Afouda Samuel: Feel free to lose focus when focus becomes a distraction! 

In far away Kuvuki land, there was a young man who was loved by all because of his wisdom, humour, intelligence and friendliness. He is always found in the midst of elders where he silently acquires wisdom. A handful of villagers saw him as a wise and dependable companion as he is their secret go to person who is always ready to hear them out and proffer effective solutions to their woes from time to time.  

One day, the position of the Town Crier became vacant and the King called for recommendations. Several young men were nominated but this young man stood out because he came strongly  recommended by different individuals who have benefited from his wisdom and pleasant personality. The King appointed him as the new Town Crier and to make his job easier, he was given a Megaphone to discharge his duties. The young Town Crier spoke into the megaphone for the first time ever, and he was blown away by the sound of his own voice. The King would send him out with a message, then he would deliver it with so much wisdom, he also has a brilliant way of using people’s story to illustrate and analyze, spicing it up with jokes and slangs he picked from his interaction with different people over the years. All these make people from all over want to hear him speak. After a while, he became obsessed with the megaphone. He was always cleaning, oiling and practicing his message delivery with his megaphone. 

He became so obsessed that he stopped sitting with the elders, he started turning down people who turned to him for advice. All he wants to do is to speak into the megaphone and see people’s faces lit up with excitement and admiration. But surprisingly, he was not getting the desired reaction anymore. People no longer gather to hear him, the few ones that do, are no longer impressed, and consequently the King’s message started getting lost in transit. In no time the King had no need for him again, but out of respect for him and his antecedents, he was kept in the palace, while the King got another young and vibrant Town Crier, who is more in tune and in touch with the realities of the people. 

There is an indescribable magical feeling that comes with riding the airwaves, you feel you are in the center of your purpose in life and you feel like a superhuman, saddled with the responsibility of saving the entire human race with the sweet melody and rhythm of your voice. At that point you become dangerously motivated, the only thing your mind could conceive and scheme is how to do more. Therefore, you become obsessed with your megaphone. You start seeing every other thing as a distraction, you begin to hear voices in your head, whispering FOCUS! Then, in your bid to focus on that which you consider the ultimate, you stop doing the very things that made you who you are, those things that recommended you for your present position. 

Some of you had beautiful things going on for you in your corner, before you stumbled on the radio. Unknowingly to you, these little things that you really don’t appreciate anymore are the ones that recommended you for that radio gig. For some, it was a profession, some trade, some skills, and some business. Some are even so lucky that they were already exploring other areas of the media like podcasting, blogging, vlogging, influencing, writing, advocacy, emceeing, chanting, rapping, singing, skit making, spoken word, hyping, acting, poetry and so on, but the “effizy” of radio has made you abandon all, in a bid to FOCUS more on your radio career. You fail to understand that radio as a career should not exist in a vacuum, this is highly debatable though. But then, my truth is my truth!

In 2008, I got an invitation to feature on radio because I was a Standup Comedian. In 2014, I switched from a comedian running comedy show on radio to a Pidgin news reader, because in 2013, I started a blog call, The Pipu’s Network, (you can still check it out), it was a news blog in Pidgin English. When there was a need for a news reader in pidgin, I was asked to audition for it, and I killed it because for my blog I would copy news from mainstream media and translate the first 3 paragraphs into pidgin to publish on a daily basis. I did that for a couple of months before the opportunity presented itself. But after getting in, what did I do, I dropped the blog, so I could focus on radio. In September 2015, when I was dismissed I started a podcast, and I ran it for about a month till I resumed at Lagelu and once again I killed it to focus. I can only imagine what could have become of those ventures had it been I maintained them. 

Fast forward to 2022, I have a protege who was out of job and needed a new placement. After a while she was invited by a popular radio brand, and when she eventually met the chairman she was shocked to hear that she was invited because of her podcast, which according to her does not even have up to 20 listeners per episode most times. However, as little as that is, it was able to get her a new job! Guess what? I’m sure she has abandoned it now! 

Apart from these other “distractions” having the ability to make you financially buoyant on the job, they also make you a well grounded and Influential professional. Imagine DO2TUN without hyping, Nedu without his skits, IK Osakioduwa without his Emceeing, Toolz, GbemiO, Daddy Freeze, Ronke Giwa, Yinka Ayefele, Oriyomi Hamzat, Olisa Adibua etc without their other “lucrative and noble distractions”. 

Above all, these distractions will make you a greater asset to your employer, if your employer is not an enemy of progress. If your employer does not welcome, appreciate or encourage your LAND (Lucrative and Noble Distractions), he is an enemy of your progress, and you should leave with the next available bus.

I hope you agree with me on one or two things from this post. If yes or no, please reach out to me and let me know what you feel!

Till next week again!

I’m Afouda Samuel

Kayode Adeniyi Esq. (Afouda Samuel)
Head of School

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