Young people can contribute to governance, development when they have right knowledge – Ayibiowu
Dr Oyindamola Ayibiowu is the founder of Oratorio Group, a campus gospel music and youth mentoring group founded in 1996. In this interview with Theeditorial.ng, she talks about the group and Oratorio Global Conference
What is the Oratorio group all about?
Oratorio Group is a campus gospel musical and youth mentoring group founded in 1996 by me when I was a teenager and an accounting student at the Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State. We later registered with CAC as Oratorio Music Foundation. Oratorio group reaches out to the campus community through concerts and other special events, which will allow youths to discover their talents, use them for God’s glory, and have a sense of self-worth. We also seek means of supporting our members in the areas of coaching, mentoring, prayer and finance. We have a presence at the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, the Polytechnic Ibadan in Oyo State, and the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo in Ondo State.
What do you want to achieve with the group?
Our first aim is to create a platform to turn dreams into reality. Many young people are talented and desire platforms to express those gifts and energy. Oratorio group provides that platform.
We bring together people of skill and passion, empower and orientate them to use those skills for positive impact. It’s a win-win situation. Our student members win, the campus community wins.
Why is the group targeting the youth and the students?
They say youths are the leaders of tomorrow. But does that mean young people are useless and irrelevant today? I guess the reason youth matters are not taken seriously is because some of today’s leaders do not care about tomorrow, since they’ll be gone by then anyway.
No wonder Nigerian youth face a nexus of challenges which have led to a high level of frustration and desperation that has been translated into crime, drugs and other social ills. My philosophy is that youth matters, and not only for tomorrow. Today’s youth determine today’s peace. If we don’t take care of today’s youth, we put today’s peace and security at risk.
Oratorio group cares for youth in our little way. For many kids, higher institutions provide the first place of freedom from parental watch and constraints. Before frustration, cultism, drugs, and crime capture their energy, oratorio group hopes to turn their passion into purpose and impact through mentoring in the fear of God.
Tell us more about the Oratorio global conference?
‘ORATORIO GLOBAL CONFERENCE OF TALENTED PEOPLE’ is a webinar coming up on Monday, July 11, 2022 between 10am and 12pm. The virtual conference centered on top issues in the minds of talented people. The theme is ‘WINNING PASSION.’ Not everyone with a passion is succeeding. The conference brings to young people the secrets of becoming great with one’s passion and talents. All the speakers are renowned so that participants can learn how to shine from the shining stars.
Participants can join the conference through Zoom and Facebook. Zoom link 886 8588 3568 || passcode: 437173; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
What do you want to bring out with the conference?
Since the conference is online, we hope to reach more youth beyond our host campuses. We hope to bring even more talented youths together to discuss their passion, equip them to win, and renew their love for God in a challenging world. It is interesting that in today’s world, many of the things young people are passionate about are not taught in the classroom.
This conference aims to bridge that gap by bringing veterans and stars to speak on issues relating to passion and talent and how to turn them into success.
What will participants benefit from the conference?
Knowledge is power, and that is the greatest form of empowerment. Participants will also have an opportunity to network. There will also be lots of fun, live music, comedy, and other side attractions.
Tell us more about the speakers for the conference and why you have decided to invite them to speak to the participants?
We have four main speakers, namely Oluwatoyin Fatunsin, Tope Alabi, Mike Abdul, and Joke Akande. They all have a wealth of knowledge and experience in their chosen field and passion.
Oluwatoyin Fatunsin is a filmmaker, author, and actor based in Spain. Tope Alabi is a gospel music superstar who has won many awards all over the world. She is the dream of any upcoming artist. Mike Abdul is a celebrated Nigerian gospel singer, music producer, and songwriter. Joke Akande is a brilliant scholar, accountant, and music star based in Canada.
The 2023 election is around the corner. Do you see the youths playing a major role? If yes, what are the things you think the youths can do to influence the result of the election?
Nigeria has over 35 million young people. That is a lot of numbers and energy to make positive things happen. This number is even far higher than the 10–12 million Africans stolen away from Africa by Europeans during the transatlantic slave trade to develop European plantations and economies. But youth can only contribute to governance and development when they have the right knowledge. But where young people are ignorant, they become cheap tools of political manipulation for corrupt politicians. When young people regain their self-worth, they will use their vote to oust corrupt leaders so that only credible people rule us in Nigeria.