Category Archives: Impact

#MotivationalMonday – Excuses

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Excuses according to my Pastor, “are the tools of the incompetent, monuments of nothingness, those who use them are not wise.” The question that begs for answer is, why do people enjoy giving excuses?
Agreed, there are valid reasons why people do not keep their promises to perform or deliver; these sets of people we can overlook. However, there are those that DELIGHT in giving excuses. As a matter of fact, they have readymade answers waiting for every question or enquiry. For me, I view them as a form of escape. It says ‘I can’t think through beyond what I’ve done, there’s no other way round this! This alone portrays you as ‘unserious’, ‘unreliable’, ‘undependable’ and all the other negative ‘uns’.

There are always options, search them out and if it will help, utilize them.

Escaping from Excuses:

1) View the task before you as a personal challenge you MUST succeed in

2) Look for fun ways to achieve your goal so it doesn’t weary or bore you out.

3) Ask someone else for their assistance, they might just know how to make it work.

Having done all, realize that there are some situations you can’t do anything about and just let it be. That way you roll with a conqueror’s mentality and not a defeatist cloak. This is my opinion, what do you think about excuses?

@imaniking

© 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

#TuesdayThoughts – Leader

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Tuesday Thoughts - 160816

We are beleaguered with all manner of leaders, some with good plans, some with selfish motivated schemes and some with desire to lead but are surrounded by sycophants. Leaders in the marketplace, governance, systems (everywhere). Well, what can one say and really do when you have become the cockroach surrounded by hungry chickens? Hmmmm.

Not much, but that little can make a whole lot of difference. That is choosing to not go the way of bad leaders, serving the people with the barely-there or scare resources that we have. Educating people on how to rise from the ash and do something with their gifts, talents and skill-sets other than wait to be spoon-fed.

I’m done waiting for someone who doesn’t know the way to attempt to lead me. I am a forward-thinking person, I know what is right and wrong and when I’m not sure, as a believer I know Who to fall back on or ask questions. There are pointers and other good examples to follow by the way. I’ll do right by inspiring others, how about you?

  • When last did you read a good book and implement the simple strategies ‘hidden’ therein?
  • At what point did you stop believing in yourself and the gifts in you?
  • Why does negativity enjoy most evenings with you and invites his friends over too?
  • What are you going to do about changing what needs to be changed?

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – Happy Innocence Day

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When I was a child, Innocence used to live in my community

Yes, they were bullies, but also mothers that stood up to resist

And fathers that sent you back to school to return with a trophy

There were mothers who could leave their children for the market

And return to meet them alive and in one piece.

Fathers who taught boys how to be men and not celebrate the beast in them

Fathers who knew to be proud of their legacy, wealthy or not!

Back then, it felt good to be a child, as my short baby dress wasn’t an invitation

But a girl beautifully dressed with ribbons and matching socks…

Trusting fingers clinging to out-stretched adult hands

Giggling as my feet left the ground; above an uncle’s shoulder…

When Innocence was a child like me!

Now Innocence is grown in more ways than she should

The quick movement of retreating eyes tell sordid tales

Of several forms of abuse, unspoken and unreached hurts

Innocence wears a gown not her size, trying desperately to hide

Yet searching ‘Hawks’ snatch her fresh before Momma turns to defend

Making a woman of her, laden with a child. Yet, she herself is one!

I don’t know if Innocence will return…

But I seek all who will her cause defend and Hawks prevent

Will you join me? So we truly have a Happy Children’s day.

*Both male and female gender suffer different forms of abuse and need to be cared for, defended, loved and made to enjoy their innocence. Let’s be the voice of the new-born,  3-month baby who can’t form words yet or the one whose truth is disbelieved.
**We still have parents that believe in family values and uphold them at every given opportunity.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

WHEN ARTISTS MEET…

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Whenever I’m to go for an event and the ‘stress’ is much, I usually would still go because that tells me there’s something I need to learn there and I’m about to miss out on it. That was the scenario I found myself in before deciding to go for the Connect Nigeria 3rd Writers Conference, tagged “The Business Of Writing” on the Saturday, 21st May 2016, which was my first!

