Mind Your Own Business: Ayokunle Adeleye’s Entrepreneurship Column

The POTENTIAL IV: Staying True

Once upon a time, there lived a poor hunter and his childless wife.
One day, while gathering wood in the forest, the wife built a maiden
out of snow. “If only you were real,” she sighed, “how I would love
and treat you.”

The forest queen heard the wife’s wish. She promised to turn the snow
maiden into a real girl. But with one condition: in place of a heart,
she would have an icicle. With that, the maiden magically came to
life. “If she ever steps outside the snow forest,” the forest queen
warned, “the ice will melt, and she will die.”

For many years, the snow maiden and the wife lived together. Then one
day, the wife died. The snow maiden was sad. She moved through the
forest until she came upon a young boy from the village, lost in the
woods. Taking pity, the snow maiden led him to the edge of the forest.
If she walked any further, she knew her heart of ice would melt.

The snow maiden looked into the boy’s eyes and knew what she must do….

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Essay from Ayokunle Adeleye


I have since heard many a youth lament about how our grandfathers
continue to ruin the country in the name of ruling it, about how the
rulers of yesteryears are yet the leaders of tomorrow, about how these
grandfathers themselves were youths when they set out but now detest
our youth and our entitlement, about how the affairs of the youth are
left for our gramps (and grannies) to ru(i)n.

I had therefore asserted that anyone older than the republic Nigeria
has no business whatsoever ruling in whatever capacity, that we, the
youth of this country, have had enough of them, that they have failed
to solve even issues that their wantonness created lest we talk of the
challenges of our time, that they have over-stayed their (stolen)
welcome being antiquated and obsolete in all their ways.

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Mind Your Own Business: Ayokunle Adeleye’s entrepreneurship column

The POTENTIAL III: Minding Your Own Business.
I have since realised that youth can be turned to advantage, that
things are easier when one is young (contrary to popular opinion and
everyday observation); that when one is young, the ‘whole world’
typically rallies around to help, advice is easier to get and
experience, to garner, and the ancient argumentum ad misericordiam
holds sway. Ironically, that is when one is interested in camaraderie,
looking-good, feeling-fly, wasteful spending; rather than in
investments, digging-deep, taking-root, securing assets (land
other/more than cars).

I had therefore urged that we break forth, start our own businesses,
but realise limits, and stay safe. But I have also seen how that is
not the reason we are where we are (poor, jobless and thronging
ourselves to death; Boko Haram joblessly working on our National
security, sovereignty, and sanity; and the Government dutifully
procrastinating, denying, and politicking), how we indeed break forth
and set limits (that we do not court save conquer), how we are easily
quietened, silenced, satiated; for we quickly lose focus, loose grip
and, in not minding our business, place it in loos.

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Essay from Ayokunle Adeleye

THE POTENTIAL: Realising Limits.

It was the best of times. His luck could not have been better. Yes, he
was in debt, but that day he recouped his losses. That day he had made
$25,000 from betting at the casino. That day, he only needed $25, 000
more and his debt would be no more. There was no need to debate the
issue. All he had to do was visit the casino again the next day and
win some more.

Then it was the worst of times. For the next day, he left the casino
the way he’d gone in the previous day: drained of both hope and money.
Or not quite so. The previous morning he was hopeful he could pay his
debt, the previous night, he was convinced he could. And now he was
certain he couldn’t. He was right where he had started out. He had had
potential, had had energy, and it had ruined him.

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Essay from Ayokunle Adeleye


The POTENTIAL: Breaking Forth

It was the beginning of a new session. The young boy put on his
uniform and was set for school. At the end of the term, the boy was
sent home with a note from his teacher thus: ‘This boy should not
report to school henceforth. He’s too dull for knowledge and performed
woefully in arithmetic. He may never amount to anything in life.’ That
young boy however grew to have the most intriguing mind of all time.
His brain became the focus of research into human intelligence and
abstract thinking.

That young boy was Albert of the Einsteins

Centuries ago, a young boy was employed at the Royal Institute,
London, as a laboratory assistant under Sir Humphrey Davy. His major
work was to wash the apparatus, make them available for use, and pack
them back for storage. The young attendant was however curious to know
more. Not only would he do his job, he would also collect the notes
and read them on his own, yet he was not a student – nor did he go to
school. (While he was an apprentice with a book binder, he would wait
behind after work hours and read each book bound!) After fifteen years
of self-education, he had garnered so much knowledge that he succeeded
Davy. Then he got a patent for his first invention, the dynamo.

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Essay from Ayokunle Adeleye

The PROFIT Percent

Everyone is out to make money. More money. And more money. And if
you’ve put in some money already, then you’re out to make a profit,
plain and simple.
Still, one often, if not frequently, makes profit but still doesn’t
quite hit jackpot– or put another way, doesn’t feel as comfortable as
his seemingly lesser competitor seemingly making lesser profit.
So that one is eventually made to ask, What matters most in an
enterprise? Is there more to a stable, sustainable franchise than
profit? How can one truly maximise profit?
To answer the questions and to have a feeling of self-accomplishment,
one often suggests numbers: the number of workers employed, of brands
marketed, of products and services offered. Yet, as experience
(eventually) shows, to keep a business running one needs profit more
than numbers– and a certain type of profit at that.
It is (forgivable) conventional wisdom to say that one’s profits
increase with the numbers, but is this really true? And more
significantly, Is the increase in profit commensurate with (or worthy
of) the increase in numbers– with the consequent more salaries and
higher cost of maintenance?
To answer these curiosities, I share the following scenarios with you.

