By Gbenga Osinaike
Rev Mother Esther Ajayi and Bebe Clement seem to have a synergy that synchronizes with young people. Clement devotes her energy to motivating them and inspiring them on how to harness their potential; while Rev. Ajayi on the other hand is a consummate philanthropist. Rev. Ajayi who is also known as Iya Adura is always willing to sponsor enterprising young people.
The duo demonstrated this much when they came together to facilitate a one-day conference tagged Youth Empowerment Seminar on March 15 at the Eko Hotel.
Clement, a Nigerian UK based lawyer cum motivational speaker poured her heart to the young people at the event. She supplied them with success tips while also making them understand they could become successful irrespective of the drawbacks they must have experienced in life.
Rev Ajayi on the other hand, whose foundation, Esther Ajayi Foundation sponsored the conference was on hand to lend financial assistance to a number of young people who showed signs of entrepreneurship.
The conference attracted about 2000 young people from across the country. It was a free conference with free conference materials including quality bag. A free book, titled, how to go from employee to entrepreneur authored by Bebe Clement was also distributed to all the participants at the seminar which lasted the whole day.
Beyond the free conference materials, the refreshment and lunch provided for all the participants who were well clad, the seminar served the purpose of raising new set of entrepreneurs and also was a platform to set many people thinking on how to create wealth.
While the stage was being set for Clement to address the audience, the compere of the event, Mr. Dayo Israel called for testimonies from those who attended the last conference which held at the Sheraton Hotels last year.
Pronto, about 10 young people stepped out to share how they have been motivated by Bebe Clement to begin money yielding enterprises.
Israel, the compere was soon carried away by the testimonies promising a fully paid US trip for a United Nation’s programme coming up later in the year to one of the ten. He however depended on the audience to approve the best of the ten as they shared their testimonies.
But by the time Rev Mother Ajayi stepped into the hall and listened to the stories of the budding entrepreneurs she put smiles on their faces. She upped the game from the US trip to naira rain for all the ten. As if seized by some form of divine prompting she declared that all the 10 who came out to share testimonies of their activities would be given N500, 000 each if they were able to prove they had started something. The audience erupted in thunderous applause. The atmosphere changed.
The attention was soon on Rev Ajayi whom many testified was used by God to bail them out of poverty. A make-up artist Kezeem Aremu Yayah a.k.a BROW DADDY YAKKY) who specializes in using natural ingredients to enhance the beauty of women and men folk alike took the audience by storm when he announced how Rev. Ajayi helped him to break the jinx of lack.
Yayah who was one of the facilitators at the event was taking a session on how to use natural products for cosmetics. But he could not resist the urge to narrate how Rev Ajayi came to his shop a couple of years ago in a somewhat innocuous place at Ikeja and how she was impressed by his service. He recalled that she was particularly excited when she found out that he was preparing a handout to train some young people free of charge on how to use natural ingredients for cosmetics.
By the following day, his bank account was credited with a sum of N1million by Rev Ajayi. That was the starting point for both Rev Ajayi and Yakky. The latter was to benefit more from his relationship with the philanthropist. Rev Ajayi however said she was impressed by the quality of the service rendered by Daddy Yakky. She wondered why Nigerians don’t patronize their own noting that of all the make-up artists she had met across the globe, Daddy Yakky is exceptional.
More participants testified how Rev Ajayi has been a blessing to them. The seminar however progressed with Bebe Clement delivering an incisive lecture on how people can create wealth with practical examples. She disabused the minds of her listeners on their notion about money stating that money is never the problem but a poverty mindset.
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She said, “The fact that you don’t have money does not mean you are poor and that you also have money at a time does not mean you are rich. Poverty and wealth are creations of the mind and how we apply ourselves to the opportunities around us.”
She said further, “poverty is not lack of money. It is Passing Over Opportunity Repeatedly.” Having resources without the strategy to turn it to wealth often lead to poverty. Many lottery winners in the past end up badly and bankrupt. Some ended up committing suicide. This is so because they have no strategy to multiply the money they had. They are only consumers not producers. Anybody who consumes regularly without producing will end up poor.”
Clement who has over the years been actively involved in empowering people with business skills said “many end up being poor because they don’t want to take risk. Unfortunately, people in that class also want instant gratification. Poor people don’t take action, they always want free things. Poor people at the end exchange their time for money while the rich make their money work for them.”
While noting that every human being has at least one talent, she said “the buck stops on the table of the individual to find out the potential God has given him and use same. Everything we need to succeed in life is just around us. It only takes the ability to see with the inner eyes how this potential can be engaged.”
While encouraging participants to think of adding value and solving problems around them she said, “the only way we can create wealth is to solve problem and meet needs. Those who think of meeting needs and solving problems don’t become poor. Instead of seeing challenges we should be seeing opportunities.”
In the course of her delivery she narrated how God instructed her to go and teach people financial freedom at a time she had no knowledge of the financial world. But then, she began to train herself by reading books and attending seminars to build her skills in that direction. Now, apart from her law practice she has a number of other concerns that has helped her to achieve financial stability.
One key element she emphasized to the young people is knowledge. She stated that the foundation of poverty is lack of knowledge. “You must seek to know and not just know, you must act on what you know. The opportunities around us are many only if we can take action.”
In the course of her delivery she made participants carry out some practical exams at the venue using that to score their financial literacy.
Participants patiently waited throughout the programme though it spanned the whole day from 9 am to 5.30 pm. The event was also spiced with soul rending songs from the choir of Love of Christ Ministry founded by Rev Mother Esther Ajayi. The choir did not use any musical instrument but their songs which was rendered with some distinct clarity made the audience experience God afresh.