by Ifreke Inyang
Emmanuel Adediwura life’s work has gone into education consulting and building the capacities of young people – ‘Ifreke Inyang takes a trip into that world.
Describe your work
I am into a lot of things. I am involved in an NGO, I am into Business Development and also have my hands in Consultancy.
At what point in time did you decide to go into what you do?
I think that was sometime in 2008.
Has it always been a passion for you?
Yes, it has. However, societal providence played a part.
Did you have anybody/people as role models?
Yes, three role models
What was growing up like? Was there anything about growing up that influenced you to go into it?
Growing up was challenging. I am still growing anyway. I grew up amidst injustice, acute poverty and narrow-mindedness. But we thank God.
What’s your educational background like?
I had my primary education from Faith Standard Nursery and Primary School. I had my secondary education at Saint Peters African Grammar School and School of Science and my tertiary education was at the Obafemi Awolowo University.
Would you say the capabilities you have are as a result of hard work and training?
Yes, hard work and training are very significant. However, relationship is also noteworthy with both prospective and established clients and partners.
Was there any time you considered quitting?
No, there was never a time like that. That’s because I see opportunities in every challenges.
What would you say is the biggest risk you have taken in your career?
I am yet to take the biggest risk in my career. I like to think I am still under construction.
What are some of the challenges you face in convincing clients about your abilities?
First of all, for me, it is the corporate outlook of the firm. There are also few robust clients placement and limited project execution to sink confidence into prospective customers. And of course, there the age sentiments are there to be dealt with.
What is the industry you work in like in Nigeria as compared to what is obtainable overseas? Is competition stiff?
Overseas, there is a lot of qualification scheme and they are more professional. In Nigeria, competition is stiff but exciting.
What role has the Nigerian factor positively and negatively played in who you are today?
The Nigerian factor necessitated survival instinct to ingenuity, streams of ideas and channels to prospective viable ventures. It bred me to understand issues beyond theory, concepts to reality, context and essence of relationship management in the corporate world. Albeit, negatively, slowly but surely it led to poor confidence and trust among the adult as there is long disparity in what they say and what eventually is practiced. This has a way of reducing idealism and dream for just society to a piece of fantasy.
What is your reaction to the high number of young people either roaming the streets looking jobs and who have been frustrated in spite of what they are capable of doing?
It is really alarming and disturbing but I know, we have the solution to these challenges. The ultimate problem we have is lack of moral will and inadequate patriotic and passionate individuals to follow a vision to reality. Some advocate for youth to stop looking for white collar jobs and start thinking on how they can help themselves, all forms of effervescent motivational and escapades tricks from responsibilities but let the truth be told; the same gospellers of these ideas are also working under different organization. We either create jobs or we continue face our multiple hydra-headed problems of violence, corruption and youth restiveness.
What is your most memorable experience?
I haven’t had any yet. That will come when I have an organisation that can manage two hundred staff conveniently and I grow them to financial independence.
What experience would you rather delete from history if you could?
That would be the day I lost my father.
What would you say is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is myself!
If you are not into what you are doing now, what would you be doing?
I would have been an author or working for an organization.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next five years, I will be an entrepreneur with a staff capacity of two hundred. I will also be an author of two books, I will go into public speaking more and became a coach to five hundred youth.
Have you gotten any awards/recognition yet?
Yes, I have gotten a few of them.
What do you love most about Nigeria?
I absolutely love everything except ethnic sentiments that has eaten deep into our system.
What does being young and Nigerian mean to you?
Being young means being adventurous, daring, beaming with ideas and creating a niche for yourself. As it relates to Nigerian, I am yet to see much of the Nigerian factor. Let’s face it – is the way you carry you child that others will carry him/her. The Nigerian factor is our individual factor that cumulates to that slang. We want a change; and it begins with me and you.
Do you plan to relocate probably to continue with what you do abroad?
I could relocate but planning to do what I am doing abroad is not an option. Rather, I might relocate for more educational training and skills building. That is very necessary but no, I will not be working there.