Mentorship Session with Deolu Akinyemi and ‘Gbenga Sesan

Hi Friend,

How are you? The last mentorship session was highly rewarding for those in attendance. You however have another opportunity to attend the May session With ‘Gbenga Sesan ( and ‘Deolu Akinyemi ( This month edition is featuring a special guest in person of Emmanuel Utomi, (MD, Success Power) an expert on Self Awareness.

This programme was put together due to the fact that we’ve been receiving many mails from people asking to be mentored, hence, we decided we will take out time to meet with these people and guide them. You’re receiving this mail because we believe you should be take advantage of this opportunity.

Details of the programme are as follows:

Date: Sunday, 6th May, 2007
Time: 2 pm prompt
Scope: Investment tips, Personal finance, Self Awareness, Question & Answer session
Venue: Generis Solutions
5th Floor, L’Monarch Plaza
65c Opebi road,
Salvation b/stop
Opebi, Lagos.
Cost: N 1,000 [This is to take care of venue, power and slight refreshment]

There are only 25 slots available for this session. Hence, you are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and indicate your interest by replying this mail as soon as you receive it, so you can be contacted and registered before the slots are filled. Also feel free to forward this to your friends that you believe may be interested.

Registration will be on first-come first-served basis. The benefit of this is an avenue to have direct access, get key career/business questions answered, network with others and get guidance. We intend to hold these sessions monthly as a contribution to developing capacity in Nigeria.

You can therefore register by paying the #1,000 fee in the bank with the following details:
Account Name: Generis Global Concept Solutions
Account Number: 0572010004146
Bank: Diamond Bank

Payment should be made latest on the 3rd of May , 2007 and a mail sent to this address as soon as payment is made, then a seat number will be sent to you. Alternatively, you can pay at our office, 5th Floor, L’Monarch Plaza, 65c Opebi road, Salvation b/stop, Opebi. For more enquiries, please call 01-7941602 or write to We look forward to reading from you soon.

It’s My Mother’s Day!

Mothers’ Days are always special, but today’s is different — it’s my mum birthday, coming only 17 days (and a few years) after my Dad’s. You may be able to explain the fact that they were both born in April but how do you explain that Tunde, Jumoke, ‘Gbenga and Tosin were born on July 24, July 4, July 27 and July 27 respectively — and they are all from the same Mr. & Mrs. Sesan. 🙂

My mum, the woman whose pictures from her public speaking engagements made me desire handling the mic even while I couldn’t stand a crowd of 2, is 58 today (oops, being a lady, I’m sure she won’t like her age in the public domain :)) and in celebration of her special day, I thought up a project which my friends from every corner of the planet have been executing withh so much passion. One of them wrote in at 12:44 (via SMS) and said, “Situation Report: Project 58 Assignment Executed…”. This is sin apparent response to a text message I sent to 58 friends, which said:

Please join me in my Project 58! My mum is 58 today and I’d like my friends to thank her for being there for me and the entire family. Text or call …

Calls and SMS reports have been pouring in since then, and one of them said, “she sounded so happy when I called.” That’s the plan 😉 To everyone who joined in to make Project 58 a success, thank you. To the woman, exceptional woman at the centre of it all, I love you! And I hope she also gets the message that sometime next year, she may get to meet almost all the people who called her at the same venue. Mothers are central to life’s values, and there’s nothing that can be defined as too much when it comes to children appreciating their mothers. And to the man behind the woman, enjoy the day — and your entire lifetime with her.

Imagine Cup Comes to Nigeria

(c) Imagine Cup website

The Imagine Cup may sound new to many people, but its one of those competitions that I waste no time in recommending for students and other young people who are tired of being local champions. With it’s One world. Unlimited possibilities slogan, the cup is described on its website as follows:

Let’s face it — the world needs help. The kind of help that happens when you take the top young minds from around the globe and turn them loose on solving the world’s toughest problems. That’s what the Imagine Cup is all about. This is your chance to innovate and create, show the world what you’ve got, and win some serious prizes. Simply put, it’s your chance to use the power of technology to change the world—and have some fun while you’re at it.

