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RANDOM THOUGHTS ON MENTORING

Firsts Baba Isa, The Author

One can provide good leadership while failing to provide good mentorship. To build success is different from building a successor. That’s why most good leaders fail to raise equally good successors. Most people build empires and forget to build successors to sustain such empires. It’s the story of selfishness, foolishness and Africa.

Lack of mentorship is not just the product of the dearth of mentors or the unwillingness of those ahead to mentor us. Most times we, the youths, are responsible for lack of mentorship.

Most of us don’t even think we need it. We think success is something that will just happen because we know how to blow grammar. We think we can short cut our way to glory.

Most young people want to boycott the process and become the product. When we see a political or legal luminary or successful person in any field, we aim at getting his crown, coveting his lifestyle without first learning his principles.

We tow the path of Sycophancy aimed at getting cash to live fake lives instead of getting commonsense. Instead of yearning to learn at the feet of a guru, we want to dine at his table. You have to first learn at his feet how to use cutleries before you are invited to his table lest you mess up yourself.

If you get the phone number of Donald Duke, Pat Utomi or Okoi Obono-Obla, Ofem Ekapong Ofem, what will do? Most people will consider that a blessing. A blessing to do what? To ask them questions and learn lessons in politics, business and law that turn you into gurus like them? No. To call or text them begging for house rent, and telling stories of personal woes.

My generation is doomed without mentorship. We must position ourselves to get mentorship even where it is not readily available.

Don’t confuse mentoring with being used.

Being someone’s boy is different from being a protege. The difference is based on motive.

Most young people are being used thinking they are being mentored. The fact that someone gives you a job or a political appointment doesn’t make him your mentor. At best, he is just a benefactor.

A mentor is simply someone who is grooming you to become like him, take over from him and become a better or best version of him.

For instance if the Governor of a state appoints you a PA or SA that doesn’t mean he is mentoring you to be like him. How will you know that? Through your job description, the kind of assignments he gives you and what he exposes you to.

If as a PA, your job description is to insult people online, then you are not being mentored for leadership position. You are being used as a thug and in thuggery you shall excel. You are only good for insulting and when a man to take up higher leadership responsibilities is needed, the governor will recommend and support someone serious and ready and by pass you.

The simple truth is that if someone is not giving you the opportunities, challenges, exposure and resources to be, at least, like him, then he is not mentoring you. Watch it, he might just be using you.

One Alfred Paul puts it thus: “The Yorubas are the most successful in legal practice. They have the highest number of SANs and the best law firms in Nigeria. Why? Mentorship. AFE BABALOLA alone is said to have mentored at least 17 lawyers to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Mentorship is the reason Bola Tinubu is celebrated. He has mentored many political god-sons to political greatness. Our own politicians want everything for themselves.

The Igbos are the most successful in business. Why? Mentorship. The average Igbo business owner is thinking of how he will settle his “nwa boy” and also make him a millionaire. Our own people will hardly tell you of job vacancies in their place of work.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another. In fact a candle over works itself by not lighting another. South-South people need to wake up. Selfishness is killing us. You are blessed to bless others. You are lifted to lift others. You are favoured to favour others. Try not to be Andrew Yakubu who had 9 million dollars cash in his house but would not help people around him. He forgot that it was people that helped him in the past.

A GREAT MAN IS HE THAT HAS MADE OTHERS GREAT.”

– Firsts Baba Isa (FBI)

About Efo Korsi Senyo

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 4 years experience working as investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Head of Awake Investigates. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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