2 things an African Father owes you.

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My Dad is a confident man, yet I disliked and still do not like a lot of things about him. Let me talk about what I like first, maybe someday I will be ready to talk about those other things. One of the gifts my Dad gave me was the ability to “stand alone”, he was never the type to cower from challenges, he would tell us to face our fears. He felt it was his duty to:
1. Apply the rod of correction.
2. Teach us Confidence.
One of the first fears he introduced to us was heavy beatings, he was the Devil and counsellor at the same time. He would say ” tell me the truth even when you know I will thrash you”. We were never to share our beatings; everyone suffered for his own sins!

Note: A lot of fathers beat their children in Africa, very few teach the children not to “cheat the system”

So we learnt to be bold as lions even in the face of opposition and possible suffering. I remember entering junior secondary school in Ile-Ife, I broke the class wall clock mistakenly and everyone thought I should just put it back and hide. I chose the tougher path, I reported myself to the Principal who was in the next room to our class.

I used to be very dull that dullards would call me a dullhead. I was also the typical “no cheating” student, yes I was one of those students people dread. If you placed hopes on getting A(s) by sitting next to me in exams, then you would likely fail. I learnt to ignore my fears inside examination halls, and own my failures. I remember doing a course in the department of Law, it was Law of torts. That day unlike my usual attitude, I finished writing very early, I was unprepared and so I wrote very little. Once I knew I was done, I picked my sheet, submitted and left the hall. That course was one of my lowest in University, I determined never to allow myself that kind of a situation again!

Confidence is what makes an excellent student and not the scores, it is the ability to face up to your fears and beat them better than every other student. I grew up hating mathematics, my Dad would “torture” me through the lessons and yell the answers at me, I really hated his angry disposition. I still hate the methods my Dad used to teach me but he was confident about one thing “You will know it”, he would tell me despite my tears that I was not a dullard. I also never shared problems, confidence was not a communal virtue; you either have it or not.

Dad kept enforcing my will to do things right! And he made me realize how important it was for me to do it myself, so when I saw my waec result with a lot of B3s and B2 but only one A1 in mathematics, I was not surprised. When my Jamb results showed and aggregate 266, I was not surprised. Without failure, it is almost impossible to appreciate success.

As a student of Estate Management, one of the most dreaded courses was Property Valuation and we took it right from second year till finals. It was a numerical course and towards the tail end it metamorphosed into something really ugly, the logic and derivations were not sane, we were talking about market share ratios, capitalizations and so many mathematical models that required critical thought and a lot of guts.

We had a lecturer who would make impulsive requests, like when he discovered a whole column of data was missing in our test question and still asked us to find a solution which we would defend. At the end of the test he announced that no one got the answer he expected but he called me up to defend my answer because it was different from his own but he felt it was also better. The summary of my story is that, I graduated with the best result in that course and bagged an award for it.

Confidence is a layer of skin that keeps building over time, it requires the individual to address his fears and prove his capabilities. No matter what your story is, there is always something unique about you, there is always something to be confident about. You will have to stand by your convictions and ideas some day, so I choose to sell confidence to you for free.

Hope you are having a great day? I believe in you and hope to inspire you always.

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