Intensive Content Creation & Marketing Course
In this Content Creation and Marketing course, you will practically learn how to create content that engages, sells and converts for your business or personal brand.
Content creation and marketing is a must-understood for any business owner, personal brand or professional who wants to build an understand and achieve profitable goals.
The Content Creation and Marketing Course by the Orifunke Lawal Academy is a 6-week intensive and practical instructor-led course for small business owners and personal brands looking to learn to create and use content to advance their brands.
Are You a Business Owner?
With effective content creation and marketing, you can build brand awareness for your business, learn tactics to build a community of loyal followers around your business, and move your followers and fans to paying customers. It is not enough to have products or tell people about your services, you must understand how the minds of people work and how content influences people’s buying decisions.
As a business owner, you will learn how to create content that:
- Builds awareness of your product offers and services
- Inspires people to want to join and be loyal to your community
- Gets converting users
Are You Looking to Build Your Personal Brand?
Building trust and authoritative thought leadership is not accidental. With practical content marketing and creation, you understand what works for your audience, how you can stand out from your competitors and how your paying customers can find you.
As a personal brand, you will learn how to create content that:
- Builds knowledge of, trust in and love for your brand and its resultant services and products
- Positions you as a thought leader in your industry and in the minds of your target audience
- Moves your base of fans into paying customers
What You Will Learn:
- The Fundamentals of Content Creation and Marketing
- Defining Your Target Audience and Build Buyer Personas for Your Business/Personal Brand
- Researching and Generating Ideas for Content Creation and Marketing
- Understanding the Building Blocks of All Types of Content (Long-form and Short-form, Image, Audio & Video) and Strategies that Work for Engagement, Traffic & Sales
- Understanding Content Distribution, Content Promotion and Content Repurposing
- Creating an Effective Content Strategy and Calendar
- Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Content Marketing Efforts and Strategies
- Different Content Creation Tools and How They Work (Organizational, Scheduling, Designing, Video Editing, Text Editing, Idea Generation, Tracking)
- Utilizing Marketing Funnels for Business and Personal Brands
- Content Optimization for Social Media Platforms and Search Engines (Google)
- FREE 10-minute One-on-One Introductory Consultation
- Live Classes
- 5-Week Instructor-Led Coaching
- Case Studies
- Extensive Exercises and Projects
- Community Work and Interaction
- FREE Access to Canva Designing Ebook and 21-Day Printable Designing Planner
- Secured internships for Best Students
- Examination, Certificate & Virtual Graduation
Course Starts: 22nd May, 2021.
Course Ends: 3rd July, 2021.
Venue: All video live trainings will be held via Google Meet while departments/support groups are hosted on WhatsApp.
Training Fee: N45,000 (66% OFF till 18th May, 2021)
CLICK HERE TO SECURE YOUR SEAT>>>> Content Creation & Marketing Course 66% DISCOUNT
Every day, people want to learn how to build a strong personal brand. This is important for several reasons. It can help you increase awareness, develop influence and thought leadership and also help you to gain clients and customers online. Personal branding is who you say you are and what people think, say and feel about you. This goes beyond just posting on social media or taking fancy photos. It is building an identity that people love and care enough to keep following any day.
I have been particular about helping people build strong personal brands for about three years now. I believe that the solution to a lot of people’s woes online (lack of opportunities, no customers) is to build a personal brand. So, when Akan Imoh reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and told me he wanted us to have a tweetchat session on this, it was one of the best things I could have said yes to at the time. Akan Imoh is a PR, Media and Comms Enthusiast who is interested in Business, Governance and Pop Culture. Last year, he contested for the position of Lagos State House of Assembly under KOWA Party. He is also the founder of The Boss Approach.
This blog post is a compilation of my tweetchat session with him, answering a number of questions that people usually answer over time. I have also modified this in such a way that I have included more than I shared during the session so that you understand better. Here are the topic ideas I touch on in this blogpost:
- Cross-Posting On Social Media Platforms to Maintain Visibility
- Tone and Voice in Creating Content
- Deciding a Niche
- Finding a Differentiating Factor for Your Brand
- Building a Strong Personal Brand as a Career Person
- Managing Your Personal Career Brand without Flouting Company Rules
- Personal Branding Toolkit
- Commercializing Your Brand
1. How Do You Manage Posting Across Various Social Media Platforms?
I understand that there are segments of my target audience who are on Instagram but not on Facebook or Twitter. There are others who are on Facebook but not on the others. I also have others on Twitter but not Facebook and Instagram. Then there’s the segment who follow me on all through. I know how important it is to reach all of these segments as much as I can. So I try to post across all my platforms at the same time.
