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Jobs/Vacancies / Re: Graduate Upstream Trainee Programme 2021 At Sahara Group by HonSTONE(m): 12:26pm On May 26, 2021
This is my first virtual test to throw me off balance. Few minutes past 10, the system I was to used stopped connecting to the internet.

I had to delete some things and eventually use my bad laptop. Started the first stage, then my laptop stopped connecting. Power went out. It was bad.

Started the process like three times.
I eventually started my test at 10:45am.

I just did guess work and submitted.

Till we all win.

1 Like

Career / Re: KPMG Aptitude Test 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 9:19pm On May 17, 2021

Please add me to the whatsapp group 08107772997

Please add me to the group too
Jobs/Vacancies / Re: Flutterwave Internship by HonSTONE(m): 3:39pm On May 08, 2021
Any news on the flutterwave internship yet??
Jobs/Vacancies / Re: Flutterwave Internship by HonSTONE(m): 1:26pm On May 04, 2021
I am not pulling your leg guys, flutterwave sent a congratulatory mail already. Interview is on Wednesday via zoom. I wrote the test on monday, and monday was the deadline for the test.
Any news from them yet?
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 12:28pm On Apr 23, 2021
These guys are taking too much time for their recruitment. Its over a month now and no new update from them
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 4:27pm On Apr 16, 2021
Any news from IEL?
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 9:27pm On Mar 31, 2021

Just finished my interview with them. It was brief and straight forward though.

Success to everyone

What were the questions asked please?
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 4:10am On Mar 24, 2021
please when did you receive yours ?
Yesterday afternoon
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 4:09am On Mar 24, 2021

Were you contacted?
Yes, yesterday
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 4:14pm On Mar 23, 2021
Check your mail.

Interview invite has been coming in.
Nairaland / General / Re: Income Electrix Limited IEL Graduate Trainee Programme 2021 by HonSTONE(m): 1:32pm On Mar 12, 2021
the link is not working. Kindly add me to the grouo

Please for those who has written this test,
Kindly join vis this WhatsApp link so we can ask and know the next step..

author=fashionme post=99639066]Graduate Engineer Program (GETP) 2021

February 6, 2021

Income Electrix Ltd, a leading Engineering and Power Company, is in the process of recruiting smart Graduate Trainee Engineers in various Engineering disciplines (Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Instrumentation etc.). The Company is registered under the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria to offer Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning, Management, Operation and Maintenance services in Power, Petrochemical industries, Oil and Gas in Nigeria and overseas.

The Trainee Program is structured to run for a duration of between 18-36 months. The program will expose the Trainees through a well structured and mentored learning curve, taught by well-experienced Managers and Senior Managers, to equip the Trainees with the essential knowledge and skills necessary to become future Managers/Leaders who will play critical roles in safeguarding and advancing our business to strategic position in a continuum. Furthermore, you will be fast tracked in your career progression through the cadre to managerial position within the Technical Department.

​Job Title: Graduate Trainee

Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Job Type: Full Time


Minimum of first-degree B.Sc. or B.Tech in Electrical/Electronics, Mechanical and Civil from a reputable University with a minimum of Second Class Upper/Lower (2.1/2.2). A Post Graduate degree will be an added advantage.
Computer Literacy, with at least minimum proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Project) and AutoCAD skill will be an added advantage.​
Must be flexible, self-motivated, a team player with high attention to detail, teachable and ready to learn and take up responsibilities.
Good communication in spoken and written English is necessary.

Closing Date for application
February 12, 2021.

1 Like

Jobs/Vacancies / Re: Heritage Bank 2021 Graduate Trainee Programme(apply Now) by HonSTONE(m): 9:27am On Mar 05, 2021
Kindly add me to the group please.

The link no dey go
Career / Re: Interswitch Assessment Test by HonSTONE(m): 6:36pm On Dec 22, 2020
I have done the test.. The logical and numerical reasoning questions was phew.. �
Are we supposed to get a feedback after submitting though?

Quick question; Is this a different test from the one originally scheduled for everybody or you didn't take the previous one?
Career / Re: Interswitch Assessment Test by HonSTONE(m): 5:15pm On Dec 18, 2020
Chai this test shake my brain, I mustn't tell lies. That section 1 is something else and I wasted my time on it, I didn't even know there's computer knowledge in section 4.

But you were informed before the start of the test that it was 4 sections.
Though, the quantitative data interpretation was a tough one for me. Had to guess most of the answers.
NYSC / The Misconception Of Nysc by HonSTONE(m): 1:24pm On Jun 04, 2020

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a scheme set up by the Nigerian Government to train and build graduates for the development of the country.

After the formation in May 22, 1973, the scheme has been able to inculcate discipline, raise the moral tone, eliminate ignorance and develop a sense of corporate existence and develop skills for self-employment among the Nigerian graduates.

However, many believe that the scheme has lost her purpose. There are criticism from serving corp members claiming they are being treated as slaves in their place of primary assignment. Several youth carrying out the NYSC programme have been killed due to religious, ethnic or political violence. They simply assume that the scheme is a waste of time and a waste of Nigeria’s resources. Some go the extra of saying “NYSC Na Scam”.

There are also praises from serving and ex-corp members of how the scheme has changed their mentality and given them working experience. From these testimonies, it is believed that anyone can benefit from the scheme while serving the country but the right mind-set is needed.

Starting from the 3 weeks at the Orientation Camp, this is an opportunity to network with other graduates from different tribe, culture, religion and background and make long-time friendship. One can easily learn from this setting and give birth to creative ideas to solve national problems.

During the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) classes, this is another opportunity to learn a skill such as hair dressing, fashion designing, carpentry, driving, photography, etc. There are so many skills one can learn from and after the orientation camp, one can invest in these skill sets and start making extra cash.

Most corp members are posted to schools to teach. Yes, some of them are paid little or nothing but teaching those kids is an opportunity to impact and cause a change in their lives. The kids will never forget you and this is a chance you write your name in their heart. Be the change they have been dreaming about.

Other corp members are posted to organizations where little or no work is done. This isn’t the perfect time to sleep all day. Use this privilege to get an extra PPA or learn a skill, ICT skill preferably.

People are having a misconception of scheme because they are expecting too much from NYSC. You have the power to make your service year fun or boring. It is not what you do not have that limits you. It is what you have and do not know how to use.

And finally, NYSC is a platform to give back to the community. Use this platform and be creative.

You are where you are not because of lack of opportunities but because of lack of creativity.

The ball is in your court.


Family / Relationship Building Skills by HonSTONE(m): 11:20pm On Apr 10, 2020
Relationship Building Skills:

Having good relationship with others go a long way. Truth is we need one another and without a good relationship foundation, we won't be able to work with others.

I'll be sharing some of the Professional relationship building skills that I know.

1) Accept and celebrate differences:
Not everyone think or act like you. You need to understand that people are different from you. The difference is what brings the uniqueness. Accept them the way they are.

2) Listen effectively:
Crucial skill on boosting another person's self-esteem is active listening. Listen attentively when someone is speaking to you and ask questions when necessary.

3) Give people your time:
Others will know you care about them when you give them your time. Create time for others. Have time to check on others and ask about their day.

4) Communicate effectively:
Effective communication is the foundation for any relationship. Communication build trust, love and closeness.

