Monday, March 8, 2021
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‘’It’s always been my dream that the World will come to see, experience, enjoy and respect the inherent greatness, talent, hospitality and hidden treasures of my Country and Countrymen.’ — TOYOSI AKERELE-OGUNSIJI ‘’Born a Woman – Blessed with the heart and voice of a King’’

Highlighting activities of the young and the old; male and female; form part of the campaign that TERRIFIC HEADLINES is running, with intent to encourage the target audience to adopt preventive over and above reactive measures in combating widespread moral decadence that has eaten into the very fabrics of the society. Regrettably, this issue is not limited to youths alone; but also, some renegades who have reached ages of maturity. We believe that this type of campaign could assist in preventing criminal and social vices; while also getting the target audience – Government, parents and organizations with parental responsibilities, and even the civil society – to be more aware of their responsibilities, particularly preventing social and criminal vices, as well as inculcate in every facet of the society, the right values, ethics, and morals.

SUCCEEDING IN LIFE: Successes are attainable through hard work, prayers and a bit of luck. Two successful Cambridge businesses attribute success to: ‘’luck, clear vision and sheer hard work’’. The faith that I profess believes and recognizes God as a Master Planner, with the Holy Spirit leading the way. Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Abuja, highly cerebral Cardinal John Onaiyekan asserts that: ‘’In terms of developing a positive global vision, the sharing of information is key. ‘’We must work hard to present people with a different range of ideas, interests and visions, and introduce different types of people, information and values in an attempt to bring about understanding. ”There is always room for learning’’ Today, Africa parades a paradox of opulence, growth and pervasive poverty. Generally, it is believed that Africa’s future may very well depend on the ability of the target audience described above, to evolve workable systems that would guare sustainable and viable cultures of governance and democracy.

LONG RANGE VISIONING & PLANNING: So many factors influence several interests in an increasingly interdependent world.In advanced societies, policies are woven to include long range planning and visioning that guarantee periodic measurement of achievements as a means of putting implementation on track. Our young achievers on whom we are focussing, commencing with Toyosi are described as: ”change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders” Some of the most educated immigrants in the United States are Nigerians’’ According to an online publication: OZY:‘’29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the Migrations Policy Institute. ‘’Among Nigerian-American professionals, 45 percent work in education services. ‘’The 2016 American Community Survey found, and many are professors at top universities. ‘’A growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building technology companies in the United States to help people back home.’’

THE YOUNG ACHIEVER: We are working towards enlightening the target audience on how to lead peaceable and productive lives, like the Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsijis have done, and have at prime ages emerged international celebrities on account of their sharp intellect, ingenuity, creativity and ability to see success where others see failure. There have emerged in the recent past, very young Nigerians who made entries into FORBES Magazine as ‘’20 Youngest Power Women in Africa’’ One of them is the lady we celebrate in this piece: MRS TOYOSI AKERELE-OGUNSIJI, FOUNDER RISE NETWORKS. The magazine refers to those high-flyers recognized by it as: ‘’Influential female leaders, groundbreakers and ceiling crashers who are transforming the continent from their different communities, changing the world around them and impacting young lives’’

We publish this piece to make a point. And that is the truth that our young ones; and even old people, could be successful in life by following the honourable path, work hard, pray, and achieve their goals and aspirations without any crooked behaviour or influence. At the age of 36 years, Toyosi is already an international figure, and by all measurable standards a superstar in positive terms.  I first viewed Toyosi on a television channel four years ago, and saw her speak eloquently and intelligently as a motivational speaker, scoring logical and reasonable points. Her driving cliché is: -Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji- ‘’Born a Woman – Blessed with the heart and voice of a King’’

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Toyosi is just 36, the age of my children; but I am happy reporting her activities; though we have never met physically, except on the social media. Described by BellaNaija, owned by another high-flyer that will soon come under our focus  as ‘’a social entrepreneur, Public sector leadership and effectiveness champion’’; Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji co-hosted, in partnership with the Lagos State government, students of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to a one week Public Sector and Innovation Field Trip in Nigeria Hear her on what drives her passion:  ‘’It’s always been my dream that the World will come to see, experience, enjoy and respect the inherent greatness, talent, hospitality and hidden treasures of my Country and Countrymen.’’The story must be rewritten. Nigeria is not a country of scammers.  Only a negligible percentage of Nigerians may be discovered to be dubious. But let us never forget that it takes two to commit the fraud dubbed: Advanced Fee Fraud, usually called 419.  One ‘fraudster is resident in Nigeria; while the other, a ’fantastically corrupt’’ and ill-intentioned foreigner who is resident abroad, wants to illegally empty to vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria; or lift crude oil clandestinely.

