Mar 26, 2018         3836         No Comments        

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The event auditorium was jam-packed, everywhere filled with people, all the seats occupied and those who didn’t make their bookings before the day of this event weren’t offered access to the auditorium.

The night was a bit chilly, yet the auditorium was a bit warm because of the crowd and the excitement, the lights were just amazing, colourful, sparkling and creating sensational effects all within the auditorium. The stage on this occasion was far superior compared with previous editions of the event; very, very beautiful and world-class in concept.

The stage background kept altering and the two mega-size TV screens on both sides of the stage clearly and brightly displayed everything happening on stage; the pictures of the awardees, pictures of the nominees, the compere, award presenters and even interviews held with each nominee a couple of days before, against this event.

The entertainers were in their element; popular and loved music artistes dropping their latest hits in style with swag, which the crowd found irresistible to the feet; everyone was up dancing including the governor who was the chief host and the honourable minister for Labour and productivity. Many other dignitaries were in attendance: Managing directors and chief executives of leading multinationals, commissioners and even some members of the diplomatic core.

Excitement was everywhere, the comperes were thrilling, the jokes were very mature, very funny and novel, everyone was exhilarated. The drinks kept flowing, the food wouldn’t stop, the ushers and caterers were extremely professional, courteous and efficient; no complaints, no upsets, everybody was looking attractive, excited and beautiful.                                                                                                                                                                                                    For Audio Version Click here

The media folks were all very excited too, taking pictures and conducting clinical red carpet interviews, the pre-event publicity really worked, everyone in the city was watching that night, the event streamed live on the internet and because of the presence of the state governor and the interest of his administration in encouraging outstanding entrepreneurs in the state, the event was broadcast live on the state-owned TV channel and some private stations as well.

This was the fourth edition; it was the fourth year of the entrepreneurship awards. An initiative of the state government in partnership with the United Nations, Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity, many other sponsors and a private events management firm. That night was just simply amazing.

According to the procedure, nominees every year emerged from different sectors and business types based on pre-defined criteria and these winners were rewarded accordingly. This awards event so far has been credible and respected because of the transparency and integrity in nominations and the selection of winners.

But for three years consecutively the biggest award; that is, The Entrepreneur Of The Year, has been going to one same man year after year.

This man owns and manages the biggest and fastest growing security outfit in the country, providing security services for mega businesses including banks, oil companies at onshore and offshore locations, multinationals, airlines, marine vessels  as well as escorts for members of the diplomatic core, VIPs and top government officials to mention a few.

Benjamin, Popularly called big Ben has been winning this highly prestigious award for three years consecutively but strangely, he’s never shown up to pick up the award himself, his GM, Folake, always picked up the award on his behalf and Benjamin’s response; thanks and appreciation, always came via his pre-recorded voice.

This time around, however, the governor insisted Ben must show up in person to receive this award for it connotes disrespect for an award recipient not to pick up an award personally presented by the governor.

Again this year, Big Ben won the ultimate award; the Entrepreneur of the year with points much higher than the first runner-up than ever before.

Everyone knew the Governor had insisted this time around that the recipient must be physically present and the whole city waited anxiously to, for the first time, set their eyes on Benjamin, this shy four-time winner of this award.

After the pump and noise and applause that followed the announcing of the winner, the hall suddenly became calm and everyone waited to see Benjamin, this great businessman, this great entrepreneur.

Suddenly, everywhere became very quiet, everyone stood still, the silence in the auditorium was so thick you could cut it with a knife, everyone was in shock and disbelief, yes it is him, it is Ben, gaily dressed for the occasion in a white Tuxedo, Folake; his GM pushed him gently towards the governor on a wheelchair, Ben was paralyzed from his neck downwards; he couldn’t move any part of his body except his head. Benjamin, the four-time winner of the prestigious Entrepreneur of the year award was quadriplegic; paralyzed from his neck downwards, the governor knew him well and remembered his story but never realized it was the same Benjamin he used to know; the event organizers, of course, knew who he was as well but didn’t disclose to the public.

Benjamin was a very exciting young soldier who in his late twenties was part of the Nigerian troop on the peacekeeping mission to Liberia, he was unfortunately shot in a crossfire and his spinal cord was damaged while on this mission, he was immediately flown back to Nigeria only to discover he would never move again, sadly, his wife subsequently took the two boys they had together and disappeared.

His immediate family; two siblings and a widowed mother after a while couldn’t cope financially with his upkeep and they cleverly withdrew from him too.

Folake his personal nurse who looked after him while at the hospital eventually resigned from her nursing employment and decided to support Benjamin’s dream to still become successful and great despite his paralysis and great disability.

Like he would always say to Folake, if your brain still functions well, you can achieve and accomplish anything in this life; it’s all in the mind.

Benjamin from his experience as a military personnel did the brain work and Folake; his personal nurse and friend did the legwork; today, together, they are winning this prestigious award for the fourth time consecutively; the best entrepreneur of the year!

Everywhere was quiet, everyone was quiet, the focus was on Benjamin, the floodlights were on Benjamin, the cameras were on Benjamin, the whole city focused on Benjamin, this indeed was his moment of glory; he’s proven he could do it as long as he could think it.

Folake told the story, everyone listened, tears welled up in her eyes; and many other people including the first lady of the state had tears in their eyes, Folake dared to believe in Benjamin’s dreams and possibilities and today against all odds, again they are the best; well above those with perfect physical abilities.

It’s all in the mind. They have today over 500 able-bodied people working in their organization; earning regular salaries, Benjamin today has investments, in real estate, transportation, owns a forensic investigation outfit, Security uniforms production company and security gadget’s exclusive importation deals – sales and distribution contract for the West African market.

Today Benjamin owns a multi-billion naira outfit because he could think it and could sell it to a lady who dared to believe him and the dream.

Ladies and gentlemen, I do not know you’re your limitation is today, I don’t know what excuses you’re making, I don’t know what’s holding you back, I don’t know what disabilities you have, but I’ll want to let you know, it’s all in your mind, if you can think it, you can achieve it.

Come on, let go of the blame game and the animosity and the fear and those self-limiting beliefs. We all know what the issues are and the excuses too, the opportunities you didn’t have, those that failed you, disappointed you, betrayed you and abandoned you.

But your life is entirely up to you to make or break. If it’s gonna be, it’s entirely up to you! Poverty is a choice, deprivation is a choice; helplessness is a choice. Open up your mind, develop your mind, learn all you need to, acquire all you have to, chase all you have to, unlearn all you have to, change your friends if you need to, change your environment if you have to, change your job if you must, re-focus on that dream, reset your purpose, ladies and gentlemen, renew your mind,

Re-kindle the passion, be persistent, never give up, keep on keeping on and never let go of your dreams! Nothing is bad, hard or tough enough to stop you now; no situation is terrible enough to restrict or limit you now. If you can think it, and dear to believe it, and choose to work on it and remain tenacious come what may, you can achieve it. Dear friend, what’s your disability?

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