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Are you feeling the end-of-year frazzle?
It’s that time of the year when everything seems to be moving a bit too fast, leaving you feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. Work, family and a wealth of daily commitments usually keep life busy enough but, at year-end, every day becomes so chock-a-block with pressing things to do that your every waking moment feels as if it’s diarised within an inch of its life.
At times like this, when extra tasks are being added to your already tottering pile of commitments, it’s easy to feel as if you’re on a super-charged treadmill, racking up serious stress. While it may not be realistic to expect you to scale down on your responsibilities right now, try these seven ways to boost your wellbeing and calm your mind, so that you’re better able to cope with the challenges of the day:
Bump up your Vitamin C intake
Opt for drinks with lemon in them. The vitamin C content helps to minimize the effects of stress hormones in the body, say researchers at the University of Alabama in the USA. Vitamin C, in particular, is one of the first minerals to be depleted in the body when a person is under stress, so sip on a cup of lemon tea to benefit from its calming, strengthening effect on the nervous system, or add the juice of one lemon to a smoothie mix of 2 cups apple juice and a handful of grapes. Just the smell of lemon will also have a positive effect on anxiety and lift your mood so look at diffusing this essential oil in your home.
Breathe in the calm…
When things feel frantic, burning a candle or a blend of oils can help you relax. A blend of neroli and frankincense oils will have a calming effect, while a candle with a comforting scent like vanilla, will soothe frazzled nerves. Or, keep a little bottle of rose oil on hand as it is deeply calming and uplifting. Dab this onto your pulse points when you need to keep things under control.
It’s 2 am and you’re wide awake…
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential during stressful times, but going to bed with nerves that feel shredded can result in you waking up at 2 am, with your to-do list looping on repeat in your head. If your racing mind is regularly stopping you from getting enough rest, take intentional steps to wind down before bedtime. Things like taking a bath and spraying your pillow with lavender essential oil will help you switch off and relax – make these an essential part of a calming, self-care ritual before bedtime.
A guided sleep meditation is a brilliant aid to falling asleep. Try the highly effective 10 Minute Guided Imagery Meditation or the longer, deeply relaxing Guided Sleep Meditation for Insomnia. If later on at night, you awake, and struggle to fall asleep again, calm whirling thoughts by counting slowly backwards from 100, or try this breathing technique: Breath in for one count, out for two, in for two, out for four, in for three, out for six, up to in for six and out for 12, then repeat backwards all the way down to one.
A more balanced life
In a hurly-burly world, the only thing you can control is your reaction to what’s happening around you. For a calm, more mindful approach to life, start off every morning with a guided meditation. It sets the tone for a balanced day, where you feel better equipped to handle whatever comes your way. Insight Timer is a brilliant free app for anxiety, stress and sleep. It has thousands of free guided meditations, which you can search for by theme, length or instructor, and features some of the best meditation teachers of our time, plus meditation sessions with celebrities known for their keen interest in mindfulness.
Get someone in to help at home
After a stressful work week, the last thing you feel like doing is tackling chores around the house. Take some of the pressure off yourself by hiring an expert and reliable cleaner from SweepSouth Connect. At the touch of a button, hire someone to tidy up and clean your home. It also helps that someone else has done the background checks of the cleaner you’re hiring on your behalf, which leaves you with even more me-time.
Take a zinc supplement
In addition to Vitamin C, it’s a good idea to consider a zinc supplement to boost your immune system. Zinc, one of the health heavyweights, is the second most abundant trace element in the body and helps build healthy immune cells needed to fight infection. It also reduces fatigue and plays a key role in the renewal of skin cells and keeping hair and nails healthy, concerns that often affect diabetics.
It’s okay to flop…  down and relax
This one is a hard one for driven souls to admit, but it’s okay to take some time out and do nothing. Create a pocket of time, even if it’s just once a week, where you forget about commitments and to-do lists, and focus solely on something you enjoy. Choose an activity that’s easily achievable and entirely for your pleasure, whether it’s watching your favourite TV series or listening to music. Switching into relaxation mode and doing something for your own benefit, especially if it’s something that you love, strengthens and energizes you.
