“VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING I DO THAT FETCH ME INCOME, MORE THAN MY SALARY, IN MULTIPLES OF FOLD COMES FROM THE COMPUTER. I ACQUIRED COMPUTER WITHIN THE SHORT HOLIDAY…” Don Okechukwu, Lecturer and Human Capacity Builder
“Time is money” goes a popular saying. Many youths and students hardly realize this. Little wonder many of them see their holiday as time for sleep, resting and long hours of seeing movies. “I can’t wait to finish these exams and start seeing my movie collections” says Onyinye, a university student. But Don Okechukwu, a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Geology Department and Human Capacity Builder, with emphasis on youths and students, holds a different view. For him holiday is “a time for personal development aside academic curriculum.”In this interview, he told Joseph Dinwoke, of Brojid.com how students should spend their holiday, his best and worst holiday experience and how the use of his holiday has positioned him for multiple stream of income.
Please tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m Nebedum Okechukwu Donald; lecturer at the department of geology, University of Nigeria Nsukka. One thing that guides my life is creating value and building potentials.
What do you think is the definition of holiday for a student?
My definition of holiday is a time of break from rigorous academic work but it is also a time for personal development aside academic curriculum.
How do you think a student should spend his holiday?
I strongly believe that a student should spend his holiday time finding out things that gives joy that can solve potential problems and developing himself in that direction. It is the skills and talent within you that you have developed that will make you wealthy and holiday is the time to develop such skills and talents. The talent you developed is what is going to make you very important. Because all you do during academic session is to read, study according to curriculum to pass exam, holiday is the right time to develop the skills, talents and potentials that will make you relevant.
Please what are the steps a student should take towards developing his/her potential and acquiring skills?
First, whoever wants to build potential that is relevant must understand trend and begin to predict possible challenge of the world, probably, in the next ten years. In the world of today, people who rule are those that understand trend. As you begin to develop yourself to be able to fit into solving that problem, you are building capacity. By the time the world got there; while people are thinking of how to proffer solution, you have solution already.
If you watch history, you will notice that men, who have made it, all made it this way. Look at facebook: the originator of facebook did it when there was nothing like social network that could connect people from different walks of life or those that have any relationship. After he started, so many others started but none of them is a rich as him. They may work harder than him, develop more competent software but they can’t beat him because he was the first to start. He has built the connection – the market. So, a lot of people would prefer to advertise with him than to advertise elsewhere. By the way, the business world is not governed by the best product per se but the best advertised one.
Another thing is that he who is given to pleasure will never be rich- this is a biblical opinion. As an example, the originator of facebook, his friends will draw comic and he will put it into video game and they will be playing but he himself will not play. But his friends will be playing and feeding good. If you join the club of spectators, there you will remain forever; but of you want to think outside the box, you must learn to do something different. If you do just what everybody does, you will certainly end up like everybody. If you want to be different, dare to do something different. So, students should utilize their holiday towards their dream, read something outside your course and see how they can be channeled to solve human problem.
When you have a dream, you should develop a workable strategy to actualizing your dream. By this I mean practical strategy that can actually be applied. This is usually borne out of days of sitting down in meditation, reflection and pondering judging your strategy with the strictest kind of criticism. If it passers strictest test of criticism add hard work to it and it will jump possible hurdles.
Most of the time; people burn their time on frivolities, they want to flex with their time, sleep all night yet be greater than Bill Gate. They also want to flex at clubs and c laugher and all comedy nights, social gatherings and pinging and then manna will fall from heaven. It’s not possible!
When you want to get to the top but are not wise enough to know what will take you to the top, go and study the lives of others and see what they have done and correlate those attributes. If you can see those attributes in about five persons, know that it is a principle. If you go by those principles, you will certainly join their club.
It’s not about who you know. It’s about what is residing inside; because even the Bible said, “A man’s gift makes a way for him and prepares him to meet with the great.” It’s all about what is inside first before you talk about who you know. There is something you will know now and your status will change now as we are talking. He that increases in knowledge increases in strength (capacity).
