One of the gruelling debates I had within myself is whether this is worth writing about or not. One part of me held the notion that I should concentrate on another great book and it will suffice. The other said “no, this one involves Aburof M. Kishk, the powerful Motivational Speaker who once told me the secret to becoming a great writer is constant and consistent writing on my experiences, programmes I chance upon and places I visit.
Another reason the latter won the debate is the fact that our lives must be documented for the future. Our outstanding efforts in ensuring a beautiful world, our small contribution to mankind’s understanding and enjoyment of a better life must be captured for posterity to glean from. We must document it so that one day our lives will not be misrepresented or whisked away as if it never occurred.
I take caution from our honorable African forefathers who did not profoundly document their lives – and therefore made the world’s historians write as if life in Africa started with the advent of wicked European colonialists in Africa.
Once upon a time, one of the ‘most outstanding’ British historians, Hugh Trevor-Roper, wrote “Perhaps in the future there will be some African history to teach. But at the present there is none, or very little: there is only the history of Europe in Africa”. Sad and pathetic! I therefore move to tell you what happened last Sunday, July 4th 2021 at VIP Youth Club at Libya Quarters, Madina.
The story of my life recounted could never be complete without the mention of AVERT Youth Foundation. It was the nursery-bed of my leadership abilities (still learning, though). The organisation availed to me many wonderful individuals and programmes which were beneficial to my make-up. As I always say, my thoughts were better shaped, my soul uplifted, my brain was nourished, my horizon was broadened and, much more importantly, my life was impacted by this once-great organisation.
One thing it availed to me, also, was the constant presence of members holding books anytime they came for meetings. Great books, self-help books, memoirs, political books and books we always joked about because almost all were described as ‘best-sellers’. Those are the motivational books. Then one day one a strong member saw me holding one of those books and made a statement I have never forgotten since then. He said he does not need any book or motivational speaker to ginger him in life. When he wakes up, the mere sight of the wall of his house alone is enough motivation for him to strive toward a better life. And I agree perfectly with him. Your condition alone should make you restless.
However, I believe motivational books and speeches are also very important in firing our spirit for excellence. It is essential we flood our souls with motivation, especially from some motivational speakers who sometimes have the gift of caressing words and tailoring them to perfectly sit in the situation you find yourselves in. And that is exactly what Aburof M. Kishk did in Madina over the weekend.
Aburof Mustapha Kush-Tain is a mind-transforming and life-changing agent, and an Ambassador for the Drug-Free World, Los Angeles, USA. Over the years, he has visited over 500 senior and junior high schools across Ghana, and directly impacted the lives of more than one hundred thousand students and youths across the country at all levels through his Ghanaian Dream Motivational Project. He visits churches, mosques, football teams etc., and has also been on a number of TV and radio talk shows awakening the giant in the youth.
The ‘African Youth Commandant; as he is affectionately called, has spoken on improving academics, religion, relationships and personal development. He has mounted over 1,000 socialisation platforms, and is gifted with humour as a natural-born storyteller while being fun-loving with exceptional presentation skills. He is enthusiastic and has a unique talent in connecting with his audience. His greatest passion is to inspire African youth to discover their greatness and use it to change lives across Africa. It is in this vein that he created the Zongo Motivational Diet – a street motivational programme for grassroots people. His presentation last weekend gave a fillip and added flesh to the hackneyed saying that “words are the verbal embodiment of power”.
He began by reminding the youth that they are God’s creation and must endeavour to live a meaningful life. “If you really know what your make-up is, you wouldn’t be living a wretched life,” he stated. He interspersed his presentation with the English language. “The ball changers of the world know where they are.” He drew gathering’s attention to some of the trivialities they waste resources and energy in executing. In a fit of fury over how passionate he is about the issue, he listed what he termed as the ills of our society. He mentioned how sexually-charged the youth are now, linking it with high reported cases of Teenage Pregnancy.
“A society that has its teenagers on drugs cannot prosper,” he stated when lamenting how drug-abuse has eaten into the precious lives of many of our youths.
He also mentioned Gambling as one of the ills of society, making allusions to the number of betting houses which have sprouted up along our streets in just a few years.
The worst of all ills, he stated, is Ignorance. He pointed to the fact that if we do not rise to salvage this, our future as a people is bleak. “Our society is dead. And our leaders know this.”
The audience could not get enough of him as he was bubbling with so much confidence. One passerby who had never seen such overwhelming display of gusto said: “He should stop dancing”. But hey, one characteristic of highly confident people is that they believe the world is a theatre where every role is significant – and therefore they view the world as a stage and then dramatise their productivity. He talked about where the world has reached and where it is moving to. It is moving at a break-neck speed. “The way the world has moved, if you don’t position yourself well, poverty will eat you,” he told the highly attentive audience.
Then as if held in a trance, he asked the gathering “What is your dream”? At that moment the place was tranquil and calm, as the sound of the gale from thoughts running through minds could be heard all around. One could tell the assimilation process was on course. He then exhorted the gathering to spell the word ‘dream’ for him, one letter after the other.
D stands for decision. “In the moment of your decision, your destiny changes. And every human being has three decisions to make in life. His relationship with God which does not stand without knowledge; his career decision “what can you do?”; and his spousal decision. He stated that that “we (people of the Zongo) started making clothes, yet when the roll-call of Fashion designers is made we are absent”.
R is for Responsibility. One has to take full responsibility for his life. “You can put the story of your family on Google”. Excellence follows. “Excellence is going the extra mile.” Then when he got to A, there was a crescendo of passion in his voice. A, he believes, stands for attitude.
He related a story about Asuma Banda – who stated that the key to a successful life is ASK. The K is knowledge 15%; S is skill 25%; and A is Attitude – which is an overwhelming 50%. “The world is a dangerous ground.” And one can survive it with the right attitude. The M in the DREAM is for mentorship. “The greatest mentor you could have is Prophet Muhammad,” he noted emphatically.
He then talked about the 3Ps of life. He hinted that one will have to be exhibit a great deal of patience because the road to success is more often than not a rough one. “You will be scoffed at for what you choose to do.” Perseverance is another P. He admitted that the road will fraught with perils, but “hold on to it”. He repeatedly said, “Hold on to it”. Prayer is the last of the Ps he mentioned. He exhorted the gathering to pray without ceasing. “Prayers can make the impossible possible,” he stated.
In conclusion, he offered hope by stating how we can rise above our pathetic situation. “This society belongs to us. If it is better, it returns to us. If it is worse, it returns to us. … When the good majority is silent, the bad minority takes over… In life, if you are casual, you can be a casualty.”
NB: The Writer is a Youth-Activist and the Executive Secretary of Success Book Club.
NB: The Writer is a Youth-Activist and a Student of Knowledge.