From: Ortega Ogomigo
Lagos, Nigeria
SUBJECT: Get Me Some Critics And Less Friends

I like friends. Common, they cheer me up, motivate me and believe in me. They are my rock stars! But sometimes, I do feel the need to have more critics and less friends because many friends won’t tell you the truth so as not to hurt your feelings.

You ask them how your work is, they would say it is good, when it is crap.

You seek their advice on your work, they tell you why your work is top-notch and you should just forge ahead.

They probably know the adverse effect of discouraging people and how it can stop their dreams and that’s why they need it won’t be appropriate to tell the truth. I was once like that. You would hardly get a criticism from me. I would tell you why your ideas are nice and your product is cool.

My ears and eyes wouldn’t be open to fish out the cracks. I was this all motivating moron. 

But a particular year, I believe in 2016, when I heard Olakunle Soriyan speak about his being truthful and his no-flattery state, I almost peed in my pant. No jokes. I thought motivational speakers will always push you and flatter you till you get to your goal. But I was wrong.

Real motivation is based on truth. You have got to tell your friends the real truth. Tell them in the pleasant way and they will improve instead of sugarcoating their processes and eventually make them meet the big disgrace.

While watching some of the funny auditions on Nigeria Got Talents, I almost broke my jaws with laughter. Before the performance, an intended performer was interviewed along side his friends to know their thoughts on their friend’s music skills.

Each of the three of them went on talking about why their friend’s music performance and skills can be likened to an Afro legend – Fela Kuti. Well, everybody including I, was anticipating the guy’s performance. We were all expecting to watch another Fela on stage.

He had already got impressive eyeballs from the audience owning to the frame his friends gave him. He got started…. And…


Nobody liked it. He voice was completely raw and untrained. He doesn’t have the charisma of the legend. He doesn’t dance like him. He went from high to low pitch of the song. 

I am not pro at singing, but I sure know that was one big heck of an error. The judges burburst into laughter and cut short. It was a disgraceful moment. 

What if his friends had told him the truth about working on his voice, his pitch, his charisma, his manner of singing… 

Perhaps, he could have wowed the audience.

I know criticism can be hard to take, especially when they are not painted the right way. But who cares the painting? You need to grow. It boils down to your perception of the criticism. See it as an avenue to improve. My biggest wins are from the indirect motivation of my many critics who claim I can’t do x or y.
Guess what? I am not doing it for them, but for me. I get better and improve my self. It somewhat challenges me and get me on my feet even when I am tired.

So pal, I know this pill is hard to check, but try it. Get critics as friends, they will show you the many flaws your friends may not point out to you because of the fear of hurting you.

Better yet, if you’re not sure if you’re strong enough to take hard criticism from raw critics, then make it plain to your friends why you’d cherish their honest opinion, that you won’t be hurt, but better. 

Try it. 

Talk later.