(A speech delivered at the Dinamica Public Speaking Club, University Of Ibadan. Onwukwe Chimdinma Adriel)
On the 22nd day of June, 2015, Four Nigerian Youths were honored at the “Queens Young Leader Awards”. They are : Isaiah Owolabi, Kelvin Ogholi, Nkechikwu Azinge, Oladipupo Ajiroba. (Age 18-29.)
According to a statement issued by the QYL, the awards are being given to the exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth.
When I saw this, the question that came to my mind was this : What exactly did they do? What extraordinary feat did they accomplish?
I mean they took selfies with DAVID BECKHAM and SHOOK HANDS WITH THE QUEEN!!! LORD!!!
Isaiah Owolabi co-founded HACEY Health Initiative, which helps disadvantaged women and children to lead healthy lives. In 2012, he also launched HANDS UP FOR HER, which promotes the rights of African girls.
Kelvin Ogholi co-founded UNFIRE a social enterprise that helps farmers with feeds from organic wastes.
Nkechikwu Azinge set up THE SICKLE CELL AID FOUNDATION after growing up with close family members who had the hereditary blood disorder.
Oladipupo Ajiroba, who grew up with bronchitis became conscious of pollution and set up the ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY AND MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE, which has engaged more than 10,000 volunteers in campaigns and workshops.
The way I see it, these 4 Nigerian Youths have made necessary preparations before the darkness engulfs them.
I’m TWENTY-ONE. Some people might say YOU ARE TOO YOUNG AND YOU’VE GOT YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU.
I agree to some extent because my day is still really bright. Very bright. And there’s a life I must live before it gets dark because when it gets dark, I will be caged.
Before it gets dark, I want to chase all my dreams, I may never be able to see them when it gets dark. I want to be fully prepared for the best and worst that life has to offer.
Before it gets dark, I want to experience life to the fullest. All of its craziness. All of its pain. All of its joy. All of its memories. We would all agree that nothing lasts forever.
I want to make good use of all opportunities I find. From the very mundane to the very extraordinary ones.
I want to acquire everything possible for my self. I want to travel round the world, sleep in Paris and wake up In America.
I want to EAT, PRAY AND LOVE before it gets dark. I want to fall deeply in love with my creator and love the way he does.
I want to love and be loved, not that shallow love that stops loving but the love that loves all imperfections. I want to give love and receive love in full.
Before it gets dark I want to crash through glass ceilings for my self and for everyone coming behind me.
There is a whole lot to do before it gets dark. And the point is when it gets dark it can get darker. It’s possible for things to get worse.
There are times when life throws grenades at us. Do we search for light in that darkness or do we sit down and wait for the darkness to overshadow us completely?
Just In case you get caught up in the darkness : Do. Not. Be. Afraid. This is because the light will always shine through the darkness.
Nkechikwu Azinge found light in her darkness when she set up the SICKLE CELL AID FOUNDATION after growing up with close family members who had the hereditary blood disorder.
Oladipupo Ajiroba found light in his darkness when he set up the ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY AND MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE that has engaged 10,000 volunteers in campaigns and workshop.
There are these things called Opportunities, they are everywhere. Seize Them!
I don’t know about you but before the age of 29 I want to do something profound – mundane or extraordinary but I want to TRY. I’m going to TRY.
(I will have two books published before the age of 29)
Use The Light Before It Gets Dark.
SEE YOU AT THE TOP.