Month: November 2013

TEENS SPEAK: How far can you go to be succesful?

How far can you go to be successful? Different individuals to their limits. While some would go any length to be termed ‘successful’ others would rather take limited steps.
Let’s read what our teenagers have to say.

By: Ronke Adesona

As far as working really hard~rolake

As far as life takes me which is eternity~Mariam

Any length~Taiwo

Very far~Kosby

Would not go extra mile to be successful but do things that will be pleasing unto the LORD to be very successful~Adeolu

Very far. But in accordance with what is right though~KehindeL

As far as it takes~Tolu

Very far and to make my mum proud and so my kids will have the best in life~Mistura

Very far~Titi

Any length~Babalola

As far as possible~Hayoor

I will do my best~Kenny

Very far, but not far enough to harm others or do something illegal~Olawunmi

As far as I can go~Imo

Any length~Phemmy

Very very far~Victor

Any length. As long as no one’s getting hurt~Lara

Any means that is LEGAL~Tosin

Way too far~Oyex

‘Uncountable’ million to be successful~Kadija

Very far, Any legal and morally upright means~Esther

I will do my very best~Aisha

However far it takes#NoLimits~Juwon

As far its doing better than Dangote~Gabriel

Anything it takes~Ellen

Legal or illegal, either dirty or clean, being successful is not optional for me. What I know is that I cant kill to b successful. My family must be proud of me~Biodun

very far~Tola

As far as it takes~Tomi

very far~Jide

I can’t say but am ready to do anything apart from bad things~Dare

very far~jeffery

I don’t know~Laolu

As far as I have the ability to~Tosin

Would go all length with almighty God with me~Kofo

First I have to live, think and act like like a successful person and I believe that successful people do the things I do like going to d cinemas and all sort except that they do the things necessary to succeed So, I’ll just make the effort successful people make.~Kenny K.

You have read the opinions of others. What do you think? How far can you go to be successful?
Leave your comments
Business friday coming soon!!! Do you have a business/skills you want to promote? Send a brief summary of the business/skills to us. And get a chance to reach potential and interested customers.
Its strictly for young people between age 13-20. And its FREE!!!.

For enquiries and contribution, send a mail to


YouWiN! 3 Business Plan Competition is now open

Good News!!! The closing date for YouWIN 3 competition has been extended…Click here for details


YouWiN! stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria. It is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas. The accomplishments of the 1,200 YouWiN! awardees were celebrated at the Presidential Villa on April 12, 2012. YouWiN! Women was the second edition of the entrepreneurial scheme, which was designed for only female entrepreneurs aged 45 years or less. YouWiN! 3 is the third edition and will feature men and women entrepreneurs in Nigeria between the ages of 18 to 45.

Who Can Apply?


To be eligible for the Business Plan Competition you must satisfy the following criteria


  • You must be a proven citizen of Nigeria no older than 40 years (proof of identity: International passport/Drivers License/National ID/Voters card required)
  • You must have a post-secondary school qualification
  • Your proposed business venture must be within the national borders of Nigeria, and with the intention of employing Nigerian citizens.
  • Your proposed venture must not entail the production or distribution of weapons, alcoholic beverages, tobacco or/and gambling, or any activities in contradiction with the Nigerian constitution
  • You must prepare an innovative business concept summary


You must choose to participate in one award pool. There are 6 regional pools on the basis of geo-political zone as identified by market in which you want to do business.

Step 1 – Check Your Eligibility


Check that you are qualified to apply.


Step 2 – Register


Register here.


You will receive a confirmation email from YouWIN! with all the details you will need to log in.



Step 3 – Complete New Business Application


Once you have successfully registered you need to Log in and click the New Business Application button on the right hand-side. You can save your application form as you go along, and come back to it at any time. Once you are happy with your application use the Submit button on the form to send it to us. You can submit only ONE application.

