Edith Ohaja Grow your wings before you fly


[Guest Post]

When my fondness for my niece, Amanda, was budding, some of the many persons who took interest and followed suggested I start a Facebook page for her. I’ll never forget one already had a name for it: ‘Every Day Amanda.’ Cute, eh? LOL!

I’ve had a few other cool ideas thrown at me in moments I KNEW I was NOT ready to handle them WELL.

“Glo, you need to write a book.”

“You need to hold a training for poets, mahn. You’re good!”

“Why aren’t you considering a career in scriptwriting?”

And the one I almost always immediately dismiss: “I want you to be my mentor.” The two both of us need a mentor, my dear.😂😂😂

We all MUST learn to make choices we can be responsible for, and NOT because we are riding on the confidence of others. For one who has some interest in fiction, a book I write has to be after learning life first-hand. You don’t bake certain lessons and truths overnight. You experience them.

I know people who have been motivated into doing things they barely have thorough skill or passion for, just because they had a flash of brilliance. Popular case studies would be the many teenagers and young adults who dived into the university to study courses their parents thought were ideal for them. Let’s not talk about that author who friends encouraged to write a book but they never bought a copy after it was published. LOL!

Edith Ohaja Grow your wings before you fly

It is possible to learn on the go, but much better still is committing to training for something YOU KNOW you aren’t great at YET. It is wise to not fool yourself. It is very wise to not drag people into your averageness with the promise of excellence. Be kind to yourself: GROW!

Think of yourself as a bird who wants to constantly soar in the sky. Such flights are beautiful, exhilarating, but unless the bird grows its wings first (with the corresponding muscles and feathers), it will naturally plummet soon after take-off. GROW.

Or envision yourself as a tree. It takes a process of growth above and beneath the soil to attain and maintain a lofty stature. That is when you breathe confidence and mastery. Your expression of your skill, art and devotion becomes authority.

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So no matter how anyone praises you, never launch before you’ve equipped yourself. GROW.

Henry Glofame Okoli

About the author:
Henry Okoli, a.k.a ‘Glofame,’ is a trained journalist with a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. As a spoken word poet and writer, he has traveled around Nigeria performing poetry that inspires purposeful living among Christians. Henry is also a photographer, cinematographer and content producer. For his day job, he works remotely with a copywriting and advertising agency, Spartan Konsult, that is based in Awka.

Henry will be taking questions in the main comment thread (not the Facebook comment thread) on how to acquire skills and function in some of the areas he is involved in. This is to ensure that the conversation is in one place and no one asks what someone else has already asked.

You can find him on Facebook as Henry Glofame Okoli and as @iamglofame on Instagram & Twitter.

Here’s a clip of Glofame’s spoken word poetry.


And an interview of him on Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS)

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

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  • Egbo Paul Uchenna

    I concur to this.. I used to know a friend that delved into music because his friend said he’s good. Well not much can be written about his songs.
    Thank you for this lovely awakening. We seek grace to GROW!

  • Ezeh chimezie Amos

    That idea of parents or anybody choosing course to study in the university for someone is what I can never buy…… As the saying goes, “it is he who is wearing the shoe that knows where it is paining him.” We all as human beings know what we are capable of, so parents should allow their children decide on what they think they can do and watch them excel in that area rather than wanting the title of “mama lawyer or mama doctor” and so on.

  • Chukwuemeka Ifunanya Abigail

    The beauty of everything that one does is the satisfaction from a work well done. Thanks, ma, for your admonition. I am even among those that think u should be a mentor. Thank God for his great wisdom that is manifest in your life. I love you.

    • Uhmmm, it seems you missed that this is a guest post. It’s on the graphic, at the top of the post and literally all over the last one third of the post. 🤔
      You are blessed!

  • Opara Oluchi Dorathy

    Nice piece ma’am. Its a good one!
    I do not know if this rule of thumb applies to everyone or every situation? or should I say everyone has what works for them.
    So my contribution is, most times, people do not really know what they are capable of doing, their strengths and weaknesses and all of that, until they are being told by people around them…. “Oh! you’re really good at this, why don’t you venture into it and stuffs like that”. Even when they are not ready for the task, they at least give it a trial and in most cases it turns out so well for them.
    Sometimes, pursuing that thing we consider big, makes us grow too (speaking from personal experiences), because if I should wait till when I probably feel I have sufficient skills to undergo that task, I might lose interest in it.

