On Blogging

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.

― Jo Walton

On December 25th of 2016 out of an act of randomness I decided to publish my first blog post on this site. I sent the post to some family members and friends and waited with the apprehension of a young college student; not knowing what to expect – positive or negative reactions. Fortunately, I was inundated with a lot of words of encouragement and prayers, and these acts of kindness pushed me on to write on a weekly basis except for when I went to Manchester in August on a short holiday visit. At first I had doubts that I would be able to come up with issues to write about on a weekly basis but thank God I was able to successfully achieve my goal of publishing a blog post every week.

I also embarked on the journey of podcasting and this opened the door of opportunity for me to interview them and benefit immensely from their wealth of specialist knowledge and professional experience. I was able to interview experts in various fields from the UK, New Zealand, Nigeria and the US. I covered so many interesting topics and issues with them, such that I personally have become a better educated person in those issues. I usually get best of wishes comment from my interviewees at the end of every interview and I have been able to professionally stay in touch with some of them after our interviews. I really appreciate their desires and decisions to help and reach out and conduct interviews with me, even without knowing me prior to them getting my email requests in their inboxes, requesting for a podcast interview.

During the course of conducting the interviews I have come to learn and appreciate what it means to be committed to a cause. From the story of the Nigerian Montane Forest; being an Ethnographer in Nigeria; linking Psychiatry with literature; the migrants history of Lagos; a childhood experience with herbs leading to ground breaking research on the use of pomegranate to stem the development of Alzheimer’s disease; the loneliness of being a photographer; researching the history of education in East Yorkshire; the history of slavery in Cape Town; Why blogging is important; recycling; gentrification to three yet to be published podcasts. Also, there have been guest contributors like Ola, Abdulhafeez Siyanbola, Basirat Sarumi and Habeeb Ololade. There are also those that have commented on the site or reached out to me, mainly via WhatsApp. I am saying a huge thank you to all of you, and of course, to everyone that have taken time out of their precious time to read my posts or listen to my podcasts, thanks.

When I started this blog site last December, I remember telling a friend over the telephone that I’ve just sent him my first blog post via WhatsApp and that by the Grace of God I hope to see how much I can write on Nigeria’s education system within the next one year. Why I said that, I did not know and I still don’t know but as God would have it, I said. I have had moments in the year that I contemplated ending the blog but by acts of fate I usually get some random comments during conversations from friends encouraging me to go on with my blog posts, because they appreciate it, and little do they know that I appreciate their comments more. I have come to the reality that the oxygen that any writer breathes is encouragement. Thanks everyone that reached out directly or indirectly to me, and to the over 70,000 site visits, I appreciate every visit.

There was a telephone conversation I had with one of my undergraduate university friends and he asked me in simple language “who are you writing for on your blog site?”, because if it is most of us that you share your posts with on the “WhatsApp Group”, I think we might read them but we can’t do much because most people have lost ‘hope’ in the public education sector in the country. You need to reach out to the policy makers, the people in government (this isn’t verbatim but a summary of the comment). Then, like a lightning, he just said “we had our old students’ association meeting at my secondary school and most of what I suggested during my speech there, I got the ideas from your blog posts.” And for me, that’s one of the essence of writing. As long as my posts make sense to some of the readers, because there is no way to convince every reader, then, the essence of my posts have been achieved. And who knows? A casual reader today might be a policy maker tomorrow and if per chance some of the ideas I’ve suggested in any of my posts have simmered into the conscious or subconscious mind of such an individual, the person’s policy decision making might be influenced by some of those ideas, and hopefully it will be for the positives.

So far I’m yet to talk about those that are closest to me that have made it possible for me to write on a weekly basis even on days when I did not feel like writing. And I can say that on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m more likely to feel the lack of motivation to write on every 7 out of 10 occasions. However, I’ve learnt to focus and zone into the moment when it is time to put something down. It is with immense gratitude I have to say a huge thank you to my wife and my children, for to write, is to be lonely behind closed door. And on a weekly basis they’ve had to bear hours of a silent room with clicking keyboard sounds behind a closed door. Without their support embarking on this experience would most likely have been catastrophic and nearly impossible. So, from me to them is an invaluable appreciation of all their supports and understanding.

We write in response to what we read and learn; and in the end we write out of our deepest selves.

— Andrea Barrett

There is something about being in the moment and nostalgia. While nostalgia makes us look at bygones – years and events that have passed in one’s life with fondness, happiness, sadness, regrets, hope and aspirations; nostalgia isn’t the best of friends to sit down with for too long, and my blog posts on educational issues on this site have been borne out of nostalgia, albeit through the route of goings-on in the Nigerian education system. However, it’s important to learn to enjoy living in the moment as well and from next month I’ll be blogging about general education issues that are not specific to Nigeria on edusounds.com and I’ll be honing my essay writing skills on thedisquisition.com. As you can see, The Disquisition, is a blog that is tailored towards essays, and this I hope to do by the grace of God. However, it will be on essays that are more about moments, reflections, books and society.

As for edusounds.com.ng I will continue to blog mainly on educational issues in/on Nigeria, but it is close to six years now that I last saw (not digitally) those places I physically experienced as homes, office, gatherings and communities in the country, and I have consistently tried to make sure my blog posts have the currencies that would make them to be up to date and well informed. However, I have come to a point that I have to move on to new frontiers in life and let nostalgic feelings be what they are – recollections. God’s willing, this site will continue to exist – you can always visit, read and share the posts on it but I’ll stop writing the weekly post on it at the end of the last Sunday of this month but there will be the occasional posts, every now and then.

Please, leave your thoughts on this post in the comment section and feel free to share the article with your contacts.
Thanks for taking out of your precious time to read my article/s!

 

 

3 Comments

  • The journey of a thousand miles, begin with first step in the direction of destination. I am personally motivated by your commitment to learning and teaching.
    Slowly but surely you are making the desired impact.
    We pray Allah keep you well and endowed to remain consistent and focussed

    Mufadil

  • Bro Otukogbe, I will miss the weekly posts. They are indeed source of strength for those of us in Nigeria who are passionate about the Nigerian space

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