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Sponsorship As a Potent Force in The Journey of Life

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In this piece, Chuks Oluigbo reviews Omo-Ojo Ernest Ivie’s The Potent Force of Sponsorship.

In choosing the title of his book, ‘The Potent Force of Sponsorship’, Omo-Ojo Ernest Ivie consciously uses the word ‘potent’ to demonstrate the power, efficacy, potency of the force of sponsorship, which, according to him, is “the very principle that rules the world”.

And the author demonstrates, in six chapters and 86 pages, that “the world runs on sponsorship” – it is there in the businesses/corporate world, entertainment industry, churches or religious organisations, politics, sports, etc. But there are also 15 preliminary pages that include endorsements, dedication and introduction.

The book, a bold attempt to change mindsets, answers the critical questions – Who is a sponsor? Why do we need a sponsor? Can you reach your zenith without a sponsor? Do we confuse a mentor with a sponsor? Does the world run on sponsorship? Is it scriptural and spiritual?

Going through, one cannot miss the nuggets that dominate the entire book, nuggets that essentially speak to the critical place of sponsorship in every phase of human life and career. But beyond these nuggets, the author calls readers to be strategic in positioning themselves to be identified by potential sponsors as, according to him, “Life without a sponsor cannot reach its zenith.”

‘The Potent Force of Sponsorship’ opens with an introduction, where the author emphasises that while having a mentor is good, a sponsor is actually more critical than a mentor. Indeed, he says, sponsorship is “the most useful of the success chains” as “all the coaching and mentoring” would be useless “if you do not have a platform to showcase all you have learnt”.“A mentor is good,” he argues, “but having a good mentor without a sponsor is time and energy wasted.”

The opening chapter, titled “Who is a Sponsor?”, traces the word ‘sponsor’ from its Latin origins and offers various definitions from different sources. Some qualities of a sponsor highlighted in this chapter include that a sponsor announces your arrival to the stage; makes room for you; sponsors are very impatient and very strategic; they are visionary – they see opportunities well ahead; they usually have big egos; they could charge a fee; they could demand rewards; and they do not operate based on emotions.

“Sponsorship does not happen by accident. It is deliberate, thought over, planned and executed. It takes a lot for someone to agree to undertake a sponsorship; it demands responsibility from both partners. Most times the person sponsoring must find value before embarking on the mission.

It does not come cheap, it is expensive and as such you have to earn it, there are no emotions about it, which is why it is not a philanthropic movement,” the author says.

He goes ahead in Chapter Two to clearly distinguish between sponsors and mentors, two distinct roles, he says, people often tend to confuse. While “a mentor is someone inside or outside your organisation who can give advice, feedback and encouragement”, the author defines a sponsor as “someone within or outside your organisation who has positional and political influence to help you move your career or life forward. Sponsors provide leads to advancement and growth”.

Using Biblical examples, the author in the third chapter attempts to show that the world runs and has always run on sponsorship; that even God himself understands this concept and used it.

To illustrate this point, he cites the examples of Jesus and John the Baptist, David and Jonathan,Moses and Pharaoh’s daughter, Naaman and the Jewish maid (2 Kings 5:1-26), Rebecca and Jacob (Gen. 27:5-30), Joseph and the Cupbearer (Gen. 41), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth Chapter 2), Saul, the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 9: 6-20), Jesus at the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6: 1-10), among others.

Arguing that John was the sponsor of Jesus, the author buttresses his argument by pointing out that John announced Jesus’ arrival on stage when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world”, and made room for Jesus when he said, “He will increase and I will decrease”.

The author says, “You can never tell where your next breakthrough would come from as the next person to you may just be the sponsor you have been waiting for; so do not despise small beginnings.”

He adds, “We all need leveraging, don’t despise the power of leveraging, it’s the difference why two people who set out on the same journey same day to the same destination arrive differently.”

In Chapter Four, the author, using contemporary examples, demonstrates that the sponsorship principle is a reality of our time which you ignore or hate at your own peril.

“This principle today defines the essence of politics, government, business, religion, entertainment, sports, etc. It is the single game changer or decider of who gets what, why, where and how. If you hate or fail to recognise and operate in this principle, your chances of succeeding and reaching your zenith are greatly diminished,” he says.

He cites the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa as an example of a sponsor in Pentecostal Christianity, Don King in world boxing, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Nigerian politics, while he also uses immediate past United States President Barack Obama to show a great beneficiary of the sponsorship principle.

