to work for a big company while others have the dream to own a big company; people have different dreams. Relating this to W. Edwards Deming’s rule of 3-97%, we can easily say only 3% will start their own business and employ the remaining 97% but you have to be sure which is your dream, is it to be among the 3% or the 97%? Note this, the fact that you have chosen to be part of the 97% doesn’t mean your dream is inferior and because you have decided to join the 3% doesn’t mean you are unrealistic. However, there is nothing as comforting as being your own boss and there is nothing as heart-troubling as knowing that being the boss means you are responsible for what you earn; it won’t be all fun and games. Your passion and your dreams might be the only fuel you are left with, when things don’t go according to plans, when people start condemning your choices and things seem destined for the rocks (the stage Aunty Rose is currently), and trust me, your Will will be tested before you start reaping the good of “your own thing” like Aunty Grace. So if you are thinking of starting your own thing, you need to ask yourself, “is that my dream and do I have the passion to endure the storm?”


You can be whatever you choose to be, but you first have to choose before you can be. Choose wisely, don’t let fear push you into settling for something less than you deserve and don’t let the noise of the crowd pull you into something you are not cut out for. There is something special about you, people might not see it yet but trust me, your light will definitely shine through.