Everyone has a daily schedule, which mainly revolves around activities such as: going to school, work, place of worship, attending meetings & fora, going for shopping or to the market, delivering services to clients, making calls, doing the laundry, honoring of different types of invitation, exercising and keeping fit, cooking, bible reading, praying, eating, sleeping; without following any particular pattern. You know best how you do it, it’s personal. Granted, sometimes, other unplanned circumstances and situations are capable of thwarting or causing a slight change in the original schedule.
Ideally, as you go about these involvements, a high level of importance must be attached to each. Accepting an invitation and confirming availability out of your busy daily engagements means there’s definitely a take-home. Benefits can come in form of knowledge acquisition, getting contacts through networking, getting involved in and signing up for subsequent projects, showcasing your talents, getting a team of individuals who share similar vision to brainstorm and work with (collaboration & expansion), skills development, establishment and certainty of future work, partnerships and sponsorships. On the other hand, it could be a benefit for the team or organizers of the forum of which they extend an invitation to a highly-placed successful influential individual to give an insightful talk or share his inspiring life story of how he persistently surmounted all challenges, roadblocks and setbacks, made achievements and got celebrated in his field. The invited guest could be an alumnus of a secondary school in event of a forum organized by the Old Boys Students’ Association or even the school itself, alumnus of a university when invited by the Alma Mata or alumni body, an entrepreneur to deliver a talk on entrepreneurship, or a celebrity to serve and fill in appropriate essential gaps within his purview. The individual serves as not just a speaker at the event but also as a mentor, friend, confidant and sometimes, adopted (professional) father/mother/aunty/uncle and senior colleague. In the real sense, this is a way of “giving back to the society”. And I add that if there are more accessible mentors in different fields of endeavor, there will be less of mistakes and reduction in time wasted in finding the most stable route to success; reason being that these “physical” mentors have made mistakes upon mistakes in the past and have experimented and finally found the sustainable rudiments, foundation and sure path for great achievements. There is no joy greater than the one had once an act of giving is implemented, not necessarily financial giving.
AFRICAN TIME – Appropriate? Your early arrival ascertains your seating position, comfortability, participation, understanding and adequate contribution at any gathering. In the event that the expected guest does not show up at all without prior notice or walks in, in the middle of the occasion, perhaps 2 hours after commencement, this unexpected movement will pose a distraction/divided attention and consequently, wastage of time in rowdiness, recognition of personalities, settling down and getting back people’s attention. Yes, “First impression matters”.
It’s not news that an individual is invited to attend an event which is declared to kickstart at 4pm and he comfortably drags his feet entering the venue sluggishly at 6pm almost at the end of the event without a prior notice that he will be late. It’s more honorable to be there on time, be part of the session to a reasonable point and if pressing, take an excuse to be somewhere else at another invited occasion. Well, courtesy demands you show a sense of responsibility, reasonableness and equality (not superiority) by arriving well on time at every gathering. It would be really unfair if people are to wait for long hours waiting for your arrival before the meeting is declared open. In cases of unavoidable traffic congestion, simply sending a text to keep them in the know, is not out of place. Remember, as dey talk am “TIME NA MONEY”…
It’s common in this part of the world. The name “Africa” has been wrongly associated with this, thus the popular saying “African Time”. We are all guilty of this trend. It must cease being a norm. Therefore, this serves as an eye-opener to all. Once all Nigerians and Africans alike change their belief system, we will all get there. Only when this is done, will organizers of events and programs strictly heed to the intended duration by sticking to the agreed circulated programme of events. It’s better said (late), than never.