    • Nice contribution but you’re missing the point. Let me illustrate. If someone tells you you have a good voice and you join the choir, is that the same thing as releasing a single or an album? The former is okay because it gives you the opportunity to practise and be trained even while showcasing your talent on a limited level. The latter should not be jumped into because much more training and professionalism are required to make it work. I hope you can see the difference. Bless you!

  • Daniel Orjikalu

    Very true. It is important to “grow your wings” first before flying or else you might just come crashing into the sea.

  • Glory Oluchi

    How I wish that every youth out there could read this. You hear everyone say, “proper preparation proceeds proper manifestation.” Ironically, the same people neglect the basis which is preparation and jump into manifestation. Where are people rushing to bikonu?🤷 The most painful part is that we see this problem even in the body of Christ as it is not limited to the secular world. Many believers, once they start praying in tounges and seeing revelations, they will tell you that God has called them into ministry and they are going to start their own, forgetting that it took Jesus Christ thirty years to prepare for a three-year ministry. This is why we have many fake “men of God” today because their foundations are not strong enough to withstand the storm. May God help this generation in Jesus name

  • Michael Abije

    Exactly. The wings are the prerequisites for soaring high. It is indispensable.

  • Adumike Winifred Munachi

    Thank you for this Glofame, it’s very common now, everyone is doing one thing or the other, it’s good to work hard, but have you thought about it thoroughly, I know someone that is a farmer today, seamstress tomorrow, Baker the day after and a runway model on weekends, working so hard yet has very little to show for it, simply because she ventures into anything she sees without knowing if she can do it well, she believes she can learn on the job, but it hasn’t been working so far, why not retreat and rethink.

  • Ezeh John Onyekachi

    I concur with Glofame 100% on this matter.
    Can someone know you more than you know yourself?
    If the answer to that question is no, then it’s wrong as Glofame rightly and lucidly pointed out in his piece to delve into anything perhaps because someone else tells you that you’re good at such things.
    The reality you know about your ability and capability should be the driving force here.
    We must cultivate the culture of telling ourselves the truth. It will help a great deal in our learning process and attitude.

    Parents should allow their children go for courses of their interest where they have greater propensity to perform well.
    Interest is key to success in any human undertaking. No one gives their best in anything they don’t have passion for.

  • Anabude Oluchi m.

    It’s really vital that we don’t allow people’s praises to push us into doing anything because there is every need to make preparations and the experiences you will get along the line will be a plus to whatever you intend coming up with…because it’s not how far but how well that tells the story more.

  • Oshana Oyaku Endurance

    I feel this post is just for me, recently people have been disturbing me, saying, “Endy, get a shop na, see how good you are in sewing.” In my mind am like, am not ready, i feel i have not yet attained tbe perfection i wanna reach in tailoring. Thank you very much, Ma. You have always been a blessing to us.

  • Ejiofor Emmanuel

    “So no matter how anyone praises you, never launch before you’ve equipped yourself. GROW.”

    This quote did hit me. Trying to venture full time into something you are not yet good at can be very stressful on its own. Don’t because people tell you that “you are good in this or that” rush into it. See that flash of skill people praise you for as something you should develop before going full time into it.

  • Nwannah Juliana ngozi

    I totally agree with this writer but not everyone has the ability to say no to parents when they insist on a course to study in the university. I have friends who studied law but have no passion for it whatsoever just cause their parents wanted lawyers.
    Most of us are scared of leaving what the family is known for.
    Everyone needs to read this, I have realized that when you do what you love and prosper, parents will eventually come around.
    Thank you for this post ma. God bless

  • Leonard Patience

    Thank you Mr Glofame for this precise post.

    How did you manage to work as an advertiser, copywriter, cinematoographer, photographer and even a poet?
    Does it mean that it’s easy to combine these professions in the outside world?

    What can an undergraduate do to boost his/her advertising skills to be used in real-life situations, Sir?

