After hours of trying to convince Niyi that you can’t “draw” an interview…it’s not graphics designing…bobo finally opened up in the way he knew best…
1. Please tell us about yourself (also include your likes/loves, dislikes, liked-dislikes, and disliked-likes).
My name is Oluwafunminiyi Imisioluwa Adeogun, but my friends call me Niyi. I was born April 24, 1999. I’m black, and I’m from a family of five. I have two brothers. I’m currently in my second year of college, studying design engineering. I’m also the CEO of VOG Unmi Ltd., and I do graphic designs during my free time. I was interested in art since I was 7 years old but I kind of let it die down till I started working on things like Photoshop, then I got my vibe back.
I love chicken, graphic designing, basketball (I’m generally a sports person), and I
loveeeeee music. I’m also interested in new technology and that’s probably why I’m into engineering –actually, my aunt influenced this decision, though she might not know this. She was, and still is, a very creative person. When I was younger, she always showed me how to make a toy phone with paper and other lovely designs which I enjoyed doing with her. She would take broomsticks and make very creative artworks with them and I always and still admire her. (I love you aunty!). I believe the first step to creativity is believing in yourself, so I love when I come up with something and I’m proud/excited to see the works of my hands. I really hate slow Wi-Fi omg, mainly because I hate wasting my time. Also, I don’t like pride. My disliked like is singing because I don’t have a good voice. I also dislike that I like playing games because I think I’m an average gamer. My liked dislike is people not knowing and reaching their full potentials. I also like that I dislike people not knowing their authority as Christians.
2. What does realness mean to you?
For me, realness is just being yourself; being honest and open, not because you are obliged to, but because you understand the value of it. As a guy, the society I grew up in taught me not to open up or show my emotions and I believed that mentality for a long time initially. Of course, you should not open up anyhow to whomever; you have to do it skillfully, with sense. But I found out that people rarely encourage being real because they do not know the magnitude of the value it brings to relationships and the society.
3. What makes you so real with people?
Well, I’ll have to say before I really met Christ, I was locked up and didn’t like to relate with people. My trust had been broken a lot by people and it made me build a wall. So I wanted people to see me as a tough person and that made me bottle up a lot of things. But after I met Christ, I learnt how to trust more. The truth is I met people that I could actually trust in Young Ecclesia Nation (YEN), people who pursued the same goal and from there I gradually learnt to open up. I actually saw the sense in opening up about my life as a strategy to evangelize to people. Even though sometimes, I’m afraid of overdoing it, I’ve also learnt how to set boundaries. I think the important thing is that I’ve learnt to trust in God more than I trust people. This makes me see people in the light of who they are in Christ and this is where I get that freedom to be real.
4. Do you have any regrets, challenges or restraints?
No regrets actually. This is because I somehow learnt earlier that you need to choose the right people to open up to, and that requires time. But this does not mean even these people won’t make mistakes, everyone does. You should actually train yourself to expect this and not judge them for it. But my focus was not even on them in the first place. Like I said, the main reason I was able to see beyond their mistakes was because I chose to see them in the light of who they are in Christ. This took a lot of conscious efforts and encouragement of course.
One of the challenges I faced, which caused a restraint in a way, was allowing people’s trust in me determine how much I could be honest and real with them. I remember there was a time I tried to gain the trust of a girl by being there when she needed someone to talk to and all those other things. But after doing that much for her, she still doubted me, and was not so honest. I don’t know why that happens, but I realized it is not in my place to control if people trust me or not, or if they would want to be real and put off the facades. Instead, I can always control the way I relate with people, making sure I’m always honest and real, but discerning how much information I should reveal at a time, and that’s what matters. Now, I see this challenge as an opportunity to do the right thing even when people don’t value it.
Another restraint was being real and honest with someone I had not built a solid relationship with. We all want to look cool and impress people, especially those that are new to us. But I’ve learnt that as much as you open up to someone, in all honesty, is the same way they’ll open up to you. You should be willing to give first, rather than expect what you are not willing to give. Your honesty and realness also helps people a lot. Like if you meet someone with a particular problem that you’ve had, what’s the point of keeping your story when you can share it to help the person? So I started opening up when it was necessary.
(At this point, Niyi started complaining that he’s wack at interviews because he is a graphic artist and he is not good with words. Then I said:
Eunice: (in a very casual manner) “Don’t worry; I’ll make it beautiful…”
Funminiyi: (in an over-dramatic tone) “Eunice you just confirmed that I’m wack, you see what I’m saying, I opened up to you and you just let me down, later you’ll be saying it’s good to be real…”
After much laughter for about 3 “market” minutes, we proceeded with the interview.)
