Thursday Talk Series on Tobe’s Life and Work As a Photographer

Rigozo

I saw a Bollywood movie yesterday and as always their storyline is intriguing, and the acting was superb and hilarious. The name is A Magical Love Story, and it’s about love, family, fate, curses, deceit, and magic. We know real-life is not the same as a screenplay but we do all we can each day to find happiness. There is no substitute for trying again and again. Sometimes life is to be enjoyed and other times it picks you up, does a little spin, and sets you down. You can be sure that it will take a while before you will be able to find your balance – you will eventually find it. Let have this in mind, “Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLaren. Whether you believe that love/life is magical, it’s up to you to write your own story.

Today I’m introducing Tobe and I’ve found him to be one of those people (rare) who are completely honest with themselves. This makes him able to interpret his feelings without trying to convince himself otherwise. He pays attention to details, especially in his work, and always tries to find a balance between business and personal life – to the best of his ability. In his relationship with people, he is understanding and reliable, makes amazing connections (he always knows a guy). I can’t remember our first meeting but we’ve had several easy and open-minded conversations. That said, he’s the first to start conversations with people – he still hasn’t realized that he has an amazing gift of relating with people – even strangers. He is a goal-getter and an exceptional manager, and when it comes to having fun he gets into the mood 100%.

Trivia on Tobe

- A foodie

- Loves to dance

- An Arsenal fan

Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. My name is Tobenna Afamefuna Nnamdi Amechi. Yes, I do not have an English name and for a while, I didn’t like it. However, today I am proud of my Igbo names because each of them has specific meanings which are relevant to life and living. I am a photographer and I run a photography business in Lagos, Nigeria.

Tobenna Amechi

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

I started the business because it was a skill I had and I needed to make money while waiting to get full-time employment. I wasn’t also so bombed with the idea of working for someone except for having the idea of ‘corporate work’ at the time and being responsible. Over time, the reasons for being in business have grown from money-making and now emotional and core business principles. At some point, I just wanted to make money, other times I just wanted to be happy. There was a period it was powered by how people felt when they got served by my business. Now all of those things have faded, and I am more interested in building a business that solves clients’ problems while meeting the needs of the individuals offering the service. There are days in the cause of running this business that I felt I would rather be doing an actual 9-5, step out every day and do actual work, and then come back. I have gone ahead to even apply for jobs on some days. In the end, I am still here going through the motions and believing. I am a corporate guy. I have an affinity for emails, suits, ties, warm regards, etc. It excites me, and I sincerely want to experience it, if I get the opportunity, either by building it into my own business or getting that actual job and maybe just doing it for 6 months. For me, the travails of being a business owner are always looming. There are busy days, lazy days, and days I question my existence and relevance to both myself and the universe. I like activity – purposeful activity – hence I feel very uncomfortable when I am not doing anything. Why do I currently do what I do? I am not sure I know anymore. I believe many entrepreneurs have gone through this phase too. However, I am at the point where I want to prove my relevance to myself. I want to be sure I am not just existing, and inconsequential to the happenings of life.

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

  • Growth – I am really scared of not measuring up to my mates, of poverty and stagnant.
  • Relevance – I want to make a mark in peoples lives I don’t want to have just existed, I want to have touched lives so when I die in the next 80 years, people can have good testimonies about me.
  • Money – to make more and never lack while giving to people in need.
  • Love – I feel alone most times, I need a girlfriend in my life.
  • Sex – How I am not having it and wish to get married quickly so I can indulge without guilt
  • Family – current and future.
  • Heaven – How I try not to do the many different things I could be doing that seem normal but will cost me eternity, I can’t go to hell Biko.

Q. What is the best thing about what you do?

A. Sincerely, the best thing about it right now is delivering to the clients’ satisfaction and the consequent balance that comes. Of course, making great images satisfy me, and this was the best thing at some point but not now making great images also means the client would be satisfied.

Q. What do you appreciate about yourself and what would you like to change?

A. I appreciate my soft nature which makes me want to do good for people all the time. I also would like to change it, to be a little more strong-willed, not caring what people will say and a lot of other things.

