WE CAN CREATE THE WORLD WE DREAM OF

Habeeb is one of the founding members of One African Child when it was established in the largest town in West Africa, Ibadan. This is a successful attempt to share his success story since he graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI). Habeeb is a change maker and we are so proud of his lofty achievements.

habeeb1

I don’t know if I am in the best position to write this, as I still have some way to go regarding entrepreneurship. But I have been asked to share part of my story so far;

About 9 years ago when I was in SS2, I created TISA. I wanted a collection of young minds who were going to explore the world with me and create new stuffs. There was this general saying that Africans don’t make stuffs, that they only consume. I wanted to change that narrative and reach young minds who were willing to innovate and who could teach others too to innovate. We could create the world we dream of or we could keep on talking about it. The meaning of TISA was The Indomitable Super Achievers (lol… wherever that came from). My friend designed a logo and I printed forms. When I went to photocopy it at a local business centre, the woman looked through the form and was impressed. I told her about the project and she liked it. She asked about my school and said she would send her child there. I don’t know if she ever did. However, I was unable to move it forward as I wanted to.

habeeb5

I revisited TISA in my second year at University of Ibadan. With the help of some other friends, we developed Geniuses, a quiz competition modelled to help students solve real life problems. We also successfully made a visitation to a public secondary school where we held a short talk admonishing the students to innovate and choose careers that make them happy. We also donated books to their library.

habeeb7

Geniuses failed on the brink of success. We had made some excusable mistakes, much due to our naivety. But it was a great adventure after-all. However, as part of our failed bid to Google, we were to develop an app for Geniuses. From our failed bid, one of the team members felt we could work on the app independently, and he went on to create a new tech company which I am happy to be part of. There, we’re helping students learn better with the aid of technology. (www.geniusesng.com).

I tried again in 400L to make TISA work, but we were not really successful yet again. Our administrative structure did not really support our growth. So I took a pause on it and moved to concentrate on other things while I hope to get back to it later on.

habeeb3

In its stead, I created Market Ibadan Business Festival and with the help of IvoryConnect and a host of friends, we were able to do our first event during my final year. We were supported by several organizations such as CocaCola, Diamond Bank, One African Child, Shyld Initiative, so on. MIBF was created to bring together small, medium and large scale companies together to help facilitate economic growth in the country. We wanted to bring the world down to the city of Ibadan to witness the diversity and brilliance of our culture, commerce, craft and community.

We tried to do a second edition in 2015 but we failed. Our core team had scattered over the country for one important reason or the other. We hope to be back on this soon.

habeeb3

I’m currently serving in Umuahia. I teach English Language and Physics at a village school in Afugiri. It also brought me closer to the challenges rural farmers face over planting seasons. I immediately started working on solving these challenges so I could make them happy. So I remodelled TISA and started tísà- an agricultural care venture with the vision of helping farmers gain better return for investment and to also cautiously diversify the nation’s economy.

I applied for the British Council Enterprise Challenge and out of over 10,000 initiated applications, my startup was among the 20 that made it to the finals of the competition. It was a great boost, especially in morale.

The vision of tisa is to help farmers, most especially rural farmers, gain better return on investment. In Afugiri, I witness how much farmers put into farming. The end result is not usually favourable. With so much investment, in time, energy and finance, farmers usually get very little in return. Lots of their farm produce get wasted due to lack of storage and processing facilities, and middle men make off more gain than they do on the rest of the produce. I decided to visit the head of the female farmers in Afugiri and she poured out her heart to me. Each year presented tougher challenges to them. She was very frustrated. She invited me to meet with other women farmers during their townhall meeting. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do so, as I was in Lagos for the British Council Enterprise Challenge finals. I don’t know how, but I felt I could help farmers quench their frustration, and make them happy again.

habeeb4

Training my lenses on agriculture in tertiary institutions, several of the people who could help farmers either don’t practice agriculture after graduating or are simply jobless. With tisa, we can create more jobs in the agricultural sector and grow collaboratively to rebase Nigeria’s economic structure.  While I don’t support bad governance, I think young people should focus more on helping the country rather than feel the country owes them something.  There is a lot we can do together.

At the bootcamp, I learnt a lot more on entrepreneurship and lessons on navigating startups for success, especially in the areas of strategies, branding, finance and accounting, and sales and marketing. I also got to meet other entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who were either starting or already making great progress in their fields. The experience at the bootcamp is helping me remodel tisa to solve the agriculture problem, and I am committed to making this change in the agricultural sector and change the way Nigerians farm. I also hope to partner with other colleagues who are working on agriculture.

habeeb6

Being an entrepreneur is never easy, whether in new fields or in the face of crushing competition. You first have to make the bold decision of forgoing the more convenient path of being an employee or being self-employed. I’ve committed a good chunk of my years to learning. But the most important part is actually learning by doing. Trying and retrying until things come together. Never hesitating nor relenting. We can’t move forward if we’re afraid to fail or make mistakes. If you’re not getting pushed back, you’re not pioneering. And we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit. I have learnt a lot from my involvement in CrystalSpot, One African Child, StrictlyUI, Indypress, Swaliafrica, LLH, MIBF, MSSN UI, UITESWRITE, myschoolpodcast and a host of others. Volunteering has helped me a lot too. It helps to learn in real time and face real life challenges.

