Of Talents, Environment & Opportunity

Make efforts developing your talents “in situ”, or migrate to where your lights would easily shine brighter, with less lumens?

Having a look at alternative views to the ” brain drain” syndrome.

Someone came over with the following quote:

Following this, there were positions canvassed regarding talent , its development, its impedance and the mental attitudes or factors responsible for success, generally .

Here they come:

Beyond his quotes, what are his other achievements?

“All of us do not have equal talent. But , all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

I disagree with that one.

We.don’t all have equal opportunities in life.
Someone born in the USA has better opportunity than one born in Nigeria or Kenya, say, to develop his/her talent.

The USA environment is better suited for people to develop their talents generally. There are things you won’t even have access to in Africa say or they are way too expensive for the common man while they may be taken for granted in the USA.

Nothing about Nigeria prevents you from developing your talents. But reaching full potential is another thing

Have you asked yourself why Nigeria and Africa are never represented in some sports at all in Olympics?

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Because no one sought to develop the sport

If you can’t reach your full potential, what are we talking about?
If you are going to be a run of the mill footballer, then you haven’t actually developed your talent because those who did are known worldwide.
Everyone can kick a football except the handicapped but only those who reach their full potentials are celebrated or recognised.

You mean you can develop your talent for a game like ice hockey in Nigeria? How can an ice skater ever develop the talent of ice skating when we don’t have the facilities in Nigeria? The Environment matters a lot, especially when it comes to technological advances. And how can you possibly tell me that someone in Nigeria desiring to be an ice skater has equal opportunity with someone in the USA?

I was deeply deeply deeply interested in programing… system level kind of programming. I never had a chance, somehow, to get to the level I would have loved.

It’s only you who stopped yourself. Nobody stopped you. I know world-class programmers in Nigeria
Tim Akinbo, Seun Osewa, etc. These are people who never left this shores

You think others lack talent, or were unwilling to develop the talents?

Others were unwilling. I believe opportunity is like the dawn of a new day or the rising of the sun… what you make of it is dependent on where you are positioned.. Succeeding is not much about talent, or developing those talents. It’s a confluence of your location, opportunity, and lastly talent.

There are very talented folks from more impoverished nations than Nigeria

photo courtesy - gudev.org

photo courtesy – gudev.org

You think you don’t have far far better footballers than Austin Okocha. Or.musicians who can sing PSquare under the microphones?
There maybe world class programmers from impoverished nations than Nigeria but they probably don’t have parents or relatives to help them financially on their way to the top.

Supposing you are talented, but need international exposure to bring out the talent, but are physically mired in Nigeria, what then?

There are people trying that may never get to the height except they get external help by way of funds injection. We call this a bootstrap in computing.
There was a study of what contributes to the ultra success of the Zuckerberg of this world. It’s mostly opportunity first, not talent.. a combination of good fortune, being in the right era, in the right place, at the right time..There are programmers who can build a far better facebook, but who would never have the impact of Mark Zuckerberg..

One will be shortchanged thinking that someone in US has better opportunity of developing his talent
Opportunity and ambience are the foundation to meteoric rise.

If you have constant, regular electricity, computers when in school, would you say you don’t have a leverage on those who don’t, as a programmer.?

If you are in a rural area and your parents are subsistence farmers, you will probably have little time to work on your talents while you will be helping your parents than another child in the city that has everything he needs.

Or, you have rich parents who sent you to the best schools, from day one, your environment gives you an head start in life. A start contemporaries would find unassailable.

Photo courtesy - warosu.org

Photo courtesy – warosu.org

When one starts believing that his environment won’t let him succeed.. That’s the beginning of failure.

Point is, you can have the latent talents of an Edison, if the opportunity are not there to develop and amplify, it comes to nought

People still rise from dust.. From nothing to something.. irrespective of their environment

How about philip Emeagwali, will he have been as successful as he is now, if he had not left Nigeria?
Yeah, we keep trying with the resources available to us but admitting to facts of life isn’t the same as accepting failure.

An eagle chained down with ducks may never soar, despite efforts.

To me it is the breath of life… new everyday. .what I don’t do with it today may be difficult to do tomorrow. I can do similar but not same…it is like touching same spot in a stream.. the water flows you touch the water but not same as it keeps flowing… the legacy we leave behind determine how well we took opportunities presented to us. I can decide to stay in the sun or in the shade my decision making when the opportunity presents at a point in time is koko…opportunities will always come as long as we are alive…

Your mind won’t break a rock without tools. Forget faith moving mountains. It doesn’t. You can think and believe all you like, but like I said, you can’t break a rock with your forehead. You can have the faith of turning water to fuel, it won’t happen without some critical outside factors

I would never had dabbled into ICT if i was in Nigeria..though the opportunity presented itself…but in another man’s land it was an opportunity and a livelihood in an enabling environment. ..same me…different decision same talent but different location. ..

