Happy New Year + Feature in Local Houston Magazine

Happy New Year + Feature in Local Houston Magazine

Not a bad way to start the new year, eh?

To say the least, I am honored to be on the cover with these individuals. I know two people on there – Karen (center middle row) and Ilham (left top row), and reading the write up on the others, I can easily say that I am in good company. Please, head on over to Pages 62 and 63 to read more on (and also share) their stories. Link here: http://www.joomag.com/magazine/january-2016/0814543001451325863?short

Ayokunle Falomo. Local Houston Magazine January 2016

It is customary for me to have a word (or two, as was the case last year – create + partnership) to guide me through the year, and as I shared in the previous post, my word for 2016 is TRUST – aided by courage and authenticity.

I really do hope to hear a lot more from you all this year. So, I’d love to know (if you don’t mind sharing), what is yours?

Here’s to a wonderful 2016, and I hope it’s off to a great start for you too.

#DreamerDoerProfile: Meet Sade (@SadeChampagne)

#DreamerDoerProfile: Meet Sade (@SadeChampagne)
 Short Bio:

Sade Champagne is an award winning professional musical artist, performer, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, mentor, and Dream Coach. She is the Executive Producer, Creator, and Director of almost 150 popular charity events like Ventura County’s Annual Rising Star Dance Competition, Ventura County’s Vocal Superstar Competition, Grace Rallys and Love Never Fails.

Her events and performances have been attended by almost 40,000 people. She has been featured on many press and media outlets such as TV Guide Channel, Teen Nick, Acorn Newspaper, Ventura County Star and Q1047. She has sold out events, shared the stage with several Celebrities and supports charities and nonprofits all over the world such as American Cancer’s Society Relay For Life, BrittiCares International, Destined To Live The Good Life Children’s Orphanage in Zambia, Thousand Oaks Teen Center, Boys & Girls Club, People of the Second Chance and LA Dream Center’s Human Trafficking Shelter. Sade is currently headlining her #PowerOfADreamTour, mentoring students at Pacific High and Ventura High schools through her Superstars N Training Program and leading a free support group for dreamers and visionaries titled Dream Catchers.

She is an in-demand speaker, performer and mentor traveling all over California throughout the month. Her biggest dreams are to encourage others and help people’s dreams to come true.

You can find more information about her online: on Twitter (@SadeChampagne). Instagram (@IAmSadeChampagne). Facebook. and on her website.

 __________ . ________________________ . ___________
 – What does it mean to be a dreamer?

To me being a dreamer is about taking risks, transparency, consistency and persistence. You have to be willing to stick it out and keep showing up even when no one believes in you and you feel that you’re stuck in the same place. A dreamer has vision and sees everything and everyone with purpose and intention. We realize that everything is weaving together to help tell our beautiful story. There are no wasted moments.

 – What’s the most challenging thing about identifying as one?

2 of the most challenging things about being a dreamer is when you started out with someone and along the way you no longer seem to be on the same page. You want someone/people to share your dreams, passions and aspirations with, and it’s a struggle when people become distracted and fall along the way. You have to stay true to your vision and stick to your guns no matter what. These dreams and visions have been my most loyal friends since I was about 4 years old. I will not abandon them for anyone or anything. One of the other biggest challenges about being a dreamer is not being able to control the outcome or results. Even though we give our all, we prepare, we plan, we hope and we persist- we believe, we cannot control the destination. That’s the greatest risk in being a dreamer, BUT I have learned over the years that it’s better to spend a life doing and being what you love and not “make it”, than to live your life in the shadows and be full of could’ve, should’ve, would’ves at the end of your life. Failure is not the worst thing in the world, for I believe that regret is a far greater tragedy.

 – What’s the most rewarding?

The most rewarding things about being a dreamer are seeing people live in the glorious destinies and seeing a dream that started in my heart manifest into the natural. It overwhelms my spirit with gladness and gratitude every time!!

 – Tell us the dream (or dreams) you’re currently chasing after at the moment, what you’re doing to make sure they are not merely dreams, and how others can be of help… 

My biggest dreams are to help other people live their dreams and to travel the world sharing radical grace, hope, encouragement and joy to others. Currently I am doing this through all of my events, performances and mentoring. I desire to finish my debut album this year full of original songs and spoken word poetry and release it for the world to hear. I create every day, but some dreams are meant for a specific time. I focus on what is in my hands today, and that is how I stay moving forward and not feeling overwhelmed. Thank you to everyone who supports me through social media, my live events and shows, praying and encouraging me.