  • Chidebe uchechukwu cyprian

    I really agree with you on the idea of making choices that you will be responsible for rather than riding on other people’s confidence. But in African society, you will agree with me that most times, it is very difficult to make your own choices due to pressure from the parents. For example, a child that wants to study a particular course of his or her dreams in the university, most times end up going for another course he or she doesn’t like due to parental infulence on the child’s decision. Most times the reasons behind that action is usually due to lack of job opportunities in that career chosen by the child or other reasons best known to them, but that particular course the child wants to study ends up as a mere dream which will never come to pass, so in that case the child finds him or herself riding on the parents confidence rather than self-made choices. They may even threaten not to sponsor the child in his or her academic pursuit if the child refuses to consider their choice. In this case, growing one’s wings to fly becomes very difficult and most times people hardly do well in doing what they don’t like.. no matter how they try….. I really enjoyed it keep it up. This is just my own opinion.. I stand to be corrected, if i misunderstood the concept…

  • Obong Phebe

    Yeah; the best gift to give oneself is to be kind and realistic with yourself Cause no one will. And the practical ways are: growing physically, mentally, academically, spiritually and other aspect of life.

  • Nnachetam favour chinecherem

    I remember reading a book ‘Talent is not enough’ by ‘John C. Maxwell’ he really handled this subject extensively. No matter how good you are, give yourself to training, growth and development. Even people as good as Dan Lok and Robert Kiyosaki still attend seminars and meetings to stay up to date. Just like Jesus, he didn’t launch out until he was 30. We should ask ourself what he was doing all those while. Thanks a lot, Ma, for this piece.

  • Obiemeka Favour Chukwugozie

    I actually agree with you on this , sometimes we go into things because people say we are good and end up crashing because we didn’t grow that passion or talent.

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    I totally agree with you, in a spur of brilliance I created a Facebook page while in secondary school for writing and sharing health contents , I couldn’t keep up. I didn’t plan, didn’t think, I just did and it was short-lived.

  • Cynthia ihekwoaba

    Is it possible to study mass communication and not want to venture into it in the future?

    • It’s not only possible to not want to practice what you learnt in school, it is possible to pursue a totally different line of work from what one learnt in school. There are many Mass Comm. graduates in banks and some retrained to be nurses, teachers, etc, especially those who went to live abroad after graduating in Nigeria.
      But Mass Comm. is so vast and encompasses many disciplines, so there are so many areas to choose from beyond journalism.
      Besides, communication is so central to human life and with the enormous use of virtual means to do business, worship, etc., communication skills are becoming terribly important in almost every field of endeavour.

      • Aṅulika Iwoba

        This is profound and rich.
        It is easy to become carried away by the cheers of peers and fans and dabble into a trade or career you lack the competence and knowledge to deliver excellence in.
        The tragedy is double: you introduce your audience or clients into mediocrity or even worse, and you brand yourself as ignorant, incompetent or even a charlatan.
        We all need reminders like this to propel us to excellence.
        The confidence of others in us isn’t enough to push us to work hard enough to become masters of our art.
        Also, it takes a lot of honesty to admit that we are not knowledgeable or skilled enough to produce or start up something even when everyone else thinks we have all it takes.
        The post is deeply appreciated.
        Many thanks to the author.

  • Michael Abije

    Very punchy and catchy presentation

  • Glory Uzo-chinonye

    I really admire your capabilities, Mr Henry Okoli, your ability to fit in to different fields in Mass communication effectively. I want to know what necessary quality and skill i need to be a very outstanding spoken word poet.

  • Favour Brown

    Thanks, Sir. I love this!

    This reminded me of when I finished my SSCE, my cousin that I stayed with wanted me to go into hairdressing because of the way I used to pack her hair so beautifully to the admiration of others. But within me, I knew I never wanted to do another thing then than go to computer school. That was my passion while waiting for the money for my University education, because I love everything pertaining to education.

    So I had to tell my uncle; “Sir, i will love to go to computer school” the man said wouldn’t you like to further your education? I told him I will, but I must go to computer school first. Because I wanted to know how all these beautiful flyers, posters and many Beautiful things computer produces can be done. So even when my father asked me, I still gave him the same response and they were shocked.

