Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Happy Birthday, Koye

Mrs. Ko and the gang. No bonus points for spotting me.
I did not feel like writing a post for this birthday, but I have written one every year for six years and I like the idea of starting my own traditions, so I had to.

I don’t take it for granted that I am marking another birthday today. I am grateful for life and the many opportunities I have had to learn and grow in the past year. I am also grateful that I am blessed with Busola, loving friends, and family. The past year has been incredible! I am grateful to be living many of my long-held dreams and excited to be charging ahead with new ambitions.

I am especially grateful for the life I have. There is no way I could have imagined as a young child that I would have this life and these opportunities someday. And I'm just getting started. I will always be thankful for my parents, their vision, and their unrelenting belief in our potential. (“Our”, because I’ve got two amazing siblings!) I am also thankful for my friends. Like KO recently said to me, “it takes a village”. I’m grateful for my ‘village’. Thank you.

Part of our village. Missing a few babies and their Mamas...
We are that we are.
When people text me to say I inspire them, it leaves me feeling weird. I feel privileged that I can inspire some young Nigerians to reach for more just by living my life and sharing parts of my story. It also leaves me feeling pressured sometimes, like I should be reaching for even more myself. Thankfully, my year at INSEAD has taught me to think bigger than I have previously.

There is a lot to look forward to. This year resembles my final year in OAU in more ways than one. That year, like now, I stood at the cusp of a new phase, anxious to see how things would work out and whether my plans would come together. They did, and nicely so; God came through. Now, like then, I forge ahead, singing “My heart will trust”.

As always, my thoughts are with the good people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the wars that followed. May their families be comforted.

I’ll wrap up with some pictures from the year and my longstanding commitment: to live, to execute the ambitious plans I make so well, to help others rise above their limitations and achieve their potential, and to step out in faith.

Happy birthday, Koye.

First of my name
Finally went to a Jay Z concert. On The Run II in Paris. Screamed my lungs out!
Dreaaaaaaaaams come true, they do; dreeeeaaaams come true!
Fontainebleau. Berlin. Vienna. San Francisco.
My photography got so much better this year, and I am grateful to have seen many new places.
I really, really, really, like this one! It's one of my first good long exposures...
Wanted to visit the Stanford Memorial Church since I read about it in When Breath Becomes Air.
Went back a few days after this picture and spent a few hours in stillness and silence.
Disturbing Paris with Busola
The gorgeous St. Peter's Cathedral in Vienna
Some of my favorite 17/18 books...
Some of my favorite 17/18 books...


  1. Happy birthday. Best wishes.
    Regards to your wife.

  2. I join the rest of the world to wish you a happy birthday. Keep soaring!!!

  3. It has become a tradition for some of us to read your posts and catch up with new ways to lead and inspire lives, albeit unconsciously sometimes. Thank you for helping others to live their lives even as you live yours!