For starters, I majorly use my IG insights to gauge when my followers will mostly be online then I post around that time. Once I’m done with that, I post on my Facebook and Twitter. This is because Instagram is the only tool that communicates insights of your business pages for free. You do not have insights for Facebook personal accounts (and I use one). I post on LinkedIn at peak periods like 1-2 pm where many business professionals are likely on break.
I just post at the same time (with the exception of LinkedIn) and I have noticed that it works great for me.
2. Do You Tweak Your Content to Adjust to the Tone of Each Platform? We All Know The Different Platforms Have Different Voices.
It depends on the kind of content. There are certain posts I do on Twitter that do not make it to IG or Facebook. There are also others that I post on my Facebook and maybe Instagram but they don’t show up on Twitter. Last week, I wrote a post on Facebook on why you shouldn’t resign from your work on the basis of salary increase without first asking for it. I didn’t post this on Twitter or Instagram. So, the kind of content I post and whether I adjust it to different platforms depends on the nature of the content, the length of the content too and the core tone of the content.
Let me explain: My posts on Facebook have a certain humorous undertone alongside storytelling. I am more likely to use humour to pass my message across on Facebook than on my other platforms. On Instagram, I maintain a storytelling style of providing helpful content for the people who follow me. On Twitter, I am mostly just sharing my thoughts in bits here and there.
Sometimes, too, if I have to cross-post, I tweak only a few things, reduce the one I post on Twitter and Instagram. And if I have to post on LinkedIn, I follow the same personal rules.
3. How to Handle Difficulty Settling for a Niche
I talked about this in my book, The Art of Social Writing. I also briefed on this in this Instagram post. I understand the struggles of people who have different interests because I am one of them. The truth is if you are relatively unknown, it is going to be harder for you to handle all the different things you can (and want to) do. So, I’d advise you to first focus on building awareness around your brand.
1. You can build awareness by:
- Consistently creating good content that people can share with others.
- Engaging with people in your field who have a wider reach
- Teaching in online classes
- Developing digital products for people
And a lot of these online classes and digital products will be free, let me tell you.
2. Start with one thing before moving to another
Decide what is most important for you to communicate and focus about 80% of your content on that. The remaining 20% could include other things you are also interested in but not as much as the dominant one. If you are unsure about the one that you are most interested in, you could focus on the one you are most skilled at.
3. Harness a skill that allows you to bring all of them together
Transferable skills like this help you to focus on different interests of yours while still communicating to people what your brand is about and what you can do for them. For instance, I am an amazing storyteller and because of this, I am able to talk about just about anything because most times, people love the stories.
4. Think about separating into brands
This is something you should do when you have built some awareness, though. Instead of lumping all your different skills and interests into your single personal brand, why not find a way to differentiate all of them into projects and brands that can have a meaning of their own? That way, you reduce your chances of being mentally overwhelmed and even when you have to drop some of them, you can do that without hurting the credibility of your central personal brand.
4. How do I Find a Differentiating Factor for My Personal Brand?
Sometimes, you will need to start the journey to building your personal brand before being sure about what stands you out. This is because the better your audience grows, the more they give you hints about exactly why they love you and follow you. They will be more open to giving you feedback about your person/personality. For instance, I have learnt that the major thing my audience loves about me is my writing/storytelling abilities. It wasn’t something I chose on my own. I only found out after consistently getting feedback from people who read my works.
As you develop your brand, don’t be shy to ask your followers questions. Why do you like me? What do you like the most about following me? What should I do more of? What should I do less of? This will give you ideas on your personal differentiating factor(s)
Finally on this question, sometimes you do not “find” a differentiating factor for your personal brand; you create it. “Finding” sounds tough. You can sit down, choose what you want your differentiating factors to be. It’s the same way businesses are supposed to create Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) that stand them out in a sea of other competitors.
5. Can I Still Build a Strong Personal Brand as a Career Person?
If you’re a career person, then it is all very important for you to build your personal brand even while you’re at that office, unless you expect to stay at the company forever without new opportunities. A good personal brand can:
- Expose you to new opportunities for growth and advancement within the company. A core part of personal branding is visibility, one of the skills you need to access promotion in most companies.
