What a year!
From making the top 20 in Africa in the Etisalat Flash Fiction contest to Nigeria’s victory over Ebola, the emergence of Buhari/Osinbajo as APC’s presidential/VP candidates and to my victory in the Paradigm Initiative Nigeria digital Jobs contest, it’s truly been an outstanding year for Nigeria and for me. However, the focus of this piece will be on 6 super-hot categories that defined my 2014. Here we go:
FIRST POSITION: DIGITAL JOBS CONTEST [PARADIGM INITITIVE NIGERIA]
Thanks to the BBM group Change Nigeria Alliance, I got to know about Gbenga Sesan’s Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s Digital Jobs challenge. Long story short, I applied and despite stiff opposition from every corner of Nigeria, I won the ultimate prize of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. Since I was in Kogi at the time and the prize presentation was going to be at PIN headquarters in Yaba, Lagos, Ayobami Fawole [girlfriend to my friend Tobi] represented me and picked up my prize. Ayo & Tobi, thank you. PIN, you’re the best.
And by popular demand, here are the tweets that thrilled the judges like sweets:
Workers are not limited by physical location, physical appearance, disabilities, so millions of youths benefit @pinigeria #Digitaljobs
Today, there is an app for everything, #Digitaljobs is the future & present of workplace, fast strengthening Africa’s ICT sector @pinigeria
More options, more money: A digital worker can work with multiple firms at different times of the day & earn globally @pinigeria #Digitaljobs
Companies would hire more digital workers because they lower hiring & training costs and more jobs=less unemployment @pinigeria #Digitaljobs
NYSC KOGI CAMP
I have already written an epistle on my camp experience (ASAYA CAMP EXPERIENCE) but for the sake of first timers, It was a fantastic experience for me. In camp, I was the best trainee for Millenium Development Goals [MAC family] & was subsequently named valedictorian, I initiated the verdict, a 5-star interview series which interviewed every single outstanding Corp member in camp, anybody that was somebody was put to the test by a professional crew that had it all. Catch up here.
Became zonal cord NCCF, General Sec MDGs
In October, barely 2 weeks after resuming for duty at Omala local government, I gave an inspiring speech (I am a Nigerian) to over 500 secondary school students at Abejukolo Stadium. In the same week, I was named as the Zonal coordinator of Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship of Omala Local Government. And one week after that, I became the general secretary of MDGs Community Development Service [CDS] group. In November, CDS took us to Agah Unique Secondary School where I delivered yet another cracker “Get SMART”.
Royal Grace: started a multimedia unit
I currently attend Royal Grace Chapel, a Pentecostal church founded by Rev Dave Faruna. Immediately I joined, I noticed there was no banner in front of the church and suggested it to Corper Ade who made it his legacy project. I also discovered there was no projection/multimedia & heard that there was a projector but no handler. Two weeks later, I started a multimedia unit. Several designs, PowerPoint presentations & a white paper later in December, the church organized a Jeans Carnival for youths where issues relating to living well & succeeding were dissected. We also had games & a quiz competition which I won.
Buhari won APC primaries
It’s no secret that I want change, and I believe Buhari is the best candidate to lead that change. This is why I followed the presidential primaries of the APC via social media all through the event. In the end, the never-say-die General won the day. May the best candidates emerge at the polls in February as I join other Corps members to preside over the elections.
Abduction of Chibok girls:
There is God video
In the words of Honorable Patrick, the Nation was thrown into a state of quagmire on the 15th of April as 276 girls (with 219 still missing) were abducted from Chibok by the deadly, world-famous Boko Haram Sect. As usual, FG made empty promises, Boko Haram delivered on its promises with escalated bombings & kidnappings and almost everyone got used to one week-one bomblast scenario. On a lighter note, Patience jonthan provided some comic relief in a time of tragedy with her viral hit “There is God o”. Theyoutube clip has been viewed over 1,085,575 times (as at the time of filing this report) and is a testament to the grammatical sagacity of Jonathan’s sweet heart & Nigeria’s first lady.
