10 Characteristics Of Really Interesting People

Having met a few thousand Nigerians, and tens of expatriates while networking, working in groups and several interaction platforms. I have noticed certain qualities of interesting people and what makes them fun to be with, lively, charming and lovable.

Interesting people are those that are happier, healthier, more positive. They readily have Social, Physical and cognitive resources that make them lovable, charming and fun to be around.

Here’s what I would call 10 characteristics of really interesting people:

1. Adventurous; The world outside to them is always 3D, coloured, and a path to be discovered.

2. Generous; they share what they discover.

3. Active; Even the slowest progress is progress forward, they don’t stop learning or growing.

4. Strange; Shine a spotlight on your weirdness. Get it insured. One word: SPONTANEOUS.

5. Caring; If you don’t care about anything, nobody’s going to give a damn about you. They are always showing empathy.

6. Humble; they minimise the swagger. Egos get in the way of ideas and learning.

7. Daring; Try and fail, and try a few more times. They are never quitters.

8. Original; Hop off the bandwagon. They don’t follow the crowd, they do it their own way.

9. Brave; Grow a pair, they JUST DO IT. You need to be ballsy to get it done. Ladies, yours need to be massive.

10. Self-Assured; they don’t get down by lazy remarks or compliments. Boo to those who say, ‘Sit down. Behave yourself’. ‘Keep your head down’. They always trust their abilities.

Are you interesting? Or want to be more interesting. Take a quick snap and give this a try. I didn’t include smiling, why? Because I believe if you have all this characteristics, a SMILE won’t leave your face.

Think there’s any I’ve missed out or didn’t add? Share them with Me on twitter @Heraclesayo or post a comment.

Samuel Akinlotan is a budding Human resources consultant/Trainer

Opening at Ovie Brume Foundation

Hey guys!

There is an opening for somebody to assist with managing the library at the Barrack Obama American corner of the Ovie Brume Foundation. Preferred candidate is a Library/Englishgraduate awaiting NYSC who can work everyday for about two months.

Read about the American corner here.

Please note that the Ovie Brume Foundation is located at Victoria Island, Lagos.

How to apply

Step 1: Fill our signup form at http://volunteers.volunteerinnigeria.org

Step 2: Send an email with your full name, email address and phone number to help@volunteerinnigeria.org (Subject of the mail should be OBF and your CV should be attached)

Remember to join us at our groups, Facebook page and friends’ zone!

Openings at Ohaha Foundation

Ohaha Family Foundation, Abuja,  has a vision to be the voice of the voiceless, grow family values in the home, reduce extreme poverty and hunger, and empower family members and units to self reliance.

As part of steps to achieve these tasks, they plan to reach out to Garki II Police Barracks community (Located off Lagos street, Garki II, Abuja, Nigeria) on the 15th February 2014. Estimated impact will be to reach out to at least 500 people at the Barracks, particularly widows and orphans.

The outreach will include environmental sanitation and medical testing. They need volunteer doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lab scientists and logistics support officers for this task.


Step 1: Sign up at http://volunteers.volunteerinnigeria.org

Step 2: Send CV to help@volunteerinnigeria.org. The subject of the email should be Ohaha Foundation and the body should include your full name, email address and phone number.


Remember to join us at our groups, Facebook page and friends’ zone!


FREE eNGO workshop

Digital Empowerment Foundation India is  organising eNGO Workshop for 100 Nigerian grassroots development organizations (NGOs) in ICT capacity building with free website & training.

Programos Foundation, Nigeria in partnership with The International Association of African Non Governmental Organizations (IAAN) co-ordinate the maiden edition in Nigeria.

There are currently over a million NGOs and Self Help Groups in Nigeria and the majority of them do not have a proper webpage. Most of the NGOs working at the grassroots level thus remain unknown and do not earn the appreciation and benefit coming from sources that can provide tremendous energy to them. This situation might have been caused for reasons like lack of finance, expertise and foresight. Besides, all such NGOs have tremendous amount of information which is not exposed to outside their geography, policy makers, or potential granters.

FREE Registration of 100 NGOs in Nigeria (final round) for the workshop is ongoing here.


Remember to join us at our groups, Facebook page and friends’ zone!

Celebrating our own!!!

Hello fam,

It is officially #GladnessWednesday !!! 😀

One of us, Ebuka, received an HONOURABLE MENTION by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs when the winners of its 2013 International Student/Teacher Essay Competition were published. The essay question was: “What Does Moral Leadership Mean to You?” They received a total of 168 entries from 31 countries but they just had to mention Ebuka Okoli! See it here.

One of the things we are trying to do with this project is to impart our people with a keen sense of individualistic and collective responsibility. We might have suffered the most from intelligent irresponsibility as a country than from any other epidemic we aim to fight with our volunteering or other efforts. Some may agree that it is as a result of attending educational institutions but never schooling our minds and souls. Reading Ebuka’s essay may help us do that. Voila:

Moral Leadership: Altruism and Sacrifice.

