All-conquering Novak Djokovic Sunday said a turbulent childhood where he had to queue for milk and bread in war-torn Serbia made him hungry for success after he fought back from the brink to win his eighth Australian Open.
The 32-year-old needed to dig deep to rally from two sets to one down for the first time in a Grand Slam final and battle past fifth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
His eighth victory in eight finals at Melbourne Park handed him a 17th Major to move within three of Roger Federer’s all-time 20.
Asked how he managed to keep winning in pressure situations, Djokovic said it stemmed from his early life.
“My upbringing was in Serbia during several wars during the ’90s, difficult time, embargo in our country where we had to wait in line for bread, milk, water, some basic things in life,” he said.
“This kind of things make you stronger and hungrier for success I think in whatever you choose to do.
“That probably has been my foundation, the very fact that I came from literally nothing and difficult life circumstances together with my family and with my people.
“Going back to that, reminding myself where I came from always inspires me, motivates me to push even harder.
“That’s probably one of the reasons why I managed to find that extra gear or necessary mental strength to overcome challenges when they present themselves.”
The match against Thiem was one of those occasions.
– ‘I was a bit shocked’ –
He looked in trouble after losing the second and third sets, with his energy levels down and a trainer told him he was dehydrated.
“I definitely did not feel good. I didn’t know what the next moment brings. I was trying to keep myself alive mentally as well, and emotionally,” he said.
“I was a bit shocked that I did feel that way because everything was fine before the match. For the first two sets, everything was okay. But it’s something that you have to accept that you’re going through.
“That kind of circumstances really kind of force me to let things go and to really try to be in the moment and fight my way back.”
The victory ensured Djokovic will once again be world number one when the new rankings are released on Monday, displacing Nadal. Federer remains third with Thiem moving up a place to a career-high fourth.
It also moved him alongside Nadal (12 at the French Open) and Federer (eight at Wimbledon) as only the third man ever to win eight or more titles at the same Slam.
Djokovic said winning Major titles was the reason he kept playing tennis.
“Obviously at this stage of my career, Grand Slams are the ones I value the most. They are the ones I prioritise,” he said.
“Before the season starts I try to set my form, shape for these events where I can be at my prime tennis, mental and physical abilities.
“Grand Slams are one of the main reasons why I am still competing and still playing a full season.”
By Ugo Aliogo
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has reiterated its commitment to driving growth and building the capacity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
Speaking at the FirstBank SMEConnect Business Clinic, held in Lagos on Thursday, the Group Head, Lagos Island 1, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Olufunke Smith stated that the business clinic provides an opportunity for SMEs to understand how to develop their business plans, and run their business. It is one of the key initiatives that the bank has put in place to drive development of the SMEs. She further noted that the Bank’s SMEs proposition is based on seven pillars that would connect SMEs to- capacity building, market, infrastructure, talent for business development, policy and regulation, finance and resources.
According to her, “Building the capacities of SMEs is an ongoing process. SMEs are the engine of growth of any society. At FirstBank it is our responsibility to bring them on-board through support, knowledge sharing, and advisory in order for them to add value to the society. The SMEs attending the clinics today have gone through a selection process and it is the first of 2020, there will be more clinics to be held in the course of the year.
“SMEs are the bedrock of economic growth of any society. It is when you have functional SMEs that the country can grow. It is noteworthy to mention here that SMEs are great employers of labour. When you have viable SMEs they provide various services and innovations that traditional corporations may not provide. These strongly underscore our commitment – at FirstBank – to strengthening their impact on the economy.
“This clinic is part of giving back to the society, thereby ensuring we continue to develop SMEs. FirstBank has recognised that for it to serve SMEs adequately there is a need to offer more than traditional banking services. We know that connecting SMEs to the right information and business tools can save turnaround time, cost and give them a competitive edge in the sector that they operate. It is on this knowledge that we have created value propositions for SMEs that cover financial and non-financial services.”
We expose SMEs to the best deals and they have access to tools that position them at an advantage for growth.”
In his remarks, the Managing Partner, Traction, Dolapo Adejuyigbe, said: “We have a coaching marketplace that SMEs can come on our platform and even firstbank platform to book vetted coaches that can provide advisory services to them either for one session or a number of sessions. We also consider re-emerging how our business clinics can work and how to bring insights and make it practical.
“The FirstBank business diagnostic tool enables SMEs identify the needs, especially operational, of their business and the business clinic is designed in such a way we can follow up on the impacts and also track the business after three to six months. The focus of this business clinic is to help them design the strategy for 2020. A core part of that is for them to understand the economic trends, and we have catered for different kinds of businesses and how the economy is going to impact them.”