5) Give and take feedback:
This is also important in building professional relationship.
Be teachable and willing to take corrections. Others see your flaws better than you.

6) Trust more:
I used to find it difficult to trust others because I've been hurt by those who claimed to love me. However, people are different. Open your heart and trust. I know it's difficult but you just have to take a chance.

7) Appreciate others:
Learn to appreciate others for their good works. Now if someone does something and The end product isn't as expected, appreciate the effort of the person first. This positive remark will make the person feel good. When you make people feel good about themselves, they tend to open up and do better.

Getting on with people makes work a better place to be.

This has to be a conscious and constant practice when trying to build relationship with others.

Good luck.

Romance / My Reality by HonSTONE(m): 10:45pm On Feb 14, 2020
This ain't the story of how I met her mother.
This ain't a piece I write with pen on paper.
This is my Reality.

That fateful afternoon on my way to class,
I heard my name STONE.
I stood for a moment, staring at the damsel for I knew her not.

I know you, she said.
I have seen you on social media and I've been wanting to talk to you.
I didn't hear what she said for I was lost in her beauty.
She was beautiful as the rising sun,
Her voice had the cooling effect of the moon.
She was flexible, well rounded at the appropriate quarters.
That coke bottle was no match for this one.
She was the definition of perfection,
Created on a special day.
And she made me say ''Hallelujah'' with open arms.

We became friends almost immediately.
In her eyes I saw perfection.
She was my all in this imperfect world.
Yes, it was love at first sight.
Life made more meaning when I was with her.

Days turned weeks,
Weeks turned months.
And I was always there for her.
Though my friends advised I made a move on her
But I was ready to be on her friend zone
Making it my comfort zone.
This wasn't fantasy, this was pure love
As I could feel it in my soul.

I wasn't after what was between her legs.
I was after what was in her heart.
They say love is blind but what I felt made me see clearly.

I became regular in church because of her.
I wanted the world to know I was real.
I made her my distraction.
She was the perfect distraction.
I was her fool though I wasn't 40.

Just like Jon Snow, I knew nothing.
I was no King but was ready to make her a Queen. My Queen.
Her name was the password to my heart.
This is no fairytale.
This is my Reality.

The other girls said they were my Ultimate.
I told them to Smirnoff for she was my Star.
The Origin of my happiness.
My strength and my weakness.
I was ready to take a bullet for her.
Yes, even the black bullet.

She had the body of a goddess.
Her beauty no man could behold.
I am not Solomon, son of David but I wrote songs for her.

Her cheek were with the rows of jewels,
Her neck with chains of gold.
Her neck was like the tower of David,
Built for an arsenal.
All of them shields of warriors.
She was a priceless jewel.

Then I felt I was ready.
Ready to tell her how I felt.
Its been two years of friendship
And this ship had to set sail.

The season of love came.
The valentine for my special moment.
I walked up to her, hugged her and whisper
''Will you be my girlfriend and let's conquer the world together?''

She answered with her voice full of sweetness, persuasive in love.
Her voice excites, I was glad for the energy.
The sound of her voice made me glad and alive.
''Stony, you are a nice guy but you are not my type''.

From that moment, I gave up on love.
This is no fairytale.
This is my Reality.

Health / Lassa Fever; The New Monster In Kebbi State by HonSTONE(m): 1:00pm On Feb 12, 2020
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Lassa fever is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness. It is endemic in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

The illness was discovered in 1969 and is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred.

Lassa fever is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans become infected from contact with infected animals. The animal reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent of the genus Mastomys, commonly known as the “multimammate rat.” Mastomys rats infected with Lassa virus do not become ill, but they can shed the virus in their urine and faeces.

Once a Mastomys rat is infected with the virus, it can excrete the virus in its feces and urine, potentially for the rest of its life.
As a result, the virus can spread easily, especially as the rats breed rapidly and can inhabit human homes.

The most common method of transmission is by consuming or inhaling rat urine or feces. It can also be spread through cuts and open sores.
The rats live in and around human habitation, and they often come into contact with foodstuffs. Sometimes people eat the rats, and the disease can be spread during their preparation.

Person-to-person contact is possible via blood, tissue, secretions or excretions, but not through touch. Sharing needles may spread the virus, and there are some reports of sexual transmission.
Lassa fever can also be passed between patients and staff at poorly equipped hospitals where sterilization and protective clothing is not standard.

Onset of symptoms is typically 7 to 21 days after exposure. In 80% of those who are infected little or no symptoms occur. These mild symptoms may include fever, tiredness, weakness, and headache. In 20% of people more severe symptoms such as bleeding gums, breathing problems, vomiting, chest pain, or dangerously low blood pressure may occur. Long term complications may include hearing loss. In those who are pregnant, miscarriage may occur in 95%.

Approximately 15%-20% of patients hospitalized for Lassa fever die from the illness. However, only 1% of all Lassa virus infections result in death. The death rates for women in the third trimester of pregnancy are particularly high. Spontaneous abortion is a serious complication of infection with an estimated 95% mortality in fetuses of infected pregnant mothers.

Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus from exposure to urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of a person infected with Lassa fever.

There is no epidemiological evidence supporting airborne spread between humans. Person-to-person transmission occurs in both community and health-care settings, where the virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment, such as re-used needles. Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.

Prevention of Lassa fever relies on promoting good “community hygiene” to discourage rodents from entering homes. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households and keeping cats. Because Mastomys are so abundant in endemic areas, it is not possible to completely eliminate them from the environment. Family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.

Health organizations hope that current work on vaccine development will be successful.
Rehydration and treatment of symptoms can improve the chances of survival if there is an early diagnosis.
Prescribed early, the antiviral drug ribavirin has proven useful in fighting Lassa virus, but how it works remains unclear.

However, access to ribavirin in the areas worst affected by the Lassa virus is limited.

Additionally, ribavirin may be toxic and teratogenic, meaning it can cause mutations. For this reason, it is not a perfect solution.
Ribavirin is not useful for preventing Lassa fever before it occurs, and there is currently no vaccine for this disease.

However, work on a vaccine is underway, and some drugs are showing promise.

Cases of Lassa fever have been discovered in Kebbi State with 1 death recorded and as such the corp members and general public should be careful.

NYSC / Life In My Ppa by HonSTONE(m): 2:58am On Oct 11, 2019
While I was coming to Kebbi state, I wanted to work in a construction company, to learn more about engineering and have some field experience. But sometimes things doesn't work the way we planned it.

While in camp, I was asked where I'd love to work and based on my research I realised there were very few construction companies here so I chose the Ministry of Works hoping to learn from experienced engineers there. But sometimes things doesn't work the way we planned it.

I was posted to a polytechnic to lecture. I love to talk but lecturing was the last thing I'd wanted to do.

I go to my place of primary assignment and was assign to assist in lecturing 3 courses without stipends for 3 months and accommodation.

It was really frustrating I must confess. The work load was much and stressful. I had to do a lot of research, prepare lecture notes, mark assignments and tests and do house chores.

Yesterday, I went to class not to lecture like I used to but to talk to the students. (Actually, this was because I did not prepare any lecture note for the students). I wanted to have a heart-to-heart conversation with them and it turned out to be my best moment at the school.

After 4 hours of discussing with the HND 2 and ND 2 students, I realised this was what I was meant to do. This was what made me happy. I was posted here for a reason and I have to fulfil my purpose here.

