Artist Health

Inspiration: Harvard Africa Business Club Honors Chocolate City Group Chairman Hakeem Bello-Osagie, “Seize the Times, Make Your Life Extraordinary”

Happy Friday AML people!! It has been a rather busy week for me. We have a three day weekend coming up and I hope to really unwind and chill. This week on AML, as you all know, has been quite interesting! From South Africa to Kenya, Nigeria to Ghana, it was a beautiful week with the announcement of the BET Awards and the nominees in the Best International Act Africa category. We also saw great news from D’Banj’s camp taking Nigerian music worldwide with the lovely kids at Plumstead Manor, among other remarkable achievements. What a week! Indeed, I have lots of your videos, mp3s, legal drama, law and music business to discuss. I look forward to it.  However, this Friday, for me, I am getting on my AML yoga mat and bringing it all to the center. *Gets into AML yoga  Hanumanasana pose*

This means, for me, that I usher the weekend in with the speech by Hakeem Bello-Osagie , Chocolate City Group’s Chairman, that he gave at Harvard Africa Business Club a few months ago. Before I share his speech, let me share a few things with you. I have never been one who is easily swayed/impressed by the things people have etc. So, Harvard /Yale/ Oxford graduate etc. gets a shrug from me. Celebrity/Superstar person(s) also get a shrug from me, even though I have tremendous respect for the hard work they put to get to where they are. I have always been and remain interested in the character of the persons I deal and meet with everyday. That is what impresses me most and gets me speechless about people.

Accordingly, suffice it to say, I am impressed with Bello-Osagie not so much because he went to Harvard, has an MBA and law degree and has done all the great things his CV describes etc.; but because he appears to have a humble disposition and it appears gets the following:

  1. Successful people embrace failure and learn from it. Failure, as he says, teaches you strength and determination to press ahead;
  2. In the final analysis, never underestimate the ENORMOUS POWER OF HAVING A STRONG BELIEF IN YOURSELF;
  3.  I am impressed that he gets it when it comes to giving back to the very community that helped him become successful;
  4. I appreciate his encouragement of young people to dream big, travel the path less traveled, “be bold, be daring and take great risks,” as he puts it;
  5. I appreciate that he too expects from others as he expects from himself to “seize the times and make (themselves) extraordinary.”
  6. I hold parallel beliefs and try, daily, to fashion my life after these principles. It is why it makes sense to close out the week with the acceptance speech he delivered when Harvard University’s Africa Business Club honored him with its ABC Leadership Excellence Award. The Award recognizes the “remarkable achievements of HBS Alumni who exemplify HBS’s mission to educate leaders who make a difference in the world.”

I believe, strongly, that each one of us have the capability to be great and do great things. Greatness is not some abstract concept that we watch on television or believe only the Oprahs etc. of the world have or can attain. Greatness is a strong belief in yourself that all you envision and aim to achieve is possible. I say often whether I speak to individuals or groups that in the final analysis, it boils down to a belief in yourself. Believe in yourself, no matter how impossible things may seem and especially when things are not so great.

AML people, I’m out! Peace. Have a great weekend folks.

I’ll catch you all next week.


Photo: Hakeem Bello-Osagie in traditional Nigerian wear with Chocolate City Group Executives

Africa Music Law™

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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