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Ariyike Writes: It’s Free Sitting! The Sky is Wide Enough For All



We live in a society where others are constantly criticizing your creativity, talent and even your person. People are so good at picking on your flaws whilst forgetting the fact that nobody is actually perfect.

I always say this to my friends “To survive in Lagos, it goes beyond having a skin tougher than ‘Ponmo’, you must be ready to hustle and remain focused.”

Recently, I was at a filling station when I eavesdropped on a conversation between two fuel attendants and a few by standers. They were talking about Usain Bolt’s 100m (race) win at the Olympics.

As I listened on, one of the guys there kept saying “Bolt no fit run jare, he no fast reach me”. I didn’t know which was funnier; the actual statement or the fact that he was pronouncing “Bolt” as “Bot“. The guy kept raving and ranting about how he used to complete his 100m race in 9.10 seconds back when he was in secondary school (that was 15years ago).

As I was about too zoom off, I smiled at him and said “Na you suppose don win our “only” gold medal for Olympics, you dey here dey make mouth or make we do special “olympics” for you and Bolt”? Everyone burst out laughing and someone said to him “Bros, go siddon jor, you don turn old soldier”.

I drove off thinking to myself, It’s so easy for you to say you’re better than someone else without even acknowledging the fact that the same person you claim to be better than is recognised for what he or she is doing while you are busy “making noise”. That’s a typical case of “all mouth, no action”.

Don’t get me wrong here, It’s good to believe in yourself and strive to be the best. In fact, you should always believe in yourself and say, “I am the best”.

It’s good to appreciate those that are working hard instead of constantly criticizing them. Fine, I know some of these People are constantly in our faces, but how about constructive criticism as against destructive?

A lot of people are so good at saying: He can’t even act, how did he get that role? She can’t speak good English, I wonder how she became a TV Presenter. She can’t even sing yet everyone is dancing to her music! He sounds so flat, how did he get a job on radio? She can’t even defend herself, yet she calls herself a lawyer. She’s a fashion stylist but her clients constantly look like they ought to be arrested by the fashion police!

You’d hear things like: Gosh this food is so disgusting, I thought they said he was the best chef in town?  He’s a big boy in the bank, why does his suit look so cheap? She says she’s an events planner, yet the wedding she coordinated was so rowdy! Everyone keeps making noise about this bar, it’s not even on point! She claims to be a writer yet she “gbagauns” in all her articles. This website/blog is so dry yet u go there everyday.

Most of these people you talk about didn’t have it easy. You may see them in the lime light and assume that their journey was easy but believe me, everyone has a story and if you take out time to hear them, you ‘ll definitely appreciate how far they have come.

It’s time to stop dwelling on what others can or cannot do. Why not focus on what you are good at and love doing instead of getting angry at the fact that someone else is living your dream?

Everyone is blessed with a talent, you just have to search within yourself to find it. Put God first, pray for “good luck” *winks*, work hard, work smart and try to build a brand out of it. In M.I Abaga’s words “My moto is, do more, talk less, never get mad at another man’s success so when People tryna make sure I chop less, I say no be your fault, you’re just jobless”.

When you look into the sky and see so many birds flying together without disturbing one another, you’ll begin to realise that there’s so much space for everyone in every sector. In M.I Abaga’s words again “The Sky is wide enough for all. It’s free sitting”.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but when you feel the urge to criticize someone (especially when it’s done out of hate/jealousy), always remember the wise words of Rick Warren, “Criticizing the success of others will never make you successful”.

Ariyike Akinbobola is a trained Lawyer turned TV Presenter/Producer at Spice TV, a fashion and lifestyle channel. She studied Law at the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian bar in 2006. She practiced Law for a few years before switching to the entertainment industry. She also has a diploma in Tv Presenting from the prestigious London academy of media, film and tv. She’s very passionate about issues affecting Women and Children and is always ready to support charitable organisations of this nature. She also organises a monthly event every first Wednesday of the month called “Best of Both Worlds” networking cocktail party. She recently added “acting” to her C.V by acting in the soon to be released series “Lekki Wives”. She’s married and blessed with Children. Follow her on twitter @LadyAriyike to find out more.

Ariyike Akinbobola is a lawyer turned media personality. She is an associate producer/TV presenter for Spice TV's talk show "On the Couch" and Spice Toys. You can also watch her on her Youtube channel Ariyike Weekly. She is married with children. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @LadyAriyike. She blogs at


  1. Rew

    October 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Awwww, I remember Ariyke from QC, she was crazy and funny. Great write up, I have noticed especially on social media, people are so quick to judge and criticize others. Constructive criticism is good and helps people become better at what they do but with Nigerians, it is often down right hate and jealousy.

