By Gbenga Adebambo
Edmund Burke said: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
Most times, the little we think is not necessary may turn out to be the key to our breakthrough. The greatest hindrance to destiny fulfilment is waiting around for a perfect condition. Wesley Snipes once wrote on his Twitter handle: “Some people pray for cake, but when the Almighty gives them eggs, oil, butter, batter, a pan and an oven, they get frustrated and leave the kitchen.”
Maturity is the ability to stop waiting for perfect things and instead make do with what we have. Start wherever you are with whatever you have to make impact in your community.
Ikorodu Bois, a Nigerian online comedy group made up of some Nigerian boys, has become social media sensations by remaking, mimicking and recreating multimillion-dollar music videos, movie scenes and movie trailers using ordinary household items.
They have done some shot-for-shot reenactments of Bad Boys for Life, Spanish drama series, Money Heist, a tribute to Kobe Bryant and other pieces of entertainment. Their recent break into limelight came when they recreated the trailer for Extraction, an action-packed Netflix movie, starring actor Chris Hemsworth.
In a manner that is beyond human comprehension, Ikorodu Bois have earned an invite to the world premiere of Netflix action thriller, Extraction 2 after making a remake of the first trailer. Through a string of tweets and retweets on Twitter and Instagram posts, they eventually got an invite from Russo Brothers, one of the world’s most popular film directors in Hollywood, and Hemsworth.
From Ikorodu to Hollywood, the story of these kids carries a deep message for anyone that wants a major breakthrough in life.
Ikorodu Bois is made up of two brothers- Muiz Sanni, 15, Malik Sanni, 10- and their 13-year-old cousin, Fawas Aina. Muiz and Malik’s big brother, 23-year-old Babatunde Sanni is the one responsible for editing the videos and managing the trio. He is the brain behind turning something that started as a bit of fun in 2017 into what the boys hope would be careers in the entertainment industry.
The real world does not reward perfectionism; it only rewards our efforts. Instead of complaining and trying to wait for perfect conditions, ask yourself what you can do with what you have at the moment; stop whining and start winning.
There are some lessons Africans can learn from Ikorodu Bois:
1. Train Your Eyes To Always See And Seize Opportunities In Difficult Situations
Benjamin Franklin said: “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” What keeps people ahead in life is simply the opportunity that they see and seized. While other kids were glued to Netflix movies and African Magic in the COVID-19 period, the Ikorodu kids saw the opportunity to sell to the world, their unique skill in remaking movie scenes.
When COVID-19 was ripping the world apart, some ingenious kids from a suburb in Lagos were seeing opportunities.
2. There Is No Limit To Creativity
What actually stood Ikorodu Bois out was their unique sense of creativity even when they did not have access to all that was needed. They have shown the world that we can actually get more done with less through creativity. At some times, they needed to improvise and use domestic and kitchen utensils to remake sophisticated equipment.
The wealth that you desire is hidden in your creative solutions to the problems around you. If Ikorodu Bois can use wheelbarrow, shovels, kitchen utensils, casing of phones and other domestic tools to remake the trailer of a Netflix movie, then there is no limit to your own creativity.
3. Limit Your Limitations
No matter the limitation you are going through in the African environment, you can limit your limitations. Though there are so many limiting factors in the African environment, but we must aggressively work towards limiting their effect on our aspirations.
Ikorodu Bois encountered many limitations in their passionate quest to remake popular trailers and movie scenes, but instead of limiting themselves, they limited their limitations.
4. Create And Design Your Own Environment
In life, it is either you are complaining or you are creating. Instead of complaining about your situation, why don’t you create one?
Ikorodu Bois made use of what they had to create something. Situations and environment can stop us temporarily, but we are the only one that can stop us permanently. No situation must be the reason why you fail in life; rise above the challenges by creating something new. Create and don’t complain!
