“Success is not a product of overnight but overtime.” – Fakorede, commissioner of Youth and Sport, Oyo State.
Asiwaju Seun Fakorede MNSE, is the Hon. Commissioner for Youth & Sports, Oyo State Government, Nigeria and a United Nations Ambassador for Peace. He is the Founder of Home Advantage Africa, a Social Development and Youth Empowerment Advocacy nonprofit organization. A recipient of the highly sought-after Politician Of The Year Award 2022, by One Young World, and the prestigious Future Awards Africa Prize for Governance 2020, Seun believes more African Youth are going to lead tremendous impact in the next few years of human history than ever before and his responsibility is to raise more men and women to lead this vanguard.
A registered engineer, entrepreneur, consultant and author, Seun is deeply invested in grassroots community development and advocacy in Nigeria. His non-profit, Home Advantage Africa is centered around the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 4, 5 & 8, and the early engagement of young people in leadership, social entrepreneurship, politics and governance.In this interview with editor, Lehle Balde he speaks about governance and youth participation, his recent One World award and much more.
1) Congratulations on on your One young world award. What does it mean to you to be recognized globally?
I’m very elated and honored by the recognition. One Young World is a globally influential organization and the Politician of the Year Award is a huge win not just for the youths in Oyo State and Nigeria, but for Africa as a continent.
The award came at the right time to affirm and validate our efforts to accelerate political inclusion for youths across Africa. It is truly an honor to be at the forefront of this movement. This is why I’m always grateful to His Excellency Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State for trusting me to be a part of a system that redefines governance in Africa.
2) You have broken many records, first as the youngest commissioner in Nigeria and now as a One Young World Awardee. What’s your message to the Nigerian youth?
To start with, you’d often hear me say success is not a product of overnight but overtime. The truth is, it takes years of consistent work and quality relationships to do anything worthwhile. Our youth need to learn patience especially these days when most people want instant gratification. We must be ready to invest the right amount of quality work. And while we may not always get the results we want now, we eventually would.
3) If you could advise your younger self what would you say?
My younger self had some big dreams. I’ll most likely tell the younger me to enjoy the process and keep building quality relationships. They’ll be very important to the journey. I’ll also advise my younger self to take globalisation more seriously.
4) As a gender equality champion, how can we create policies that support women?
I can’t over emphasize the importance of including women in our political process. My wife plays a very important role in my political career. I can’t imagine my work life without her. Our democracy would be better off with more women actively involved.
Women play an essential role in the future we’re building. We also need to understand that we can’t create sustainable policies that support women without involving women in the process. The first step in this direction, I believe, is to make our political process more accommodating for women. When we have more women actively involved in politics, it gets easier to design and implement policies that support women in our society.
At 27 you became Nigeria’s youngest commissioner. What can we expect from you next?
They say the reward for great work done is more work and there’s always room for growth. I believe we’re just getting started. There’s so much more to be done.
Again, I assure the good people of Oyo State, Nigerian youth, and young people across Africa that we won’t let them down. We’ll fulfill our promise to ensure the youth have a voice and maintain relevance in the future of our dear continent.