Learning is a process and irrespective of your age, qualification or calibre, the day you cease to learn is the day you die. The aim of conducting these interviews is to create a hunger for greatness and success in readers. Your mental growth and development is my utmost priority and the fact remains you are awesome in and out. Here is a wakeup call for those who are slacking, here is a reminder for those who seem to be distracted and here is a bit of comfort for those who are discouraged. My interviewee is a woman of great impact who from her wealth of knowledge, has decided to touch our lives in a spectacular way. You do not want to miss this! I implore you to read this with an open mind and share to save lives out there. Enjoy!
Without gainsaying, it is obvious that you are a woman of substance and the path you have chosen proves the fact that you have a strong passion for impacting lives. The world will love to know you. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Dupe Akinsiun. I’m changing the world by first changing myself so I can help others change through the process of capacity building through speaking, coaching and training.
What is your take on Gender discrimination?
It’s archaic and unhealthy. It’s a myopic view to think one gender is superior to the other whether male or female.
In our society today, moral laxity is the order of the day, who are we to blame? Parents, teachers, the government or the youths themselves?
I won’t use the word blame. I will ask individuals to take responsibility for their actions. There are people who have the same reasons why some turned out wrong and chose to be responsible citizens. Our outcome in life is a function of the choices we make and not absolutely the backgrounds we come from. I’ve seen two siblings come from poor background and one chose to study hard so he could be great in life while the other used poverty as a reason to be irresponsible. Question is, who’s responsible for his outcome? People know when they make those choices.
Women have been advocating for gender equality over the years. Considering the African mentality, can this be achieved?
Anything can be achieved if we put our mind, mouth and resources to it. It may take time but we can get there.
In this world of ours, it seems as though girls are given more attention than the boys, hence the rise of miscreants in the society. How do we strike a balance between training boys and girls?
What necessitated the training of the girls? A sudden awareness of the girl-child problem. A lot more advocacy on issues prevalent with the boy child need to be emphasized so that the real solutions can be deployed. Until there’s a strong awareness of a problem, there won’t be a balance in the empowerment for the male child.
Sometimes, we have a lot of activities planned out for our lives and find ourselves doing some other things. Did you ever see yourself towing this line? What motivated you to do what you are doing presently?
It’s a long story. I would say one of my greatest gifts is my ability to spend time with myself for personal reflection and deep searching. I didn’t know how much good this was until I realized how difficult people find it to spend time with themselves especially for the purpose of self discovery. As a young child, I had the privilege of being the middle of five kids and really I didn’t think it was a privilege because being the middle child made me feel lonely as I was usually all by myself. I recall naming myself Arin, a name meaning middle. As a young child I had dreams like everyone but the more I became more aware of myself and the world around me, I found how I fit. My biggest eureka moment was in my final year when I got to realize during my Environmental Engineering class that the greatest bottle neck in process engineering isn’t the equipment but the people. If you fix people, process design will be right and the product will turn out right. If product is right, your profit margin can look good. So, that day, I discovered my pull towards people Management and Development.
Are you married?
Yes I am for the past 9 years. I’ve got 3 kids who are 8 & 7 years old.
We all have special qualities and abilities, but it takes a lot of work to identify them. How can the youths in this dispensation explore their potentials fully?
A lot of young people are externally focused. I say this, not based on any research, but from observations I made of the many young people around me. They get distracted easily and are not able to settle down and dig deep into their core to find out and bring out those things that lie within them. Truth is, there’s no hard and fast rule but as young people, spend time with yourself and also check with people who know you.
Identify what you’re good at and let them identify same for you. Review the list and begin to explore till you find the one that calls out to you the most.
People say the social media has done more harm than good, do you agree with this? Give reasons for your answer.
Social media is amoral. It takes on the character of whoever uses it. Dami, I’ve never met you physically but we are partnering, using this interview, to make a difference. We connected on LinkedIn and for a good cause. You could have chosen to scam me but you didn’t. What did you do? You have used social media to advance your cause. Social media is a tool not a human being with good or bad. The question is, what are our values? When I see your social media page, I can tell who you are. I will say social media is a revealer. It didn’t happen on us, we happened to social media.
How can the youths take advantage of the benefits of social media?
Have positive and/or value adding focus and utilize social media to drive that agenda.
For the past few weeks, all social media platforms have been on fire as regards the incidence of rape here and there, what do you think can be done to put an end to it?
Put an end to rape? I’m not an expert in this area but I will say majority of people we see around us have been abused one way or the other and haven’t healed. A hurting person will hurt someone else so it becomes a cycle. I will say, find healing if you’ve been raped and for those who have never been victims, be vigilant.
You will agree with me that majority of the young ones out there are depressed and because of fear, they tend to be secretive. They prefer talking to friends and outsiders instead of opening up to their parents, any advice for them?
Don’t bottle up things. Speak up to people you can trust on issues and they don’t have to be family. Parents need to earn the trust of their kids and not demand it. I advise kids to also let parents know when trust has been breached so they can make amends. Wise parents will seize the opportunity to make things right
Everyone has a story to tell about their childhood. You look like you had a great experience, what was growing up like?
Growing up was mixed for me. Good and bad times but all made me strong. Sexually abused by family and strangers, had a lot of insecurities but thank God for the ray of hope that I will live to make a difference to young people that it doesn’t matter how rough or bad, you can make it.
At what point did you discover the real you?
At age 18, when I broke up from a relationship and I thought of suicide. I went for a church event and realized I wanted to be like the preacher who added so much value to me that day and that made me give my life to Christ. I told God to make a meaning out of my life and He has, He’s still doing.
What steps did you take to actualize your dreams and visions?
Wrote them down, prayed to God to guide me, got mentors, developed myself through reading and trainings, using my acquired knowledge per time to add value, mentoring others to do the same.
Value or money? Which will you pick and why?
Value. Value will always produce money. The bigger the value, the bigger the income and money is limited.
What do you do in your spare time?
Sleep, read and write.
What can NGOs do to correct moral laxity in boys in this generation?
Build awareness of repercussions and value for an upright life through training, mentoring and role modeling.
What does “My Inner Awesomeness” mean to you?
My unique gifts and talents that make me valuable to this world.
Any advice for young minds out there?
Never forget that you were born to make a difference in the world.
Thanks for your time Ma.