- Improve your visibility and credibility online, thereby giving you ease of access to different kinds of opportunities in your career.
- Help you cast a positive light on your organization, giving your brand a form of goodwill and reputation.
In fact, if you want to advance fast in your career, building a personal brand is crucial. It will set you apart and make the journey to the top a lot faster.
6. How do I Manage a Personal Brand without Contravening Company Policies or Regulations?
The first thing you should do is to be conversant with your company’s rules and regulations. Read your employment contract carefully and always ask your HR on further company policies. Most of the time, you being visible on social media platforms as a career person does not cause any issues with your company. However, you want to be sure that certain information you are sharing about your company is not private and confidential.
For example, you might want to talk about how your company won a particular client or raised a certain amount of money but it might be against company policy to divulge that to anybody who is not a member of the company. As a rule of thumb, stick to speaking about yourself, awards you win at work, commendable comments you get from co-workers, promotions, basically anything that has to do with you. But stay away from talking about anything that has to do with the company more than it has to do with you.
7. What Should Be In My Personal Branding Toolkit?
The key things in your toolkit should be your social media platforms (depending on the kind of personal brand you want to build and content you want to share). A website also helps to give you some form of credibility when you share quality content. However, if you cannot afford a website, you can use makeshift sites like Medium (if you do a lot of writing) and Disha or Linktree, to showcase your different skills and services. You can check out my Disha page here to see what I am talking about: Orifunke Lawal | Disha Page.
I would advise that you also start to build your email list so that you can send regular emails to your audience and build awareness that way. If you also have products to sell, having an email list makes it easy for you to do that, instead of struggling to find an audience. I use Mailchimp to grow my email list.
As you grow, you also need to consider having documents (e.g., PowerPoint slides) that communicate what you do and the value you bring to individuals and organizations so when you need to work with other people, it comes in handy.
You can commercialize your brand at any time. You can even set out immediately commercializing your brand. There are no hard and fast rules for making this happen. It all boils down to your strategy. Commercialize simply means finding ways to make money (monetize) from the value you provide to your audience.
There are really different ways to commercialize your brand. Here are some ideas:
- Speak at relevant events
- Organize a class online for a fee or collaborate with someone else who is organizing a paid class. You can use WhatsApp, Facebook groups, Webinars to host your classes.
- Create digital products relevant to your field or niche and put a price on them.
- Organize paid webinars
- Start a consulting business
The possibilities are endless. The important thing is to understand what works best for your audience and how they respond to paid stuff. All in all, you want to make sure that you are providing value that people need and want before they trust you enough to give you their money.
So, what did you think? Was this blog post helpful? Do you have any questions? Please use the comments below to share your thoughts and do not forget to share with your friends.
Unbowed Voices – An Orifunke Lawal Campaign is a storytelling campaign which features the different stories of Nigerian feminist women doing amazingly in their various fields. The campaign is planned to celebrate the theme for International Women’s Day 2020, #EachforEqual.
According to statistics, it would take the world about 202 years to achieve global gender parity. This is a long time, no doubt, and in a country like Nigeria and Africa, it might just take longer due to factors like poverty and a lower rate of development when compared to first-world countries.
It is especially harder that many people do not see the need to fight for gender equality. Many people do not also believe that women are largely disadvantaged in many areas of the country and in the world. Therefore, while we still have a lot of work to do regarding gender parity, it is crucial to always talk about who we are and what we do, not for us, but for others who need our stories to be able to keep fighting.
This particular campaign will run from March-April 2020. Stories will be shared on my social media platforms as well as on my website.
You can follow me on social media here:
Facebook: Orifunke Lawal
All my love,
“Lady with Balls”, a growing online community of ladies has launched its campaign for June tagged “#StrongIsShe”. The aim of the campaign is to share the self-told stories of women who are strong in their own rights. Every woman is strong, irrespective of whatever she has gone through or is going through. The objectives of the campaign are to:
1. Let people know that it’s okay to not have it all figured out before you tell your story. It’s okay to be a work in progress and still show the parts of you that make you strong.
2. Encourage other people who might currently be going through what you’re going through and who will derive encouragement and the balls to keep on keeping on.
