My journey as a leader has been characterized by my innate ability to recognize needs, accept responsibilities, and wield influence that inspires a positive change. One of my most significant experiences as a leader came after I was unanimously elected on the 20th of March, 2018 as the chairman of my department’s maiden homecoming committee. I was mandated to organize the homecoming within three months. At first, I felt it was impossible because the funds were not available, but I understood the aim of the homecoming which was to inspire fellow undergraduates and also to raise money to buy about ten microscopes for the department. To achieve this dream, I inaugurated a team of 10 committee members, instituted a sub-committee responsible for fundraising, and delegated roles to each member of the committee. I also sent out invitations to my school’s vice-chancellor, head of the department, members of staff, and departmental alumni. I was able to raise the money for the organization of the homecoming through the funds pulled together by students. On the day of the homecoming, the turnout from students and alumni was massive, though the vice-chancellor could not make it he was represented by the deputy vice-chancellor for administration. Through donations made by the alumni and other invitees, I was able to purchase ten new electrical microscopes for the department which was presented to the head of the department by the departmental students’ president. It was an experience that taught me never to give up until I have exhausted all my options.
Leadership is a journey of tackling new challenges after my significant leadership role as an undergraduate in 2018 I faced stiffer challenges in august 2019 when I accepted the position of the Secretary of a youth-based community development service group called the National Youth Service Corps-Sustainable Development Goals (NYSC-SDGs). The group is focused on helping to achieve the 17 SDGs in Nigeria. As a way of contributing to goals, I convinced my fellow excos that we should plant trees to support climate action and also reduce erosion in Lagos state. As a plant breeding and climate action enthusiast, I was naturally made the project manager so, I researched on the kind of trees that will serve the purpose of climate action and beautification and will also grow fast for this I also consulted Mr Oladele Sipasi the CEO of Protect-Ozone whom I met when he came to train my cohort of SDGs corps members at the NYSC camp. Mr Sipasi suggested the Masquerade tree and also donated about 50 of them to us. Thanks to other free-will donors I was able to provide a total of 100 trees which were planted by two teams of about three corps members at the National Orthopedic Hospital and the NYSC State secretariat both in Lagos.
The tree project and my interactions with a selfless leader inspired me to become a volunteer tutor and a development knowledge facilitator at Eric Moore Senior high school, Lagos between April 2019 to March 2020. At this school, I noticed that the students had a poor attitude to their studies, and this was caused by the nonchalant attitude to work from the teachers. This greatly disturbed me so; I challenged myself to rekindle their zeal in school and not see school as scam as they will usually call it. To achieve my goal, I formed a coalition with five corps members from the science, social science, and the academic arts fields with their help I organized after school classes for students in core subjects; I also established a student’s SDGs club with the permission of the school’s administration. It was not a comfortable experience at the beginning, but the mere taught of seeing teenagers join in the fight to make Nigeria a better place kept me inspired and I am proud to say that I reignited the academic interests of over 300 students and established a club which is waxing stronger till date with over 100 students and two staff members.
As a Chevening scholar, I will be a pillar and a nexus for the UK to form collaborations with farming communities in Nigeria to help fight hunger and poverty within the country.