Like I said, I got in quite late with 2 hours left to go and I’m wondering “why did I burn N145 per litre of PMS and a family time-out to get there?”, but I didn’t regret it a bit. I’m still excited and motivated and on a whole new dimension. When it comes to my articles, I’m so looking forward to the next conference. I guess you won’t understand it until I share what is making me gush even days after.

My time there started out with Efe Paul Azino, he is an interesting fellow. If I saw him on the road, I would readily call him a sculptor or painter (he had those hands and keen eyes) but he’s a poet! You see, I was discouraged before now about my poetry, by someone I shared the desire to publish them years back, as in his expert opinion (a doctor by the way) “Nigerians don’t read much, talk-less of poetry”. Listening to Mr Efe say things like

  • To be a really good poet, “your consumption = your production” READ! READ!! READ Everything!!!
  • When it comes to performing, if you like theatrics, go ahead and perform yours like that. If you prefer to read out the poem, by all means, do that. Just perform it the way you are.
  • For a wider audience, try writing poetry in other languages. I’m trying out my pidgin English skills on this one.
  • Find your voice! Be original, so whenever anyone reads your poem, they can tell it’s yours. I would refer to this as your USP!
  • Learn to withdraw amidst all your successes and recreate yourself.
  • Form or join other poetry groups.

…I’m ready to go beyond the stars with the poems.

Mr Onimisi Adaba spoke for 5 minutes on the importance of having audio books, as some of your audience might not be the hard-copy crowd. For an intelligent writer, it is expedient to meet the needs of your diverse crowd in a fast-paced world, “Don’t just do hard copies, bring your words to life with the requisite emotion and pronunciation, using audio books.”

I’m not sure I was expecting to gain much from Ike Nnaebue a renowned Nigerian Movie Director/Screenwriter, as I’m a poetry and prose person, but by the time he started speaking I was yearning for more and already seeing myself as a screenwriter or applying the elements to my poetry and prose. As Mr Ike gave the ELEMENTS necessary for a good Screenplay Writing and I sat awed.

  • The Art of storytelling = The Art of Seduction. Try to woo, lure, entrap, persuade and capture your audience to remain in that world you have created till you are done and ready to release them. I love this! Yummy, I tell you.
  • To be a good writer, continue to ask question, make your audience asks questions too! Do not answer their questions, until you have new questions for them.
  • Have a unique idea. Make your characters, hate-able or likeable to the point that you create an emotional bonding.
  • Make your tale unpredictable by creating unique dialogues. Step out of the norms. Try not to use the first idea that comes to your mind, keep writing, more and better ones will come.
  • Though you are to consider the budget of your market, low budget doesn’t mean mediocre. Let your creative juices flow!

For Okechukwu Ofili, a self-published author and a non-conformist, Self-publishing is the way out. He expounded on his 10 Rules of writing. I love those rules and even when we refer to him as a non-conformist, all he said is a re-enactment of what others said. Be unique, everyone has got the same number of alphabets to work with, be interested in the writing as well as the sales amongst others.

It was a time well-spent seated amongst people with like-minds and if you want more, check my tweets @imaniking . Connect Nigeria Writers Conference 2017, here I come with other writers!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Tuesday Thoughts

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People read books for different reasons…some just watch movies! I try to get into the mind of the writer and imagine what they wanted us to grasp. Sometimes I enjoy what I find, other times I’m scared and thrilled at the same time. On one of such readings, I have encountered quotes that mean more than just words and this is one of them.

Life isn’t static

It’s constantly in motion

Sometimes we find ourselves caught up

In currents and carried along

Where we don’t want to go

Then we find out later

That God’s hand was in it all along

-“The Scarlet Thread

Francine Rivers