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On Mr. John Foppe's Visit: Disabled Motivational Speaker Visits Privileged Nigerians Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by 'Yemisi , Finland Nov 19, 2004
Education , Human Rights , Green Spaces   Opinions


I am writing to commend the efforts of First Bank Nigeria and Soft Skills Management for bringing Mr. John Foppe – a physically challenged American motivational speaker – to Nigeria. The purpose of his visit, amongst others, was to share his experience and convince his audience that one should not be limited by physical disability. His sessions were attended by chief executives and top management personnel from selected institutions, who came ‘strictly by invitation.’ Reports revealed that Mr. Foppe also visited Dowen College and the children in Atunda Olu Home.

However, I believe that his visit would have been more effective and life-changing if the target audience was a little bit different. An audience of physically-challenged Nigerians, especially those at the lower end of the social strata would have benefited more from his motivational talks than management executives. These people abound everywhere – we see them in every nook and cranny, we have them in special homes scattered all over the country. Some sit by the road-side everyday begging for paltry sums from the already economically-starved passers-by. Some are already making good use of their lives through sports – at least a handful made us proud at the just concluded Olympics in Athens.

Though the organizers had a goal in mind for their choice of audience, I believe that more would have been achieved if Mr. Foppe’s visit was devoted more to visiting homes for special children like Modupe Cole, Pacelli School, and many others in other parts of the country – the target might even be Northern Nigeria, since studies show that they record the highest figure in this regard. It is still possible to gather more physically-challenged people and give them hope for a better life. The services of experienced interpreters might be sought where there is a language barrier, it would definitely leave a lasting impression in the minds of these ‘physically and socially challenged’ people.

There’s no doubt that even the physically-able can gain from Mr. Foppe’s motivational talks. Perhaps, the organizers might need to look into sponsoring another visit by Mr. Foppe - but this time around, the target audience should be ‘physically-challenged’ Nigerians and not ‘mentally-challenged’ management executives. This action would be appreciated by more people, and would also benefit First Bank Nigeria and Soft Skills Management’s corporate social responsibility to Nigeria.

More About Mr. John Foppe
from http://www.johnfoppe.com

'Born without arms, John Foppe, MSW, has faced unique obstacles to living a normal life. But what he’s always had is an indomitable perspective on life – a perspective that empowers him to be a creative problem-solver.

By applying his own experiences as well as the unique insights he’s developed as a trained counselor and motivational speaker, John advises us how to confidently confront adversity and discover our own dynamic potential for productivity and fulfillment.

John’s public speaking mission started after he experienced a life-changing event during a missionary trip to Haiti. Since then, he has traveled throughout North America, Southeast Asia, and Europe for more than 15 years delivering high-impact presentations on attitude change, problem-solving, and performance improvement to corporations and organizations.

He is the author of a new personal growth and inspirational book titled, “What’s Your Excuse?” He holds a master’s degree in social service from St. Louis University. In addition, John is a protégé of motivational speaker and author, Zig Ziglar, with whom he has worked for over ten years. In 1993, the U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce recognized John as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans." This prestigious award recognizes young leaders for their positive contributions to society.

John is an enthusiastic man with a message for us all to hear. Organizations invite John to help their employees feel good about themselves. Sales organizations ask John to teach their salespeople how to handle rejection and stay motivated. Still other companies request John to open a meeting by positioning people in the right frame of mind for accepting changes or tackling challenges. While the sight of how he tackles life with his toes will amaze you, once you hear his message, you will not be looking at him -- you will be looking at yourself. John will take away your excuses, and arm you a new perspective on life.



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Writer Profile

Hello there! I'm Yemisi, a Nigerian female with a passion for developmental initiatives.

I love writing because it's a way of adding value to other people's lives, i.e. sharing. We all are who we are today just because sometime in our lives we had opportunities to read what someone else had written.

I like advocating for the voiceless, especially the less-privileged ones. I love programs that focus on children, teens, youths and women. I also believe that we all can live lives worthy of emulation (by generations yet unborn) if we contribute positively - by putting in our best in whatever we are involved in.

My first degree is in Economics and I also have a Masters in Humanitarian & Refugee Studies. I'm currently in University of Jyväskylä, Finland studying for a Masters in Development and International Cooperation.

I'm interested in issues relating to children, youth and women empowerment, especially in developing countries like Nigeria.

I have authored 3 books titled - "Child Development: Whose Role", "Let's Help Nigeria", and "Charisma and Character".

I am a facilitator, trainer, business advisor/consultant and a motivational speaker. My goal is to contribute to socio-political and economic development through skills transfer, knowledge sharing, networking and policy advocacy.

Thanks to TIG for giving me a unique platform to share with and meet new friends!
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