ECHOES FROM THE PAST: ENLS, PARTICIPANTS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCE

June, 2018, I can still remember my very first International Leadership, Career Building and Entrepreneurship Summit(IYLCBES) hosted by the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics (CSAAE). Personally, I wish to take this time to reflect upon my first ever enriching experiences in Kwara State, Nigeria.

Walking down memory lane, I clearly remember that day at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. It was a very large arena filled with over 1000 young bloods: business professionals, Effective African Leaders(EALs), Emerging Leaders, academics, students, noblemen and noblewomen, powerful national and state leaders, and many other lovers of development and self-independence. I was ready and had my notebook handy, taking copious notes from mind-shifting speakers.

I am a great admirer and a keen learner who never gets tired of learning no matter the circumstance. I dare not sit and just listen. What on earth would dare to stop me from drinking from the already pouring knowledge and telling experiences of these fulfilled men I am opportune to meet in a lifetime?

I admired them and was very eager to learn. You would find every reason to believe me if I told you that the different sessions of the summit were basically ritualistic engagements. Yes, they were simply rituals to me; the same processes: all about the content, the speakers, my notes, and the intriguing reoccurring thoughts of replicating the lessons on every aspect of my life, soon after the summit. I was totally engrossed in inner thoughts. Nobody knew about these thoughts, perhaps, as I hoped. Who could ever trap into my subconscious mind to peep through? Not even Paul and Kizito, who were sitting very close to my eyes.

Whereas many summits and conferences are all about information transmission from a speaker to an audience, CSAAE’s International Leadership, Career Building and Entrepreneurship Summit seemed to care more about awakening my soul to life challenges and wonders; offering me the chance to process every single information, gradually downloading into my memory box.

I could spend several thousand words gushing over the intentionality and creativity that dripped from every element; from every particle of the summit. I could tell you about the fearful moments I battled with my mind over; what was to come, over what was fast beholding me.

Better still, I could tell you about the moments which had me in tears and entrusted me into the sober reality of the true essence of my existence. You would never get tired if I personally insisted you sit while I share the breakthroughs I had during and soon after the summit; the continuous push to continue thinking of making a difference. I became better. I started writing and speaking better. I started thinking of furthering my education abroad. I started thinking of what to offer to society and become a better version of myself.

Inspired by what I learned from the summit, my updated CV landed me into an international appointment as a Youth Ambassador of the International Youth Society (IYS). This happened just three months after the summit. I practically applied every CV writing tip taught by Mr. Alex Ugwuezuonu, a Career Choice and Job Placement expert, at the summit and it simply clicked through! Coincidentally, the next big thing struck me. I won a National Undergraduate Essay Competition hosted by Trojan Empire. Did I not tell you that I dare not sit and just listen?

CSAAE offers me no pay to promote their events. I am just a product specially marked by their work. I carry on my forehead, the mark of testimony from the Centre.

Now, let me be sincere with you. This experience will continue to be a reminder for us all. We can become better only if we wish. Through learning; through education; through experiences; through meaningful associations, and through exposures, we can grow and become better. Whatever may be our stories; whatever our background is; whatever the opinions and rejections, we must always choose to make a ‘carve’ for ourselves.

We must continue to be hungry for change and for something different. We must not let personal rejections behold us. There is always an opportunity to harness our inherent potentials. New doors for success invitations can always open through meaningful associations.

Probably, you think it is just my view. This is what another participant has to say, “I remember the seminar being very educative and enlightening. It was really engaging. The speakers knew how to keep their audience listening. I learned a couple of life lessons like how one can have a global relevance regardless of one’s location; it just depends on your creativity, dedication and hard work” (Adeola Olowolayemo; participant).

This year’s 6th International Leadership, Career Building, and Entrepreneurship Summit will be held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, July 12-13, 2019 and I earnestly look forward to another rekindling session for change-making.

Shedrack CEO Anuchirim (ENL)

ANUCHIRIM, SHEDRACK

Co-editor, C-newsletter