Names have meaning in Africa, real meanings. African’s don’t bear names like brown, white, stone and names without significance. Nigerian names in particular like Hebrew names have deep meanings. Some of them are prophetic names, names that carry an aura and have a confidence bolstering effect on the child that bears it. In challenging moments, a Nigerian child typically draws inspiration from his or her name. My name is Adeolu Akinyemi, that literally means the crown of God and one who should be courageous. Being the crown of God means that I will be seen and I will be heard, I will not just be seen, I will be seen together with the divine, it also means there is something about me that has to do with authority, I’m a symbol of leadership e.t.c. Don’t you just want to name your child Adeolu? LOL.
Uzoamaka on the other hand, is my daughters Ibo name. It means the road is beautiful or may the road be smooth or good. It’s not a name that speaks for her alone, it’s name that speaks of us her parents as well. One word I can say most clearly describes my experience in the course of championing the course of the New Nigeria Club is Uzoamaka, the road has been smooth. The buy-in from reputable Nigerians has been phenomenal. The response from corporate organizations has been stunning and from intelligent people, awesome. The high point in my day today for example, was seeing Mrs Oby Ezekwesili (the VP of the World Bank and former honorable Minister of Education) from a distance, and wondering how to meet with her, wondering if she’ll remember me from the last time I saw her over 5 months ago. As fate would have it, we coincidentally met outside the building of the event, and I approached her. Her response shocked me and still stuns me as I write. She turned to me, shook my hands with pride and excitement and said, “wow, look at this young man, how is the New Nigeria Club initiative going?” I was shocked that she not only remembers me, but knows what we are currently working on. This is a woman I respect so much, hold in high esteem, and we had gotten a recommendation from Prof Pat Utomi to approach. She was aware, excited and only needed updates about NNC. The road is indeed smooth.
Her handshake, smile and few words of confidence and excitement about the New Nigeria Club are positive reinforcement enough to drive things to to the limits of my abilities. It’s not only the generation of our children that expects much from us, even the generations of our parents have hope in us. We are not the leaders of tomorrow we are the leaders of the future. We are the ones who will take Nigeria into it’s enviable future.
Every time it occurs to me, that every company we have met till date, every leader we have spoken to, everybody who’s input mattered has responded to us in the affirmative. Increasingly I’m seeing that what we need from the people that see the future is not their money, but their endorsement. I remember the day we went to meet with Prof. Pat Utomi, his swift understanding of our system and his immediate action backed support dazzled me. He said two things I remember vividly… this is an idea whose time has come, and the only reward for hard work, is more work. The more I think about it, the more I see that the road has been smooth, God has been good.
For everyone who has dared to embrace the New Nigeria dream, and joined the New Nigeria Club, I have one prayer for you. Uzoamaka! May your journey be easy, may things work for you. May you encounter favor in alarming dozes, may kings rise up to support you and queens volunteer to nurse you. May your light shine beyond where you are visiby present. May it be well with you! There is a divine grace on what we have set out to achieve together, the creation of a New Nigeria is an effort backed up by God. May this grace, reach your career, your business and your future!