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Monday, 16 March 2015

Shark Attack Survivor Bethany Hamilton Is 6 Months Pregnant and Still Surfing

Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack as a teenager, but defied all odds and still realized her dream of becoming a professional surfer. The 25 year old who is 6 months pregnant was recently spotted surfing on a beach in Hawaii.

She said: 'It's really exciting. I've been surfing throughout my whole pregnancy. I plan to surf as long as I can. Once the belly's pretty big maybe just like mellow it out and spend more time swimming and just enjoying the ocean and doing other activities.' On motherhood, she says, 'I'll figure it out and be creative.'

Bethany's story became an inspiration to many after she wrote about it in the book, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. The book was made into a movie with Dennis Quaid and Carrie Underwood in 2011. At 13, Bethany lost her arm, and 60 per cent of the blood in her body, while surfing off the coast of Kauai when she was attacked by a shark.

She refused to let the incident hinder her dream of surfing and began competing professionally 4 years later in 2007. In 2010, she was the 20th ranked woman among surfers. She is also a Christian motivational speaker and tours the country telling her inspiring story. Bethany cites her Christian faith as one of her biggest inspirations to pursuing her surfing career. And her Christian youth minister husband Adam also shares her beliefs.

My Covenant With Nigerians - General Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidential Candidate of the APC, General  Muhammadu Buhari has restated his commitment to to bring about change in Nigeria, if voted in as President. He made this known in a letter titled, "My Covenant With Nigerians", where he pledged to publicly declare his assets and also tackle corruption. Read below:

My Covenant With Nigerians

Dear Compatriots,
In the past few months that I have travelled round this country on campaigns, I have experienced the sheer beauty of our diversity. From Port Harcourt to Kano, from Abeokuta to Gusau, I experienced first-hand the daily sufferings and struggles of our people. I also experienced the overwhelming desire of our people for change.

When I arrived in Port Harcourt on the 5th of January to start my campaigns, I was met by our teeming supporters, who stayed till late in the evening to welcome us. Among them were many young men and women, who in the few minutes that I shared with them at the airport, made me to reflect on what kind of future awaits them in our country.

The gestures of 90-year-old Hajia Fadimatu Mai Talle Tara from Kebbi State and 9-years-old Nicole Eniiyi Benson from Lagos State, who donated their life-savings to my campaign, reflect the overwhelming desire of our people for change. In their gestures, I perceived a longing for the days when honour, national pride and dignity of labour were the fundamental social principles that governed our country.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

9jaflave Soliloquy - What Happens When You Find and Follow Your Passion

Life is a journey and we are all co-travellers in this space and moment. Some have found their place, some still searching hard and others still yet to begin. Many are digging deep and trying to find who they are and what they were born to do. Keep treading on in faith and persistence.

Why am I here? What is my mission on this earth? What is my passion? How do I use my gifts to impact my world? These are some of the questions resonating in the hearts of many. Oprah says: Follow your passion....It will lead you to your purpose. What then are you passionate about? What is that particular thing you love and want to do? Where are you willing to put in all your strengths? Where is that place or thing that will reveal who you truly are? Discover in quietness and meditation.

And what happens when you find and follow your passion. It leads you on a path of self discovery, it reveals to you what stuff you are made of, it takes you on a journey of character building, it opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities and then guides you into your life's purpose. So then What is your passion...find and follow it wholeheartedly. Have a great week ahead. XOXO

Happy Mother's Day

Here's is wishing all the mothers out there Happy Mother's Day!!!!
For your love, warmth, kindness, counsel, encouragement, words of wisdom, comfort and sacrifices. You are highly appreciated.

