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Benin Expedition of 1897 – 123 Years Anniversary

My name is Ailende Truston Oiselenjakhian. I am an Esan man from Edo state Nigeria.

Today marks 123 years since the Benin Expedition of 1897. It effectively ended the reign of the Benin empire.

My ancestors would keep fighting for 9 more years. Until 1906 when they would finally surrender to the British.

My great grandfather would fight in that war his story becoming part of my family’s history.

Ojiemuada -> Iyoha -> Ailende -> Oiselenjakhian

That is my family line. I remember because he was one of the last to surrender.

Ironically, today Edo state is under invasion from the Fulani. It is hoped that the government will intervene to solve the problem.

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Negative People

This is a story I will keep telling forever.

When I was in University, most likely 1st or 2nd year, I wanted to participate in the First Bank annual undergraduate essay competition.

The theme for that year was privatization. It was the Atiku days of privatization.

I had read quite a lot on privatization even before the essay. I got more books and started writing. It was flowing and I was looking forward to a good submission.

Until one day, one of my dad’s friends showed up. He asked what I was busy with?

With great enthusiasm, I told him about the competition.

He laughed and said that such competitions from banks are targeted at Finance and Economics undergraduates.

I was studying for a BSc in Mathematics in Ife. He discouraged me totally. I immediately stopped writing.

Fast forward a few months later, the winners were announced.

The top prize winner was an Engineering undergraduate.

I almost became depressed.

But it taught me a great lesson about negative people. I stopped listening to people who say it is not possible.

It was later I realized that the same man was the reason my dad bought a black/white TV in those days and not a Colour TV.

Reason? He said Colour TVs spoil often.

He also discouraged him from buying land in the early 80s because of Omo Onile (Local Gangsters).

Such people exist everywhere around you.

Once you spot them, run!

There will always be good counsellors who will give you great advice.

You will know if you can calm down.

Again, run from negative people who never see good in anything. They will cost you.

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Ayobami Oladejo on Twitter

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