CALLING YOU AN AMERICAN WITH OYEDEPO AS YOUR NAME IS A DECEPTION. THERE IS NO OYEDEPO IN THEIR LINEAGE.
YOUR NAME IS BABATUNDE BUT YOU ARE A BRITISH CITIZEN.
A TIME WILL COME WHEN YOU WILL BE TOLD THAT YOU ARE NOT A REAL CITIZEN BUT AN ADOPTED CITIZEN, WHOSE RIGHTS CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
GOD FORBID FOR WAR TO BREAK OUT IN NIGERIA, BUT I WILL BE THE LAST TO LEAVE THIS COUNTRY IF IT HAPPENS.
TRAVELLING ABROAD IS NOT AN ACHIEVEMENT.
A PARTICULAR SYNDROME AMONG THE TEEMING YOUTH IS THE CRAVE TO TRAVEL OUT OF THE COUNTRY WITHOUT A DEFINED MISSION.
YOUTHS: BEWARE OF A LIFESTYLE OF HURRY. HURRY IS THE BREEDING GROUND FOR HORROR
NO ONE STARTS HIS FIRST BUILDING AS A SKYSCRAPER. EVERY BUILDER IN THIS PLACE MUST HAVE STARTED WITH A BUNGALOW. HE MAY HAVE AN ESTATE TODAY BUT HE STARTED FROM SOMEWHERE.
– Dr David Oyedepo
Chancellor, Landmark University, at the 8th Convocation Ceremony of Landmark University
My family started giving out scholarships to secondary school students, then tertiary institutions.
Today at Landmark University, 15 of the graduands are our Scholarship recipients, with 8 graduating with First Class.
Two of our scholars are also in the Professorial cadre in the University. One of them met me when he was a Senior Lecturer and told me he had been receiving the scholarship from the age of 14, though I never knew him.
Every marvel in life is the doing of the Lord. No one is qualified to engender a marvel, but the God that we serve. So for the marvels that clad this great institution the past 12 years, I will like us to all give the Lord a big hand of praise.
Let me again welcome every one of us to the 8th convocation ceremony of Landmark University.
-May the joy of today last forever in the lives of parents, guardians and graduands of today, in the name of Jesus Christ.
I have captioned my speech today:
MAKING YOUR LIFE COUNT
I am addressing the people that own today, the people of whom we are gathered, the pathfinders, what it takes to make your life count. No young man can tell an elder, “you don’t know what it means to be young.” Every elder was once a youth, every old man wasn’t born old. He grew through phases of life to become old. I will be speaking to the realities of life in this brief speech and parting words are very vital, they are very important.
They stay with people.
-My prayer is that the parting words of today will stay and stick with you for life.
Let me begin by saying that size of any problem is not really the problem. It is getting started at seeking solutions that have been the problem. I have always believed in finding indigenous solutions to indigenous problems. You will agree with me that in the animal kingdom, all animals find local solutions to all their local problems. They don’t travel, they don’t get visa, yet they knew how to be protected from wild beasts. They knew what to eat, to stay healthy.
They are animals, no one is feeding them but they are there for generation to generation. They do not import goods and services, yet they succeeded in providing solution to all their problems.
It is also common knowledge that plants have all they need to stay alive wherever they are found. Trees do not move about, yet from the same position, they are able to access all they need.
But man is the most intelligent creature of all of God’s creation, yet because he will not take responsibility, he has not succeeded to find solution to his own problems.
Someone once said, “you are not a failure until you start looking for who to blame for it.” Waiting for someone else to solve your problems, you will be waiting forever. Each one has enough burden to bear. We have what it takes to solve our problems in Africa, I believe, but we lack the will and the commitment to take on these problems and deal with them.
We are all busy wishing for change that we desire without taking any step whatsoever.
But no one goes forward sitting down. No one goes forward taking steps. Taking steps is the only way forward. No one runs with another man’s leg to win a prize.
Lack of inertia is our greatest challenge in Africa. Many will do nothing because they think they can only do a little, but the little you can do can end up making a huge difference.
A one-time American President, Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” How that applies to us in this part of the world.
I have always believed that we all have what it takes to deal with the issues of our lives if we only would think enough. Every great problem is solved by starting from known to unknown. What we are doing here may look like, “what about?” Revolution begins from one spot and it starts to spread and to spread. Only changed people can bring about changes. No short cut.
We must come to recognize that everything global started local. Just like everything great has a small beginning. Every heavyweight wrestling champion today began his life as a baby years back. But most young people hate to come to terms with this reality. They want it all and they want it now. Those who detest the days of small things hardly see great days.
