THIRTY AND SEVEN YEARS: Oluwaseun


hdb facebook creative [1024x768]It was October 31st

Many years back

The whines of the new baby filled the room

He brought joy that hearts could not resist

And songs of gratefulness on the lips of all

The Akinola-Akisanmi-heir had finally arrived

Oluwaseun!

“Omo oko ni”

The true son of his father

With traits passed on; the world couldn’t deny,

That another Akisanmi had just landed the earth

Proof that blood is thicker than water

He grew;

Wise and brilliant, resilient and ambitious

Like Joseph, full of dreams waiting to be birthed

and like Jesus, with purpose paramount on his heart.

He had grounds to break,

Heights to climb and impossibilities to dare

And these things, he had resolved to do

When the burdens, responsibilities and trials hit hard,

And no succour was in sight,

Then the Light came,

And they walked it all through.

PS: they still walk that path through

His youth, full of experiences

His busy fingers never failed to pour

His journal; daily encounters still receive

Some revealed, many stuck in pages

“It’s not just possible”

How his ears so detest to hear the words

Because the entirety of his living

Has defied the impossibilities

Role model, teacher, mentor and father

Just one left; loving husband

The sands of time have received a man; yet great

The previous years, I must say have been;

Years of building scars,

And raising a star,

Fighting battles,

Winning some; losing some

Your humility, resilience and integrity

These things amaze me

Your pursuit of excellence

They’ve not been fruitless

Your writing, words and actions,

Blessings indeed they have been

In all these thirty and seven years

One thing I must say

Oluwaseun

#HBDMrSeun

Boluwatife AKINDELE

*omo oko means one’s legitimate child

*Oluwaseun: All thanks be to God

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….And then She KISSED me


Earlier this month, I was invited by the leadership of Daystar Christian Centre to render one of my poems at their forthcoming Excellence in Leadership Conference. It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to bless thousands of people with a 5-minute rendition that was composed almost a decade earlier in my time of pain.

November 6 arrived and I found myself on the “pulpit” at approximately 10:58am. After reciting a poem that was appropriate for the theme of the conference (Corruption-Free Leadership), the applause and “congratulatory” messages I got was overwhelming. All of a sudden, it SEEMED I had become a celebrity overnight. One of my colleagues at work later told me that he got up at the end of the recitation and shouted (to the “pretty” lady beside him) “THAT IS MY BOSS RIGHT THERE”.

seun akisanmi excellence in leadership conference

With Pastor Sam Adeyemi giving me a handshake, Pastor Nike Adeyemi giving me a thumbs up, Fela Durotoye asking for my contact details…..I wondered what was it really that I did that touched their hearts. Whatever it was, it was titled “Corruption: Not an Option” and it resonated a determination within the hearts of the audience that it was possible to live a life void of corruption in a corruption-congested society.

And so it happened that as I attended Day 2 of the conference, I met one of my photography protégé at the entrance of the church building. Before I could say “Hi”, she hugged me and gave me a kiss on my right cheek. I was shy, I felt nervous, I was awe-struck. “That was the first time I’ll see you recite a poem on stage and I just want you to know that I’m proud of you and I’ve missed you”. Those were her words.

If you were eavesdropping on the 40 seconds encounter we had together, you would have thought that Seun Akisanmi was having an affair with someone who couldn’t make it a secret anymore. It all happened so fast that I didn’t see it coming. “Thank God” was all I could say to her. Perhaps it felt more awkward because I was carrying my 235-days-old daughter and she was staring at this aunty that just gave her dad a kiss. I could have sworn that my daughter thought she was my girlfriend.

In a way I could sense the state of her heart….the lady’s heart, that is. She was proud to be associated with someone she would consider a success & role-model by her definition. I knew she had no “corrupt” motives. But then it got me thinking. With this level of fame, it would be easy for me to get into an extra-marital affair with a lady that holds me in such high esteem. Afterall, some of our leaders in church & society seem to be doing it. Instead of saving her real name on my phone, I’ll probably just save it as “Akeem Battery-Charger” or “Gas Cooker Messenger” so that my wife will not be suspicious. Infact, with a church of this size I could easily have 7 girlfriends that will be servicing me for each different day of the week. It will be so easy.

And then it occurred to me that “whatsoever is hidden shall be brought to light” and that it will only take a matter of time for the thing I do in the “secret places” to be made manifest to the world. Just like the poetry recitation was able to reach over 10,000 people within a 5minute time frame (though no one saw me when I was composing it in October 2004), my act of “corruption” would reach a greater number at a faster rate. I made a decision that in my marriage, corruption will not be an option.

Subsequently I realized the burden & pressure that is being placed unconsciously on people that are regarded as stars, role-models or celebrities. People expect a higher standard of living from their role-models. Consequently, I now have to think twice (& sometimes thrice) before doing things like beating the traffic light, urinating in public places or “fighting” with a driver that just collided with my 2012 BMW 540i ActiveHybrid car. That really got me thinking.

Consequently, I made a resolution that no KISS or LADY or JOB or PERSON or SITUATION will be given the authority to mar the great destiny that awaits me. I know it won’t be easy and that’s why I’ll deliberately surround myself with people and resources that will help me to declare BOLDLY without any compromise that CORRUPTION WILL NOT BE AN OPTION.

 

Life Lessons From Van Damme & Volvo Trucks


By the time you’re through reading this and watching the 77 seconds video embedded within, over 10124 people would have been inspired to be the best at what they do.

