You meet some people and immediately you have this feeling that they will be great and they are already on that path. In less than a week after I met Pelumi, we were already talking about our visions to change the world and what she told me inspired me a lot and I believe it will also inspire anyone reading her story today.
Wundengba: Who are you?
My name is Pelumi Obisesan. I am a Nigerian from Ekiti state, born to Mr and Mrs Obisesan in Ibadan Nigeria
Wundengba: What did you want to be in the future when you were a child and why? Did you end up doing that or it changed. If it changed, what caused it?
Strangely, I am not one of those kids who wanted to become a doctor or an engineer. Immediately after my Junior Secondary School, I told myself and everyone who cared to listen that I was going to study International Relations at the University. Aside from the fact that the name sounded nice, I cannot place a finger on a motivating factor. Interestingly, when I gained admission to the University of Benin, Nigeria, I was admitted to study my ‘dream course’ though with a different name International Studies and Diplomacy. I fell in love with the course to say the least and and I bagged the award of the best graduating student of my set upon completion.
I am also currently at the Cheik Anta Diop University, Dakar where I am studying for a Masters’ in Political Science (majoring in International Relations/Negotiations)
Wundengba: What do you do now in helping your community and Nigeria as a whole.
I am the Founder of Teens Going for Gold Network, a faith based organization that is geared towards helping teenagers live life purposefully by educating, inspiring and empowering and we do this with the instrumentality of an annual conference that now goes by the name Project Inspire, the publication and distribution of The TeenAchiever, a quarterly bulletin to schools and teenagers’ churches free of charge, online seminars and also by collaborating with other organizations that have similar causes. In 2016, we included vocational training to our projects and we successfully trained over 50 teenagers n different areas of interest. You can find out more about Teens Going for Gold Network at www.pelumiobisesan.com/about-us. I also blog at www.pelumiobisesan.com . I call it The Pelumi Obisesan blog! It is basically an inspiration hub; a space that encourages you to take up the responsibility for your life and inspires you to be more purposeful about life.
Wundengba: What has being your motivation?
The motivation to start Teens Going for Gold Network was my quest for a life of meaning. This quest started in my first year in the University when I was 16 years old. I did not just want to go through the motions of getting a degree, getting a good job, getting marrried to a fine godly man and giving birth to cute kids; though all these things are certainly important and will definitely happen, I was praying for a life above the norm. In my quest, I read Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life and I saw that God also wanted me to have that life of meaning that I was craving as a teenager. I looked around me and it dawned on me that a significant number of teenagers like me did not have that same perspective about life and I wanted to tell them(other teenagers) that we were not too young to make a difference or live a life of purpose and that was the starting point for Teens Going for Gold Network. We held our first Conference on the 3rd of November, 2012 and from then, God has been helping us reach more teenagers with the message of being purposeful and being achievement minded.
Wundengba: Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
In the next ten years, I see myself being actively involved in policy research, formulation and implementation for Nigeria, other countries in the sub region and Regional/International Organizations. I also see Teens Going for Gold Network inspiring and helping teenagers to dream more, become more and do more on a global level.
Wundengba: Was there a time you thought you could no more continue in life?
Since I started out, God has really been an inexhaustible source of inspiration even when things don’t seem to add up, he always shows me a reason to keep keeping on. However, I must mention that I was particularly mischievious while growing up and I remember when I was once being corrected about some things I had done wrong, I thought everyone hated me and I wanted to run away from home. In retrospect, I laugh at my foolishness and I am glad , very glad that I did not do run away from home.
Wundengba: Who has had the greatest influence on your life? How?
My parents have had the greatest influence on my life specifically my mum, Mrs Evelyn Obisesan. Growing with them taught me many life lessons and the way mum handles challenges and surmounts them taught me that limitations only exist in the mind. Her counsel and chastisement when necessary has also been very significant to making me who I am today.
Wundengba: If you had the chance to change one decision you made in your life, what would it be?
Until a few years ago, I was never really intentional about mentorship and other valuable associations that could have helped me avoid some mistakes but now I know that purpose cannot be fulfilled in isolation and we all need the wealth of experience and knowledge of others who have gone ahead of you
Wundengba: What is your advice for people who wish to become like you?
You can become all that you have dreamt about. The turning point for me was when I discovered the meaning to life and I urge you to be intentional about life and make your time here on earth worth it. It is however important to know that we all have different paths so do not be intimidated by others. Discover your own purpose and live it!