“…it was highly refreshing”
“…it was indeed spectacular”
‘FROM SPECTATOR TO SPECTACULAR’ Youth conference will go down in history not just as a repertoire of impressive public speakers but as a powerful wakeup call to Nigerian youths to levitate from being mere spectators to being spectacular.
MC Abiodun Joshua was a spectacular host as He engaged audience and facilitated a frictionless progression of the conference.
To kick off the day, Nigeria’s emerging youth based organizations pitched their big ideas.
Gbenga Ashaolu spoke passionately about Pacesetters Leadership Club where leaders speak, lead listen & think. With biweekly meetings held in an exclusive venue at the heart of Ibadan, stirring speakers, awe-inspiring speeches & executive trainings at the club, Gbenga made a strong case.
According to Chinyere Azike of Project 56 in 36, to celebrate Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary in grand style, the founders of Project 56 in 36 have decided to write an e-book profiling 56 outstanding young people spread across 36 states (and the FCT), who successfully executed Personal Community Development Service (CDS) projects during their service year. This epic book was launched on the 1st of October.
Ogunbowale Oladayo of Change Alliance told a story of How Albert Einstein once lost his train ticket which had the address to his destination, effectively losing his bearing. According to him, Change Alliance is in the business of promoting and shaping important conversations about purpose & development of nations. Change Alliance holds annual conferences and runs a daily WhatsApp group.
Toluwase Thomas of PROJECT X reminded us that Nigeria has over 35 million unemployed youths, entrenched corruption, a frail economy and that Nigeria’s youth are desperately in search of answers. To find them, PROJECT X unveils the strategies and stories of Nigeria’s most successful individuals and organizations to ultimately inspire a new generation of youths who will not only replicate success in their own lives but consequently aid the emergence of a new Nigeria.
MC Joshua hosted the exciting gameshow, ‘Show me the money’.
Ogunbowale Busayo was the fastest finger and subsequently made it to the hot seat. Unfortunately, He got stuck on an Albert Einstein related question and went back to his seat just the same way He came.
EMDEE TIAMIYU: ‘Pitching your way to the top’
And then, the first speaker lighted up the stage! Emdee Tiamiyu spoke zealously about ‘Pitching your way to the top’.
He shared practical tips that landed him not just in the United States of America but brought him face to face with President Barak Obama just last month! According to Emdee, your first Impression is key: your smile has to be real and welcoming, your handshake has to be firm & reassuring and you must pronounce your name correctly (no one in the audience could pronounce their name correctly until Emdee taught the secret). He also spoke about the Problem-Solution dialogue, which advocates that when you meet someone important (say you meet Buhari in an elevator, for instance), you say your name, then quickly describe a problem that you know is interesting to the person and then proffer your unique solution. The discussion must focus on what you can offer because everyone is selfish. Needless to say, Emdee had everyone jotting and clapping all through.
DANCE CREW: TESTIFIERS
Testifiers Dance crew followed Emdee’s fiery presentation with equally ferocious dance moves. If the audience’s response was an indicator of their performance, it’s safe to say the Testifiers Dance crew didn’t disappoint.
The CELEBRANT: ‘How to smash records’
The celebrant of the day, Ogunbowale Olugbenga, delivered a wonderful presentation on the topic ‘How to smash records’.
In his own words: “There are only 2 types of people in the world: The Spectators and the Spectacular ones. Now, we all know how easy it is to be a spectator in a stadium. But who is the real hero? Is it the cheering crowd or the man in the arena, toiling with tears, and sweat and blood, fighting for his life? This conference is about moving you from the comfort of the crowd to the action in the arena of your life. And this brief speech is about smashing records while you’re at it. To smash records, first find someone who is doing every day, what you want to do someday. Mentorship will shave years of trial & error and save you years of struggle.
Next, never forget that Adversity is the greatest university. You learn more from failure & challenges. Quit the blame game. Personal struggles shape you to become better and to tell your inspiring story. Legends are born in the fire of trials. I don’t know what you’re passing through or looking forward to, the reason you are where you are today is because of who you were yesterday. Now, nobody can go back in history and make a brand new past but you can start today and make a brand new ending.
Take responsibility for your life. Don’t settle in your comfort zone.
Thirdly, greatness is a choice, record breaking is a product of that choice. I served in a community no one wanted to serve. Under extremely terrible environmental conditions, but I inspired thousands of students and ended my service year with a Merit Award.