At the end of the class, a student walked up to me and handed me a letter. In the letter, he said he wanted to be like me and needed me as his personal tutor.

My greatest joy as a person is the impact I leave in my listeners and readers.

Challenges will come but do not let that stop you from doing what you love. But sometimes things doesn't work the way we planned it. So be ready for anything.


Literature / Patient Love by HonSTONE(m): 4:59pm On Jul 29, 2019

“You are beautiful. I am nothing without you. Baby, you complete me and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Steve told Sandra.

Steve and Sandra have been friends for two weeks now and Steve thought it was time to tell Sandra how he felt about her. He had met her on his way to class and it was love at first sight.

“What manner of goddess is this? Surely, this one must have been created on a special day”, he thought to himself.

He approached her, introduced himself and asked for her contact which she gave him.

Later that evening, they spent hours talking on the phone. It was as if they’ve known each other for years. They just clicked.

Then, that Monday noon after class Steve opened up to Sandra.
“I cannot stop thinking of you. I hear your voice in my head everyday even while I sleep. I think of you before going to bed and your image is the first thing I visualize when I wake up. You’ve become my perfect distraction and I love being distracted by you. Sandra, I love you and want to be with you. I promise never to hurt you. I promise to always be there for you. I am not here to play games. I really want to make you my wife.” Steve said.

“I don’t know what to say. I am the only child of my mum and I want to focus on my studies. I like you a lot. I really do but I am scared”.

“You don’t have to be scared. I will protect you. I want you to be mine. I want you to be my girlfriend. If you say no to me, I am going to kill myself.”

“No, Steve. You don’t have to kill yourself. I cannot live knowing that I am the cause of your death. Promise me that you will not hurt me. Promise me that you will be there for me. Promise me you will not break my heart.”

“I promise you Sandra. I love you and I will not hurt you.”

Days passed and their relationship grew stronger. Sandra had given everything to her first and one true love. She loved him with everything she had and was ready to die for him.

Phone rings…

“Hello Sandra, how are you?”
“I am fine. I have some news for you.”
“Okay. What is wrong?”
“Nothing. Remember when you said you will always be there for me? And you said you will love me till eternity?
“Yes, Sandra. I love you. Now tell me what is going on.
“I missed my period Steve. I think I am pregnant. We are going to have a baby.”
“Preg!!! Pregnant? We? You are going to have a baby not we. And go look for your period.”
“What? Steve!!! I don’t understand.”
“I cannot be a father now. So, I’m out. Bye.”

Steve ended the call.

“Steve!!! Steve!!! Don’t do this to me. Not now.”

“What will I do?” she asked herself. The guy she thought loved her had just left her because she was pregnant. What will she tell her mum? Is this the end of her education? Is she ready to be a single mum?

She couldn’t take it. Hatred filled her heart. She needed to end it before it was too late.
So, she went to her dad’s bedroom and brought out his gun, pointed it to her head. She was covered in tears. This was a decision she had to make quickly. It’s better to end it now and save everyone the pain.

“This is the only way out”, she said to herself.
“I Quit”.
Then, she pulled the trigger.

Most of you are in this stage of your life where your loved ones lied to you. Some deceived you. Some of you have lost hope in your dreams because of a few setbacks. Some of you may not have ended it the way Sandra did but you have stopped trying to be better. You have given up. Now, you are just living without any goal or purpose.

Come back home. You are beautiful. You are amazing. It’s not over yet, please do not quit now.

Go back to the drawing board and try again. Keep trying till your breakthrough comes through. Do not be the first to quit. Just believe.

Sandra pulled the trigger but there was no bullet. At that instant, her mum came into the room and quickly took the gun from her.
She explained everything to her mum. Tears rolled down their eyes.

“Life has its ups and downs. Do not take your life. I am with you always and we are going to take care of the baby together”, her mum said.

5 years later, Sandra is done with school and as she looked at her daughter, she said “You are beautiful and I will always be there for you.”


NYSC / 21 Days In Prison by HonSTONE(m): 9:13pm On Jul 11, 2019

I went to my dashboard on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) portal hoping to be posted to Akwa Ibom but to my greatest surprise, I saw Kebbi State.

'Kebbi state?!!!'
'I don't want to return to the north. I've lived there almost all my life. I want to explore other states.' I explained to the woman next door.

I went online and searched about the state.
'They have nothing. No reputable construction company, just rivers and farmlands.'

I was to leave the ancient city of Benin to a more ancient city.

Then I got a call from my friend and she told me she was also posted to Kebbi state. All of a sudden my sad mood changed. I felt happy. At least I won't be alone in 'hell.' I'd have someone to talk to.

I got ready and left Benin as early as possible. It took me about 14 hours to get to kano. I slept in Kano state and continued my journey the next day to Kebbi. It was a 9 hours trip. A total of 23 hours trip from Benin to Dakingari NYSC orientation camp in Kebbi state (My Prison).

I got in and did my registration. Others immediately changed to their white uniform and went to the parade ground while I went to the 'mammy' market to rest.

Later that day, I met with Faith Omokaro Osamuyimen. I was excited to see her.

The journey began. Every morning at 05:00, the army blew the bugle and we were expected to be at the parade ground for meditation. The Nigerian flag was raised at 06:00 and lowered at 18:00.

I joined the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) because I wanted to use my skills in camp. I contested for my platoon leadership position but lost.
Camp was filled with numerous activities ranging from Early morning jog, parade, lectures, breakfast, lectures, SAED classes, lunch, parade, sports, dinner, socials and light out at 22:30. It was fun for some and horrible for others.

Here are some of my memorable experiences.

Most Amazing Experience:
I really enjoyed myself with the OBS family. We argued, we played, we wrote news and announcement, we arranged the stage and made sure everything was in order. I was more into OBS activities than my platoon activities. I met a family at OBS. Different people from different race coming together to form a team of crazy folks. I will definitely miss OBS.

Another amazing experience was the little moments I shared with Faith Omokaro. She was my companion in camp. If I wasn't with OBS, I was with Faith. She made my camp experience colourful.

Most Annoying Experience:
Just because I don't get angry easily, my roommates decided to use that against me. We were 42 persons in the room and anytime I saved a bucket of water in the evening, I woke up the next morning either to look for my water or the bucket. They keep using it without replacing. It was really annoying.
The afternoon parades.
I hate this. There's no much work at the OBS office during the afternoon parades, so we had to join our colleagues. Under the sun, I would stand for hours marching. My skin went darker because of the intense heat of the sun. Some corp members fainted during the parade. Some cried. The crazy thing is that time always move slowly during this period.

Our lives were controlled by the army. They decided our movement and when we eat. There was no time to rest.

Skills Learnt:
If you want the 21 days to be boring, it will be. But if you want it to fun and enjoyable, it will. The decision is yours to make.
During the 21 days, I made a decision to learn and meet new people. That, I achieved.

I was in OBS, I learnt how to set up the speakers and operate the mixer. I settled conflict among people developing my conflict resolution skills. Time management was another useful skills. Waking up early, living with different people, learning how to march and salute in the military way. All these are skills I learnt.

Most Enjoyable Activity:
Catching the train. Parading under the sun. Getting food from the kitchen.
Social nights. Lectures. SAED classes.

Of all the activities, I enjoyed the social night more. This was the only period I had to relax and watch other corp members display their talents.

