Abiodun Ayorinde: The resistance.
Growing up was interesting with a beautiful family of 6, an average family; And as the last-born, i had little influence from my elder brothers as they all left home early on the journey to become better men.
I Learnt Honesty and Contentment from an early age. My dad would tell me anytime we talk that I should remember that it is always honesty over money. Likewise my mum, we are of an average family but she ensured to get us all the best, she infused contentment to our daily lives. These are the values that keep me going.
I didn’t choose entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship chose me. It runs in our lineage. My grandfather died 26 years ago, they still share from proceeds of his investment every month.
I didn’t get admission till after 4 years I left secondary school, to keep up, I owned a kiosk and was selling recharge cards and doing phone call business.
On getting admission to French School in Badagry in 2010, I ventured into creative entrepreneurship and started out in the entertainment industry as an Event Production Assistant, and later as a studio manager with Frenzy Soso Hits Company in 2011. Prior to that, I was the South West Liaison to Encore and Morpheus magazines alongside my recharge card business. My friends who were already in school at the time owned the magazines. Today, I’m an Event Management Consultant and Talent Manager.
Entrepreneurship is very tough, many times you’re on your own thinking you’ve failed. But once you discover your Unique Selling Point, you’ve the world at your beckon.
I cherish every moment of my life. In the past 4 years, making the vulnerable and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) children happy has given me so much peace. Also buying a car for someone when I had none 5 years ago and giving prisoners hope of a better life outside the prison walls are all part of my highest points in life. Until I eventually achieve my great vision, I’d say catering for the poor and destitute is my highest point.
I’ve had failed projects in the past but not as bad as this particular project in 2017; a very huge one that cut across all African countries. I had showed my proposal to 2 of my bosses and both said ‘It would fly’; and they gave me some contacts before going ahead to produce. I sent out 31 proposals via courier. I didn’t get a single response! It was not funny, I had press releases on major newspapers in and outside Nigeria. Journalists were contacting me from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana on updates on the event. “I’d get in touch soonest” was my customised response.
My team members were worried but no one could come up with a daring solution. I was going through pains I couldn’t tell anyone not just because of the money i invested but also other resources i had put into the project. The proposed month came and there was no sign of the 3 day event holding. coupled with this, my girlfriend left me at this time, i lost my home and almost everything too; to say this was my Lowest point is an understatement; I was alive but passed out for days (laughs) It did teach me a great lesson.
I, Abiodun Ayorinde, believe that the Nigerian Government does not care for the Nigerian Youth and its development. Education is the bedrock of any development, our education budget stood poorly at 8%. Far behind countries like Lesotho, Uganda, Zimbabwe having 27, 25, 17% budget on education. I remember vocational schools were active up till early year 2000. Imagine if the Government could turn all her abandoned buildings to tech hubs, innovation centres, creative city, etc…
I’m a creative entrepreneur, I write to Nigerian government officials at all levels often, I’m not convinced they have a plan for the youths. Unlike sectors like Agriculture, I.T, etc that enjoy funding by private investors and NGOs. The creative art sector is neglected in this part of the world, and that’s why we are loosing our morals, relics and culture.
We all need advice to keep going. Many youths have derailed from the right path, pursuing illusions that never last. Life is not fair, it is fair when you have God, God first! Have a dream/vision and go after it like a hungry lion.
~ Abiodun Ayorinde