It’s important for you to sit down and find out the things that are lacking in the pursuit of your dream and begin to build yourself up knowledge- wise in that area. It may be difficult; in fact, if it’s easy, it will be cheap.
When you increase in knowledge, you increase the capacity of what you can do that others cannot and that’s exactly what people will pay for.
Sometimes one takes bold step in pursuit of one’s dream but experiences failure. What spurs you to action when you have such experience?
That’s where conviction comes in. what is your conviction? What are you passionate of? Men who make it in life are not those who have never tasted failure but men who said this failure status is not mine and I must make it. There are two options-it’s either I make it or I make it. That is, making it is the only way. When you try something and it didn’t work, come back to it and find out where the problem is; adjust certain things and try it again. Continue that way until you succeed. It’s about making up in your mind not to give up.
You said that students should read outside their curriculum during holiday. Please what should guide their choice of material to read?
Read things that are in the direction of your passion that has the potential of solving problems of humanity.
In the quest for developing skill and working on ones passion, one will come to point where one will work under people. What is your prescription for peaceful and effective coexistence between the student and the trainer?
The truth is this: if you want to get to your destination faster, find someone who is already there. It will save you a number of years in exponential order. It took Jesus thirty years (30) to manifest what he manifested but his disciples caught it in only three (3) years. A scientist (Isaac Newton) said that his achievement is largely because he stood on the shoulders of giants. You stand on the shoulders of giant by coming closer to people who have attained or are higher than you in the direction you are going and stay with them and serve them. Sometimes, they may not have the comply attitude that you have in your mind that someone should possess. They may be hostile but you know what you are looking for, so swallow the shit, and submit to their government though they may be very close to Satan. You know exactly what you are looking for. You are not looking for his attitude you are looking for what he knows.
King Saul, even though the Holy Spirit has departed from him, God still brought David under him. He did not break the yoke of Saul over his life like what many young people will do today. If you will endure, and learn, you will get whatever he got shorter than it took him to get there.
I’m not saying one should copy the life of one’s mentor, that’s not what I’m saying. Learn as much as will be beneficial to you.
What do you think should guide a student’s choice of location for holiday?
Everything still boils down to passion. Where can I find my passion? (Cuts in)
What about relations that have money to give you but your passion is not in their location?
If you want to be feeding from hand to mouth, you can be moving from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt to Warri where you think the money is flowing. But if you want to be the one giving out the money you should go to where you will acquire the skill that will make you able to give to another person. Note that those people that leave in Lagos and Abuja were not trained in Abuja. For your information, God’s design is that people who are trained in cities are to work in rural areas and those trained in rural areas are meant to work in cities. It sounds ridiculous and awkward but it’s true if you watch diligently and observe trends. David was trained in the wilderness for the palace. But Mosses was trained in Pharaoh’s but he served in the wilderness.
Please share with us your worst and best holiday experience
My worst holiday experience was my (Junior WAEC) JSCE holiday. Where did I go to? I traveled to Onitsha. What sponsored that? The business tycoon because it is commercial town. After the holiday (a month), they bought me assorted kinds of dresses some of them very high quality that is till wore them for like seven (7) years and gave them out. But that was still my worst holiday. (Cuts in)
I just stayed in a compound where they hardly allow me go out. I sit down and see movies all day long. If I had known what I know now then, what that holiday would have fetched me will outlive those cloths.
Your best holiday experience?
I can’t really say which of my holiday experience the best but is after my experience in Onitsha, I vowed that it won’t repeat itself. Today, virtually everything I do that fetch me income, more than my salary, in multiples of fold comes from the computer. I acquired computer skill within the short holiday between SSCE and getting admission (I got admission the same year I wrote SSCE).
I don’t have facebook account, not because I’m ignorant of what is going on there but sometimes, I will turn on my computer but will not be able to check my mail box not to talk of having time for facebook. There are several things I need to do on the internet beyond chatting and communing.
A woman told his children: you will never watch television again in this house until you make people watch you. I tell you, people will gladly pay you for what you can do that they can’t as long as they need that thing. That is business. So you develop yourself to that level during times like holiday.