CFA’s JCI TOYP Award & the Journey So Far (Part I)

JCI TOYP Award 2014

CFA JCI TOYP Award Plaque

In this part of the world, we often hear people attribute everything to God which is a good thing but where we miss it completely, is when we do not chronicle the events that took place before the recorded success.

I don’t know about you but I believe that Success is neither mystical nor magical according to Jim Rohn. It is certainly a process and just about anyone can replicate the process or at the very least learn from it. The God that I know and serve is not and will never be a magician, He is an orderly God by any classification, the same way he carefully described the creation of the universe and mankind in the bible is the same way I believe he wants us to be able to describe our success stories and achievements albeit modestly so that those coming behind us can learn a thing or two.

In order not to make this post too long, I am gonna cut this post into 2 parts because most internet users have poor attention span, so reading long (non-gossip) articles online have gone out of fashion. Be that as it may, I’ll do my best to make it as interesting as possible because I am gonna just chronicle my experience so far (of course the much I can remember) and end with some of the principles that help me to stand out.

The JCI TOYP Award

I am indeed grateful to God, my family and everyone who has supported this dream of mine in one way or the other. It’s been a pretty challenging journey but I am grateful that I stood tall despite the pressures that almost made me cave in.

I am not so much of an award or recognition guy even though I admit it helps in many ways than one, I have never competed or entered into any competition until early this year when I accepted to enter for the Easy business Millionaires Hunt after much persuasion. In the same vein, when I first received the email that I have been nominated for the JCI TOYP Award in the science and technology category, I simply ignored the email thinking it was a mistake and asking myself “what have I done to deserve an award?” After a while, the 2nd email came to confirm or reaffirm that it was indeed me, it became clear that someone was noticing that I have been indeed contributing my quota to the advancement of ICT in Nigeria.

The JCI TOYP award ceremony took place held at the massive Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta. It gave me a rare opportunity to meet all the other remarkable awardees who are also making massive impact in their respective fields of engagement.

The lesson here is that you are not the only sharp person out there, there are many more sharper people who can deliver great results – always have this at the back of your mind as you hustle on.

It all began as a Child

I have always been restless even as a child. I remember one of the badges I was used to seeing on my report card term after term is “he is brilliant but he plays too much or there is room for improvement but he plays too much” – I received these sort of feedback too often back in the days. I remember my parents tried to curb this side of me and got me the strictest teacher I have ever met, this guy was so strict that his face alone sent fear down my spines, not to talk of when he opened his mouth to say a word. I clearly remember how he would beat the living day light out of me just so I can stop playing. Wow! Memories of old indeed! Don’t ask me if I stopped playing?

I clearly remember that Technology was indeed a strong part of me while growing up, I remember I use to fiddle with any electronics or gadgets that came my way, I would unscrew them just to see how they were made and how they functioned. I so much loved to play with these gadgets. My father being an Engineer used to come to my rescue by either scolding me or helping out either way it was indeed fun. At that early age, I thought I would grow up to start a career in either the Engineering or Computer field largely due to his influence. I did try to study sciences in SS1 but I had to move to Social Science by SS2 simply because I could not cope maybe because I would not give up my play for anything in the world.

A More Mature CFA

After writing JAMB 3 consecutive times, waiting for University of Lagos that never came, an Uncle of mine suggested to my parents that I should go to University of Ado-Ekiti, then Ondo State University (OSUA), at first I resisted but seeing that I had lost 2 years already, I decided to go for it. Little did I know that accepting to go that far into the West lies the key to one of my greatest treasures of my life – Oluwatosin – the gentle spirit who has brought balance and sanity to my restless soul. We have been together since 2001 to date.

Some Daring Moments

When some cultists tried to cajole and coerce me to join their fraternity, I boldly informed them that I was in school to learn and besides my Christian background makes it impossible to join any other association outside it. I remember looking the Don of Eiye back then eyeball to eyeball and saying these words;

I can only fear someone who can hurt both the flesh and soul and not someone who can hurt only the flesh.

This was a well dreaded guy in school but I was able to look him in the eyes and utter those words. Was I scared when I was saying that? Absolutely! Did I go ahead and say it? You bet! What if it had backfired? Then it would have been God’s will but I wonder what kind of world it will be without the dynamic, always smiling CFA 🙂


CFA along with other recipients and top members of JCI Nigeria

As I grew older, I began to play less except when the opportunity arises then I maximize it especially if it is the kind of play that will help me laugh out loud. What you see in my pictures is really no joke, I love to laugh. Back in school, I sometimes laughed so hard that my lecturers will stop to ask what was funny. Do you know what this trait others thought was silly has helped me achieve?

The ability to laugh at myself and situation is definitely something that has helped propel and keeps me success minded.

This child-like attitude has helped to conquer rejection as much as possible, I am willing to accept no for an answer with a big smile on my face. I can’t count how many times my friends will laugh me to scorn because I don’t take alcohol or when the security guy at Globacom laughed at me when I said I wanted to work there on my first visit. Read more about that story here. I simply laugh over these sort of situation whenever they arise.

And so the Story Goes………….

I left Globacom in 2007, to chart a course in this uncertain world of business and entrepreneurship, which meant leaving  the comfort and certainty of a monthly income to a situation with no guarantees – looking back I can simply reiterate; It wasn’t easy but it was worth it…….

In the concluding part, I am just going to tell some more stories and then conclude with some of the success principles I live by. Thank you for being part of my evolving success story (as there is so much to do) and I therefore dedicate my JCI TOYP award to all my readers.