Yes, my movement was restricted for 21 days. I was away from civilization. I was in prison but I made good use of my time.
Sometimes what we need is not what we have and what we have is not what we need. All we need to do is use what we have to get what we need.

I was wrong about Kebbi state. Birnin Kebbi, the state capital has good road network, constant power supply, cheap accommodation and low cost of living. Kebbi is the land of equity and I'm here to stay and explore more.

Always remember that your success in life is directly proportional to your smart work.

This is my story.
This is my prison break.
Now I'm free.


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Career / Things Leaders Should Never Do By Livingstone Imonitie by HonSTONE(m): 10:01pm On Jun 13, 2019

In my previous articles, I explained what leadership is about and some of the qualities and traits every good leader should possess. If you have not read them, please kindly do so because I will be making references to them. I am pretty sure you are building yourself to become a great leader. However, there are certain things you should never do and I am going to tell you.

It is okay for you as the leader to be more intelligent and smarter but you do not know everything. Sometimes you need to listen to the opinion of others in the team. If you knew everything, then you wouldn’t need their assistance. Your team should learn from you and you should learn from them.

You cannot lead others without first leading yourself.
Check yourself. Do you have any vision for your life? Do you have any goals in life? Do you achieve your daily goals?
If all the answer to the above questions is “NO”, then you are not fit to lead.
You must lead yourself to achieve your own goals before you lead others to achieve a common goal.

Remember in my previous article where I made mention of you listening to mentors? Never you think you know it all. You need guidance from other leaders. You need to learn from others. Learn from the mistakes of other leaders so you don’t make the same mistakes they made.
You need to read to be updated. You cannot lead with outdated information.

A good leader leads followers but a great leader leads other leaders. You have to support your team. Make them better; train them. When you delegate responsibilities to them, let them perform their duties with little supervision. But, if they need assistance, assist them.
Remember it’s a team and you have to work together. Learn to support one another.

Do you know that when you tell a lie, it goes into your future? But when you tell the truth, it goes into your past. Do not lie to your team or your clients. Always tell the truth.
People will always follow you because they trust you.
I know this is going to be hard for some persons because they cannot stop themselves from cheating or lying but you have to try if you want to be a great leader.
Say ‘NO’ to LIES.

Some persons who are perfectionist always expect perfection from others but it doesn’t work that way. People make mistakes. In fact, that is what makes them human. You need to accept that not everyone can be like you. Give your team time to learn and when they make mistakes, correct them.
Team work is what makes the team work well. Focus on the strength of others and work on their weakness.

If you can follow the above instructions, then you are on the path of becoming a great leader.
Be the leader you want to follow.
Be the leader you want to become.

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Career / Traits Every Good Leader Should Possess By Livingstone Imonitie by HonSTONE(m): 8:50pm On Jun 12, 2019

Everybody defines leadership differently but I really like the way John C. Maxwell defines leadership, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Irrespective of how you define a leader, he or she can prove to be a difference maker between success and failure. A good leader has a futuristic vision and knows how to turn his ideas into real-world success stories. In this article, we take an in-depth look at some of the important traits that separate good leaders from a bad one.

Who do you think your team members follow you?
It is because they like you or because they trust you?
Nobody will follow you because of your good looks. They will follow you because they trust you. You have to be true to yourself and to them. Never lie or hide anything from your team. Let them see the real you.

Trust takes time to build and once it is broken; it will take a very long time to regain.
Never sell your integrity for a bag of money or a plate of food. Never betray your team.

I made mention in my previous article on Leadership that every leader should be a visionary. However, as a leader you should be able to effectively communicate your vision to others.

You need to learn how to express yourself without fear. Make your vision clear to your team. Make them see where the vision is heading to.
The whole point of communication is to make the person you are talking to understand what you are saying. If you cannot do this, then you are just talking and not communicating.

After having the good communication skills, you need confidence. Your team always look up to you. They need to see you strong all the time.
Remember that you are their inspiration. Have a good self-esteem. Know your worth and what you carry. Feel good about yourself.
Even when you are going through a though time, be the shield that guards the realm of men.

When you speak, speak with confidence. When you walk, walk with confidence. Own your stage.
Be their leader. Your confidence and bravery will give them hope.

Only boys believe dressing is overrated.
Have you heard the saying, “The way you dress is the way you will be addressed”?

As a leader you need to dress well. Have poise in your dressing.
Do not dress like a slave when you are meant to be a king. Your dressing brings out the confidence in you.
There is no second chance for a first impression. Always be at your best.
You are an inspiration to many. You cannot inspire anyone when you do not know dressing etiquette.
Always dress to win.

Sometimes, there will be a situation whereby things are not going according to plan. Your team members are tired and some have lost sight of the vision. It is your responsibility as the leader to bring them back on track.

Have you seen the movie- Avengers: End Game?
No…? what are you waiting for?

Let me talk to those that have seen the movie.
Remember when Antman was on Ironman and they were staring at Captain America’s ass? The perfect looking ass. The ass every girl in Hollywood is dying for.
Hey!!! Stop picturing the ass. That’s rude.

Now let me take you back a little. Remember before they went on the “time machine” to go look for the Infinity Stones, Captain America gave a motivational speech and Antman had to acknowledge that the speech was breath-taking. Every leader should be able to do that. You need to motivate your team when the need arises.

Now, let me take you to “Game of Thrones”. Remember the Battle of Blackwater after the King left the battle. It was Tyrion Lannister who was Hand of the King that motivated the armies and led the defense of the city.
Jon Snow is another leader that knows how to motivate his army even though “he knows nothing”.

If you have not seen Game of Thrones also. I give up on you.
What do you do with your spare time?

You can be a great leader too. Your only limitation is your mind-set.

Career / Qualities Of A Great Leader By Livingstone Imonitie by HonSTONE(m): 9:50pm On Jun 11, 2019
Everyone is a leader but not everyone believes this. There are certain qualities one must possess to become a great leader and they are:

Before you get your team, you must have a vision. You must see the end from the beginning. You must have foresight and know where you are headed to before getting your team. Then, you communicate this vision to the members of your team. Just like an Engineer having a contract to build a mansion. Before he starts drawing, he must first see the mansion in his mind. Visualise it and make it real to himself before putting it on paper. That is what leaders should do. See the end of the mission right from the beginning. Know where you are going to. Have a clear long term goals and short term goals.
With the spirit of foresight, every leader is a genius.

Remember you cannot accomplish your mission alone. You need a team. Build a strong relationship with your team members. Be interested in them. Know them. Call them by their names. They should feel a sense of belonging in the team.
People are different and should be treated differently. Do not treat all your members the same way. You shouldn’t have any favourite but you should treat them according to their personality. It should be more than a team; it should be a family.
The way you treat your team members, that will be the same way they will treat your clients or customers.

There is an organization I used to work with. It is prohibited to say ‘I’ or ‘Me’. It has to be ‘We’ or ‘Us’. We believed that to achieve anything, we must do it together. If we win, we win together and if we fail, we fail together. A good leader should not think of himself alone but the people he is leading.
A tree does not make a forest and team work is what makes the team work well.
We are stronger together.

Your team members are not just there to follow you; they are there to guide you too. Listen to their opinion. The leader is not necessarily the smartest or most intelligent. He is someone who has a vision and can inspire others with that vision to accomplish the set out goals. Sometimes you do not have all the answers, you need counsel from your team members and sometimes mentors.
A leader who does not listen to his team members will one day have no team to lead.

