Oluwaseun ADEPOJU’s list of 15 young persons to look out for in 2020

Disclaimer: This is a man making a list of men. The names on this list are not necessarily the best of the best and you may be better than them in many ways, so take no offence if you feel your name should be here and it’s not here.

I have compiled this list from a place of personal relationship with some and the place of observation for others. I have not been paid to do this neither am I doing this to bribe any of them to get favour now or later.

I am doing this to first of all show that I have observed their hard works over time and I am rooting for them in 2020. This is a list of affirmation that I personally believe in their dreams and I hope that they will all unleash gifts that will bless humanity in their chosen fields in 2020.

This list should also serve as a reference point to any of them as the journey of the year gets tough.

I want everyone reading this to please be their accountability partners as the year proceeds. Encourage them, support them and pray with them on the journey of the year. For those in business, patronise them, use their products and services.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER;

1. Onothoja Ruona

Dr Onothoja Ruona is a veterinary doctor by training but a multipotentialite by calling. My first encounter with him was at the TEDxUI in June 2017 where I was a speaker. I saw how he did an upside-down motion painting of a man’s face during the event to the amazement of the audience. He approached me after the event and I could not but love this young man. He had many questions that every serious young man should be asking. He is an artist, a public speaker and a development enthusiast.

Some children in the Agbowo and Orogun communities of Ibadan will never forget this hero without lapel as he used arts to raise funds for many of them to return to school. I will not forget to tell you that he was the former president of the TEDxUI organization where he was the licensee for two TEDx events. He is currently unto something big that I will not reveal now and I can not wait to see what he will deliver in 2020. Watch out for him.

2. Tunde MisterRain

Babatunde Ojobaro or “baba rain” as we fondly call him is probably the oldest on this list. I don’t even know where to start writing about him but those who have encountered this man here knows that he is a whole vibe. He is changing the narratives of theatre and stage play production in Nigeria through his company Theatre Hub Africa. Mr Rain is also a broadcaster of repute in Ibadan Nigeria with many wavelength portfolios to his name. He is one of the most sought after Master of Ceremony in the South West of Nigeria. Mr Rain’s work ethics is out of this world ( he must be working for NASA). Give him the microphone watch him do his thing. We expect many stage plays and other amazing initiatives from him in 2020.

3. Oloyo Blessing

I have never met Blessing in person but her passion for business and entrepreneurship is second to none. She is an agripreneur with many business portfolios. In the world where there is high employment, Blessing is blazing the entrepreneurship trail and her business, Motale Elekogbajumo is the most innovative indigenous pap business in Nigeria.

We await the wonders of entrepreneurship from this young woman in 2020.

4. Tracy Yekaghe

This is another young woman I have not met in person but my observation of her consistency is worthy of emulation. She founded the Online Entrepreneurship Minds Africa and she is building a personal brand I believe would reach the global stage soon. She broke her shyness to become a very sound public speaker, writer and podcaster and you cannot but picture her, dominating her space of interest.

We hope to see more of her, dropping valuable contents in 2020.

5. Gbolahan Bolarinwa

The fire of passion for excellence burning in this young man is second to none. I call him “the future” as I can bet that if he continues with the pace, success is inevitable. He is an undergraduate student of Marketing but already making money through Product Marketing, Sales brokage and portfolio trading. He is currently the Nigerian Ambassador for the fastest growing innovative global travel company. Look out for him in 2020.

6. Pharmacist John Oluwadero

John is probably one of the top ten youth workers in the south-west of Nigeria through his over 10years old platform, Building Nations Initiative. Funny thing is I was meant to be a founding partner of BNI back in our 100level days at the University of Ibadan Nigeria but I didn’t believe in his dreams from the onset.

John has shown me and many others that a man of Vision will defy all odds to see his vision come to pass. He is the president of BNI with a Center at the University of Ibadan campus. BNI is the proud convener of many signatory programs for youths including the popular Global School of Language and Lifepad.

We can’t but wait to see what John is planning for 2020.

