Y.E.E.P. Lead Director, Tunji Ojediran delivers Keynote Speech at the WEinspire Conference 2.0
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Lead Director Y.E.E.P., Tunji Ojediran presented the keynote at the WEinspire Conference 2.0, tagged, “Changing the African Narrative; influencing transformation as youths”.
At the event, he discussed entrepreneurship with a focus on youths and budding Entrepreneurs in Africa with Sapphire Scent CEO/Founder, Aladewale Aladejana and other successful Entrepreneurs in the enterprise development world, encouraging more young Africans to fight against all odds and just kick off their vision. He emphasized that clarity comes on the road. His speech can be summed into this; “Just START!”
Read his keynote speech below:
- Over and over and over again, the African man has been tagged with poverty, violence, helplessness and lack of hope so much so we’ve come to believe it and see ourselves in such light.
- It’s funny how great moves and impact have been and are being made by Africans yet the world finds a way to keep relegating us to the background. The world already has a fixed warped mindset about us.
- The African man has fought tirelessly and valiantly to show that he matters in the world of today and it’s a beautiful and heroic thing but…
- “A tiger doesn’t proclaim its tigritude, he pounces” Professor Wole Soyinka said that. I know it probably sounds like a whole lot of grammar so simply put; Time to walk the talk! It’s high time we made a mark no one can resist, not even the world if it tries to.
- Whether we have great leadership or predecessors, it’s not a topic up for discussion right now. Instead as youths, we are choosing to become an undeniable force and a revolution.
- Notwithstanding the sector we’ve chosen to individually exist in, be it political, economic, academic or even the entertainment industry; cause a transformation, a shaking, it’s time for a shift, people.
- The decision to change the African narrative is an individualistic and intentional decision every youth needs to make if indeed we want to be transformational. Transformations don’t occur on the spot, they are cultured and cultivated till it becomes a Nuclear reaction and everyone is caught up in the transformation Process.
- It’s therefore necessary for us as youths to have individualistic visions, goals and aspirations that fit into the bigger picture of Changing the African Narrative. But listen up, it all starts with baby steps. Yeah, I did say baby steps. Okay, let me lay this down right, no one is saying the picture of your vision would be vivid and clear straightway because it rarely is.
- It’s beautiful to want to make big changes, achieve great goals but you’ve got to start small. Oh, I know you’ve probably heard that a million times over and that’s fine but that’s why I need you to carefully listen to the next thing I’m about say.
- Between the kick-off of a dream and the actualization of that dream, there is a limbo, there is that space, there is the middle, and trust me, there are very few, very few things sweet in the middle. In that middle exists the actual process to achieving those goals. It’s very important for you to enjoy the process as that’s where the bulk of the work exists.
- As an entrepreneur, the process that exists between every project or mini-vision in the bigger vision is something I cherish a lot. I’ve always wanted to showcase the African excellence and diversity, as this is something I personally admired and wanted the world to see. In my 3rd year in the federal university of Technology, Akure, during a short strike in 2016, I decided to start a TV Show to showcase the gifts and talents the African Youth possesses,
- I had some of the biggest television networks in the world, in my reach, the most amazing script writers in Africa worked for me, in fact, in that year, I received a call from the president of Zimbabwe, Thailand and of course USA, Donald Trump asking that I joined the national congress of how to lie.
- Well, everything I just mentioned just now was not what happened. Look! Naturally, I wanted to start a TV show and I would have appreciated it on a large scale nonetheless, but I’ll wait probably all my life for the right time to start if I was expecting to find the right time.
- So I started with just my phone as Camera in the living room of my parent’s house in the holidays and I’ll find nice spots to shoot when I’m in school. At that point I still didn’t have the full picture and vision of what I really wanted but steadily it grew and I grew.
- In 2018, inspired by some of my friends, I was pushed to pitch my TV Idea to some networks and in the same quarter of that year, we were already on some of Africa’s biggest television networks, like DSTV, Startimes and GOTV. It wasn’t easy, airing my shows on television would seem like I had it all figured out like most of my mates will presume but there was a process and you can’t, I repeat, you can’t deny the process if you would attain sustainable success.
- Because I took one step towards my vision, several things led to another but again, only because I was ok starting small. And till you are contented with starting small, you might never really start anything.
- The burden to reach more African youths became even more saddled on me in 2018, as the vision would become clearer and clearer every day as I continued to work on my dreams and my visions.
- Again, no one exactly has it all figured out all the way from the beginning, but along the line of consistency and staying in Gods will, I and my team were able to reach out to thousands of young Africans every month and by 2018, we already sponsoring young people with millions even though we seemingly had nothing but the will to see the vision actualize was there, and so there was a way!
- In February 2019, I had my first deal to work with BBC UK, a farfetched reality from where I started. The small boy using phones to record, now the small boy on TV and again the small boy talking to you.
- In July, 2019, I was adopted by the Africa for Africa youth initiative to be amongst 100 youths making impact in Africa to be mentored and coached by sitting and former head of states, ministers etc. all around the countries of Africa.
- It’s been a pretty long ride and I’m still in the process of figuring out the vision but it’s better to be in the process than sit and wait till the vision processes itself. There is a great need to let the African youth of our time and generation know that there’s more to them than the structures and patterns this world only lets them see.
- Africa’s greatest resource is her youth and that’s you and I and until we realize that you and I play a great role in transforming Africa to the Africa we would want it to be, there’s nothing much that will change.
- In the course of this conference, you’ll receive insight, guidance and inspiration that will propel you for leadership and global impact in the world today, you’ll receive an alignment of vision and a restructuring of your mindset.
- I look forward to hearing of your great exploits that will emanate because you are here today. Again I say, welcome to WEinspire, the conference 2.0 .
- Do have a great time!