I love the biz scenario ..nice…
Hence the proliferation of mergers and acquisition in d biz world. Cactus survives under all climatic condition…by adaptation..in the wild animals prepare for climate or seasonal changes. – migration. Humans flow with the tide 😀😀😀…death

Haven’t you heard of shamans? Or Buddhist monks? Do you know levitation is possible? Is that reality or fiction?

We are not rally focusing on success here but the ability and opportunity to develop one’s talent. We have equal opportunity. Whether you use it is one thing. Please point out any talented person you know that had to travel outside the shores of Nigeria to develop it, and I will show you tons more that developed their talent and realized their potential right here in Nigeria. Lack of facilities is probably the most weak excuse for not developing talent

What’s the purpose of developing your talent if success is not the ultimate destination?
All I know is, the environment is key in one’s ability to develop himself in science and technology, especially in practice. Those in advanced countries are better placed to succeed.

We are talking about the opportunity to develop the talent, as separate from willingness.

photo courtesy - dailynews.gov.bw

photo courtesy – dailynews.gov.bw

There are so many factors in Nigeria today mitigate your desire for success. In India you have so many programmers. Taking over from the western world itself. You also have many self made millionaires. Not those stealing their country’s money, like Nigeria. In China, if you engage in corruption, it’s firing squad. The rich and politicians still pocket everything for themselves, their children and their cronies.

The poor will remain poor and uneducated. Cannot do a masters degree in university abroad. Are their potentials fully realised?

For developed countries, if you want to go school, you don’t have money, the government will give you education grants. Plus education loan.

In Canada, for instance he poorer you are, the more money you get for grants from govt. Does this happen in Naija? Lots of factors mitigating your potential in Nigeria.

I hold the belief that being in Nigeria has no effect on the development of talent. However the achievement of full potential is a different thing entirely

Development and full achievement of talent are a continuum.
Many folks do not even get their talents started in the first place. Imagine a child born in a resource poor family in Nigeria. What are his chances to develop his/her talent??

You go to a public school, like in Osun state where public workers haven’t been paid for over 6 months.
What manner of learning do you wish to receive there as a child?

You do not have a job as a youth in Nigeria, you’re supposed to be on the path to becoming the greatest programmer the world has ever known. How can you even kindle this talent, when you’re busy looking for where your next meal will come from??

But I tell you, that in India, thousands are programmers. They have the wherewithal and encouragement from the authorities to be programmers. They even do better than western countries in programming.

For each exception on Nigeria you mention, there are thousands more that are dying in penury. That do not have the wherewithal and luck to get their talents started, talking less of seeing them realised.

Compare programmers in India and Nigeria for instance. In their achievements. Which ones are in the world scale?? Or compare programmers in Nigeria with China or the USA!

There is much more that could be achieved if much more Nigerians are developing their potentials.

Your politicians and government are only concerned about their pockets na.

Supposing you are a programmer. The more.you practise, the better you get.The more unfettered your access to information, the more proficient, the better skilled, all other things kept constant.

You operate in a poor neighbourhood. You battle for day to day survival. No electrical power, hardly money for internet access. Can’t afford requisite books in your professional field. How do you develop the talent? How do you soar?

Would another person where all the basics exist not leapfrog you in the race to honing programming skills and talent?

The answer is obvious

The man where internet access is poor, no electricity can’t early develop his talents easily. It’s that simple…

Your talents are your responsibility to develop. Many people succeed here despite the encumbrances
If you give one or two examples of exceptional Nigerians who made it, what about hundreds of thousands more who are not making it due to circumstances they can’t help?? Who aren’t that fortunate.?

It’s like very affluent people explaining the ABC of accumulating wealth. Lots of impracticable theories Some can’t feed thrice a day. They are too busy surviving to develop whatever talent! Some have talent and can’t even get an education. Many can’t also afford to go to school..

In my primary schools days, Romanus was the brightest among us.. we knew it. His parents were so poor he couldn’t further. Young as we were it struck a tragic chord in our young hearts. That Romanus would surely have had a brighter future if he was in a country like China or England for instance. Maybe that guy was destined to be a great scientist. If he can’t have basic education at the right time, has he not fallen behind in life?