Step 4 – Keep Informed

After the closing date you will be notified if you have been selected for the next stage of the competition. You can join the discussion on Facebook, Linkedln and Twitter. We will also post regular updates on the YouWiN! homepage.

check the YouWIN website

INTERVIEW: Osieka Osinimu Alao-The young man with the extraordinary power of the ink

You know an in born writer when you meet one. At 13, Osieka Osinimu Alao, discovered he was gifted with the power of the ink and at 21 has three published poetry volumes, two unpublished plays and many prose manuscripts. Despite the poor reading culture among Nigerians, he has chosen to break the norm and soar higher. He is a young writer with an edge.
Get Inspired!

Interview by: Damilola Ososanya

Introduce yourself?
My name is Osieka Osinimu Alao. I was born on the 12th of December, 1992 to Professor Johnson Sunday Alao and Mrs Serah Asabi Alao in Jebba, Kwara State. I am the second of two children. My elder sister, Idumaese, is a final year Linguistics student of Nassarawa State University. I am currently a 200Level English student of the Redeemer’s University. I am a young writer with three published poetry volumes which are Epidocyle (2011), Apocyle (2012), and the recently released Blood and Ink (2013). In addition to studying and writing, I sing and rap, draw and paint, I also act and I really love theatre and film making.

What was the first piece you ever wrote?
The first piece I ever wrote was a poem inspired by sadness and loneliness. I can’t exactly remember the title but the content was sullen.

What is your favorite genre?
I can’t really say which genre is my favourite for now, but poetry seems to be the genre many people link to me.

When did you discover you had a passion for writing?
I started writing when I was thirteen years old, or rather, that was when I discovered I was gifted with the power of the ink. Ever since this feat was revealed to my senses, I have always wanted people to read my works hence the yearning to be published on a grand scale. Everybody’s life cannot take the same turn; some start early while others maybe later. I am blessed to have kicked off at a very young age; I am just twenty one years old with three masterpieces of poetry, two unpublished plays and many prose manuscripts. Every individual has the genius instinct in them waiting to be whetted to full capacity. My writing prowess was brought to light by sullenness. I remember vividly I was in JSS3 then and on that fateful day I was saddened by almost everything around me; the food, friends, boarding school and bullying, freedomlessness, and all sorts. So I sat in the classroom shrouded in loneliness, most of my folks were out for sporting activities but I wasn’t motivated to do anything cheerful. I felt bitter in my soul, somehow that prompted me to write something down about how I felt, and then later, I discovered that it took the appealing shape of a poem or so I thought. Today many people find it hard reconciling my writing with my age; they feel probably that the quality of my work ought to be from an older mind. I am gifted and that’s the grace that abounds.

Where do you get most of your ideas?
My writing though materialised by persistence, drive, and hard work has spiritual foundations. I was created by a super-mortal force, one I can’t directly control except partly through supplications from a purified being. I discovered the voice when I was thirteen but definitely it had been like a seed implanted within, that moment of discovery was only the moment of fruition. The way the poems are birthed is a function of genius instincts. The more the genius instincts are probed the more delivery will be actualized. I can typically write anywhere anytime as long as the muse God captures my consciousness. I share Plato’s notion that artistic creation seems to be rooted in a kind of inspired madness, what I would like to tag as ‘Divine Madness’. To me, creative writing is the super-normal process, that is, the ingenious ability of consciously probing the subconscious by vigorous thinking, some sort of mind exploration indebted to the physical world, in order to bring into reality the existence of a new idea whose style stimulated by self in society and society in self ought to be different in makeup and piloted in the direction of an original bearing. I don’t wait for things to inspire me, I can seek inspiration from anything; material or immaterial, seen or unseen. It is in seeking that one is able to offer inspiration. For example, researchers often times go about looking for that next clue. Same with some writers too who can travel far distances just to cook up that next masterpiece. My three collections on closer examination resonate with that sole voice drawn from a powerful and resilient spirit.

What is your favourite place for thinking?
I love quiet places where there are walls. Most times, I feel I can read things from walls; I seem to see writings only visible to me. I love walking around naked in my room often. I like tapping ideas from crowded places, streets, loud music, travelling and unconventional circumstances. Even my own life inspires me; every move and mistake.

Who is your favourite author?
My favourite author is Wole Soyinka.

