October 2019

Reflections

Reflections can guide one’s direction. It could serve as a compass, helping to navigate from wrong paths previously taken.

It’s another October, gradually gliding. It’s a new phase that will lead to our 60th year of independence, a new year with many more fresh and blank pages to be filled with our actions and inactions. Therefore, before we begin writing this new script or hurriedly add this new phase to the pages of history books, let us stop to reflect on the journey of the past one year. The past will always have connecting dots to the future. So, it’s best we trace down the memory lane to adjust, weigh and constantly make corrections, in a bid to move from where we are, to where we ought to be.

 

Moving On

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Having transcended the process of making reflections, what’s best from this stage is to move on, and moving on requires taking steps, both collectively and as individuals. Taking steps, whether in inches or in miles, what matters is the fact that we make progress, rather than remain in stagnancy, comparing our nation to her contemporaries. True, in all ramifications the world is rapidly moving on and we seem to be left behind as a nation. However, the bigger truth is that this will remain the case until we realize the word ‘Change’ is not just a theoretical phenomenon. Change is life itself, a doing word that demand action and if not effected, we will continue to be left behind.

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Moving on to the brighter side of life has never been an easy journey, notwithstanding, Nigerians are known to be strong, brave and resilient. With this, our national pledge should not just sit as mere words, but serve as fuel to keep the fire burning within.

 

To this end, let the pledge be our watchword in moving forward both collectively and as individuals:

“To be faithful loyal and honest

To serve Nigeria with all my strength

To defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory

So help me God.”

Amen

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communications.

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Freedom Within the Colors of Green White Green

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Image source: shipsandports

From the depths of various experiences, values and backgrounds, the word ‘FREEDOM’ comes in different dimensions and meanings to different people. However, regardless of whatever form it takes, the binding link to all its definitions is that, freedom connotes a release from one form of containment or the other- liberty.  Literally, freedom is to exhale.

“…the labor of our Heroes past

Shall never be in vain,

To serve with heart and might

One nation bound in FREEDOM, peace and unity.

 

From the last line of our national anthem above, freedom represents a binding factor, rather than a release. It reflects the idea of coming together and not a tool for division.

Having fought and won the battle of 1960, “the labor of our heroes past”  would have been more appreciated by our coming together, regardless of the many religious, ethnic and tribal differences to build a nation whose foundation had already been laid. To what extent have we “served with heart and might”? If “peace and unity” were languages, how fluent do we speak them? How far have these roles been played within the last 59 years?

Indeed, we ought to examine these wordings carefully, to see how far we have lived these ideals within the last 59 years.

59 years, how far have we let the liberty take us? It is one thing for a cage to be opened and quite another to get out and run; not just run, but move strategically and deliberately towards the right direction to obtain the prize life has to offer.

Right now, beyond corruption, that may be said to have bred most of the dilapidation in our country, mental slavery has become a major entanglement we now need to gain independence from, all over again. A conscious and personal battle against a poor mentality that has birthed self-pity among us, over dependency, indiscipline and hypocrisy is key.

So, what’s next?

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Image Source: Pexels

  • Walking in the consciousness that we are all that we have will go a long way.
  • Constantly building our capacity as individuals and as a nation.
  • Deliberately reinforcing our values to the world, irrespective of the fact that this may take extra efforts, considering so many underlining issues. Eventually however, the world will always stan for people with value.

 

Home or abroad, value speaks the loudest. For Instance: it’s not primarily about where one is going abroad, but about who is going. If a person with an enslaved mentality goes abroad, he/she would be treated like a slave, but with one who doesn’t just carry value, but goes in that consciousness wherever, the world would stan.

Therefore, constantly channeling our energy as a nation towards our positives is key as this will ultimately lead to us becoming an essence in the world at large. This in its entirety is True Freedom.

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communication.

 

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The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

Achieving balance is a never-ending journey. When issues on gender balance are discussed, words like “equity” and “equality” are thrown around, hence, the need to understand them as tools for bettering the balance.

  • Equality connotes equal treatment of people, irrespective of gender, social or cultural differences while Equity means the quality of being fair and impartial.
  • Equality advocates for equal quantity of both gender in giving positions and various offers while Equity fights for same access not necessarily for an equal number of gender (quantity) but quality.

The Women in Marketing and Communication Conference/Awards (WIMCA) 2019 held recently, served as a platform to discuss these issues extensively, with top professionals from all works of life sharing their working-life experiences. During one of the panel sessions, Mr. Charles Nnochiri, Head of Marketing, PZ Cussons, when asked about his thought on Equality, noted that the paradigm has shifted, as the “NEED is now key”, when dealing with issues on Equity or Equality. He noted that as the owner of an organization, he wouldn’t build the same number of restrooms for male and female staff, rather he would provide three cubicles for the male and five for the females because their needs differs due to their constitution. With this example, he explained that equality should not be the focus, but equity. In other words, equal number of men and women should not be the priority, rather, both genders should have the same access, the same cut-off marks, and the same salaries for the same jobs.

Mr. Nnochiri further revealed that during a recent assessment conducted in his firm, the only person who got exceptional (grade/ assessment) was a woman who was out on maternity leave but gave her best for the period of time she was around and emerged the best. Imagine if she was denied access because of her pregnancy? What became a win-win for both the organization and the woman, would never have happened if Equity was not applied.

The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

Dr. Ndidi Nnoli – Edozien, Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance, Dangote Industries Ltd, gave an in-depth lecture on- ‘Better the Balance in The Work Place; Equity or Equality’. She described equity as access, and access meaning – to give people equitable resources that will help them grow.

“It means meeting people where they are
No matter what their gender is”.

The Team Spirit
Regardless of the setting we find ourselves, the fight for gender balance is a fight for all, especially by team work, love and support for each other.
This begs the question of how current female leaders are nurturing the next generation of women in their various fields? Research shows that many women are afraid of being mentored by other women. Dr. Nnoli proceeded by advising female leaders to make efforts to teach and mentor the next generation of women in their spheres.
Dr. Nnoli further accentuated the need for women to build and support each other in thriving beyond all odds. Using her experience of growing as the only girl amongst boys, and having to stand as the only woman amongst men at various stages in her career and how these various encounters gave her a better understanding of the male and female structure which can help shape the degree to which a better balance is fundamentally attained.

The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

Etu Odi At WIMCA 2019

She painted a graphic picture in the minds of the audience, of how most games for boys (while growing up) had to do with team work- football, basketball and the likes. For example: a football team would still shake hands and possibly hug their revivals before and after the game. This team spirit tends to grow within the boys till they become men, directly and indirectly. Men are seen watching their favorite sport with their revival team supporters, yet supporting a goal, sharing drinks and signing big business deals on such friendly tables, regardless.
To confirm her illustration, some men in the audience attested to the fact that many business deals were closed at recreational centers and even at the bar.
In contrast to this, Dr. Nnoli pointed out how most games and competitions for girls are more individualistic. For her as a little girl, she was a ballet dancer and also engaged in swimming, which are a few examples of activities and games which had to do with one’s individual ability on the pitch, even when representing a team. These growing up experiences tend to shape how both sexes react to what life throws at them as individuals.

WMCA .

The consensus reached by the well-seasoned speakers and panelists stressed that, in bettering the balance, we need not talk from only the numerical, social, political or leadership perspective but most especially in terms of ACCESS. For example, access to capital, opportunities and information. A woman who is financially empowered becomes more financially independent.
Therefore, equity should be the focus in creating a better balance in the marketing and communication industry and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communications.

Read more