Q. What have you accomplished so far that has made you proud?

A. A little while ago, I was in a virtual meeting with my staff. I looked at my computer screen and saw their names registered and I realized how blessed I was to have two individuals on my team. I am proud to have been able to build Wise Visuals by God’s grace from a one-person team to where it is now. I am proud and grateful for it.

Q. What was the last book you read and what can you say about it?

A. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. There is no successful person who didn’t have opportunities handed to them, in most cases they didn’t realize they were opportunities that would make them world-famous. However, they still made the best out of the opportunities that were presented to them, putting in the time and work needed to be great at what they did, clocking their 10,000 hours of work to be excellent. In light of this, I figure that everyone is presented with a series of opportunities in their lifetime, we are tasked to view each season as an opportunity and make the best of it. Achieving expertise at something requires you to have put in much time work approximately 10,000 hours, which the successful people we know put in both voluntarily and involuntarily as a result of the opportunities they were presented with. If this is true which does make sense, then intentional practice over time helps the mastery of and success at one’s craft.

Q. What do you feel is the difference between living and existing?

A. The major difference is impact and self-satisfaction. When you live, you affect lives, small and big and you are happy and self-satisfied doing that.

Over time, the reasons for being in business have grown from money-making and now emotional and core business principles. At some point, I just wanted to make money, other times I just wanted to be happy. There was a period it was powered by how people felt when they got served by my business. Now all of those things have faded, and I am more interested in building a business that solves clients’ problems while meeting the needs of the individuals offering the service

Amechi Tobenna on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What is that thing that you see as an obstacle which can stop you from having success?

A. Inconsistency. I find that I can start things and most times I don’t know how to finish or sustain them. Knowing this is a challenge, has also posed an inhibition to start for me, because I don’t want to start and not finish.

Q. If like a movie your life up to this point is played for you to watch, describe how you’d feel about it?

A. I’d feel how I am feeling now, unsatisfied and some level of regret. Grateful for the wins and optimism and faith for a better ending.


Thank you so much Tobenna for the interview and I hope you find what gives you satisfaction. And thank you everyone for sticking around. Have a blissful Thursday.

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“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs

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Frank Herbert’s sixth book - Heretics of Dune
I am so proud of myself for getting to book 6

Thursday Talk Series| Idowu As A Living Oracle

Rigozo

Holla! Have you listened to Ed Sheeran – Shivers? You should do – like right now – I don’t mean now, but after you’ve read today’s Thursday Talk Series you can skedaddle outta here and go listen to Eddie’s latest song if pop is your kind of jam. All week I had it on repeat. The first time I listened to the song I started dancing even though I’m a tragic dancer. I hope I’m never asked to dance to save my life because it would be my obituary. Yes, that bad. But Ed’s Shivers is that good.

Standing on non-existing protocols, I’d like to introduce Idowu Adeyemi, The Oracle (it’s a fact that I always hear a thunderous cheer anytime he’s introduced). If Orishás (traditional Yoruba spirits) walked the earth, it is safe to say that Idowu is an ancient spirit trapped in a human body, but still offering service to humankind. His personality shines through in all of his affairs, and the work that he puts into the things he’s passionate about places him above his peers (notice I didn’t say he puts passion into his work). He’s also one of the best people that I have been privileged to know. He’s a dreamer by nature, a lawyer by profession, and an Orator by might. I believe the world is waiting to know a man like Idowu, and soon they’ll get to meet him. When he’s not busy with legal matters, he reads (African literature is his favorite), cooks, listens to music, take short walks, and engages in lively discussions (from how to develop the reading culture of Young Africans to the which housemate was evicted on BBN).

Trivia about Idowu

He loved to watch Bollywood😂😂😭❤️

Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. My name is Idowu Olamilekan Adeyemi but my friends and fans like to call me “The Oracle.” Not that I truly believe that I’m one but it has a nice ring to it, so I stick to it. I am a Lawyer with my practice areas including Intellectual Property Law, Corporate and Commercial Practice, Legal drafting, Research and Writing. So, if you are ever in need of my services, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am also trying to get a Communication Consulting Company off the ground and I am optimistic it will turn out great pretty soon.

