It shames me that I am still shocked whenever I hear about the success stories of various Nigerians who are making a difference in the world, inspiring others, and going after their dreams. The shock remains because these stories are few and far between. They are not shared as often as they should be.
A year ago, if I was asked to mention a list of inspirational women, only a few (less than the number of fingers on one hand) Nigerian names would pop in my mind because I’ve mainly been taught (at school) and heard about uplifting women from outside of my home country. Come to think of it, it’s pretty sad that right from our childhoods, schools in Nigeria don’t teach us enough about the heroines and heroes that are around us.
Fortunately, this year I have consciously decided to educate myself on the different inspiring African women that exist and have existed. From Flora Nwapa, the “mother of modern African literature”, to Saran Kaba Jones, the founder of FACE Africa – a non-profit organization that works to provide clean drinking water to many Liberians, to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose words never fail to both evoke a range of emotions and inspire me, and most recently to Ayodeji Megbope, an exceptional entrepreneur and the CEO of “No Left Overs” who defied all odds to make a name for herself.
I learned about Megbope’s story through Kemi Adetiba’s King Women series (which is fascinating and enlightening, and you all should definitely check it out). Her moving story with its various ups and downs left me with a few vital lessons:
- People telling you “No” should not discourage you from pursuing your dream or passion.
- It is never too late to start pursuing a goal – “It’s not how early you start, the most important thing is recovery time.”
- Despite your past experiences – regardless of the level of trauma that they carried – you can, and shall, make a difference in the world. Megbope even mentioned this Bible verse which I find so fitting, “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” – Psalm 118:22. So regardless of your beginnings, regardless of whether or not people have doubted you or claimed that you won’t amount to anything, by God’s grace, your life shall prove the naysayers wrong.
Please check out her interview for yourself here.