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SWI: Can we meet you please?
CONCATENATE: My name is Olayinka Joseph Adebajo. I’m a 400 level computer science student; from the family of four. I’m the third child and we have only a lady among us. I was born and bred in Lagos though my parent hails from Ijebu-Igbo, I’m also from Lagos; Eti-Osa along Lekki-Ajah road.
SWI: What inspire you to start up an initiative for the less privileged?
CONCATENATE: That’s quite a bit of story because for me to have started something like that I felt it’s due to the fact that I felt the need to help the less privileged. Before it started at all, there must be an in born passion and I must say that the environment helped me a lot. The University of Ibadan is a great place to start something like this because of the presence of the people with like minds and acceptance by the students. I decided to start right here even though it took me time to decide.
SWI: What has it been like being a student entrepreneur?
CONCATENATE: It has been very difficult but then there is this drive behind it and the drive actually covers up any other negativity. I won’t say it has been so tough and I won’t say it’s not been but then the motivation keeps making things wonderful.
SWI: When did you establish one voice initiative officially and how the journey has been so far?
CONCATENATE: It started around February 2016 officially though unofficial will be 3 years ago because that was when I had the dream. It’s been a great experience because we’ve been able to organise two program successfully. We had a massive celebration on 27th May for the kids and also did fitness for fund three months after which we had a lot of activities just to raise fund for the less privileged.
SWI: What are your business strategies? How do you get sponsorship?
CONCATENATE: For now it’s still 60/40. That is 40 from me and 60 from outside because it’s been difficult to get people to assist due to the fact that the company is not registered yet and the motivation is not really strict as I thought. Strict adherence in terms of volunteers; they really want to get involved but letting go of things would actually be very difficult and that because they all want to know where their money is going to. However, people still help.
SWI: When you told your parent about OVI what was their reaction?
CONCATENATE: Really, in terms of family and all…not like I don’t like family o (laughs)…I dove been away from family for a while because I see family as a distraction even though I have a wonderful family members but then, I see myself as someone with ability to achieve more by distancing myself from parents and all. I’ve not even seen my parent for two to three years but we talk on phone once a week or thereabouts. They are wonderful but I’m not enthusiastic when I’m home because I’m a bit of low key person especially at home. This is as a result of how I was brought up…its kind of always stay at home thing so when I grew I realised I have to move away so that I don’t get distracted. On that note, they’re not aware but I’m sure it will surprise them if they eventually get to know.
SWI: You’re popularly called CONCATENATE among your colleagues, how did you come about this name?
CONCATENATE: The name was inspired by a friend when I needed something catchy for my political ambition. I came to UI around 2014 and I got into politics though I was not too sure if I could make it because I have opponents from Geology and Chemistry but then we decided to find a name that is catchy and will raise questions. We searched for something that will rhyme with the faculty motto: “Questions not awesome create knowledge” . It really achieved it aim as people always want to know the meaning. concatenate means to bring things together and make it whole and it’s it’s a chemistry term.
SWI: Who and re your role models
CONCATENATE: I am my role model (laughs). Truly, I an Drem because is set challenges for myself to achieve because I’m someone who multi task a lot. When I find myself alone; I think, meditates and yes! I cry when necessary. When I cry I feel the need to achieve something. Aside myself, my second model is my brother and the third person is Toyosi Akerele, CEO of Arise Networks an NGO in Lagos. She started her NGO at the age of 21 as a young lady. In the aspect of money, Bill Gates is my model because he does charity too and in the and spect of love, my model is God.
SWI: You’ve been alleged that you don’t believe in God and that’s why you don’t go to church
CONCATENATE: I’m not a faith thinker and not believing in God is a misconception because I do acknowledge him as my creator. I don’t go to church because it has been overrated and I don’t believe in pastors and churchy people. I got myself a DSTV decoder so that I can listen to foreign ministers of God. My organisation is also a ministry of God now but then I’m open to church invite (laughs).
SWI: What’s your greatest fear in life?
CONCATENATE: My greatest fear in life at the moment is not finishing with a 2:1 which is second class upper. I’m not looking for first class.
SWI: If you aren’t helping the less privileged, what would you be doing?
CONCATENATE: There’s always been this love for leadership in me and people call me politician even though I’m not. When I came to UI and I decided that I want to be my faculty president, some set of people were saying this newbie want to become president over us, not possible. I went to my room and I cried because it’s an inborn thing to lead people for me but if I’m not helping the less privileged, I would probably have like 250 startups doing several things but later on ill still come back to helping the less privileged. I also love cricket because I played it for seven year. So if there’s nothing to do, I’ll play cricket.
SWI:What are your achievements as FASSA President?
CONCATENATE: Measuring my achievement is difficult because till date will did not spend a kobo from the faculty purse and yet we had and wonderful freshers’ welcome party. I started the idea of ‘cake day’ where we celebrate birthday celebrants every last Friday of the month. My greatest achievement would be having a wonderful relationship with the students.
SWI: Do you think Nigeria academic system is encouraging students to venture into entrepreneurship?
CONCATENATE: I think our youth lacks planning and their ability to plan is the main problem and not the country.
SWI: It is said that UI students don’t have and social life; do you have and social life?
CONCATENATE: Hmm! Well, I’m an homely person like I’ve stated but not and introvert. I do have a social life on social media (laughs loud) and I also have someone who is restricting my social life which I’m enjoying.
SWI: On that note, who is that special person to you?
CONCATENATE: Wow! That special person? I’m not sure she really knows she’s special but I know she’s a journalist who doesn’t want to be known by name. She’s really special because she keeps me off from naughty things.
SWI: Do you think Nigerian youth understand the term ‘community service’?
CONCATENATE: There are lots of misconceptions in this country. Our youth don’t know the meaning of community service; they just want to be in a place that is interesting. However, the present state of the country is not encouraging community service. Imagine, at 56, we cannot get things right. Well, I pray we get it soon.
SWI: What’s your philosophy about life?
CONCATENATE: Say no to limitations irrespective of your environment.
SWI: Give a piece of advice to youth like you who want to go into entrepreneurship but think it’s better done after school
CONCATENATE: Just do it.
Thanks for your time.
Compiled by Irenitemi
Edited by Peace o peace