This has taken so long to write but still, I write…
I was at this remarkable and mind blowing event on the 16th of September.
And yes I haven’t recovered from the experience, perhaps that’s why I finally thought to share it with you. Basically, EVOLVE UI was a program organised by Home Advantage Africa wherein young successful people were given a platform to share their success story and inspire young and younger people alike to think big and soar high. Now there were several speakers as outlined in the adpub above(and more) with some entertaining intermissions. I actually stepped in while Muyiwa Babarinde was speaking and perhaps settling down into a seat and the environment took so much time I missed that part. But then, El Noel came up and did ‘Shower’ and some rapping.
Then up came Babatunmise, a gospel artiste who shared with us how he evolved into an award winning act while staying ‘gospel’. Now a household name, he also lets us into the challenges he faced and how they were surmounted. By the way, he fine! He talked about his new album to be launched in November, which is coincidentally today actually and did a song-‘Ogo Ola’ from the album. He did not fail to emphasize the role of mentoring in climbing the success ladder while celebrating his own mentor – Mike Abdul. Lest I forget, first thing he did upstage was appreciate and celebrate El Noel and he even went on to invite him to come do ‘Shower’ at his album launch. That’s what happens when you stand up and step out, you get noticed. Here are three key things to note from his session:
***- The days that break you are the days that make you
***- Whatever it is you’re planning to do, money should be the last thing on your mind. Put a solid plan on ground first, follow your vision with action.
***- Whatever it is the mind of a man can conceive and believe he can achieve
***- Hardwork is good but, team work is better.
***- Get yourself a mentor.
Up next was Banke Ilori, a young active Nigerian citizen. Man! She’s young, just out of law school and she’s the Director, Policy, Research and Development – KOWA party. In case you don’t know, KOWA party fielded Prof Remi Sonaiya, the only female presidential candidate in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. So inspiring, she talked about her journey into the political sector and the opportunities available to the youth to make a change in politics. She also expatiated on the wonderful opportunities at KOWA party and their trailblazing efforts to maintain a credible, god fatherless and corruption free political party. As a matter of pace setting, KOWA party is the only party in Nigeria where you can register online and pay your dues online. That lady, she good! And she cut her hair low man! That’s confidence sister! I should know huh?
Then up came Deji Onadeko! An award winning OAP and entrepreneur. Heard OAP means On Air Principality for him, lol. This young man’s story is particularly interesting because, contrary to the usual admonition of falling in love with what you have, this man went in search of what he loved instead. He dropped out of an initial degree, re wrote exams and re applied for Mass Communications at Obafemi Awolowo University,which was what he loved. More importantly, he talked about change. You know that’s the word of the century in Nigeria. Change! Also worthy of note is this he said- “Charity begins at home, budget padding started at home, mummy buys something one naira, tells daddy it’s two naira, that’s padding!” Ponder that. And he fine too.
There was an intermission and the hilarious comedian Gjokes cracked up the audience. If you know how hard it can be to get Uites to laugh you’ll understand why I said the guy is hilarious. Up next, Dayo Nigeria. Oh the solemnity of the atmosphere as Dayo inspired us to be good active patriotic citizens. And should you not know, he wears green and white everyday. That man is really into Nigeria! And he’s working the talk too. He spoke of how he was hit by a car while fixing a zebra crossing. And you know what he said, “if I stopped after that, then the vision was not compelling enough to run with”. Here are some other note worthy points from his session:
***- How useful you are to your classmates right now will determine how useful you’ll be to the society tomorrow
***- Be decisive about your life. You create the picture of the future by the things you do daily
***- It is important for all of us in this room to build strong structures for each other, that’s how nations develop. See the next person as your brother
***- Everyday you enter your classroom that’s your field to operate
***- Put lasting structures in place; and finally,
***-Until you work nothing works.
You know one cool feature of the event was that a digital countdown timer was projected so the speakers can help themselves off the stage when the time’s up and each speaker had fifteen minutes. So there’s was effective time management which is one thing young people also need to imbibe. It was a massive compression of value and sagacity to be regurgitated and digested progressively which is what I am still doing actually.
Up next was Lanre Onasanya (aunty Lanre) who told us about her Aunty Lanre Initiative, and LITTLEDROPS
organization, a charity foundation she co-founded which
specializes in reaching out to kids in poor neighbourhoods and orphanages. She spoke of how she discovered her passion for kids and how she channelled it into putting smiles on kids’s faces and showing them love and making their lives better and their future brighter. And she newly married et glowing too! I saw that!
Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! Guess who’s up next? Woli Arole! That guy, man! I first spotted him shinning teeth on the high table, little did I know… Well, he tried to be serious with his motivational talk but then, the comedy thing is in the blood, lol! Well he titled his session ‘You As A Brand’ and here are some of the things he ‘received’ for us:
***As a man thinks in his heart so he is
***Its not about what you drive but what drives you
***Results cancel your insults
***If you’re loaded, you’ll be needed. What are you loading yourself with? One day what you’re loading yourself with will be needed by the world.
***When people mention your name, what comes to their mind? That’s who you are, that’s your brand.
***There’s something in you that’ll be the trajectory to your glory, search for it.
Speaking on the power of persistence at what you know to do, he told of how he started making comedy skits with a selfie stick and a phone in a bush, how people accused him of bothering them with his tagging on social media. Guess what he did? He made more skits per day and uploaded them all. Today he has close to a million follows on IG and people pay him just to live his life. In his words, “there’s something the world cannot break, the power of passion. There’s a level of confidence and persistence that scares people into paying you attention.” He wrapped up with the words of Fela Durotoye, “Start small, think big, grow fast”.
Now to the badass speed painter, 9jartitude! Can you hear me screaming? I can hear myself, yippee! Awn! He’s a shy child, eeyha. 9jartitude is a 2-2 graduate of Economics from Lead City University currently serving in Ebonyi state after putting off NYSC for a while. Now this guy is good. And when I say good, I make reference to the picture(head) of Fela Anikulapo Kuti he speed paints in the next less than five minutes with some loud Fela music blasting. Well, that’s my first experience at live speed painting so it was kind of over whelming I mean, such artistry! Such effortless goodness. Well he didn’t just paint, he also talked about his art and how he fared in school and all. How his art has influenced his PPA posting and his upcoming project- to do graffitti round the walls of University College Hospital, Ibadan. By the way, he spotted a sleek dark low bun.
And finally there was VJ Femi, the award winning video jockey who made money from renting out his carpet for red carpet events while in school (LAUTECH). He talked about the life of a student entrepreneur sharing his own experiences and all…and that was about it. I mean the total package is way much more but there’s only so much a blogger can write biko. I’d say that Home Advantage Africa were exceptionally wonderful with this one, and it was totally free! In this R economy? Made tons of sense. Thank you guys, I had a great time and I’m so loaded!