Moment of inspiration for young people at MTNF conference
A lot of young people today seem clueless about their life’s aspiration and have no focus whatsoever as to where they intend to be in the nearest future. In some cases, they would probably source for short cuts to fame and money, as against deploying their youthfulness en-route success in life. Besides, the elderly are of the opinion that young people are not ready to take up serious leadership responsibilities at different levels.
These and more observations stirred the conversations at the MTN Foundation Scholarship Alumni Conference held in Imo, Abuja and Lagos. The event brought together beneficiaries from the Foundation’s Scholarship Scheme, who were enlightened and inspired by young enterprising Nigerians such as Chief Executive Officer, SLOT, Nnamdi Ezeigbo, Proponent of Made in Aba Initiative, Sam Hart, Co-founder/Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, CEO, Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austin-Peters and others.
Since the inception of MTN Foundation Scholarship scheme, over 8,400 scholarships have been awarded amounting to over N1.6 billion to Nigerian science and technology students and blind students.
Speaking at the event, Nnamdi Ezeigbo, Founder/CEO of SLOT, shared with the youth how he explored his inner capabilities in order to provide solution for himself and Nigerians at large.
Ezeigbo, who is also the co-founder of Tecno, narrated how he had to search deep to discover his passion and translate it into a money making venture to changed his world for the better; thus birthing two of Nigeria’s top ICT brands.
“I studied Electrical Electronics Engineering, and because I couldn’t find the kind of job I wanted, I decided to create one for myself. So what I did during my undergraduate days in the University was to look inward to see my strengths and capacities. I had to do something within the context of my capacity, which is engineering. I embarked on a training to acquire the needed competence of becoming a computer engineer.”
He hinted that, though education was paramount in achieving success, perseverance and competence were two major ingredients needed to be a solution provider and to lead, even as he decried the state of joblessness amongst Nigerian youths.
“People need to understand that you need to spend more time and money to acquire the right trainings in other to have your desired work. You have to become a solution provider for you to create wealth and also survive in an unpredictable environment like Nigeria. Today, people lack competence to make them employable even though they have the required certifications; this is the reason why so many youths are jobless”.
Lending his voice at the conference, Special Adviser to the Governor of Abia State on Public Communications, Sam Hart, who spoke on the winning idea said, “winning idea has to be out of the ordinary; everybody tells you think outside the box. Distinguished alumni, don’t listen to them. Do not think outside the box, throw away the box; think like there is no box. Think like no box exist and go out and create your own thing that is been distinctive. If you do the same thing that everyone keeps doing all the time, what makes you extra ordinary, what makes you different,” he quizzed.
On her part, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma charged the alumni to work with the right people as they journey through life. “Make sure you select the right person to go ahead with you in your journey.”
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the scholarship, who spoke at the event, lauded the scheme and the impact it had made in their lives.
Damilare Ishola, a 400 level Guidance and Counselling student of Lagos State University revealed that life after he lost his sight was difficult until MTN Foundation came to his rescue.
“I lost my sight due to some unforeseen circumstances beyond human control. Life was very tough, as I felt rejected and abused. I waited at home for years not knowing what to do next. When I heard about MTN foundation I had to put more effort on my academics. My name was listed among the qualified candidates and since then my condition has changed for the better. I thank the MTN foundation for coming to my aid.”
Another beneficiary, Inuka Chiamaka informed that, “I am a beneficiary and alumni of the MTN Foundation Science and Technology Scheme. This workshop is more like an exposure to me. It opened my eyes to certain things. I always have this fear in me that my background had not exposed me to see the real world. I am happy to be part of the alumni. It is a very nice platform to bring people that MTN Foundation has helped together. It will go a long way towards networking and sharing knowledge.”