It is interesting to notice how some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles. Sometimes, we face several challenging situation that gives us the opinion that the tunnel of adversity bears no end.
This is the case of Kunle, a 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. After three months of excellence, he discovered that the master had taught him, and repeated just a single move. Curious, he approached his master. ‘Sensei’ (Teacher in Japanese), he paused, thought once more and finally asked ‘Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?’. Smiling, the master answered patiently, ‘this is the only move you know, and the only move you will ever need to know’. Though not satisfied with the response, he kept an unwavering faith in himself and his master and continued vigorous training.
Several months later, the Sensei registered Kunle for his first challenge during a tournament. Engulfed with surprises after easily winning the first two matches, he proceeded to the third match. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged. Deftly, Kunle used his one move and won the match. Amazed by the marvelous effect of his ‘only’ move, Kunle won several other matches and found himself in the finals.
Now in the final match, Kunle’s opponent was bigger, stronger and more experienced. For a while, Kunle appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that Kunle might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the Sensei intervened, ‘No’, the Sensei insisted, ‘let him continue’. Soon after the match resumed, Kunle’s opponent made a critical mistake; he dropped his guard. Immediately, Kunle used ‘his move’ to pin him, thereby winning not only the match, but the tournament. Alas! He was the champion.
On the way home, Kunle and his Sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Summoning courage, Kunle asked a question that had been bothering him; ‘Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?’. ‘You won for two reasons’, the Sensei answered. ‘First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. Second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm, which you don’t have’.
Unconsciously, Kunle was able to convert his biggest weakness and adversity to his greatest advantage and strength.
Just like Kunle, consciously endeavour to review adverse situation and make effective use of the opportunities that comes along with it. Dr. Tai Solarin’s words’ stating that ‘may your days be rough’, if critically viewed confirms that adversities can be turned to one’s advantage. For you are special, important and talented, never magnify your adversity but amplify the advantages it can be converted to, and extract the best of it.

‘Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings’ -Ralph Blum

Five books at 18, still burning to write

For 18-year-old Damola Morenikeji, Muse is one good force that he is not in a hurry to end his friendship with. This is because since they had a contact when he was nine, the ink of his pen has been flowing ceaselessly, with five books to show now.

The Federal University of Abeokuta student, who hails from Ogun State, says his writing skill was discovered by his parents when he was six years old.
He states, ‘‘They encouraged me and simultaneously taught me that there is a time for everything. In 2002, while I was concluding my primary school education – at the age of nine – I was challenged to write my first book. That challenge gave birth to the book, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. In 2003, while preparing for a promotion examination, I wrote another book titled ‘The Glorious Child’, a book that talks about the erroneous belief people have about educating the female child. In 2004, during the long vacation, I wrote the third book titled ‘No Other Chance’.
According to him, the titles of his other books are ‘A stroll to the Animal Kingdom’ and ‘The evil that Money do.’ His latest work is ‘The So-Called Police,’ which he says, has yet to be published.
The author, who studies Plant Physiology and Crop Production says that they are plays but he is still working on prose and poetry. He adds that he writes to effect positive change in society.
He, however, notes that it had not been easy publishing the books due to the challenges he often faced with funds. ‘‘It is quite unfortunate that after several budding writers get their manuscripts prepared, they do not many publishing outfits willing to publish their works. Most times, they have to fully bear the cost of production,’’ he explains.

Because of the impact of his works Morenikeji emerged the Second runners-up during the 2006 Artiste of the Year Award of Excellence organised by the state.

 Note: The above article was published by Punch newspaper on Tuesday, 24th January, 2012.