• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Using my unique talent, I can speed up learning process for swimming in just one day for anyone

‘Using my unique talent, I can speed up learning process for swimming in just one day for anyone’

Emeka Chuks-Nnadi is the founder and director of Swim in 1 Day (SID), an organization dedicated to promoting and teaching swimming to Blacks in general and Africans in particular in the fastest possible manner.
The endurance swimmer and swim guru with three university degrees, has been able to do a maximum of five hours swimming at sea without coming to shore. In this interview, he talks to Obinna Emelike, why he left his comfort in Europe to return to Nigeria, ability to teach swimming in one day, passion for swimming, preparedness for climate change, charity and related issues.

For those who are meeting you for the first time, who really are you and what do you do?

My name is Emeka Chuks-Nnadi. I am an entrepreneur, and have been since the age of 17. I have worked for myself all my life. I am also a hospitality/business consultant, events & tourism expert, pan-Africanist, activist, black empowerment educationist, with three university degrees. I am also a life coach, swimming enthusiast and trainer with years of international experience and knowledge. For this reason, I prefer to be called the Swim Guru.

I am an endurance swimmer. So, I feel more comfortable swimming at sea than walking on land. I have been able to do a maximum of 5 hours swimming at sea without coming to shore.

Why did you leave great opportunities in Europe to return to Nigeria?

I believe I have a special calling to empower Africans, especially in this climate emergency times we live in, by using my unique talent of being able to speed up the learning process for swimming at a very accelerated rate, which makes it possible for me to teach for instance, on a consistent basis, every adult that strongly desires to learn how to swim in ‘just’ 1 day including the visually impaired and get rid of their water phobia, no matter how strong, in a matter of minutes.

I did not leave great opportunities in Europe to move to Nigeria because as a philosopher and life coach, my worldview is different from that of the masses that do not have the privilege of having the kind of rigorous exposure to the amount and the quality of knowledge and education that I am lucky to have.

With three university degrees and being self-employed from a very young age, and by building two of my companies all my life, I see opportunities everywhere I go.
I believe that it all depends on your mindset and disposition. I know that if people would change the way they think negative about our country Nigeria and give it a chance, they would do a lot better. But if all they see in Nigeria is negative and bad, then they would not see the opportunities I see for instance. Nigeria is a blessed country with equal or more opportunities than Europe, but our disposition as Nigerians makes us worship money literally and seek out ways to get it fast without thinking of the consequences or what is more important in life. We have misplaced priorities for real. So, that affects our worldview and the way we relate with life and existence in general.
I am very happy without the luxuries I enjoyed in Europe because I got my priorities right. I derive much more joy in giving vision to the “blind” in Nigeria and doing what I am called to do than having all the luxuries the world has to offer. I am happy I am at the right place now and I enjoy and give thanks for the beautiful gifts that being in Nigeria offers me that the Western world does not have.

What is the ‘Swim in 1 Day’ project all about?

The Swim in 1 Day (SID) project started on May 19, 2022 with a one and half hour marathon swim across the bay of Oniru beach Lagos by the Swim Guru and Coach Ideba.
The first candidates that received our scholarship were the Oniru kids (who inspired and motivated me to start the project) they live in front of the beach in plastic bag tents with their mothers.
The SID project is not only a charity, movement and campaign.
It is a swimming organization dedicated to promoting and teaching swimming to Blacks in general and Africans in particular in the fastest possible manner.
It is a non-discriminatory, non-religious, non-political and non-profit organization with focus on celebrating what unites us as Africans: Family (same ancestry), our diversity (varying skin tones) and the magnitude of our rich culture (music, art, dance, language and above all our unique identity as blacks).
The organisation is registered in Nigeria as Swim in 1 Day Charity Initiative and in Spain as Swim in 1 Day Africa Initiative.

Read also: Why Nigeria must invest in talent development NITDA

The three CMC dimensions of the SID project are: charity, movement and campaign.
The SID motto and campaign slogan is: “Better safe, than sorry”.
Preparing and empowering the people for the consequences of climate change that is already with us in different forms, especially for water disasters that is by far the most prevalent is a SID mission that cannot be underestimated. This is because we are living in a climate emergency where if we do nothing to help ourselves, Africa may be on the brink of extinction.

