My Book – Nigerian Gods – Has Been Published!

I’m excited to finally be able to share the news that my book Nigerian Gods has been published. It’s extremely emotional to bear witness to the outcome of a literary journey that began in April 2021 after I shared my long-standing book idea with my family and received encouraging feedback.The sheer amount of research required to write this book was overwhelming but it was ultimately worth it.

The Synopsis

Nigerian Gods is an enlightening and sobering review of the seismic impact of the introduction of the 3 main Abrahamic religions on Nigeria’s traditional religions, culture and way of life, viewed through the prism of its 11 largest and 2 of the smallest ethnic groups. The list of the ethnic groups covered in my book, in alphabetical order: Edo-Bini, Fulani, Hausa, Ibibio-Efik, Igbo, Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri, Kanuri, Nupe, Tiv, Urhobo and Yorùbá.

The Links

🇳🇬 Available within Nigeria via DM to Malthouse Press Limited (@malthouselagos) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or
🌎 Available outside Nigeria via African Books Collective –

The Book Cover

• The mask at the centre of the cover is a representation of the traditional religions that were in place before the advent of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
The 3 main Abrahamic religions are represented by the Christian cross, the Islamic crescent moon and star, and the Jewish Star of David.

• I chose black as the background because it’s one of my favourite colours and I chose gold for the symbols and lettering because I wanted a striking impact against the black.
Additionally, gold is synonymous with divinity and power in many religious settings.

If you are intrigued by what you’ve read, please do pick up a copy! Thank you in advance if you do.


Emotions and Empathy in Business

When we’re faced with difficult and complex decisions, we typically experience difficult and complex emotions.
Many of us don’t want to sit with these uncomfortable feelings, so we try to get the decision making over with.
But this often leads to poor decisions.
We may not truly solve the problem at hand, and we often end up feeling worse.
It’s an unproductive feedback loop that bookends our decisions with negative feelings.

These emotional bookends, however, can be your secret weapon in making better decisions.
The process is as simple as taking the time to identify:
• The emotions you feel as you face your decision
• The emotions you want to feel as you’re looking at your decision in the rearview mirror.

What do you see?
How is your life better for a satisfying decision outcome?

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For a long time, it was thought that emotions had no place in business, seemingly because they would lead to ineffective decision making and poor outcomes.
We now know that this isn’t the case at all.
An overwhelming number of excellent professional decisions are made based on one’s intuition, backed by data.

The ability to identify, process and utilise your emotions is a learned skill that is neither masculine nor feminine in nature.
Moving forward with clarity and confidence in one’s decisions is an essential element of being a successful businessperson.
Each of us should be working in partnership with our emotions rather than in opposition to them.

Change Management: It’s About the People

Enabling teams to thrive and create meaningful change through projects is no easy task.
Bringing people on a change journey requires a nuanced understanding of what makes them tick.
As experienced project professionals will know all too well, it’s not enough simply to rely on technical tools to bring about change.

Change management is fundamentally about people.
It’s about the people, the processes, the ways of working, the end users.
How do you get people to deliver the new thing that you’re creating and how do you make it become sustainable?
It’s the process for taking people on that journey.

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Nigerian organisations often function dynamically and their employees should be empowered to adapt to the needs of local, regional and international clients.
Change is a necessary part of doing business, therefore it is of paramount importance for senior management to have the ability to identify what is or isn’t working, and act quickly when improvements are required.

People deliver change and people deliver projects.
These same people have to understand the reasons behind unexpected [and even expected] change in order to fully embrace it.
This necessarily means that change management should be given top priority to ensure that an organisation’s culture aligns with its actions and its vision.

Publishing: Of Mergers, Competition & Scarce Resources

Penguin Random House’s proposed $2.18 billion acquisition of Simon & Schuster Inc. would make the top US book publisher more dominant in the marketplace. A combined Penguin and Simon & Schuster would control about 49% of that market and would likely reduce author payouts by 4% to 11%.

The 5 biggest book publishers – Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Harpercollins Publishers LLC, Hachette Book Group Inc. and Macmillan Publishers Inc., frequently called the Big Five – account for 90% of anticipated top-selling books and those where authors receive advance payments for their work.

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The Nigerian book publishing market is much smaller than the US market, and severely lacking in the resources available to our transatlantic counterparts. The profit margins are thin, at best, and the under-reported barriers to publication are to the detriment of budding Nigerian authors and their prospective audiences.

As time goes on, we hope to see the Nigerian, and indeed the West African book publishing pool, continue to go from strength to strength to the benefit of all involved: publishers, authors, readers and the ever-growing body of African literature.

Remote/Hybrid Work: Here to Stay?

