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Of talent, skills and qualifications

I saw this poster with the words credited to 50 Cent (originally Curtis James Jackson III) and my mind flew swiftly to a discussion I once had with my late father-several years ago.

I had just arrived Lagos from Akure, Ondo State, where I had a wonderful time serving my fatherland in the NYSC Scheme, and my parents thought I should enroll in a post-graduate Programme in UNILAG while I searched for a job. Thankfully, I didn't have to search for too long for a job, and, yes, I did enroll for an M.Sc in Mass Communications in UNILAG.

I recall my father telling me that the Mass Communications degree I obtained from UNN  was, perhaps, the best thing ever to happen to my education. According to him, that experience should open me up to research, thinking and learning-unassisted-for those are the very essence of university education. The moment you pass through a university, and allow the university to pass through you, the old man said to me, then you're prepared and ready for the University of Life-where the real game is. At least, that's what it should be.

So, he said while a second degree or even a third was not a bad idea, he would rather I focused the next few years in building on the talent God has blessed me with, acquire reasonable experience, read widely on the subject of any profession I have elected and sharpen the skills that go with it. "The sky, Emeka, will NOT be a limit for you", he closed sagaciously. I listened to him-as always-and I'm glad I did.

Now, back to 50 Cent: The 41-year-old is such a talented Rapper, Actor, Investor, Film Producer, Record Producer and Television Producer. He's made tremendous fame and fortune from his God-given talent in music and related fields. And indeed, he employs quite a few Harvard graduates. Same goes for Bill Gates. Same for Michael Dell. And a few other wealthy and notable men and women.

I haven't said Harvard is not good. No. In fact, I want to go to Harvard now. Next year, perhaps. I have listened to Cosmas Maduka, the Founder and Chairman of Coscharis Group say he went to Harvard too-even if he started out not a very educated man but like the legends mentioned above, he's also made fame and fortune and is likely to have some Harvard graduates working in his numerous business concerns. I love Cosmas Maduka. Tell him.

My point here is this: do not focus on paper qualifications, which often massage our egos and prove mere validation for our insecure personalities. Learn from your experienced boss. Learn from the good things you've done and from the mistakes you've made. Read anything and everything that can enrich your knowledge and seek improvements to the way you do the things you do. You'll be surprised you'll have many Harvard graduates work for you in no time. Remember, this is not about Harvard or any other Ivy League or Business School, but about us and how seriously we take our talents and skills as opposed to academic qualifications.

Above all, find time to communicate with your Creator in prayers. Seek His face and endorsement, validation and support in all that you do. There's more than enough space here on earth for successful people, and all good things come from God.

Of talent, skills and qualifications Of talent, skills and qualifications Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Monday, May 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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