“You must strive to get to a position where your sponsor will believe so much in you and would have no alternative to you, which speaks volume about loyalty and trust. This principle is not ‘ojoro’ (deceit), this is how the world operates and your feelings cannot change it. Instead of being frustrated by it, key into this principle,” he admonishes.

In the fifth chapter, the author highlights some qualities one needs to develop in order to attract a sponsor. These include develop your skills (both hard and soft skills); humility to learn; patience; perseverance; loyalty, and trust.

“The path to sponsorship discovery,” he says, “involves a series of steps. Essentially, you must believe in this immutable principle of human existence as it governs the affairs of men. You must realise that life’s success is not only a determinant of the most skilled, most talented and most hardworking, but time and chance happen to men. It takes a lot of effort and focus to tap into this principle.”

In this sixth and final chapter, the author sums up the discussion using some personal examples to show how the sponsorship principle has worked in his life and calls his readers to action.

“My entire life has been about sponsorship; if it worked for me it can for you. Don’t go on this journey of life without a sponsor; the pains and headaches are too much to bear and it is certainly not worth it. Sponsors shorten time, distance, space and generally give you a leveraging advantage,” he says.

For the author, the sponsorship principle is something experiential. And like the author, if we also look very closely at our lives, we may see that the principle the author has espoused in the book is what many of us probably have experienced all along.

At every phase in our lives or career, we have had someone speak on our behalf, recommend us for an assignment, a job or a position.

The only difference is that we may not have given a name to it. And while we may have been thinking sponsorship is accidental, the author says it is not and calls us to be strategic as we go about positioning ourselves to be identified by potential sponsors.

Essentially, what the author has done in ‘The Potent Force of Sponsorship’ is that he has gathered our collective experience, using his personal experience and those of a few others, and given it a potent voice, an expression. It reminds one of what Alexander Pope says in his definition of poetry – or what he calls “true wit”: “What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed”.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NIMC DG Urges Nigerians to Obtain NIN

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Nigerians and other residents in the country have been advised to get their National Identification Numbers.

This call was made on Friday by Mr. Aliyu Aziz, director-general of the National Identity Management Commission.

Aziz stated that Nigerians should regard the NIN as a most crucial feature of their lives since it was the unique identifier for all in the country.

He said that Nigerians should regard the NIN the same way Social Security Number was regarded in the United States, the National Insurance Number in the United Kingdom or AADHAR number in India.

According to him, what is common in all the countries mentioned is just the number. “Therefore, you need a unique NIN from cradle to grave,” he said.

The NIMC boss advised Nigerians and residents in the country to present themselves to be enrolled for NIN to avoid any rush.

He said that rush might arise with the enforcement of the mandatory use of NIN for transactions and access to services, as stipulated in Section 27 of the NIMC Act of 2007.

“By law and along the entire lifecycle of individuals in Nigeria, you need to present your NIN, whenever you need to be identified for services such as passport issuance.

“You will need to present NIN during banking services, land transactions, insurance services, pension, health insurance, payment of taxes, voter’s registration, consumer credits and all government services.

‘In all these, there is nothing temporary about the NIN slip issued after registration, the NIN is your identity and is considered more important than the card.

“NIMC’s current focus is on the number – NIN, and not the card. We are already in a digital economy driven by unique index numbers and not by physical tokens such as a card.

“The law specifies that we should issue general multipurpose smart cards as the exercise continues,” he said.

Aziz said the commission was mindful of the demands of the public for the physical cards and efforts were being made to meet them.

The NIMC director general said however that provision of the physical cards had huge financial implication for the nation.

According to him, the number of people with their NINs is 23.3 million, an increase from seven million in November 2015, when he took over the mantle of leadership in NIMC.

“So, please enrol for the NIN, encourage everyone you know to do same, including children and legal residents.

“This is necessary as all other government agencies will follow soon and make their respective announcements on the mandatory use of the NIN,’’ he said.

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SCCI@10: Sidmach Welcomes Pupils On Software Dev ‘Hands-On’ Experience Tour

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Adesina Adewale, the president of SCCI (m); Olayemi Oladiran, head, Sales & Marketing, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited (l) and a staff of Sidmach, during SCCI’s visit to the Company recently.

By peter oluka

Schools Computer Club Initiative’s (SCCI) has continued its bid to build up student/pupil experts as the workforce of future advancement for tomorrow’s information and computer technology.

The team recently led pupils from different schools in Lagos on excursion at Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited as it seeks to ensure school pupils’ acquisition of computer skills, exposure to a real IT world through seminar, workshops, and exhibitions.

