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Published on July 19th, 2010 | by Olumide


Grass to Grace

I was in church (HarvestHouse Christian Center, Ibadan) yesterday where we had another edition of our program, Music Mingling and Mentoring. This time, we had Mr Eniola Fayose, Managing Director of O’ Naphtali, a scratch card production company was the guest speaker. Rev. Gbeminiyi Eboda, the Senior Pastor, was the host.

The crux of the program was Eniola Fayose’s story. Seven days ago, this amazing young man was roaming the streets of Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria as a fresh graduate with no employment prospects. He had graduated from the University of Ibadan with a Third Class degree. Since he knew that most employers would be interested in only candidates with Second Class Upper or First Class Honours, he did not even bother to apply anywhere.

In other not to stay hungry, Eniola started buying and selling. He sold goods ranging from second-hand clothes to ground pepper and suffered various forms of embarrassment from his former classmates who had gotten respectable and high sounding jobs in big companies. He lived in about three locations within a week because he could not afford his own house. But then, all that was for a while. With consistency in his rather ‘lowly’ business, Eniola was able to afford to rent his own house (which was a two bedroom boys-quarters.) He had no furniture- not even mattresses, but was proud of his progress. With time, things improved.

His big break came with the banning of importation of scratch cards into the country. Although he had no idea of how to make scratch cards, he was able to get his first contract in that business through unusual boldness. He was able to deliver after taking much more time than normal and just through the skin of the teeth. Again, consistency and hard work paid off: the business grew fast.

Today, O’Naphtali is winning national and international awards and employs over 100 people. The company has many assets and has definitely made its Managing Director, Mr Fayose, very rich. What is the secret of this remarkable man?

  1. He had a dream. According to him, even when things were rough, he was able to keep going because he could see himself in a different picture. It reminds me of Jesus, ‘who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…’ If you can see where you are going, you stand a chance of getting there.
  2. He was consistent: He did not give in to desperation or engage in crime for lack of constant income. Besides, he worked very hard and learnt to grow from the little he started with.
  3. He was Humble: Frankly speaking, I cannot imagine myself selling pepper or second-hand clothes to make a living. But the truth remains that it is people who can humble themselves that can be exalted. Many graduates prefer to sit at home and wait until a proper job comes. That way, they are liabilities to their parents, their siblings and the society.
  4. He knew God: I’m putting this last because many people would rather pray for jobs, provision, capital, increase…. At the expense of working. There is no shortcut to hard work and even God supports hard work.

However, God is still the director of success. Eniola’ s knowledge helped him to maximize both physical and spiritual forces.

So what do I say to you today? Start small, be consistent, work hard, pray hard, listen to God and guess what? You will grow BIG!

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2 Responses to Grass to Grace

  1. Hontonyon Ayodeji Olumide says:

    You may not know it but you are a source of inspiration to many, your drive & determination never to remain a mediocre turns me on. Oga, we need to discuss.

  2. Akintunde Timothy Oluwagbenga says:

    Should I say I’m inspired or what? cz what I’m feeling is more than inspiration,I think it’s REVELATION.not many would want to start “SMALL” especially when you see young lads making money thru crime.it cud b really frustrating but I’ve been once more re-assured that Hard{smart}work pays…..tnx so much n op to hear frm you soonest.

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