In the process, he/she falls into the hands of fellow fraudsters. Such foreigners should ideally not be pitied, but should be shipped back into Nigeria to answer to criminal charges of complicity rather than helped to retrieve their scammed funds. Afterall, his/her progenitors never banked with the Central Bank of Nigeria; and had no oil block in Nigeria. But the likes of Toyosi ( I know many in her age bracket) are doing the nation proud as investors, inventors, geniuses, and creative people with imaginative talents that they are putting to profitable use. Indeed, they have stoutly challenged their contemporaries who are into shady deals and dirty acts who utilize their brains negatively. She has proven that one could stay in Nigeria and make use of best opportunities available. Toyosi has proven that success does not depend on making illegal trips to the United States or Europe. She has proven that you could reside in Nigeria and yet get invited to the White House or 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister.

CREDENTIALS: It is noteworthy that at her age, Toyosi already has intimidation credentials and the reason is partly because she is determined, bold and resolute to break new grounds While some of her peers try their hands on dirty deals and behaviour, Toyosi creates advocacy and learning opportunities for the inclusive growth of youths with the core objective of preparing them for leadership and social change. Her words: ‘’I am one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa who are resolute in their resolve to change, to build, to inspire and transform the world.  We are out there making it happen. We are change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders. We are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance.’’ She got an endorsement in 2011, by Michelle Obama, of the United States, ‘’as one of her personal inspirations in a televised address to America as a prelude to her arrival in Africa for the Young African Women Leaders Forum of which Akerele-Ogunsiji emerged a member’’

WISDOM: A wise lady, Toyosi decided not to be wasteful when she got  married to Adekunle Ogunsiji, an ICT professional, in a low-key wedding at her family house in Ikeja, Lagos. Toyosi attended public schools in Lagos. It was later in life that she got recognized by dint of her work, as one of the most promising emerging Leaders of Africa’s new generation is an Edward Mason Fellow and Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Graduate of Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government where she also served as Vice President for International Student Affairs and Chair of the International Student Affairs Committee She studied Strategic Management at Executive Level at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, obtained a Certificate in Youth Inclusive Financial Services from University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA, holds a Certificate in Media Enterprise from the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University and an Executive Masters’ Certificate in Project Management from The Project Management College, UK.

ROLE MODELS: In an ‘’Aluta’’ gathering, this citation would have provoked cries of: … more, more… ‘’She has also studied Digital Marketing Strategy at the UK Institute of Digital Marketing and she received a 2nd Class Upper Bachelors’ degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos. She is a mindful leader who is celebrated for Leadership on the Continent in the service of a larger cause, a worthy alumnus of the United States Government’s Prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program and she was described by the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama as one of her personal inspirations.’’ More information from her BLOG reveals that ‘’Toyosi spent most of her growing years shaping Nigerian Communities through her Youth.She is a devoted Mentor to hundreds of Young People in Business, Politics, Non-Profit and Tertiary Institutions across Africa. In turn, she regards some successful women like Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, Mrs Audrey Joe-Ezigbo of FALCON Oils and Mrs Bola Adesola, newly-promoted Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Limited, Nigeria as mentors. Other mentors are: Mrs. IquioUkoh, Mrs Jumoke Adenowo, Mrs. Funke Egbemode; and Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi.  Looking up to these great women has apparently been a good challenge for Toyosi. She has successfully collected the following honours:

