I sit in my hotel room with my bags all packed. This improbable trip to Nigeria, born two years ago through a Tweet and a big dream from a remarkable Nigerian businessman named Ayo Owodunni, has come to a successful close.
He and fellow visionary businessman, Ayoola Jolayemi, their wives, the amazing support team of Ayoola’s company, SwiftThink, the indomitable Richmond Dayo Johnson, and many others all helped to make this project such a resounding success.
We all believe that Mastering our ABC’s (Appearance, Behavior and Communication) goes a long way to making a difference in our personal and professional lives – and the world around us.
Over the past six weeks, our Find Your Edge programs have brought communications training sessions and workshops to businesses, organizations and students.
And last night, two of SwiftThink’s best and brightest, Tope and Ibukun, treated me to a special night out on the town.
Without any instructional slide shows, white boards or case studies, we danced, laughed and sang at Isaac Geralds’s birthday party.
An incredible evening of good fun held at “Freedom Park” in Lagos. It used to be a prison during British colonial times, but now is a gathering place for freedom of expression. And fun.
Thank you, gentlemen, for all your hard work during our Find Your Edge project, and for taking care of me last night.
And thank you Isaac, for your incredible voice that you so freely gave last night AND at the Student Summit on Wednesday.
Check him singing live my favorite song: “Ijebu Girl!” below!
Thank you again, Ayo, for dreaming such BIG dreams. And thank you, Ayoola for putting the business wheels into high gear. Thank you, Folake and Seyi for being so supportive, sharp and caring. Thanks to everyone of you dear hard workers at SwiftThink. This is only the beginning!
As I prepare to get on the plane this evening that will take me back to the United States – which I haven’t visited in three years – I’ll be remembering all the inspirational experiences and new friends I had and met here in Nigeria.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing my husband and daughter whom I haven’t seen since I came here, 34 days ago. I’ll be thinking of my dear mommy whom I haven’t seen during the whole time I lived in Tuscany. And I also can’t help thinking about the people who yesterday boarded Malaysian Flight 17 only to meet with unexpected and preventable tragedy.
Nigerians often tell me how much they love life. Last night’s birthday party certainly demonstrated it in a most joyful way.
I love life too – and want to savor and embrace every second of it because as we all know, life is fleeting.
Let’s encourage one another and unapologetically dance, sing, laugh and celebrate every moment that we can.
I love you, Lagos. See you soon.
Copyright 2014 Gina London. All rights reserved.