President Obama, Grandpa Aminu Dantata, JayJay Okocha, and the favourite luck is when preparation meets opportunity story

President Barack Obama had his mouth, brain and emotions in the right alignment during most of the speeches he gave after his success as a senator at the elections had made him glimpse what was possible. Grandpa Aminu Dantata was in a similar place in terms of being armed and ready all the time while Jay Jay Okocha, who had travelled to Germany on holidays, went everywhere with his football boots!

Many people believe that President Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic Party Convention was the moment the stars aligned for him. They believe the speech was the trigger that launched his successful run and eventual victory at the presidential elections. What if he did not prepare well for the speech? What if he took the occasion for granted, and was casual, laid back about the moment?

In the case of Grandpa Aminu Dantata, he had boarded a flight from Kano to London when he saw the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the time, Alhaji Abdukadir Ahmed, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji and other officials from the ministry of finance. Immediately, he got up and approached the governor and politely asked why his request for foreign exchange had not been approved six months after his application. The governor was surprise at the charge but replied that the request had not been brought to his attention. Then he asked if by any chance Grandpa Dantata had a copy of the application with him. He nodded and went straight to one of his briefcases, which was already locked away and retrieved copies of the application. When the governor asked if he could take the documents with him, he nodded. Assuring him that he had other copies. That was an important moment for Grandpa! What if he did not have copies of the documents within easy reach at the time of the encounter?

As for Jay Jay Okocha, he had travelled to Germany in 1990 just after the Lothar Mattheus-led team had lifted the trophy as World Cup Champions. He did not travel for trials or because some football scouts had invited him to Germany. He was in Germany on holidays! He had been given the address of Numa Binebi, one of the players that made Nigeria proud in 1985 when his team won the maiden FIFA under 17 World Cup. Numa Binebi was friends with Jay Jay’s older brother Emma. He was playing for Borussia Neunkirchen at the time. Because he took his boots everywhere he went, he followed Numa Binebi to his club for training one day. Moments later, he approached Numa’s coach and asked for a chance to train with the rest of the team. That was his moment! He never looked back from there as he went on to have an illustrious footballing career. What if he did not have his

football boots with him when he went for training? What if he had not been keeping fit on his own before that moment came?

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