By Victor Gotevbe
W hen you engage a bright and creative mind you definitely will leave with an experience to remember in a very long time. Ayo walked into the Vanguard corporate office looking well dressed, above all, exuding confidence that he is a young man with a vision to impact lives. He is a Microbiologist with an MBA,and he is set to cause a generation change. Please read on:
What was your upbringing like?
My first degree was in Microbiology from Igbinedion University, and an MBA from Bayero University. I am from a family of six, the first son. My father is a seasoned hotelier while my mother is an educationist. I grew up with strong religious and moral values which I imbibed from my background. Like every other African first child, I am responsible for keeping the name and image of my family.
This made my mother spend hours grooming me with cane and a book everyday while my father ensured character and integrity were my watchword. I was involved in lots of debate competitions growing up and was always giving speeches in school or in church.
I guess that was how I developed my immaculate speaking skill. The one thing I know that was constant all my life was the fact that I caught the attention of people when I spoke, it was not until recently I realized it was a tool for destiny. It’s no surprise that I have grown to become a Brand and an idea strategist, speaker and an author.
What is the inspiration for this burden to bring about positive change in our society?
My experience serving in Yobe State a few years shaped me dramatically. I led the NYSC band which made me quite popular and allowed me to meet a lot of other Corp members. In my interactions with my colleagues I realized that a majority had absolutely no idea what they were going to do with their lives. Some were counting on good fortune, others were hoping for a miracle while some were willing to go by any means necessary.
These were supposed to be university graduates but they lacked an orientation for the future. It was at this point I made up my mind to awaken my colleagues towards taking personal responsibility for their lives. I went on to organize a few successful seminars alongside Tylor the SAGE who was also serving in Yobe at the time. Together we set on a mission to renew the mind of young Nigerians.
How in real terms are you doing this?
There is nowhere in history where the government was responsible for the economic prosperity of its citizenry. It is the tears, sweat and blood of citizens that translate to economic value. The truth is entrepreneurship is no longer an option but a necessity. It is either we innovate or we die. Graduates are saturating the market, and unemployment is on the rise. If we must salvage this impending doom then we must Start enterprises no matter how small.
The start up generation is a platform I have created to encourage innovative and sustainable entrepreneurial activities by young Nigerians through training and Mentorship. I seek to create an environ where young entrepreneurs can be mentored directly by accomplished ones to fast- track their success. An advocacy and inquiry fora when policy makers and other stakeholders will be engaged in a dialogue to create a pathway to a successful future. The project will be lunched on October 1st, 2013.
What are you currently working on?
I have been working on a couple of things. I just wrapped up the production of my audio series NO LIMITS and my book “Becoming a Super Achiever” will be out in stores soon. I also have been engaged with corporate trainings at Deliver consulting.
Any last words for Nigerian youth?
I urge young people to prioritize long term perspectives over instant gratification. No matter how small the start up is, with diligence and patience, a great company will emerge.
YOUNG NIGERIANS MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
Moral Rearmament/Initiatives of Change recently concluded a Train the Trainers Workshop in Lagos. Most of the participants who were majorly young professionals had as part of their testimonial a rewarding experience, as they walked away with fresh knowledge, new insight and inspiration to take action.