1. BOOKS

In my Day 1 post, I made mention of the fact that books are one of the things that make me happy. Well, they also qualify as one of those things that can easily win my heart. Get me a book, any book, on anything, and see the sheepish grin that would break forth on my face. Unlike every other kind act, books for me are for life, literally. I still have books from a decade ago. So, get me a book, and for as long as I live and set my eyes on that book, the joy of your kind act will come back. I’ll never forget you.

2. UPLIFTING CONVERSATION

I have my low, manic, depressed moments. When I’m deep in the recesses of self-doubt and suicidal. I’ve largely come out due to those people who were there just at the right time. I think God places them right there to remind me that no matter what, my true value has not changed. That despite the storms all around, my path is undisturbed. Like for instance, I just wrote an exam that may as well go down as one of the worst exams I’ve written in my undergraduate story. After the exam, I just wanted to get away from everyone as quick as possible. Then a colleague of mine started talking about seeking advice about writing, telling me that I was one of the best writers in our class. I may still be a local champion, but you have no idea what does words meant there and then. It was like God was telling me, ‘Akin, you’re not a hopeless case. There’s something you’re good at that no one can take away from you’.

Or in early 2017, I was at a very low point in my life. I carried a lot of hate and baggage of 2016 into the new year. The lost opportunities, ill-feelings from loved ones. God used 2 older female friends to put my life back on track.



I could go on about many other instances. But all these conversations are archived in my memory, to be replayed from time to time as an eternal reminder that God’s Word in Psalms 91: 11 – 12 remains true:

3. PUBLIC SPEAKING

For a skill as important as public speaking, there are actually very few competent public speakers who can stand up at a heartbeat and capture the attention and hearts of an audience in the next 60 heartbeats. Whenever I meet someone who can do this, the next thing I want to do is to immediately nab the person once he’s done with his presentation, introduce myself and win a new friend, and learn something new. In my Day 1 post, I compare debating to sex in the effects it has on me in terms of appeal. So, when I find someone who can give an orgasmic effect to his words, then my heart is yours.

4. UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES

I love it when out of nowhere someone just sends me a link for an opportunity. I used to take it for granted, but something I learnt from an article on Medium changed my perspective. every opportunity someone gives you or brings to your notice is like a wrapped gift. If someone gave you a gift, do you think that person would be happy to learn that you never opened the gift box, or when you did, you just pushed the contents aside like it meant nothing to you? Definitely No. Do you think the person would be give you another gift next time? No.

The same rules apply for opportunities. So even if I’m not excited about the opportunity itself, the fact that you thought of me, ordinary me, and said to yourself, ‘I don’t need this thing, but Akintunde can use it better than me’, I’ll do everything in my power to act on it.

There was this friend I met at a debate competition last year. Yeah, I loved her sharp, clear debating style and we’ve been talking since. Through our conversations, she detected my deep interest in technology. For a long time, we didn’t talk. Then out of the blue she sent me a message about a particular funding opportunity for a tech start-up. Then she followed it up with saying that she really wanted to see my company become a success. This story could work for number 2 above.

People like this are part of my motivation to make something out of my life. It would be a disappointment if after all the opportunities that I were offered to me on a platter of gold, I still fail to make something out of my life. Too whom much is given, much is expected.

5. FOOD

The one I know a number of people would have expected to see in number 1 position. Yeah, food can win my heart, but its not as powerful as any of the above. That’s why its at the bottom of the list.

But good food is the one of the ways to get my password. That was one of the way Elijah befriended me -with his beans.

Don’t go through life without tasting Elijah’s beans. Such a life is unfulfilled. I’ve never told him this face to face actually and I won’t. So even if he sees this or someone tells him about it, I will just say someone else typed it or my phone was an Auto-Correct.

Bye-Bye.

Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher