It’s often very dicey and difficult for me to get down and put pen to paper when I have to put my thoughts down and the reason is because all the women I have come across have exhibited a particular trait that truly defines them. This April, my pendulum swings at the woman who held sway as the Deputy Governor of the Center of Excellence Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, a woman I tracked for a year before getting her to come on as guest on my TV programme Woman of Substance and I must tell you it was one of my best interviews. I sat down some time ago and wondered what had become of this personality that her aides made it so difficult for people to reach while she was number 2 in Lagos.
I can remember the rigors I had to face to get a date for the interview that took place at her official residence at that time in Ikoyi and I heaved a sigh of relief as soon as that interview was over. As I sat thinking about her, I wondered what she was doing now after the glamorous life of politics because there are quite a number of women who have fizzled out and eased into oblivion soon after their political engagement is over.
Trust me, I sniffed and found out exactly where she was and called her assistant up to get me a date to meet her again after a long time! She was delighted to see me and the look on her face said so many things, things I would rather hold dear to my heart. A beautiful smile illuminated her face, we exchanged pleasantries she set me at ease with her peculiar way of calling my name
“Iphy you are welcome and thanks for coming to interview me again” and that set the tone for our journey into what she does at the moment. “I run a company GFR an acronym of the names of my children, you know I’m an educationist to the core, GFR is into Human Capital Development, we are interested in creating appropriate work ethics and quality assurance. We collaborate with corporate bodies and education agencies to develop appropriate training programmes that suit the client”.
While she was talking I was wondering how this relates to the category of people that she passionately reached out to while “in office” and I wondered what had happened to that “passion”, did it fade away just like it happens with most 1st Ladies and other government officials who initiate projects and don’t follow through when they leave office, Princess Sosan was quick to jolt me out of my thoughts, she said “Human Capital Development is part of reaching out, as a teacher I believe we can do a lot in the way that teaching is done, the strategies is something we have to look into, why do I say this Iphy? We organized a practical training session for students, with instructors from Dublin Ireland and the result was amazing, I realized through that training that children need to be encouraged by giving them things that will encourage their learning abilities”
As we talked, she looked back at the various postulations about the Nigerian graduate being largely unemployable and she blamed it on their inability to match the results they have in their hands and the content of their character coupled with their intelligence. In her words “it’s so bad that in schools today you either pay in cash or kind to get your grade and this is not good for a country like ours or any for that matter”.
I agreed with a nod because as a broadcaster and in the course of moderating very incisive interviews, I have realized that as Nigerians, we have a clear picture of everything that is wrong with Nigeria but the problem of getting us out of the woods is as huge as the Berlin wall.
For the rot that has permeated the education sector Princess Sosan says the idea is to begin to catch them young and teach them the right way by that she means “creating a conducive atmosphere, laying out workable strategies instead of the chalk and board kind of teaching which is still evident in some schools, it’s about making learning more interesting in the way it is taught so that children learn even when they play”
Volunteering is a major tool she agreed, one that is popular in many countries. I shared with her the experience with students at my former school Aguda Grammar School in Surulere when I had a 2 hour session with them in class and she totally agrees that people should try and go back to their roots. It’s always a good thing when these young people have someone they can relate with in their midst, it gives them hope that there is so much to look forward to if they work hard and set their priorities right.
Trust that I couldn’t have left this “big fish” go without extracting some information about her journey in life. Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan just like so many other celebrities grew up in Ajegunle, she called it “A J City” and I laughed my head out with gesticulations at attempting to describe those years in Ajegunle, “it was an area made up of different tribes, a mini Nigeria if you want to call it that and we lived like brothers and sisters, that time of my life gave me the opportunity to know the different disposition of each tribe, it helped me in the course of my Job as Deputy Governor and im grateful that I worked with a man who taught me that hard work never kills”
Let me end this piece by saying that you have in your hands what you can do to be who you want to be, follow your heart and believe in yourself. Don’t miss out on the May edition!