As humans, we are wired to often take some time to reflect on how far we have come, be it a project, or life itself. And as Jide Ojo celebrated his 51st birthday, he took to his blog to share a heartfelt reflection of how far he has come, rising above challenges and becoming an advocate for impact and development.

Jide is a development consultant whose name should ring a bell, given his regular contributions as an analyst on broadcast media such as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Silverbird Television, Channels Television, Hit 95.9 FM Calabar, Vision 92.1 FM, to name just a few. He has also written over 1,000 articles published in 28 newspapers.

Jide, who was one of five children living with their parents mostly in a ‘room and parlour’ at the best of times, shared his childhood experience which tells of an incredible, though challenging, path to excellence.

From successive failures at passing his West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) which left him depressed and despondent and enrolling to learn refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, to getting admitted to study Mass Communication at the Ogun State Polytechnic only to later get transferred to University of Lagos, and later on, clinching his master‘s degree from the University of Ibadan, Jide’s academic journey was one he said was with tears.

In 1999, he got shortlisted as a resource person to train the newly elected chairmen and councillors of 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria through a programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development Office of Transition Initiative (USAID-OTI). He was privileged to train dignitaries including His Excellency, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, who, from being chairman of Ogbomoso North LGA at that time, rose to become deputy governor and later governor of Oyo State. He was also privileged to train Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, who at that time was the chairman of Mushin LGA of Lagos State, and later became a distinguished senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Jide’s journey should be an inspiration for everyone willing to put in the effort to rise above every challenge that comes along, knowing full well the rewards that await such commitment.

In his blog post, he wrote, ‘When I look back at my decades of struggles and how I have overcome that to become a near-celebrity today, I give glory to God. I thank the [O]mnipotent for more years of happiness than sadness, more years of health than sickness, more years of charity than destitution, more years of success than failures, more years of wealth than penury and the attainment of everything that qualifies a man to be regarded as a success[.] I cannot but be very grateful to Almighty God’.

Jide currently works in the development sector for both national and international non-governmental organisations and is the Executive Director of OJA Development Consult, a BRIDGE Facilitator and a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Leadership and Governance (CILG).

Source: Jide Ojo

Photo source: Charlotte Tai

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