    • NikkyJay

      October 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      REW you couldn’t have said it any better. I totally i agree with you. At the end of the day most of the comments are vile.

  2. missy

    October 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Perfect! love this Writeup.

  3. xxxxx

    October 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Standing ovation. Well said. Too many nigerians can hateeeee, its like a disease. Love this article. Very well written. I’m sure with this article, they’ll probably relax for a min, but when u post the next celebrity interview or red carpet pictures, they’ll start again.

    • pretty

      October 30, 2012 at 8:57 am


  4. Bukki

    October 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I read this write up like it is the Constitution . Refreshing and so true! In other societies all this social media attacks are referred to as cyber bullying… We are where we are in Africa because people are constantly envious and pulling down instead of channelling that energy to fighting a repressive government and helping one another to survive.

  5. Seun

    October 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    True talk. Hope BN readers will remeber this article when they feel like tongue-lashing celebs!

  6. LL

    October 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    The tendency to criticise people is a disease I seriously pray against. Most times, these people keep learning from their mistakes and moving on while you’re still trying to grasp anything. I have a friend who constantly berates people and after I examined her life and realised she had never even attempted to try anything, I started avoiding her! Some serious toxic things …Nice one Ariyike

  7. abimbola Dare

    October 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Go Riki! Go Riki! Tell ’em! As a author , I know exactly what you are talking about and have felt the pinch of “haters”. At first it hurt, but with time, I’ve learnt to just pick the “constructive criticism” from whatever I get and let the rest slide. I am not perfect, but hey I don’t have to be. My imperfection is what makes me human.
    Excellent write up, ore.

  8. abimbola Dare

    October 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    and I just gbagauned right there. “as a author.” hehe. Enjoy d week peoples!xx

  9. DeeY

    October 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Very nice write up Ariyike. This is definitely food for thought and really rings true. Indeed the sky is BIG enough.

  10. City chic

    October 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  11. oluwaseun

    October 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    The truth is people will always pick holes in everything you do.Me Oluwaseunfunmi, i don’t give a rats ass/flying fuck about nobody so far i’m happy and my conscience is clean.Gbagbe menh

  12. Giggy

    October 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    i totally agree with the writer. thank you for this piece, very insightful

  13. Rachael Kelly-Taylor

    October 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank goodness. Finally a write up about haters and jealousy. It’s become such a common trait with Nigerians. Tearing and pulling each other down. The excuse is always – ” it’s my opinion and I am entitled it,” or “I am just given constructive criticism”. There was a similar write up a couple of months ago about how words hurt people and everyone was talking about the bad experiences they’ve encountered. Meanwhile when red carpet pictures from an event were posted a week after the write up – the tongue-lashing came back from the same set of people condemning it. It’s either they are calling someone too thin, too fat, ugly, fake, artificial; they have joined illuminati, and all kinds of names. Seriously can some of you take half of the crap you dish out on these people? Yes they are celebrities and public figures, but they are human beings before anything else. Human beings have feelings, they have a heart, they hurt like you and I. Their heart is not made of stone. You want to progress in your life meanwhile you are spending time criticizing and tearing someone else’s success. It’s very easy for some of you to lash on the likes of Toke Makinwa, Susan Peters, Tonto Dike, Rukky Sanda, Denrele and so many other people, as you are wasting your time trying to bring them down God is increasing their barns and blessing them. Zip it if you have nothing positive to say about people. Focus on the good and positive in people (even if it’s just one positive thing), stop dwelling on negativity.

  14. nems

    October 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Great article, enjoyed reading this 🙂

  15. Busarni

    October 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Peeps come to BN and constantly lash out on ppl they see here. i am not saying i’m perfect buh being rational in whateva it is we do ,wldn’t cause no pain. I jus fill bringing down oda ppl jus make some peeps fil gud ; abi na inferiority complex????. God help us all to be beta ppl.Every one of us is involved..ok bye…

  16. Honey

    October 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    But seriously, social network will be boring without all d celeb dissing, lol.
    Meanwhile, anyone whos in d public eye should expect some bashing, it goes wit d territory. u can only be a hater if u know d person personally or if it gets to d extreme dat u jump on any article, picture, tweet about a celeb to diss him/her. For instance, i think Denrele is super boring, his addition to naija sings was a miss but i dont diss him all d time. i ve accepted dat hes like dat but i will speak my mind if he does something stranger dan d usual.

