• Monday, March 04, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Hammed Alabi: Nigerian impacting young Africans with story telling skills

Hammed Alabi: Nigerian impacting young Africans with story telling skills

Hammed Kayode Alabi, a Western Union Foundation Fellow observed that despite 70 percent of the Nigerian population being young people, there is a challenge around leveraging opportunities for personal and professional development because of a lack of storytelling skills.

Alabi who is also a poet, author, and social entrepreneur observed that young changemakers, entrepreneurs, and activists who are working to serve their community through several social ventures and projects.

Hence, he decided to run a Storytelling Basecamp funded by the Western Union Foundation through Watson Institute and supported by KLCI and the American Corner Ikeja.

The basecamp attracted over 240 applicants from all over Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Ghana, and 70+ attended or joined in-person and virtually. On the first day of the basecamp, participants were introduced to the Art of Storytelling by Hammed Kayode Alabi.

The facilitator shared strategies for storytelling to improve their personal brand and social impact ventures. They learned how to use the three-act structure and the Marshall Ganz Challenges, Choices, and Outcomes model to create a storytelling narrative. The key highlight was Hammed sharing “If you do not do or work, you would not have a story to tell”

Temi Badru, a LinkedIn Top Voice and award-winning international host took the participants on how they can leverage social media and storytelling for personal branding.

She made a huge emphasis on telling authentic stories on social media. She also mentioned what makes the difference for so many people and why people would invite you or do business with you based on your consistency and showing up. She said, “In consistency lies the power of storytelling”

Day 2 of the storytelling basecamp included a panel session moderated by Oluwaseun Kayode, Founder and CEO of Schoolinka and he was joined by Aramide Kayode, Founder, and CEO of Talent Mine Academy and Azeezat Yishawu, a medical doctor and the first female speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament.

Aramide recounted her experience of her time as a teacher, fundraising to study at Havard and building a school in a low-income community, and the power of storytelling in achieving those milestones.

She said, “When leveraging platforms, your small platform is a platform. Do quality work, local or global, you will be seen but tell your story strategically” Dr. Azeezat amplified by sharing that a good storyteller knows how to tell it, long or short. Same story and the same message. Oluwaseun grounded us on the topic by sharing “Let your story uplift and not downcast. It should leave beneficiaries better than when you met them.”
The day ended with 10 participants pre-selected before the bootcamp to pitch for a $150 grant. They received feedback from the judges and their peers voted for the best pitch.

Winners of the pitch would be announced later in the week. Joseph Waribugo, one of the selected participants shared about the impact of the event on LinkedIn.

He said, “I used to struggle to tell my stories. I didn’t believe anyone wanted to hear it or how I could tell it better. But with this powerpack training, I am now confident about my storytelling skills. I would say this was literally 2-days masterclass training. One of the shortest yet most powerful events I have attended.”

Hammed is a nonprofit leader, 2x TedX speaker, poet, author, and social entrepreneur known throughout Africa for his advocacy for education, youth, and sustainable development.

Growing up in a slum “Makoko, Lagos” education became a lifeline for him and he has dedicated 15 years working in the space. Starting as a teacher at the age of 15 and founding a nonprofit “KLCI” that has helped 7550+ children in underserved communities in Nigeria develop life/21st-century skills to working on research around education in emergency settings.