What do you think makes good writing?
I as an individual love taking new bearings; being permanently fixed almost to a state of conventional slavery does not magnet my fancy. In as much as my three collections are characteristically similar, each collection has its own distinct style and structure which are uniquely stringed by threads of floweriness, creativeness, newness, orderliness and fearlessness. Those are the tenets of good writing. I always like to perceive tastes differently hence my thirst for newness; something refreshing to the heart, to the senses and wholly to the soul. I am not afraid of seeking new forms and flows in writing. When I write I only put one thing into consideration, that is, my expression and not the acceptance. When one puts acceptance first, one limits the bounds of one’s expression. Considering acceptance won’t make one go the distance, one has to focus on the expression, because it is the quality of expression that determines one’s ascension. One must not wait for the world to accept one, one must make the world accept one; what matters most is self-acceptance.

What made you fall in love with writing?
I am in love with writing because the Goddess of writing is too sensual, sugary, and spiritual to be ignored. She always gives me an experience to behold, real or surreal.

How do you beat out your writers block?
I have never experienced writer’s block. I am immersed in a flowing stream of words and ideas that every minute I could conjure up a piece. It might not be developed at that time, but definitely I would be able to scribble down something that can be cooked properly.

Challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
There will always be one bump or the other from time to time; mortality is not a bed of perfection. Africans, particularly Nigerians, don’t like reading, be it whatever type, style or makeup of literature. Hence, the urge to buy books at any given time is usually at the zero level. Quite a number of quality books enter the market every now and then, but most people don’t even spare a little amount to acquire one or two books. Most of us are not adventurous when it comes to intellectual matters as regards literacy. Most people don’t want to task their intellectual selves, and that is why we are still pathetically underachieved. Nobody wants to invest in the publishing and promotion of books; only a few maybe, rare I must admit. People don’t want to buy books and read; why? Nonchalance and laziness are the answers. I am blessed to have parents who have supported me so far. Truthfully speaking, I have not realised much from my works. The penetration rate of my works has been really slow due to the climate in the nation. There are no efficient publicity outlets and bookshops are even afraid of investing in one’s works because they fear a scenario of unrealisable funds. Where are the constant bookfares? Where are the sponsors? Where is that student that is supposed to buy this or that book? Where are the so called mega publishing houses? Where are the books reading campaigns? Where are the government officials that are supposed to look into literacy and book circulation? What are the literary associations doing to better the horizon? Another issue much overlooked is the fact that authors, be they poets, novelists or playwrights, are celebrities like their other counterparts in the music and movie industry. They need to enjoy those little benefits too. For instance, corporate companies like Globacom and Peak Milk will rather have musicians, actors and sportsmen as their ambassadors but will rarely have writers on their lists and ironically these companies claim to be supportive of education in the country. Most of these companies will often times invest in singing and sporting talent hunts but rarely will they organise literary ones. Some of these companies are trying but they can definitely do more; they have more than enough funds for this worthwhile course.

Where do you see your works in five years?
In the next five years, I want to be a world class citizen whose universally acclaimed works will be passport into any nation. I want my works to be studied in schools and universities around the world. Every day, I pray to continually be happy and fulfilled, for that is where satisfaction lies. I want to use my blood to ink the slates of history.

Memorable experiences you’ve had as a writer?
Getting my poems published by AuthorHouse UK was a memorable feat in 2011. I was featured on NTA AM Express sometime ago. I was a guest writer at Abuja Writer’s Forum last year. My works have been used in some schools, Writers’ Associations, and creative writing competitions.

Damilola Ososanya

Damilola Ososanya

Damilola Ososanya is a representative from Redeemers University.

For contributions and enquiries, send a mail to

Follow us on twitter: @representeens

Times Magazine 16 Most Influential teenager of 2013

Times Magazine has released the list for the most influential teenagers of 2013. Young people from various fields and countries made the list.

Lorde, 17

The just-turned 17-year-old New Zealander rocketed to international fame this year with the release of her first album, Pure Heroine. Proof: New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who won the election on a message railing against economic inequality, walked onto stage to Lorde’s defiant “Royals.” The child prodigy—she signed with a label at 13—is already competing with pop’s biggest stars, surpassing Miley Cyrus in September for the top spot on iTunes with “Royals.” The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is forging her own path, turning down an opportunity to join Katy Perry on tour because, as she said at the time, it “didn’t feel right.”