It’s easy to get so swept along by the tide of busyness that we forget about ourselves and our own health. But remember that tomorrow will be just as full of demands as today is. Don’t lose sight of the fact that occasionally, even if it’s just for a few minutes, you need to stop, slow things down, take a couple of deep breaths…and just let life be.
How Lead Generation Fits Into Online Business in 2021
Africa and Tony Elumelu’s Concept of Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and Development

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A lead is someone who’s shown an interest in your business. Potential clients are given the opportunity to contact your company through email, phone calls, or social media platforms in order to initiate interaction with your company.
Consumers could be reached instantly around the world for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. There were more ways to get them than ever before. To be effective at market research, marketers need to adapt to local markets, learn about other cultures, and change their methods.
According to ggmoneyonline, pay-per-click (PPC) was introduced around the early 2000s, allowing companies to buy traffic from those looking for particular solutions. Search engine optimization (SEO) may be used to attract visitors and create leads for websites. Leads are part of the bigger process that people go through when they go from being visitors to becoming customers. Not all leads are qualified the same.
Email marketing is a low-cost method for firms to contact millions of potential customers. Businesses were able to create connections with prospective clients in specialized niches because of the use of video and audio. Nowadays, you can learn various online marketing techniques through the internet or from digital marketing gurus like Joshua Osborne Bam and others.
Types of Leads
There are different types of leads based on how they’re qualified and at what stage in the lifecycle of the company they work for:
Why Lead Generation?
Leads are critical to the long-term health of your company. But how can lead generation help your company in the long run? Here are some of the reasons why you should put more effort into lead creation to improve your online business:
You probably targeted a certain demographic when you began your company. What more should you be looking into? You may learn more about your potential customers via lead generation. It’s possible that you’re receiving engagement from people who are outside your target market. With lead generation, you’ll be able to see this pattern and incorporate it.
Lead generation efforts include a significant amount of content creation and communication. It entails creating high-quality material and generating dialogue on social media. The goal is to share valuable content with your target audience to position yourself as an industry thought leader.
As a result, a community of professionals that admire and follow your brand is formed. Some will become consumers while others may become brand evangelists. And who couldn’t benefit from more of those?
Social proof is important when it comes to encouraging prospects to become clients, and there’s no better way to get it than from a previous customer. However, you don’t always obtain them automatically. So, it pays to get testimonials and evaluations from your consumers.
You may then include this in your marketing materials such as your website, emails, videos, social media postings, and infographics.
Lead generation, when done right, may increase your brand’s capacity to reach out to target prospects. This necessitates the use of appropriate language, offer, and content to pique the interest of these specific demographics.
As a result, it’ll be simpler to attract the attention of your target market, making it easier for sales to convert them. The income growth potential is enormous, particularly when you concentrate on the interests and issues that your target audience cares about.
Lead generation isn’t just useful for identifying potential customers. It may also open the door to new business prospects. Perhaps a non-competitive brand in your sector contacts you about collaborating on a webinar event. Furthermore, by collaborating, you get access to their audience (and vice versa). Ultimately, it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement that may result in more leads.
Creating material and throwing it on the internet might result in traffic. However, if your visits aren’t converting into leads, it’s a waste of time. With lead generation, you’re taking a highly targeted approach to content creation. Everything you write for your business, from the website and email text to social media and blog posts, must be tailored to these unique audiences.
This makes it easy to develop subjects and messages that are relevant to each audience. And by doing so, you’ll increase the quality of your leads, which will result in more conversions and revenue.
Maybe you’re a new company that hasn’t been getting a lot of attention. Or maybe you’ve been running a business for a long time and haven’t been in the public eye. As a result, you want to get more people to pay attention to your business.
Making yourself visible and known is critical to the success of your business. You can achieve this by creating content that your audience likes, so they can share it on their social media feed.
Cold calling and emailing are unnecessary when you have a steady stream of hot leads. When your salespeople have extra time, they may concentrate on completing more transactions with customers who have already shown interest.
Conclusion
Lead generation is a continuous effort that demands evolution regularly. What works this year may be different next year. As a result, it’s critical to keep current with your client base’s evolving trends. By testing and upgrading your lead generation initiatives, you can guarantee that they’re producing the best results possible.
Customer review satisfaction feedback survey concept.