 – And lastly, since part of being a dreamer is contemplating answers to what if/if I could questions, “if you could relive any moment in your life, which moment would it be and why?”

If I could relive any moment in my life, it would be all the years I spent living in other people’s opinions of me. I don’t necessarily regret the past, but with what I know now, I wouldn’t have spent so much time wearing a mask. These days I am a fierce believer in transparency and not compromising or watering down my message and vision. I wouldn’t have invested so much time in conditional and exhausting relationships. The wonderful thing is now that I know these truths I get to live from my being, from grace- no longer apologizing for who I am and what I believe. I am free to be me!

Thanks for having me Ayokunle and thanks for being such an encouragement to me. The way you dream, the way you communicate and care are life changing.

#DreamerDoerProfile: Meet Tosinger (@Tosinger)

#DreamerDoerProfile: Meet Tosinger (@Tosinger)

Short Bio:

Tosinger is an Atlanta based sweet spirited indie artist, an inspirational AfroSoul/Folk Singer Songwriter. She is also a Writer/Poet and a Creative Arts Consultant. An eclectic woman of the arts with a warm personality and matchless passion, her message remains inspirational and uplifting. Her vocal essence & sound has been described as soulful and African, soothing and calming, her sublime voice displays a simple conveyance of heartfelt richness and freshness. She draws influences from her Yoruba cultural background, afrobohemian earthiness and an eclectic mix of artists including Mariam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo, Tracy Chapman, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone to name a few.

She released ‘FINALLY’ an EP of 6 tracks early 2012 and in 2013 digitally published – The ‘AfroSpire’ Demo project – a collection of songs with African sounds, Yoruba sayings and lyrics delivered in a contemporary style. She is currently working on her debut album due to be released in 2015 tagged ‘Organically Singing’

She is very much on the way to warming herself into the hearts of lovers of organic music globally. Tosinger continues to brand herself uniquely in the African soul/world music arena while her message remains consistently inspirational.

For more, visit www.tosinger.com. Follow her on Twitter @tosinger. & Like on Facebook/TosingerSings. She also blogs at www.tosingersblog.com.

_______________ . ____________ . _________________

Hello.

I am Tosinger, Afrosoul Singer~Songwriter, Social Artpreneur and Creative Brand Consultant.

 – What does it mean to be a dreamer?

I have to say I am highly honored to have my words featured on this inspiring blog, it’s a great feeling to have your ‘dream~ability’ recognized by others.

Just to give you, the reader some insight, I’d like to share my response when I was asked to be today’s Guest Contributor on the ‘Of Dreams and Deeds’ blog I wrote Ayo –

“You couldn’t have reached out to a more relevant person, a fellow ‘dreaming doer’ :). I am one who surely believes that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. My business outfit is called ‘Dreamweavers Entertainment’, my annual afromusic touring concert project is tagged ‘AfroDreamFest’, I have an upcoming e-commerce shop of artsy handmade work and future projects tagged ‘afrodreaming’, my sign off on my blog is … “Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing”… and so on and so forth.. need I say more? 🙂

So now that my qualifications are out of the way, let me tell you what being a dreamer is really, really all about. The tags are nothing if it’s not a reflection of the inside, expressed on the outside. It doesn’t just stop at branding projects with the “Dream” tag, it starts from the mind. To dream is to be in a continuous state of consciousness of “I can” — “I can do this”, “I can make an impact”, “I can add value”. To dream is not to only imagine or envision, it is to actually step out on a mission, no matter how little, slow or (un)forthcoming the steps seem to be. A dreamer sticks to their guns despite and in spite of, not seeing the end of the whole ladder but stepping on the rung.

A dreamer is a courageous individual who foresees the future beyond the present. I daresay a dreamer is a prophet. Dreamers are actually exercising faith on a spiritual dimension and as the scriptures say, without faith it is impossible to ‘see’ God. As I am of the Christian faith, I esteem the words of the Holy Bible. In Romans 4:17, the story of Abraham: “As it is written: I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—in the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” – God is being referred to as one who calls the things that are NOT, as though they WERE…

A dreamer, I daresay again, is exhibiting the characteristics of God, our creator therefore he/she is not an ordinary being. Dreamers are more spiritual than the world cares to admit, and of a higher inner being and essence than the average individual.

However, true dreamers don’t just sit and wish and daydream, true dreamers are visionaries and go-getters. As confirmed in the excerpt of a great book that I’ll highly recommend if you are still looking to discover your purpose or vision for life – It’s titled The Vision Guided Life

  Tosinger dreamer doer profile - every visionary is a dreamer...

