What’s Wrong With The World’s Youngest Continent? By Idowu Omisore

Next week, the fifth African Union – European Union summit will hold in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 29-30 November 2017 with a very timely theme “Investing in the youth for a sustainable future”. I have always said that any nation that neglects its youth is playing with fire. It is particularly perplexing that a continent with the world’s youngest population is not doing enough to harness its tremendous asset. Its brightest brains hardly find the atmosphere or the necessary support to unleash their potential. Continue reading

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ARE GOOD EGGS AFRAID TO JOIN THE FRAY?

“The way you are going, it seems you have an agenda. It seems you are interested in politics.”

“Me, politics?”

“Yes!”

“I’m interested in politics, of course I am. I don’t see anything wrong in being politically aware and having a mindset for nation building.”

“That’s not what I am talking about. I mean it seems you are looking at running for an office in the nearest future.”

“For now, I am not thinking in that direction ooo! At least, not now.”

“Why not? People like you, who have a heart for humanity, a drive for development, should become a politician. You see, we need a fresh generation of politicians. Politics has been bastardized by the bad eggs as it is now in our country but are we going to leave things like this. Shouldn’t we challenge the status quo?”

“You are making sense, but you see, there are just too many bad eggs in the Nigerian politics. Good eggs are scarce to come by.”

“Great! I am happy that you acknowledged the fact that there are still a few good eggs. You and I know that there are no saints around. True, there are too many spoiled, smelly eggs in there but if the good eggs like you refuse to come in, then there is no hope for us in this nation. How can we be so blessed and so cursed at the same time?”

“How do you mean? So blessed and so cursed?”

“Do I need to remind you how awesomely endowed we are in terms of human and mineral resources? What have we done with our natural assets? As a nation, we have suffered the dearth of true leaders. Mismanagement, corruption has been the bane of development. We are blessed with resources but cursed with corrupt and directionless leaders.”

“I understand where you are coming from, my brother.  If we are going to be free from the bad eggs, the good eggs must enter the fray. For me, I am committed to making positive contributions to humanity as much as I can, particularly in the area of youth development and nation building generally. I am not opposed to politics, politics of real development, politics of tangible transformation, politics that values human life and helps people reach their full potential. To make a difference, you don’t necessarily need to be a public office holder. Wherever you are, you can add value to the lives of people. Let the good eggs demonstrate honest and impactful leadership. As it’s said, little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Each of us can wield positive influence within our own sphere. Before long, our developmental efforts will permeate and the graph of governance will take a positive curve.”

“Enough said. Let the good eggs step out. What if you are given a political appointment? Are you going to reject the offer?”

“Well, if I am given a political appointment, before grabbing it with both hands, I will look intently at some factors. A political appointment is an invitation to enjoyment and relevance in this side of the world. But for me, it would be an opportunity to touch lives of people positively and meaningfully. But I am going to need divine strength and courage to stand up for my cherished values.”

“Ok, oooo, I have heard you! Continue with your youth development drive. We are watching you. You are having a tremendous impact on young people. Keep it up!”

“Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for bringing up the “bad eggs, good eggs” analogy. Truly, we all have a contribution to make.”

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LET THERE BE COLLABO!

I believe in collaborations. On a number of occasions, I have collaborated with the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, churches, schools, groups and individuals to instigate positive changes.

I am deeply delighted that I collaborated with the Lagos State Government on the lofty leadership development initiative, the IBILE Youth Academy, inaugurated this year by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development. It was a roaring success! I commend the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, our visionary Commissioner for Youth and Social Development for this laudable achievement. Kudos also to Rashidat Omoshola Umar, the programme coordinator.

Today, the IBILE Youth Academy has produced young, vibrant and visionary leaders that are making tremendous impact across the state. I have been following their activities, so I know what I am talking about.

Still on the collabo matter. The other day I was reading John Maxwell’s book on the laws of teamwork and it became crystal clear to me that greater impact is made when heads, hearts and hands synergize.

Collaboration is healthy and more productive than competition. Together, we achieve more, especially when it comes to touching the lives of people positively, making the world a better place, putting smiles on the faces of the underprivileged, in short, doing all the good we can.

Regardless of our diverse interests, NGOs, schools, faith-based organizations, government institutions, clubs, groups, individuals can come together; identify a problem and team up to solve it.

Do you have an ongoing project that is already making a difference and you want some support?

Are you passionately interested in youth development and nation building?

Do you have any upcoming teens/youth & singles event in mind?

Do you need someone to inspire young people in your school, church, club, community, state, country, and indeed anywhere?

