This month on Ijaysworld, the spot light is on a young man resilient on living his dream by impacting his community.
Life sure dealt him some hard blows. However, his attitude at that stage of his life is what I call; courageous living.
He didn’t allow his rough background to keep him on the ground. Rather, it became a defining moments to his walk to freedom.
Your background is not a determining factor to what you will become in life or where you will eventually get to. You have a bright and lovely future ahead of you. Stretch forth and embrace it.
Enjoy this chat with him.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am Akinnike Micheal Oluwatobiloba, founder and team lead of Young Protégé Leadership Foundation. At 16, I lost the most important human figure in my life; my father. This made loose all hope on life, and purpose. I forfeited admission into the university to work as an unskilled labour on construction site. One of those days, I was asked to carry 50 kg dangote cement up a 2 storey building under construction. At this time, I was weighing 53kg. This made me ask myself; is this all I could offer the world? Who am i? What was I created for? I found the answer to this question in serving my community.
YOU FOUNDED YOUNG PROTÉGÉ LEAD, WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
Young Protégé Leadership Foundation is a not for profit organization that runs on social enterprise model to educate, mentor and empower young people and children on leadership for socioeconomic growth and development in Africa. We designed and developed the first African leadership board game called Protégé LEAD game that was acquired by over 2,500 young people children and played by over 10,000 young people and children. We also advocate quality education through our outstanding advocacy projects like Read2Lead and Mentor them...Make them.
WHAT MOTIVATED THE CREATION OF YOUNG PROTÉGÉ LEAD?
I was motivated by the tragic and sad event of losing the most important human in my life. My father was a man of principle, culture and faith. I could not imagine my life without him. After his death, I had to step into his shoes to take care of the house; my mother has also just been operated for hemorrhage. The pain of carrying 50kg cement up a 2 storey building to be paid #700 after working from 9am to 5pm was really icy on cake of it. I knew I did not want that life. I wanted to be more, I wanted an education and I wanted to impact present and future generation. Today the journey has just started and I know it is a long walk to freedom.
WHAT TEENAGE EXPERIENCE DO YOU CHERISH THE MOST?
Winning bible quiz trophies for my church and the prize giving days in primary school was my best days. I have always loved winning.
WHAT LIFE PRINCIPLES KEEP YOU FOCUSED?
It is not the years in your life that matters but the life in your years. What will people say when you die? What will be your legacy when you depart this planet? Our lives are effervescent; we will all disappear into life unknown but what is the effect of your appearance in this known life.
WHAT LESSONS HAVE CHALLENGES OF LIGHT TAUGHT YOU?
I have learnt quite lot from many of these challenges and still learning. Some of these life lessons include:
I am young but I have faced several challenges; lost loved ones, hated for no reason and people also make assumption about you without hearing from you.
I coordinated a project where everyone was older than me, it was very hard to bring this project to life because my aim was to cut cost and achieve maximum impact. 90% of the team came for contracts, this led to conflicts. I had to sacrifice at some point. Yes, sacrifice just to achieve maximum impact of the project. Let me say this sacrifice never went against my ideal and values. Life is beautiful; at the end we had cut cost by 10% from the previous year.
IF YOU WERE TO CHANGE SOMETHING YOU DID BACK WHEN YOU WERE A TEEN, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Nothing. I would not change anything even the death of my father. Not that I am mean, but I may never be who I am if my father was alive.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 VALUES?
Responsibility, integrity, resilience, faith and humility.
IN TIMES OF DIFFICULTIES, WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
The word of God I have devoured from childhood.
HOW CAN TEENS/YOUTHS MAXIMIZE THIS STAGE OF LIFE?
Every young person and teen must first find themselves. Self identification is the first step in becoming successful. What are your values, who are you, what are your strength, weakness, opportunity and threat, what do you hate and love? These are very important questions for becoming great.
Quality education is very important, formal and informal education, reading is a major important activity of successful people. How much you know determines how much you can give. Education is the ladder to success in the current world. It sharpens and polishes our thinking process.
ADVICE TO THOSE WHO FEEL THEY CAN’T DO ANYTHING GOOD DUE TO THEIR BACKGROUND?
You are limitless, you are the best of your kind, after you there will be no other you. You are a bundle of gift presented to this world. Inside reside the solution the world has been waiting for. The world has two sides on its balance sheet. Do you want to be a profit or lose to this world? Don't let your background put your back to the ground because you are the BEST.
Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!