The initiative which first began in July last year embarks on different campaigns every month in order to help members grow in capacity and continually support one another. This June is for the #StrongIsShe campaign.
To be a part of the campaign, read the following:
– Stories will be posted all through the month of June on the Lady-with-Balls’ social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
– You can choose to remain anonymous if there are details you would like to save your face for, and not necessarily just because you are shy.
– Stories are not meant to bring pity-party. They can be gruesome or crazy but at the end of the day, let us know how you are dealing and how you have dealt with it.
– If you do not claim anonymity, you will have to include your image (most preferably a clear non-selfie picture taken by a digital camera or a good phone camera, if possible). We will also need your email address so we can notify you if your story has been posted.
– Stories will NOT be altered but will be proofread and edited for errors for ease of reading of the audience.
– You can also join in the campaign by uploading a picture of yourself on IG, telling your story and tagging @ladywithballsng using the hashtags #ladywithballs and #strongisshe. Please, note that tagging us and using the hashtags is important so we can still find your story.
* * * * *
If you would like to send in your story, click on this link to fill in the form: #StrongIsShe – A Lady-with-Balls Campaign
To stay up-to-date with stories:
Follow Lady with Balls on Instagram: @ladywithballsng
Like Lady with Balls on Facebook: Lady with Balls
Follow Lady with Balls on Twitter: @ladywithballsng
Your Total Guide for Making Money on WhatsApp
I organized my first WhatsApp class three years ago… fearfully. I had felt a need to teach a number of individuals and brands how to use Twitter. I mean, I could use Twitter very well, knew the ropes and wanted to help other people know what I knew too. Right?
But I had an issue. I didn’t know if anybody would want to join an online class in learning how to use Twitter. Let alone even pay for it. I really felt there was someone out there who needed what I had to offer but I was scared of putting myself out there. Safe to say, I was scared of failing.
But I just told myself, “If nobody enrolls for my class, what would it remove from my life?” And that was the personal motivation I needed to put the word out there.
So I embarked on this journey. I did a design on Canva to help communicate what my Twitter class would be about and I shared it on my Facebook and Instagram pages. Before I knew it, I started having comments and messages. I almost couldn’t believe it. It was scary and crazy at the same time.
And with that, I organized my first WhatsApp class.
Since then, I have organized personal paid public and private classes on WhatsApp that have turned out very well in terms of participants and, of course, income.
Having organized regular WhatsApp classes, it baffles me as to why not many people have regular WhatsApp classes yet. With how much they’ve helped me in selling relevant products of mine and building networks with people I initially didn’t know, I don’t know why many people aren’t thinking in that direction yet.
- Make money easily and without stress
- Start with zero capital
- Grow your list so that you can keep selling and making money easily
- Increase your network so that people can refer you to others
- Develop thought leadership
- Say bye to being broke forever!
What Will You Learn?
If you buy this ebook, I am going to be teaching you how to:
1. Overcome your fear of organizing a WhatsApp class, whether free or paid.
2. Turn your interests, skills and/or ideas into topics that you can teach.
3. Decide if your topic ideas are sellable so that you do not waste time or money organizing a class that NOBODY will pay for. This is called validating your topic idea.
4. Set up your class like a Pro so that those enrolling can trust and respect you, long after the class.
5. Create publicity strategies for marketing your class.
6. Find, create and package excellent and useful content in various forms for your class participants.
7. Get people to pay for your class.
8. Convert your class into an online community of people who will always want to answer to you, your services or your products.
P.S: I would also be following you up and seeing to it that you actually organize your first class. Promise!
- E-book on Strategic Community Building
- 21-day Mentorship from me
- Free access to paid community of Fellow WhatsApp Course Creators
ABOUT ORIFUNKE LAWAL
Orifunke Lawal is a branding, marketing and corporate communications professional who loves to develop solutions for individuals, organizations and businesses.
She has organized numerous classes and trained up to 1,000 people collectively in topics such as branding for personal and business purposes, marketing, Search Engine Optimization, community building, to mention a few.
She is the founder of Lady with Balls, an organization that helps ladies achieve their biggest dreams through the right resources, trainings and support. She is also the founder of Graduate Mentor Africa, an initiative targeted at helping students and fresh graduates build wealth during and after their higher education.