Speaking to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek while leading team to Sidmach, as part of activities to mark SCCI’s tenth anniversary, Mr. Adesina Adewale, the president, said that they are keen to ‘impose’ professional responsibilities on school IT team leaders, build self esteem for members, and motivate young growing children to embrace the appropriate use of the computer.

Adewale said that the big picture behind SCCI was to develop technology innovators ‘Technnovators’ who will eventually become technology entrepreneurs, developing solutions to solve the nation’s multifaceted challenges.

He said, “We hear about the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and other technnovators who today are big entrepreneurs. Today, Microsoft, for example has become a household name world over; people are using the products of Microsoft daily, ranging from the development of animation, games, office allocation to the point of using thee cloud.

“It is part of reasons we brought the students on tour of Sidmach Technologies. So, we are passionate about ‘catching them young’, right from primary and secondary schools, such that on graduation they don’t keep hoping on a non-existing white collar job. They are been positioned to develop the entrepreneurial mindset.

Speaking Achievements in the Last 10 Years:

“We started this advocacy in 2007. what inspired us was a speech by Professor Charles Uwadia, who happens to be the current President/Chairman in Council of CPN. At that year’s conference he charged us to develop the students at the secondary school levels to the point they can stand out and develop solutions/platforms that meet societal needs.

“Since then, we have been developing students in primary and secondary schools to the point many of them are interested in taking up careers in IT which is called the Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS).

“We have some who have passed through Sidmach Technologies either during industrial training/ attachment or internship programmes. We have some of them who can develop games, others- animations; we have others who can develop browsers and other solutions that can meet the need of the society.

Hopeful About the Future of the Students:

“Following our activities in the last 10 years, we are hopeful that technnovators and techpreneurs will be developed from these students. Invariably, we are reducing the problem of unemployment in the country. We are hopeful that these students will be able to meet the needs of our communities.

Why Choice of Sidmach

“Recently, we had training at the University of Lagos (Unilag); we had a ‘hands-on’ session. In IT, it is always imperative to marry the academic and the industry ideas to have a robust solution or platform. So, it is a combination of the gown and the town. At times we develop curriculum that fails to meet the needs of the society.

“Therefore, we have to find means of bringing the academic knowledge to bear in the industry practice. This excursion has accorded the students opportunity to meet software developers at Sidmach. The Company has done so much in the software for JAMB, WAEC, even in the oil and gas industry. They have the smart school solution too. So, we are here to let the students appreciate what is happening in the industry so that upon graduation it wouldn’t be all new terrain to them. That’s why we choose Unilag, representing the academic environment and now Sidmach Technologies, a leading indigenous software development firm.

Also, in a chat with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Mr. Jide Awe, chairman, Conferences at Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said that such programmes that allow hands-on experience, are critical in building the future of the youths. “We are already in a knowledge-led economy showing more digital processes. We don’t want to continue as consumers, therefore, we must train our children on 21st Century skills- programming, application development, so they will not  be disadvantaged. Already, a lot of countries (developed) are ahead of us. Thank God some of the kids have access to the resources they can use; what we now need are initiatives as Schools Computer Club Initiative (SCCI) to provide guidance. The essence is to ensure the students do no use those things for wasteful ventures”.

“The significance of exposing the students to industrial operations,” Awe added, “is that, it is one thing to learn to program or build software, however, it is important to know how it is being done; which is more encouraging to the students who have seen how this Company operates daily, especially in developing the software. It is a sort of career enlightenment to them. It gives them a practical feel of what it takes to be a programmer in a theoretical and practical sense. They were not on tour of a foreign firm and the reason was to inculcate the spirit of patriotism; we can develop solutions to the challenges we face in the country and even ship the solutions to other nations”.

He urged the students to make best use of knowledge acquired during the visit at Sidmach which was set up by entrepreneurs. “It must be stressed that Sidmach was established by entrepreneurs. They (the students) too can become IT entrepreneurs”, he charged them.

On Schools Computer Club Initiative (SCCI) at 10, the Chairman NCS Conferences, described the platform as a commendable initiative that should be encouraged; “that is why NCS and CPN have always been part of it. The Initiative has had its ups and downs, but it is here to stay. We really have to encourage them, because the issue at stake deals directly with the future of our children”.

Legacy Sidmach Is Leaving Behind For Next Generation,

Mr. Olayemi Oladiran, head, Sales & Marketing, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, while addressing the students, said he was quite impressed to see them, especially with the capabilities they have shown, even as younger ages. “They are already coding. It gives me the confidence the next generation will do better than we have done”.

