It is said that ; “The diligent man will stand before kings and not ordinary men”. For the first time in history, the Ooni of Ife-Ojaja II pioneered a forum that identified the vital few champions in different sectors.
Present were prominent leaders, amongst whom were the United Arab Emirate Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Fahad Al-Taffaq; and the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare; who presented an award of excellence to Sijibomi Ogundele, Funke Adesiyan, Eyitope Kola Oyeneyin, Seyi Awolowo and many other young Nigerian Entrepreneurs, at the Royal African Young Leadership Forum, held in the prestigious Oduduwa hall of the great Obafemi Awolowo University, where the dazzling greatness of the students of Ife was on full display.
His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II; UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Fahad Al-Taffaq; Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare; MD/CEO, Sujimoto Group, Sijibomi Ogundele; and other awardees at the Royal African Young Leadership Forum.
Sijibomi Ogundele : It was a great honour to have received this call to duty and recognition from the most distinguish frontline traditional ruler in Africa – His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi. This award of excellence is a continuous reminder that he who works hard will stand before Kings, because I strongly believe that there is no nobility in poverty and it doesn’t matter whether you are from Ikorodu or Ikoyi, immediately you substitute recklessness for diligence, your true potential becomes a reality”.
This, to me, is not just an award. This is a symbol of responsibility-to uphold the Omoluabi spirit — the spirit of integrity, the spirit of perseverance, and the spirit of nobility.
As I sat in a room filled with more than 1000 students and over 99 awardees from fashion, entertainment, technology, manufacturing, business and other industries, I realised that the Nigerian youth have not even utilised up to 10% of her potential, our true asset is not in crude oil but in the potential of young vibrant people of our nation.
The future of Nigeria is dependent on the opportunities we give our youth. The Ooni has set a precedent for us all to follow. I am happy for the opportunity to be part of a block-chain of young Entrepreneurs, making a difference. I left the events of the weekend humbled and overzealous to do more; inspired to be an agent of change in my industry.