Dateline 1st August 2009. I was invited to speak at the Third Annual Future Assured Youth Development Seminar organized by the hard-working Tolu Akinyemi, that took place at the Jogor Center in Ibadan. For N500, Nigerian youths were to be taught the rudiments of Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Career Development and Creativity.
When I arrived at the venue, I was shocked and twice in succession. First, the realization that there were over 1,000 youths struggling to gain access into the event center. I have to push and scream … “I am one of the speakers” before they could make way for me to squeeze through. Second, on realizing that there were indeed two events that day. A musical concert hosted by a Telecom company for N1,000 which was taking place in the bigger hall. The crowd was not for the seminar. I went ahead to talk to about 35 serious young men and women in a small room, who fought hard with me to ignore the bang and tap unleashed in the hall above us.
Telephone companies have long used lottery, music, beauty pageant, reality shows and vain artists as an easy inroad into the minds of the youths, creating a big void that can only be filled with bad lingo, drugs, sex and crime.
It is a no-brainer that with the strategy these Telecom companies pursue, they can only cripple the ability of these up and coming generation to earn decent income that is necessary to make phone calls in a few years to come. They are simply forward-purchasing the lives of these youths.
The recent Glo advert on CNN featuring Professor Wole Soyinka is a timely intervention that, to my mind, will play a restoration role. It is a great advert that seeks to redirect the national psyche towards productivity, and of course reorientation towards worthy ideals and more purposeful aspirations.
Whoever came up with the concept, I doff my hat. Whoever bought the concept in Glo and took it to CNN, please air it on all local stations. Whoever does not understand the message in the advert, your mind is obviously one of the minds that needs redemption!
I have a compelling reason to buy a Glo SiMM and not feel ripped off in anyway now and in the future. Thank you Glo, for giving me hope.