Ancient Babylon was the richest city on earth, not because of the government, but because of the people. The people understood a secret, they understood the power of positive thinking and the rules of managing money. They not only understood the principles surrounding building wealth, they practised it. If you speak to our senators, ministers and governors they will admit that as leaders they have failed, like the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 2:12: For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. So who bears the responsibility of leadership? Our President? Our forefathers? Our governors? Our Lecturers? Our pastors? Yes they all have a part to play in ensuring we are fed spiritually, physically and mentally. However leadership my fellow Nigerians & Africans lies within our hearts and our souls!! How long will we pass the blame game? How long will we get used to an accustom that destroys our beautiful nation? So we should ask, what do we lack? Wealth? If you ask someone outside of Africa, someone ignorant that is clearly not educated, they will say Nigeria lacks wealth. A country that has been initiated into the MINT nations, the new, growing economic power of 2050, alongside Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. A country that has an abundance of Oil reserves and other precious natural resources that are still untapped, surely Wealth isn’t the problem. So I ask again, what is the problem? Our problem is leadership and courage; Leadership to take the leap of faith and challenge ourselves, the lack of courage to unite amongst ourselves and fight the common enemy who doesn’t want the prosperity of our nation and continent. That enemy is corruption, education, infrastructure, running water, roads and electricity…
As much as we need a political revolution, we need an entrepreneurial revolution, we need to recognise that because we have independence as a nation does not mean we are free as people. We need to understand that whatever causes our neighbour to beg for food or water is equally our problem. The more interdependent we become within Africa, the better for the generations after us.
The Minister of State for Ghana, Hon.Fifi Kwetey is the head of finance and allied institutions and also the head of the new Ghanaian seed fund for young Ghanaians. The fund is GHC10million it will be used to foster the growth of entrepreneurship amongst young Ghanaians, it will eventually be open to enterprises that are established and operating in Ghana. It is purely based on proposals and these proposals will be thoroughly analysed so that the funds go into the right hands to minimise risks. Hon. Fifi Kwetey believes that the people always get the leaders they deserve, and the leaders themselves are a product of the same culture, same civilisation and the same mind-set. He stressed on to state that if our generation continues to have the same mind-set of our current leaders then….guess what? The African Dream will be pushed back once again!! Our leaders will be consumed by nothing but themselves, living a life of trying to impress people, only concerned with what they can get for themselves and family not the transformation of their country. The Honourable Minister mentioned that if we go to our schools, churches and workplaces (wherever in the world) the same levels of chronic insecurity and total vanity is found, I couldn’t agree more.
Senator Babajide Oso of Osun State believes that a lot of African countries are catching up to Nigeria due to leadership problems. He stresses that there is a common problem with entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the issue of having a wide variety of great ideas and not been able change the idea into a start-up, let alone a start-up into a successful business. The senator raised a valid point when we had our meeting in Ikeja, he supports our initiative but mentioned that it is not Universities like Covenant that need our event, but public universities who lack opportunities. The senator also stated that he is organising a networking event in Osun State to encourage fellow entrepreneurs and youth; he is organising an event in conjunction with UKTI, students, Trade & commerce, chambers of commerce and a few international Banks.
Known as a motivational speaker to adults, and The Godfather to young men and aspiring entrepreneurs but in fact he is a Nation builder, Fela Durotoye blew me away. We had a meeting with the Founder of Gemstone after we met Senator Babajide. Alieu and I state that there are very few people we come into contact with that can sell us a dream. Fela Durotoye sold us the African Dream with values that could not only change Nigeria or Africa but the very world we live in. As we was walking into the Gemstone complex we were greeted by two men, which mentioned that Fela told them to take us to his office. I must add that his building is truly a work of art, it felt as if we entered a building in London’s Mayfair. There are certain values that men of integrity and honour live by, I believe my personal role model King Solomon lived by principles and values that Alieu and I pledged with Fela Durotoye. If we all can take the values created by Fela seriously and practice them, then what a change we would experience. We were pleased to receive our own personal creed that if practised will make you a nation builder.
The Personal Creed starts off as follows:
This Day, I hereby commit to live a lifestyle of leadership and excellence and to do all within my power to transform my country into a most desirable nation to live in. To this end, I will;
- Make a positive Impact on everyone I meet and everywhere I go.
- I will; be a solution provider and not a part of the problem to be solved.
- I will be a role model worthy of emulation.
There are 10 values altogether, I now wake up every morning reciting the creed so I can live by example. The values are what GoGetters stand for, in order for change to become a reality we first need to change the person looking right into your soul in the mirror.
Hon. Senator Ganiyu Olarenwju Solomon (GOS) of Lagos West, a true ambassador for entrepreneurship and a Senator who believes in the power of the youth and entrepreneurship. Senator GOS as he is known sponsored our event at Covenant University, he saw young men that sacrificed their time to come to Nigeria and make a change. He not only provided words of wisdom and encouragement but understands the power of the youth, and the great importance the youth play in Nigeria. 70% of Nigeria’s population are under 25, therefore the youth play an important role on how they regard any industry within Nigeria.
Meeting Senator GOS changed my perspective of politics in Nigeria. We need a leader who has the youth at his best interest, a leader who takes time out of his busy schedule to sit down and listen to aspiring entrepreneurs. He was very attentive to what we as GoGetters had seen that is slowing the growth of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the concept of expensive internet and mentorship was discussed in our meeting. On a personal note I want to thank Senator GOS for his generosity (sponsoring the GoGetters entrepreneurship workshop) and sincerity in believing in the African Dream.
It is a great honour to be in discussions with men of political and motivational influence and power that understand the importance of entrepreneurship, Africa has such a vast youthful population and if we as leaders within our own right do not cease the opportunities at hand, then we are in trouble. But if we continue to have faith in the African Dream then our standard of living will get better and our purchasing power will increase, this will cause a chain reaction and money will go into those who are less fortunate.