Finally, He who lives to give cheats the grave. Life is not measured by donation but by duration. I challenge you to use your birthday as an opportunity to give back to the society. Don’t just settle for the usual eating and drinking, reach out, give out. Shakespeare once said, ‘Cowards die many times before their death but the brave die only but once’. I’d like to make a little amendment, “Cowards die many times before their death, brave men die only but once but givers live forever’. It was a well-received speech.
And then, AYOMIDE ATITEBI took the stage: ‘How to write your way into the history books’
First of all, His introduction was mesmerizing. It had everyone glued to their seats. Ayomide spoke on ‘How to write your way into the history books’. He spoke about 3 levels of existence: Survival (where the poorest of the poor and animals in the wild occupy), Success (where most entrepreneurs and corporate executives with money to burn occupy) and Significance (where legends & trailblazers like Wole Soyinka and Nelson Mandela occupy). He challenged the audience to change their value system away from the norm that is accumulating wealth to a value system driven by significance and the desire to leave a lasting legacy. He inspired the audience to dream big, aim high and just do it, because ‘Greatness is a choice’.
This electrifying session was succeeded by a dramatic and equally engaging session: the Breakout Session. All attendees were separated into 4 groups and each group discussed the same topic for 10 mins: What are the issues facing Nigeria’s youth and how can we solve them? For an extra 4 mins, the groups picked a debater and discussed a debate topic.
4 groups produced 4 debaters. The topics were: ‘Unemployment, not corruption, is the biggest issue facing Nigerian youths’ and ‘the absence of Nigerian youths in leadership: age is the reason why’. The pulsating debates were moderated & judged by Mrs Victoria Ogunbowale and Mr Ogunbowale Oladayo. In the end, Adedamola Blessing, whose intellectual sagacity & oratory prowess blew her competitors out of the water, was crowned the ‘debater of the day’.
FEMI IROMINI: How to land your dream job
Just when the audience thought they had heard it all, Femi Iromini delivered a speech for the ages: How to land your dream job.
Some of the explosive insights He shared include: ‘Know what you want from what you don’t want’, ‘Take yourself out’, ‘Stay away from distractions’, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, every location will look like the destination’, ‘My life is a university and I am the only student’, ‘become an expert about your life’, ‘When you are an expert about your life, you can take the world’, ‘Move away from the 90% (crowd)’. He also said, ‘It’s very hard to get talent in Nigeria which is why you must build capacity’, ‘I have never written an entry level test to get a job, I got jobs because I was over qualified for them. First, become so good, that you are overqualified’. And finally, He reminded everyone in the audience that Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook did not dropout of OAU, UI or UNILAG, He dropped out of Harvard. ‘Don’t drop out of school’.
‘FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS GAME’.
Iromini’s powerful speech was powerfully applauded and followed by the ‘Friends help friends Game’.
All participants were given a sheet of paper with certain qualities written inside boxes and they needed to find persons with those qualities to sign inside the boxes in 3 mins. The entire venue turned into a beehive of activities in an instant and the ‘time fever’ gripped everyone. In the end, Toluwase Thomas emerged the winner.
MRS VICTORIA OGUNBOWALE: the Value of Education
Mrs Victoria Ogunbowale, the founder of Phenomenal group of Schools, delivered a thought provoking speech on the Value of Education. She built her speech around the brilliant acronym ‘FOCUS’.
U: understand your purpose
S: Spiritually inclined
TOLU GEORGE: Google Digital Training
Like the proverbial good wine that was served last at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, the final speaker, Tolu George delivered a graphically scintillating and absolutely educative google digital training. According to research, there are 17 million small businesses in Nigeria and Tolu showed the audience the massive, even pervasive influence of digital tools like Youtube, twitter & Facebook and the potential impact they can have in promoting small business in Nigeria.
Not forgetting the birthday of the celebrant, the floor was declared open for testimonials about the celebrant. Both family & friends attested to Ogunbowale Olugbenga’s stellar leadership qualities and philanthropic heart.
VOTE OF THANKS
Finally, the celebrant gave the vote of thanks.
Ogunbowale Olugbenga of Epower thanked Educare Trust (and her director, Mr Moshood) for the venue and priceless support of the crew, Phenomenal group of schools for powering the debate & quiz, Testifiers dance crew for the great dance, Thyme Photography for the beautiful pictures, all the speakers for inspiring lives and every single participant for traveling far (Abuja, Ogun, Lagos, Oyo) and near (Ibadan) to grace the epic event.
Watch out for Nigeria’s next trailblazers, record breakers & innovators!