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By Jerome-Mario Utomi
When Tony Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), was speaking on the topic Philanthropy and Development; Where are Africa’s Billionaires? at one of the high level seminars at the African Development Bank (AfDB) 2013 annual general meeting held at Marrakech, Morocco, he advised African billionaires to invest in developing Africa through what he tagged Africapitalism.
He said this was the solution to Africa’s development need which should augment external aid, rather than allowing the continent to solely depend on foreign aids for its development needs. His submission generated some form of intra and cross arguments among stakeholders, business analyst and policymakers.
To some, it elicited this jigsaw: if it has been said that government has no business in business, what business does the private sector have in helping government to do its business of providing quality governance vis-à-vis infrastructure and employment to the populace.
To others, it was viewed as a dangerous fiction aimed at hand twisting the high and mighty. For the rest, Tony’s call was but a mere act of playing to the gallery.
However, instead of considering or aligning with these torrents of slanted reactions, the Onitcha-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta state born Tony Elumelu, contrary to expectations, did something theatrical that transformed his declaration in Morocco to action.
In 2015, his foundation established an Entrepreneurship Programme for Africans, an initiative that engineers wealth creation and consolidates economic self-reliance among beneficiaries while lifting African youths; the poor and the deprived out of poverty.
In 2021 alone, the programme, going by reports, admitted approximately 5,000 beneficiaries from across 54 countries of Africa and each got a $5000 seed capital. This is in addition to rigorous business incubation, management and growth training.
This is not the only way Tony Elumelu has turned Africa as a continent to a political geography where our youth can no longer be caught unprepared when it comes to meeting the challenges of their time.
This claim becomes evident when one remembers that organizations such as; United Bank for Africa (UBA), Heirs Holdings amongst other groups where Tony holds vested interest, equally spread their wings across Africa creating tens of thousands of direct employment.
In fact, the global community, especially development organizations/agencies, thinks that the concept of philanthropy has evolved over and what Tony is doing is the best way to solve the youth unemployment problem in Africa. This partly explains the support/endorsement his foundation is receiving from these agencies.
Understandably also, aside from the truth by the global community that the war against unemployment and underdevelopment in Africa must start from within, two particular realities, in my view, stand Tony out as well as work in his favour.
First is his belief that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through the tireless effort and the persistence work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation’. The second is that as a creative leader, he enjoys intrinsic motivation that comes with personal growth, helping other people develops, taking on social causes and making a difference in the world.
With the above highlighted, the question now is: why is this piece fixated with Tony Elumelu’s private efforts at this critical time when Africa is going through the pangs of insecurity? To what extent is the insight provided by Elumelu’s model described above adequate for the socioeconomic rejuvenation of Africa?
This piece will consider these questions by examining some developmental-focused attributes that Tony and his foundation presently signpost and highlights which must not be allowed to go with the political winds. They need to be identified, critically studied in detail and useful lessons drawn by other African billionaires, captains of industries, and public office holders among others.
Most fundamental of all is Tony’s new awareness that Africa needs to do away with short-term thinking. That we should be investing over-time horizons measured in decades, rather than fiscal quarters. We must stop the practice of extracting wealth without reinvesting for growth. We should be strategically building domestic industries and manufacturing to support our national economies, and growing intra-African trade.
Without doubt, he (Elumelu) may not be wrong looking at the current happenings within the continent. It is true that the continent has overtly shown remarkable improvement in culture and civilization.
However, in my view, for the fact that after almost 60 years of independence, African countries continually look up to countries such as China for aid, covertly tells a story of a continent lacking in capacity for taking responsibility for its actions and initiatives for values.
Making it a crisis is the awareness that despite being the second most-populated continent in the world (1.2 billion people), Africa represents only 1.4% of the world manufacturing value added in the first quarter of 2020. This is in addition to the fact that Africa as a continent, only South Africa qualified as a member of BRICS, an acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
From the above challenge, flows another reason why Tony Elumelu’s present efforts deserve our praise and commendation.
He has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is a man that understands Corporate Social Responsibility as a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model and functions as built-in self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit, ethical standards, and international norms-and manifested by the act of giving back to the society through adherence to the societal norms and support to the spirit of sustainable development and mutual benefit to the organization and her operational environment.
Very instructive also is his relentless effort to find a solution to youth unemployment and developing a climate of sustainable future and innovation in Africa.
