There has never been a season as crucial as the one upon us now. A season where there is so much demand, weight and responsibility placed upon a younger generation.
For decades, much has been said about Africa and its renaissance, its revival and its future potential. We are getting closer to this rise. And we know who will be entrusted with the responsibility for pioneering this profound change, you, our children!
Yesterday was Children’s Day. Children they say are the leaders of tomorrow, but more than the cliche, we can see the influence the young generation has in the current world. We see young leaders, in politics, in business, in entrepreneurship and champions of environmental causes. These are strong voices, voices that should be heard.
There is one call that we must respond to, and that call is the need to educate our children. I see every day the thirst for knowledge, the understanding that knowledge powers and transforms. I see the inequities in the distribution of knowledge, the access to knowledge and the impact this has on so many.
It is terrible to know that millions of children in Africa do not have access to quality education. Many are still not being given that good start in life, to help develop skills for efficiency, productivity, and success in the 21st century.
Therefore, I was pleased to be the guest speaker at the American International School Lagos – a school I know well – celebrating one of the weapons of our warfare for tomorrow — education, the very tool we will use to fight for our freedom and rise.
I believe and I support the notion that every child must complete quality and relevant basic education, because not only will the product of education benefit the children, but it will also benefit the society of which you and your generation will be a part of.
I shared important lessons from my own journey, in education, in entrepreneurship, in business – and as a father. Here is a summary of what I shared.
1. Be ambitious and dream
2. Hard work will make your ambitions valid.
3. Discipline might be painful, but the reward is always great.
4. Diligence is key.
5. Resilience is important because the world is not always rosy.
6. Integrity will earn you a place at the top.
7. A good reputation will get you better relationships and more opportunities.
These lessons have aided me in my life journey.
I believe that amid chaos, conflict and disaster, education is a binding force that is life changing. Imagine a world where everyone is educated and proficient, a world with better coordination and equity. The world would indeed be a better place for all.
Today, I celebrate everyone graduating, as well as our children in our country and Africa. It is our dream that they become better leaders than we have ever had in history.
Happy Children’s Day!