In his remarks, one of the speakers at the event, Gospel Obele, said the clinic provided an opportunity to develop a business and market outlook for SMEs, stating that the goal was to scale economic knowledge into useable insights for SMEs.
Commending FirstBank on the SME Clinic, Obele noted that the event exposed SMEs to lots of opportunities for their business growth like how the Nigerian business environment is going to look like through the year as well as the transition dynamics of the consumer.”
He said: “Examining strategy from the outlook that was presented today, it is more of how SMEs rework their internal systems to respond to the changing environment that we have. Nigeria is a high fluid and dynamic economy which means that our own business environment is changing faster than advanced economies”
One of the participants at the clinic, Tayo Oginni, President/CEO, International Energy Market Place Ltd., said attending the seminar provided background knowledge on how to develop a road map for setting up a business in a structured manner.
He asserted that the business clinic taught SMEs the things to be aware of when starting a business, “the facilitator created an atmosphere of things that need to be done. I will strongly recommend that SMEs need this kind of intervention.”
Ogini also lauded FirstBank and Traction for organising the clinic, noting that one of the key areas discussed at the clinic was financing where SMEs were taught that cash flow is key in business, therefore they have to watch their cash flow.
By Platforms Montessori School, Ota
The World Hijab Day (WHD) is an annual event, which takes place on the 1st of February each year. Founded by Nazma Khan, a human right activist, in 2013, the day is being commemorated in 140 countries of the World, including Nigeria, to encourage women of all religions, colours, backgrounds and tribes to wear and experience the Hijab.
Do you (yes, you reading this) really understand the word ‘Hijab’ and why female Muslims wear this clothing? How truly do you perceive those who adorn Hijab? Beautiful? Godly? Oppressed? Or, indifferent? Come on board, you will find these few lines below as interesting answers for those questions.
The word Hijab is taken from the Arabic word ‘Hajaba,’ which means to hide or to conceal. It generally refers to the covering of areas considered naked in the body of Muslim women (Qur’an 39: 51).
Hijab represents a woman’s submission to her creator and her connection with the faith of Allah. It is clear from the Quran and the Hadith of noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be onto him) that Hijab is a religious obligation, which a woman has to undertake.
With this view, you now understand the word Hijab and the reason female Muslims wear Hijab. Do you know that there are benefits for wearing Hijab?
• It is an act of obedience to your creator (Qur’an 24 verse 31)
• It accords respect to those who adorn it.
• It highlights the Muslim women as pure women
• It sets her apart from/reminds her to be wary of immoral behavior associated with women who dress immodestly.
• And, of course, it makes you look more beautiful as a woman
Most people are not aware of these about Hijab, here are more of the ‘secrete’ for you.
• Hijab is for a modest and respectable woman
• Hijab is purity
• Hijab is honorable
• Hijab is righteousness
• Hijab is for successful women and believing women.
Many non-Muslim and some Muslim women still ask: Why do Muslim women wear Hijab? Today and always, your darling school, The Platforms Montessori school, Ota (Check more about us on our Facebook page: @ThePMSOta) joins Muslims from 140 countries of the World to create awareness for Hijab and to answer this question.
The simple answer to this is that Muslim women are ordered by Allah to cover their nakedness by wearing Hijab. (Quran 24:31) reads: “Tell the believing women to lower their gaze, protect their body and not to show off their adornments except only that, which is apparent and to draw their veils over necks and bosoms. And not to reveal their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons or their women, the female slaves or old male servants who lack vigor or small children who have no sense of shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together O believers in order that ye may succeed.”
Do you know we have different types of what people perceive as Hijab in different cultures? Here are a few of the types.
• HIJAB: The word Hijab describes the act of covering up generally but is often used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women.
• NIQAB: The Niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. It is worn with accompanying headscarves.
• BURKA: The Burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body often leaving just a mesh screen through.
• AL-AMIRA: The al-Amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close-fitting cap usually made from cotton and a tube-like scarf.
• SHAYLA: The Shayla is a long, rectangular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.
• KHIMAR: The Khimar is a long cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck, and shoulders completely but leaves the face clear.
Now that you know the different types of Hijab and how to wear them, it is pertinent to note that those who wear this clothing are easily recognized/profiled (Quran 33:59) and they should strive to be above board in their affairs with people. We cover our body, we should be far better than others in character.
YOU ARE A MAN? THIS IS HOW IT CONCERNS YOU. DRESS MODESTLY TOO AND ENCOURAGE (DO NOT DISCOURAGE) THOSE WHO WEAR HIJAB AROUND YOU.