The conquering of Ebola
Ebola became a national concern after Sawyer, a Liberian inflicted Nigeria with the virus. Lagos, under the leadership of the ever dependable Fashola, made light work of Ebola. Isolation units & quarantine centers were set up, persons who had come in contact with carriers were followed up and in no time, Ebola became history. By the way, smart business men made a ton of cash selling temperature checkers, hand gloves and the likes while some unlucky folks lost their lives due to mis-information on social media about using salt-water to bath. Luckily, you didn't join them or did you?
Despite the initial hiccups, Brazil hosted the world to a beautiful soccer fiesta. The super eagles of Nigeria managed to qualify for the second round and were eliminated by France in a particularly forgettable fashion [2 late goals….still hurts]. In the end, my favorite & everyone’s favorite, the German machines took the day!
#ProjectGiveBack is a global movement of inspired & inspiring leaders who are committed to selflessly raising a new generation of youths in their core competencies, eradicating poverty, making our environment sustainable and making the world a better place one community at a time. 3 free events were held in Osun State, Ogun State & Kogi state by ambassadors Ogunbowale Olugbenga, Ebenezar Adeyeye & Adebowale Helen Abidemi.
Appointed brand manager for TedXIfe
In January, I was appointed as the brand manager for TedXIfe. Though I couldn't attend the November event in Ife due to some NSYC assignments in Kogi, the rest of the team ensured it was a resounding success.
Fellow: Desplay Africa
In September, I became a fellow of Africa’s most prestigious & longest running youth democracy training program, DESPLAY Africa (funded by National Endowment for Democracy, Washington USA and organized by Youngstars foundation). To fully comprehend the implication of this, imagine getting selected among 35 youths from all over Africa for a 9 month program (3 semesters, once in 3 months) after thousands of applications involving essays, recommendation letters and technical leadership/democracy based questions.
To qualify for the next semester, we had to organize a seminar, called a PiO (pass it on), where we taught what we learnt to at least 25 youths. PiO’s took me to Youth Rescue Club, Association for Reproductive & Family Health, Ibadan (alongside the indefatigable Dr Abayomi Ojo) and later to Communion Christian Center where the fabulous host of life, Ayo Atitebi was the MC.
Not only did I become a fellow, I was the Head of Media group for 3 consecutive semesters and I emerged as the most organized DESPLAYer & the most competitive DESPLAYer at DESPLAY season 9.
Place of Primary Assignment: Ife Community Secondary School
I set a new record as the first teacher to finish marking & recording scripts of almost 200 student’s in less than 24 hours. The school management also treated all members of staff to a lavish get to gether. It took me 3 days to finish the chicken! The next two weeks saw me register Corpers, INEC staffs and members of the community for INEC adhoc positions.
Top 20: Etisalat flash fiction
Due to the selection by judges and massive votes by the members of the public, my story ‘BIOLA’ made it into top 20 in Africa at Etisalat's flash fiction awards. We were treated to a lavish dinner at a hotel in Lagos (February).
EPOWER’S LEARN FROM THE BEST
#TeamEPOWER organized learn from the best 4.0 followed at Obafemi Awolowo University followed by FLY at Oduduwa University. Many thanks to all our students for their kind comments & powerful testimonies and the team for ensuring the success of the events: The two Funke’s, Prince, CEO of Shypes and later Gideon, Segun, Grace, Mercy, Ife, how can I possibly forget your labor of love? God bless you.
I taught Branding at Joshua Igba’s Business on breakfast just before the first training and 'created' the Business Proposal Writing package right after.
First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you to every single epower client. Your belief in us and continuous patronage continues to inspire our creativity and we truly, truly care about you. Gospel Students Fellowship OAU, Desmond & friends, Egbewande, Samson, Mope & the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Interns, Shish Kebab, Geography dept OAU, Darbot, ECWA student fellowship OAU, Charis, Yinka, Wande, Oshinloye, TIti of Reedemers University, Havann & Osaze of BBQ, Samson of HighGrade tutorials, TopSAM Bow tie, Don Billion et al, May 2015 witness an acceleration of your ventures.
Sayo OFFMC was simply phenomenal. He was one friend who kept checking up on me, kept caring even when I was too busy to return those calls. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, may God grant your heart desires. Lets do it again in 2015. Thank you. Fadoju Ayoade, Clementina, Nsikan, Joseph, Mr Arume, James & John for truly caring, thank you.