When you have a long term goal as a team, break it down into short term goals and then daily tasks. When you accomplish these daily task, celebrate yourselves. Celebrate after every mile stone. When you celebrate, you build strong relationship and commitment in the team.
Learn to celebrate every victory but do not celebrate mediocrity.

This is very important, please pay close attention to this.
Your team members should not be liabilities. They should be assets. And the only way to do that is to improve them. Do not leave them the same way you met them. Give them responsibilities and let them do it by themselves. They should learn on the job.
Train them in such a way that they will want to leave you and at the same time do not want to leave you.
A good leader takes others to where they want to go. A great leader takes others to where they do not want to go but where they need to be.
Give them task. Let them make mistakes and learn. Watch them grow.
A good leader leads followers but a great leader leads other leaders.
Be a great leader.

Career / Leadership Style by HonSTONE(m): 10:07pm On Jun 10, 2019

I was invited few days ago to speak in a summit on Leadership. When I got on stage, I asked my audience a question.
“How many of you want to be great leaders?”
I saw many hands went up.
“How many of you want to serve?”
Few hands went up.

A lot of people want to lead but only few people want to serve. You cannot be a great leader when you do not want to serve others.
Leadership is not position. Leadership is inspiration. Leadership is service.
A leader is someone who inspires others with a vision while working together to achieve a common goal. So, leadership has to do with Inspiration, Vision, Team work, and Achieving set out goals.

However, there are different styles of leadership and I am going to share them with you.

1) Autocratic Leadership Style:

This is also known as the Task Oriented Leaders. They do not care about you; they just want the task to be done. They are the boss. They are dictators. They come to the office and set goals for the week or month or year and walk away. They just want results. Even if you spend your entire night working on the project, they do not care. What they are after is the results. They tell you what to do and how to do it. You do not have a say.

2) Delegating Leadership Style:

This is also known as the People Oriented Leaders. They are more of the delegating type. They love to assign responsibilities to others without doing anything. They tell others what to do and wait for results. When there is a big task ahead, the leader breaks the big task into smaller tasks and the team members get something doing but the leader just sits and watch. They do not want to be responsible for anything and when the mission goes south, they blame the person in charge.

I used to be this kind of a leader. I used to believe that as a leader, my duty was to assign responsibilities to others but I was wrong.
This leads us to the third kind of leadership style.

3) Democratic Leadership Style:

This is also known as the People-Task Oriented Leaders. They are concern about the team members and they work with the team to achieve the set goals. For example, I have a team and we have a target of training 1000 young adults in public speaking. As the team leader, I assign responsibilities to the team members and myself. So, together we work to accomplish our goals.
That is a great leader. The leader must work with his team members. You are their inspiration; they need to see you. You give them hope. You give them a sense of purpose. You have listen to them. This is where the team spirit starts from.

A great leader must understand the power of team work.
A great leader is not the Boss. He is not a dictator. He is not a delegator. He is part of the team. He is an inspiration.

What kind of leader do you want to become?
Literature / THE JOURNEY By Livingstone Imonitie by HonSTONE(m): 10:25pm On May 29, 2019

Writing had never been my hobby. I preferred talking because I enjoy talking.

There is always a sense of accomplishment when you speak and people just listen to you. I could talk for hours, just having fun. It wasn’t just my hobby; it was a life style. I got into trouble for talking and I got out of trouble for talking.
In 2012, I had a blogger as a friend. He showed me the e-library in my school where I could use the internet for 2 hours daily. It was free and only a handful of students knew about it.

I was excited about the news and the first day we went together to browse; I quickly went to Facebook. Then I realised there was a restriction on some sites. We couldn’t login to social media.
I was in year 1 and I was studying Agriculture. There was no much things to browse on. So I googled my name “Livingstone Imonitie”. Nothing reasonable came out, just my Facebook page. Nothing more. It was amazing. My name out came out on google even though it was just Facebook. I was naïve.

I went over to my friend and I saw him writing. I asked what he was doing and he told me about blogging. Writing was his hobby so he wrote daily on his blog.
I told him I was interested and he helped create a blog for me. But there was nothing to write about. So, I went to news site and copied news from there and pasted on my blog. I was a thief. Stealing contents that were not mine. I didn’t know it was plagiarism.
Writing was boring. Going to the library every day to copy and paste news and gossips was not fun. Everyone wanted to be like Linda Ikeji who was making money from blogging. I lost interest and I stopped blogging. I stopped going to the e-library.

Why should I be wasting my time trying to be like my friend when I could be something else?
When I gained admission into School of Engineering, I met another friend- Joshua Asih. He was different. We were always together, being weird in our own ways.

In 2014, he started his platform called Choose God and Grow. He would write a short message and send to all his contacts on WhatsApp. I got the message every day. They were inspiring. Short and inspiring messages.
During the holiday after year 1, I started mine. I enjoyed talking but there was no platform for me to speak. So, I would write what I needed to say and send to my contacts on WhatsApp.

Every day, I would write a motivational write-up and send. Short but powerful. I got good feedbacks and not too good feedbacks. Some of my contacts said I was disturbing them. Others said I was annoying. Some said I wanted to use that medium to gain popularity for my political interest.

I made some errors in my sentences but I kept doing it. It became fun. Writing different messages every day. I was enjoying myself. Others acknowledged my efforts and looked forward to receiving my goodwill message the next day.
Then, a friend came over and informed me that my messages were getting too much. That he enjoyed it when I started but now it was just too much. He advised I reduced the messages.

I listened to him and I started sending the messages twice a week. Then later, once a week. Every Sunday after church, I would send out my message. I had found a new hobby. Writing became fun.

In 2016, a friend came over and appreciated me for my messages and advised I wrote a book.
“Write a book?”
“Who would want to read my book?”

Writing a book is hard work. Writing a short message was easy but a book, that’s suicide.
At that point, I wasn’t sending my goodwill messages every day. I was sending once a month.
I met someone- Jerry Asih, younger brother to Joshua Asih who showed how to use Wordpress. He was a blogger too. This time, I wasn’t copying other people’s content, rather I was creating mine. I wrote articles and motivational messages on my blog. And when I googled my name, my Facebook page and blog came up.

Few months later while I was interning in Kano state, I got a message from another friend advising I wrote a book. He said he would read my book if I wrote one.
Well, since they wanted a book, I would give them a book. I went back to some of my short motivational messages and put them together and that was how my first free e-book came out.
“70 Push Ups For Success” was made accessible to the public on March, 2017. It was a collection of my previous messages and I gave it out for free. I got few comments and they were amazing. Finally, I had written an e-book.

The book didn’t really go far. I got few downloads.
Writing at this point had become part of me. I wanted to do more. So in October 1, 2017, I launched my second e-book – 13 Secrets You Should Know About Life Before You Die.
“Who would read a book about life from a young boy who knows nothing about life?”
I was wrong.

I got so many downloads from my blog and other sites. Awesome reviews. Writing a book and people applying the principles in the book was fulfilment to me. It was the best feeling I ever had.