From the beginning of times, God always deliver His divine agenda little by little, lest you will be overwhelmed by it and crumble under it. He delivers our inheritance to us little by little and by little – Exodus 23:30, Deuteronomy 7:22
You have to be a baby first, before you become a toddler. You have to be a toddler before you become an adolescent, before you become a youth and a young adult and then you catch up with 50, full grown adult. You start getting old, by the time you are 60. By the time you are 80, you are an old man. You are 100, you are an ancient man. It has to begin from somewhere. This is the reality of life.
Again, it is important for us to know that everyone born of a woman is born on a mission and it is the mission of making contribution. Everyone. Very interesting analogy. Everything living, including animals and plants only stay alive by making contributions. The plants continue to contribute oxygen to the atmosphere which the animals including man consume and in turn gives back to the atmosphere carbon dioxide, that the plants require to stay alive.
When either of these living things stop making their own contribution, they step into frustration and eventual destruction. Just hold your breath back, because no plant has said, “Thank you”, since you started. You have been supplying carbon dioxide since birth and no plant has ever said, “Thank you or bows when you are coming”, for that reason, hold back your breath and then show us before you where you will want to be buried, because you can’t survive a day without breathing.
As soon as a child is born, the child begins to contribute carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, no matter how small. Every man born of a woman is born on a mission of making contributions. Everything has something to offer. Every man, every child has something to offer. It is by making our contributions that life becomes sustainable, meaningful and impactful. If you are not making contributions, you are not living. Start from where you are.
Again, to our graduating students, as you step into the next phase of your life, become contribution-minded, be contribution-driven by starting from where you are. Stop thinking self. But brace up and begin to think solution. Think contribution, think well being of others, think job creation, think the coming generation. Think of adding value to your world. That is how to make life count.
For instance, I remember my family began giving scholarships to students, beginning with Secondary School, young folks, but later added other tertiary institutions. As at 3 weeks ago, during Covenant University convocation, we had 11 of our Foundation scholars that graduated:15 of them were in the First Class category. Today, here at Landmark University, we have 15 of our scholars graduating, with 8 of them in the First Class category. We didn’t start that way, we started somewhere.
We are not talking about those in various other institutions across the Nation. Start from where you are.
Living to self enslaves. Living for others open up destinies. Start from where you are.
What you have is your cup of tea, what you add is what defines your personality.
Go and add value. Those who live to consume, never have enough. Some many holding political offices are…not only in Nigeria, across various nations of the world. Helping others for them is for show, perhaps to win the next election, but helping others to have meaning in life is real help, without having to broadcast it. I can’t tell you here how much we are helped of God to contribute making life meaningful for people as a family.
Consistently so, not yesterday, not 10 years ago, not 20 years ago. Now we have never lacked nor had to borrow, because he that gives to the poor shall not lack. You have something to add. Go ahead and add it.
There are very few people who are workers, who cannot handle a Primary School help to a pupil that is stranded. What they take for entertainment per day can pay such fees, but there is no heart for it. To make life count, go and add value. Start from where you are.
Start by honouring your parents, no matter how well doing they are.
Stretch a helping hand to the needy around you, no matter at what level today. It will keep growing as you keep doing it with the right attitude.
Today, 2 of our scholars are in the Professorial cadre in the University. One of them said, “I have been on your scholarship since I was 14 years of age.”
You say: Did you know him? No, I just heard somebody had a problem and we had the privilege to be able to supply that need and he came to introduce himself to me when he became a Senior Lecturer.
Doing good is good, even when you do good in error, it is still good. Go out there and add value. That is how to make life count.
As I begin to conclude, may I sound this note of warning to the upcoming generation. Beware of a lifestyle of hurry. Most people practically among the youth suffer diverse horrors but than any other time in history. It’s common knowledge that most victims of road accidents are men and women are in a hurry. Insensitive to the road signs, they engage in over speeding, ending their lives before they knew. Hurry is the breeding ground for horror. Some youths have joined armed robbery gangs, because they can’t wait. The process of growth is too slow for them. They don’t believe in the dignity of labour, leading to many losing their lives. A number of youths today engage in computer scam and many are grieving in prison houses while others continue to suffer irreversible curses from their victims.
