People like you are needed on this continent to take us to where we should be. Keep it up man!
I want Africa to discover her destiny. I want her to be a place that people will love to visit, a place of peace and prosperity for all. Many visions and prophecies have been told about Africa being the next world power. Africa is about to experience a dramatic change that will inspire the whole world. Young people and highly inspired people like us will make this vision a reality. But we must understand that 'every change begins with a vision and a bold decision to take dogged action.'
I am a social agent and an entrepreneur. I live in Oke Aro, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. My personal mission is to be a source of inspiration and motivation to millions of young Africans through my entrepreneurial activities hence prompting them to discover their own innate gifts and put to productive use. I identify needs and find the resources to meet them. I look at this in two ways, from social and business perspectives.
Africa is about to experience a dramatic change that will inspire the whole world. Young people and highly inspired people like us will make this vision a reality.
For example, youth in my neighborhood who are secondary school graduates cannot afford to go to the university or find jobs. They just hang around and get in trouble. So, in 2009, I decided to start a Youth Farm Project-- with no resources. I kept looking around for possibilities until, one day, a parent offered to loan us an acre of land. On this land, thirty youth have planted and harvested corn for the past 2 years. The crops are sold at a local market and the profits are shared among all who worked there. We will soon start growing yams at our farm too. At the Youth Farm, we also teach the young farmers entrepreneurial skills. Each visit to the farm is an experience of friendship, fun and solidarity.
Some of our profits were used to purchase computers and we've also started a training program. At our computer resource centre, we teach young people basic computer skills such as typing, printing, and the use of the internet. Thirty-four youth have now completed this training and gotten jobs doing secretarial work and such. Both of these projects have empowered the youth to realize that they each have something useful to contribute to their communities.
Pursuing one’s dreams in a typical African society requires persistence, doggedness and much hard work. One’s parents could even deter you by asking you to go look for a job that will fetch money instead of trying to solve society's problems. When I had the idea to start “The Youth Farm Project,” a lot of people condemned it. They said to me that I am a university graduate and how could I become a farmer! People, especially friends, were surprised to see me work on the farm with other economically challenged young people. Because I have learned that dreams come true if pursued, I did not allow what people say to distract me. My dream is to help as many economically disadvantaged young people in my community as I can. If I do not help them now, they may grow up to become touts, thieves, armed robbers… that will rob us in the future.
When obstacles come up, I hold on to my vision and keep looking for resources. When I find even the smallest resource, I use it carefully to do as much as possible and keep going. An experience I had at Covenant University shows this. In 2005, a group of approximately 60 university students wanted to raise 300,000 naira ($2,000 USD) to help abandoned babies, orphans and hungry elders in our community. We tried to raise some funds in the usual ways but just weren't having success with that. So we decided to write a small book called Life Impacting Virtues for Young People, with each student contributing one page. We sold it to our family members and, within one day, we had reached our goal!
Because I have learned that dreams come true if pursued, I did not allow what people say to distract me.
My goal is to run a large social entrepreneurship enterprise that will help youth realize their dreams. The organization would teach the youth about turning their dreams into reality through both internal motivation and realistic action. I would tell them that resources may be scarce when they are starting on their idea, but to use whatever they can find carefully and others will be inspired to join.
I also want to write a small book about these ideas that will help others start building their dreams. I want them to know that people will doubt them and tell them they can't succeed but they have to ignore all that. Just keep doing whatever is possible.
In conclusion, I would like to tell African youth to be inspired by those around them and to join with their peers to make a difference in their communities. I want them to know we have the power to do what we want; we have to discover ourselves and meet our challenges. Find one place to make a difference every day, just one small action daily, and this will lead to something big.