On the 18th of November, all members of my nuclear family gathered.
Me, my dad, my mum, and four of my siblings.
We had assembled at the village home to carry out a spiritual activity.
It happened that my sister and her hubby had been having strange dreams repeatedly concerning the antics of my great grandfather.
My great grandfather was reputed to be a dibia (a native doctor) with astonishing powers of divination.
It was said that whenever he went to do an assignments outside his community and he was given goats as present, he commanded the goats to magically leave the place and appear in home back in the village.
From my dad we heard that he was so powerful that he made a covenant of protection of his family and the coming generations.
My sister’s dreams had a goal – we had to dissociate from the covenant he had with whatever deity by renouncing it and connecting with God.
Before the journey to the village, my sister and I had gone home to discuss with my dad.
He was strictly clear on what he wanted.
He didn’t want a pastor from any Pentecostal movement. He wanted a Catholic priest to officiate the process.
We agreed with him.
That day, the priest had come with his two lieutenants – a guy and a lady.
The lady led in songs. She clapped loudly. Her songs were high-pitched. Her gesticulations were frenzied.
At some point, she began speaking in tongues.
From where I knelt, I couldn’t believe my ears. A Catholic speaking in tongues.
You wouldn’t imagine my bewilderment when it was the turn of the priest to begin the process.
He kicked off with prayers and within a few minutes, he burst into tongues.
I turned in my dad’s direction to look at him. His head was hung low, thrust into a solemnity that’s typical of him.
My mind journeyed back to 1998. A Pentecostal church had sprang up near our house.
Every time they gathered to pray, they spoke in tongues. All we could hear them utter was “Robaseke robaseke robaseke.” Every prayer point, prayed in tongues, took the same expression – Robaseke.
My dad nicknamed them Robaseke. In actual fact, every Christian of the Pentecostal movement was called Robaseke.
When I left the Catholic Church in 2004, my dad would often pass an instruction that he didn’t want any form of Robaseke in his home. To him, it was unCatholic to pray in tongues.
Hearing a Catholic priest speak in tongues and seeing my dad bowed in obeisance made me get lost in thoughts.
What happened? Why are the Catholic priests now speaking in tongues?
I’ll say that an ideology caught up with them.
When I interviewed a few young Catholics I knew, they told me they were tired of the old ways and wanted the contemporary way of worship.
However, the Catholic priests who are advocating for speaking in tongues and feverish prayers are sort of being challenged by the bishops overseeing their dioceses.
The bishops want the ideology dead. Sadly, ideologies don’t easily die.
Did you notice the conversations concerning tithe on the social media? People on either side of the divide are in a constant battle of supremacy.
People can defend their ideologies so violently. That’s why a man will blow himself up with a bomb because he’s been promised the luxury of 72 virgins in Jannah.
Why do you live? Why do we live?
Ideology is a body of beliefs that guide our interactions and behaviours. It’s the roadmap of existence and shapes our worldviews.
If you’re able to understand that you’re a representation of many others and you’re able to work those reasons into your ideology, you’re able to wield influence powerfully and perpetually.
Ideologies are based on values. Check out Zappos.
Zappos has the ideology that the employees must be so taken care of that the dividends are reaped in two or three years. They are given option of taking $2,000 after their training because they want those whose hearts are connected to the ideology to work for them.
How does this apply to you?
You know that I’m always about you becoming a powerful and influential thought leader in whatever space or sphere you’re in, right?
To be so, two words are key – power and influence.
How do those two come?
Firstly, you’re either an ideology, have an ideology or follow one who has an ideology.
You see, my vision is for Nigerian writers to be seen as icons, worthy ambassadors to be invested in by corporate organisations.
My vision is for them to be put on billboards, role models worthy of emulation. It might seem a bit farfetched, but that is why I spread the ideologies I have.
I am an ideology.
I ask you : What’s your ideology?
Secondly, project the ideology.
An ideology is worth nothing if it’s not projected via communication to others.
That’s why I rise daily to share on social media. That’s why I speak at events. That’s why I send emails to you.
You just have to communicate them.
Push away what we call humbility – waiting for others to validate you.
Be unashamed in your projections!
Thirdly, acquire massive followership of folks who connect with your ideology and replicate the ideology and spread them like evangelists.
You have to become a master of working on people’s emotions. Make them feel angry or compassionate or powerful.
There are a coterie of emotions and there are ways to utilise each one for the ultimate goal.
You’ve got to make them feel themselves by reading them and knowing how to align what they feel so as to work in line with the narrative you want to create.
Great followership is a powerful tool of influence. It also leads to wealth.
So, the path to power and influence starts with a convincing ideology that inspires commitment, provided the ideology aligns with people’s aspiration and basic needs.
How do you grow powerfully?
Firstly, infuse elements of the divine.
Humans are known to want to relate with the esoteric, powers that are beyond their comprehension to help them comprehend the world around them. That’s why we are Christians, atheists, Muslims, and others.
Religious leaders understand this power. When they use the words, “God told me!” or its variants.
It’s how you do your things in ways that people see what you do as divine.
A man I can think is the late Steve Jobs.
You are revered as divine when you think differently. Act as if you’re chosen by the divine.
Secondly, have the ability to rebel against established norms.
My life has been about pushing against the norm. Right from childhood, I kicked against my mum’s selection of friends based on their ethnicity.
Being a rebel isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s positive as it infuses into you the energy to push for new lines of thoughts, untrapped by dogma. As long as it transform humans, go ahead.
You’ve come to point of not questioning and unbonded from the fear of undue criticism from your peers, family, and colleagues.
Thirdly, exude confidence in your spread of ideology. Consistently reinforce your perception in the minds of the people you lead.
That’s why you don’t find me splitting hairs on social media. I create a perception of wealth and progressivism.
In doing all the above, think three things – preserve yourself, preserve others, and humanity in general.
Have you ever thought of being an ideology?