Every developed country of the world has measures/plans in place to mitigate against the consequences of climate change along with disaster relief strategies and recovery plans. Swimming is compulsory in primary and secondary schools.
The most effective and practical plan of all in existence right now in Africa is the SID Action Plan since our governments in Africa are ill-prepared in this regard.

The cycle for strategising for disasters in general involves the following five stages: Prevention; because the best way to address a disaster is by being proactive.
The next stage is mitigation, which aims to minimise the loss of human life that would result from a disaster.
The other stages include; preparedness, response and recovery.

The Swim in 1 Day slogan and motto already embodies the first four stages, which would be the most important for Africa right now because it would be done by the people for the people and does not need any government intervention or politics.
The SID proactive mode of promoting swimming by sensitisation of the masses (through its campaigns) and teaching swimming to all at the fastest rate possible is the only true drowning prevention formula or strategy for the solution to the problem.

Very important to the preparation and mitigation process is the fact that the SID plan involves as part of the SID campaign, a massive sensitisation and education of the people about the consequences of their human activities that are major contributors to climate destruction, which worsens the disasters that are the outcome of these acts. Engaging the people to become proactive and involved in the pursuit of a better and healthier environment would be our key to success.

Mitigation that aims at minimising the loss of human lives that would result from disasters could not be presented in a better light than through the SID Charity. Bringing our services free of charge to the less privileged and undeserving members of our communities speaks volumes about how effective our SID Action Plan is. We do not even have realistic statistics or data with regards to the amount of poor and disabled flood disaster victims from the Anambra and Lokoja flooding of 2022. That is how bad the situation is because these undeserving members of our communities could not afford to pay for swimming classes or have access to any of the things that could help save their lives.

However, the SID Charity teaching survival swimming to them will help reduce tremendously these tragic drowning cases during these disasters.
When the SID action plan is set in motion, embraced and implemented by every African, then the common African would be empowered to save himself in case of accidents or disasters. The need to wait for a government or outside help to survive will cease to exist. Our preparedness will be heightened like never before, and our confidence in helping one another, that is, our response in disaster times would grow immensely.

In terms of job creation, SID is building a new generation of professionals; Nigerians who are highly qualified in every aspect, but especially health conscious swimming coaches that have safety as priority number one. They will also be skilled in teaching survival swimming, the way it should be done in open waters.

The Swim in 1 Day project is hiring preferably fresh graduates that are passionate about swimming, even if they do not know how to swim, they are also passionate about helping the less privileged. They must have a strong desire to make a difference in a world where this is scarce right now by being willing to enforce this change through swimming.

They will be productively engaging the future generation of Africans by empowering them with the life saving skill of swimming in case of accidents or disasters. While in the process, we discover Olympic and Paralympic swimming champions to represent the motherland, thereby contributing in a major way to community building and development in Africa.

How far have you realised the objectives of the project?

The objectives of the SID project are numerous. But so far we have activated the charity and have done quite a lot in that regard. From May to November 2022 we have given over 50 scholarships to both disabled and low income earners in Lagos.
Those were the months of observation and learning about how the Nigerian system works since I have been out of tune for a while living in Europe.

This 2023 will be our year of greater achievements simply because starting from March, we are rolling out and implementing the SID Action Plan, starting with the first part of the plan, which is media activation especially for the months of March and April.

You also do charity with the project. Explain more about it?

It is a self-funded charity, which is challenging our people to stop waiting for the government to do everything for them. It is needed on realising the urgency and importance of this project and to support it. It is a project for the people powered by the people to safeguard the future of the Black African family.

The project also liberates us from myths, false assumptions and superstitious beliefs that hold us captive as a people with regards to not only swimming, but to disabilities and climate change as well.

Our mission is to make swimming free or affordable to the poor and disabled less privileged in our society. This is the core of this project.
We teach swimming to those that can afford to pay our services and use their money to give scholarships to the undeserving.

What have been the challenges of the project?

The challenges that the SID project faces in general and in particular with helping more people to swim are numerous.
I would say that the most important challenge we have is that we didn’t activate the campaign part of the SID action plan yet, which is actually aimed at sensitising people so that they are less ignorant about the importance of what we are doing as an organisation. I believe when people find out how important what we are doing is for their environment and for their safety and survival; a lot of them would join forces with us to make the SID project objectives a reality.