5. What positive result has being real brought to you?
The best relationships ever. Being real has given me friends that I can trust and share basically everything with. Nobody wants to be with a shady, superficial person and so you won’t make good friends if you decide to remain in your cage. Open up and be free. If people judge you for being free about yourself, then take it as an opportunity to know that you can’t have them as friends and then move on. Being real and honest with people is even the fastest way to know those that can ride on the same boat with you. Again, you’ll never know if you remain in a cage.
6. Do you pick the people you’re real to? If so, what determines your choice?
The determining factor used to be if the person looked approachable, but that isn’t a criterion anymore. This is because I know I used to be that person who wasn’t approachable, at least, I tried to appear that way but I actually really wanted people I could be real with. Looks do not define a person. If I decide to open up to someone, in all honesty, and the person is not as accepting, I cannot come and kill myself. I’ve learnt to trust God either way and not feel ashamed of who I am, hiding behind the bars of being a man. However, sometimes, it’s not really something I can describe, I just get that feeling that I can open up to a person and I do.
7. Do you expect the same realness from everyone?
I do and I don’t at the same time. I mean, if they don’t want to be real, then it won’t kill me, and it does not stop me from being real and honest with others. That won’t make me run to my cage again. I understand that some people might still be battling with what we call “trust issues” today, and it’s not only guys. Even some girls are trying to form tough nowadays, but that would not stop me from being me. If they decide to not return this gesture, or worse, take it for granted, then so be it, I can’t be bothered.
8. Can you share some of the outstanding experiences you’ve had from being real with people?
One that comes to my mind first is an experience that happened in High School. There was this guy that I did not like because I just thought he was proud and I did not understand why he should be. I actually beefed him for a while but started seeing how pointless that was eventually. Thankfully, during my discipleship training in YEN, he came for one of the classes and I decided to say hi. It was weird because we never spoke to each other before then and we had been in the same set for 6 years bruh. Then he said he was not coming for any of the classes again, I encouraged him to come and told him some of the amazing experiences we had during the ones he missed. He said he would try. Lol, the next day he showed up, I was excited, but I did not know why. I opened up a bit to him, told him some of my hobbies and ideas that I had been thinking of during the discipleship session.
The way the rest of this story played out is really funny. This guy actually conversed with me in such an honorable manner, it surprised me. Apparently, he had been having similar ideas too. Before I knew it, we started talking like we had known each other for a long time and I eventually realized that he was not a proud person after all, he just chose to carry himself in a certain way. Our relationship sprang into something very beautiful and today, we run our company called “VOG Unmi Ltd.” together. Everyone sees us as blood brothers; apparently, our birthday dates are just a day apart which is so wierddddd. Now, we rarely go a day without calling each other up a couple of times, even with the distance. That’s how amazing our relationship has become. This might not be a perfect illustration, but what if I had decided to remain in my cage and not open up because of the way I chose to see him, rather than see him the way Christ does?
9. What are the things you try to avoid while being real?
Catching feelings bruh!!! This is because when you start opening up to people (talking about the opposite sex in this case), developing feelings is inevitable. But when I sense that it is going overboard and towards that direction, I just try to give some space and set things right. It is possible to develop great relationships with the opposite sex even while you’re being yourself, being real and honest. The important thing is to maintain your sanity by setting boundaries before you start saying the things you do not want to say.
10. Why do you think being real is important and what advice would you give to those who are considering it?
Drop what society has taught you and be yourself. You trying to form tough and strong all the time will deprive you from building strong and trustworthy relationships. Everyone wants this kind of relationship in their lives and not some mediocre and this is what you have to offer to get such. I would advise the people considering it, especially guys, to be free. You have nothing to lose especially if you can put your trust in Christ and trust that He’ll help you see people in His light, both the people that do, and do not accept you. Your true friends will never look down on you because of your weaknesses, but you’ll never know this if you haven’t even shared any of it with them. And don’t say you’re better off not letting them know, you are not ready for an authentic relationship in that case. You’ll never know how you being real and honest could actually help someone and show them that you care. Most importantly, it gives you such an amazing sense of freedom. Always remember you have nothing to lose for being you, being human, and expressing it.
If you are already implementing this in your daily dealings with people, I am extremely happy for you. If you are new to this and have just decided to start this practice, I am highly ecstatic, dancing for you right now in fact…let’s keep this rolling! Either way, I would reallyyy love people in both categories to share their experiences, successes, failures, struggles, and even excuses in the comment section below. Questions can be asked through the “Ask a question” tab. Blessings to YOU!