Born To Be A Solution
FROM KOKO MASTER TO KOKO FARMER!
Everyman is born to be a solution to a problem. Great men are problem solvers; they became great because they consistently solve problems. Indeed, great men solve great problems. It is the size of the problem that determines the size of the reward! Our idea about wealth needs to be re-adjusted because the easiest route to wealth is to solve problems; money is the reward you get for solving someone’s problem. Stop looking for money, look for problems and solve them! The easiest route to making maximum impact in life and eternity is by being a solution to people’s problems.
The problem is not the problem; your attitude to the problem is the problem! Our attitude to problems determines whether they will be solved or perpetuated. Mike Murdock said, ‘’ you will be remembered for two things: the problems you solve or the ones you create ‘’. We must believe that the best way to escape from a problem is to solve it and that a problem is a solution yet to be discovered. Your focus on the problem will prohibit you from seeing the solution; cultivate the habit of focusing on solutions.
“You’ve got to have a problem that you want to solve; a wrong that you want to right”-Steve Jobs
Fred Smith is the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx, originally known as Federal Express, the first overnight express delivery company and the largest in the world. In 1962, Smith entered Yale University: while attending Yale, he was preoccupied with solving the problem of packaged mail delivery and decided to write a paper on it for an economics class, outlining the feasibility of overnight delivery service in a computer information age. Fred Smith got a grade “C” in a Yale economics class for an idea that the professor belittled as unworkable; that idea – to deliver time sensitive packages overnight. Though the paper was out rightly rejected by a Yale professor but later became the idea that led to the emergence of FedEx.
On June 18, 1971, Smith founded Federal Express as a solution to the nagging problem of overnight and quick delivery of packages all over the world. Smith’s company became the first American business to make over ten billion dollars in annual profit. Beginning with just 186 packages delivered the first night, FedEx now delivers more than 10.2 million packages daily in over 200 countries using over 6,030 aircraft, 46,000 vehicles and 141,000 employees.
Smith was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S Business Hall of Fame in 1998. His other awards include ‘’CEO of the year 2004’’ by Chief Executive Magazine, 2006 Person of the Year by the French-American Chamber of commerce, 2008 Kellog Award for Distinguished Leadership, 2008 Bower Award for Business Leadership. He is the 2011 recipient of the Tony Janus Award for distinguished contribution to Commercial aviation and also a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame. In March 2014, Fortune Magazine ranked him 26th among the list of ‘’World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’’. His current worth is $3.9 billion and he is also among the Forbes list of the 500 Richest People in the World 2015. Not only did Smith change the way packages were delivered, he changed the way corporations dealt with customers and employees by introducing the P-S-P principle: People, Service, and Profit.
Smith’s daily decision to place people first has proven that the most valuable assets are people. Smith changed the face of “package delivery” all over the world just by an idea and his commitment to excellence. Vince Lombardi says, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. Smith was only thinking about solving ‘delivery’ problem and eventually became one of the richest men in the world!
“The majority see the obstacles; the few see the objectives; history records the successes of the latter, while oblivion is the reward of the former.”-Alfred Montapert
D’banj is one of the musical icons that the Nigerian youths worship with great respect and adulation. Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo popularly known as D’banj was born on the 9th of June 1980. He is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, harmonica player and businessman. He adopted the stage name D’banj, a combination of his first name ‘Dapo’ and his surname ‘Oyebanjo’.
His path to fortune was molded in the UK in 2001, when he had to choose between studying mechanical engineering or following the path of his passion for music and through an act of divine orchestration, he met Don Jazzy (Michael Collins) who was also trying to make it as a songwriter and producer. D’banj later found a permanent ‘abode’ in the studios and worked tirelessly as a security guard in order to make ends meet. The duo (D’banj and Don Jazzy) with some other friends later evolved the Mo’Hits Records. The Mo’Hits All-stars includes artist Dr. Sid, Wande Coal, Kay Switch and D’ Prince. Their emergence ignited a musical revolution in Nigeria but the inevitability of a break-up eventually made the ‘perfect duo’ go on their separate ways. After the ‘break-up’ Don Jazzy, D’ prince, Dr. Sid, Wande Coal started Mavin Records while D’banj founded DB Records.
