At A POINT IN MY LIFE I WORE A SKIRT INSTEAD OF SHORTS TO SCHOOL- DR.RAPHAEL JAMES
DR.RAPHAEL JAMES is the founder and Director General of CRIMMD – Center for Research, Information Management and Media Development. CRIMMD is a center that manages information; media and political research; biographical and autobiographical writings; documentations, exhibitions and script editing. A non-political, non-governmental, non-profit making but standard research developmental institution.
He is the founder of the largest Photo Museum of Nigeria History with over 37, 000 photos, Publisher of African Dame and The National Biographer Magazines; The National Biographer Magazine has interviewed some of the VIP’s in Nigeria, including former Military President Babangida and former President Goodluck Jonathan. He has written 68 manuscripts and published only 20 books. He has so far donated 31, 000 books as at January 11, 2019.
James operates a free public library that has contributed to uplift the educational standard in Nigeria for the past 14 years, the library started with less than 100 books and today has about 44, 000 books. He also donates books to orphanages and gives free trnsformational speeches to students.
James has won a total of 122 awards for his commendable works to humanity. His awards include: ‘The Grand Master of Books Donation in Nigeria Award of Excellence’, October 13, 2018. ‘Kofi Annan Global Integrity Historic/Educative Tourist Of The Year Award, 2018’ by the “SOUTH AFRICA INTEGRITY MEDIA-GROUP, September 26, 2018. He was listed among the “Top 100 Tourism personalities in Nigeria 2018” by ‘Travellers Magazine’ October 10, 2018. He was awarded ‘Nigeria’s Leading Cultural Ambassador of the Year 2017 in Diaspora’ from Dallas, Texas, USA by “The Nigeria Standard Newspaper” alongside Dr Joe Okei Odumakin, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. He received the ‘Educational Promotional Ambassador Award’ By Jonnygee Communication Concepts. He got the ‘DEEDEE Entertainment/Humanitarian Award’ from Maryland, USA, and the ‘Tourism Educational Ambassador Award’. He was listed among the 5 enterprising Africans for the last quarter of 2016 by the ‘African Enterprise Magazine’; He received the “NAFB 2016 IMAGE AWARD” from Houston, Texas, USA. He was among the 5 finalists and was the first runner-up out of a total of 792 nominees across Africa in the “SDLG Africa’s Most Reliable Person Award”, where he represented Nigeria. He received the ‘African Institute of Enterprise Development and Management Award’ for the Development of Educational Empowerment and leadership.
He has also received Appreciations/Commendations Letters, including the Lagos State Government Education District VI Appreciation letter for the Development of Education in the District in October 4, 2007, the NTA 2 Channel 5 Lagos Commendation letter for encouraging reading habit in the Nigerian Society in September 24, 2007, a Letter of Appreciation for assisting Katrina victims from the USA president, Bill Clinton, in October 2005, the NYSC Abia State Secretariat Appreciation Letter for contributions at the “NYSC Millennium Festival of Theatre” in February 2000 and the Commendation Letter on the General Aguiyi-Ironsi biography from Queen Elizabeth of England. March 17, 1997
He is also a historic and educative tourist; in Nigeria he has visited 31 states since March 2015. He has visited the East African countries of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya where he met with the 96 year old granny of President Barrack Obama of America. He also visited the West African countries of Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana. While in Ghana, he held deliberations with the former head of Military Government and President of Ghana, President Jerry John Rawlings.
He sponsored the first, second and third prizes, including the ‘Dr. Raphael James Library Prize’ for participants of the ‘Speak Quill Initiatives’ 2016 Independence Day writing competition for secondary schools. He was the Patron of “Readers And Leaders Network” (August 20th 2016), an initiative of ‘Information Givers Kids’ and ‘Skye Aimers Visions’ who are keen on inculcating the love for books among students in Secondary Schools, he is also the first Creative Patron of the Association of the Nigerian Authors (ANA) Lagos Branch, a recognition he got on August 13, 2016 based on his contribution to the growth of the Lagos ANA Literary Creativity. He was a Patron of the Kinder Heart Foundation in 2013, a Patron of MONAMI in 2008, a Patron of the Igbo Students Association, OSUA, in 1993.
He was a Director of ‘Women Tower Radio Station’ in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2015, a Honorary member of the Board of Trustee for ‘Life Experience Radio Talk Show’; a weekly personality talk show on Radio by Eva Media in July 29, 2013, a member of Institute of Business Advisers (IBA) in December 14, 2014, a Fellow at the African Institute of Entrepreneurship in 2008. He was actively involved in the National Coordinator Read Nigeria Project (RNP) in 2008. He was the President of the IBB ‘007 team in 2007, a member of The Nigerian Project South West Zone in 2007, the Chairman of the Rotary Foundation at Rotary Club of Ejigbo in 2007; he was Secretary General of The GoodWay Foundation in 2004, a Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Sales Management in 1999, the President of AWOG (Abians Wants Orji As Governor) in 1998, the President of JARAPH BOOKS in 1998, an associate member of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relation in 1998, a Corporate member of the Nigerian Association of Inventors in 1997, the Assistant Publicity Secretary in the Abia State Development Organisation – ABSDO in 1996, he was a member of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs in 1995,he was President of ‘The Anti-Smokers’ in 1994, a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management, 1993, a member of the Rotaract Club in Ondo State University Ado-Ekiti in 1989, the President of the Ready Help Society, Ado-Ekiti in 1989.