7. Taiwo Adeyemi

OgaBoxx, as he is fondly called, is a man of many parts. Taiwo is a dove on the face but an eagle on the inside. He gave me my second TEDx talk platform as the convener and licensee for TEDx Mokola in 2017. Taiwo is a budding branding guru with a vast interest in driving media conversations. He is the convener of Ibadan Means Business Conference, an initiative he committed his personal funds and time to. From “ Brandew” to “Live a little” and recently to “Boxxculture”, Taiwo has become a desirable leader in the media and entertainment space. News has it that many prominent Nigerian celebrities are begging him to become their brand consultant. That is the true definition of value.

We can’t wait to see the strings Taiwo will pull in 2020.

8. Isola Precious John

An engineering student and a co-founder of Ileemore. Precious is a true definition of resilience. I was his personal roller blade skating coach when I was a final year student of the University of Ibadan Nigeria. He and his partners have gone ahead to take their start-up to a higher level by having a physical smart space in the education space. Their platforms prepare students for all kinds of pre- varsity examinations with records of success.

I have no doubt that Precious will do even better in the edtech space in 2020.

9. Paul Dharblizz Tolulope Alasiri

“Unpaulished” as he is fondly called is one of the vibrant faces of new media in Nigeria. If you don’t have Paul on board for any of your events in south-west Nigeria, your event has not reached the most important people. That sounds like an exaggeration but please give it to this young man. He understands social media as if he was a co-founder of those platforms.

He is calm but powerful Social media influencer with the future awards nomination for new media in the just-concluded year. He is a co-convener of the Ibadan social media festival with two other vibrant young men, Raphael of Vozempire media and Scholes, the Duke of Ibadanland.

Look out for this dude in 2020

10. Owolabi Gideon

Gideon is not your regular guy. He is a non-conformist who prefers to take the unconventional route to achieve his dreams. He is currently one of the most sought after Neuro- marketers in Nigeria. What they did with their first company Frikidigital with his co-founder remains a big legacy in the Nigerian Technology space.

Gideon has been cooking a meal and we can’t wait to take part in the feast in 2020.

11. Abiodun Alafe

“Ancestor” as he is fondly called is a brother in whom I am well pleased. He is co-founder of TECHmIT Africa where he served as the chief investment officer. He has been the CEO of Comfort Capitals for more than 8 years with many other tech products in the fin-tech space to his name.

Many people still call him crazy till date because he walked away from his federal government hospital job to pursue his vision of bringing financial freedom to families.

2020 is loaded and we can’t wait to see the next product he will unveil.

12. Babarinde Kayode

Kayode is one of the first Blockchain evangelists in Nigeria. We shared the same platform as TEDx speakers in 2017. I have watched his growth since then and I cannot but vouch for his expertise in the blockchain space.

He just launched the African Blockchain Institute In Kigali Rwanda and 2020 has never looked brighter for Africa because of this new development.

13. Chinenye Nzom

Chinenye will always command that presence anywhere she is. You probably have seen her face on one poster or the other in 2019. She is a true example of a leader. She founded the Volunteers Hub Africa, a platform that has exposed many young people in South West Nigeria to opportunities through volunteering. Her platform is undoubtedly the most popular volunteering platform in Nigeria as we speak.

Have you listened to her counselling sessions to young people? she is surely showing that she mastered what she studied well.

In 2020, we want to see more of her work affecting lives and localities.

14. Damilare Oyedele

Damilare is breath of Fresh Air in the Education and Library Advocacy Space. He co-founded the Library Aid Africa and his digital imprint of impact is everywhere on the internet. He is taking innovative approaches to make knowledge go viral and with the masterpiece of future plans this young man is working on, I am excited for 2020.

15. Victor Ejechi

Victor is a recent graduate of Library and Information Science. He is a different breed as his passion for a new Nigeria is palpable. He recently published an article that went viral calling the stakeholders in the Library and Information Space in Nigeria to a position of accountability for the future of young people.

We look forward to him disrupting that space massively in 2020.

Thanks for reading guys. I believe in you all.

Oluwaseun David ADEPOJU

Information Analyst with @StatiSense | Information and Knowledge Manager |Librarian|