The Africa of my Dream – An Interview with Hammed Alabi

The Africa of my Dream – An Interview with Hammed Alabi

Nigerian youths are striving hard every day to make this country better. Hammed Kayode, popularly known as Kay Factor has done it again. He finally published his first book to make a change in Africa.

What do we expect from a book that has painted the harsh situations in the continent? Here’s what he has to say:

It’s good to have you here Hammed Kayode Alabi. I just came across your book and I must say it is a job well done. Can you share more about this book to the audience?

Thank you for the great commendation!

I will say I never thought of writing a book anytime soon but last year, I entered the African Development Bank: “African of My Dreams Writing Contest”.

I shared my passion for the Africa I dream to see but truth is, My African dream was so big that it could contain a 500-word essay. I did not win the essay competition but I was spurred. I got angry but I converted my anger into something great.

I was coming from on a sudden day and I kept thinking about my African dream, I hopped into the bus and I could not stop thinking. Then I was stuck in traffic, picked up my phone and started documenting the Africa I dream to see.

I shared my journey into leadership. How I found my African Dream from the worse of the worse places – “Makoko Slum”.

I shared how we need to put people first before any development. I shared how the future would look like and as Africans, are we prepared for the future. I deep dive into the plot of ”Black Panther” and swam into my African dream.

I believe if anyone read it, It will spark something in them to take action and create the Africa we want.

You are one of the few out there who is trying to make a change in this country. What problem(s) is/are you trying to solve with your book?

The truth; there is a lot of problems happening today. People are suffering, and dying, and we need to protect the future generations to come. 

Things are changing day by day but as Africans, we are not prepared for that change. Maybe someone somewhere will take action that protects our children. 

We need to protect the future generation and how actions today will determine that. We are the African dream! We are the solution.

Amen to that! We are the future. You visited Dubai recently, welcome back home. Can you share more about your trip with us?

I know many people travel to Dubai and would come back with nothing.

I had the opportunity of supporting Peace First accelerator program in Dubai as a Fellow-in-Residence. So I was a resource and also mentoring young people from the Middle East and North Africa to create massive social change.

I could recall engaging some so-called Yahoo-Yahoo guys along my trip and what led them to space. They talked about suffering in their home country. Truth is; the country is not livable for them. There was one; who said he served as a labourer and did a lot of odd jobs.

I did too but we choose a different path. I decided to use my pain to help others but he decided to hurt others.

What made the difference?

Education, mentorship and upbringing.

I think there is a larger role Education plays in this century. I saw a lot engaging people during the trip. However, that is a story for another day. 

Getting to Dubai, I was amazed by the metro station and what innovation led to that. I noticed that everything has been digitized and controlled by Artificial intelligence. I quickly learnt that AI has a way of reducing corruption.

When I got my metro card, loaded was about $7 and there wasn’t a conductor or thugs to disturb me. The moment I placed the card on a machine, I can enter the train and get to my destination faster. 

You can’t cross the road anyhow. There is a point where all cars stop and allow people to cross without stress. A way to curb accidents. 

We happened to be hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and I was amazed by the amazing buildings I saw.

I happened to visit the Youth Hub and this was inspiring. The Youth Hub was created by youth and supported by the government and lots of private partners such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. 

The Youth Hub has a free conference hall where youth can organize free events. It has a pod, where two young people can bounce ideas without distraction. It has a stakeholder room, where youth can have meetings, a studio where youth can shoot videos, a business space where youth can run their business for 3 months and another youth take over. It has a youth library and youth-friendly. 

Seeing this, I became angry and I thought our leaders come here and they can’t tap any of this. They create policies that are not youth-friendly and we are literally not consulted to make things happen.

I think youth are not the future, we are now and it is high time we are taken more serious if we really want to grow and develop.

I also visited Amity University where I trained some students on how they can start a social change project. It was an amazing moment! A lot of inspiration.

Comparing what you saw in Dubai and what we have here, what can you say about it?

I saw a place where true system works, a place where people respect authority and where corruption doesn’t thrive.

Now I know why it attracted a lot of people. I saw visionary leadership and I must say we have visionary leaders here too in Nigeria but we do not have a system. The system has been clumped with corruption and selfish interest.

I also saw an educational system that works. The classroom is conducive, people can easily connect and I saw a country where people do not run away from taxes but promote progressive tax to better key sectors.

I was at the Dubai Future Academy and children are learning 3D printing. I look at my children here, it is a bag and shoemaking we have. Yes this is good but we can do better.

I also did not see a homeless person but here we have a whole lot that are supposed to be protected by a social protection system.

How can we fix this as a nation, Hammed?

I know it will take time but first, we need a visionary leader who understands the people’s needs and also have a good knowledge about the 21st century. 

We need this across all sectors and they have to model integrity and competency. We need to fix our educational sector, because that is the sector that provides man-power for all other sector and where people learn character and develop core skills. We need to review the curriculum to be purpose based and 21st century centred. 

We need to build conscious citizens who can hold the government accountable and hold them to deliver on their promises. Education makes you a conscious citizens but the truth is, it is being paid less attention to so that we can continue to produce unconscious citizens who would not be able to hold the government accountable and demand their rights. So they can turn us against each other.

I have a lot to say. I really have a whole lot.

In a University in Dubai, there was an incubation centre where young people can create solutions that would be market ready. I wonder what has happened to our own universities.

Hmm. It’s really sad Hammed. I hope we get to live to see this Africa of your dream. Where can your book be purchased?

For the ebook, purchase here;  Paperback here

I wish to see your book being nominated for the Nobel Prize Award in the future, Hammed.

Yes! I hope so too.

Africa will be changed by her own people, for her own people and with our own resources.

The book can be found on Amazon both e-copy and paperback and it will be delivered to your doorstep. People across the world have started to order and they are on the verge to create and support our African dream.

I really can’t wait.

Maybe someday, or tomorrow. But sometime soon. I envisage this and thank you for the opportunity to lend my voice.

You are a great role model, Hammed. I often learn from you and I hope we get to do something together in the future.

Thank you so much for telling good stories about Africa.

We have kept quiet a lot and the world need to hear us. Malala said, “Even when the world is silent, one voice is powerful”.

Thank you for the platform and creating an avenue for other people to thrive. Looking forward to what we will create.

Do have a wonderful weekend ahead, Hammed.

Thank you so much! You too!

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