It continues:

You win. We all win.
Imagine Cup contestants have the chance to give their ideas exposure, make critical contacts, and feel a true sense of friendship with people around the world. Want more? Well, if you make it to the worldwide finals, you’ll also score an all-expense paid trip to Seoul, Korea, and a shot at some great cash prizes: $8,000 for winning one of eight invitationals or even $25,000 for winning the Software Design invitational. Help the world and win money? It doesn’t get any better than that.

The theme of this year’s Imagine Cup is “Imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all.” and I hope there will be many winners from Nigeria. 😉 Fortunately, the challenge comes to Nigeria in a dynamic way, following some input by Microsoft Nigeria and University of Lagos. The following message came from the Developer & Platform Manager for Microsoft West, East, Central Africa & Indian Ocean Islands:

Dear Imagine Cup Registrant,

I am happy to announce that the University of Lagos, Nigeria has agreed to assist Microsoft in piloting a local version of the Imagine Cup competition in Nigeria. This version of the competition will conclude in a local judging and prize-giving event in June 2007.

This local competition now presents a fantastic opportunity for you to compete against your peers in Nigeria, and although run in conjunction with the global program, this pilot program will in no way influence the judging and scoring for the worldwide finals for those of you that may have submitted projects for the global competition. This local pilot competition will present you with a second opportunity to compete and win, and will only be open to students in Nigeria.

I applaud your enthusiasm for joining the Imagine Cup competition, and I would like to announce that 1st prize for this pilot competition (after some consultation with students about prizes :)) will be a laptop- with further consolation prizes for the runners up. Please invite your fellow students to go to to sign up and compete.

More information will follow concerning the finals event in June as well as submission details. Projects will, however, have to be submitted by the 8th of June 2007.

Finally, I would like to wish you good luck and I hope to see you at the finals!

On Prof. Pat Utomi’s Presidential Bid

The fact that Prof. Utomi has my vote, voice and unalloyed support for the 2007 presidential elections can’t be doubted. That should explain why I smiled when I heard the rumour that he was pulling out — he is not. The following press release tells it all:

Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Prof. Pat Utomi hereby refutes claims by certain news media that himself and other candidates have withdrawn and are calling for a pull-out from the presidential election.

Prof. Utomi declares that he is still in the race, his campaign continues, and he remains convinced that he is the best material for the presidency as well as remaining the peoples’ choice.

He states that on the contrary, the group resolve is getting stronger, the status quo remains, and the group is developing its resolution-document which calls on the Nigerian people and the international community to reject the elections so far and see it as a big fraud pre-decided and manipulated accordingly by the PDP.

With due respect to the various international observers, Utomi states that they have been hoodwinked by the riggers to interpret the peaceful conduct of the Nigerian people at the polls as freeness and fairness of the voting exercise.

Prof. Utomi in his capacity as the chairman of the Granite Coalition political parties group hereby calls for an abortion and postponement of the remaining election process in view of the various levels of irregularities, malpractices, and fraud by security agents and INEC officials in last Saturday’s elections.

Prof. Utomi hereby also call on Nigerians and all people of goodwill to see the numerous, spontaneous, certainly unrelated, and diverse unrests following the Saturday elections results announcement as the attestation to the rejection of the process by Nigerians.

Meanwhile, Prof. Pat Utomi, will from today, wind down his campaign activity with a symbolic interactive assembly where he addresses a gathering of various South-south and South-east peoples’ unions, communities, political associations, youth movements, and pressure groups is scheduled for the FCT Abuja.

The Abuja session which ends Prof. Pat Utomi’s ‘Oil from Curse to Blessing’ nationwide tour , had formally commenced at Oloibiri, Bayelsa state and was scheduled to end with a grand rally at Oloibiri.

The venue change is due to recent political developments among which is Utomi’s adoption as the chairman of the ongoing political parties’ ‘Granite Coalition’ session by members which include the Action Congress (AC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) among others, in Abuja.

Following Abuja, Utomi will on Wednesday visit major marketplaces in Lagos state to interact with executives and traders of the populous Balogun, ASPAMDA Mushin, and Ladipo markets.