AND TO ALL FEMALE MUSLIMS, LET’S EMBRACE ISLAM BY ADORNING OUR HIJAB. IF YOU ARE NOT COVERED WITH CLOTH TODAY, YOU WILL BE COVERED WITH SAND WHEN YOU BREATH YOUR LAST.
Platforms Montessori School (PMS), a school with structured Western and Islamic curricula, is located in Ota, Ogun State, South-West Nigeria.
You need to know more about the school? Check our Social Media handles including our Facebook Page: @ThePMSOta or call/WhatsApp: 08034380340; 07037419003
Poised to ensure excellence with their wards, The Parents/Teachers Association ( PTA ) of the Air Force Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos has reiterated its commitment to the issues of discipline ,pure character molding and better academic excellence in the school.
The parents stated this in a communiqué issued by the parents/teachers association and signed by the Chairman AFSS PTA, Mr. Ayoola Badejo after its emergency meeting to address emerging patterns of gross indiscipline amongst senior students of the school and complaints of excessive canning of students as punishment for misconduct by students
According to the statement, AFSS, Ikeja remains a secondary school of excellence amongst its peers. and stressed that issues of discipline still remains key element of building up the children and preparing them for their future.
The PTA noted that the schools authority must refrain from meting out excessive punishment to students, especially excessive canning to correct misdemeanour and infractions of the rules and the regulations of the school by students.
The PTA condemned some emerging issues among the students which borders on few students showing traits of been members of an emerging cult group called “the Marlians”
They expressed displeasure that the marlians have characteristics that include – Must be a drop out of school;. no use of belts;No wearing of pants and bras on specific days of the week; No respect to adults or age; amongst others.
They therefore agreed that parents need to pay more attention to their children as the children spend more time with their parents than in school and mandated the school management to do everything possible to ensure students do not become members of the marlians group as stated.
The meeting condemned in no certain terms, the parents that sponsored the publication of distorted facts on social media and newspapers of the incident that happened in the school, as it was established that no sick student was canned during the exercise.
Also Parents who sponsored the postings on social media, were enjoined to go back to undo what they have already done, that is to restore the image of the school
The house commended the Commandant for sponsoring the Commandant’s examinations in English and mathematics for the examination classes at his own expense and agreed that, the Commandant is the father of all the students in the school.
The Commandant apologized to the parents and gave assurance that, such will not happen again as the school’s counselling unit would be more involved in helping the children turn a new leaf.
It was noted that, the students at a meeting they initiated with the Commandant, apologized to the Commandant for their misbehaviour and thus reconciled with the Commandant.
The meeting also agreed that Students misbehaviour should be brought to the attention of parents by the school before things get out of hand and that, parents should deploy all internal channels to resolve any issue that may arise in the future rather than run to the press which is destructive.
No bird can fly without opening its wings, and no one can love without exposing his or her hearts, and just as wings are not only for birds, they are also for minds, sane minds for that matter.
Human potential stops at some point somewhere beyond infinity, as this was amply replicated by top range financial house, Fidelity Bank Plc., days back when the bank’s MD/CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo and his wife, Uche, were in their usual element, with the hosting of an array of VVIPs to an all-night of unlimited fun and enjoyment galore in the city of aquatic splendor, during the bank’s 2019-year end /customer appreciation party which took place at the weekend in Lagos. But while savouring the night of enjoyment with much to eat and drink, the obviously excited couple jolted the audience with the announcement of employment offer to a physically-challenged Chemical Engineering graduate, Michael Sowunmi, as a facilitator at the bank’s training academy known as CREST Academy.
Sowunmi, who is fondly referred to as “the world’s greatest teacher,” was so rewarded by the top lender, Fidelity Bank, on account of his inestimable love and wild passion for teaching. Okonkwo said the gesture to Sowunmi was in consistence with the unwavering CSR policy of the bank, aimed specifically at uplifting the less privileged members of society, which was in sync with the theme of the party ‘Give them wings,’ crafted to underscore the bank’s CSR initiatives and interventions.
The annual event which lasted till the wee hours of the following day, had in attendance key stakeholders, customers, public office holders, traditional rulers, regulators and policymakers like Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Deputy Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf-Gawuna, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman MTN Nigeria, Peace Airline boss, Allen Onyema, real estate merchant, Kennedy Okonkwo, to mention a few, just as top artistes and comedians like KCee of 5 Star Music, Niniola, Timaya. Flavour, Bovi, Larry J all thrilled the audience with their peculiar acts.
