Exclusive: Seun Fakorede teaches young Nigerians what it means to be a Politician and how to do it

Seun Fakorode’s conversations about politics mostly lean towards service. But, when you gather ten Nigerian politicians, you may not find more than two of them who understand that their role is service to people.

Seun tells you the one thing he wants to do is make sure he helps people go through their daily activities and life, with ease. That is why service is the priority.

We speak with the 29-year-old recipient of the One Young World Politician of the Year Award and the conversation was filled with political nuggets that will definitely interest you, as a young or old Nigerian who should be interested in politics.

It started with his time in politics to date, and he highlighted what everyone in any space experiences – “ups and downs, highs and lows.”

The consolation is in the fact that you have the privilege to serve the good people of Nigeria.

Seun Fakorede

Added to that is that the service is seen and “appreciated.” He says, “it has been over two years of insight and practical engagement of the true politics and dynamics of the government.”

When we talk governance most times in Nigeria, we are looking at individuals who have acted in different capacities of power since 1960 and have refused to retire. Seun Fakorede says yes to staying long in politics “as long as that place of service is still valid.”

Seun has been an active politician since school, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, but he says he did not see being a Commissioner in Oyo coming in the form it came, but since “serving the people makes me happy”, he says he will love to do it for a long time.

Service is not meant to be by force.

Seun Fakorede

Seun Fakorede became the Hon. Commissioner for Youth & Sports, Oyo, in August 2019, and was re-appointed on October 11, 2021. He is a United Nations Ambassador for Peace. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Home Advantage Africa, a non-profit devoted to promoting local dominance and global stardom in Africa through digital storytelling and other projects of similar ilk.

He is a recipient of The Future Awards Africa Prize for Governance, 2020, beating other great nominees including Olumide Alonge, Jude Feranmi, Adebusayo Olateru – Olagbegi, others, to it.

Beyond that and more recent, Seun was announced one of the winners of the fourth annual prestigious One Young World Politician of the Year Award.

One Young World is the global forum for young leaders. Its mission is to create a better world, with more responsible and more effective leadership by identifying, promoting and connecting the world’s most impactful young leaders.

Its annual Summit convenes the brightest young leaders from every country and sector who are working to accelerate social impact ​across the globe. Delegates from 190+ countries are counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders such as President Mary Robinson, Dr Jane Goodall, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, and the Duchess of Sussex, amongst many other global figures. ​

On the award, he says it is a form of encouragement to do more.

I feel really delighted to have received that award. I feel quite special, I feel inspired to do more.

Seun Fakorede

He says people are seeing the impact of the work he is doing, and the award summarizes that fact.

Seun says he has bigger plans than being Commissioner, but he is not actively looking forward to it. “If a bigger platform comes around to take me higher, I will take it.”

He is not consulting as other 2023 politicians have mentioned.

Read also: Even with social intervention programmes, Nigeria’s poverty rate continues to rise – 90 million now

As for motivation, Seun says if people give feedback, and say ‘well done’, he is motivated to do more.

But, Seun reminisces his downtimes and says there have been times when he wanted to close his files, quit and go home. He can’t do that though. We all want young Nigerians like him to stay in active politics.

I have to live up to the responsibility I have been given. Besides, people look up to me, and I cannot disappoint them.

Seun Fakorede

For him, there are structures in place that motivate him to keep pushing through the storm, including his wife and the people who keep giving feedback on the good work he is doing.

We all have our take home lessons because life teaches us so much. Seun’s biggest lesson from his time in politics is that not everything lasts forever, and people should learn to do better in their endeavours.

“Coming back as Commissioner for the second gave me the opportunity to do more. I do not want to have regrets,” he says.

Seun’s advice to aspiring politicians

Do not allow the messed up system to discourage you. In fact, it is the mess that should motivate you to do politics.

Seun Fakorede

He adds that if young Nigerians keep running away because they know or may have heard of the mess in the system, then it will only get messier.

“Nothing good comes easy, and there is no industry that is all rosy,” he says. He asks everyone to do what they can when they can. “If people with the capacity keep running away, things may not change as it should. We should all fight to be part of the system.”

As the youngest Commissioner to be appointed into a State Government cabinet in Nigeria, Seun has become an influential voice of reason for Youths in politics not just in Nigeria but Africa as a continent. Seun believes more African Millennials are going to lead a tremendous impact in the next few years of human history than ever before. His passion and work have promoted leadership development and accountability for Millennials as critical indices to Africa’s development through youth-driven empowerment programs, sports, IT, and other initiatives.

He is a registered engineer, entrepreneur, consultant and author.

A fun fact about Seun Fakorede? He is a man with child-like features, but only his wife sees this part of him.

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