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Youth, Shift Ground!

It’s been an interesting week for me. ‘Techie. Entrepreneurial. Nigerian. Talented’ organized by Gbenga Sesan’s Paradigm Initiative ftom Tuesday to Thursday and then the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment’s ‘University Entrepreneurship Development Programme (UNEDEP) on Friday. Indeed, it was fun-filled.

I have to say that this is the first time I’m meeting not less than 25 young, promising, entrepreneurial Nigerians in three days. Oh what a privilege. Emmanuel Oluwatosin (Nokia), Osare Alili-Oruene (Fate Foundation), Oreoluwa Somolu (W.TEC), Adebola Williams (Red Media), Victor Asemota, Emeka Okoye, Celestine of TicketMobile, Sim Shagaya (Konga), The duo of Jumia, Temitope Olagbegi (Sixth Sense), Wale Wades, Founders of naij.com and buynownow.com, Opeyemi Awoyemi (Jobberman),… The list is mind-blowing. I’m still recovering. LOL. This brings me to the point of this post.

I couldn’t help but think: Who really am I? What does it mean for me to be Nigerian? Who are you Ifeoluwa? I remember what my brother said after watching the Super Eagles of Nigeria hold the well-known Italian squad to a fierce draw. Really, It was like we were watching 2014 World Cup already. That show was far from the tone of a friendly. “Nigerians are naturally great people by DNA. In all regards, put a Nigerian anywhere and he will conquer giants”. My brother was lost in praises (his lips moved like a small boy’s). He is never tired to mention what his Nigerian friends led the major departments of the Cyprian school he attended.

At UNEDEP, the Federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Silverbird boss Murray Ben-Bruce were in
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attendance. Ben-Bruce stole the show when he started to express his political views, which as he said, are anti-government. “Always be on the side of the people”, he told us. “And you should know that once you’re making waves in Nigeria, police will trail you. EFCC will arrest you. And it’s got nothing to do with right or wrong. It’s the reality of goverment in Nigeria”. The applause that greeted his speech was deafening. I like that man’s bravery. I mean, in front of a Minister! Same thing Gbenga Sesan did at T.E.N.T when he expressed some political views in front of Lagos State Government’s Moji Rhodes. I love these people.

The young people I met and listened to re-assure my belief in the Nigerian Vision. Of course there’s a Nigerian Vision, not only Americans have a dream. It may not be pronounced yet, but it’s gradually developing and you could understand it’s motivation when you see the amount of people putting their talent(s) to work. We should stop hammering on the number of unemployed youth or wasting talents. Let’s implore them to shift grounds. Crying all we like about government should not be an individual goal. The character of the Nigerian State will not change in a day or a year. We are where we are as a result of the events of 53 years. Even if we start the process of change now, we’re not going to fully get there in the next decade. Let’s be realistic. So, if you think you can do nothing but complain, you’re invariably saying “I’ll make it when Nigeria becomes more responsive”. What? In how many years? When you’re dead? Or when you live in an uncompleted wooden building in a remote area where your children wear tattered clothes to the dilapidated community primary school? Come on.

In fact, one of the recipients of the ’40 under 40′ awards who was present at UNEDEP is an undergraduate of a ‘striking’ federal institution. Who says Nigerian Undergraduates are unproductive? Not my very good friend Ini Ajayi of House of Dabira, or Ope Okunbor of LMI or Taiwo Egunjobi (brain behind the movie Blades of Ennui) or Team Beacon of Nescafe Coffee shop in UI or Tolu Adetunji of AIESEC in Ibadan. These are people of the University of Ibadan. There are very many others that it is impossible to mention all of them. I have not even talked about  talents from other Nigerian institutions. That’s full stop.

I dare join my brother to say that a Nigerian is naturally great by DNA. What then? Let’s shift grounds, heading in the direction of the Nigerian vision.

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Signed,
Ife Adedeji

Musings of an Under 20 CEO: This Current Age

Interesting one.

InquisitiveChic

So what, I’m an entrepreneur? So what makes me special and distinguishes me from the crop of millions of start-up owners from around the world? Is it my drive and passion? Don’t they have that too? I just about feel like a tiny speck, somewhat insignificant, among the millions of innovative young people doing something spectacular.. Oh wait! I have my age on my side. *lol* Just kidding. There are millionaires younger than me.
I have been reading Donald Trump’s Think Big and his other book with Robert Kiyosaki ‘Why we want you to be rich”. Honestly, those books prompt a lot of ideas in me. I keep thinking deeper, looking for ways and opportunities to build my company more and take my business to a whole new financial level. Thing is, it’s scary the rate at which World economies are “crumbling” and most importantly, the rich is getting richer…

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Nigerians That Gives Me Hope

Omotola Akinsola

Genvoices is a youth organization working to bring to light the voices of young people in transforming the Nigeria that we know today to what we can be in the future. One of the initiative they are currently embarking on is the #100,000 voices that will bring together 100,000 people on January 18th, 2014 to Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos.

They will be hosting a variety of events to spark and ignite young people who are already thoughts leaders who will be sharing their hopes, desires, dreams, concerns and solutions to most of the challenges we are faced with in Nigeria.

I decided to highlight GenVoices because the forces behind this organization gives me hope for our future. These are Nigerians who are designing and bringing to light solutions for the current lack of engagement of young people in the Nigerian processes. GenVoices is not the only organization that i…

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The Bitten Apple

Hilarious. Came across this while looking for inspiration to write something. It’s a poem I wrote on November 27, 2010 when I was a member of Independence Hall Press Organisation, U.I. Reading it again, I’m full of blush. Not because it is the best that could have ever been written as a freshman. Far from it. Nevertheless, it reminds of me all those late night write-ups to make sure the press-board is filled up every Monday morning at 2 A.M and flips through pages of Merriam Websters. I’ve reminisced enough. Time for you to share in my blush…

I want to live in paradise

Play chess and toss dice

swim in cool pool

and sit on royal stool.

 

I want to have the best of nature.

Cool air and breeze to nurture

my life to frightless future.

rather than live in prison with sutures

 

To relish the taste of wine.

Beauties and power to dine

in parties hoped to be mine

that I fantasized and hope could be fine.

 

On my countless dream a day

I met the truth that say

the bitten apple made my way

 a bitter journey, dry and tasteless like hay.

 

Had she not eaten the apple

I would live splendid and look supple

but faith had my aim toppled

so I wane in distress and grumbled.

 

so, enough I have to say

a bitten apple in any way

can cause an Adam’s fall or stray

 

since I learnt that, an advice I gave:

“beware of Satan’s apple trail.”