Kiki Omeili: Having the hands of a medical doctor, but the heart of an actress
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune” — Jim Rohn
Many people have actually questioned why a medical doctor would leave her practice for acting. In a world where the certificate is the ‘almighty,’ this is taken as an aberration of the highest order. But for people who understand that fulfillment is not a certificate phenomenon, but a product of living one’s passion; it is a decision that should arouse a round of applause.
From her primary school days, Kiki Omeili struck a unique covenant with acting; she knew there was something in it for her. Though she got admitted into University of Lagos to study Medicine, she was still nurturing her hidden passion for acting.In the middle of the rigour of studying Medicine and Surgery, she still joined the drama club and acted in various productions, as well as took part in several drama competitions.
Kiki’s life clearly pictured the supremacy of passion over certificate and continued evidence to support the fact that your certificate must not limit your thinking. Though she was studying Medicine in school, she did not allow that to hinder her from nurturing her heart desire. I usually tell undergraduates whose parents forced into studying courses that were never in tandem with their passion to look out for platforms to nurture their passion. It is not compulsory that you must study what you secretly love, but it is mandatory that you look out for platforms to express yourself. Your parents can discourage you from studying what you love, but they can never stop you from looking out for platforms of expression.
Omeili was studying Medicine, but she looked out for platforms to express herself by joining the drama group in school. You can join a group, a club or even practise politics in school. You can borrow a course as an elective that has to do with your passion if it is allowed in your course outline. Don’t allow your certificate to limit you; your destiny is beyond your certificate.
Another fascinating story is that of Segun Akinlolu, a Nigerian-born songwriter, music composer and bandleader, popularly known as ‘Beautiful Nubia,’ a man with a unique voice that has brought him more fame and fortune than his certificate. He actually studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ibadan (UI) for six years and also worked as a vet-doctor for eight years at the top-level practice in the country. However, he did not allow his schooling to interfere with his unique abilities in composing music. Asides being a musician though, he is a poet, social critic and a bundle of talents.
When we design our lives beyond our certificates, we would have many chances to bless the world through our unique abilities. Segun actually started writing songs when he was nine years old and would have loved to study Theatre Arts, but his teachers convinced him otherwise, because they believed he was too brilliant to study a course meant for not-too serious-minded students. He once said: “They told me that only people who aren’t brilliant study Theatre Arts. They said a brilliant child like me must be a doctor.”
The truth is that not everybody would be as lucky as ‘Beautiful Nubia,’ as many kids have had their unique abilities buried for life just because they were unable to think beyond their certificates. They were conditioned by the school system to attach their identity to what they had studied in school. Some of Nigeria’s biggest stars in showbiz and entertainment have science, engineering, medical and technology backgrounds. For example, Banky W studied engineering, while Dr. Sid have medical degrees. Okey Bakassi was once a senior special adviser on Entertainment Matters to a former governor, but was actually a graduate of Agricultural Engineering from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt.
Kate Henshaw studied Medical Microbiology at the School of Medical Lab Science, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Kiss Daniels has a degree in Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology (Water Engineering) from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Popular Nigerian singer and songwriter, Sidney Onoriode Esiri, completed a Dental Surgery course/degree at UI before pursuing his passion in entertainment and Tonto Dikeh studied Petrochemical Engineering at RSUST. I can go on and on with people that have medical and engineering backgrounds, but ended up having deep fulfillment and making maximum impact in entertainment.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Your treasure is where your heart is. I have realised through personal experience that our heart would continually go to places and people that hold our treasure. Where does your heart always go? It might be to orphaned children, widows, youths (like mine), sexually abused children, less privileged or physically challenged people. Go where your heart takes you, for there lies your treasure. Use your gift and talent. Never allow what you studied in school to limit your impact.
I want to offer one of my greatest professional advice to government all over the world. If you really want to help youths, don’t give them job, help them discover their gifts and talents. That is why talent hunt shows have solved more problems for the youths than what the government is doing. In fact, the main reason for the explosive rise and geometric explosion of the entertainment industry all over the world is simply because it is the only industry that is investing so much in talent hunt shows. Until a nation becomes a hub for talent hunt, it would always under-develop its youths. Hear this: Graduates who don’t think beyond their certificates would ultimately be employed by those who do. Never allow your certificate to block, blanket or hinder your ability.
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