Education, Opinion

Kikelomo Banjo: Recipe for Success

A speech delivered by Mrs. Kikelomo Banjo, first Head Girl of Olashore International School, who was the guest speaker at the school’s 2017 Speech and Prize Giving Day

The Olashore International School Association, Board of Governors, Management and staff, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, and students of Olashore International School, it gives me great pleasure to stand in front of you today. It is an absolute honour and I don’t take for granted this opportunity given to me to be the guest speaker at this year’s Speech and Prize-Giving Day. Thank you so much.

It’s a little over 19 years since I stood on this podium and gave speeches as Head Girl. The other day, I was thinking about the vision of the school “Developing dynamic leaders in the 21st century” and I cannot tell you how apt this is for OIS. Olashore International School truly prepares you for leadership roles. For me it started right from age 10, when I was made the first prefect of the school up until today even in my current role in Maersk Line. Some of you may wonder, prefect at age 10? Yes!

You know, it is really important the type of school you send your child to as it immensely contributes towards shaping your future. So students, when you see your folks next, take a minute to say thank you for sending you to OIS. God bless Oba Oladele Olashore and may his soul rest in peace. I remember he had a motto that said “if you think education is expensive, why not try ignorance”. I do not need to state the obvious; spelling out the huge difference between an educated person and an ignorant one.

You see, Olashore International School is a really good school with excellent amenities, state of the art facilities and committed teachers. You couldn’t have asked for a better school. Earlier today, I went on a tour and it was so impressive to see the transformation, the level of development which the school has attained. I was particularly jealous when I saw the pool, which we were promised as pioneer students but never got before we left. I waited for the pool for so long that I didn’t want to graduate until it came. I must take a swim in it before I leave! You are so lucky with what you have today and I urge you to be appreciative of this and contribute to the maintenance of this standard.

Studying in one of the best and most conducive environment is something Olashore certainly offers. However, we must be careful not to become complacent. It’s a tough world out there and you must develop that grit to be able to continue and persevere towards attaining any target or goal you set for yourselves. Someone once said that ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So compared to that kid from the community school that has to toil all night burning the proverbial candle and literally speaking too, probably in dire sleeping conditions, you on the other hand have a very conducive environment to study and you must not take this for granted. Keep moving, keep growing, keep learning, keep working, keep striving and never give up.

This brings me to my number 1 recipe for success, which is the main theme of my message today.

  1. Challenge yourself to be the best you can. Sometimes the task ahead of you might not be easy. In some cases, you might not even know how to get there. But remember, without commitment, you won’t start and without consistency, you won’t finish. So just start and somehow you will get into the swing of things. One tip here is to start each day with task completed. Aristotle once said “you are what you repeatedly do”. Therefore, excellence ought to be a habit and not an act. DON’T YOU FORGET THAT! Challenge yourself, keep pushing for greater heights, make a difference, do what the other 99% aren’t doing. Enhance your life everyday by seeking that wisdom and make an impact.
  2. Be humble. There is a saying “pride is the burden of foolish person”. Don’t feel too big, even if you are in the best class. Even the Bible says, for the Christians amongst us, let he who stands firm be careful, unless he falls. In life, there is always somebody, or something, that will humble you. Find someone to help you through life. Most people have mentors who guide them through on their journey to success. Respect everyone; you never know who could be of help in future.
  3. If you are going to do a job, do it right. Now I don’t care if you are a bathroom cleaner or dustbin packer; pretty sure that’s no one’s ambition here, but you pack that bin everyday like no one ever did, you clean the bathroom everyday like no one did. Sometimes, it could just be the effort/quality of work that could be noticed and I have heard of many stories where this type of commitment and dedication has taken people far. Shoot for the stars, be the best that you can be. Know that good enough isn’t good enough if it can be better and better isn’t good enough if it can be best.
  4. Nothing matters but your willingness to succeed. Sometimes, life is not fair and you will fail a few times. It’s not about how many times you fall but how quickly you can get up. So even if you fail 7 times, get up the 8th time. Never ever give up. Don’t get discouraged or draw on self-pity or make excuses or tell people your problems – this doesn’t work. 90% of the people you tell your problems don’t really care and the remaining 10% are secretly happy you have that problem. So why bother? Have that willingness to succeed, that hunger for success. In Steve Jobs words, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”.

Again, I am very honoured to be able to stand here before you and have this opportunity given to me to address the students of Olashore International School. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the prize winners today. Very well deserved! Thank you so much and God Bless!

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