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Friday 14 October 2016

How I Rose from Poverty to Stardom - Nigerian International Writer Drops Inspirational Birthday Piece

Onajite Malcolm Mudiaga Tagbarha
Onajite Malcolm Mudiaga Tagbarha - an international writer from Delta State has opened up on his painstaking rise from his humble background to the world scene after discovering his gift of writing. Onajite Malcolm Mudiaga Tagbarha, one of the embodiment of positive inspiration and influence to the younger generation marks his birthday today - the 14th of October, 2016 with a insightful piece about his development from a poor background to a world of possibilities through an uncanny resurgence after failing to secure a visa abroad.
It would be recalled that Tori News had earlier reached out to Mr. Tagbarha on his latest book titled "Everything Good Thing About Corruption" which has been gaining both local and international attention as people anticipate its 'blank pages' concept.

Read his incredible story below:

It is my BIRTHDAY...And this is my STORY...my STRUGGLES...my CONVICTIONS...my WEAKNESSES...! And my STRENGTHS says it all....PROUD to be an African KING!

My unique personal story is a part of a larger narrative about the promise, hope and audacious pursuit of a lifelong passion which is embedded and hidden in the ‘Nigerian Dream’- the unity, peace, well-being, prosperity and happiness of Nigerians. And I owe my children and those coming after me a better and greater Nigeria than I met.

I am just like anyone of YOU – I am the guy next door.

I am popularly known as TM - Malcolmatics but actually I am Onajite Malcolm Mudiaga TAGBARHA.

Born in the mid seventies in a country that holds great promises of a better future for her citizens and raised by a single parent (my mother) from relative obscurity in Sapele, a small town in Delta State, Nigeria where everyone in the community shares in the responsibilities of nurturing a child unlike what is obtainable these days. I had an improbable and extra-ordinary odyssey while growing up.

I am the only child between my father and my mother but I have other siblings from both parents.

I was raised singlehandedly by my industrious mother amidst the obvious attendant challenges of a single parent.

I saw and experienced poverty like an elder brother who looms over me and wakes me up every morning and often bully me with the harsh realities of the time and consequently reminds me every moment of my less privileged background. More so, whenever I encountered people from more privileged backgrounds, I often pondered and wished I were them. Bracing up from these realities, I then decided to take my destiny into my hands with a firm resolve that one day I will live like them. A resolve that helped to shape and strengthen my thoughts and actions thereafter.
I remembered back in the days, how my mother usually comforted and thus encouraged me to wear my torn and often patched uniforms to school everyday until she gets money to get me new ones, she also nevertheless struggled and ensured that I attended the best schools wherever she was posted to work as a civil servant.

I was privileged to start my kindergarten in Warri then moved to continue in Ughelli where I attend Oharisi Model Primary School, Ughelli, Palmer Primary School, Sapele, University of Benin, Benin City and the University of Abuja due to my insatiable quest for knowledge and fulfillment.

Back then, while growing up, I worked every forth night in the cargo ships that regularly brought wheat grains to Life Flour Mills Limited at Ogorode in Sapele. The quest to make more money for my education also motivated me to regularly travel to Edo State in the back of Lorries with different rubber merchants at the time in the early nineties to buy Rubber lumps for onward processing at Rubber processing factories within and around Sapele metropolis, just to assist my struggling mother to sustain my education. In some cases where there was no money, my mother would sell some of her clothes and jewelries to enable her buy my books and pay for my school fees.

I still remember how I developed and hone my writing skills by contributing weekly to the very popular radio program on Radio Delta, "laughing strokes" anchored by "Sammy F" Samuel Chiedu Fejokwu..."The real satisfaction"....It was Sammy F who introduced me to popular comedian 'AY' Ayo Makun...and we have been friends till date, blazing trails in in our different endeavours.

It will interest you to know that I met and recognised my father for the very first time when I got admission into the University of Benin in the mid nineteen nineties.

In the early 2000’s, my insatiable quest for knowledge coupled with my audacious pursuit of information led me to stumble on an edition of Success Digest Magazine, a weekly motivational and entrepreneurship development magazine. I subsequently devoured every subsequent editions of the magazine at the time and often noticed that the publisher regularly make reference to a particular book that transformed his life.

Curiosity then led me to go in search of this book, and luckily I stumbled on it in 2001 while I was at a popular motor park (Edegbe Motor Park) in Benin City, Edo State on my way to Lagos. A book vendor brandished a copy of the said book at me while I sat at the back of the bus in quiet reflection of the possible outcomes of my trip to Lagos.

I was actually on my way to keep an appointment for a visa interview with the American Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria in search for greener pastures as a result of the challenges confronting the average Nigerian youth at the time. I then bought the book for N250 with excitement and hungrily devoured every page with positive anticipation until a line from the book jumped out and got me thinking and thus changed my life forever…(the world is in search of new ways of doing old things….all achievement, all earned riches, have their beginnings in an idea).

And as it would turn out, I was fortunately or unfortunately refused the visa to the United States of America the day after. In frustration, I cried my eyes out since I did not intend to return to Nigeria if eventually I was given the visa.