Idowu Adeyemi after Law School
Idowu Olamilekan Adeyemi

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

A. I have to say that I am not one of those privileged people who have the incredible gift of knowing what exactly they want to do with their lives from an early stage. I was a commercial student throughout my secondary school but then I stumbled on law when I was going to write my o’ levels exam and it felt like the right thing to do because it aligned with my natural abilities but then I got to the University and it felt like a total disaster. It took me another year after law school to fall in love with this profession. So, I practice law because I finally believe that this where I am meant to be and I am good at it and it does align with a major part of my personality not to mention the fact that money doesn’t hurt too. As far as doing something else goes, I won’t. I will rather complement my law practice with other creative endeavors that I am certain I have abilities for.

Q. When have you felt like giving up?

A. Good gracious! That has been too many times already. In fact, it use to be everyday. Being a person with disability and living in an unstructured society like Nigeria is a double jeopardy to say the least. And a specific instance of such frustration will be when a prospective employer hinted at my disability as the reason for not getting the job. This had happened more than once but this particular day, I went back home depressed and I was sure I was never going to try again. But after hunger waya my head for a couple of days, I needed no extra motivation. Lol. I figured if the society is not going to give me a space, I can either take it or create one for myself and that is what I have been doing since that time.

Idowu living in the moment at sunrise

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

A. I think about self and professional development. I want to be the best at whatever I do. My career and future mean a lot to me and I am always thinking about how many positive steps I have taken each day to get closer to it. I think about family too. A lot, but that is a story for another day. Lol.

Q. What have you accomplished so far that has made you proud?

A. Honestly, I have a lot of things to be grateful for. But what I am proud of the most is the fact that I am able to attain independence. My worst fear growing up use to be that I will forever be dependent as a person with disability. It hunted me so bad that I use to cry in my private space but today, e no too hard to drink small garri and groundnut daily. Lol.

The Oracle having a good time
Photo credit: Rigozo

Q. If money was not relevant, what would you do all day?

A. I will sit with peers and engage in interesting and intelligent conversations all day. I will sit with old people and listen to stories about the past and learn more about our various cultures and languages. I will spend more time trying to understand the dynamics and the diversity of humanity. I sure as hell will travel a lot and explore the world beyond my immediate reality and environment.

Q. What kind of people do you allow in your circle?

A. All kinds of people. Everyone is welcome, as long as you are kind, empathetic and you can show and appreciate love. Tribe, race, religion, class and other basis of discrimination do not apply in my relationships.

Q. Do you consider that people are basically good or bad?

A. I think we are both and I think we are more than that. Humanity is complex, it will be cheap oversimplification to say we are either just good or bad. The part of us that we exhibit however is dependent on various factors; like the part of us we have nurtured the most, socialization process, level of knowledge and exposure, how complex the dilemma we are presented with is at the point of making each decision and a lot more. We can only try to do the right thing but we have to admit that we will not always get it right and that’s okay.

Idowu ‘The Oracle’ in Ibadan

It took me another year after law school to fall in love with this profession. So, I practice law because I finally believe that this where I am meant to be and I am good at it and it does align with a major part of my personality not to mention the fact that money doesn’t hurt too. As far as doing something else goes, I won’t. I will rather compliment my law practice with other creative endeavors that I am certain I have abilities for.

Idowu Adeyemi, ‘The Oracle’ on Thursday Talk Series.

Q. What is your biggest complaint about this country?

A. It’s the lack of a system for me. You cannot single out a sector in Nigeria where things are working the way they should. Everyone just dey freestyle and living each day as it comes. It’s pathetic!

Q. What is the one thing you think that should be taught in school about choosing a career that isn’t?

A. Actually, for me, it’s two things. First, it’s okay to figure out your career path much later after school. It doesn’t mean you are a loser or irresponsible or dumb. It only means you are yet to find yourself and that can take a lot of time for some people and it’s absolutely alright. Just don’t give up on yourself. Whenever you wake up is your morning. All you need do, no matter how long it takes is ensure that you wake up. Second, do not underestimate the power of social capital. Great people in your circle are worth infinitely more than money. So, build relationships and don’t burn bridges. When you finally wake up, those people will be there to say good morning to you and help you get off to a beautiful day ahead.


Thank you so much, Idowu for the interview and I wish you all the best. Remember that your dreams are as great as you envision them to be and it’s only a matter of time. And to everyone still reading thank you so much. Also, you can like, comment and share. Have a lovely Thursday.