I got comments from across Nigeria, across Africa and abroad. Sometimes, when I get comments from people and I asked them the country they were texting from, I would have to go to google to read about the country because I had never heard of it before.
I got emails from reporters in Egypt, emails from a military man in Nigeria, messages from India, Uganda, Rwanda, China, UK, United States, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and so on. I really cannot explain the feeling after reading those mails and messages on WhatsApp.

At that point, I started getting invitations to come speak in conferences. I had people to mentor and online trainings. I was training people from other countries online. And I got invitations to come speak in other countries.
Engineering did not bring me to this point. My hobby did. I was just consistent in my writing and I kept improving on my writing skills.

In 2018, I got an award as The Best Writer in Faculty of Engineering. That was my first award in writing.
Then I joined Wikipedia and volunteered as a contributor.

Everything I was doing was in line with writing and public speaking. I had found purpose and I used my skills to achieve that.
I wasn’t writing for money or fame. I was writing for value. I wanted to teach, inspire and motivate young adults. That was my goal. Not money but value.

I went back to google and searched my name- Livingstone Imonitie. My online presence had increased. I connected with people, wrote articles for magazines and had fun.

I kept writing and kept having fun. I kept improving and kept reading.
Writing was a skill I learnt and anybody can learn a skill to be somebody.

Go online and search your name on google. When you see the result, screenshot and save. Go and work. Then come back 365 days later. Google your name again. If you see the same result online, then you haven’t done anything. If you see a different result, great job. Go back to work.

For young professionals, try to create a LinkedIn account and put your achievements there. When people search for you online, they tend to go through your LinkedIn account. It’s like your online CV. Update it regularly.

Keep learning and keep doing amazing things.
Sometimes it will take time but do not give up. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

“You are not limited by lack of opportunities. You are limited by lack of creativity” – Livingstone Imonitie.

Always remember that your SUCCESS in life is directly proportional to your SMART WORK.
My name is Livingstone Imonitie and this is my journey.

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Education / SCHOOL NA SCAM By Livingstone Imonitie by HonSTONE(m): 10:27pm On May 28, 2019

“School Na Scam!”

This is a popular phrase among Nigerian students. If you observe closely, you realize the people saying this are final year students or young graduates. These students have been in school for a few years and they have nothing to show for it. They cannot remember what they were taught in their year 1 neither do they have the professional skills to back up their course of study. They keep blaming the educational system for their current state of being.

Sometimes it is because of intimidation. Their friends who didn’t attend any higher institution are already buying the latest cars in town. They are in school wasting their time and not getting anything from school. So, “School na scam”.
I was in a meeting with a Professor of Engineering and I asked a question. “Sir, why do we spend 5 years in school and when we graduate, the industry has to train us again before employing us full time? Why didn’t the school give the necessary skills we need in the industry?”
“We live in an environment where students expect the lecturers to give them all the information they need”, he said.
“Your lecturers cannot give you everything because they do not know everything. It is your responsibility as a student to learn and educate yourself. If you do not want the industry to train you, then train yourself while in school. You have the internet. There are no more excuses for ignorance”.

I was in my final year when he said that to me. I had a wrong mind-set from day 1. I was expecting the school to teach me everything I needed and if a particular area wasn’t coming out in the exam, then there was no need for me to study it.
During my 5 years at the School of Engineering, I got little knowledge from my class. Most of the experiences and skills I have today were gotten outside the classroom. And I am going to share with you some of the benefits I got from going to school and how you can apply it to your life.

The aim of going to school is to get an education. To learn how to read properly, write properly and communicate effectively. There is a great difference between getting a degree and getting an education. A Degree is just a piece of concord paper with your grade on it but an Education is the development you got which is not written on any piece of paper but in your personality.
Do not pass through a school and not let the school pass through you. Yes, schooling is stressful but you cannot get pure gold without passing it through fire. Focus on your development while in school and not the degree.

Why do students run from responsibilities?
Why do students run from class projects or presentations?
Who do students run from leadership positions?

The only way to be good at something is by doing that thing. The school environment is the perfect place to develop your skills and learn new skills. There is a great difference between a student who always rejects leadership positions and another student who finds it a great privilege to lead.

Maturity is not in age but in responsibility.
How do you teach a man to drive?
By giving him all the books in driving or by giving him a car to drive?
If you want to be a great leader someday, start by accepting leadership positions in school.
If you want to run your own business, start by accepting responsibilities in school.
These skills are not taught in a classroom but they can be learnt if you practice it. Learn a skill while in school.

Please, learn an IT skill too.

Who are your friends?
Who do you surround yourself with?

Your network is your net worth. The people you keep around you have an influence on your growth process.
I always make friends with smart people. People who think like me.
And sometimes you may have fake friends. People who only come around when they need something from you. They are not interested in you or your growth process, they only want what is best for themselves. Cut these people off.
I used to have a friend who only called me when she needed money or airtime. There was another who would visit me only when he was hungry. It was a parasitic relationship and I had to let go. Do the same.

Please do not just make friends from your class or faculty alone. Go other places. Make friends from everywhere. I made a promise while I was in school to have friends from all the faculties in my school and I achieved my goal. And also I made friends with my lecturers. They are humans too and need people to talk to and share ideas with. I was close to some of my lecturers and we had great time together.
Learn from your network. Let your network learn from you.
You cannot achieve certain missions alone; you need people with like minds. Get them.

4)Join an Organisation
If you have a triangular lifestyle- from class to the hostel and from the hostel to the library, please change it. You are killing yourself slowly. Create time for extracurricular activity. There are so many organisations in school you could join. These organisations are there to build the leader in you. You learn certain ethics in these organisations. I was a member of the Junior Chamber International, an organisation I joined in my final year.

One of my greatest regrets so far is that I didn’t build myself on time. I started developing myself when I was in my penultimate year. It was too late for me.
If you can volunteer, please do. During the holidays, do not go home and become fat. Go home and volunteer in organisations. Develop your skills.
Do not make the same mistakes I made. Be better and school is the best place to be better.

“Learn, Unlearn, Relearn”.
Do not limit your reading to your academic books alone. Read other books.
Some persons were surprised when I taught them how to put on a condom. I read it from a book.
I read a lot. I read about politics, science, business, life, sex, computers, religion, magic and so on. I enjoy reading.
You are wiser when you read. Do not be like some of our politicians with small library and big stomach.
Get your own library today. Read to know more. And apply what you read (the good stuff please).

Never stop learning. Never stop reading.
Learn and after you have learnt, Earn from your knowledge.
People no longer employ Degrees, they employ Skills and Knowledge.

Always remember, that your success in life is directly proportional to your smart work.

School will be scam to you if you want it to be and also the greatest tool to be better if you want it. Choose wisely.

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Romance / MY LONGEST RELATIONSHIP By Livingstone Imonitie by HonSTONE(m): 11:06pm On May 27, 2019

Love is a beautiful thing. Sometimes you forget about your challenges when you love someone and all your focus and attention goes to that person. Love makes you do crazy things.

I was staying with my uncle at the university. I was naïve and needed someone to guide me. Before I moved my things to the hostel, he advised me about girls.

“Livingstone, focus on your books and leave the girls alone. When you graduate with a good result, all the girls will run after you”, he said to me.

I held those words close to my heart. I made a promise to guard my heart with all diligence and protect it from falling in love. The function of my heart was to pump blood and not fall in love. I had heard stories of young men committing suicide because of heartbreaks. Others losing focus in life because their girlfriends left them.