Finally in Lagos on Thursday, Prof. Utomi who yesterday released the ADC Ideology Manifesto and Policy Plank titled ‘Liberation of the People from Poverty; Proclaiming Prosperity and Progress’ for public distribution, will address the executives and members of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN).

Kila Odunayo
Media Director – Pat Utomi ’07 Campaign

I Was Young…

I have had the opportunity of being young for a long time, having been referred to as youth by many people who knew me as the Information Technology Youth Ambassador – and some of them actually decided to freeze my age. But, reality is that I’m not as young as I used to be, and many other things have also changed. For example, I have come to sharpen my involvements (then in numerous projects) and now have a few dedicated efforts that will helpfully help with the major objective of helping individuals, corporations, nations and others to understand and benefit from the role of ICTs in development.

At Generis Solutions (, where I am partnering with a dynamic example of a young entrepreneur, the task is to build a model ICT-enabled institution that can help young African understand that it is better to create opportunities than to keep begging for one. Adeolu Akinyemi, an HR expert and long-time partner, is on the driver’s seat and we’re gradually inching closer to the dream. Generis Solutions has provided much-needed solutions for individuals and corporations, but the crowning thought is the role the company will play over the next few years in providing space for practical entrepreneurship support for young Nigerians, as a beginning. Soon, you will only need your idea, and the willingness to transform it into an economically viable venture, to sail through the waters of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. How about an enabling institution that provides a work-space which takes care of your office equipment, mentorship and resources? And this is not a political promise…

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), resident only at until I resigned to resume full physical leadership of the social enterprise, is a direct response to the many needs that ICTs address. Focusing on consulting, research, telecentre support, youth-led social technopreneurship and capacity building, PIN is living the realities of the task of giving ICT4D a socially responsible economic face! Among other efforts at PIN today, the Creating Local Connections West Africa (CLCWA) project is creating opportunities for Nigeria’s youth – especially in the Niger Delta region to which our message is clear: “Smart resource control is not abaout guns and oil, but about the ability of each young person to look inwards and find the connection between his/her passion, skills and economic opportunities.”

Creating Local Connections West Africa (CLC WA) aims to realize the potential of youth and engage them as development actors in the improvement of their communities, countries, and region. CLC WA will achieve this through peer-led trainings, networking, national youth meetings, media creation, award processes, research and development of strategic use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) during its implementation in: Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia. The project’s activities will run over a 12 months period, until March 2008. The ultimate project objective focuses on increased levels of issue awareness, leadership and entrepreneurship skill development, gender equality, information and communication technologies, economic accessibility, geographic accessibility and engagement and empowerment of the West African youth community.

CLCWA’s key activities will include online and printed resources on local youth opportunities; a monthly youth online and printed newsletter to reach out to the CLC West Africa project network; bi-monthly youth awards as an effort to recognize, reward and further encourage youth achievement; online global galleries, discussion boards, blogs, project and event pages as a central CLC-WA information-sharing space; a project-long ICT connectivity research that will provide useful information for other network ICT oriented initiatives; capacity building and content development for youth media organizations; practical, peer-led, skill-based workshops; regular issue-based ‘Open Forums’ and ‘National Youth Meetings’; transformation of each country CLC-WA team into a sustainable, independent group. The project concept was developed by TakingITGlobal and is sponsored, in the five participating countries in West Africa, by the Open Society Initiative for Western Africa (OSIWA).

Ezekwesili vs Harvard

(c) Google Images

I have been asked in a number of interviews to say which is my favourite award but that has always been a huge problem — because each award comes with its own uniqueness and/or sentiments. However, one award that has been on my radar for a while is the 2007 The Future Youth Advocacy Award — and that is for many reasons. One, I missed the ceremony which turned out to be one of the best organized award ceremonies I have seen around here — kudos to the young and dynamic team that runs The Future Awards, a team to which I intended to dedicate the award if I had picked it up in person: Chude, Emilia and Debola deserve that award more than me because they are the true Youth Advocates (making some of us wish we could rewind time and start earlier).