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Essay by Ayokunle Adeleye

OOU Medical Campus, Sagamu, on FIRE

by Ayokunle Adeleye


I gained admission into Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2005, and I’m still in school. My Matric Number therefore is 050

but I’m still in 500 Level- not even final year! Yet I’m not in school because I repeated, neither did I resit. I’m still in school because I’m in Nigeria, because I’m in Ogun State, because I’m in OOU.

But I didn’t get here by lack of somewhere else, (lest you say beggars can’t be choosers). I could have gone to any University in Nigeria. (My results were tenable anywhere in Nigeria.) It was therefore not a dearth of options, it was not a lack of acceptance anywhere  else, it was a matter of (imposed) choice.

My father had learnt that OOU had the best medical school in the country (as it did a baker’s-dozen years ago), and made me come here. Little did he know that after the crest came the trough, that after the zenith came the nadir, that after the peak came the depth.

And that’s where we are NOW.

My mates went to Unilag, UI, Uniben, Uniilorin… Of course they are House Officers now. They had hostels, generator-powered classrooms, school buses that they  could take to Intercollegiate Quizzes. I have none of that, and I’m still in school. What is worse? I contribute money to buy the class generator, and contribute money to procure fuel- yet the heat is not cured, so much that the lecturer brings her own fan to class.

You see, OOU is plagued by strikes. Internal, national, external, even extraterrestrial. And who pays? I! I lose time, I waste rents and fares and now fees? Many of my colleagues lost parents in this struggle. Many fathers (and mothers) paid the first  school fees of 15 000 but are not alive today to see us pay 150 000- all at no fault of ours! Yes, it saddens. I’m glad you feel my pains, but Prof does not- and cannot. Not while he’s Dean. Not while he expects me to book an appointment to see him. Not while he plays deaf, insensitive, insane.

Yet I don’t complain. I keep quiet through strikes- whether wise or stupid, whether precious or preposterous, whether logical or political. He gets paid for work he did not do; remember the ill-fated “No work no pay?” And, surprisingly, disappointingly, insanely, he expects me to pay for these lost sessions, for his unofficial leave, and, in essence, for his strike.

Does that sound sane to you? It doesn’t to me! You see, a sane mind comprehends that if you enter for a 6-year course, you pay for 6 sessions, provided you don’t repeat a class. Not so?

It is bad that School Fees have consistently increased over the years from 15 000 in 05/06 to 150 000 in 12/13 (indigene figures). It is worse that these new fees are applied across board. It is worst that I am now expected to pay for those times I wanted to learn but had striking lecturers. It is insane that I am threatened with rustication and expulsion for

You see, in Medical School more than anywhere else, my lecturers are meant to be models of character. And when they resisted, defied, Jonathan they taught me to do the same. It should therefore come as no surprise that I shall resist this insane directive.

Interestingly, his name also starts with J; Jonathan, not Jesus.

And before you tell me that a Medical Student ought not to protest, I will tell you that although I am sheep, I am not a fool. On the contrary, I am (believed to be) sharp in mind enough to comprehend Medicine- in all its mightiness.

And that it was on such sentiments that I accepted an irrational increase in school fees. It was on such sentiments that Prof denied me the opportunity of featuring in Uniilorin’s Medical School’s Health Week Quiz. It is on such sentiments that my school bus is allegedly usurped by members of Faculty. It was and is on such sentiments that… abegi, make I no bore you jare.

It is hightime I said “Enough is enough”. And, yes, I am saying it- the peaceful way. I believe in sanity and amicability. In Psychiatry, insanity is subdued with force- you don’t let a mad man roam around, you hold him against his will till he is well. And if Prof does not sempe, he risks force, he risks violence: he wants me to steal. I gladly told my parents that the
University had accepted that I would pay 6 school fees and no more. What do I say now? That there’s a new Pharaoh in Egypt who knowest not Joseph? Or that there is some (mental) instability at work?

Thomas Aquinas said, An unjust law is no law at all. I therefore have a choice to fight back with these peaceful, respectful, amicable, words, or to raise arms and defend my sovereignty. I hope Prof listens now. And I pray he doesn’t make me turn to violence.

For in the latter case there will be no respect for grey hair as I strive to pay 300,000 for last year and this- and seek 150,000 for next year’s.

And Prof, please, don’t ever threaten me with rustication for fighting for my rights when you don’t hesitate to demand yours from Dr J in Aso Rock.

The Constitution of Nigeria allows me freedom of speech and expression (I know it’s easy for you to forget that, and I forgive you). My training in Medical School allows me to make a provisional diagnosis. Everything aforesaid is by liberties guaranteed by either or both.

By inference, therefore, you are liable and I can sue you for infringing on my rights to freedom of speech and expression- and for delaying me unnecessarily in school. And I doubt I have slandered you, in which case I tender unreserved apologies apriori.

And I for add my name but you fit forget to remember say you no suppose threaten me or rusticate me. And I
have a suspended final MB to write. Even as I am in 400 level, and 300 level, and 200 level- all at once.

For I am tagless, nameless and faceless. I am the Spirit of the OOU Medial Student. I am the Truth.

Sue me!

Another concerned medical student.
OOU, Sagamu.