The Ooni of Ile Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Friday held youths in Ile Ife spell bound as he narrated how he rose from grass to grace through hard work and determination to make it in life.
Addressing participants at the Ife Youths Economic Summit with the theme: “Intrepreneurship: Building Entrepreneurship Competency and Self-Reliance Among Ife Youths,” sponsored by Oba Ogunwusi and Senator Babajide Omoworare, at Ile Ife, Oba Ogunwusi charged youths across the country to face the reality of the moment and liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty.
The front line monarch told the youths that he started with hawking in the market even as a graduate adding that there was nothing he did not sell apart from human parts to survive.
Born to a civil servant, Prince Ropo Ogunwusi, who worked as a broadcaster in Broadcasting Service of Oyo State, BCOS, before transferring his service to Osun State Broadcasting Service, OSBC, Oba Ogunwusi told youths to learn from how perseverance, dedication and hard-work eventually changed his story.
Oba Ogunwusi who became the 51st Ooni of Ife last year December, explained that he had always wanted to be on his own and run private businesses, saying his dream almost ended abruptly, when he became father at the age of 20.
“At 20 when people would still be under the care of their parents, I became a father and the horizon was very gloomy. I was torn between Pharaoh and deep Red Sea. When I left polytechnic, I was thinking about setting up an accounting firm and continue in that line of business.
“On the other hand, I was also contemplating going into business. Buying and selling and being my own boss. Shortly after my NYSC, I experimented with some businesses but I could not cope.
“I could not understand the language spoken in the market. What was it that I didn’t sell? Except human parts. I sold biscuit, vegetable oil, rice, sugar, name it. I kept on working. The going was rough and tough but I was not deterred.
“In the market, I started meeting people. I met Alhaji Aliko Dangote, I met Dr Adeleke, many emirs. Because I was dedicated and focused on what I was doing, I kept on going. Bit by bit, people started noticing me.
“As business improved, I began to divest into other things. Today, I give God all glory for making me to choose to be my own boss. I am one of you. Let’s start something new and create jobs. The future belongs to us and we must seize the initiative”, the monarch concluded.