 – What’s the most challenging thing about identifying as one?

One of the challenges of being a dreamer is being considered stupid, foolish or just simply unrealistic by others. This is why, depending on the circumstances, it is not always wise to share one’s dreams to every and any one in the beginning during the seed stage. Getting other “believers” on board, people who won’t scoff at your dream, a team who can see where you are going, people I refer to as ‘destiny helpers’ are few and far between, not very easy to find but they are out there if you look carefully and are at the right place at the right time. The energy you put out will typically attract the right people.

Another challenge is the emotional fatigue that comes with delay of realization. Time, mostly is a good friend, but given our human nature, we tend to get impatient. Considering someone like me about to hit my 40’s, I get worried that my dreams are not being fulfilled yet, while I have my strength and youth in the ‘afternoon’ of my life on earth, so to speak. And how do I deal with that? I just recognize that negative thought that seems to pull me back and replace it with something positive, that way I can escape the feelings of “Am I good enough?”, “Is it really worth it?”, “Is it still possible?”. I also read up on inspiring individuals who made things happen at different stages of their lives.

Funding also, is mostly always one of the biggest challenges for dreamers, unless one is born with a silver spoon with a trust fund to boast, getting the money to pursue one’s dreams is a high hurdle to jump. In my experience, I have found out and it is quiet ironic that dreamers who would be of a larger and major impact to their society are the ones usually strapped for cash to get things rolling. But we have to start where we are, with the little we have. True dreamers are frugal, and any income they have is usually used towards their passion. They would sacrifice self to fulfill a dream.

 – What’s the most rewarding?

The most rewarding part? When the dreams begin to realize, materialize and take shape. This is the most rewarding feeling of all. When you’ve done the work and it starts paying off. When other people start benefiting from your dream, as your dream shouldn’t be for yourself only. The value is immeasurable. The funny thing is dreams start getting fulfilled the time you least expect it to, it is not a measure of physical time in calendar moments (chronos) but kairos time (The word kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning “opportunity,” “season,” or “fitting time.”) Consistency is the key. Never stop, keep going. Never give up, keep pushing. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

 – What dream(s) am I currently chasing after at the moment?

I have a passion for music, the arts and my continent of Africa. So my dream is inevitably tied to these 3. I am currently working on new music (new album titled ‘Organically Singing’ due to be released Summer of 2015) and the kick off of my NGO Adopt a Guitar Inc (for more info, see www.adoptaguitar.com ) – a nonprofit that is geared towards providing music instruments and education to naturally talented, gifted underprivileged youth in African countries who need music tools and development but otherwise cannot afford them. My ultimate dream is to have an ‘Afrodreaming’ artist residency institute on a large campus on the continent to discover and groom upcoming talents who need an avenue and platform of expression.

For now, I’m taking it one day at a time. Slowly and steadily to win the race. Rome was not built in a day. A dream starts with a seed. And it will grow. In the words of Mother Teresa, “We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

 – What am I doing to make sure it’s not merely a dream
& how can others can be of help?

To get there, I make sure I am on a daily creative roll, doing something everyday that counts towards the realization of my dream. I perform on ground, write new music and I recently launched an indiegogo campaign for “Organically Singing + Adopt A Guitar” which can be found at this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/organically-singing-musically-giving/x/390330. I would appreciate your support.

 – And lastly, since part of being a dreamer is contemplating answers to what if/if I could questions, a fun question to answer was “what if you had 25-hour days (while everyone else continued to have 24-hour days), what would you do with the extra time?”

My 25th hour of a 25 hour day will probably find me doing something artsy or music related, listening to, writing lyrics or poetry and/or singing (maybe with my two boys). If I had the means and I could travel to another part of the world I haven’t seen, I would book a flight on that hour J. I have a thing for nature so I would probably also love to lay and roll in a vast meadow or dig my feet in the sand by the beach side, or stand under a cool waterfall and breathe out all the air from the hustle of the previous 24 hours.

I leave you with this quote: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world” – Harriet Tubman

Let’s dream in living colors…because if not, why not?

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing….