  • Recognition by Crans Montana Forum in Europe as a New Leader of Tomorrow
  • Recipient of This Day Awards for Nigeria’s Women of Distinction
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 of Success Digest Entrepreneurial Awards
  • Recipient of the 2011 Excellence Awards of the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University
  • Recipient of the 2008 Future Africa Awards Best Use of Advocacy Category and the Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards jointly organized by Leap Africa, International Youth Foundation and NOKIA
  • One of the honorees’ of the Top 100 Young Leaders’ Recognition at the Nigeria’s Centenary Celebrations by the Federal Government
  • Honoured by 234 GIVE, a Social Initiative that encourages Nigerians to donate to the adopted Charities and improve livelihoods for the less privileged
  • In May 2010, Toyosi was selected for the Nigeria Leadership Initiative’s Future Leaders Fellowship. NLI is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Member of The Right to Know Initiative, a Nonprofit focused on Human Rights and Open Data Issues and their social impact on Citizens in 2011 * Appointed the Youngest Member of the Victims of Terrorism Funds Committee.
  • Jury Member of the Get Started Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge initiated by NESCAFÉ to empower Youth across the Continent
  • Member and a Mentor of the African Entrepreneurship Awards & a Mentor on the Bank of Africa’s Africa Entrepreneurship Awards
  • Named on the 2015 Honours List of Genevieve Magazine’s Top 21 most Outstanding Nigerian Women and in 2016 as one of Nigeria’s youngest achievers
  • She has delivered Papers and presentations as well as led focused group discussions at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Women in Management, Business and Public Sector, Youth Africamp organized annually by Open Society Institute of East Africa, Women of West African Entrepreneurship, Africa Wide Consultation on Post 2015 Development Agenda and Expert Group Meeting, and the United Nations Media Workshop on Africa Governance Report.
  • Her media commentary and interviews include appearances on Channels Television, BET, Nigerian Television Authority, Africa Independent Television and South African Broadcasting Corporation.(credit: Wikipedia
  • PROMOTING THE FEELINGS OF EMPATHY: Toyosi Akerele-, was born into the family of Mr. James Ayodele & Felicia MopelolaAkerele. She attended EbunOluwa Nursery and Primary School, Oregun Lagos from where she headed to Lagos State Model College Kankon Badagry, for her Junior Secondary Education from 1994 to 1996. She then went to Egbado College (now Yewa College) from 1998 till June 2000 for her Senior Secondary Education. Later, she obtained a Second Class Upper Degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos in April 2007. ‘’Ogunsiji is an alumnus of the United States Government’s International Visitor Leadership Program. According to her records, the participants at the US Leadership programme are branded ‘’change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders.‘’They are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance.’’

If Toyosi could on her own attain this height without funny movements and antics, why would some of her peers take plunge into the dark world of fraud, get-rich quick disposition, love and inordinate ambition for wealth without legitimate jobs. People like Toyosi are telling their colleagues that you could succeed without going into prostituition. In the past few decades, conscious attempts have been made globally and through the United Nations to accord women their pride of place. These have come in the form of several Conventions and Regulations to which most nations of the world have subscribed. But a lot still has to be done to get women to shake off the huge deprivations of the past and aspire to the same heights that men have attained. Indeed, the situation is fast changing with the emergence of female Heads of State and Presidents, Commonwealth Secretary-General, and Deputy UN Secretary General, among other important positions of responsibility.

 NIGERIA WILL BE GREAT AGAIN: Toyosi’s dream is that Nigeria will be great in her lifetime and she hopes to be part of the nation’s revolution and rebuilding.  Lastly, it is axiomatic that everyone in the society has some basic functions to perform; as influencing development is a joint task of the government and the governed, as well as organizations with parental responsibilities. Let us teach our young ones that dedication is not a gift; but a choice. As you lay your beds, so you lie on them. Forthrightness, focus, making the right choices, boldness, discovering your goals, and taking the correct steps will make individuals and nations successful. Today, Toyosi doesn’t need to tell lies or make false declarations for her to be issued entry visas into foreign countries. If a youth could achieve this much at her age, all her contemporaries who are in shady deals need to do is to reexamine their ways.

NIGERIA WILL BE GREAT AGAIN: Prophecies have come from the Throne of Grace indication that: ‘’Nigeria shall fulfill my counsel for the black race, the race that has been despised and enslaved. I will show forth my glory on the despised and enslaved. Through Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the Lord said: ‘’The way America is held in high esteem that every man in the world desires to go there, so shall I make Nigeria. ‘’No black man would like to die without visiting Nigeria to see my wonders.’’  A popular female priest in the United States, Cindy Jacobs of United States, in year 2002 spoke the mind of God: ‘’The Lord says to Nigeria, “I have given you a missionary spirit and I am surely going to change the nations of the earth through you. ‘’But now I will give you the anointing to change your nation. ‘’The Lord says I am going to begin to unravel the corrupt system in Nigeria that men will say it is impossible, but I say with God all things are possible.’’

 She continues:  ‘’There is going to be a revival in the universities and this revival will be of a large magnitude, that the revival in the universities will affect the secondary schools and primary schools. And God will change Nigeria to the next generation. ‘’And the Lord says the unity of the leaders is coming. It’s going to uproot and dethrone the occult, for I am going to overthrow the occult spirit. ‘’And I am going to use Nigerians to heal the rest of Africa, because what happens in Nigeria will affect the whole continent.’’ I commend this last sentence to politicians and the electorate. We must do our own part for these prophecies to come to accurate fulfillment without any delay. Nigeria’s dry bones will surely rise again. So says the Lord.

 Pix: Google



May the Good Lord bless Nigeria.

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