There was a woman that somebody called and then this old woman had some little money that the children gave to her. They called her and said, “Look, your account number is so and so, you are so and so, confirm please.” She confirmed and the next thing, alert: account emptied. Could not locate the source till tomorrow. When such individuals invoke a curse, no matter the grace from anywhere, the curse keeps following, because you have touched her soul to invoke a curse: “that whosoever did this”, whatever she says becomes a lifelong burden.
Why? They can’t wait.
Some other youths are into hard drugs business. A number of this may have been shot dead in the course of their business. Many may be lamenting in various prison houses around the world today. The word, ‘Patience’ is no longer in the vocabulary of our youth and so like we know, every seedling has its gestation period before bringing up fruits. We need to learn patience. Young people: learn patience.
You need to believe that this Ministry did not start where we are today. We had 4 people in those days in Kaduna. Then gradually, grew to 10, then gradually to 30.
Then when we reached 90, it was a whole Sunday celebration. Real big time celebration. Then gradually to 500. Life is in phases.
You don’t want to lose out! Enjoy the phase to phase advancement of life. That is where the thing is.
-My prayer is that none of you will have your name mentioned in a prison house.
-My prayer is that none of you will be a burden and concern to your parents for life.
-My prayer is that you will all remain sources of joy to your parents and guardians for life.
Little by little, one step after another, the longest journey is made. Don’t be part of this hurry syndrome!
We are admonished in scriptures to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherited the promises. Patience is a big factor for a peaceful life, for a fulfilling life, for a meaningful life. Learn patience.
No one starts his first building as a skyscraper. Every builder in this place must have started with a bungalow. Today, he may have a duplex. He may have an estate, but he started somewhere. Start from where you are, that is the covenant way of life. Start from where you are, that is how to make the utmost mark.
Furthermore today, a particular syndrome among the teeming youth is the crave to travel out of the country without a defined mission. You ask some of this youth, “you must travel, but to where?” You will be surprised to hear their answer.
“You are travelling to do what?”
Their response: Anything.
What a miserable way to live.
Life without a mission is an adventure in frustration. Travelling out of the country is not an achievement. That should record in anybody’s mind. It is not an achievement. No. There is nothing wrong in going out to study, but there is everything wrong in living one’s life to chance.
“I am just going to try!!” And many today are only hanging around where they are tolerated, leaving where they are celebrated. Leaving where their contribution will make most meaning. I thank God that I never missed my way to stay in America.
I thank God that he directed my path back here. I thank God that I am seeing the fruits of my labour. I thank God that I am making my little impact, little contribution to my generation.
Watch it, some may be marked out to be president of this great nation tomorrow and be jumping about, fast food restaurant jobs, sweeping and all that. You don’t need that.
Where the problem is greatest is where contributors are most needed. We have great challenges and we need great contributors to turn our challenges to testimony.
Calling you an American with Oyedepo as your name is a deception. There is no Oyedepo in their lineage. It doesn’t exist.
“Babatunde”: A British citizen. Wonderful. You will be told how you are not a real citizen but an adopted citizen, whose rights can be withdrawn at any time.
Nigeria needs you, our great Nation needs you. The continent needs you if you are willing to make your life count.
Yes, go and study. Yes, come back and add value.
God forbid, there will be no war in Nigeria. If for any reason, if anything like that happens, I will be the last to leave here. I have made a vow to God. I owe my generation a responsibility.
-My prayer again is that no one here among us will miss his steps.
In conclusion, I want to believe that no one here will live a displaced life. It can be most miserable. As bird wanders from her nest, so is a man that wanders from his place.
-You will not wander from your place of destiny in the name of Jesus.
-In the lifetime of your parents, you shall be great and you shall become great by making great contributions.
-Everyone of you shall be greater than your parents. No matter what level of grace they may attain, you shall yet be greater.
Every generation is an improvement on the previous.
-You have passed through this place, whatever thing you have seen here, you will see greater than that in your life.
-I see many of you spearheading institutions greater than this in dimension, in this same country.
-I see many of you becoming the pride of this nation by your massive contributions.
So wake up and make your life count.
Again, congratulations to all of our parents and guardians who are here. We rejoice with you. The proprietors of this institution rejoice with you, the Living Faith Church. The Board of Regents rejoice with you and we believe that the joy of today will last for a lifetime in everyone’s life.
Young people, I am waiting to lift my eyes to see you in the sky. That is where you belong. That is what you have been trained to be in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thank you all for listening and God bless.
Let me quickly acknowledge the presence of our Royal Fathers in this convocation ceremony today, led by His Royal Majesty, Olumo of Omuaran and his Chiefs and other Obas that are here with us. Thank you for coming and God bless you all.