Tosinger

#DreamerDoerProfile: Meet Ibiene (@iamibiene)

#DreamerDoerProfile - Meet Ibiene

Short Bio:

Ibiene is a Nigerian twenty-something year old. She works as a security supervisor during the day and is the co-founder of The Love Eternity Foundation. She loves Ribena and is a sucker for good poetry. You can find a compilation of her odd thoughts here: www.twitter.com/iamibiene

___________ . _________________ . _____________

My dreams are valid

Ibiene O. Oguntoyinbo

 “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
– Lupita Nyong’o

What, to me, does it mean to be a dreamer? It means scars and bruises, but victory and attainment in the end. It means sticking out like a sore thumb, trying to communicate the things on your mind and in your heart to family and friends but it all sounding like gibberish as it falls out of your mouth. Dreamers are probably one of the toughest people around; because they move against the tide and keep on moving, feet swamped, legs aching.

I am a dreamer. I have been one since I was about 15 or 16 when I knew for certain that I wanted to spend my life writing and running an NGO. Of course, with my parents it was always: “You better go to school and get a degree.” Fair enough, education is great, so I went to school and got my degrees. But then what? It didn’t stop the fire in my heart from burning. One of the most challenging things about identifying as a dreamer is not seeing the same fire in the eyes of the people you talk to about your dreams; the people who mean the most to you sometimes do not understand the things that mean the most to you. I have sometimes gotten that nonchalant response from my family about my writing and social work. Till this day I feel as though my parents address the things I really want for myself casually, without understanding why I want these things and what motivates me to pursue them.

So, Ayokunle wrote me an email in October; he recently wrote a book of poems and wants to create an avenue through which a collection of people can communicate what it means for them to be dreamers. Part of that initiative is what you’re reading now. Reading Ayokunle’s email gave me mixed feelings: I was happy that there are several of us young people striving to do what we want with our lives, regardless of the obstacles we face. But I was also sad because I have been trying for so long to attain my dreams. I feel tired at times; sometimes I have doubts and question whether this is what I really want to do with my life and if at all I can accomplish it; I get unhappy that it seems to be taking so long to achieve; I get confused about the next phase; I feel stalled by circumstances (most especially financial ones).

Let me tell you a little about the dream I am currently chasing. I started an NGO with my fiancé last year, The Love Eternity Foundation (TLEF). We are a Christian charity aimed at reaching out to people in need. We exist to bring hope to the needy, the oppressed, the homeless, the poor, and are dedicated to helping the voiceless find their voice, the weak regain their strength and inspiring emancipation from the fetters of poverty. Our aim is to help people in their time of need, and partner with them as they transition to better, self-reliant lives. We aim to do this by starting small; by running outreaches to orphanages, prisons and inner cities. Our big vision is to build homes for orphans and the homeless, and to run free vocational schools where people can learn skills that will help them earn a living.

On 31st January 2015, TLEF will be launching in Lagos, Nigeria, with a visit to an orphanage in a suburb called Egbeda. We will be taking food items to the children who live there and will spend a few hours with them. We are really excited about the launch of the charity. It’s a small step but it is one step towards reaching more lives and making a bigger difference.

Like I said earlier, since I was about 15/16 I knew what I wanted to do, but the registration of TLEF and watching it become a reality just happened last year. That’s a 10 year time span. How many more ’10 years’ do I have, I wonder? With the money, time and hard work we put into getting TLEF registered with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission, getting a bank account open and a website up, you would think I would have been over the moon in excitement. But mainly, what I felt as I sent emails out mid-October 2014 concerning the launch of TLEF was tiredness. I just felt tired. No excitement. Just tired.

But I’ve got to keep going. Whether or not I want to. Whether or not I feel excited. Whether or not I get a response. Whether or not anyone even reads this post. I know that this is what I want to do and that I can achieve it. If I stop now ─ and I can’t, after sending God-knows-how-many emails announcing the launch of the NGO ─ I won’t accomplish anything. And I have to accomplish this. Because, cliché as it sounds, this is what I was born to do. And that is one of the most rewarding things about being a dreamer; knowing that you are right where you are supposed to be.

So, friend, if my dreams are valid, so are yours. Go chase them.

.///\\\.

Ayo’s Note:

Quite important to note, one of the ways to support the work that Ibiene and TLEF is doing is by helping to spread the word about the organization. Find TLEF on twitter (@LoveEternityNgr) and instagram (@loveeternityngr) and for more information online, at their website: www.theloveeternityfoundation.org.

For more information, donation, inquiry, partnership, etc., you can contact info@theloveeternityfoundation.org or ibiene@theloveeternityfoundation.org. Also, TLEF just got their first batch of t-shirts printed, so you’re encouraged to check them out on their instagram page.

Just for fun, I asked Ibiene: if you could go back to a specific moment in history, where would you go, and why? Her response: I would go back to the sixth grade; when Crystal Karam hit me during PE for no apparent reason. I would have hit her right back so that she realized that, like the rest of us, she was not invincible.