And even though words alone may not be able to express our thoughts, in our hearts you remain unforgettable, that bright and shining light and that important piece that makes the story of our lives complete. Happy Mother's Day to my mum and all mums around the world.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Nick D’Aloisio On What It Takes To Get Your Big Break As A Young Entrepreneur

Nick D’Aloisio sold Summly, a mobile news summarization app to Yahoo over a year ago for $30 million at the age of 17. The Australia-born British programmer wrote the app in his parents’ bedroom at their London home when he was just 15. Read his thoughts on what it takes to get your big break as a young entrepreneur below:

How did you celebrate when Yahoo acquired Summly?
The experience was a bit surreal. I really just went to work and continued to focus on my work that I had begun at Summly. It was a proud moment releasing Yahoo News Digest, the direct evolution of Summly.

What are some mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid when pitching venture capital investors?
I think some entrepreneurs focus too much on the idea, but not enough on the planned implementation or quantifying the success of their solution. Metrics, plans, patents and implementations are just as important as the initial idea.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs hustling for their first big break?
There are so many resources available online that the primary goal of someone wanting to succeed should be to teach themselves all of the necessary skills e.g programming, business development, design, marketing etc. Be fearless and don't be afraid of failure. There is no better way to learn than through trial-and-error.

Nick D’Aloisio Is A Teenager Who Will Inspire You

Meet British-Australian programmer , Nick D’Aloisio, a teenager who quickly discovered his niche and passion very early in life. He started making Apps for the iPhone at 12 years old, and today at 19, he is one of the youngest millionaires in the world. 

At the age of 15, he created an app Summly which received a 4.5/5 rating on the App Store, and by 2012 had been downloaded on over a million phones. In 2013, the app was bought by Yahoo News Digest for $33 million.

As a young boy, Nick constantly invested his time in exploring and mastering topics in science and technology. He started to read college-level textbooks on Astronomy at the age of 6, and soon moved on to creating 3D animated films on the computer. Inspired by the App Store opening and its Software Development kit, Nick started to teach himself how to program and make his own apps.

His first app using Artificial Intelligence (AI) was Facemood, a way to determine your Facebook friends’ moods by their statuses. Because he was legally too young to start-up his own app company, he had his mother sign the papers for him. After 3 years, he made approximately $30,000 off the company. 

Get Out Of Your Paralysis And Pursue Your Passion - Kenyan Entrepreneur Tracy Wangari

Meet Kenyan Entrepreneur Tracy Wangari, expert hairstylist known for her extraordinary skill and good customer service. Tracy took a bold step to pursue her passion when she left her home country Kenya for South Africa to launch her business in 1999, a move that has eventually paid off. 
She shares about her journey in a recent interview with howwemadeitinafrica. Read excerpts below:

In her words: “I planned to be a hairdresser. I am very creative and visually oriented, but I knew pursuing drawing and painting in Kenya at that time would remain a hobby. Artists needed a ‘day job’, I was told. Encouraged by my family, I learned how to braid and style hair. I worked during school holidays, perfecting my skills and making some pocket money. Naturally I attended a hairstyling college after high school and worked in Nairobi. My sisters and I have beautiful hair, and as a woman, I know great hair can give one confidence."

I knew this was going to be long-term and actively sought my big breakthrough. It came quickly on a trip to South Africa in 1998 when many women in the streets stopped my sister and her colleagues, enquiring where they had braided their hair. Shortly after, I packed my bags for South Africa, determined to make it. “Being very young I thought that I couldn't make it alone, especially in a foreign country with different regulations and rules. So I got myself a partner. What a disaster! We parted ways because we didn't share the same vision, passion, values and common strategy on how to build and grow the business – all very important factors for any successful partnership.”

To aspiring entrepreneurs that believe you require huge capital to have a successful small business, and that it takes many years to make it, get out of your paralysis and pursue your passion. Don’t listen when someone says it’s impossible. I know very many African entrepreneurs who had little cash when they started their now profitable businesses.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

President Obama To Saheela Ibraheem - Young People Like You Inspire Our Future

The President of the United States, Barack Obama recently hosted 19 year old Nigerian American, Saheela Ibrahim, to a special reception at the White house to mark the Black History Month.
Saheela who got into Harvard at the age of 15, where she is currently studying neurobiology has also been listed among the “World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers.” 