  17. AA

    October 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Lovely article but nothing is going to change. Nigerians are very hateful people. Some ignorant person is going to always insult someone’s tribe, some religious zealot will always attack someone’s religion. When will it end???

  18. rinny

    October 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Nice write up.thumbs up girl.dis is just d plain truth.a lot to be learnt from this

  19. glittering makeover

    October 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Anyting from LadyAriyike is loving…so funny bt @ thesame time educative…tankGod we v u frm OSUN jorrrr!!!! Stil waiting 2 c more frm u…God bles u mor

  20. Tope o

    October 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Ricky, great words of wisdom, you are truly blessed! Fantastic article, food for thought, I couldn’t be more proud of you! Well done my dear friend!

  21. kixstar

    October 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Ricky,well said and sooooooo true! People can sabi to hate!d good thing about it is that if u’re a strong person,haters only make u want to achieve leave em 2 keep hatin.well said ricky!

  22. Amber Lake

    October 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Good write-up Ariyike. My friend and I were just discussing about this whole hate and cyber-bullying thing yesterday – I was so happy when I saw this write-up. It’s shocking to see the things Nigerians see as normal. There is nothing funny or entertaining about cyber-bullying someone. I don’t know why a lot of Nigerians take pleasure in thrashing people and each other. Honey mentioned above that “social networking will be boring without the celeb dissing” — so you will rather thrash and bash someone just to relieve yourself from boredom. Being a celebrity doesn’t make them less human. Nigerians never change until something drastic happens – like someone attempting or committing suicide due to the cyber-bullying. This things happen. I don’t see any good reason why a human being should be subjected to bashing, harassment and bullying in the name of trying to spice up your social network. Nothing good ever comes from it.

  23. Tunmi

    October 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    nice article but I disagree with some things, especially here:

    “A lot of people are so good at saying: He can’t even act, how did he get that role? She can’t speak good English, I wonder how she became a TV Presenter. She can’t even sing yet everyone is dancing to her music! He sounds so flat, how did he get a job on radio? She can’t even defend herself, yet she calls herself a lawyer. She’s a fashion stylist but her clients constantly look like they ought to be arrested by the fashion police!

    You’d hear things like: Gosh this food is so disgusting, I thought they said he was the best chef in town? He’s a big boy in the bank, why does his suit look so cheap? She says she’s an events planner, yet the wedding she coordinated was so rowdy! Everyone keeps making noise about this bar, it’s not even on point! She claims to be a writer yet she “gbagauns” in all her articles. This website/blog is so dry yet u go there everyday.”

    Some of those articles are/can be valid. An actor who honestly cannot act is an insult to the industry (and perhaps the truth about the industry). The ‘best restaurant in town’ yet the food is of poor quality. A TV presenter who cannot speak good English (or whatever the language the program calls for). A ‘fashion stylist’ whose work is of poor quality. An ‘event planner’ whose work is also of poor quality. Those are valid criticism and it’s not all a matter of ‘haters/hating’. Now there are some who are really just hating like the Usain Bolt example. But in some cases, it really is criticism. Hopefully it is constructive criticism where the person being criticized can actually learn and improve from. We’re not all going to be great at what we do, myself included. I would rather someone point out what I’m doing wrong (preferrably at an early stage before I’m set in my ways or at some large, public event) so that I can make myself better.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Wholly and completely agree. I won’t accept mediocrity just because I don’t want to be accused of “hating” and, unfortunately, people now throw that word in the mix even when valid criticism is being given.

      There are certain standards which are expected in different professions, industries, skill-sets and vocations. I won’t supply products which are beyond standard to clients in my own vocation, why am I not allowed to say there’s something wrong with a product being supplied to me? An actor ruins a movie that would have been enjoyable otherwise or an author hasn’t risen to expectation with their literature? Let’s not mis-construe proper criticism when it needs to be given to people who aren’t putting enough work into their craft.

    • Moi

      October 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Very Good comment you have made. cause I quite disagree with the comments because we are quick to accept mediocre standards cause really if u cant speak good english why should you be a tv presenter? c’mon thats what tv presenting is all about or if u r a supposed fashion stylist, why should your client be a candidate for the fashion police? i believe those comments fall within constructive criticism and not “haters” comments.

      the problem with our society is that alot of people hold out to be what they actually aren’t just to have some title or be relevant and of course we dont really have enough regulatory bodies to keep in check good quality and to ensure good standards are maintained. And as such, such people should be criticized and made to know that they cannot just do a they please.

      In all i get the writer drift about unnecessary criticism but not the examples she gave

  24. ayinde adeola omotola

    October 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Nice 1,Ariyike.God bless you 4 d write -up.