Below is a little something I wrote for Idowu a while back, hope you enjoy it.

The Oracle,

When they started calling you ‘The Oracle’ back in school, I teased you at every given opportunity. Well, that was my job description as your friend and sometimes tormentor. I tried my best to be at all of your competitions anyway. 

In a packed lecture hall, when it was your turn to speak, I could sink my teeth into the tension in the air. Maybe I didn’t hear all that you said, and that was the least reason why I was there anyway. The main reason was to watch people as they listened to you. 

To see a mass of bodies lean a little further, hold their breaths, and scream as one at the words you said, was euphoric. That you held sway over the emotions and the actions of people was in itself a form of power. And that was when I realized that you may not be a deity, but you were at those moments the most powerful person in the room. 

Dedicated to Idowu Adeyemi.

How I would like to spend my weekend😭

On Getting Better For Myself

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great time and are looking forward to the rest of the month. Well, I have been busy, and it seems like it will be the same until the end of the year – no breaks for me.

It’s has been a bit crazy, and I’m surprised that I haven’t lost my head completely. Hands down I get the best support from the awesome people around me who genuinely care about my physical and mental health. They are the reason I’m able to stay sane and keep pushing. Also, I’m doing the things I care about and it helps me go to work with a lot of positive energy and produce better results.

I should mention that I often think about becoming a better version of myself, lot, and all the ways that it can be achieved. Also, how I struggle to understand and appreciate myself every day and try to do the right things that are right for me. This has helped me to push away people and habits that are toxic and irrelevant to my growth.

Now, it hasn’t been easy, and I would like to share with you those things I have been struggling with the past couple of months and have acknowledged.

Having Anxiety and Stress

I won’t call myself a perfectionist – that’s too high a bar to set for myself. When I start something, I set my mind to do my best. Nonetheless, I’ll say that I struggle to manage situations when they get out of my control because I like to have a firm grasp of things, and do my best to avoid surprises. If things don’t go as planned I start to freak out, get anxious and overwhelmed, and shocks will go through my body. Always, as long as I have to get work done and something messes with my schedule unexpectedly, I just have to breathe to stabilize. Stress gives me legit headaches. My brain, my heart, they just can’t deal with all of that. People’s intentions are great but I prefer to be far away from whatever affects me negatively.

Lack of Organizational Skills

A big shout-out to people who are organized and can work with daily planners to stay productive. The only reason why I’m so inconsistent with blogging I have several things I have to do but I just can’t manage my time well. If I’m being honest I let myself get distracted by a lot of things when I should be productive. I set tasks in my calendar to do for the week and I barely meet up. I feel like my life would be a lot better if I were more organized.

Taking Care Of Myself

I think y’all are beginning to understand how much of a mess I can be and believe me when I say day-to-day. So, I love to take care of myself, but I only do the basics (read the part about anxiety and stress above). Anything that requires me to do extra beyond washing and moisturizing my body, I see as a lot of work. My skin however has been surviving despite my negligence. But for how long? A few days back, I realized that my hair was damaged and my hair loss scared me. I realized after checking for help that stress and too much tension while manipulating myself were the culprits. Now hair breakage is normal, but when you shed hair a lot, that’s scary. So yeah, my hair is unhealthy and I have to fix it or lose it. Of course, I freaked out, but that’s nothing new.

Presently, I’m not entirely happy with myself, but neither am going to throw myself out in the trash. I know I’m getting no worksheet that helps me magically work this out because getting better takes a lot of hard work and commitment. My friend told me that there would always be things that are out of our control, but some things we can control, like reading books, eating well, taking care of our body and hair, making a work schedule, and sticking with it, exercise, or do yoga, and so on. To become better is therefore personal decision to do all that I can take that’s within my capability. Do my best and leave the rest they say.

This reminds me, I’m aware that I haven’t written a story or a poem in a very long time, instead, all the writings I do these days are work-related and I haven’t done photography as much. That is why I will like to take another route from here on out, starting from this post. I’ll be coming in here to dump my thoughts. I don’t mean to pour out every impression or try to bemoan my existence. Lol. I’ll just be sharing snippets of the things I do, books I’ve read, songs I’m jamming to, and how I get through life. Like doing reality checks now and again.

