”I never bothered looking for a job after graduation because no company will pay me what I want.” – Akinyemi Olasunkanmi
I spent some time with a friend, Akinyemi Olasunkanmi, over the weekend and we had a wonderful discussion that I felt every Nigerian could learn from, especially the youths.
Unemployment has always been a global problem that seems like it would never go away soon. Every year, the higher institutions of learning push out graduates into the labour market with fewer jobs being created. Therefore, making the labour market highly competitive for fresh graduates.
But what can we do in a country like Nigeria where the unemployment rate is abnormal?
Nigeria can boast of having many First Class graduates from prestigious universities in and outside the country but when compared to their relevance in the labour market, it is nothing to write about.
But I met a graduate with a difference. A long-time friend, Akinyemi Olasunkanmi is a First Class graduate of the University of Ilorin, where he studied Statistics. He later went for a Master’s degree in Cameroon on scholarship.
But what surprises me about him, he’s not working under any organization. Lasun, as we would always call him back then at the Federal Polytechnic Ede, majors in writing business plans, statistical analysis, content marketing and agriculture.
Here’s my discussion with the talented entrepreneur:
It’s been a while Lasun, how is life in general?
”It’s been great. I have been soaked into working on business plans on Fiverr and running my poultry as well.”
That’s unbelievable my friend, did you say agriculture?
”Yes, you heard me right. I have been into agriculture before I graduated from Unilorin.”
That sounds strange for a First Class graduate in Statistics, what’s the correlation?
”It’s not strange. It’s a game of self-discovery. I had to find out what I can do for myself before graduation instead of sitting and waiting for a dream job that seems not to exist but an illusion.”
There are many companies who would love to have you, have you ever considered that?
”Yes, but I never bothered looking for a job after graduation because no company will pay me what I want. Initially, I do give it a thought from the onset. Also, I try to be the boss of myself. Find my path and stick to it.”
That’s really inspiring. If I may ask, how did you discover your path?
”I learnt about fish farming when working for a boss in order to secure my third-year tuition. I saw a great potential in the business and decided, I would go into it.
While serving at the base, I saw a huge demand for fish and had to do what no one ever did. I built a fish pond in the Navy Base and it became a hot cake.”
Wow! That’s really intriguing. Did you encounter any challenges?
”Of course, I did. When I completed my NYSC program, I came back to Ibadan and started a fish pond. You’d be surprised that all the fish I bought died. I was really discouraged and contemplated its continuity but being someone who doesn’t give up easily, I had to find the ’why’ and ’how’ to put it right.”
You said you write business plans too. How did you also discover that path as well?
”I started that a long time ago, even before I graduated. I started that on Fiverr. Mind you, I am not only writing business plans, I run statistical analysis and do content marketing as well.”
What are your future plans?
”That’s a great question. Honestly, I want to go deeply into agriculture. I am already building a pen. I want to use it for piggery. In the long run, I will add other farm produce.”
Piggery! Have you ever done that?
”Yes. I have reared pigs. That was before I went to Cameroon for my Masters. It’s a lucrative business that many people are not even aware of. I can coach anyone who wants to learn the business. Then, I would definitely further overseas. My dream is to become a lecturer and I’m definitely going for it.”
You seem to be a bunch of talents, my friend. I never doubted you from the onset. Here’s my last question for you, what advice do you have for graduates out there?
”Don’t wait for dream jobs. It doesn’t exist. A dream job is the one you create for yourself. Look out there, you’ll find one.”
Thank you once again, Akinyemi Olasunkanmi. You’ve really been an inspiration for the upcoming generation and I pray that your dreams come true.