YOU can become a top academic achiever, a Bill Gates even, in four easy steps. “Four Ws”, according to motivational expert Braimoh Bello, will help you determine who you are, and set you on the path to transcending your circumstances and becoming somebody extraordinary.
Where am I from? Why do I do what I do? Why am I here? Where am I going? These are the four questions Bello said he asked himself on his way to gaining three degrees, founding human development consultancy Beyond Tomorrow, and writing a book of the same name.
All of this despite losing his mother at age 11 and being raised by his unemployed father.
Wits Vuvuzela caught up with this honorary lecturer in medical microbiology in the Wits School of Public Health, to find out more about him and his work.
“The reason I speak to young people is because I got those degrees under very difficult circumstances. And that is my message. You should not allow your circumstances to define you. I know what those circumstances were… I know what those circumstances became, going from hardship to comfort.”
Answering the Four Ws helps you understand “why you do what you do”, clarify your purpose and understand the steps needed to achieve it, Bello said.
“It’s a simple message. You need first of all to think of your future. We need Africans to sit down and calmly resolve in their spirits that they can create their futures.
“It cannot be a subconscious thing, it has to be deliberate. It has to be conscious.
“In the way you talk. In the way you walk, and in the way you think.”
Bello said it was especially important for African children to work on the “you factor”, because too often “they did not have the pleasure of nurture, and thus had to rely on nature”.
Bello, who was born in Nigeria recalled that his mother’s death shocked his father into resigning from his job, leaving him and his five siblings to face financial hardship, struggling to fund their education.
From age 15, Bello worked part-time to fund his studies, eventually achieving honours and master’s degrees in medical microbiology from the University of Benin, before winning a scholarship to study at Wits for his PhD.
The 39-year-old Bello dismissed the idea of motivational speaking as a gimmick offering quick fixes.
“The motivation we do at Beyond Tomorrow is not pie-in-the-sky kind of motivation. Motivation should also tell you how to do it.”