SAFE CONFERENCE 5 (2019) REPORT
UPGRADE – Career and Leadership Success in the 4th Industrial Revolution
The SAFE Conference 5.0 held on the 13th of July 2019. This year’s conference hosted 500 teenage leaders with 58% of them being girls and 42% boys. The average age of the participants was 16, 30% were gap year students and 5% are people living with disabilities. 50% of the participants came from 8 schools, 3 teenagers development organizations and an orphanage. The other 50% either registered through social media, or through religious and community centers. The conference featured 9 facilitators and 24 volunteers. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Abib Olamitoye, the Founder of Ibadan Central Hospital. He set the conference on a high note by inspiring the audience as he gives an account of his childhood struggles and victories. Other speakers were drawn from Technology, Health, Agriculture, Nutrition, Renewable energy and Media sectors. After 6 hours of learning, fun, exercises and bonding, participants went home with action plans and shared a lot of impact testimonies.
Living with disabilities
The Conference commenced by 10:20am with an opening remark by Engineer Ayotomiwa Adekahunsi. He then introduced “Find the Man”, a networking exercise to the participants. The aim of this exercise was to foster connections and familiarity amidst the participants. After this, the event compere Ms. Semiloore Atere welcomed the audience. She shared a brief history of the Sozo Networks and the SAFE Conference, then went ahead to introduce the keynote speaker.
Dr. Abib Olamitoye is a well-known Nigerian author, businessman, philanthropist and founder of Ibadan Central Hospital. He is known for his finance and investment management seminars and books. In his keynote address, using his life stories, he taught about the importance of personal leadership, mentorship, developing a vision, starting early and seeking knowledge.
“I knew the importance of reading, I read Think and Grow Rich every month for 6 years and it transformed my thinking. Start small and grow from there, I started my hospital with four beds, by the 9th year it has grown to 85 beds and another branch of forty beds. I have also established many other businesses.” – Dr. Abib Olamitoye
He also helped the participants to understand the place of passion, talents, skills and hard work in living a successful leadership and career life. The students were fully engaged and their questions during the Q&A session moderated by Kayode Alabi were duly answered by the speaker.
Showcasing our Alumni
Two alumni of the Sozo Networks’ SAFE Academy, Alli Ajagbe and Deborah Benjamin shared their experiences as alumni of the SAFE project. They talked about the impact of the project in their lives and its contribution to their decision to become change-makers in their communities.
“I would not have become who I am today, if not for the SAFE project, the academy provided me with the opportunity to interact with likeminded teenagers who are now helping me in the actualization of my vision” – Deborah Benjamin.
At the age of 14, Ms. Benjamin started advocating against sexual abuse and has since then reached out to over 600 young people with sex education and abuse interventions. She hosts Impact Nigeria, a weekly radio program on lead city F.M. where she promotes active citizenship and community development. Debbie’s goal is to become an investigative journalist. Alli Ajagbe on the other hand was a finalist of the Beyond School Community Challenge 2018 and recipient of a full scholarship to study at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.
“The academy taught me about leadership. My essential question during the SAFE Academy was on how to empower young people with digital skills. Today, I am the co-founder of a digital hub for teenagers.” – Alli Ajagbe
This session proved to be very inspiring, as the delegates who were also teenagers felt positively challenged by what their peers were doing.
Speaker Session on Mental Health
The mental health session was facilitated by Dr. Jibril Abdulmalik a Consultant Psychiatrist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. He started by defining Mental Health according to the World Health Organization (1978). Mental health is to fulfill one’s truest potential, ability to cope with the normal stress of day to day living, a state of emotional wellbeing, to work productively, and to contribute meaningfully to the society. He debunked some popular mental health myths, corrected some wrong but general perceptions of mental health issues and educated the delegates on ways to achieve mental health. His presentation was followed by a question and answer session that was moderated by Ms. Chinenye Nzom, founder of Volunteer Hub Africa.
Plenary Session on Career
The plenary session was a very interactive session, the participants were allowed to ask questions about their career plans. The session was moderated by Damilola Okoyomoh, Development communications assistant at the University of Ibadan, Ayotomiwa Adekahunsi, managing director of Q-Tech, Christiana Adetola, a food entrepreneur, Amarachi Nzekwe a software engineer and Azeez Oluwole a farmer and agricultural entrepreneur. This session was very informative, inspiring and electrifying, and was rated as one of the best sessions by the participants. Here are some of the key points. They said the following skills will guarantee a relevant job in the future: Research, complex problem solving, service orientation, complex problem solving and relationship building skills.
“So far you can read and write, you have all you need to survive” – Mr. Azeez Oluwole
The panelists also advised the participants to think long term and take extracurricular activities very seriously.
“When choosing a career, pick a job that would be relevant in 10 – 20 years and think global” – Amarachi Nzekwe
Speaker Session on Digital and Social Media
This session was delivered by Mr. Tijani Mayowa, a development journalist. His presentation was on “Maximizing the powerful tool of Social Media”. Mayowa has a background in Food Technology but a love for journalism and writing. He wrote an article on the Girl Child. The article was widely rejected, but fortunately later got published by a major online media outfit and this brought him to limelight. Mayowa used this story and other personal experiences to describe the power of social media and technology. He advised the participants to build strong online presence.
Speaker Session on Sexual and Reproductive Health
The last session was on Sex and Reproductive Health facilitated by Mrs Patricia Abokede. The participants listened with rapt attention and asked a lot of questions as she unravels the myths about sex and gender. Mrs Abokede delivered mind blowing reproductive health tips with a unique approach that provided the audience with absolute clarity.
Breaks, Entertainment, Refreshments and Closing
Spoken words rendition, dance competitions, Chinese whispers, find the man and ideas pitching are some of the activities that took place as the participants enjoyed their refreshments.
The vote of thanks was given by the Project Coordinator, Ms. Lauretta Malaka. Also present was Sozo Networks’ advisory board member, Mr Yomi Babalola and the founder, Dr Segun Fatudimu.
of participants said their needs were met
will recommend to others
will step down the impact and will attend subsequent conferences
prefers shorter duration with follow on activities
Schools and Organizations in attendance
- Methodist Grammar School
- Rosebud College
- University of Ibadan
- Command Secondary School, Ojoo
- Jumpstart Academy Africa
- Command Secondary School, Mokola
- Onireke Grammar school Apata
- Apete Aiyegun community grammar school
- Tabitha Home
- St Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Mokola
- RCCG, Jesus Tower, Jericho
- Abina Rotimi Babatunde
- Oluyinka Abiola
- Vincent Imoleolami
- Adeoye Comfort Abeni
- Ajav Aderonke
- Oloyede Damilola
- Gbemisola O Takuro
- Olayinka Fatudimu
- Abisoluwa Akinboboye
- Abiodun Ayisat
- Ayodele Thikrat
- Akinola Oluwaseun
- Babarinsa Oluwatobi
- Adeniyi Adeola Vanessa
- Ifeoluwa Oluwamotolani
- Ebunoluwa Mewoyeka
- Grace Ihejiamazu
- REEL Foundation
- Oluwasemiloore Peace Atere
- Abodunwa Emmanuel
- Awolola Timilehin Omolayo
- Gbenga Kugberenu
- Ajibade Oluwatosin Joseph