Myths, false assumptions and superstitious beliefs still hold people down and prevent them from even offering up a listening ear to understand our message.
Getting young graduates passionate about swimming and helping the less privileged to join our team and get trained to work in the organisation has been a tough challenge too.
Funding also is a big challenge since we have a very ambitious project, but we know we will get there working hard as we continue rolling out our plans.

Can one really learn how to swim in one day?

To answer this question it is very important to first understand the definition of the word swimming. Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water, or other liquid, usually for recreation, sport, exercise, or survival.

So, my answer is absolutely! My reality since I started teaching swimming at the very young age of 17 years has been that on a consistent basis I have the unique talent of being able to teach all adults that strongly desired to learn how to swim, in just one day. There is evidence to support this with all my real life posts and videos with real life people and situations on Instagram @swimin1day and @lifecoach_swimguru, which is also the same on TikTok.

I call this a unique talent that got better and easier over time, thanks to the abundant knowledge and experience I have been exposed to in swimming and the fact that I am a life coach as well: The Naija Guru Magic.

This is because most times I make my students do shocking things like not only swim in one day, but also dive and do several lengths of the pool, among other things on their first class, which leaves many mouths agape.

Who are your target and also the easiest to teach swimming?

Surprising as it is, my answer to the question “who are the easiest to teach?” will shock you.
Over the years I realised that the easiest to teach, fastest to learn and most resilient students would be the ones that had a phobia or fear of water before meeting me. Once I got rid of that fear they always transformed into something else.

Our target is literally every one. The intention is to teach survival swimming and water safety to people with all sorts of disabilities and infants as from the ages of 6 months to adults up to 90 years.

Do you have partnerships to woo more Nigerians to swim?

We did not start implementing our plans yet but partnering with all of Nigeria to enable us achieve our goals is part of it, especially now that we are activating media, which is the first part of our SID Action Plan. We invite all that are happy and willing to partner with us for our charity fund raiser events to raise funds to achieve our goal of making swimming affordable and accessible to all in three years from the year of the SID Action Plan activation, which is 2023.

Our targets include; starting and hopefully completing the building of a unique Swimming Academy in the next three years; introducing the compulsory yearly two weeks intensive SID swimming scholarship scheme in public primary and secondary schools in the next three years; and also activating the most radical, forceful, and historic campaigns ever had in Africa, that would radically influence our people to act fast.

We need brand and goodwill ambassadors: celebrities, superstars, well meaning politicians, philanthropists, company executives, college professors. musicians, actors comedians, influencers, civil servants, traders, business owners, companies among others to join the SID Movement now, partner with us and start getting involved in crafting out a better tomorrow for generations of Africans to come. Whatever resources you contribute would go a long way in helping us achieve our objectives.

Apart from the swimming project, what other things do you do?

Apart from the swimming project which is my principal project and takes almost 80 percent of my time right now and to which I have dedicated the next 10 years of my life, I have so many other projects that I am working on alongside which includes a swimming and disability awareness documentary I plan to do with the BBC hopefully if they accept my proposal, the SID Afro Cultural Artistic Swimming team that we are building right now, creating shows for social media, radio and TV to sensitise the masses and promote above all, awareness about swimming, disabilities, and climate change. Also, developing jingles for news broadcasts and every form of notices on TV, radios and podcasts.

I still work as a business/hospitality consultant with referrals from Spain and all over the world. But only when the people do the reaching out. I am talking with the owner of a hotel that is not doing so well about rebranding his hotel in Amuwo Odofin, so it becomes more profitable.

I work also like a life coach; helping people to make positive choices easier to give them the power and control to call the shots in their own lives and therefore attain true peace and joy. I have future projects that I can not mention now.

Any regret returning to Nigeria?

Absolutely no regret because the beauty of home is that it is always a place of refuge no matter what.
I love being here and I love doing this project here and above all I am happy to be back and to finally be able to give back and contribute in a positive manner to the growth and development of my nation Nigeria that I always had a special love for since childhood.
I cannot wait to see the millions of lives my projects will affect in a positive manner because in this lies my greatest joy.

I have an intellectual, equally ambitious mega project in the pipeline that involves the re-education of young Africans through a special course I am designing to make them love self, culture and continent more and reduce the African brain drain.