Lydia ko, 16

A New Zealand golfer born in South Korea, 16-year-old Lydia Ko has multiple LPGA wins. She turned pro this year—the LPGA waived the age requirement for her to join—and she’s already fifth in women’s world rankings after just 23 tournaments. She’s the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and the youngest person ever to win an LPGA tour event (and the only amateur to ever win two LPGA Tour events).

Nick D’Aloisio

When Marissa Mayer decides to buy your app for $30 million, you know you’re doing pretty well. When you’re only 17 at the time, “doing pretty well” is an understatement. Programming whiz kid Nick D’Aloisio sold Summly, a news-reading and summarizing app, to Yahoo in March. Other investors include Wendi Murdoch, Yoko Ono, and Ashton Kutcher.

Missy Franklin, 18

The 18-year-old won six gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and in doing so not only claimed the title of winningest female swimmer ever at a world meet, but also became the fifth swimmer to capture six or more golds at Worlds or the Olympics. She won the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year award this year. And, she joined the Cal swim team, turning down millions of dollars of endorsements to get a college degree.

Kendall and Kylie jenner, 18 and 16

The younger sisters of the Kardashian clan are no strangers to the spotlight. They’re featured in Keeping Up With The Kardashians with their half-sisters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, but they’re making their own waves as well. Kendall, a swimsuit model, and her 16-year-old sister Kylie have raised eyebrows for their precocious behavior. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve shown an early talent for deal-making: the pair launched a clothing line with PacSun this year.

Dante de Blasio, 16

Bill de Blasio might be the Mayor-elect of New York, but his 16-year-old son Dante is the city’s latest fashion icon. Dante’s now-iconic afro has starred in a campaign ad, inspired a New York Times Style section piece, and even gained President Obama’s attention. “Dante has the same hairdo as I had in 1978,” he said. “Although I have to confess my Afro was never that good. It was a little imbalanced.” A junior at Brooklyn Tech, Dante and his sister Chiara (known for her floral headbands) were front and center in their father’s campaign

Malala Yousafzai, 16

In 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by the Taliban on the bus home from school in Pakistan. Malala was a target because of her vocal activism to better the education of girls under Taliban rule. After surviving the attack, the now-16-year-old didn’t hide in fear but strengthened her voice. “I speak for education of every child, in every corner of the world,” she said, and the world has been listening. This year she received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and a Clinton Global Citizen Award. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kiernan Shipka, 14

Mad Men’s Sally Draper is the sassiest character on TV, all thanks to Kiernan Shipka. The 14-year old actress has been playing Don Draper’s rebellious daughter since she was six and a half, but she’s still not allowed to watch the hit AMC show. Shipka also nails her red carpet appearances, with a quirky but age-appropriate style that gets her raves from the fashionable set. Watch out for her performance as incestuous Catherine in the Lifetime adaptation of V.C. Andrews’ Flowers In The Attic.

Ionut Budisteanu, 19

The 19-year-old scientist’s design for a low cost, self-driving car won first place and $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for high school students in May. The prototype signals the potential of manufacturing autonomous driving vehicles to the masses, costing only $4,000 to build as opposed to Google’s $75,000 self-driving car. Budisteanu, a student in Romania, used artificial intelligence technology and a mounted camera on the car to identify traffic lanes, curbs, cars and even people.

Malia Obama, 15

At high-profile events, like her father’s second Inaugural Address, Malia and her sister, Sasha, act with the poise of adults. Thanks in part to Michelle Obama, they seem to lead as normal lives as they can while still meeting the demands of being in the limelight. (Such as 15-year-old Malia’s satirical send up in the Onion.) President Obama often mentions his daughters in speeches, and says that they influenced his stance on gay marriage.