For your Gifts and your kind words: Austin, Ade, Kanu, Toyin, Joy, John Cross, Fmr CLO Emmanuel (who helped me secure Ife Community as against Icheke which was pretty far), Ade (who took me in), Kanu (who was my predecessor in NCCF and initiator of Aside Astray Conference which I spoke at), may the flood gates of heaven be open unto you as you navigate and ultimately dominate the favor market. To all my fellow NCCF zonal coordinators, the state coordinators, and especially to Jesus Corpers of Omala Local Government, May God continue to embarrass you with big blessings.
Its true what they say: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. In 2014, I saw the hottest movies (I read online reviews before committing my time, and most of the time, I struck gold). Colombiana taught me how to be a professional, The internship taught me to reach for the stars and never to give up, John Edgar taught me how to be a revolutionary and the documentary Standing on the shoulders of giants showed me how to get to the top.
Pst DAYO (My immediate elder brother who will get married in March 2015!)
FUNKE & I [YES...SHE'S THE ONE]
Dad for your awe-inspiring stories, life lessons and practical advice and for your courageous deeds, Mum & Miss Kemi for your kindness, P. Dayo, P.Tope, Rev Dave for being such deep thinkers & wonderful speakers/preachers, Robin Sharma for your mind-blowing insight & motivational dynamites, Femi Iromini for being a role model, a trusted advisor & confidant, the kind of friend who would spend 2 hours on the phone with you, who you could pour your heart to, Olumide for being a dependable friend, for remaining your loving self, and for introducing me to Trevo, thank you! Funke Ajayi for being the girlfriend of my dreams, ever caring, ever smart, ever supportive, the kind of girlfriend who would do the crazy and go the extra mile to help, the lady who would fantasize about the future and set ambitious goals, I love you.
TO MY FRIENDS & FANS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, TO EVERYONE WHO MADE MY 2014 ROCK, I’M HAPPY FOR YOU, PROUD OF YOU AND TRULY BLESSED TO HAVE YOU. LET’S DO IT BIGGER IN 2015.
I AM OGUNBOWALE OLUGBENGA.
Ogunbowale Olugbenga, C.E.O Epower, is a vast, fast rising ICT trainer, brand strategist, lyricist & nation builder with five years’ experience in visual branding & a dream to see Africa’s tech industry burst into the global scene.
In 2013, He graduated from Psychology department, O.A.U, was nominated as the most outstanding young Nigerian by Junior Chamber International, his short story 'BIOLA' was named as one of the top 20 in Africa by Etisalat and He also coordinated/volunteered at FeedOne project which fed & empowered over 4,000 families in Akure, Ife & Lagos.
He facilitated at 10/10: a regional impact tour by Global Paradigm Shifters to over 1,000 Secondary School Students, delivering Powerful Lessons in Purpose & Leadership for the emergence of Africa’s next vibrant & visionary young leaders.
In 2012, He won the Social Sciences Faculty prize for best presentation. In 2006, He came first in Oyo state at the Junior Engineers & Technicians project exhibition. At 24, He is one of the youngest fellows of Africas most prestigious & longest running youth democracy training program, DESPLAY Africa (funded by National Endowment for Democracy , Washington DC and organized by Youngstars foundation).
Under his leadership, Epower has created 500 stunning PowerPoint slides, 800 fantastic graphic designs with over 2,800 people trained in live seminars.
He is the initiator of Project Give Back, a global movement of inspired & inspiring leaders who are committed to selflessly raising a new generation of youths in their core competencies, eradicating poverty, making our environment sustainable and making the world a better place one community at a time.
In November 2014, He won the Paradigm Initiative Nigeria digital jobs contest. A corp member, serving in Kogi state, He is currently the General Secretary of MDGs CDS group, zonal coordinator of Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship, started a Multimedia unit at Royal Grace Chapel and has delivered inspiring speeches to over 500 students, across 10 schools in less than 1 month of service.
Gbenga is an astute business man and a bastion of change & innovation, who combines experience with excellence to deliver astonishing results every time.