He served as Administrative Officer in Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti (NYSC), from 1992 to 1993, he was the Administrative Manager of the Nigeria Philippines Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Apapa from 1997 to 1999, he was the Media Relation Manager of the Slok Group Ltd, owners of Slok Airline from 1998 to 1999, a Special Assistant (Research) to the Chairman of NARECOM in the Presidency in Abuja, 1996 and a Media Assistant to Abia State Governor at the Government House in Abia from 1999 to 2000, he was Director General of the Center For Research, Information Management and Media Development – CRIMMD in Lagos from 2004 till date and he was appointed the Registrar of the African Institute of Entrepreneurship, Lagos in July 15, 2011.
James hails from Abia State, married Princess Folasade from Ogun state and has three children; a boy and two girls. His eldest daughter is Nigeria/Africa’s youngest published author at the age of 5 plus. He attended Isolo Grammar School, Isolo, Lagos State, he was a graduate of Psychology with Honours from the Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti, he holds a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the California State University, a Diploma Certificate in Computer Desktop Publishing and a Diploma Certificate in Journalism.
Dr Raphael James in this chat with Ola Akinwe, Founder of Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network-BMAN shared his thoughts while responding to the Mentor Me Series;
Turning Point and Your Greatest Success
In my 3rd year in secondary school, I decided to go against the school rules and regulations. I disobeyed the laws. I left my hair unkempt, I wore a skirt instead of shorts, I wore a long sleeve shirt instead of short sleeve, I wore female sandals instead of my ‘Bata-Contina’ school approved sandals. That faithful day, my principal called me out on the morning assembly to the same spot he was standing. Before then, he announced to us: “Today, I will show you all a good example of a bad student”. He called my name “Raphael James” and the school went wild yelling “James Bond! James Bond!” Because that was my nickname. I made up my mind as I stepped out that the worse he would do was to flog me but I was disappointed. He did not flog me. He cut my skirt open, cut one hand of my long sleeve shirt, cut a part of my hair and my Angelina female sandals then he ordered me thrown out of the school. As I walked home, I wept. I got home, changed and went to a barber, cut my hair, had a bath, changed to my proper school uniform and returned to see my principal all within an hour. When I walked into his office, the old man looked at me and tears rolled down his eyes, I joined him. We both cried and he asked that the school alarm bell be rang and again, the school gathered. He walked up the assembly ground again and told them: “In the morning, I showed you a good example of bad student. Now, I want to show you what a responsible student should look like. As the students looked around for who it was, I was called out of the staff room from the door on my right.
As I stepped forward, the school became hysterical with shouts of “James Bond!” The Principal appointed me the School Sanitary prefect. I became the first junior student to hold a school ‘prefectship’ for my immediate change in character and from that point, I remained good without looking back. That, I will say, was the turning point in my life.
I’m not so sure about my greatest success for now but on record, I run the richest photo Museum on Nigeria history. I was voted the most reliable man in Africa in 2016 from China. I am the father of Africa’s Youngest Published Author at the age of 6. I was listed among the 5 enterprising Africans for the last quarter of 2016 by the ‘African Enterprise Magazine’, in October 2016. I have met with and had interactions with families of 14 African presidents and head of states.
Biggest Failure and Lesson Learned
In 1984, I contested in the ‘Malibu World Championship aka ‘John Player Disco Championship’, I lost at the state elimination level. The lesson I learnt is that before going to compete, I have to be fully prepared.
I run the largest Photo Museum of Nigeria History with over 36, 000 photos with which I educate the younger ones and Nigerians generally. I am the Publisher of African Dame and The National Biographer Magazines; The National Biographer Magazine has featured some VIP’s in Africa and beyond, including former Military President Babangida and former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, President Barack Obama of the USA, I have had interactions with former President J J Rawlings of Ghana, Mama Sarah – the grandmother of American President Obama and many others. People learn from my publications. I am the author of 21 published books and 56 unpublished books. I teach the younger ones with my books. I have donated about 31,000 books to schools in Nigeria and Ghana since 2008 and people are reading again because of my books. I run a free public library, that has contributed to the uplift of the educational standard in Nigeria in the last 15 years, the library started with less than 100 books and today they have about 47, 000 books. I also run a Free Skill Acquisition Center for Women, which has trained about 4,000 women for free since 2016.
Best Advice Ever Received
An advice I received from Professor Olikoye Ransome Kuti who was then a minister of health. He told me to always believe in myself that I would rule the world. That was in 1985, when I just left secondary school.
I Wished I Had Known
I wish I knew that someday I was going to grow old. I used to think that I would remain young forever, but now I am planning for old age, only that I started late.
Funniest Thing I Ever Did.
I once stole a book because I needed it desperately but the author, not knowing that I had stolen a copy already, gave me a complimentary copy. I felt disappointed in myself so I returned the book to where I stole it from.
Featuring President Barack Obama on the phone for my magazine, The National Biographer
Something I’m afraid of.
Not to rule my world
I’d Really like to Learn
How to rule the world. I just wish I will someday become the President of the world or may be the Number one citizen of the world
My Greatest Question
Why did God create night for people to rest, when we can work all day?
Thoughts on DR.RAPHAEL JAMES
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