“I will take no girlfriend and have no crush from this day till my last lady in school”.

How foolish I was. Who was I deceiving?

Two weeks after I made that decision, I was already crushing on a girl. She was pretty. She smiled and I blushed. I went to class daily just to see her pretty face. She was my dream come true. She made me speak in other tongues. But I was too shy to approached her.
Every level I moved to, I had different girls to crush on. I crush on girls in class, in church and in the library. All these happened in my mind and I wasn’t bold enough to approach any. After some time, the feelings died.

But there were certain girls I disclosed my feelings to and asked them out. It was wonderful being able to tell a girl how I really felt.
Love is a beautiful thing. But I was always heart broken. Always getting a “NO”.

I was rejected once.
No, I was rejected twice.
I think I was rejected more than 30 times. I got 30 different heartbreaks. My heart was broken, destroyed and shattered.

I dated 30 different girls in school. I dated all 30 of them in my mind.
I would see a smart and pretty girl. I would become her friend and one week later, I would start crushing on her. At that point, I was already dating her in my mind. She was my girlfriend only in my dreams. And when I found out some of them were in a relationship, I would be heartbroken. Sometimes, I would ask them out and before I completed my statements, I would get a negative response.

All these happened to me from year one to my penultimate year. I was being rejected on a daily basis. And anytime I was heartbroken, I would write a poem. It was as if poetry was connected to my rejections. And I was creative in my poems. I wrote the best poems with a heavy heart. All my poems have been as a result of heartbreaks. My creativity had to wait until a girl said NO to me.

I want to use this opportunity to appreciate all the girls that broke my hearts while in school. You girls ignited the poetic genius in me.
In my final year, I made another promise not to fall in love again. I was always making this promise. After every heartbreak, I would make this promise and few weeks later, I was back to loving a different girl.

A month after I made the promise, I saw an angel on earth.
“Where had she been all my departmental life?”

This one must be special. She sang so well. Anything I heard her voice, I could feel some butterflies in my stomach. That was the sign of common sense leaving me again. Why don’t I learn from my past experiences?

She had the shape of a coke bottle. She was the manifestation of my fantasies. She was like Dubai in Paris, I called her Astonishing. Anytime I looked into her eyes, I saw us together with our kids forever. She was my missing ribs. The thought of her could not let me sleep at night. I dreamt of her with my eyes open. She brought creativity into my life and became my distraction.

My friends in school knew her name without seeing her. My neighbours knew her story without seeing her. I made her popular in my small world.

I had fallen in love with this girl. I was ready to remain in the friend zone for her. But there was another girl.
We were just friends and there was nothing special about us but I noticed she liked me. She was always buying things for me. Always checking up on me.

Sometimes you can be in a position where you love someone and that person loves another.
I finally got the courage to ask the girl of my dreams out and again I got the usual answer. At that point, I knew I was the problem. I read all the relationship books I could get my hands on. I attended relationship seminars but why were the girls not accepting me?
I concluded that was how God wanted me to be single all my life.

I started giving listening ears to the lady that was always buying things for me. We would go out together, have fun and study together.
One evening, while we were reading, I turned and looked into her eyes and saw genuine love in them.

“Why didn’t I see this long ago?”

This was a lady who loved me with all her hearts and was ready to be my friend forever.
I had no other option but to ask her out.

“I know this sounds crazy but I’d love you to be my girlfriend”.
“Okay”, she responded.

I couldn’t understand what was going on. I was expecting a negative reply.
“I will be your girlfriend”, she added.

This was a dream come true. This was all I wanted. A girl to say YES to me. To prove that I was normal.
I thanked her for accepting me and went back to my books.

In less than a minute, I turned to her and said, “I don’t think I can do this. This is awkward but I want to break up with you”.
“I know. It’s awkward for me too. Let’s break up”, she said.

That was how I got into my first relationship.
My first relationship was my longest relationship and it lasted for just one minute.
I think that should be in Guinness Book of Records.
Now I am ready. I am a graduate and I cannot see any girl running after me.

