Aanuoluwapo Emmanuel: Time, our biggest currency, should be well invested

There is something about Aanuoluwapo Emmanuel. It goes beyond her captivating smile and the aura she exudes that adds to her awesomeness. It is about how she stays relevant and unique in impacting her world. 

Glancing through Aanuoluwapo Emmanuel's LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as the missing link in your growth journey. The good thing is that she is just a DM away. This Law graduate is also an author. She is regarded as one of the LinkedIn voices in Interpersonal Skills. This was quite a handful. Young and ambitious, Aanuoluwapo loves God and she is unashamed to say so.

First of all, Omote Ro Dhe was drawn to her picture. There was much more. Underneath was what Aanuoluwapo represents- youth empowerment, and leadership development. These were the major attractions.

In our usual manner of bringing trailblazers to the spotlight, Omote Ro Dhe had an interesting chat with Aanuoluwapo where she uncovered more about her love for God, shoe business, projects, philosophy, interest in environmental law and more. 

Read the excerpts below:

Can you share some insights into the journey of founding your company, and why shoe-making business?

I've always had a strong fascination with shoes, and Elina Lindarki's artwork served as a major source of inspiration. I'll browse her webpage for hours on end. I have always admired art that is expressed via construction or creation.

During the lockdown, the opportunity eventually presented itself for me to learn shoemaking. There was a family friend of ours that we lived in the same neighbourhood together who was also into shoemaking. I started going to her place to watch her while working. Eventually, I told her I wanted to learn and I learnt the craft for about 6 months plus.

Simultaneously, I was also sharpening my skills online. I watched tutorial videos on YouTube from shoemaking experts to further broaden my knowledge.

After the lockdown was over and I resumed back to school, I launched my footwear brand (vicschoos) and the journey has been awesome so far.

Can you share a memorable success story or moment from your work that highlights the power of mentorship and leadership development?

I have so many amazing stories that I am unable to choose just one to tell because they are all so memorable to me. Overall, it has brought me great joy to witness young people I have come into contact with discover their life's purpose, embrace it, and walk it out.

I have also watched them expand their tents and widen their horizons by setting lofty goals and having big dreams. I treasure the memory of these "light bulb" moments. When a little girl who had low self-esteem suddenly finds confidence again, when an apparently lost teenager finds direction again when dreams that seemed dead come to life.

I've witnessed all of these special times while mentoring and seeing the growth of young individuals.

How do you envision the future of sustainable fashion and environmental advocacy in Africa, and what role do you see yourself playing in that future?

Africa is the second largest continent in the world, and climate change is one of the biggest threats to it. Pollution from plastics is another danger. Even while Africa has contributed very little to climate change, the rate at which the surface temperature is rising is far above average, and this does not mean that we will be immune to its impacts if the required precautions are not taken.

Though much work remains, many African nations have recently taken the lead in embracing sustainable practices and environmental protection. The government of African nations should endeavour to put laws and policies into place that will ensure the progress of sustainable practices in Africa for the present and years to come since I believe that the continent has a bright future for environmental activism and sustainable fashion.

Early checks and balances must be established by the government to stop overexploitation, environmental contamination, and degradation.

According to the UN Conference on the Human Environment (1972), "new environmentalism: where men must act 'as gods' to save the planet" is required.

Man was given the exclusive task of caring for the Earth when it was created by God, and that obligation remains with man to this day. We own the earth, and we will be the ones who suffer the consequences if it is not properly cared for. In reality, the effects are already being felt. The contemporary human population is afflicted with numerous ailments as a result of environmental pollution and contamination.

So, I envision myself doing my utmost to fulfill my duty of caring for planet Earth. I have a strong interest in environmental law; in fact, it's the legal path I'm taking. In order to oversee the creation and execution of laws that will further improve sustainable practices in Africa going forward, I wish to collaborate with the government, non-governmental organizations, and even the United Nations.

Additionally, I anticipate myself getting involved in initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns that promote sustainable behaviours and environmental advocacy in Africa.

As an advocate for youth empowerment, what do you think are the biggest challenges the youths face and how can they overcome them?

Basically, what I've observed is a deficiency in efficient time management. Young people today are distracted by a lot of things, which makes it difficult for them to value their time highly. Many young people are also impacted by the fact that we live in the computer age, which is a big advantage in and of itself.

The way they can overcome this habit is to place PREMIUM VALUE on their time and be intentional about being PROFITABLE with their time. Also associating with people who value time will also go a long way.

Time is our biggest currency, if well invested we will reap the benefits. If invested wrongly we will also reap the benefits.

What are your upcoming projects or goals for the future, and how do you plan to continue inspiring growth and positive change across the continent?

All the projects I've worked on and that I'm currently working on are simply me following God's instructions. My goals are based on his bidding. But one major project I look forward to executing in the nearest future is starting my NGO. I'm really interested in the welfare of children in IDP camp's in the Northern part of Nigeria.

The mission of the NGO will be to provide free medical services, qualitative education, and shelter to the children.

I strongly believe in the power of education and equal opportunities for all, especially those facing challenging circumstances.

I cannot offer what I do not have, and the main thing that keeps me full and equipped to be a benefit to others is my continued relationship with God, who is my source. By doing this, I will be able to inspire growth and positive change throughout the continent. I see light solely because of his light, which is why I am a light.

With God's assistance, I will continue to provide opportunities that will benefit young people and be of great value; to the extent that I am able, these opportunities will be provided without charge.

I currently run a Leadership program alongside my team called LinkedIn Leadership Academy, the academy is a one-month Leadership and LinkedIn training and it is free for the participants. Over 160 young people from 9 countries of the world registered for the first Cohort. More opportunities like this will be made accessible for African youths to enhance youth empowerment and Leadership development.

Success is relative, what does it mean to you?

Success to me is doing per time what God will have me do.

What advice do you have for young girls pursuing purpose but seem confused if they are on the right path?

I will advise every young girl reading this to SEEK GOD FIRST. In Christ, I discovered who I am and what my mission is. He gave me clarity and direction for my life.

I will end with this bible verse
‭‭Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT‬‬
[5] Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
[6] Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

So, to every young girl who is confused if they are on the right path, I charge you to do the following:
1. Trust in the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART
2. Do not depend on your own understanding
3. Seek his will in all you do.

Furthermore, there are times when clarity takes time to manifest. Clarity comes as you continue to walk in obedience and show faithfulness with the little that has been entrusted to your care. With every step you take in OBEDIENCE, direction comes. Direction is sure and certain when you are in God and rooted in God.


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