I hope you have a beautiful day. Try to be better for yourself, not for anybody – although people can inspire you. Make sure the conviction comes from you.

Sending love and light,

Until next time.

PS. I’ve started taking care of my hair. It would be a while before it gets better, and I’m looking forward to it.


Phone photography of a gas station
Shot with my phone and edited on snapseed
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On The Art of Living

Rigozo

I’m very particular about living (well) and I have been aware of it for a very long time and would like to say a few things. There’s no denying that ‘life is wonderful’, I believe it is why most people at their last moments, would have given anything to keep their hearts beating. I think it ironic that we that are alive spend most of the time bemoaning our existence.

Granted life gives us doses of wins and losses, and there’s so much going on around the world that could test even the patience of a saint.

I like how Stephen King puts it matter of fact, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Well, those are the options and that’s all there is to it.

Time is precious
No time like the present

We Are Alive

Everybody that is alive do five things in common; breathe, eat, sleep, piss, and sh*t. Even babies get with the program as soon as they arrive on the third planet from the sun (I don’t know anybody who doesn’t, and if you do, please feel free to mention the person). Many would argue that we are one and the same, while others will stand on our individuality and uniqueness; potato – potato.

Whatever the case may be, you inhabit this earth and there’s only one permanent way out (into the unknown). But while you are here, you play your part in the grand scheme of things (this here is shrouded in mystery) no matter how miserably or awesomely you are getting along.

When you are fed up of adulting.

How many times do we tell ourselves that we can handle this? It’s the way we deal with things that upset us. It’s the reason why whoever you are, wherever you find yourself or whatever you do; you spent your formative years immersed in learning the acceptable way to live. Moreover, you are besieged with family, friends, school, work, government and many more. You just have to learn to deal with it because as you grow older, it is expected of you to take the reins of your life and make decisions on how you want to live it .

Side Bar:

There’re all forms of pleasure available and only a few compete with the joy of eating good food. When cake melts in your mouth, you experience paradise and all lovers of plantain can testify that nothing can compare. Eat good food because your health is important, enjoy it because you have to be a sadist not to. That’s one way to liven up your living.

Living usually takes different turns at different stages of your life and you are confronted with fresh-faced issues. Mostly there are periods of triumph and periods that are tumultuous. And it continues in this manner until you breathe your last. No matter how much we try, there are days when we cannot deny that we are not okay. Good news is it’s normal.

To talk about how hard living can be. I'm not Okay.

Making The Most Of Living

Love yourself; You Matter: Put your hands up if you know that you’re a spec and need no validation from other people (both of my hands are in the air). I think it goes beyond knowing it, and it depends more on living your life and taking actions that shows how much you value yourself. I say this because when people say they are living their best life, I assume that there can be such a thing as living your worst life. So get into your Zen, be aware of who you are and cash out on appreciating yourself.

Stay Away From People

Build a strong barrier around yourself to keep the wrong people out. The reason why is so that you do not lose your sanity. Yes, stay away or your mental/physical/spiritual health can be threatened. If you realize that the wrong people still inhabit your space, it could be because your barrier is made from bubble wrap, and well you get the idea…you are like a kid’s favorite play toy. They’ll definitely chew you up and spit you out as a complete mess. Keep the right people around you…you’ve heard this before, maybe it’s time to find them and keep them. The wrong people who don’t do anything for you, send packing.

Use Available Resources

This is what I see a lot of us struggle with because human needs are insatiable and there’s always something more. It takes a lot of self discipline to work with available resources and to get things done. Khalil Gibran writes, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Reframing you’re mindset plays a huge part in fixing your life, or you’ll truly live in sobriety. Not everything is within your reach but take advantage of what is and that would be your stepping stone.

…when people say they are living their best life, I assume that there can be such a thing as living your worst life.

Stop Procrastinating

There are several times when I fail to get things done because I procrastinate. I got this drilled into my head. When I say “I’ll try to do this,” I get the response, “Don’t try, just do it.” Do it? A lot of times the only thing I want to do is nothing. In real life though, you can’t always wait for life to happen, it is advisable to go out and grab what you want by the balls. No offense meant. Charles Linbergh proposes that while living in dreams of yesterday, we find ourselves still dreaming of impossible future conquests. In other words, live your life now.

Just Do It!❤️