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Sail Through! Crossing the Sea of Wishful Thinking & Giving Life to Your Dreams



Early this year, precisely in January, I made a trip down west to my Alma Mater and nostalgia struck. Walking through the very famous senate building car park at the centre of the university, I fell rapidly down the heights of the memory ladder to a few years before. A reminiscent smile began at the edges of my lips and broadened, a familiar, distant but very much vivid image stood before me. It was one of my sister and I, returning from our respective departments after a tedious day of lectures and practicals. Memories of how we chatted animatedly and our conversations painting perfect pictures.  We saw all what was wrong in the university and at the same time proffered superlative solutions. All of this we did with our tongues, cackling away like the layer fowl. We were obviously at the peak of our innovative cycle; ideas came rushing like water that has been dammed for ages and undammed all of a sudden! We knew all that needed to be done and how they should be done but that was where it all ended…in our chattering!

There was a particular space we kept seeing in our minds as a dine and dash place, where people could stop by and have hot breakfast and coffee on their way to classes. We even had a name for it! We were going to call it “Ray’s Place” but all we ever did was talk into the air. One peaceful evening, we were walking back from lectures in our traditional manner, prattling as we usually did until all of a sudden, silence consumed both of us. We stopped in our strides and stared at the reality before us- our dream was staring right into our face! On that same space we had always envisioned our magnificent “Ray’s Place” stood “Kay’s Chippy”. My sister gasped and spoke first,  “they stole our idea!” She screamed. I didn’t say anything because my initial impulse was of silence, one that radiated from the depth of my soul. I had retreated to my calm space and we continued our walk that day but in silence, each one of us lost in her respective thought.

We later understood with heart wrenching pain that we were not the only ones who got those spectacular ideas, others did! But these other people did what we were didn’t dare to do –  they crossed to the other side of the ocean. They sailed with their ideas from the sea of knowing and docked at the port of doing while we remained adrift, wishful thinking.

Ideas, we later learnt in the hard way, are like birds in the wild. Flying with extreme liberty. They pick a mighty mahogany tree to perch on this moment and the next moment are found roosting on top of a tall building, a mast or a pole. Terrific ideas do come; I bet you have had one at a point or the other in life, but what have you done with them? Do you just let these perfect pictures blur and gradually fade away till they are remembered no more? Or, do you wait listlessly till someone else brings them to manifestation?

My sister and I have got a first class experience of the latter and believe me, it sure hurts and cuts deeply to watch your bird come alive in another’s hand. I have been down that lane more than once. Do not just know it, think it or say it. Just do it!
The rewards and joys are lies in “doing” but regret and pain is buried in just “knowing”

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  1. Zero

    June 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Vague piece

  2. me2

    June 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    So so true!

  3. Whales

    June 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    This is also a story of our dear, sad country Nigeria! Everyone knows the right thing to do and ‘wishes’ it would be done but no one ever does anything. From throwing trash on to the streets to stealing huge chunks of money. Sigh!

  4. Abeee

    June 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    OMG this moved me, ive had this huge idea for over a year now and I planned to start this month but I got cold feet along the line and I got scared, but now after reading this I don’t really care about failing I just want to DO IT, I want to do it more than I want to succeed in it. Thanks Bella and writer. Ps. This is why I loooooooove bellanaija.

    • Berry Dakara

      June 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      JUST DO IT!!!

      I had a great idea and actually started on it, but gave up after a week or two. Fast forward 2 months later, and someone else had the same idea and is running with it full-fledged. It’ll now look like I’m the one copying, even though I’ve never even met the person!

      Do what you gotta do.

  5. ebundetan

    June 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Greatest Ife!

  6. Oyinda

    June 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    What if u dnt av d capital 2 start..there’s no place 2 get help.what do u do..pls i nid ans

    • minku

      June 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Hi Oyinda, I totally understand your situation. I have been there. This is an article that I wrote (based on a book called The Lean Startup) that can help.


      Also, try applying for YouWIN if you are in Nigeria, and also pitching to friends, family or people at your place of worship if you have one. I think there is a lot of goodwill going around, whereby people are ready to encourage innovation with what they have, whether words or capital. All the best!

    • larz

      June 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Capital is the last piece needed in a business idea. First you research it, then you work at it. Develop passion for it and create a solid plan. In your journey, people will notice your zeal and you just might find enough zeal to continue. I have a frn who is into property n real estate. everytime he has a deal, he works at it does his homework. Then get people to buy in. He has built a good track record this way. How did he build this network? Well for starters, he would attend networking events, meet with people, talk about their projects, volunteer to help dem out etc. Then he moved onto researching stuff and selling his winning idea to these trusted people e.g. for a very small percentage of profit. Then he started partnering with diff people and companies. That is how you do stuff like this. Your vision, drive and passion for what you want will take you there. Without capital it takes a longer route but you get there stronger.

  7. Chicadimples

    June 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Hmmmm nice piece!
    Yeah, most times we do know wat to do but d situation we find ourselves in dis country of ours is very discouraging, so ideas tend to flow quite alright but implementation na war!
    But its high time we rise over d challenges we face and bring our ideas to reality.

  8. loma

    June 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    So true, learnt this lesson the hard way too…

  9. Teema

    June 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I would be a designer or a photographer if I follow just my dream but my reality is definitely hauling me in a different direction. One day maybe…

  10. Jo!

    June 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    “I fell rapidly down the heights of the memory ladder…”
    LOL, that was a joke in there right?

  11. sexier

    June 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    another thing is this, do NOT tell anyone your dreams. No matter if you are trying to share or exchange ideas. Ok, spouses and parents, and maybe siblings if they will supprt you. Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and co and co ZIP IT as in ZIP IT. I know someone who told her friend out of goodness of her heart, let her share, she is telling her friend. This so called friend had the money and the connections and she basically stole her idea, started the thing first and is balling now. Like major. She is yet to forgive herself. Nigerians are evil and mean people. No one is to be trusted. I almost fell victim of that too, Lord helped me that I kept my mouth shut before I revealed too much.

  12. ethyqueen

    June 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    i have been working on this idea for long ,sometimes i complain about my money,taxes,economy infact there is always a problem about the idea yet i keep dreaming about it.This piece is clearly a wake up call for me!!!!!!!

  13. Theresa

    June 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks Vera for this wake-up call to activate our dreams & gifts. Yes it will be challenging and difficult, but where there is a will, there is usually a way. I hope we all develop backbones instead of ‘wishbones’ in both our personal lives and as citizens of this nation.

  14. myles

    June 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Nice piece Vera, now i really have to go do what i have been postponing all this while.

  15. kennyy

    June 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Wonderful piece from my lovely friend Vera Onana.Greatest Ife

  16. Aryah

    June 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    We need a proper recycling depot in Abuja. Anyone with the capital, please help us.
    Secondly we need a proper database to track nurses. Because there are some CVs that come to the hospital from a woman who claims to be a nurse that attended so so and so school. The schools do not keep records. The nurses are killing our patients. Please if you have the resources, we need your help.

  17. lorenz

    June 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm


  18. Stellamaris

    June 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Wow!!!ds piece jst added to me more strent,tnks fellow alumnus…Greatest Ife!!!

  19. Motun

    June 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Awesome vera!

  20. tem'tope

    June 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Beautiful memories, nice piece, Greatest Ife !!!

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