By Victor Gotevbe
AbayomiAyoola (29) is another young Nigerian living in the diaspora. His love for information & telecommunication technology, entrepreneurship and youth education & development among many others dates back to his academic pursuit at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, where he studied Business Administration & Management. He later bagged a B.Eng in internet technologies from the Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland. He gives us an account of how his journey began. Excerpts:
Early Life I am the first of a family of four. I have a younger sister, whom I cherish so much. I attended Army Childrens’ High School, Military Cantonment, Ikeja. I went on to study Business Administration and Management at The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, five years after leaving high school in 1998 due to my ability to get the JAMB cut off mark.
I worked with Daltrade Group, Nigeria, a Polish-Nigeria construction company between 2005 and 2006 after which I moved on to Skye Bank, Plc as a Marketing Assistant between February and August, 2007 before leaving the shores of Nigeria. Not for greener pastures (smiles), but for more education.
Growing up for me wasn’t what might be obtainable with a lot of the families in Nigeria as my parents were divorced for as long as I can remember, and that means a lot of things to a growing child, that singular act had a lot of negative effect on me. I was shy, never spoke in public and had low self esteem until I met my mentor (Oladele Raphael Olunike) at age 17. He taught me most of the things I know, which were the rudiments for getting this far.
My academic pursuit overseas
I had always wanted to study abroad as I believed that it would give me the right exposure that I needed, not only as a student,but also someone who is striving hard to make impact amongst my peers and the nation at large. I remember applying to MIT once and hoped to get scholarship but unfortunately, it didn’t work . When the idea of Finland came, everyone around me was against it but then I went with it .
I would not in anway want to compare the Finnish educational system to that of Nigeria as the knowledge transferred to students in these two countries differ greatly especially in sciences, biomedical and technology. For instance, three percent of the Finnish budget is spent on research and massive development.
Nigerian Universities are not well funded, not to talk of investing in research and development. We need to understand that whatever is achievable in the West is achievable anywhere else but like I do say, our leaders do not have the capacity to see vision and so they can not live with that understanding that it’s possible.
I have the understanding that every man is passion in a body, locating your area of passion makes things work easier as you get to do what you love. I’ve always been passionate about computers and the internet and how they work. I did sciences in High School and had to switch to management sciences since I couldn’t get into the University despite my high scores in JAMB so I’d say it was part of the strategy to get me educated somehow. My dream was to become a doctor but I guess I outgrew it, that’s what the Nigerian factor can do to your dreams but then I’m also grateful as I’m yet to regret taking that path.
Impact on my generation and the diaspora community
Understanding that India leverage for leveling up with the first world nations came under the platform of technology, I initiated the DrupalCamp Lagos, which is presently in it’s fourth year and was to introduce upcoming developers and enthusiasts to Open Source Technology.
This has led to the founding of the Open Source Initiative, Nigeria, a not-for-profit organization founded with the motive of improving use of technology tools by setting standards, providing on-going training & re-training, engaging in research & technology innovations and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community with the sole aim of achieving economic development.
Also, I introduced CloudCamp to Africa in 2008 and it has since taken place in a number of Nigerian cities and we hope to extend it Nairobi, Kenya, Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa and Accra, Ghana in the coming year. CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies meet to exchange ideas, share experiences, challenges and solutions. CloudCamp has also evolved into what we call Open Cloud Summit, West Africa, which we hope to have the inaugural event in June of 2014.
A friend once told me that our problem in Nigeria has gone from psychological to mental, and if care is not taken it would go on to become genetical. That is very sad. The truth is you cannot live beyond your level of understanding, and since the present crop of leaders do not seem to realize this, there’s a need for revolution.
Revolution not only of the mind but in every sector of the economy. See, one of the major factors that got China to where it is today is self-awareness and understanding who they are as a people, and knowing their history, where their past leaders succeeded and knowing where they failed, and using that as a basis to build a pathway forward.
The present crop of leaders has nothing to offer us,and so it must be told that if Nigeria is ever going to move forward, it lies with you and I to make little effort that we can, like they say a single drop of water makes the ocean.
I work to inspire young people in achieving all they can, this is made possible via public speaking engagements and volunteer services.
My advice goes thus, you can’t live beyond your level of understanding so you must find your area of passion, hit hard at it by working hard and working smart, dedicated and consistent and focusing on it. It’s mandatory that you read books as you’ll never believe what it can do to you. Most importantly, anything God is a part of becomes successful but you must work for God to prevail.
YOUNG NIGERIANS MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
Egbayelo Olatunde.S Raphael (‘t.s ralph) is a distinctive and creative media entrepreneur & a classical change agent. He is a toply sought after orator(speaker) & writer . He attended EKUM schools for his primary education and Cardoso senior high school, badiaijora for his secondary education.
He has served in many change-making NGOs; executive, CLEAN-UP NIGERIA CLUB, JUNGLE FEVER CONFERENCE ’11, member NAIJA PROJECT ’11. He co-founded BRAVEHEARTS ENTERTAINMENT KULTURE(BEK AFRICA)- currently the ADMIN & I.T DIRECTOR of BEK AFRICA and the M.D, BEK T.V. He has also served as two times president of SOCIETY OF HARMONIZERS(SOH), a youth forum poised at redefining the mindset of the young ones.
For His passion for cinematography and photography,he is presently a freelance cinematographer/photographer of Microres Nig. Ltd (Google aggregator) and also for WIN TV(a youtube channel). He is the Managing Director/C.E.O, SUPER CHANGE BRANDS COMPANY..a media and social enterprise created to transform the AFRICAN YOUTH lives positively, the company focuses on creating high standard films, videos, change documentaries, magazines, photography &t.v as a strategical tools of reaching our target minds.
Also,to partake in the trend of promoting HUMAN CAPACITY BUILDING via its impact arm called MINDBUILDERS INT’L. He is presently studying COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY at YABA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, Yaba.