Talking about youth unemployment in Nigeria, a report recently put it this way: “We are in dire straits because unemployment has diverse implications. Security wise, large unemployed youth population is a threat to the security of the few that are employed. Any transformation agenda that does not have job creation at the centre of its programme will take us nowhere.
“Youths challenge as we know cuts across, regions, religion, and tribe, and has led to the proliferation of ethnic militia/youth restiveness across Africa.”
Finally, while Elumelu teaches all with his own brand of philanthropy/charity that we are successful for others as the era where winner takes all no longer exists, this piece must as a final note underline that until other rich and well foresighted Africans like Tony start thinking ‘win-win’ for all Africans as well as  recognize that charity entails selfless service where one renders assistance and walks away without waiting for any returns, Africa will continue to be viewed by civilized nations as a dark continent.
By Jerome-Mario Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374.
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By Noah Christopher
Nearly six months ago, Premiere Academy entered the media spotlight when news broke that one of its students, Karen Happuch Akpagher, had died in a hospital in Abuja.
The news of the death of the 14-year old diabetics’ patient which occurred on 22nd June 2021 soon became a hot issue as several media stories authoritatively claimed she was raped to death, sodomized and forced into an oath of secrecy to booth.
Expectedly, the Nigeria Police Force, first through the FCT Police Command and, later, the Office of the Inspector General of Police, promptly commenced investigations into the matter same June, leading to an autopsy conducted in July.
Several other government agencies such as the Ministry of Education, the Directorate of Quality Assurance, the National Human Rights Commission and a few other external bodies also waded into the case by conducting probes and investigations on diverse scales and to cover different angles.
The Premiere Academy PTA and Board also conducted internal investigations. However, despite all the probes, the answer to the key question of Who/What killed Karen has not been found. Interestingly, none of these probes has indicted the school or led to halting its operation.
Perhaps, tired of waiting for official police reports on the autopsy and investigation and seeking to prevent the issue from being swept into silence, Lemmy Ughegbe, an Abuja based journalist, human rights activist and school proprietor instantly activated his NGO, Coalition of Gender-Based Violence Responders, to promote the cause of championing justice for Karen Akpagher.
With Karen’s mother by his side, Lemmy Ughegbe and GBV Responders have launched coordinated multi-pronged advocacy spanning media and political institutions, with the aim of getting the death of Karen hanged on Premiere Academy.
The evidence, according to the media interventions by the group, is a report allegedly issued to the Akpagher family by Queen’s Hospital, Abuja that said decomposed condom particles were found in the late teenager’s genital, in addition to dead spermatozoa.
No audio or video recording of the victim accusing the school or any staff of raping or sexually molesting her; no notation on rape or sexual molestation in the victim’s diary (from which a few media stories have lifted entries); no conclusive report from the autopsy witnessed by all parties and supervised by the police; no report from the police or any private investigator has surfaced to back the claim of rape to date.
Perverting Cause of Justice…
In what appears like frustration by a failure of the coordinated campaign to nudge the relevant state and non-state institutions into a mob-styled condemnation of the school, the GBV Responders has further accused the school of blocking the Akpagher family from getting justice.
The coordinated social media campaign to push this viewpoint claimed because the owner of the school is a highly connected Nigerian, he was using his connection to obstruct justice for Karen.
However, to accuse a school that has opened its doors to and provided its officials for not less than 16 investigations, invitations, probes and interviews on this Karen matter by several interested bodies from June 25th to December 9th of persecuting the cause of justice seems unfair.
Curiously, a check at the school revealed that the GBV Responders that has been championing this claim was one of the NGOs that visited the school on July 3rd to conduct an investigation.
Others that have also visited the school, apart from the Police, include the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Council (2nd July), Directorate of Quality Assurance, FCT Headquarters (2nd July), NAPPS, FCT Chapter (9th July), Abuja Municipal Area Council (9th July), Federal Ministry of Education (8th October), Association of Nigerian Female Students, FCT Chapter (22nd July), NANS, FCT Chapter (22nd July) and FCIID (Severally between 9th November and 9th December).
None of the visitors has accused the school of non-cooperation or obstructing investigation. This may be what has prompted the school to continue to declare that it has nothing to hide and would always welcome every noble effort made to get to the bottom of this sad event.