Have you been thinking about a positive idea that can add value to the society but you need someone you can bounce off ideas with?

If your answer is a “yes” to any of the questions above, then we should have a chat. Please shoot me an email! (My email address: idgreatness1210@gmail.com).

Together, we can achieve more.

My group, Youth Transformation Campaign (YOUTRACAM) is ready to team up with any individual or organization that has positive projects that can have tangible impact on people.

Let there be collaborations!

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THIS WRONG PERCEPTION MUST BE CORRECTED!

Last Friday, I was a guest speaker at a Career Talk organized by the alumni association of Ijaiye Ojokoro Senior High School, a secondary school within Ikeja Division of Lagos State.

It was a fulfilling experience for me, speaking to those young minds and guiding them on making the right career choice.

I listed and explained three factors that can help them discover the right career: God-factor, Interests and Hobbies. I also gave them three things a right career will do: bring about a deep sense of fulfillment, have a positive impact on humanity and help earn one’s livelihood.

In the course of my talk, I raised the issue of sciences being perceived as superior to commerce and arts especially in Nigerian secondary schools. There’s this belief that the brightest students are the most suited for Sciences, followed by Commerce and Arts. The ‘Arts Class’ is seen by some as a ‘haven’ for playful and not-too-serious students. I realized that this thinking is still prevalent among secondary school students I’ve been interacting with and it’s a very big issue.

If this wrong perception is not corrected, non-science students might carry on with some kind of inferiority complex. I made it clear to them that commerce and arts are not in any way inferior to science as they are all branches of knowledge needed for value creation and holistic development in the society. After my presentation, an engaging question and answer session followed.

I believe in collaborations. Are you passionately interested in youth development and nation building? Do you have any teens/youth & singles event in mind? Do you need someone to inspire young people in your school, church, club, community, state, country, anywhere? Please shoot me an email! (My email address: idgreatness1210@gmail.com).

More than ever before, I am committed to helping young people discover, cultivate and unleash their potential. Nothing gets me revved up like youth development!

It’s a new week, what gets you revved up?

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CAUGHT BY LEADERSHIP!

It was never my desire to serve as the President of the Redeemed Corpers Fellowship (RCF) during my national youth service corps (NYSC).

Before I set off for Anambra State, where I was posted to serve my fatherland, I had decided to keep a low profile. Continue reading

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LEADING CONVERSATIONS ON LEADERSHIP

Last Saturday, I spoke at the Young Leaders Summit organized by one of the areas of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 25. It’s great that churches have seen the need to instill leadership values in young people, early enough.

I went along with my mentee Oparaocha Winifred, the Lagos State Youth Ambassador for Ikeja Division. Continue reading

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Idowu Omisore to speak at Young Leaders Summit

This Saturday, I will be speaking at Young Leaders Summit 01, to teenage leaders of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (Testimony Overflow Parish) within Ikeja Division, Lagos – Nigeria.

It is better to catch them young and help them cultivate the right leadership mindset. If the foundation is ruined, nothing of significance can be built on it.

There is an urgent need to raise a new generation of leaders, leaders with character and competence that can instigate positive transformation in our nation, continent and across globe.

Decades upon decades of bad leadership have suppressed Africa’s incredible potential. It’s really sad! In spite of all enormous resources we are naturally endowed with, we are still yet to come out of the doldrums. It’s time we started grooming young leaders. It’s fulfilling to be a part of this process.

Some years back, I had the privilege of attending leadership development training courses, Daystar Leadership Academy (Basic & Advanced), organized by Sam Adeyemi. It was a redefining experience for me! I was not just taught about leadership, I caught leadership. I am yet to recover from the things I learnt. In fact, I still go back to my notes. I am eternally grateful to Rev. Sam Adeyemi for this initiative that has positively influenced so many lives.

Leaders are influencers. If you are capable of influencing someone or some people, then you are a leader.

How have you been influencing people around you – positively or negatively?

In what way are you making a difference?

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LAST WEEK WAS LIKE A CENTURY TO ME…

Last week was like a century of youth development engagements. At the end of each day, I get fagged out but I’m undaunted!

Nothing gives me more fulfilment. Continue reading

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I woke up this morning soaked…

It’s my birthday ooo!

I woke up this morning soaked…

Soaked with gratitude to God for the gift of life

And the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people

Nothing gives me greater fulfilment

It’s been a journey through thick and thin

Through it all, the Lord has kept me

For me, life is not about acquisition; it is about contribution

In line with what a sage said

That life is not about duration but donation

We have to be legacy conscious

As we continue on this terrestrial ball

What will you and I be remembered for?