Maya Van Wagenen, 15

The 15-year-old author rose to fame for keeping a diary in her quest to become popular, following antiquated tips from the 1950s self-help book, Betty Cornell’s Glamour Guide for Teens. Her musings about applying lessons such as always wearing white gloves and pearls as she navigated the social scene of a small Texas town landed her a six-figure Penguin book deal for, Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, last month DreamWorks optioned the rights for the novel, making the budding author the “youngest non-actor to ever make a deal” at the film studio.

Justin Bieber, 19

The Canadian-born pop star has become an industry to himself, valued by Forbes at $58 million. He released his first single at age 15, and in 2010, he became the youngest solo male artist to hit #1 on Billboards Hot 100, with My World 2.0, since Stevie Wonder. His high profile breakup earlier this year with fellow star and girlfriend of two years Selena Gomez landed him in gossip sections the world over, as did an altercation in March with a photographer.

Beth Reekles, 17

The Welsh high school student was looking for something to read other than stories about vampires and werewolves when she decided to write her own teen fiction book. The then-15-year-old used story-sharing site Wattpad to release her novel, The Kissing Booth, which earned more than 19 million views and caught the attention of Random House Children’s Publishers U.K. The author, now 17, scored a three-book deal with the U.S. arm of Random House and has since appeared on the Today show. But writing remains a hobby for the teenaged literary sensation, who plans to major in physics in college.

Chloe Grace Moretz, 16

Chloe Grace Moretz is a leading lady for the first time in Carrie, but the blood-drenched horror film is hardly this 16-year old’s first rodeo. The Atlanta native has had supporting roles in (500) Days of Summer and Hugo, and she’s an up-and-comer in the fashion world, too. Next, she’s starring opposite Kiera Knightly in Laggie, out in 2014.

Hailee Steinfeld, 16

Steinfeld had nearly no previous acting experience when she was nominated for an Academy Award at age 13 in 2010 for her role in True Grit. Now she’s playing a student at a military space academy in the sci-fi film Ender’s Game. “I still consider myself very much a beginner,” she told the Guardian.

When will a Nigerian make this list and who would be the first?


TEEN STYLE: Emeka Nwokolo

Emeka Nwokolo is a part three student of Bowen University, studying Economics. He hails from Delta state ,Aniocha North local government. He happens to be the only boy and last child amongst three lovely children. One interesting thing you should know about Emeka, he is confident, strong and very self dependent.

By Ellen Affah

Define your style
Well I’d say casual but I also like a little bit of the traditional attire it gives me a cool feel.

If you could steal a celebrity’s wardrobe who would that be?
Uti Nwachukwu

Favourite accessories?
Bracelets and wrist watches

What’s your look on a regular day?

One thing you can never be caught wearing

What do you think of his style?

Do have a distinct style and love to showcase it? Send a mail to

Nimala Toppo-The 14 year old girl who talks to elephants

Fourteen-year old Nirmala Toppo has become something of a minor celebrity in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

In June, panic gripped the industrial city of Rourkela one night when a herd of wild elephants entered residential areas from dense forests nearby.

Nirmala, forest department officials say, acted as a real-life “pied-piper” when she managed to drive the herd back to the forest, much to the relief of the residents.

She walked many miles with the herd, guiding it out of town, in the process getting blisters on her legs which later turned septic.

“The infection is now gone and my wound has almost dried up,” she told BBC Hindi from her hospital bed where her treatment was organised by the local Red Cross Society.

State forest department officials sought help from Nirmala, who is originally from the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, when they could not get the elephants to leave the city.

Forest official PK Dhola says: “When the herd entered the city, we tried our best to contain its movement. There were 11 of them, including two calves. We managed to make the herd go into the local football stadium, but we were not sure how we could drive them back to the forest. It was a difficult task.”

Mr Dhola says that was when the department decided to seek Nirmala’s help.

“We knew of a tribal girl who lived in Jharkhand, who talked to elephants and was able to drive them back. We called up her father and she arrived along with some other tribal people from her village.”

The state government paid the girl for her services, he added.

Nirmala says she talks to the herd in her local tribal dialect – Mundaari – and persuades the animals to “return to where they belong”.

“First I pray and then talk to the herd. They understand what I say. I tell them this is not your home. You should return where you belong,” says Nirmala who is a Roman Catholic.