And as I write this piece, I am presently celebrating my birthday in the United States of America and this is my second visit in two years.

It was after I finished crying that I remembered the life changing book that I bought while on my way to Lagos the previous day. And in an attempt to console myself, I then picked up the book and buried my head in it again and started reading voraciously and resolved to pursue the revelations that I will get from it.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, is the book that changed my world-view and perception to life and its mysteries thereafter.

It was this book that made me not only to discover my talents and my purpose on this side of the heavens but also discover why I was born in the Tagbarha family of Awhirhe clan in Agbarha-Otor Village of Ughelli North local Government Area and consequently why I was wired to enforce my difference from Nigeria. And this became my inspired vision - the reason why I wake up to work and study hard at nights and every mornings to make it happen.

I decided to stay focused in consistently developing my talents and inspired vision which eventually gave birth to the ‘Nigerian Dream’- the unity, peace, well-being, prosperity and happiness of Nigerians.

This pursuit also birthed my first book titled, “Power to Serve – How to Become a Successful Political Leader : A Guide for the Youth, in 2001 and consequently created the opportunity that eventually took me to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, two years later in 2003 as a personal aide to Honourable Napoleon Obukowho Gbinije(JP), a member of the Federal House of Representatives at the time.

I thereafter worked in the same capacity for Rt Honourable John Halims Ochuko Agoda (OFR), another member of the Federal House of Representatives and subsequently wrote my second book titled, “Nigerian Passport to Greatness” in 2006 and eventually got it published in 2010, to celebrate Nigeria’s 50 years anniversary, with a revised edition in 2014 to celebrate the Nigerian centenary.

While in Abuja, I bought and read every book of interest and also attended every seminar, conference or workshop that was geared towards empowering and developing my talents in line with my inspired vision.

Inspired Vision Worldwide Limited as a company was birthed and officially registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, on the 24th of February, 2010 while I was still living in the boys quarters of Rt Honourable John Halims Agoda (OFR) as a personal aide.

I will not forget to inform you that while I worked as a personal assistant to both members of the Federal House of Representatives at the time, I was often mocked and referred to directly and indirectly as a ‘glorified’ houseboy and was constantly laughed at and humiliated all these years while I served my bosses obediently during these times. I however, took these jibes as positive motivation and inspiration to continue working doggedly towards improving my craft in speaking and writing as I doggedly continued the audacious pursuit of making a meaning with my life on this side of the heavens.

In 2010, I was selected and sponsored alongside 40 other young outstanding Nigerians to participate at the 16th Nigerian Economic Summit Emerging Leaders Forum, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja.

In December, 2011, I travelled out of Nigeria for the very first time to attend an International conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a speaker.

While I developed my writing skills and eventually came up with my books, I had to also devise a strategy of meeting outstanding people in the society to write the foreword to these books in order to put credibility in my works and thus provide avenue to easily get them published.

When I published my very second book, "Nigerian Passport to Greatness", I had to move from one bus stop to another, from one event centre to another, from Abuja Sheraton Hotels to Transcorp Hilton Hotels to sell copies of the book singlehandedly. While some people will give me whatever pleases them for a copy of my book, others will either reject it or possibly walk away with a copy without giving me anything. This however, did not deter me in any way because I was hell bent on making my dreams come through.

The first edition of my book, titled, “Power to Serve – How to become a Successful Political Leader : A Guide for the Youth, has the foreword written by Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, the Executive Governor of Edo State, while the first edition of my second book, titled, “Nigerian Passport to Greatness” has the foreword written by Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe, the former Minister for Niger Delta. The second edition of the “Nigerian Passport to Greatness” has the foreword written by Colonel Sani Bello, the Executive Chairman of Amni Petroleum Limited and Sani Bello Foundation respectively.

In May, 2014, I travelled to Geneva – Switzerland, Paris – France, Brussels – Belgium, South Holland and Kristiansand - Norway to celebrate the “Nigeria Dream” and the Nigeria Centenary and got a rare opportunity to be interviewed and featured in CNN in South Holland.

And in September, 2015, I travelled to Washington DC and Denver – Colorado respectively both in United States for speaking engagements.

The future is defined by WINNERS....Not losers!

Almighty God has always been there for me...Steadfastly....through and through... always, always, always!
I was made in the streets....Raised in the streets....Conquered the streets with my street credibility...!

This is my STORY...my STRUGGLES...my CONVICTIONS...my WEAKNESSES...and my STRENGTHS says it all....PROUD to be an African KING!

My dear brothers and sisters, you will agree with me that I did not allow my background to keep my back on the ground.

God raised me from relative obscurity in the streets of Sapele, Delta State and took me to an unprecedented pinnacle of relevance as a celebrated writer, author and an International speaker. To Him be all the glory!

That same God that raised an obscure Onajite Malcolm Mudiaga TAGBARHA from grass to grace and from rags to riches will do the same for you too, if only you will believe in Him, yourself and stay focused and committed to pursue your inspired vision with passion and determination.

Thank you and God bless you!

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