In 2012, Asiwaju Dayo Israel II asked Oguntoyinbo Stephen Yinka to tell me about an international conference after I insisted that night at Flourish Hotel and Suites Akure that I really needed to travel. My main reason was that I needed to understand the international community and add new knowledge.
That conference was the African Youth and Governance Conference. My first Trip out of Nigeria was to Ghana by road between 10 and 13 hours on that Executive Coach West Africa Bus. At least my passport was stamped 6 times going through the countries on the coast of West Africa.
Frankly, what I thought? I thought to myself: “this is no big deal”. “I am asking this guy for international opportunities and he thinks Ghana is the next place to go?”, I thought even further. I went all the same. My expectations were exceeded. I met people from 30 countries or more. I met some of my friends Nelson Madiba AmoMiranda A QuainooCecil Ato Kwamena Dadzie and Uncle Seth Oteng. This was the beginning.
That same year, excited about my new contacts, I went back to Republic of Benin, attended a UN-Women program on agriculture, met Mosunmola Umoru (who I met at first in 2011 in Abeokuta at Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji‘s Rise National Youth Forum), Nndidi Nwuneli, Nigeria’s then Youth Minister whom I can’t remember now because he slept for most of the conference and a few others.
I proceeded to the Ghananian state house for the African Entrepreneur Awards, I had been nominated that year along side Audu Maikori and Nimi Akinkugbe. I traveled with the Night bus from Cotonou to Togo and then left after waiting 5hours to join a bus filled with french speaking Ivorians. You can imagine how tough communication was since my french language was restricted to J’mappelle XYZ for MY NAME IS, ‘non’ for No and ‘Oui’ for YES.
Fast forward to 2016, I have traveled 10 countries (including Netherlands, Germany, Togo, Ghana, R.Benin, Turkey, Zambia, Kenya, Dubai and the United States) as a result of that one opportunity to attend the African Youth and Governance Conference of 2012.
–Extract from my Unwritten Autobiography