A Yoruba adage says: “Omode t’oba mo owo we, y’oba agba jeun,” meaning: “Any child that washes his hands properly shall eat with the elders.”
I had the honour and privilege to take a personal picture with the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, in the person of Honorable Seun Fakorede who was born on 22nd of May, 1992. He is a Nigerian entrepreneur, speaker and politician and at 27, he became the youngest commissioner in Nigeria’s history when he was appointed Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Oyo State in August 2019. He is the founder and director of the non-profit, Home Advantage Africa, where he advocates for African patriotism among youths.
On Friday, September 4, 2020, I was opportune to be at the meeting held at Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan at the conference room of the Ministry of Education, Oyo State, where we had a round table talk with the Special Assistance to the state governor on students’ affairs, Hon. Ojeleye Victor and some other notable educational board members, regarding the issue of the bursary.
At the meeting, Hon. Seun Fakorede really caught the attention of all attendees with his speech. He is an eloquent speaker who speaks English fluently like a native speaker of the language. He lectured we students to rebrand the indigenous groups and let things change in us in this 21st century, rather than to continue doing things roughly as it was in the past. He made us realise the importance of intellectuality in unionism. He used some examples to show how being intellectually mannered makes people treat others and benefits that bring closer to the person.
Fight when necessary, but fight intellectually.”
He explained that many requests were not granted or attended to by government or organisations because they were not channelled appropriately. When requests are made appropriately through the right channel, it will definitely reach the expected destination and reaction shall follow and become favour to those that have requested, but if not, it will return no results.
Despite not being pleased with the outcome of the meeting as we left unfavoured, the personality of Hon. Seun Fakorede, his level of intelligence, his vocabulary and his achievements in his 20s remains on my mind. I dropped the mind of the main business we went there for and hold till now, all I unconsciously learned from him on that day.
One of his quotes I will always remember is: “Fight when necessary, but fight intellectually.”
The day after meeting with him, the Federation of Ibadan Students’ Union FIBSU national council held their 2020 inauguration day at the Mapo Hall of Oja’ba, Ibadan and the same Seun Fakorede was invited as the chief speaker of the day with the topic: “STUDENTS UNIONISM IN NIGERIA: A Race for Patriotism Over Self Interest.”
At the event, he again showcased his intelligence and mannerism. His speech also caught the attention of all the audience there and he was applauded for his brilliant and fantabulous presentation, despite being prepared and delivered in the English language during an event that was in the Yoruba language.
In his speech, while addressing the students at the occasion on unionism and the need for intellectuality in their acts, the Seun Fakorede narrated an event that happened during his undergraduate days, then in Obafemi Awolowo University, where he (known as ‘gentle guy’) contested for the post of Students’ Union president on campus (known for the rough, tough and rugged people). He was not voted in because people believed he would not do best on the chair but rather be controlled by the school management.
His team did not win the election and to the great surprise of his team members and those that won, the Seun Fakorede encouraged his members to buy drinks and also they joined the winning party to celebrate their victory. What a big lesson.
Little wonder, today, the same Seun Fakorede at twenty-eight is sitting in the position known for the elders, not in the OAU campus again, but in the whole Oyo State. He is now the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports and the youngest commissioner in Nigeria’s history.
It was at the event, I asked to have a personal picture with him and he granted my permission with full concentration. I love the man for his coolness and calmness, [and for being] so loving, supportive and accommodating. I congratulate our able governor of Oyo State, Engineer Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde for choosing the right choice who has contributed a lot to the growth of Oyo as far as the youth and sports is concerned in the state. He accommodates we youth, even into his own office and promised to still be there for us any time we need him.
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