Livingstone Imonitie

Education / First Class by HonSTONE(m): 9:52am On May 27, 2019
Before leaving the house that morning, my dad called me to his room to advise me.
“You are no longer a child. Always use your head. You did well in secondary and you were the best. Make me proud again at the university. Make sure you graduate with a first class”.
I had just gotten admission into School of Engineering and was about to go to the park. My mum came over, hugged me and said, “Those graduating with a first class do not have two heads. Be one of them”.
Everyone wanted a first class for me. But what I really wanted was to leave the house. I wanted to be far away as possible. I wanted to be alone.
I left home and got to school. At the School of Engineering, I met scholars. I met brilliant kids from other schools. At that point, I was a local champion. Everyone’s goal was to graduate with a first class. No one wanted a Second Class. It had to be a first class. And there the battle began.
There was a rule in school. As first year engineering students, we were expected to pass all our courses. We would repeat year one if we failed more than 6 credit load courses. Failing two courses or more meant probation. So, in year one we had our greatest fear- Fear of Probation.
Students were not reading because they wanted to learn. They were reading due to fear of failing. No one wanted to fail. And anytime my parents called me, they repeated the same thing, “Read your books and graduate with a first class”.
After my first semester exams, I got a call from my class representative. He said he had seen my results and I didn’t perform well. He said I failed a 3 credit load course. At that point, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do.
“Should I cry? Should I scream? Who would I meet?”
“How could I fail? The exam was easy. Why then did I Fail?”
I told my best friend about it and he felt sorry for me. He asked if I had seen the results. And when I told him I had not, he responded, “Why do you hurt yourself for a result you haven’t seen? What if the class rep. was wrong? Whose report would you believe?”
That was all I needed. Encouragement.
When the results were pasted on the notice board. I went looking for my F but didn’t find one. Rumour had it that the course was upgraded and I got a D. I felt stupid. I was hurting myself for a result I hadn’t see.
After the second semester exams, the same thing happened. My class rep. called me and informed me that I had failed a 4 credit load course.
“Why was this guy always bringing bad news to me? What was his aim in life?”
When the results were pasted, I went again looking for my F but didn’t find one. Rumour had it that the course was upgraded and I got a D.
I thought of something when I got home that day.
“What if the class rep. was right all along? What if I had failed those courses and they were upgraded? What if they were never upgraded?”
If truly I had failed and those courses were not upgraded, I would have probated.
“Assumption is the mother of all Bleep ups”. I decided not to assume again. I took life the way it came and my parents kept calling and demanded I graduated with a first class.
4 years later I was in my fourth year with a clean slate. I had not failed any course. However, I was getting all the available grades expect F. I got A, B, C, and D but no E and F.
It was few days to the commencement of our first semester examination and one of my lecturers had fixed a test the next day. I tried explaining to him that we were not ready for his test and besides we had other courses to prepare for. The exams were in few days’ time and we needed to study. He had the whole semester to give us a test but he didn’t. Now its Revision week and he was planning for a test. He refused to listen to me. He said the serious ones would write the test and if anyone missed the test, that person would fail the exam.
After he left the class, I had a meeting with my colleagues.
“He cannot fail all of us. We need to study and this in injustice. I will lock up this class today so when he comes tomorrow and doesn’t see anyone, he would return home.”
We agreed as a class to remain at home the next day and read for our exams.
The next day I turned off my phone as not to receive any call from the lecturer. Later in the day when I turned on my phone, I discovered some of my class mates went behind my back to write the test. They said they were scared and the lecturer was willing to fail everyone. I was angry at them. They had betrayed my trust and betrayed the class.
The lecturer demanded to know the bad egg that locked the class and all fingers pointed at me.
“Tell that boy that the department cannot wave 3 courses for him”, he said.
He was taking us three courses and that meant I would fail them all. When I got the news I was scared. I was being punished for doing what I felt was right. I only wanted to be a good leader. To stand up and defend the weak.
I went to him and apologised. After much scolding, he said he had forgiven me and I should prepare for my exams.
I went to write the exams and they were very simple. There was no way I would fail any of the courses but when I got to the notice board I saw a different picture.
I got 2 Ds and a C in the 3 courses.
“How was this possible?”
That really affected my CGPA. Then my parents called me and asked for my results. I told them it was wonderful and they ended the call with their usual statement, “Make sure you graduate with a first class”.
“How could I graduate with a first class when my grades were not improving?”
I had not failed any course and I wasn’t getting the straight As.
I was able to move to the next class and now I was in final year. This was the last phase and I had to get my straight As here to graduate with a good CGPA. I had given up on first class but my parents had not. This was the period to amend my wrongs.
“Your class rep. is not serious. He is lazy and with way he is behaving, I think he will fail”. He said to the class.
I had become the class rep. and it was a night mare.
I could not understand this particular lecturer and his course. I tried but just couldn’t. The course was difficult and I had so much pressure on me that period.
I prepared for his test but couldn’t write anything. I was tired, hungry and broke.
One hour into the test and I haven’t written anything sensible. I only wrote my name and matriculation number. I was starving. I submitted an empty sheet and went out to eat. Few minutes late, I got back to class and I saw him showing the entire class my empty sheet.
“Why would he do that?” I felt embarrassed.
No one asked me what I was going through or why I could not write anything during the test.
I didn’t understand the course. I tried but just couldn’t.
It was time for exam and I studied past questions. I crammed all the formulae and crammed everything in my note. I just had to pass this course.
I did all my assignments, had complete note and attendance and did my project work but had no mark for the test.
I wrote what I could during the exam and left fate to decide.
Results for first semester came out and for the first time I looked at my results three times. I brought out my ID card to cross check my matriculation number. I had failed 2 courses. I had finally failed. I saw the Fs I had been escaping since year 1.
“Why should I fail in my final year?”
“How did I fail in final year?”
“How can I repeat final year?”
“What would I tell my parents?”
I got my first failure in my final year. At that point of self-pity, my dad called me. “Why was he always calling me at the wrong time?”
There was no way I could graduate with a first class. A second class upper would be a miracle. I told my dad my results were okay and he should expect a good result from me.
I didn’t tell him I failed. I only told my sister and she couldn’t do anything. I told her not to tell anyone.
I had already prepared my mind to return to school for an extra year.
Then, my second semester results were released. I wasn’t expecting much. I sluggishly went to check and to my greatest surprise I saw another result that shocked me.
“Why do bad things always happen to good people?”
I realised that one of the courses I failed the previous semester was upgraded and the second waved. I had my best result in my entire stay in school of engineering. I had a 4.47/5.0 in second semester making me to graduate with a CGPA of 3.947/5.0. I graduated with my mates. I was not spending an extra year.
I had my first failure in final year and my best result in final year. That was my first class.

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Literature / Shut Up by HonSTONE(m): 9:32pm On May 25, 2019

“Shut up Livingstone!” My mum yelled back at me.
“Shut up!” My dad said to me.
“Guy, try shut up”. My friend said to me.
“Your mouth will put you in trouble one day”. My sister said to me.

Every member of my family has told to me to shut my mouth because I talk too much. Sometimes I tell myself to be quiet. Nobody wants to listen to a talkative. Nobody wants to discuss with a guy who talks too much.

It wasn’t my fault. I just loved to talk. It’s what gave me joy and sometimes what put me in trouble.

I have said things that have hurt my friends and family but I always find a way of making things right with them until one glorious day.
All members of the parliament sat down waiting for the speaker to pass his judgement. I was a member of the supreme parliament of the Student Union Government of my school. The Secretary of the union has been accused of “Abuse of office and Incompetence”. He couldn’t defend himself and an honourable had moved a motion for his immediate suspension from office. The Speaker hit the gavel and the secretary was suspended.

There was another case. The president of the union was accused of “Abuse of office, Gross misconduct and Negligence of duty”. She had publicly humiliated a member of the parliament and this wasn’t right. I have always disliked public officers who use their office to oppress others and those who fail to carry out their responsibilities.

Without fear or favour I stood up.

“Mr. Speaker and The House. My nomenclature has not changed, is not changing and will never change. I am Honourable Imonitie Livingstone from the ever great, ever corrosive and ever powerful faculty of engineering. What the President did to that honourable is a slap not only to his face but also to our faces. If she cannot respect the honourable, it means she cannot respect us. And if she cannot respect us, it means she cannot respect you Mr. Speaker. If she cannot respect you Mr. Speaker, it means she cannot respect the Vice Chancellor of this great school. Because of her Abuse of office and Gross misconduct, the gods are not happy. According to the constitution, Article 7, Sub section 5, I hereby move for the indefinite suspension of Madam President”.

The house was on fire. Murmuring everywhere. I sat down but I was scared. I was scared of the consequences of my actions. The motion was seconded by another parliamentarian. There was a counter motion and after voting we won. The president was to be suspended but the speaker was under pressure too. He just couldn’t hit the gavel. He knew this would bring about chaos in school. He was concern of the wellbeing of the students but the parliamentarians had the voice and that made the parliament supreme. The speaker had no other option than to hit the gavel and sitting was adjourned.

Immediately, I left for my hostel. Then I got a call from a friend to leave the school premises and go to a far destination.
I took a cab and went to my grandma’s place at once.

“Why didn’t you call before coming” she asked when I got to the house.
“Nothing. I wanted to surprise you. The school is on strike and I’d love to stay here and study for a week”.

That night I got calls from my friends asking for my whereabout. I only told them I was fine but did not disclose my location. My best friend called and informed me that he was stopped and harassed by unknown guys asking for my whereabout. My roommate called and told me some guys came to the room looking for me.

Why were they looking for me?
I didn’t do anything wrong. And if someone was to be blamed, do not blame me. Put the blame on my mouth. She acted alone. She should take full responsibility and not me.

My grandma had no idea what I was going through. People in school were looking for me. In no time I was famous because of the motion I moved. Everyone was asking questions.

I went back to school. I was ready for anything. I didn’t walk alone anymore. I was always with someone. I went to class with a friend and returned from class with another friend. I was always on the move. I never slept in the same room consecutively. I was changing rooms. I slept in my friends’ rooms. That’s the advantage of having lot of friends in school.

This life style was tiring. I never felt safe anywhere.

I really want to appreciate my friends. They helped me during this period. My friends in “BDPA” and “Ekosodin” were buying drinks for the “Strong men” just to keep me safe. My friends were pleading on my behalf. They were willing to protect me. I cannot repay them for their selfless sacrifices.

That was how I escaped being beaten or killed in school. All thanks to my friends.
After that incidence, I stopped talking for a month and during that period I grew wiser.

Wisdom is profitable to direct.

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