Ajayi urges youths to imbibe right values for future leadership

By Felicia Nwosu

John Ajayi, Publisher/ Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s leading brand centric Magazine, MARKETING EDGE, has urged Nigerian youths to imbibe the right values that will prepare them as future leaders and also earn them the deserved recognition for the actualisation of their future dreams and objectives.

The industry veteran stated this during this year’s edition of Role Model Forum put together by Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), an initiative set up by Professor Pat Utomi.

As a role model, Ajayi went down memory lane to share his life experience journey in order to encourage the younger generation to tread the path of honour, hard work, resilience, diligence, determination  accompanied by strong  passion to enable them attain an enviable height and relevance in their journey to  successful leadership.

According to the MARKETING EDGE Publisher, coming from a polygamous home where rivalry, bitterness and toxic competition exist strongly among family members, achieving success became a Herculean task. With that background, he disclosed that he knew he had to chart a valuable path for himself if he wants to be somebody in life or allow himself to be swallowed by poverty.

Growing up, he revealed that he was not deterred but remained resolute, resilient and positive to become a successful journalist, a dream he had nursed in his young heart and has been able to nurture to reality as an accomplished one for that matter. Through that, he was able to demystify the myths against some professions in his lineage.

“I navigated through all manners of life challenges, I was very determined, I won’t lie to you. In those days, you had to pay school fees before you could be admitted into college, and before I could pay mine, it would almost be the middle of a term. I was always harassed during the morning assembly as one of the chronic student debtors but most times, I would have to struggle hard to do some menial jobs to raise the money. Though my parents used to pay my school fees at times, it always took some time to get because we were many in the family,” he said.

This, he said, made him resolve to work hard in life to become successful. “I told myself I must be successful. On Sundays, I used to do menial jobs for some farm owners in the village. I used to be hired as a laborer on the farm and I became passionate about farming.”

He stated: “At times, I used to be on the farm as early as 6.00 am, making heaps. This is the point I want to make; anything that you are doing, for you to be successful in it, you must do it well – you must be passionate about it.

Ajayi called on the younger generations to remove fear and develop a positive mindset. He also urged them to embrace and connect with people with positive values that can help to model their lives positively.

 “If you must succeed in life, you must be close to people who represent value and you also must represent value too. The only thing that is not possible is the possibility of the impossible. I have always said it for those who care to believe me that success is on the other side of fear. What stands between every individual and his achievement in life is on the other side of fear, I won’t lie to you. With strategic instinct, you can easily kill any fear before it unravels,” he said.

The veteran journalist and role model expressed his love for humanity, a reason that had inspired him to go into the legal profession which his parents did not support. However, today, he is charting that path for others by acting as the voice of the voiceless and as an advocate of the downtrodden people through journalism, because he hates injustice and loves humanity.


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