You could be destined to be a fantastic brain surgeon, but you are in a country where there are inadequate or no amenities. Tell me your talent won’t be stifled, in significant ways.

I grew up in Orile so I can say that I have seen what poverty is. Of all the guys I grew up with in a compound, I’m the only one in university. There was a bright bros that finished secondary school when I was in primary six. Last time I went to Orile, I saw him,he was working at a factory. Real low class.

photo courtesy - laprogressive.com

photo courtesy – laprogressive.com

I could even talk about his talents, he has always been a good singer but to leave Orile and explore ain’t that easy.
Developing talent is like being in possession of seeds, but not having fertile land to plant the seeds in. The seeds don’t get a chance without that fertile land being available.

Orile has footballers that Austin Okocha has nothing on, those days at White Sand football Playing ground.

Talking about boxers, you wouldn’t get enough of them, some Yoruba boys back then threw punches just because they felt like.

I could go on and on but if it was abroad, YouTube and Instagram etc and the whole world are in on it, but where is the money for data , the speed to upload lengthy videos with huge size or the phones to even video it.

A hugely successful property owner mechanical engineer said he would have probably been a tailor in his village today. An exceptionally bright mind, he is forever grateful.for the opportunity he had to win a scholarship and break loose. He was selected to go study abroad. Tell me, if he had not had that opportunity, how would his brilliance come to the fore?

I have an uncle who didnt have formal education, he develop interest in stone carving (sculpture). Today he is a proud man in town considering his wealth. He travels overseas like Lagos to Abuja for one exhibition or the other. His kids attend the best schools… Last year he earned a chieftancy title.

There is no reason not to TRY to succeed.
But TRYING sometimes isn’t enough. Especially if your environment is conspiring against you. Not your making. But nothing you can do about it.

Some people from Orile have done great things in life but you can’t compare to the number of those that were exposed to better life somewhere else.
If you have talent and the.opportunity to use it or develop it is non extant, it often proves to be an impedance.

Abroad, the government is trying to make a level playing ground. So that every body has similar opportunities to make it. That’s what we’re talking about.

In Nigeria, it is the opposite. It is the rich and the political class that “corner” everything to themselves. And the government does not even care. They make no attempt to help the poor.

Let me give you an instance.

In Canada if you’re a poor man, and you want to start a school or a trade so that you can feed yourself.. if you want to get into business, the government gets you grants. And loans depending on your income.

If you’re among the low income group in Canada, the government gives you money three times a year. Environment of course has definite role in developing talents and achieving, and the speed.of accomplishment.

My kids get child benefit. Because the government is thinking about the future of their children. Like we just got a cheque for $1500 and $300 just last week. The total amount I get for my three kids every month is about $1,200.

My kids get child benefit. Because the government is thinking about the future of our children.

My wife is attending post graduate education in Canada. In such environments, if you fail, you would be dead in the third world.

School fees is about 1.3 million Naira. That is if you convert it to Naira. If it were to be Nigeria, things wouldn’t be that easy. Federal and provincial govt give us grants and loans for the schooling.

Now imagine that all those guys losing around in Orile have such resources. Would the sky not be their limit??

The poor ones who have not been able to have one decent meal a day will be thinking of survival. Not talent.

The monies we get from government here are the universal child benefit. Every child in Canada receive it. Whether you’re low or high income.

Child tax benefit – this depends on how much the combined income of the family is. That is husband wife and children.

Then there is low income payment for low income families.

Finally there is GST. Also depends on annual income of the family.

No excuse for your kids not to eat good food (which affects intellect), or not to go to school. Or have a personal computer at home for assignment.

Then there is a special account you open for your kids in the bank for university education funds.

Any money you deposit, the government will double it for you. Example, if you put $1000, the government will put $2000 for you. Maximum of $5000 deposit per year.

Over here, almost everyone has a car. Tell me how a Canadian citizen would not be far better than his Nigerian counterpart.

Right from inception, your child has a headstart

By the time you work for just 5 years as a new graduate here, you’d be thinking of buying your own house. Every Nigerian child would do better if given same opportunity.

The Canadian and other first world countries people oriented policies are something we should look forward to achieving here in Nigeria, someday.

Now, dear reader, what do you think? Is talent a more important factor in success than the environment and other impediments? Is talent enough.? Is Nigeria cramping your style or you are impervious to the Nigerian inclement factors?


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