It’s no news that millennials are raising the bar of every standard that was previously considered a milestone. While many have deemed the unparalleled abundance of information and technology available this generation a disadvantage, there are always a few people who will say by their actions “I’ve not even begun.”
It’s not uncommon to hear statements like “At your age did I have a phone? When I was your age, I was still working on my final year project!” Yes sir or ma, but times have changed, 16 is the new 23 and there’s never been a better time to discover yourself and build, than now.
Seyi Olaniyan, who executed the event branding & designs for The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) 2018/2019 edition is an example of such a millennial. He is a Media & Brand Consultant and has worked on several projects to inspire creative culture, help brands connect with their target audience and achieve set objectives.
Take a sneak peek into his story below…
How did the journey begin?
I’ve never been one to let rejections get to me. I always find a way to do what I set my mind to do, and that’s really the story of my journey. I started as a graphic designer in my university days, I just needed the skill to get by, to make ends meet. I remember in my 400 level when I wanted to organize an event called Stay Black, Stay Original, to promote Originality in Nigerian youth, and encourage young people to be true to their craft, and their uniqueness.
I was looking for sponsors, I had pitched to major telecommunication brands and they didn’t come through. I had to hold that event, and so I did, but on a much smaller scale. My friend sponsored with some of the clothes from his business, and I made some other collaborations, even ran into a little bit of debt, and it was a success. Today I remember my persistence and the value I brought, not the debt.
I graduated with my Bachelors in Project Management Tech and got an internship with Leo Burnett and Sodium Brand Solutions, where I gained experience in Branding and Communication. I was really stressed, I wasn’t used to the 9-5 schedule, but I gained valuable lessons.
Later on, I served at RED, and I’ve worked there since then. RED is more than a company, we are a family and that’s the most special thing about it for me. They have become a part of my history, and I’m so grateful for my leaders and colleagues here. I have learnt a lot of lesson with this team
I have worked on several local & International Brands such as Few Models, OrlangeFashion, ShopAfrika Shop Dubai, DvnxFit Fashion, Lagos Fashion Awards, Ekogadgets, Penzaarville, The Future Africa Awards 2018 / 2019, among others. It has been a journey of helping people own their narratives through visual creatives, content, strategies and execution.
Asides my corporate obligations, I have a knack for organizing events/tours, that results in creating & curating amazing experiences & moments for people. This led me to found Yellowlyfe NG and Yellowlyfe Events & Tours. Since inception, we have successfully organized about 20 events and tours, which is less than 2 years. Also, it has spurred me towards creating the ‘MomentswithSeyi’, where the intention is to create a community of leaders & entrepreneurs who are intentional about brand building leveraging media and technology.
What drives you to keep pushing
At ‘MomentswithSeyi’ we have a motto; Build. Teach. Impact, and it wasn’t found by accident. It was deliberate for me because what I wanted to do was to teach, build & impact people.
Moments With Seyi Olaniyan, has had three editions so far. With more than 100 attendees/participants, 3000 applicants & over 25 impactful testimonials to look at, the journey is just beginning. We have successfully built the community to make a positive impact through leveraging on the experiences of our speakers.
- We Build: Ensure Personal & Business growth & development.
- We Teach: We teach to fill the void or lack of knowledge people usually have, by helping them become intentional about building their brands.
- We make Impact: This is what fuels our fire. We want to make an impact on every enthusiastic youth. This is done by ensuring we’ve helped build relationships, giving the right knowledge or skill-set through teaching, and ensuring the momentum leads to growth & impact.
What are the challenges you face in trying to build a community of empowered millennials in a situation like Nigeria?
The major challenge has always been in attempting to get a sponsor to support the vision of empowering millennials in Nigeria. Another major problem we’ve discovered is that most millennials are ignorant of what they need to upscale and some don’t even know that upscaling is a possibility at all. As a result, there are difficulties in them being able to sell themselves, their products, their value offerings, to prospects/ clients.
What’s the eventual goal?
To become a Global leading successful serial entrepreneur.
People who snore. Arghh!
Encouraging words to my fellow go-getters…
I’m usually scared that I could get exhausted of ideas or values to offer, but so far I haven’t. We might have a lot of fears, but if your dreams are bigger than your fears, then you will be able to achieve anything.