Three reasons you need to join #TeamNoExcuses

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on some notes I took in December 2015 while I was reading the transcript of Chude Jideonwo’s TFAA speech. As I read my notes, I immediately went through my email to dig up the link to the speech.

Like dé·jà vu, the words hit me almost the same way they did when I first read the speech. It was such a great speech that I took notes the first time I read the transcript.

Let me just make this disclaimer before I go too far- I have lost count of the notebooks that I have. I have a ‘good’ habit of writing everything down. The truth is I discovered a few years ago that taking mental notes doesn’t work for me, so I try to write every itty-bitty thing down

I’m sure you are wondering, who takes notes after reading a speech or a blog post? Another disclaimer here- I do! Two things came to my mind while I was reading the speech.

First of all, I need to have a sit down with Chude someday somehow.

Secondly, this speech needs to be a compulsory read for all University students and even senior secondary school students. You know the way excerpts of Chimamanda Adichie’s “We should all be feminists” talk has been discussed in so many circles globally? Yes, that’s the viral kinda action I think needs to happen with this speech. Because this is the kind of information that begins to cause a mind shift that is desperately needed among our youth and anyone I dare say who believes in a better Africa.

But why was this speech important to me and almost two years later still important? I’ll explain using my top three takeaways that I wrote down in my notebook almost two years ago. These takeaways I believe are 3 reasons to join #TeamNoExcuses.

1.We need to hashtag our actions and not just our words. Right next to these words, I wrote down this question “I know you can tweet for Africa*, but what did you do this week to make your country better?” This was a question I asked myself two years ago. It is a question that I feel we all need to ask ourselves regularly. We are at a point where we need less twitter action, and more real life actions. Viral hashtags can only be step one. But viral meaningful, purposeful, tangible actions desperately need to be the second step. So what did I do? After reading the speech for the umpteenth time in December 2015, I decided it was time for less talk and more work.

2. We need more people supporting those already working to solve the problems on ground. It’s true that after reading Chude’s speech I made my decision to talk less and work more, but that was only a starting point. I knew I needed to do something. So I started brainstorming. I decided I would start a podcast that would constantly challenge Africans at home and abroad about what they did weekly to make their country or continent better. My aim was to focus on raising the number of individuals doing something to support the NGOs, the entrepreneurs, the teachers, and the governments who were already actively making attempts to solve the problems on the ground.

3. We all need to be active citizens. I discovered that being active required me to be full-time, not part time with my commitment. So I decided that making my contributions would require me showing up not just on social media, but with the clients I work with, with individuals I speak to, and with people I can connect with. It was somewhere in the middle of backing up my decisions with actions and joining #TeamNoExcuses that I decided it was time to take Resonae Solutions to another level- a strategic communications company where we specialize in creating high quality content for individuals and businesses through our writing and communication strategy solutions. Starting Resonae was definitely a challenge; a challenge I’ll be writing more about soon.

Even though, I haven’t started the podcast yet, I’ve been deliberate about the actions I have been taking these days. It’s never too late or too early to join this winning team #TeamNoExcuses. Remember our communities desperately need us to hashtag our actions, support those who are working to solve problems on the ground and be ACTIVE citizens no matter what.

Something about that Chude’s speech got me to evaluate so many things which led me to make some key decisions that are still unfolding. I never thanked him for giving that speech almost two years ago. So, if anyone runs into Chude this week, please tell him how grateful I am. I’m sure he is a member of #TeamNoExcuses and when we finally meet, we will have a lot to discuss about the Nigerian education sector and other interesting stuff.

One more thing. Can someone tell me how we can get this speech into classrooms and lecture halls all over the country?

*tweet for Africa- the act of doing something for Africa is a popular Nigerian expression used to imply an individual is overzealous about something.