Two, I can not erase the weekend winners’ party at the MicCom Golf Resort from my course of life. Denrele’s hyper-active and undeniably warm personality, the serene atmosphere and host’s kindness, the hardworking Redstrat team (again!), Erin Ijesha waterfalls (after 6 years!), the gifts (I’m through with “Half of a Yellow Sun”, can I get another novel? :)), the … hmm, that should not be on the blog (and you had better not be more curious 😉 The continuous newspaper features for winners also comes on my list, and I think that all these will make the 2008 awards too hot to handle. A big congratulations to the team for the job well done, oops, that they are doing — because the benefits keep rolling in for winners.

The latest came as a phone call, followed up with text messages and more phone calls — the news of the meeting with Madam Due Process, Obi Ezekwesili! Coming about the same time with the announcement of her post-May 29 role at the World Bank, it was sure a great opportunity to meet with a distinguished Nigerian who has paid her dues. Argue it whichever way (including the fact that she may be better with a more dynamic government like Utomi’s), she has proved that public life is not for self gain but public good — and long-term impact — and that only the prepared can get the best in life. Be that as it may, I have my issues with her decision (or approval) to scrap polythecnics. I probably would have had the chance to mention that at the meeting, but…

What I wrote about the Nigerian elections and the role that ICTs could play, plus recommendations from an earlier consulting work for Res Publica, earned me a consulting job with Harvard. Series of eMails, one phone call and another set of eMail messages, and the contract was signed. The logistics of my terms of reference meant that I had to be in Lagos while my colleague on the project (and fellow blogger) Mary was in Nigeria to work on the project. As it eventually turned out, owing to a change in date which pitched a scheduled conference call plus physical project meeting in Lagos against the Abuja meeting with the Honourable Minister, I could not join the 2007 Future Awards winners for the meeting with Madam Due Process.

The meetings (both the one I had on the Harvard project, and the Abuja Future Awards meeting) went really well, and even though I missed the meeting with the minister, I expect to see the Future Awards team at the Presidential Roundtable (organized by Group 100, led by Kingsley Bangwell, and Youngstars) holding in Abuja over the next few days.

He is 65 Today!

“Quiet, but firm
  Watching from any distance
Few words, but full of meaning
  Correcting every known error

With OD1822A, he connected us to school
  And with the same, his wife to work
With a keen sense of observation
  And known for his mastery of words!”
(c) ‘Gbenga Sesan: For Baba J.O.

That goes to Mr. Joshua Olaniran Sesan, my father and first role model, on his 65th birthday. April 3 every year should be declared Fathers’ Day, because I have learnt innumerable things from this one man whose career as a teacher might have formally ended, but continues on every front. While growing up, it wasn’t unusual for me to meet various people who had stories to tell about their opportunity to benefit from my father’s teaching career — and I think I’m his best student to date 😉 I can never forget the many times I would write home to update him on goings on at school, only to return home from boarding school to meet my letter on his table — with every grammatical error identified and corrected, in red ink! To those who think I write well, you now know who to hold responsible. (But for the many errors in my writings, I take personal responsibility please 🙂

I can never forget the many times he would call me to his room to say a few words (always very few) but I would end up thinking all-day long! His words were straight to the point, sharp, and usually told more than the minutes appeared to allow. to him we all (Tunde, Jumoke, Tosin and I) owe our knowledge of what true competition means. Whenever I brought home my report sheet (is that what it was called?) to display what I thought was a great expression of how i was better than any other student in mathematics, with a score of 99%, my father would ask me: “where’s the 1 mark? Are you assuming that 1st position among about 40 students means that you are the best?” He would go on to tell me that my true competition wasn’t a student in my class, but the “Highest Mark Obtainable!” Did my dad see ahead (into the future) and know that competition would become global? At least, he taught me that “being the best is not about being better than the rest, but being at the point where all marks obtainable have been acquired. With him, only 100% was good enough to be called the best, not 1st position relative to a group of just 40.

Daddy, thanks for all the lessons you taught us, we’re better for it! As you turn 65 today, we wish you the best of days ahead and hope you will truly score 100% as you taught us — in age, strength and more. I love you dad! I promise you that regardless of what marks I have obtained in the last few years, I am striving for 100% in all my endeavours — career, impact, family and all…