It happened on November 16. As I logged unto the University of Internet to get my daily dose of inspirational education, I stumbled upon the 77 seconds video that Volvo Trucks did with Van Damme. I did not hesitate to click on the link and within one minute of watching it, I discovered that the teary gland in my eyes had resumed from their 5 month break; I was in tears.

Now, wait a minute before concluding that this Seun Akisanmi is too teary for your liking. You see, I’ve been on a recent journey to learn and digest as much information as possible that will help me in the pathway of destiny that has been set before me. Hence my reason for ensuring that I’m connected to an internet that will be a platform of continuous education for me. What stood out of the advert and jumped right into my face (hence causing the tears to burst out) was a lesson God had been impressing on my heart lately: the importance of being the best at what you do. Eventually if you’re diligent at harnessing the talents & gifts that has been entrusted into your life (and don’t you dare insult God by saying you don’t have any gifts/talents), eventually you will stand before kings and not mere men. Here was Van Damme, an actor that many of us have associated with martial arts fight scenes in movies in the 90s. What on earth is he doing associating himself with Volvo Trucks?

Apparently, there must have been a marketing meeting at Volvo trucks months ago when someone popped up a question: “Which brand can we associate our brand with that will ultimately help increase the sales of the latest edition of our trucks?” A few names popped up but Van Damme was concluded on for reasons only known to them. Perhaps it was because he happened to be one of the very few celebrity actors that could perform such a stunt. Perhaps because he doesn’t seem to have a notable stain on his image/brand. Either way, I’m sure Volvo Trucks is impressed at the amount of views the advertisement is getting now.

Consequently, I resolved to be consistent at whatever it is I’m doing now that many people might consider irrelevant (albeit they’re very relevant to my distant future). I resolve to keep writing, training and inspiring people to stand out and be the best at whatever they do (not just photography). Eventually, my seemingly tiny steps of dedication and commitment will get the attention and audience of the people/organization that matters. And although I might not be driving fine cars or using the latest photography gadgets now, theses steps of dedication will ultimately lead to me having to choose which company’s ambassadorship proposal I want to go with in 2020. It was almost as if all the years of practicing that particular stunt seems to be paying off for him now.

I was reminded of the poem I recited at a recently concluded Leadership Conference. I had written the poem (Corruption: Not an Option) approximately 9 years ago. I had even recited it about 5 times within the last 9 years. I eventually gave up on poetry because I felt it wasn’t bringing food to the table of my family of 4. After the recitation I did on November 6, I got a call from a gentleman who asked for my full name over the phone. He asked to see me in person and when I eventually saw him, I was thanked for being a blessing with the recitation and given an envelope that included a check that will put food on my family’s table for 6 months. YES, 6 months feeding allowance. In my heart I fainted when I saw the figure. I almost thought there must be a mistake somewhere. I was getting rewarded for a 5 minute poetry recitation (that took me 2 weeks to compose in October 2004) with an amount greater than what some wedding clients will pay eloPhotos for their wedding photography. I was shocked. I was in tears. And I was inspired to utilize to the greatest heights all the talents that has been entrusted within me.

And that is why I cried when I saw the Volvo Trucks commercial. I’ve watched it over 10 times in the last 3 days and each time, it moves me to inspirational tears. I will be the best at what I do. I will not just walk past on the sandy path of life, I will make a mark. I will not just be a photographer, father, friend, cinematographer, poet or son….I WILL ADD the word “INSPIRATIONAL” to all those roles. Enough of my babbling. Watch the video.

 

A Poem Called HONESTY


The event was Daystar Christian Centre‘s Excellence In Leadership Conference (ELC). We were all to report at the venue of the conference on Wednesday morning to attend the general session. Mr Seun was privileged to be one of the speakers; He was there to recite a poem titled, “Corruption: Not an Option”. Apart from attending the conference, I also had the privilege of babysitting Mr Seun’s seven month old baby, Ebenezer, who I like to call “Ebby”. She was calm for the most part but towards the end of the session, she figured my face wasn’t familiar enough so she started squealing. Babies have their special way of announcing, “I want my mama! This is not my mama”. It was an interesting experience.

Back to the conference, when it was time for Mr Seun to be called out on stage for his recital, he was introduced as Seun Ofure, (Ofure is his wife’s name). I remember thinking that was a stage name of some sort. Well, it wasn’t. He came up and re-introduced himself as Seun Akisanmi. The poem recital was complete with theatrics and a strong message; the crowd loved it. I didn’t think people appreciated poems that much. It got me thinking about my poem writing skill that I’ve kept on the shelf for so long. So I decided to share one of my poems with you this week and what better poem to share than the one that talks about one of the core values of eloPhotos: Honesty

Nothing speaks like it
Standing for the truth in every situation
Even when it isn’t popular,
Even when one stands to lose something dear- a job, an esteemed position, friendship… whatever – being honest at all times makes one outstanding.
An honest man is always dependable
You can be sure you’ll get the truth from him
No matter what- even when his neck is on the line.
In this age when it seems truth has no value
And it’s winner takes all
Do not be deceived, even dishonest people value honesty in others.
Employers value it in employees
Parents value it in children
Without it, friendship is nothing but a joke
It is priceless, so
Dare to be different,
Dare to be HONEST

Composed by Ronke Alao