…as $200million investment goes down the drain
‘Government is essentially immoral’.These words of English philosopher, Herbert Spencer, came to the minds of many, since the Lagos State Government, wielded its stick against commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke NAPEP), proscribing their operations in six Local Government Areas (LGAs), nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and 10 major highways across the State with effect from today February 1,2020.To add salt to their injury, the State Government directed security operatives to embark on a total enforcement of the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018.This immediately sent the okada and keke operators into mourning,as the move,has shockingly taken food off their table.Blessing, a lady operating Keke, in Ogba area of Lagos, lamented, ’people will die of hunger, there will be no food’. Many Okada riders are now ranting angrily, they echoed that crime rate will increase with the ban. Worst hit are,members of Transportation Hailings Alliance of Nigeria, a group of investors in the motorcycle operations like the ORide, MAX.ng, Gokada and others.
They are now lamenting bitterly, as their huge investment and the technology infrastructure they built,will now go down the drain. Reports has it that,with the ban,the investor will up lose up to $200million,from the backlash of the harsh policy. Little wonder,yesterday, in Lagos, the motorcycle riders took to the street to express their grievances over the ban.
The riders, which include majorly that of Gokada and Max.ng staged a peaceful protest from Oregun road to the government secretariat in Ikeja.Bearing various placards, the protesters appealed to the state government to regulate their services and not restrict them from operating.
If you recall,in 2019,OPay the parent company of ORide raised $120million. That was after raising $50million earlier in the year.
In May 2019, Gokada announced that it has raised $5.3million by San Francisco-based Rise Capital.
Around June 2019, MAX.ng.also raised a $7million funding capital $7 million by Novastar Ventures, with participation from Japanese manufacturer Yamaha.
To operate in Lagos, government required for them to operate as part of local transportation infrastructure, which brought about the meeting with the Lagos State chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo,whey signed a memorandum of understanding.
Under the proposed regulation, each startup will pay annual licensing fees of 25 million naira ($70,000) per 1,000 bikes and then 30,000 naira ($83) per bike after the first set of 1,000.Little wonder,a twitter user lashed at the Governor,after the ban was announced, ’if OPay and Gokada is illegal, then this is also illegal’, displaying a picture where ORide and Gokada management team,visited the Governor,last yearhis office,to intimate him of their activities.
The current move,has sent wrong signal to foreign investor,they now see Nigeria and Lagos,as not conducive for investments,despite meeting all governmental conditions.
However the Government, through the Commissioner of Information Gbenga Omotoso, said “scary figures” of fatal accidents recorded from operations of Okada and tricycles,lack of regard for the Lagos Traffic Laws, and their impermissible movements on restricted highways had also contributed to traffic jams,are parts of the reasons for the ban.
He said: “After a robust assessment of the debate on what has been widely referred to as the motorcycle (Okada) and tricycle (Keke) menace, the Lagos State Government and the State Security Council have decided that the security and safety of lives of Lagosians are paramount.
“Also, the rate of crimes aided by Okada and Keke keeps rising. They are also used as getaway means by criminals. Therefore, after consultations with stakeholders, the State Security Council, in compliance with the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018, has decided to commence enforcement of the law which bans the operation of Okada and Keke in six Local Government Areas and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).”
Omotoso,further warned that the enforcement would be total, warning that the Government would deal with violators in accordance with the Laws. According to the Commissioner, operations of Okada and Keke NAPEP have been banned in the following LGAs and LCDAs: Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, and Coker-Aguda LCDA.
Others are Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo, LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, and Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.
The Okada and Keke NAPEP are restricted on the following highways and bridges:
- Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
Funsho Williams Avenue
Agege Motor Road
Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road
Iyana- Ipaja Bridge Agege
Dopemu Bridge Agege
Agege Motor road/oshodi Loop, Oshodi
Mushin/Isolo Link Bridge
Dorman Long Bridge
National Stadium Flyover
Apapa-Ijora Link Bridge
Liverpool Bridge, Apapa
Mile 2 Bridge-Loop, Amuwo-Odofin
Okota (cele)/Ijesha Link Bridge
Apakun/Apapa-Oshodi Bridge Network
Ikorodu Road/Anthony Clover leaf Bridge
Trade Fair Flyover Bridge
Festac/Amuwo-Odofin Link Bridge
2 Flyover Bridges along Alhaji Masha Road
Ojota Clover leaf Bridge
3rd Mainland Bridge
Ikeja General Hospital Flyover Bridge
Kodesoh Bridge, Oba Akran, Ikeja
Opebi Link Bridge
Jibowu/Yaba flyover Bridge
Carter Bridge, Lagos
Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Alapere Bridge
Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Gbagada U-Turn
3rd Mainland/Oworonsoki Bridge
Apongbon flyover Bridge
Cowry Bridge (Officers Mess)
Mcwen Bridge (Bonny Camp)