My name is Orifunke Lawal and this is my Toptal scholarship entry. Toptal is undergoing a scholarship process for women this season. This scholarship includes being awarded funds to be able to fulfil your plans to change the world as well as a mentorship scheme to help guide you. I am entering for this scholarship because I want to be empowered to change the world; to change my world. To enter for the scholarship programme, click HERE
When I was a kid, my dad made me believe that I could change the world. He imbibed in me the belief that I could be as big as other “big” people on TV. I am an ambitious and driven individual and I would attribute that to his influence over my life while growing up. My dad’s desire for me to be an influential woman was so strong that despite the inadequacies of growing up in harsh conditions of lack and poverty, he was very particular about my getting good education and he ensured that happened. The idea was simple – all the “big” men and women he saw on TV were educated, so I also had to be soundly educated. If I was going to get to where they were, then I needed to be educated. Hence, today, education is one of the things I do not joke with. And, this also informs my firm belief that education is a priority and must-have for every child, regardless of prevalent social or economic conditions.
My dad taught me that I could change the world. The most important discovery I have made while growing up, however, is that to change the world, I have to first and foremost change my world. In essence, I really can only begin to change the world by starting with my immediate environment and community. I may not be able to travel all around the world yet because I presently do not have the means, but I can change the lives that I can afford to change from where I am at present; my immediate community.
I am a big dreamer, and as a personal life ethos I know I have enough dreams to last me a lifetime. I am passionate about young women being able to live the best versions of themselves. Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria opened my eyes to the dangers that uneducated, dependent and unempowered women face. I, therefore, continue to remain invested and active participator activities, causes and social ventures that engage in enabling women to become independent financially, mentally, psychologically and emotionally.
My vision to change the world
This year, 2018, I launched a community for young Nigerian women, I aptly called it “Lady with Balls”.
“Lady with Balls” is an online community that aims to inspire, impact and empower ladies t through vital resources, classes and a support system that actually works. At the moment, I run regular online classes for members of the community to teach them basic things that help them to be better for themselves, for their families and for their communities.
It is being a dream come true for me as I had been thinking about it for more than a couple of years. My drive is to build a community, a network of women, who are knowledgeable, confident and independent, having all the resources that they need to live the best versions of themselves. I am a huge believer in the fact that women who must change the world must first be educated, empowered and independent. So these past few weeks have witnessed me thinking and planning out ways by which I can get the lives of these women to be better.
My vision for the world is to change the lives of women by providing them with resources and opportunities to be empowered. It is not enough to tell these women to be strong, learn a skill or be educated without providing the opportunities to be. And while there sure seem to be chances like that, there is still a lot of work to be done, especially with regard to young ladies who have no access to education.
In order to this, I plan to organize events, workshops, online trainings and classes and provide them with as many structured resources as we can lay our hands on.
How I believe I can accomplish my goals
Here are three ways I plan to accomplish my goals:
1. By building sub-communities online under “Lady with Balls”, of women who will not only be taught but will also build one another. Truth be told, there is really nothing as much as being able to connect with other people who share the same passion and values with you. To accomplish my goal of helping women become educated, independent and empowered, I plan to build sub-communities. These sub-communities will cut across different ranges of sectors and they will include communities for:
-Female entrepreneurs (i.e those who have businesses and/or intend to build one);
-Young professional women (those who are employed or are seeking employment);
-For freelancers (otherwise referred to as creatives) and
The idea of these communities is to have young women of like minds come together, learn from a higher authority as often as is needed and learn from one another as well.
2. By organizing events, trainings, workshops and courses which will all be tailored to the needs and specifications of each member of the community. A popular mistake that a lot make is thinking that one size fits all when it comes to empowering people. Well, that’s not true. People have different thought patterns, backgrounds, interests and skills. Exposing and introducing them to the right kind of knowledge is crucial to be able to see results.
3. By having a regular (monthly or quarterly) outdoor outreach where I and hopefully a team of passionate minds like myself can keep reaching out to women and educating them enough to be empowered and independent.
4. By building a business around these goals (without bothering the beneficiaries) so that come what may, the dream is well-funded to continue.
Why I Need a Toptal Support
Changing the world like I want to would be difficult without the right kind of funds. With the 10,000-dollar scholarship from Toptal, I will be able to:
-Establish these young-women communities (as explained above)
-Organize regular life-changing and impactful professional events and workshops for young women.
-Organize trainings, classes and courses (both online and offline) that would facilitate the development of important skills that women need to have them empowered.
