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Dream up, speak up, stand up


President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors. PHOTO: NBAE Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

If you are a sports fan, perhaps like many around the world, you would be glued to your TV today, watching the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. But if you are a basketball player like me, then, the news and games you would have been interested in over the last few days, would perhaps be the just concluded NBA finals, won by the Toronto Raptors. It is the first time a Canadian Team or any team outside the United States, has won the NBA.

The President of Basketball Operations of Toronto Raptors, is Masai Ujiri, from Nigeria and Kenya. This means a Nigerian and a Kenyan were needed to guide the operations of the company, into making history. If you were sitting in the stands of the Raptors game, and during the half time break, you were reading the cool and fashionable British Vogue magazine that features some of the trendiest fashions in the world, then it would be nice to know that Edward Enninful, who was born in Ghana, is the editor of that influential magazine.

After the Raptors game, if you and your family made your way to the parking lot and got into your stylish Tesla electric car, the world’s best known and bestselling commercially produced all electric car, then, you would have had a quiet and electrifying ride home.


But do you know the Tesla car which is made in California and shipped across the globe, was co-founded and led by a South African, Elon Musk, who was born in Pretoria.

So, here are three very different people, from three unique backgrounds, who have impacted the entire world on a small, medium, and large scale.

When I was 10 years old, President Ellen Searleaf Johnson of Liberia told me that if your dreams don’t scare you, then they are not big enough. So, I started my Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up project, to get out of girls into schools, and encourage them to dream big, speak loud and clear if they believe in something, and to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

Mr. Enninful, Mr Ujiri and Mr. Musk are three examples of people, dreaming big, and walking tall. But I know they do not want to dream alone, or walk alone. They need more people to keep them company on their journey of transforming and impacting the world. They need you! After all, they are just like you, Africans from Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

So, Dream On. Dream Big!

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