COVID-19 scrambled the calculus of what workers expect in a job.
In this new world, work-life balance has moved from the “nice-to-have” to the “must-have” column.
In many cases, organisations didn’t have a choice.
With the rise of remote working arrangements, both employers and employees recognised that workers could be just as productive working from home as from the office.
Given the vast benefits experienced thus far, it’s hard to imagine a work environment where remote or hybrid work are not part of the status quo or contributing to better work-life balance.
Both employers and employees stand to reap the benefits in terms of improved health, increased productivity, more career advancement and greater creativity and happiness, to cite just a few.

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Publishing Your Book: A Timeline

Getting published by a good publisher in no way guarantees you’ll get much attention or sell many copies.
Yet if you want any chance of getting those things, your publisher needs a lot of time to pitch your book to distributors and bookstores and to do all of the publicity and marketing.

In addition to the distribution, marketing, and publicity there are other important steps if you want a professional book, especially editing, copyediting and proofreading.
There are many other steps here too such as getting blurbs and cover art, but thankfully, many of these can be done concurrently with the other steps timewise.

With all of this being said, it can take up to 2 years to publish one book so it’s advisable for prospective authors to manage their expectations.

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Women and the Gender Gap

As Nigeria faces the immediate challenge of stimulating economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic shocks, it also has the opportunity to address the sizable gender gaps that undermine women’s economic empowerment and hinder inclusive economic growth.

Gender disparities in earnings not only hold back the Nigerian economy, they also represent an opportunity: closing the gender gaps in key economic sectors could yield additional gains of US$9.3 billion or up to US$22.9 billion.
Women’s economic empowerment will also be key to accelerating a demographic transition and reaping the gains of a demographic dividend.

Drawing on data from the most recent Nigeria General Household Survey (2018–2019), a report by the World Bank titled ‘Closing Gaps, Increasing Opportunities: A Diagnostic on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Nigeria’ makes 5 critical contributions:

I. Highlighting the gender gaps in labour force participation
II. Documenting the magnitude and drivers of the gender gaps in key economic sectors
III. Diving deep into three contextual constraints: land, livestock, and occupational segregation
IV. Measuring the costs of the gender gaps
V. Offering policy and programming recommendations of innovative options to close the gender gaps

It is imperative that we create an economic reality within which Nigerian women can find secure and profitable work leading to higher earnings, thereby enabling them to overcome numerous gender-specific barriers to their economic participation and productivity.

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Disability: Data & Visibility

Across the world, persons with disabilities remain invisible in the global development agenda.
One key reason is because of variances in the availability and use of disability-disaggregated data across organisations and borders.

This reality is a part of what the World Bank calls the disability divide – the gap in societal inclusion for persons with disabilities in all stages of development programs, including education, employment and digital inclusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this risk and exposed some of the existing inequalities faced on a regular basis.

Now is a critical time to ensure there exists a clear and more complete picture of persons with disabilities’ lives and the barriers they face.
This will be essential to allocate resources to meet their basic needs and to scale programs to empower them.

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Project Management Leadership: Smart Recruitment

The role of leadership in project management involves a wide range of responsibilities; planning and coordination often topping the list. But no matter how much project leaders prepare for the task at hand, it can be challenging to stay the course. To get the right leadership talent in the first place, here are 6 strategies to follow during the selection process:

• Build a ‘skills versus results’ matrix to use as a great tool for targeting and grading project leadership candidates against each other.

• Each candidate, whether internal or external, should be able to expertly answer results-oriented questions.

• Utilise scenarios to parse out how candidates might use their functional skills to overcome common project challenges.

• Make use of a project charter to answer the five ‘Ws’ of the proposed project: Who, What, When, Where, Why.

• Provide project managers with a team that fills all the critical roles and responsibilities of effective project management, such as subject matter expertise, data analysis, scheduling, project coordination and administration.

• Leverage technology within project teams to ensure they have the right tools to enable seamless collaboration, communication and planning.

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Women in African Publishing

Women in African Publishing & the Book Trade: A Series of Profiles‘ is a listing of women working in the publishing industry across the African continent. The list is curated by the Swiss publisher Hans M. Zell and aims “to showcase…the variety, richness and energy of women involved in book publishing and the book trade in Africa today, as well as some of the women who have made significant contributions to the African book sector in the past.”

In the first edition of the list published in The African Book Publishing Record, 24 women were profiled. Ghana’s Deborah Ahenkorah, to Nigeria’s Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, to Rwanda’s Louise Umutoni, and South Africa’s Colleen Higgs are some of the profiles featured. The new edition is an additional 28 names from across 8 countries. It includes established names like Kenya’s Muthoni Garland, founder of Storymoja, the Nigerian editor Enajite Efemuaye, Managing Editor of Farafina Books and co-founder of Society of Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN), Uganda’s Hilda Twongyeirwe, Executive Director of FEMRITE, and Trish Mbanga, former Director, Zimbabwe International Book Fair.

It’s great to see a spotlight being shone on the increasing influence of African women in publishing, showing the changes taking place in an industry that has not always championed gender equality.

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