IMG_9666 - Copy_edit_edit_edit_edit

I’ve always wanted to be many things in life, a writer, an engineer, an entrepreneur, a football coach and so on. But then, in the end, I just want to help a lot of people. I want to help solve some of the world’s problems and put smiles on the faces of many people. It’s not going to be easy, but I hope to have fun doing it. And hope to have more friends who understand, have similar drives, and are willing to make that journey with me.

I am not where I hope to be, yet I am grateful that I have moved from where I used to be. I am also thankful to my family and friends who have been very supportive. I hope to make the most of life’s experiences and choose to see opportunities in challenges.

I have met awesome and inspiring people, I hope to meet more. One thing I have learnt is that, dreams do come true, if we have the will to pursue it. So; dream, dare, explore, do something, keep moving, don’t stop believing, never hesitate and never relent. Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone.

Habeeb Kolade

#EveryoneHasAStoryToTell

Facebook: Habeeb Professorr X Kolade

Twitter: @Habeeb_X

LinkedIn: Habeebullah Kolade

Instagram: habeebkolade

Advertisements

THE FUTURE STARTED YESTERDAY

A lot of us have seen the many happenings around us and then we have seen quiet greatly a good amount of things we want to change. Sometimes, we just easily resign when we begin to look at ourselves and feel incapable of doing those things like ensuring water runs in all taps, by ensuring there is constant power supply, by ensuring that education is really free, ensuring our roads are great, ensuring that government officials work more efficiently without corruption amongst many others. 

There are a lot of things we all want to change in this environment, especially ones that create more comfort for us or those ones that border on our immediate needs.
But we at One African Child believe greatly that each of us can bring that much needed change to the society. We believe that young men and women like you and us should be willing to lead one another to greatness, no matter how little any individual is. 

So in achieving these dreams, education is greatly important; because education is what provides us the knowledge to do great stuffs. You might be hugely talented to do one thing or the other but without education many of us remain as crude as coal waiting to be polished into diamonds. So, we must begin to take into more importance the value of education in our lives.

image

Many of us, I know, face a lot of challenges as students that hinder us from doing great. Many of us have one problem or the other from home that we try to tackle every morning that we wake up. Many of us do not even know what we might eat tomorrow, what we might wear the coming week and some of us are even having an hard time having a place to sleep or time to sufficiently read our books. Many of us have great problems that want to weigh us down from doing great. But it is a choice that we have to make today whether we want to float or sink. It is our choice whether we want to fall or survive!
So if you believe in yourself and think you can make it, Say I WILL SURVIVE!!

But it is not enough to just survive. Though it is the first step! At One African Child, we believe that that change that each and every one of us want in the society can only be created by each of us, not any other person. We believe that you can be anything you want to be and can create answers to the numerous problems that we face today. We believe that right from now, you can determine how great the future would be and decide if you want the next generation to complain of the same problems or we want them to enjoy more benefits and be happy that they are born Nigerians.

image

We need to stop complaining. Ask yourself, when a bucket begins to leak, do you sit at a corner complaining about the leaking bucket or should you stand up to mend it? When you clothe gets torn, is it going to repair itself when you sit somewhere and complain about it? No! You have to do something. If you want to be the cloth, you must be ready to change it for good by either sewing it yourself or taking it to the tailor.

The fact is, the government of tomorrow is sitting amidst you here, and if all through your growth, all you do is do nothing, how do you hope to make the change when you finally get the power.
We must believe in the change that we can make. We must be ready to stand up from our adversities. We must begin to act more than we talk. We must believe that the future is in our hands and we can determine how good we want it to look, God-willing.

So if you believe that you can lead Nigeria to its greatness, say YES I CAN!!!!!
Say A GREAT NIGERIA IS UP TO ME! A BETTER AFRICA IS UP TO ME!!!!
YES!!

image

But we cannot achieve this alone by just saying it. There are a lot of stuffs that we need as tools to help us change the face of Africa for good. These include studying well in secondary school, coming early to school, taking your assignments very seriously, and reading a lot of things, both the books required in school and those outside it. We can only create change by first empowering ourselves so we can empower others. We must begin now to train ourselves, to motivate ourselves, to work hard, to listen to our teachers, to spend more time doing productive things, things that help build us and not things that destroy us.

So right now, you have to stop thinking about the present and concentrate on how best you can create a great future. You have to understand that the challenges you’re facing now are not enough to hinder you to do great things to become great people. Because it is not about where you started from, it is about where you are heading for and how much you want to get there. It is for you to decide how great you want your future to become. Do you want to be remembered as someone who worked hard in school and became a great achiever in a particular field or you want to be forgotten as one of those who barely had anything to add to life.

image

We thus have to understand that our future starts now and the consequences of the decisions you make today are going to define the picture of your tomorrow. The things that you do today are what will shape your tomorrow. And top of that priority is having a good education and remaining focused to succeed.
Because the future of Africa can only be made better by the African Child!

So say: I AM ONE AFRICAN CHILD, AND I CAN DO GREAT THINGS! 
I AM ONE AFRICAN CHILD, AND I WILL DO GREAT THINGS!
I AM ONE AFRICAN CHILD, AND I MUST DO GREAT THINGS!!

By Habeeb Kolade

Posted from WordPress for Android