Her mother, she says, was killed by wild elephants and that was when she decided to learn the technique to drive them away.

In her work, she is assisted by her father and a group of boys from her village.

“We surround the herd. Then I go near them and pray and talk to them.”

But some are not convinced by Nirmala’s methods. Orissa-based social activist Rabi Pradhan says there is no scientific evidence that wild elephants can understand what a human says. Mr Pradhan says the girl claims to talk to the herd in her own tribal language, but there is no basis for the elephants to follow what she says.

However, others explain such behaviour by saying that tribal people and elephants – or for that matter, other wild animals – have been cohabiting in the forests for ages.

Niel Justin Beck, a member of the district council in Jharkhand’s Simdega area, where Nirmala comes from, says due to their co-existence with the wild animals, the tribal people know how to deal with them.

“In Jharkhand, we call Nirmala a lady Tarzan. Whenever marauding elephants enter a village or destroys crops, the local forest department officials never turn up.

“It is then that the villagers approach Nirmala for help. And she is able to successfully drive away the herd after talking to them.”

Source: bbc news

A story of HOPE

A story of HOPE
If only Mrs T* knew what was in for her when she got married…

Mrs T was a successful business woman who travelled to neighbouring countries to get her wares. An hard working woman that never settled for less. She grew up in a polygamous home with so much rivalry and hatred. A home where one rule stood firmly.”Once you get married, you have no business with the family again. No coming back”. She inherited her source of wealth from her late mother. Hardwork and favour from God made it a success. Mrs T is a wonderful mother to four children. She loved her husband and never complained about his incapability to provide for the family. She was practically the bread winner of the family.

Several years in the marriage and a big problem sprouted. Her husband was becoming a gambler. His addiction for gambling grew so bad that he stole the family’s money for the act. Anytime Mrs T tried talking to him about this act, it would turn into a big fight. It became an habit for Mrs T to give excuses/lies to friends and family for the marks on her body or her husbands adulterous lifestyle. This continued for a while. On a fateful day, Mrs Tee realised her husband took the sum of #115,000(meant to revive her crumbling business) without her consent. She was very angry. All methods to get the money back or an explanation was in vain. Instead, she got the beating of her life. He threatened her to shut her mouth or she would be a dead meat. Her marriage was worse than hell. He gambled with the first, second till the third car. And the beating continued till Mrs T lost an eye in the process. When he realised the extent of the harm he did, he ran away leaving her with four kids. Till date, Mr T is yet to return home. Everything Mrs T ever worked for crumbled and so did her life. In a span of 10 years, she lost her marriage, her business packed up and she lost an eye.

Some friends and family helped Mrs T. She moved from a friend to another to live and feed. She could not afford the house rent anymore. Mrs T sold some of the properties in order to pay for her children’s school fees. She literally lived like a beggar. Her children were terribly affected. It got so bad that her first child started stealing because he wasn’t getting anything again. Life changed so bad for them. A once comfortable woman with everything now living with nothing. She gave up on life.

The transformation for mrs T started two years ago when she was an apprentice in a salon. There, she met with favour. Her boss was a philanthropist and practically took care of her needs. Her encouraging words and good deeds turned Mrs T’s life around. There, she learnt a lot and decided to pick up the pieces of her life. She refused to allow her situation tie her to the ground completely. She had found hope. A reason to live and live well. As a mother, she has vowed to give her children the best. She refused to let the experience ruin her entire life. It took her years before she got the strength, determination and courage to get back on her feet. Now, She is ready to start again from the scratch. Mrs T is now in her mid 40s and owns a very small salon. She lives in a small furnished rented apartment and manages well with what she has. She is working hard to soar higher than before. She hasn’t giving up on her dreams to provide her children with the best.

*Mrs T is a secondary school certificate holder.

Her story teaches hope when there is life. Giving up is not an option, it is only an excuse for laziness. Mrs T could have chosen to live a sad and hopeless life all her years but she chose to stand up again.
Stay hopeful!

You can send in your story of hope, love, peace, victory etc to inspire and impact readers to