5. You Can Be Local Geographically, But Be Global In Expression
Ikorodu Bois did not allow the confines of their locality to hinder their expression. Imagine small kids from Ikorodu churning out something that is making wave globally. No matter what you are doing or where you are, always design your product to have a global appeal.
Many years ago, I mentored a group of young entrepreneurs that were trying to repackage garri with multivitamins, so that it can be exported to Europe, the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK), where a lot of Africans would be willing to pay for their products.
I also mentored a start-up entrepreneur on the Tony Elumelu platform that has succeeded in packaging powdered porridge with multivitamins in Rwanda.
Whatever your product is and wherever your location is, repackage your product for global reach. Think globally and act locally!
6. Be Positive In Every Situation
If there is one thing that Ikorodu Bois were able to achieve with their creativity, it is to portray Africa in a positive light. There are so many things to be negative about with the African situation, but these kids decided to escalate only the positive aspect.
Some people are so negative about the African situation that they have become blinded to the possibility of a better and new Africa. The future of Africa belongs to those who see possibilities in the continent before they become obvious.
7. You Will Always Need Someone To Mention Your Name At The Table
In April 2020, US actor and rapper, Will Smith, shared a clip of Ikorodu Bois recreation of Bad Boys Forever on his Instagram page, with the caption: “This is GENIUS @Ikorodu Bois!”
Smith, with an Instagram follower of 46.8 million followers, was one of the celebrities that got committed to sharing the Ikorodu Bois video on social media. He was so fascinated with their recreated version of the Bad Boys Forever clip that he decided to give them a global lift.
There is always somebody that is significant to your lifting. Though they have big celebrities as followers, including basketball star, LeBron James, rapper, Roddy Ricch, and Netflix Money Heist actor, Alvaro Monte (The Professor) showing them love by posting their videos on social media, Smith interest and input was undoubtedly significant to their global rise and breakthrough.
The Bible says in Amos 7:5: “By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small.” There is always someone that is significant to your breakthrough.
8. Don’t Trivialise What You Have; Make It Visible On Social Media
Babatunde Sanni, in his interview with CNN said: “Our house is like a comedy house; we play too much. I felt like ‘these things we are doing in our house- why don’t we start putting them online?’ And so the Ikorodu Bois Instagram page was born.”
In this age of social media, make yourself and your product visible to others. Are you into fashion, event planning, etc? Create an Instagram page to show case your creativity. As at the time I was writing this piece, the talented youngsters had 829,000 followers on Instagram and 121,800 followers on Twitter.
In this social media age, most times your next customer is just a post away.
9. PARENTS, GIVE YOUR CHILDREN THE PLATFORM TO BE THEMSELVES
There are many talents lying fallow in many homes. There are so many levels of creativity that have been buried by parents, just because they never gave their wards the platforms to express their gifts, talents and unique abilities.
Babatunde Sanni has this to say concerning their parents: “A lot of people actually told our parents that we are becoming a nuisance in the streets, but they just kept supporting us financially and with words of encouragement.”
Thank God for their supportive parents. If they had let their neighbours’ complaints and criticisms stop them from believing in and supporting their boys, the Ikorodu Bois would never have been lucky enough to receive an invitation to the movie premiere for Extraction 2.
10. Never Wait For Perfect Conditions
The Bible made us understand the fallibility of human environment in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “If you wait for the perfect condition, you will not get anything done.” If you really want to achieve greatness while still living in Africa, never wait for the perfect condition. The reason is that it simply doesn’t exist. Perfection doesn’t exist. Give it up!
I want to emphatically encourage Nigerian youths to have a major shift in their approach to national problems, because the problems that abound around us are an invitation for us to be creative, dynamic and impactful.
If the Ikorodu Bois can showcase their creativity and put Africa on a positive light, then we all have no excuse not to do the same. Start where you are and with what you have. Don’t wait until you have everything.
Our problems and challenges are not meant to stop us, but rather spike up our creativity.
Quote Of The Week
“Your poverty status is a reflection of your inability to think creatively” — Gbenga Adebambo