By Dipo Olowookere
Oyo State Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, has advised youths and budding entrepreneurs to develop positive mental attitude and be prepared to take risks in order to succeed.
He gave the advice while addressing the 799 participants at the 2019 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) conference for emerging entrepreneurs, held last Wednesday at the Ibadan Business School, Bodija, Ibadan, the state capital.
The Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship training was organized by the Field of Skills and Dreams Academy and supported by the United States Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria.
In his keynote address at the conference, Mr Ajimobi said that any of the youths with humble background should not consider such as a stumbling block towards succeeding in life, stressing that he also came from similar parentage.
“I am a Nigerian with a humble beginning. I came from a humble background like some of you. My father was a tailor, while my mother was a trader. So, your background should not be a hindrance to your success.
“To succeed in life, you must possess some qualifications like positive mental attitude. You must first develop that attitude and then you act it. Visualise what you want to be, act and work hard towards achieving it.
“Even when you are in your bathroom, talk to yourself. My God, I want to be this or that; although it is not only about just wishing to be, but also about working towards achieving it.
“In the words of Walt Disney, ‘all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’ In the process of pursuing your dreams, people will mount obstacles in your way; some will discourage you, but don’t give up,” he said at the gathering
Also quoting a former American President, Theodore Roosevelt, the governor reminded the youths that the credit or trophy ‘belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat.’
At the outset of a given entrepreneurship, he said there would be teething challenges, which he said would be surmounted with resilience, ingenuity, and determination.
In his opening address, Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate, Mr Russell Brooks, said resource persons for the conference were drawn from digital entrepreneurship, blogging, agriculture, hotel and catering management, among others.
He urged the budding young entrepreneurs to see themselves as risk takers, who should be ready to face all odds without looking at the negative consequences in the quest to reach for the stars.
Mr Brooks told the gathering that the US was interested in the Nigerian youths entrepreneurship, because of its belief that the body of youths represented solution to the nation’s economic dilemma.
He said, “Our (America’s) interest is in our belief that you, the youths, represent the future of the African continent. You represent the future of Nigeria.
“Only you can provide a good future for the country so that Nigeria can take its rightful place in the comity of nations.”
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