Voices of Youth Inspire! "Do not give anyone the chance to think you cannot fulfill your dreams without them”.
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- Edad 26
Please tell us your name: Opasho Olukemi Titilope
Your age: 23
Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?
I am from Ondo State and I live in Lagos State, Nigeria.
According to your business card – what’s your job title?
Singer, C.E.O. REAL MUSIC THEATRE PRODUCTIONS.
And how does that compare with what you wanted to do when you were 10 years old?
Comparing my present position with what I wanted to be thirteen years ago cannot be far-fetched. When I was ten years old, I had that enthusiasm to sing, which I was doing then. I felt it would have just been perfect for me to be a famous singer and then have my own reality television show that showcases strictly awesome musicians that the world had never seen or heard before. My dream was becoming a reality until I thought of something I could do differently which was the idea of including drama and dance to my singing. Now, I have something that stands out and is unique in its own way, which is becoming not just a famous singer but also a C.E.O. of a music theatre company called The Real music theatre productions which is a contemporary musical theatre company that gives youths the platform to express themselves in singing, dancing and acting.
Give us 10 words that describe your typical work day?
In a nutshell, how did you get to where you are right now? Name some of the most important milestones.
Initially, when I started as a C.E.O., it wasn’t a joke, sometimes I even wanted to give up because help was coming from nowhere. There were nights I cried asking God to assist me, other nights I cried because it felt like the world had turned against me and I was alone in it. To show how serious I was, I went ahead to register the company before progressing any further. After the long process of registration, I wrote a proposal to seek for sponsors here and there hoping my idea would not be stolen, everyone thought it was a good idea but I wasn’t getting what I wanted which was funds, every one that promised one thing or the other couldn’t keep to their promises for one reason or the other. One night I cried so much that my father got upset and the first turning point for me was when he said “DO NOT GIVE ANYONE THE CHANCE TO THINK YOU CANNOT FULFILL YOUR DREAMS WITHOUT THEM”. At that point, I brazened up and began to focus more on making my first stage pay a success. I spoke to Akinwunmi popularly known as “talking fingers” (a music producer), Kaffy (dancer) and Benita Okojie (singer), Topsticks (female drummer) and of course my Pastor (spiritual father), I see them as mature minds and they gave me a lot of advices that put me through my work. Little by little, I was able to put a lot of time and work to making it a success. I brought in television stations and the newspaper to make my work successful and I had a lot of mental support from friends around. The major turning point for me was when my first stage play became a success and the talk of the town. I was glad that, with the little I had, I could produce something really good. One of the people that inspired me and still inspire me is Tyler Perry. I’d seen a lot of his movies and how well he communicates to his viewers, the story of his life has also been a source of inspiration and as a lady, I just knew my case wasn’t even as bad as his and even if it were, I had no reason to think I should give up on fulfilling my dreams. These few points out of several others have made me the strong lady that I am today and a young C.E.O.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get to your current position and how did it help you to grow as a person?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was “fear”. Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat and I see it as a psychological horror. In trying to achieve my goals, I had a lot of people that advised me correctly and wrongly, there were some others that felt I shouldn’t venture into it at all and they funnily had a lot of proverbs to back it up. Well, I could clearly see and pick out what was useful for me in the end. Youths today have buried their skills and ideas because they have allowed the circumstances around them to put fear into their minds, that way, they would rather not venture into achieving whatever they want to achieve. I had to overcome fear and take all the risks I needed to take to be successful. In putting fear aside, it made me a stronger lady, I am able to make a lot of decisions without giving much attention to circumstances that would weigh me down and I’m also able to see clearly opportunities and possibilities.
How important was your choice of degree/field of study at university for what you’re doing now?
Extremely important! I am a graduate of The Redeemer’s University, class 2012 and back then, I studied Accounting for 4 years. A lot of people wonder why I drifted from Accounting or better still why I didn’t just go ahead to study theatre arts but the truth is, I have not abandoned accounting, in fact I’m writing a professional accounting course at present. The course an individual studies in the university doesn’t determine the individual’s tomorrow, in other words, what an individual studies in the university should be a guide to the individual’s career in life whether it’s in the same line or not. Accounting has assisted me in managing the company’s cash inflow and outflow, assisted me in creating budgets from time to time to avoid over-spending, keeping records and generally managing the organization.
What are the top three things someone needs to excel in your field?
What do you think is the MOST important thing governments and/or companies can do to help young people get started in their careers?
The government and corporate organizations have several roles to pay in the lives of youths especially when it comes to their intellect, skill and ideas because the youths are the next leaders. Tomorrow’s Nigeria lies in the hands of the youths because we are problem solvers. The government and corporate entities should look into the minds of the youths because a lot of them carry solutions to our country’s issues. A lot of people have gone into the grave with their life changing skills and ideas. On a yearly basis, a forum should be made were youths are being trained on how to put their ideas into writing after which would be scrutinized by various professionals and then, funds should be raised to support the bright ideas, that way we are creating jobs for our youths and increasing our standard of living.
On a lighter note, tell us about the strangest day you’ve ever had at work or the strangest thing you had to do?
At the initial stage of development, putting people together was a challenge, in the sense that everyone had one reason or another why they could not make rehearsals on a particular day. On this fateful rehearsal day, about 4 roles couldn’t make it to rehearsals and, work had to be done, so I decided to take up the 4 roles in addition to my own, altogether 5 roles and it was stressful and then strange for me cause, I had never had to multi-task myself in a very long while but it was fun in the long run.
Some words to youth out there: What advice can you give them when chasing their dream position?
As youths, we are leaders and we have got to stand for what we believe in. Every youth out there should be able to stand and take certain decisions as it relates to life and career. Everyone around you has a plan for you and if you run along with what everyone wants you to be, you would be like chaff which the wind would drive in any direction it so pleases. Sometimes, you need to serve to be served and until that is fulfilled, succeeding could be difficult but in all, there is nothing as good as being your own boss. Youths, be focused, get a solid education, believe in yourself, be confident, be strong, think of what you can do to make our country great, it’s a long process but we can achieve success.