-Create a structure that not only allows me to bring that much-needed change to my community and in extension the world but also allows other people do their bit like I am/will continue to in changing their world and in extension the world.
Why I Need a Toptal Mentor
I believe the pace of life’s solutions is faster when taken on the heels of people that are already ahead. Mentorship will, therefore, afford me the requisite knowledge and learnings to do much more. In my research of the stories and impact of past winners of the Toptal Scholarship and I solidly believe that Toptal gives the right leverage I and a teeming population of individuals world over need to make those dreams a real and positive reality in the lives of other individuals like ourselves. Having a Toptal mentor will:
1. Allow me a better understanding of how to achieve my dreams; the aims and objectives of the goals I highlighted above.
2. Prevent me from making avoidable mistakes in the course of execution.
3. Help me learn all there is to learn about leading people and managing projects successfully.
Having well-articulated my vision, I strongly believe that I really can change the world with a Toptal Scholarship. Thank you, Toptal, for this opportunity!
What do you think every lady hates most about being a woman? No, sit down and imagine this if you are a guy.
Let me guess your guess (pun intended). You’ll probably say it’s having to do house chores or cooking. Or being hit on by guys she has no interest in. Whatever-
You want to know what I hate most about being a woman? No, it’s not house chores (of course, I hate house chores with a beautiful passion except for washing plates. I can wash plates for Africa)
No, it’s not cooking. Even though I have not cooked in a very long while as I hardly have the time to cook, I really really love cooking.
Oh, I do hate being hit on by guys I do not like in any way, especially by those Yaba vendors who always pull you to buy stuff when you’re passing by. But, no, I can still deal with that.
So what is it that I hate most about being a woman?
MENSTRUAL PERIODS!!! (insert crying smiley here)
Every time when it’s that time of the month for me, I always ask myself why on earth I have to go through the stress of having blood ooze from my body because I didn’t get pregnant. I mean… I can’t imagine bringing out blood from me for five days every month. (Actually, I can imagine because I do. Lol)
And you know what? I have a short menstrual cycle so most times, I have my cycle TWICE A MONTH. Imagine that? Imagine that!
I hate the pain that comes with it. But that’s not all…
I hate my emotional moodswings; how I can suddenly feel like crying for no reason ever or feel so sad.
I hate the feeling of hopelessness I usually have towards the start of my cycle and through it.
I have crazy and unusual cravings and I don’t even feel like eating that much when I’m on.
I hate the edgy feeling that comes and how every thing or everyone can be annoying.
And finally, I hate how big my cheeks get when it’s close to my period! I mean, people see me around this period and think I am gaining weight. (I just wonder what I would like when I am pregnant.)
The menstrual cycle is just a crazy cycle. I will never be able to understand what on earth I did to deserve it.
I know someone who is reading this would probably think it not right to write a post about menstruation but before you tell me anything, just know that I am currently on my period. You know what that means? It means I can be very edgy right now. So, don’t step on my toes. Thanks.
Which brings me to ask… why do people feel uncomfortable about talking about or listening to any talk about menstrual cycles? I strongly think that a lady shouldn’t be shy and uncomfortable about her period. And sensible guys should know that having a menstrual cycle is just normal and you should treat it just as it is- normal.
If you have a girlfriend, one of the things that you will need to know is when your girlfriend is on her period and also to know the different feelings that come along with it for her. It would help you to handle her better and not feel awkward if she does something you don’t particularly like during this period.
Just saying, anyway.
I should snap out of how I feel in two or three days. I’ve not stopped taking sugary stuff anyway. I have found out that taking sugary things gives me the sugar rush that I need or else, I’d just be so so dull.
Thank you for reading.
See you again, soon.
P.S: ALL GIFs gotten from GIPHY
I am going to tell you three personal lessons I learnt from the stranger who kissed me today. Today, something that has never happened to me since I started living in Lagos happened to me and I found it very very humorous. I am still laughing to myself even as I remember it. Loool. Every day on my way to work, I walk from my home to the Napep park which takes me to where I’ll board another bus before I eventually get to my office. The walk from my home to the park is about ten minutes on days when I am not in a hurry and have enough time to a catwalk down. Today was one of such days. My home is very close to the road so I have to walk across it; more like cross and cross and cross and cross again to get to the other side. (I hope you get the picture I am trying to paint)
So, as I made my first two crosses and waited for the next road to be clear again, (I really don’t know but…) I felt the urge to look behind to the road I had just crossed. And to my amazement, I saw this young driver pouting his lips and blowing me a kiss just as he continued to drive by. I stopped in my tracks and hurriedly tried to analyze his face to know if he was someone I probably knew from somewhere. He didn’t stop for a minute or second, he drove off after sending me the kiss.