“We don’t mind any one of them working for Sidmach. Obviously, we have a standard and of course it is going to be the best that will take in it. For those that have the vision, I will encourage them to work hard to excel in what they do. Importantly, they should not have employee mentality. Rather a mentality that can tell them- look I can develop a prototype software solution that I can take to the market. So, they should not limit themselves.

Partnership with OEMs

He said they are partnering with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) We do have such as HP, Microsoft and Sophos to build dependable solutions that address student’s e-learning challenges.

“We support them; to get them achieve their best. We support their dreams and aspirations. Whatever we need to do, that we shall do to provide encouragement and enabling environment to fan up their dreams”, he pledged.

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Kwesé TV Makes Triumphant Entry To Nigeria, Launches 3, 7 & 30 Days Subscription Plans

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(L-r): ChiChi Nwoko, general manager Kwese Free Sports Nigeria; Elizabeth Amkpa, general manager, Kwese TV Nigeria, and Joseph Hundah, president group CEO, ECONET MEDIA, during the launch of Kwesé TV Nigeria, Thursday.

By peter oluka

Africa’s dynamic broadcaster Kwesé, Thursday, announced the launch of its entertainment and sports television network Kwese TV in Nigeria.

The launch of Kwesé TV brings  the very best in premium entertainment, international and African series and movies, award-winning children’s entertainment channels, up to-the-minute news and a diverse mix of exclusive channels for the entire family to enjoy.

“We are excited to launch our dynamic content business in Nigeria, a market that we know is hungry for a compelling alternative pay TV network. At Kwesé we pride ourselves in having selected a strong general entertainment and sports programming line-up which we believe will be well received by viewers of all ages – kids, young adults, men and women, alike,” expressed Elizabeth Amkpa, general manager Kwesé TV Nigeria.

“Our business is premised on the concept of TV anywhere and everywhere. This means we have made our premium content easily accessible across a number of platforms namely linear TV, mobile and digital platforms, providing unlimited viewing options for our subscribers.”

Kwesé is at the forefront of innovation through pioneering ground-breaking payment options that offer flexibility and convenience in the industry.

“With Kwesé, content is not only accessible through our multi-platform service, but also through a revolutionary payment model. We have pioneered ‘pay-as-you-watch’ subscription packages for premium programminng which enables consumers to purchase three and seven day subscriptions at N990 and N1,850 respectively, as well as a 30 day subscription option for only N6,275,” added Amkpa.

Subscribing to Kwesé TV is as simple as visiting a Kwesé branded store and purchasing a satellite dish and decoder combo for N10,960 inclusive of installation. What’s more, your first month’s (30 day) subscription to Kwesé TV’s full entertainment and sports bouquet is free! After expiration of this free 30 day pass, Kwesé audiences can continue to enjoy exceptional quality programming at an affordable price of just N6,275 per 30 day pass.

The full Kwesé TV bouquet offers over 65 channels of pure entertainment with well-known international channels such as CNN International, DreamWorks, DTX, ESPN, VICELAND, Diddy’s REVOLT TV and home-grown channels such as Channels TV, TVC News and NTA.

What’s more Kwesé subscribers can also enjoy an always on programme offering on their Kwesé TV decoders. The always on offering features selected free-to-air channels, which form part of Kwesé’s programming line-up, which remain available for viewing on you decoder even with a lapsed subscription.  This means Nigerian audiences can remain connected to Kwesé with channels such as Africa News, Flow TV, NTA, Islam TV and of course Kwesé Free Sports.

Kwesé also prides itself in being the exclusive broadcast partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sport lovers can look forward to live action, weekly previews and highlights from the NBA, international boxing (including exclusive coverage of all Anthony Joshua fights), IAAF World Championships and the National Football League among other sports, on Kwesé Sports 1, Kwesé Sports 2 and Kwesé Free Sports which was first introduced to Nigerian audiences in earlier this year.

Kwesé Free Sports is Africa’s largest and first Pan-African free-to-air TV channel available in 25 countries providing premium sporting content to sports fans for free. The channel holds exclusive free-to-air rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and the Premier League.

Viewers looking for premium lifestyle channels can enjoy telenovelas on Passion and Zee Bollynova, exciting Nollywood movies and series on African Movie Channel, African Movie Channel Series and Kwesé Movies 3 which is dedicated to showcasing original African movies.

The little ones in the family can look forward to a wide array of kiddies’ channels including Boomerang, CBeebies, Cartoon Network, Jim Jam and the Kwesé exclusive Toonami for superhero fans.

There is something for everyone on Kwesé TV.

 

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