In trying to prove its innocence and disprove the charge of perverting the cause of justice, the school said it has written three letters to the police pleading for the public release of the autopsy report and report of investigation in the case.
From copies sighted, the first letter dated 27th August, 2021 was addressed to the FCT Police Command while two other letters dated 1st December, 2021 and 6th December, 2021 respectively were addressed to the Inspector General of Police. While the police acknowledged receipt of the three letters, it has not responded to any of them or granted the school’s prayer. It is doubtful if the school’s action fits the charge of obstructing the cause of justice
Twisting The Story To Fit A Purpose…
It appears in order to get the school hanged for the allegation of rape, efforts had to be made to show that Karen left the school premises on the 19th June in “serious pains and barely able to walk” (to quote a respected columnist and social commentator who has weighed in on the matter) when she went home, never to return to the school.
Facts are sacred. So, here are a few incontrovertible facts our investigation turned up on how Karen left the school campus on the fateful day.
First, she was picked from school by her mother in person (together with an uncle of hers who had always been coming to pick and drop her on the mother’s instruction). She walked out of the school gate unaided, carrying her luggage to meet her mother. Her mother received her; they rode in the same vehicle and was taken home by her mother.
It is doubtful that if she was in pain and unable to walk or manifesting any sign of unwellness, the mother would not make immediate contact with the school and/or take her straight to the hospital. But, the mother drove with her from the school without any complaint and they went home together.
Moreover, she was at home with the mother from 19th to 21st when the mother said she developed a health crisis that made her to be taken to the hospital IMMEDIATELY on the 21st.
School’s CCTV clips on YouTube (https://youtu.be/hqOa2jg_Ym8) shows Karen in school from 17th June to the moment she exited school on the 19th. Before leaving school, she went to see an ophthalmologist outside the school, on the mother’s instruction, same 19th June. School’s academic record also shows she wrote CA tests on Friday, 18th June.
Could a 14-year old have been so superhuman to hide her pains effortlessly and appear bubbly while undertaking all the multiple tasks that filled her day in the manner the late Karen did?
The late Karen, it should be recalled, was a Diabetics’ patient constantly under strict health watch. She had been diagnosed to be diabetic since age nine years.
DNA as a Way Pointer…
The House of Representatives has directed that a DNA test be conducted on all male staff of Premiere Academy, to fish out the alleged rape culprit. While the directive is commendable, our investigation shows that there is a need to even cast the net wider in view of certain peculiarities uncovered about the Akpagher family environment.
For instance, it was discovered that Karen has two elder brothers who were also students of the same Premiere Academy with her. While one graduated in 2020, the other was still a student in the school until after the unfortunate event.
She also has a custodian uncle who, it was discovered, was always going to pick and drop her in school. Unconfirmed report said this uncle organised a birthday party for Karen and some of her friends in a restaurant in town on April 10th to mark her 14th birthday. The uncle, it was further learnt, took her to the party.
It was also learnt that the same uncle picked only Karen from school during the id-el-Fitri break on 12th May while leaving his brother behind to observe the break in school. This, from the investigation, was found to be a departure from the regular practice of picking and dropping both students together.
Upon further probe, it was discovered that while the said Salah break was meant to end on 16th May, Karen was only returned to the school by her uncle on 23rd May, clear 7 days after the resumption.
She was to die one month later; allegedly from a rape incident whose features, according to her mother and GBV Responders, left decayed condom particles in her genitals.
With the late Karen surrounded by two brothers who have their other male friends visiting the Akpagher home as well as an uncle who was found to have been mostly responsible for picking and dropping her in school, it is only fair and commonsensical to look way beyond the school in order to unravel the question of who could have raped the teenager, if indeed she was raped.
Justice Begins With Disclosures…
For justice to be done and seen to be done in the case of Karen Akpagher, the police need to release the autopsy and investigations reports. So many questions begging for answers may remain unresolved until the police reports are released.
According to a cross-section of analysts’ opinion, all parties in the case – the Akpagher family, GBV Responders and Premiere Academy – should jointly and individually put pressure on the police to do the needful rather than continue to throw mud around and promote wild, unfounded accusations, unless the mud throwing is designed to achieve an end that the larger public does not yet know.
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