I crossed the remaining laps of the road wondering if what I had just seen was real or if the guy was okay in his head. But by the time I had crossed, I was already laughing so hard that I had to stop to laugh my heart out. It was funny for reasons I do not know. While somebody else might have seen it as offensive or what not, I honestly do not know why I found it extremely funny that a stranger blew me a kiss… in Nigeria.
I took to my Facebook and posted about it and the incident lingered in my heart all through the day. While I do not know this young man’s reason for blowing me a kiss, I have deducted some vital lessons that that occurrence taught me today. And I hope you learn from it too.
ONE, Sometimes, you don’t need to bring heaven down to make somebody smile. Many times, we think our heads out looking for things to make random people smile but we forget that the little, insignificant things may count. I have been thinking all day, what if I just make someone smile by blowing them a kiss in transit tomorrow? They’ll probably think I’m crazy, no doubt, but I’ll be in transit so they won’t be able to know me or recognize me. Abi? Loool.
TWO, If you want to be remembered, be memorable. This is especially one vital branding lesson you may not always get to hear. But if you want people to remember you as a person or as a brand, you have to do something that will make them remember you; something extraordinary; something that would make you stay on their mind and, as a mentor would say, at the back of their heads. And no, it doesn’t have to be kissing them. Haha!
THREE, A little silliness is needed for some sanity in this life. Sometimes I find myself so down and too much into work. These times are very important opportunities for me to be silly and to have some good laugh. And usually, I get my good laugh by “looking for people’s trouble”. In the end, I get a good laugh, the other person does as well and life is fine. I think sometimes we need to get off that platform of seriousness that the adult life has offered us and act like kids once again, making other people feel good while we feel good. Or what do you think?
One of these days, when I finally have my full mind, I might just blow a kiss to someone I do not know and who does not know me as well. The memory would keep me laughing for as long as I can remember.
Hello, dear readers! Welcome to today’s session of the #FreshGradTales. Today, we have a young beautiful lady who I have spoken with and really do admire. I’d refer to her as a woman of strength and ambition. Her name is Kemi Farinde and she is a graduate of the Building department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She currently works with a company where she is practising as a builder. And lest I forget, she actually served as the president of her department in her final year on Campus. I do know you would enjoy this.
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How would you describe your journey through the university?
First, I would like to say thank you, Orifunke Lawal, for the beautiful job you are doing on this platform.
My journey on campus was tiring and stressful but sweeeettttt, fun and challenging. Every experience was worth it, truthfully speaking.
If you had an opportunity to start all over again, would you still pick your university? Why or why not?
Lol, no oooo…ah, I would love to experience other institutions, their calendar, standards and all.
Tell us about your relationships, maybe?
I have had two relationships. The first one was for over five years while the second was for eight months. I am turned off from relationships presently. I just want to invest all my energy in myself and anything that concerns me asides relationship. When the right person comes, then I can be in one. But right now?, my dear, NO.
My experience has been bad. In my first relationship, we shared different values and he was violent. The second one broke up with me because I bought ordinary 4,500naira weavon with my freaking money and he assumed I spent lavishly. And then his senses got awakened that I do social media too much.
What challenges did you have as a student?
Challenges? I had a whole lot of them. Was it the part where I had to sleep in classrooms because I had no accommodation in part two? Abi the part that my G.P dropped drastically in part 3 because I was carried away by different part-time jobs that I had to do to survive, and lots more. But see ehn, all those things never weakened me, instead, I saw them as opportunities to perform excellently; which I did.
Would you say you had any achievements? If yes, what are they?
Oh yes, I did. I led my department as the President for a session and it was awesomeeee. I understood what it felt like to starve, I understood what it felt like to be faced with challenges above, so I ensured the students didn’t have to go through those things. Life was easy for them, but it wasn’t for me. We were able to provide welfare packages for students, visitation, packages worth more than their dues, a talk show with free food (smiles). We were able to raise enough funds (a’int telling you guys how much), we bought a printer, concrete mixer and poker vibrator for the department, we renovated the studios, we gave all our lecturers packages and the week was awesome.