With what’s been said, I think the bar’s definitely been set high for the next guests who will be sharing their experiences in the #DreamerDoerProfile series. If you’re reading, no pressure…

of Dreams And Deeds | Hi, 2015

How time flies! Can’t believe it’s already 14 days into the new year.

If you’re reading this, I wish you a very happy new year, and do hope that it’s off to a great start wherever you are.

Keeping up with the tradition of the previous years on this blog, I’d love to share with you readers my intentions for the blog this year 2015. As it was last year – where I only had a post for each quarter of 2014 – my posts on here will intentionally be limited. Unlike last year however, most of what I’ll be sharing will not be from me. To make sure that happens, I have sought out dreamers who do (dreamers-doers like myself) who’ll be contributing to this blog starting this month, and in the months to come.

The idea for this – which I wrote about in this post – started in 2012 but sadly, I never followed through with it. That, of course, is changing this year. As I shared in the post,

Life is too beautiful not to dream. This is the purpose of this blog, to document those dreams, and the deeds that are being done as I journey to achieve them. However, I am interested in not only documenting mine, but others’ as well

So, it is in light of this that I’ve decided to create a section on this blog called G.O.O.D which would document the dreams of others…since I’m not the only dreamer here. It would be a great delight to share the dreams of others, and the deeds they’ve done (or are doing) to achieve them…

So be on the lookout for amazing friends of mine who will come here to share with you the things they are passionate about.

In the words of John Lennon, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us

Each contribution will be a kind of profile on what it means to be a dreamer-doer, hence the #DreamerDoerProfile tag that will precede the title of each of the posts. At the minimum, you should expect 12 contributions this year, which if that turns out to be the case will be posted on the 28th of each month as a way to commemorate the date I published the post that started this. The first contribution has already been drafted, so look forward to it 🙂

With that said, here’s to an amazing 2015!

N.B – If you’re a fan of social media, you can connect with the blog on there. Twitter: @ofDreamsnDeeds, and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ofDreamsAndDeedsBlog.

Now, that’s new!

Creator, GO CREATE!

Okay, I promise not to ruin this by talking too much. But,

I’m sure by now, if you’ve been following this blog, you should be familiar with Alim Kamara. He’s fast becoming an undeniable presence on this blog ( read why here, and here too)

This morning, I found this inspirational piece below by him:

So, what are you still waiting for?

Creator, go create. Dreamer, go live your dreams!

Getting Out Our Dreams…

You might have at one point or another come across this slogan…but if not, then you can from today say you’ve come across it. G.O.O.D is the imprint of an egomaniac whom we’ve come to adore or at least hate more over the years…Easy to figure out of whom I’m talking about, right? You can call him someone who is full of himself, a megalomaniac, an arrogant idiot, a jerk, a jackass, or whatever adjective you may (which might be true to some extent), but one thing that cannot be doubted or undermined though is his passion for the often ridiculous dreams he has. In a society like ours where conventions are applauded, which extends to music and “art” – two major things he’s passionate about, he breathes for the sole purpose of breaking those molds. He’s almost become the first to take a particular route;  and then everyone else follows suit.

Me thinks by now you should really know who I’m talking about….and if you don’t, well I’m sorry!

Now what does this have to do with this blog? It should be clear since this is a blog about DREAMS after all. As I said in the post before this (click, you’re welcome),

Life is too beautiful not to dream. This is the purpose of this blog, to document those dreams, and the deeds that are being done as I journey to achieve them. However, I am interested in not only documenting mine, but others’ as well

So, it is in light of this that I’ve decided to create a section on this blog called G.O.O.D which would document the dreams of others…since I’m not the only dreamer here. It would be a great delight to share the dreams of others, and the deeds they’ve done (or are doing) to achieve them.

“You, you may say  I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one I hope some day you’ll join us And the world will be as one” – John Lennon

So be on the lookout for amazing friends of mine who will come here to share with you the things they are passionate about. For the most part, it’ll ease me from having to bother you guys with what I have to say (what a relief that is!)

And if you’re passing by here, and think you would like to share things of which you’re very passionate about – your dreams!, send me an email @ ofdreamsanddeeds at gmail dot com so we can share with the rest of the world, and they’ll hopefully find your deeds towards achieving your dreams helpful enough to emulate as they journey to achieve their dreams as well.

We are ready, to Get Out Our Dreams. The world is ready to hear us (or at least I think this enormous cheering sound is indication enough that it’s time for your voice to be heard…so speak on!)