    I thank God at the end of the day I was given the opportunity to do what i had so much passion for.

    Praise be to God even now I’m so much happy because I have benefited a lot of friends eith my computer training. I even have cyber now which has helped me so much financially and otherwise.

    It’s always good to do that which you have passion for.

  • Haruna precious ikilama

    Passion is the basis for every idea or whatever we plan to do. And while passion is a major driving force,we cannot neglect the importance of growth and/or personal development in one’s pursuit be it a career or whatsoever. As an individual it’s not ideal to continue being a greenhorn or ride on the praise of others or even comfort yourself with the thought of growing on some later date. You need to grow NOW so as to broaden your horizon and that of the people around you.

  • Awaka Vivian oluchi

    Reading this piece, I feel directly spoken to. I have this mentality of being the best at what you do, but so many of my friends see it as being lazy. They say stuff like “you’re good at what you do, why not render services”on my own side I feel like I can’t settle for mediocre.” No matter how anyone praises you, never launch Before you’ve equipped yourself.grow!!

  • Awforkansi Kamsi

    Diving into a career or business path just because of words from friends might leave you stranded at some point. Excellence, passion and will power should be the determining factor for anything. A little push here and there from friends but only as motivation and not a main factor.
    Unfortunately, this is an everyday situation for young Nigerians looking to study in universities. Parents picking career paths for their wards for its popularity or because they want to see a reflection of them in their children.
    A question for the writer, what advice can you give to someone looking to start a career in advertising?

  • Wow…this was what happened to my immediate elder brother, he was so good with animals and was encouraged to start a poultry business which he did without learning from an expert. When the birds were just a month old, he had to sell them off because he couldn’t take care of them nor afford their feeds… it’s good to grow capacity for things first before going into them….
    Henry Sir, you are highly talented. I enjoyed the rap poem!!!

  • Michael Abije

    Thanks for the motivation. Reading indeed leads to not only leadership but also Prolific writer. I have to grow my wings before any attempt to fly; soaring higher above the average level of the flyers.

  • Amaugo, Stephanie Chidinma

    Thank you so much Glofame! 😍 Please when did you venture into cinematography and photography? Was it a skill you learnt as a student or did you learn after school? How did you start? I’m asking because I have interest in this media field. Thank you so much.

  • Kooyon Abigail Aershimana

    Here is what I always tell people “learning is endless and so is self development”. You can never get better until you’re better.
    Just like the example of a tree’s growth so is our career/skills process of acquisition. It takes time and it is a gradual process. Before you become a wizard in whatever you do, you must go through the due processes without skipping any.
    We don’t become graduates without starting from the scratch.
    Na small small o
    And in all, ensure you have flair, love and enjoy what you do.
    Cheers Mr Glofame.


    Lesson for everyone :

    “We all MUST learn to make choices we can be responsible for, and NOT because we are riding on the confidence of others.”

  • Ochekwu Caroline Ene

    In this 21st century I feel parents, most especially strict parents who decide for their children what to study in school, should take a step back and allow their children to have a say in their future. They should stop trying to impose things on them just in order to continue their own legacy.

  • Ewenike Kaosisochukwu Bethel Pedro

    This post makes me imagine myself studying Law😹😹.. Thank God for my life though. Parents choosing course of study for their children should be a thing of the past in this 21st century. We should always go for our own choices/dreams no matter who is involved.

  • oforgu ifeanyi Augustine

    Getting to the top is not easy, but maintaining a balance at the top is a work to practically energize. One has to be at his best in what ever endeavour they subscribe to… Consistency smoothens the path of mastery and confidence frame work.

  • I so much learnt a lot from this post
    I must grow my wings before flying in order to keep on and not crash, above all to be able to reach my point of destination.
    Making choices that one can be responsible for is an important point here. One shouldn’t venture into something he or she knows nothing about just because of praises by people.

  • I totally agree with this.
    One has to grow his or her wings before flying. Nowadays most people rush into things without a second thought. We must learn to make the right choices and not to involve in things because others are or be forced to. We have to make choices that we would be happy at the end with.

  • Thanks ma, ready to fly without thinking to have wings is mostly the reason of not improving in writing.

  • Meeting you is not just a privilege but also a blessing.

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