He changed the entertainment atmosphere with the release of his debut album ‘’No long ting” back in March 2005 and Tongolo became an instant hit. With D’banj’s first album came his first endorsement from an energy drink called Power Fist. D’banj is currently best known internationally for his 2012 summer hit ‘’Oliver Twist’’, that topped the African charts 2011 and was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012 reaching number 2 on the UK R&B chart. He has won several awards, including the awards for Best Africa Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Award 2009, Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards and Best-Selling Africa Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards.
D’banj is the founder of Koko Foundation for youth and Peace development. He is also Nigeria’s first United Nation’s Ambassadors for peace. Fueled by his passion to be a solution to the dwindling participation of the Nigerian youth in Agriculture, he released the song, ‘’Cocoa Na chocolate’’ in support of agriculture investments. ‘Cocoa Na chocolate’ featured 18 other African artists and won Best African Collaboration at the All Africa Music Awards in 2014.
D’banj has been a strong voice for massive youth participation in the agricultural sector. He was part of the ‘ONE’ Campaign in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January, 2014 during the launching of ‘’Do Agric, it pays’’, a campaign calling for African government to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets.
The campaign also targets at getting thousands of youths to practice agriculture. D’banj said during the launching, ‘’there are massive untapped business opportunities in agriculture that could create jobs for millions of Africans on and off the farm. I want Africans to know that farming is not only the foundation of the economy, but also that farming is cool. I believe that, if the needed attention is given to agriculture, we Africans will not only feed ourselves, but also the rest of the world.’’ His inroad into the agricultural sector is something worthy of emulation by the Nigeria youths.
The Koko master, as he is fondly called by fans, reveals his new product ‘’koko garri’’ at the ‘One-Do-Agric’ Campaign launch which was held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja as the first product coming out from his company; ‘Koko Holdings’. Koko garri is processed, sealed and well packaged cassava flour that has been produced for local consumption. He also announced that he will be producing Koko bread made of cassava.
D’banj was made an ambassador for Nagropreneurs initiative in Abuja by the former minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr, Akinwunmi Adesina. The former minister had said that the Federal Government is set to roll out the Nigeria Agricultural Entrepreneurs, Nagropreneurs, and initiative to attract youths to agriculture. The project is targeted at raising 750, 000 young agricultural entrepreneurs by creating an enabling environment through government interventions like getting them access to land, finances and mechanized equipment.
In 2015, he was applauded by the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim for using his musical talent and influence among the youths to bringing attention to serious and critical issues in Africa with special focus on agriculture and poverty alleviation. From life in the street of the United Kingdom to Mo’Hits and one of the biggest superstars Nigeria has ever seen, D’banj has proved that all you need to become successful is in you. It is good to see the Koko master evolving from entertaining his fans to becoming a solution to the protracted attitudinal problem of Nigerian youths towards agriculture.
He has become a great source of inspiration to the Nigerian youths by unveiling the limitless opportunities that can be afforded in the vast agricultural sector.
“Be part of the solution; not part of the problem”- Stephen R. Covey
I want to encourage the youths to see themselves as solutions to the nagging problems in the world. Stop looking out for mischievous, dubious and ‘demented’ ways of making money! It is high time we started equipping ourselves to become solutions to societal problems. I am also encouraging the Nigerian youths to key into the opportunities that abound in the agricultural sector; let us evolve Agricpreneurs and Musicpreneurs and redesign a new Nigeria. Let the Nigerian youths arise and feed the world. We are living in a world where the most fed are controversially the most blessed!
Gbenga Adebambo is the dean of schools at the Educational Advancement Centre (EAC), an author, youth specialist, international coach and the Editor-In-Chief of MAXIMUM IMPACT MAGAZINE. He is also the founder of the youth ministry called STOP ‘T’(Seeing Tomorrow’s Opportunities and Potentials Today), a ministry that is involved in discovering and nurturing hidden potentials in youths in order to equip them for tomorrow’s challenges, opportunities and responsibilities.