She was also accepted for admission by 13 other top colleges in the United States, including the MIT, Princeton, Columbia, and 6 Ivy League institutions, settling for Harvard, she became one of the youngest students to ever attend the university. She will be graduating in May this year.

In President Obama's words: there are a lot of teenagers in the world. Saheela is like one of the 50 smartest ones. That’s pretty smart. And she’s a wonderful young lady. She’s like the State Department and the National Institute of Health all rolled into one. And we are so proud of your accomplishments and all that lies ahead of you. And you reflect our history. Young people like you inspire our future.”

Ibraheem, who skipped 2 grades in school, said the key to success is figuring out what you love to learn as early as possible, which she did at the young age of 5. “If you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about most of these things, especially with math and science, it will work out well”. Ibraheem also speaks 4 different languages that include Yoruba, Arabic, Spanish and Latin.

Source - Leadership

Sunday, 1 March 2015

9jaflave Soliloquy - Making Your Life Count

What will your life look like 20 years from now? This was one of the words that stood out from the lips of the pastor, as I watched service online today. A question many simply ignore or refuse to challenge their minds to ponder about. Not just 20 years, but 3, 5 and even 10 years from now, what picture do you envision of your tomorrow. Also what steps are you taking presently to get you there.

There is so much to do and yet so little we have discovered about ourselves. There is so much within us, but we have become mentally lazy and are waiting on free handouts. There is a whole world out there to conquer, yet we choose to remain in our comfort zones. There are dreams and visions to accomplish, yet we never want to choose courage and step out in faith. There is a purpose for you and me to accomplish here on earth, now that we have time in our hands, but how strong is our desire?

Our lives must count, we were meant to make a difference with who we are and what we have been given. It is in discovering who we are, that we can add value and colour to the lives of others. In a year or 5 years from now, it is the picture we see of ourselves and the concrete steps we are willing to take, that will make living more than just existing. Let us make our lives count. Let us make each day and each moment meaningful and purposeful. You were born to make an impact and you will. Keep being inspired.

Zaron CEO Oke Maduewesi Speaks On Overcoming Widowhood And Her Journey Into Entrepreneurship

Oke Maduewesi is the CEO of Zaron Group of Companies, the Zaron brand is a cosmetics and hair franchise that makes lifestyles products tailored to meet the beauty needs of women of colour. She is a mother of 2 lovely daughters who has fought her way through a very dark moment in her life to emerge brighter and stronger.

Her husband died in the ill-fated Sosoliso plane crash in 2006 while she was 7 months pregnant and nursing their 2-year-old child. In a recent Sun interview, she bared her mind on overcoming the trauma of widowhood and her journey into the world of entrepreneurship. Read excerpts below:

I was devastated because I didn't only lose a husband but also my best friend. His death was a dark moment in my life because I became alone. My husband wasn't rich, but we had dream of where we aspired to be in future, and we both worked hard to get there.

His demise left me lonely. And being a widow, people were telling me different things about how I should now live my life. But amid all those voices, I had to speak to myself. I told myself never to wear the typical face of widowhood. In my tribute to my late husband, I promised that I would do him proud by taking good care of our children. That promise I made kept me focused and strong in the face of every adversity I faced. But there were challenges.

Happy New Month - A Brand New Beginning

Happy New Month Everyone!!! Welcome to the month of March and another great opportunity to make your life count this year.

For some the year kicked off well with many good accomplishments, for others the journey started well but lost momentum along the line, while some still have been unable to kickstart their journey. It is a new month, a brand new beginning and a whole world of opportunity to make your life meaningful. Forget yesterday and seize the moment to make a great future.

Time waits for no one and everything simply begins with taking that single step. Be bold, dare to dream, fill your heart with courage, believe in yourself and do something worthy and fulfilling this month. Have a great month. XOXO