Keynote Address at the Inauguration of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION

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Speech Delivered by Sam Ikoku At Calabar Transcorp Hotel


If I may, I want to extend my sincerest condolence to the Bello family, extended family, friends and well-wishers who have gathered during this first anniversary of the passing of our son, brother, cousin, mentor and friend. The toughest part is knowing he is no longer where you can visit and chat, or at the end of a phone call, and it is normal to miss his voice, opinion, humility and humour.


And this is also the perfect time to appreciate everyone, especially his parents, siblings and the Board of Trustees for taking all that energy and choosing to celebrate a life well lived.


I could not be more proud and honoured to have been picked to deliver the Keynote Address at this inaugural outing in honour of a young man who has taught us so much, and left us with much more. It is my privilege to stand here on the behest of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION.


I have been asked to speak on Sustaining the Legacy. Not only has the topic been appropriately chosen but will help set the tone for the future of this Foundation.


When I am done I would love to have established the following:

  • The importance of leaving a legacy
  • The Role of the initial Beneficiaries of the Photography Master Class in sustaining the Legacy, and
  • The distinctions the Board of Trustees must master to make the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION sustainable and unique in the galaxy of Foundations.


The Importance of Leaving a Legacy


Late Stephen Covey, author of the worldwide bestseller called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People put it so well when he surmised that all that we are here to do is to:

  • Live
  • Love
  • Learn and
  • Leave a Legacy


To Live is to experience all that there is, to engage with life, to explore, to push the boundaries of human experience, to co-create with God. PETER BELLO DID THAT.


To Love is to place others higher than oneself, to seek first to understand before seeking to be understood, to fight for the weaker amongst us, to show appreciation and to bring healing to the world.  PETER BELLO DID THAT.


To learn is to actively seek all that has been experienced and understood, to imbibe it and to improve on it for the betterment of mankind. To lift the ocean through our contribution so that every other vessel can be lifted. PETER BELLO DID THAT.


And then finally to leave a legacy is to desire above all else to leave the world a better place. It is to pour yourself completely into people. It is to be a reason why many will claim to have encountered God. It is to so empty yourself that you never die, but live on in the hearts and minds, and in the conversations and convictions of all those that you touched.


This is the true measure of a life well lived, and PETER BELLO HAS DONE THAT.


Tomorrow when we visit his resting place it will simply be a procession of hounour because Peter Bello is not there. He lives in our hearts.


And the one way we can show appreciation for how he has impacted us is to sustain his legacy through the effective and efficient administration of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION and everything that it stands for.




The Role of the Alumni in Sustaining the Legacy


For the first beneficiaries of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION, my question is how has your life changed already? I sat in on part of the presentation of the master class on photography yesterday by Kelechi Amadi who is becoming a legend in his own right, and it was awesome!


What would you have paid on your own to be a part of that and to receive certification for it? How many years would you have spent just to acquire a portion of the experiences that he shared?


I can say this for sure, and you may agree with me: PETER BELLO is giving in his absence even more than he did when he was here!


And there are only two ways that you can give back. I am assuming you understand that contribution is the key to greatness. Great people seek to give even more than they receive. The two ways you can do so, and there are others you may consider are:

  • Dedication
  • Appreciation


It is a statistical truism that roughly 20% of you who have attended the master class will go on to be brilliant in the field of photography. But through dedication, through determination, and through a willingness to overcome challenges we can increase that number. I challenge and implore each and every one of you to seek to belong to that 20% that will produce 80% of the impact in your field.


Your dedication will make the effort and the investment of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION worthwhile and also give you a great opportunity to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy of your own.


I am also hoping that as the number of alumni increase there will be a healthy competition between photographers and models, nutritionists and scientists. This will put the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION on the map as a Center of Excellence.


The second aspect in how you can help sustain the legacy is appreciation, which is the highest expression of energy in existence. Every time we show appreciation we are open to receive more! Try showing appreciation as a way of life and see its incredible power for yourself.


Where the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION is concerned there is one thing that you can do. At the height of your achievement, at that point where you are being celebrated, in that moment of your shining, please take all the accolades for your hard work, but remember to mention how the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION set you on a path to higher achievement when you least expected it.


While such appreciation opens you up to achieve more, equally important is the fact that it will build the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION brand thereby giving it more opportunities to attract resources that will help even more people like you.


I am assuming you will like to see that happen and I assure you that as an alumnus of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION you will be contributing to sustaining the legacy, the same way that yours will be some day.



Distinctions for an Effective Board of Trustees in Sustaining the Legacy


To the trustees, I cannot express enough appreciation for the love, passion and commitment that you have shown to birth and drive the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION. I want to appreciate Peter’s mum, Thelma Bello and his dad, Peter Bello Snr. for the tremendous, tremendous sacrifices they have made especially in these times. Truly, love conquers all.


And as the Board of Trustees begins to deliberate on moving the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION forward we all know that passion is not enough. In addition to that we need to have a good and relatively long-term strategy in place if the legacy is to be sustained. We need to develop an Impact Plan that will cover everything from Strategic Partnerships to Alumni Programs, from branding the Foundation to instilling a culture of high-performance, and to also to focus on institutionalizing processes.


The PETER BELLO FOUNDATION must have a life of its own.


There are millions of Foundations around the world and many of them disappear soon after being founded. But when you mention names like the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation you have immediate name recognition and sustainability. I am assuming that it is our desire for the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION to belong to this special group.


When we mention Foundations many people think in terms of purely philanthropic enterprises. But the lasting Foundations are Non-Governmental Organizations formed by successful people and enterprises, which give their money, contacts, influence and leadership expertise to run them. In other words, Foundations that are sustainable should be better run than the enterprises that establish them. Sustainability must be built into their DNA. What can we learn from other successful Foundations and how can we apply them to the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION?


We need to think differently. Take the photography master class. Does it end here? Can the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION develop a website with a portal where all alumni are listed? A place online where they can chat to resolve creativity challenges and share tested solutions? Could this portal be used to advertise future activities of the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION in the area of photography and draw in an ever-increasing number of future beneficiaries? Can it be used to upload stock pictures that alumni can access at a discount and also made available for a higher fees to non-alumni seeking to accelerate their ongoing projects? Can the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION keep a part of the transaction fee to fund its activities?


And then can the Foundation do the same for the other areas of its interest?


Remember that every country in the world where Captain Peter Kayode Bello has been deserves to feel his impact. This is a great ambition and I’m delighted to be a part of it.


There is so much to be said and this may not be the right forum but I am offering my lifetime as a Productivity Consultant for free to the PETER BELLO FOUNDATION. I am particularly keen to see you develop a 5-Year Impact Plan that will not only sustain the Foundation but ensure that you earn enough to hire the right caliber of people to make it an ongoing high-impact enterprise.






And for the beneficiaries I have gifts as well. When I asked one of the organizers what they thought the alumni would need the most, they said it would be knowledge about how to sell their businesses. So I purchased CDs from my organization on How to Sell Anything to Anyone. I believe it will give you a tremendous advantage. I bought 50 of these for you, but I see that there are a lot more of you, including the organizers. I promise to dispatch some more as soon as I return to Abuja.


The pleasure has been all mine to make this keynote address. Privileges like this don’t come often. In reflecting on what to put in this presentation Captain Peter Kayode Bello has reminded me of what is truly important.


If he has done the same for you, lets change the world together by sustaining his legacy.


Thank you, and May God bless our enterprise!!

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