  25. Ayokunle Ojutalayo

    October 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    i loved this sooo much cuz. This has already changed my mindset about things. Thanks again.

  26. Lara

    October 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Rikkky! Nice write up. You couldn’t have said it better.

  27. Banke Oluwaleimu

    October 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Laughing out loud @ ‘Bot’. Good stuff Rikky,smooth & easy that how to tell a good writer. Preach it to all the people out there who have only one talent: running others down!

  28. Oduroye Ibukun

    October 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Very well said. Talk less, Do More.

  29. Ogechukwu

    October 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Food for thought for everyone.nice article ariyike!!!!

  30. Opeyemi Adekola

    October 29, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    All I can say is well said and direct

  31. Ranti

    October 30, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Insightful write up dear. Good job

  32. pj

    October 30, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Cousin!(Lol). No space to leave comments again o… Well put together. You hit the nail on the right spot. We live in the midst of jealous and envious critics.

  33. iamfascinating

    October 30, 2012 at 6:54 am

  34. aransiola josiah

    October 30, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Clarity, being objective and cohesion are hallmark of writing as an Art, you clearly have mastered the craft. Thank you for the various articles. I like the versatility. Kudos my sister you inspiring others. #nobewash

  35. Hustle & Flow

    October 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

    well said Ricky….as always you have hit the nail on the head….nice one

  36. Akinsola Muse

    October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

    This write -up is inspiring and very energetic . I will come back to read again and again .

  37. olubukola

    October 30, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Ariyike is really her. great article

  38. Funmilayo

    October 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Very true words and i agree with you. If you spend time creating your own niche, you would hardly have the time to diss others. However, you have to realize that dissing others especially their ‘works’ seem to have become a skill on its own that’s fast becoming a career eg fashion police, rotten tomatoes etc. In the creative arts, your works have to go through scrutiny, either through established organizations or the fans.

  39. Treasure TeeKay Kalu

    October 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Nice thoughts Ariyike!
    A Perfect example of what your are saying is this: Almost everyone of us have criticized Tonto Dike for her unprofessional musical single. But in the midst of it all, the actress has recorded the highest downloads in the shortest possible time. The so called wacked single has been downloaded over 3.2 Million times. Now imagine if she’s gat that up on iTunes and she’s been paid just $1 per download… O moh! See Pepper!!
    ** “It’s not what u don’t have that limits you but it’s what you have but don’t know how to use”… Steve Harris

  40. tomeloma

    October 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Mmmhn…All I can think of is that this Ariyike babe has just given herself immunity against critizing her article, me I have a few things I want to say about it but I get I’ll wait until the next time she writes on BN or we’ve all forgotten about this issue…lol

  41. Giffty

    October 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Ricky,u so right gurl! And u’v just said it all. Keep it up,we surely behind u and ur write ups!

  42. Abbaty

    October 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Ariyike is best remembered by the class of 2006 Lagos campus of Law school, particularly by her simplicity of all inclusive life style. Lady, with article like this, u can change this world. Truly pesscimism Is a window to evil, so neva criticise when u are not objective and emotionally inbalance.

  43. Brenda Paul

    October 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Nicely writen sis and i could agree more with you on the M.I. lines “My moto is, do more, talk less, never get mad at another man’s success so when People tryna make sure I chop less, I say no be your fault, you’re just jobless”….i avoid going on most blogs with stories about celebrities or even mere people mainly because of all the hateful words (whether truths or lies) that are always posted there…The truth be told, if someone is not doing something well and you have a cuase to critize the person, do it with love and not hate cos the love would make the person do it better next time but if you know you cannot do it with love you may as well not critize at all…@Tunmi…If an actor can not act and he or she is a disgrace to the industry, its his or her shame not for one to hate and same goes for the restaurant owner…Keep up the good write work know we have your back with prayers all the way…xoxo

  44. Abbaty

    October 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Hey lady, its enlightening u gonna change the world to better. Keep it up.

  45. saphemerald

    October 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Thumbs up to you ricky, the fastest, cheapest and easiist thing to do not only here in 9ja but all over d world is to judge !!!!!

    You nail right.

  46. Tee

    January 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I somewhat agree with the writer but its easier to forget that not all criticism is bad – There’s positive criticism which is dished out with Love to make one ‘up’ their game. What i agree with is the Naija social media Version which is basically the act of Abusing and insulting folks for the sake of it. It is really vile. We have become a nation of Internet ‘trolls’ who sit behind our computers and look for the most inhumane comment to make about other people because we can’t be seen but forget that Words are more powerful than swords.

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