By all means, let your life touch the lives of others positively

Right from my days at the University of Lagos, I have been privileged to lead young people. In school then, I was the General Secretary at a faith-based organization and a Hall Pastor. I was also the President, Communicators for Christ in the Department of Mass Communication. What a delightful experience it has been to serve God and bless humanity!

In 2009, I wrote my first book “Invest Your Youthful Years”. My burning desire was to motivate young people to make the best use of their energies, abilities and opportunities as a young person. The book was an outflow of my passion to make a difference.

I feel pained to see youths roving about without a sense of direction, without a sense of responsibility. I just wanted to change their mindset in whatever way I could. I have published seven books altogether: the first, Invest Your Youthful Yours (published in 2009), the second, Dream and Achieve Greatness (2012) and The Unstoppable Generation; Rev Up Your Success Hormones; Catalysts For Legislators & Patriots; Pages of Greatness; and the latest one, Everything Rises and Falls on Attitude.

I have collaborated with the Lagos State Ministry of Youths and Social Development on many occasions through public speaking and free distribution of my inspirational books. I continue to speak to young people in schools, churches, indeed everywhere I get the opportunity.

As a youth enthusiast, my passion is to challenge young people everywhere to maximize their potential, build capacity for leadership and demonstrate their greatness. My quest is captured in four words: Transforming Young People Everywhere (TYPE).

I strongly believe that youth development is critical to Africa’s transformation, given the fact it is the youngest continent in the world. So much potential trapped that needs to unleashed!

Young people need to be constantly inspired and morally instructed to unleash their potential to take the country from where she is to where it ought to be.

Aside from my books and speeches, I run a blog at http://www.idowuomisore.wordpress.com where I post wholesome articles and share my thoughts.

I’ve received a lot of positive feedbacks from people who have read my books, listened to my speeches, read my blog posts and followed my social media activities. This means a lot to me more than all the awards I have received.

I have had the opportunity to mentor fantastic young people, the likes of Hon Taiwo Akorede Abdul-Gafar Seun Agode S-Great Christian Chukwuemeka Chime Oyebode Dolapo Waterpark to mention a few.

Of particular mention among my mentees is Oparaocha Winifred the current official Youth Ambassador for the Ikeja Division of Lagos State. She just successfully coordinated a school orientation programme that brought students from about 25 schools together.

I was one of the facilitators during this event, it was evident that the students will find it difficult to recover from the positive impact of the event.

I’ve learnt that growing old is completely different from growing up.

Today, I’m a year older. I am also fiercely determined to invest more and more in my personal and professional development so that I can contribute and influence more lives positively.

Thanks to mentors, friends and family that have made my life a phenomenal experience!

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UNTANGLING SELF DISCOVERY

At a recent school orientation programme where I was one of the facilitators, a young student came up to the front during the Question and Answer session and asked,

“What would be your advice to a student that believes he’s cut out to pursue a religious assignment in life, should that student still pursue his studies vigorously after he has discovered himself?”

I immediately understood what he was saying and gave an appropriate response.

I had just finished my presentation on the subject of self discovery, how important it is to academic excellence, career or entrepreneurship.

As a youth development enthusiast who spends numerous hours speaking to live audiences every year, I am always looking for opportunities to inspire young people to unleash their potential but self discovery is the genesis of greatness.

Watch out for my next book “10 Commandments of Self Discovery”, to be launched in a few days time.

In 2009, I wrote my first book “Invest Your Youthful Years”. My burning desire was to motivate young people to make the best use of their energies, abilities and opportunities as a young person.

The book was an outflow of my passion to make a difference. I feel pained to see youths roving about without a sense of direction, without a sense of responsibility. I just wanted to change their mindset in whatever way I could.

When the book was launched and presented to the public, the response was overwhelming. The book landed on the shelves of bookshops, orders streamed in steadily together with speaking invitations, for which I am grateful.

But more significantly, during the last several years as I have taught the wisdom contained in this book, I have had the delight of listening/reading the testimonies of people who have read the book or listened to me speak.

Nothing gives me greater fulfilment.

Back to the matter of self-discovery, it is a complicated subject, especially to young people.

My answer to the question asked by that young student: “Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Pastor Williams Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry are good examples of highly successful religious leaders with phenomenal influence that cuts across continents. It is on record that they performed excellently in their studies. My advice is that that student should face his studies squarely in preparation for the future”.

My soon-to-be-published book will untangle self-discovery, how it applies to students, spouses, organizations and nations.

Have you discovered yourself? It will be great to read of your self-discovery experience!

Continue reading

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