Oh, and despite all my travelling and “Joyful Noise” (my fellowship’s anniversary), I still finished with a 2.1.
What advice do you have for those who are still students in higher institutions and those who are looking at going to school soon?
See, you need to have a passion before you can even cope. Your passion drives you, it motivates you personally. Don’t ever be distracted nor disappointed in yourself. If you know you have failed then strive not to fail again. Talk to people. Your ego and silence won’t help anyone in the end, my dear. Walkaway from people with bad testimonies . You can do alllllll things, that’s what the scriptures say.
Any final words?
Keep believing in yourself. You are not limited by anything. Know your weaknesses, your strength and never settle for less. You don’t even know all you can do except you try. Don’t walk alone. And never stop loving God. In the beginning and the end, it’s still God. But don’t leave God with all and be sleeping… Lol, you are on a jonzing things o. I wish you nothing but God’s best. Soar!!!
Thanks, Miss Orifunke Lawal. God bless you and keep being an impact. Let’s stay blessed.
I remain Farinde Kemi And I am a Builder.
As much as proposals are the order of the day all around the world, it is also not unusual to hear or see instances where the lady rejects a marriage proposal from her man; or in recent cases in Nigeria where it was the other way around. And beyond what we see in the media daily, I am sure there are other countless men whose proposals are rejected by their women.
This is an interesting phenomenon, I must say. I have been particularly thrilled about failed proposals. I always want to know why she said no if they had been dating for a while. What went wrong? Was it her? Was it him? Was it them? WHY? The bigger and more significant question I always seem to have on my mind is, “So, what next? Where do they go from there? Do they retrace their steps? Or should they say goodbye?” Because I am naturally inquisitive, I have raised this question with small groups of people (guys, especially).
“If you ask a girl to marry you and she says No, would you continue with the relationship?”
Last week, I also took a poll on my social media platforms where I asked people this same question. And as with every poll, I got varying responses. Most of the people who responded made it known very clearly that there was absolutely no need for the relationship to continue while others did make provisions for the fact that there could have been a reason.
Well, I am one of the few people who think that saying No to a proposal should not necessarily mean the end of a relationship.
I mean, I know it’s a serious thing if she says No to your proposal but I think calling the relationship quits as a result of that might be too extra. And I do have my reasons.
WHAT IF SHE IS NOT READY?
I am in a relationship with someone I do love and see myself marrying sometime in the nearest future but sometimes, I have had to ask myself what I would do when this guy is ready to get married and I am not ready yet. Would he ask me why and find out? Or would he call it quits?
Some people think he should at least be knowledgeable enough to know when I’m ready or not. But the problem with this premise is that this can be quite confusing, especially if he wants the proposal to be a surprise. What if he is convinced that she is ready because she looks or talks ready but is not ready mentally?
I think we really should consider the possibility that a woman can really love a man, see a future with him but indeed, not be ready when he pops the question; and sometimes, it is not about whether she is ready to submit or not or whether she is financially stable as she wants. Sometimes, it is just psychological and in a lot of cases, you can’t just explain the exact unready-for-marriage feeling that you have.
It is important to remember that a man will NEVER ask for a woman’s hand in marriage until he thinks he is ready, even if she has been ready for it for long. He might not be financially ready and all and sometimes, he is just not mentally ready. It doesn’t reduce the love he has for her, neither does it mean he’ll push himself to get married because she wants to get married.
If the man most likely would not ask the question unless HE is ready, then why should there not be a consideration of the possibility that she might not be ready too? Should she automatically be ready because he is ready? Or, is it only the man who needs to get mentally or psychologically ready for marriage?
Being ready is not only talking like you’re ready. It might not even be talking about marriage. It is not looking like you’re all ready and ripe.
Asking the WHY question
So, here’s my submission. If she says No to a proposal, there should be questions asked; Why?
-Is it that she doesn’t see a future with him at all?
-Or is it that she is not ready (Maybe he asked too early)?
If it’s the latter, then do well to ask WHY she is not ready.
The responses should inform your next step; whether to stay and chill or find someone else. As for me, however, God knows I am not going to say Yes to a marriage I am not prepared for (and I know he definitely would not ask me without knowing if I’m prepared).
Or, what do you think?