The world today is troubled with a lot of problems related to leadership. Nations and individuals seem to be more egocentric in their policies. It is no exaggeration that our contemporary society might have a hard time identifying exemplary leadership models to emulate. But the good news about humanity is that no matter how tough the morass in which we find ourselves, there is always an array of solutions.

Kant, in accordance with the German word “moral” that is used to translate the English word “morality,” regards morality as prohibiting harming oneself as well as prohibiting harming others. Some scholars further explain that the only time harming oneself is justifiable is when it is done for the good of others. Moral is also refers to principles of right and wrong behaviour. It goes beyond the secular or religious perception of what moral is. It is not necessarily a written decree or law, it is conscientious in nature and guided by moral reasoning. Lawrence Kohlberg, a Harvard Psychologist, defines moral reasoning as “the ability to analyze right and wrong in terms of abstract principles that reflect concerns of society as a whole into a focus on maintaining one’s self respect.” Inasmuch as a leader must be sure of his ability to lead before assuming the role of a leader, the common good of his followers should be his primary interest. It is not an exaggeration to say that morality is a critical factor in leadership. For philosophers such as Kurt Baier, Geoffrey Warnock et al, morality prohibits actions such as killing, inflicting pain, deceiving, and breaking promises. A leader must not impose his personal beliefs on his followers or coerce them through chicanery or manipulation just to justify is actions. His worldview should be in tandem with the real moral values of the society.

Moral leadership is an altruistic way of leadership that places a lot of premium on the common good of the people and with the principles of morality as the benchmark in the execution of leadership duties without fear of confronting friends or foes if the need arises. It is to be imbibed as a way of life and not just displayed when it is convenient for the person. It carries with it the ability to do what is best for people even when the action may give them short term pain, but long term gain. Leadership cuts across every facet of the society, from homes, communities, schools, organizations, etc.

In my third year in high school, I had a Science teacher that was my favourite teacher at school. Her name was Ms Cecelia Medupin; she would sometimes teach for half an hour, and then randomly pick a student to complete the lecture. I was picked a couple of times and my performance endeared me to the teacher. Sometime later, she caught me cheating in a test and she embarrassed me in class. I failed the test and subsequently failed the examination at the end of the term. After that experience I never cheated again. We became much closer after the incident and after high school we kept exchanging mails. She could have treated me with a kid’s glove or perhaps turned a blind eye, but she made me see that cheating was wrong and came with consequences. It was painful and humiliating for me, yet it had an enormous positive effect that I still appreciate everyday.

It is not enough to notice the needs of a people; altruism in leadership requires a deep compassion and participation in the alleviation of the plight of the vulnerable people in our society. Mother Teresa was a perfect example through her Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. She was from a rich family, but after she fled her country, Albania, she made India her adopted country. She sacrificed a comfortable life for a more tasking one. She was once assaulted for accepting money from rich donors (in order to help the poor) and for making the poverty of Calcutta internationally infamous. At her death, the Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 sisters and a 100,000 lay volunteers working in 123 countries. She was dubbed a “moral celebrity” and was beatified in 2003 as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Agi Bojaxhiu (her niece) said this about her, “One lasting impression is that, in spite of her tiny stature, she had an enormous presence.”

In 1961, an article in Britain’s Observer entitled “The Forgotten Prisoners” called for a world-wide amnesty for political prisoners or at least give them a fair trial. It was written by Peter Benenson, the founder of Amnesty International (1941). He realized how awaken his social conscience was while at school, where he raised funds to bring German Jews to Britain in the wake of World War II. He coined the term “prisoner of conscience.” Through his organization, he has intervened in issues pertaining prisoners of conscience, the death penalty, extra judicial executions, social rights and so on. In 1977, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Even after his death in 2005, the organization is still a strong advocate of human rights.

A leader that is altruistic never gets confused about doing the right thing no matter whose ox is gored. This includes placing the welfare and health of the people above profiteering or consumerism. In Nigeria, Dr. Dora Nkem Akunyili was the scourge of producers, marketers and administrators of fake and adulterated foods/drugs. During her stint as the director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from 2001-2008, she exposed the massive corruption in the sector. Prior to her appointment, there was a wide circulation of adulterated, fake and substandard food and drugs in Nigeria. She embarked on a nationwide war against those behind it, she fearlessly clamped down on them never minding that most of them were her tribesmen. Her policies led to an attempt on her life in Anambra State, on 26th December, 2003. Fortunately, she survived, but what was more appalling was that the assassins were her tribesmen and the attack was carried out in her state. That same year, she received the Integrity Award from Transparency International (South Korea). She is one of the few public servants that have left office without any scandal, a laudable achievement especially in a country where the moral landscape is in tatters. Dr. Akunyili put her life in the line for a cause she strongly believed to be right. She didn’t mind sacrificing her life for millions of innocent Nigerians who were not in any way related to her.

The Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka once said, “The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny and oppression.” Those who exhibit moral leadership include those who fight to expunge all forms of social injustice, socio-economic problems and political corruption. Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of National League for Democracy in Myanmar stands out. She is seen as the symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of oppression. After her return to Burma in 1988, she openly criticized the Burmese dictator U NeWin. Popularly called “Burma’s Gandhi,” she spent years of house arrest before gaining freedom in 2010. She refused the offer to leave the country, insisting that her struggle would continue until the junta released the country to civilian and democratic government. Her struggle paid off after her victory at the parliamentary elections in 2012, although she’s still fighting for an amendment of the dubiously written constitution. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela are famous for their agitation against racial segregation. Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech became a prophetic message that gained more prominence after the election of Barack Obama as the first Black president of the United States. Nelson Mandela was known for his anti-Apartheid campaigns, his incarceration in Robben Island and his election as the first Black South African president. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and surprised the world when he voluntarily relinquished power after his first tenure as president. Mandela could have continued as president and perhaps become a sole monarch like Mugabe, but he knew better than that. While Dr. King did not live to witness the fulfillment of his prophecy, it was his that sacrifice made it possible.

However strenuous it may seem to explicate what moral leadership entails in our world today, the lives and achievements of some leaders offer the perfect explanation. It should also be taken into cognizance that moral leadership is not designated for a specific group of people in an official leadership position. You demonstrate moral leadership whenever you step up to do what is right and beneficial for the larger society.


How can moral leadership be infused into the Nigerian context? And hey, are you the kind of leader you expect other people to be?

Let us hear about your successes as well!

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Opening at Amnesty International

Hello guys!

Happy World Cancer Day!!! There is an opening at Amnesty International specifically focused on our beloved country.

Amnesty International (AI) is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Their vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. They are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations.

Programme: Africa Programme
Team: West Africa
Duration: Six months preferably
Days per week: Three days preferably
Location: London, 1 Easton Street
Languages required: English

Voluntary work in one of the world’s leading human rights organisations can provide valuable experience and you will receive letters of recommendation. Voluntary work is unpaid, although travel and lunch expenses are provided. Amnesty International can act as a sponsor to enable you to arrange your own right to be in the UK as a volunteer. Note that volunteering does not lead directly to employment with Amnesty International.
Brief description of the team: The team is composed of two Researchers, a Campaigner, Research and Campaign Assistant and Volunteer and is responsible for AI’s research and action on Nigeria. It is part of the West Africa sub-regional team in the Africa Programme.
Role of the volunteer/intern: Volunteers are integral to the team and undertake a range of tasks, mainly administrative but also research and campaigning tasks.


Task List

The tasks are supervised but the volunteer is expected to be able to work independently, use their initiative and manage their own workload. Willingness to undertake routine administrative tasks is crucial. Projects may be devised by the team in collaboration with the volunteer which will aim to assist the team in fulfilling its strategic objectives, whilst making the best use of the volunteer’s own skills, interests and experience.

• Press monitoring and electronic filing: We monitor newspapers daily on the internet. Relevant articles are then filed electronically into databases and particularly important news items are forwarded onto the team by email.
• Assisting in updating case files of human rights defenders, political violence, media repression, death penalty cases etc. on our Access database.
• Assisting in drafting AI documents, which can consist of both research and action material as appropriate to the needs of the team and to the interests and capabilities of the volunteer.
• Filing and photocopying: This position will involve some photocopying and manual filing. Experience of electronic filing desirable.
• Correspondence: The volunteer will be asked from time to time to answer general correspondence by letter or email.
• Updating address books/contact lists. The volunteer may be asked to update contact information in Lotus Notes, Paradox or Access. (Training will be given.)
• Attend meetings with the team as deemed appropriate for a better understanding of the work of the team and in order for the volunteer to increase the knowledge of AI’s work and human rights concerns in Nigeria.
Essential skills and experience

• Interest in human rights issues

• Understanding of the importance of confidentiality and security issues in AI’s work

• Demonstrated experience with word processing packages, preferably Word, and databases.
• Fluent level of written and spoken English;
• Good inter-personal and communication skills
• Ability to multi-task
• Ability to work independently
• Willingness to undertake administrative tasks like photocopying, filing and archiving
• Background through study, work or other experience in a relevant area, such as law, international relations, political science, social sciences
Desirable Skills and experience

• Interest in the region
• Some knowledge of campaigning organisations and AI’s work
• Experience in conducting research, including library, internet and other research
• Experience of working in a team
• Administrative experience, including manual and electronic filing
• Press monitoring

Find out how to apply here.

Closing date: February 24, 2014.


P.S: Don’t forget to tell us when you are picked.


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