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Ibikunle Fayemi: Repetition of past mistakes will not solve our problems

By Denrele Animasaun

“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”—Seneca

Life has a way of leading you towards your own journey,so by hook or by crook, all roads will ultimately lead to one’s destination.

Hence, It is important to keep moving to ensure one’s growth leaning towards growth and development, if one chooses well, it pays to be in a positive way rather than a negative way. The choice is ours to make so are the consequences of our choice..

Fayemi spoke my language from the get go, and I was piqued by his musing and his pulled back common sense. This was how I got to know Ibikunle Fayemi,via the social media, here is a man living his truth; warts and all . It was very refreshing to read his written thoughts and convictions,better still,he is  without an ounce of grandiosity.

Pleasantly surprised when  I later found out that we have friends in common. Talk about six degrees of separation. It is indeed a small world. When I  approached him for an interview, he agreed.

Can you tell the readers about yourself?

My name is Ibikunle Fayemi. Even though I was born in my hometown, Ibadan, I grew up in Agege township of Lagos State. After graduating from secondary school, I began to work in Nigeria Airways as a personnel clerk. This exposed me to young, successful men driving nice cars and I aspired to be like them. I found out that those that were the source of my aspiration were pilots. So I decided to become a pilot.

I was able to save most of my salary and allowances during a period of two years. This was possible because I lived with my parents free of charge. With this savings, and a free ticket from Nigeria Airways, I travelled to the USA to train as a pilot in 1980. Naira was 65Kobo to $1 then. I came back to Nigeria in 1982 and re-joined Nigeria Airways in 1983. In 1985, out of frustration of not growing, I resigned from Nigeria Airways and I went back to the USA to become a Gypsy taxi driver.

I finally came back to Nigeria in 2006. Funny enough, most of the problems I left were still alive and thriving. There was pervasive poverty. Epileptic power supply was still rampant. Adequate medical care was still a futuristic concept. Incompetence and corruption were still in abundant supply.. For a while, I blamed the government. But eventually, I began to see that the cause of the problems was society itself. That was when I took up the challenge of societal change.

What is his advice to Nigerians in the diaspora? You want to relocate back to Nigeria?

(1) You need the income to support your preferred lifestyle.

(2) You must spend less than that income.

(3) Incompetence and corruption are in abundant supply here.

(4) Experience will teach you the rest.

What are your earliest memories?

I went to another school’s inter-house sports and I saw a nicely dressed young man. I thought my own clothes were not nice because I did not wash them well. I went home and washed all my clothes thoroughly, but to no avail. It was years later I realized that nice clothes are mostly bought with more money and not more washing. Now, I simply cut my coat according to my fabric. I no longer covet what I cannot afford.

Did your early memories influence your adulthood and present directions and why? Did you have an eureka moment and what did you do?

What are your inspirations and why? I was practicing meditation in 1996 and some of the wrong things that I had done earlier and their consequences merged together in my mind. I realized that I was the one working assiduously to ruin my own life. It was then I vowed never to be involved in corrupt practices again.

Prior to your first foray into writing ,what did you do and why the change in direction. What made you want to write? Where do you get the inspirations for books? Tell us about your book? What starts out as your defining moment? What advise would you give budding writers?

Can you tell us what is the difference in your books and do you have a favourite.

– I have written four books so far. The first one is “God Is Not Deaf.” This book is about mental freedom. It is about creativity and innovation. It is essentially about paradigm shift. We need to think more critically, creatively, innovatively. Merely repeating what we have learned from the past generation is not going to solve our perennial problems. Things seem to keep going from bad to worse.  The second one is “The Irony Of A Nation: A Perspective On Moving Nigeria Forward.” This book is premised on the idea that moving Nigeria forward is not the sole responsibility of the government as a lot of people think. Society must carry the biggest chunk of that responsibility. And what is society? Is it not you, me, and them? Presently, dissatisfaction is very  pervasive here. This is a manifestation of spiritual/psychological malnourishment. In the midst of abundant water, a lot of people are still thirsty.

President Buhari  has his job cut out for him. I do not know how he will put new wine in old bottles. Most of our problems are foundational. And, for some strange reason, we do not want to go back to, and resolve those foundational thoughts that created the foundational problems. Our thinking, our understanding of how reality truly works, is highly flawed. How can someone using a flawed map arrive at the desired destination? There appear to be no big solution to this country’s problems. But there are little solutions that, when combined together,  will ultimately create the big solution. Let us tackle corruption,  incompetence,  indiscipline in our private lives, while a committed leadership tackles them at the national level. My third book is a synthesis of my first two. The title of it is “Finding God Without Religion: A Pathway To Inner Peace And Inner Joy.”

But my recent book, “Millionaire Mindset:Tips On Making And Keeping money” is a self-help book on personal finance. It explores how to bid poverty goodbye forever by developing a mind-set that recognizes that decisions decide destination. It touches on time management, a  method on saving, and the need to invest. It caps it off by explaining why health is a true wealth, and how contentment is a manifestation of the millionaire mind-set.

My books are about solving problems that I had, or still have. The solutions I came up with may perfectly fit some other people that may have the same problems. That is to say that I find inspiration for my books from my own personal experience and that of others around me.

Other than writing, what do you do to unwind? I practice a Breathing Technique To Clear Debris From My Mind. It always makes my mind clear, calm, joyous. I engage in Critical thinking to create alignment in the totality of my thoughts.

What is the mantra that you live by and why:

“Do the right things the right way, in all things and at all times. The reason is : Life has taught me that I always reap what I sow, good or bad, big or small.

What else do you do other than writing? I counsel and mentor young teens and young adults. This is part of my restitution for not doing the right things the right way in my youthful years. I also teach a Meditation/ACE class every two weeks. ACE is the acronym for Alignment, Contentment, Enjoyment.

 

 

 

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