The thousands of people who were at The Platform 2018, an annual motivational discourse on national issues, gave Abiodun Makoto Jinadu a standing ovation after he delivered his message to Nigeria.
In two minutes, on May 1, 2018, Abiodun, a graduate of Economics from the Lagos State University, held the attention of everyone in the audience including the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as he recounted his impressive personal story of survival despite adversity.
Raised by an indigent single mum, 26-year-old Abiodun urged Nigerians to go beyond just surviving and start thriving. He urged the Nigerian government to also go beyond providing basic social amenities to build a system that works and support the citizens to thrive. In a country where the standard of good governance is often measured by the number of roads constructed, Abiodun’s message was apt blatant truth to power. For him, leaders should swap tokenism for building enduring systems that work.
For a young man who only just began his career as an intern with Lafarge Africa Plc, his words were profound and thought provoking. “Every Nigerian has a survival story.The same condition that we think will break us are the same ones that make us. We are made strong by adversity. Like plants sowed into concrete, we break through the concrete and will sprout. But I have realized that survival can sometimes be the enemy of thriving just as good is the enemy of great… I think it is time to quit surviving and start thriving,” Abiodun said..
Abiodun sounded very philosophical when he recounted how he and his siblings overcame the financial limitations to the attainment of tertiary education. “Every human endeavour has a threshold, threshold is the point beyond which progress becomes seemingly impossible and costly. At the gate of threshold lies adversity…when we embrace adversity and press further, we enter into a realm of endless possibilities. Our adversity and our threshold was secondary education but we persisted further and we are glad about that. “With the help of God, my mother single-handedly sent all her kids to school and now she has three university graduates including a medical doctor.
Abiodun whose middle name, Makoto is Japanese for ‘sincerity’ says the experience at the Platform has helped improve his confidence. He expressed appreciation to the organisers of The Platform, the Young Professionals Boot Camp and Lafarge for their immense contributions to his life.
For Abiodun Jinadu the road to thriving rather than merely surviving has just begun. He owes it all to a mother who looked beyond the limitations of circumstance and dared to dream of a better life for her children.