Earlier today, we made a post about Sipasi Olalekan Ayodele, award winning Nigerian entrepreneur/ community development enthusiast..well we were curious to find out so much more about him, as indeed his story is inspiring as well as interesting..Read his interview session below.
RGN MEDIA; We’ll like to know a bit more about you. (month and year of birth/age,e.t.c) SIPASI; September 9, 1987. I will be 30 on the 9th of September.
RGNMEDIA: What’s the Inspiration for what you do?.
SIPASI; On my way to Addis Abba, Ethiopia in February 2015, the airline I travelled with echoed their appreciation to passengers on board for choosing their flight and to reward their customers. They promised to plant trees in the origin of the flight country to help combat climate change. On my way back to Nigeria, I met Dr Hussien I M Shagar, a United Nations Volunteer from South Sudan who told me for the first time in my life about voluntary service. This sparked my interest of what I could to do to help my mother country as obviously, the trees were not going to be planted in Nigeria but Ethiopia according to the announcer. The thought of saving our environment to curb climate change through planting of trees stirred me up as an Agriculturalist. As soon as I returned to my country, Nigeria, I started massive advocacy, trainings and distribution of tree seeds to combat erosion and climate change systematically using Local Content Initiative in order to penetrate the rural communities.
- Trained indigent youths on Sustainable Agriculture as a means of economic empowerment, sponsored by the US Consulate Lagos
- I have trained over 6,000 Children, Youths, Active Citizens and farmers in Sustainable Best Agricultural Practice and Smart City Agriculture
- Established 3 Demonstration farms across 2 States in Nigeria
- Raised a Sense of Urgency in Africa Agricultural sector at the G20 Summit in Germany
- I innovated the award winning Mobile Kitchen Garden MKG where I reuse environmental hazardous waste materials to grow food
- Excursion: I select and take Active Children and Youth from Rural Communities for an all expense trip to botanical gardens to learn tree planting and environmental protection
- Distributed more than 35,000 seeds and seedling of deciduous trees and approximately 16kg of vegetable seeds across the country to alleviate poverty and fight hunger.
RGN MEDIA; Tell us a bit more about Mobile Kitchen garden ( how does it combat ozone layer depletion, combining waste and seeds (that’s quite confusing).
SIPASI: Mobile Kitchen Garden MKG initiative. This was bore out of the fact that used vehicle tyres causes a lot of menace in Nigeria, ranging from burning on the road when vehicles breaks down, used for burning refuse, used for dangerous game by children, obstruct drainages, litter the streets, breeds mosquitos to mention but a few, these and many more made me see reasons why I need to get the tyres out of our roads and streets for a more productive and economic use. Due to the nature of the project, I decided to go through the children because of:
- Their population
- They are excited and happy doing it – not seeing themselves too big to pick used tyres to work on them
- Their minds are opened to learning
The children are happy doing this aside the little income they get from it, they are very excited to see their gardens grow.
- We employed Local Content Initiative LCI, that is, all the materials used for the garden were gotten from the communities.
- It is mobile because when the rain or sun is much, you can move it to a better location.
This is ground breaking because it reduces ozone layer depletion, fights hunger, alleviate poverty, reuse waste materials and promote child’s inclusion in community development. In addition, the project encourages children’s participation and inclusion in development, it is also unique because it carries sustainability in itself, not only by carrying the youths along but also exposing the children to the prevailing challenges and how they can contribute their little which also registered the solutions in their heart for the future.
RGNMEDIA: How have you been able to combine all four of them L’afrika integrated farms, ProtectOzone, Yali’s west African ambassador to Nigeria, training of young people) successfully.
SIPASI: This is a beautiful question, I started L’Affrika Integrated Farms in 2011 at my penaultimate level during my undergradate studies when my father lost faith in my success – so I decided to start up a poultry farm to support myself at my undergraduate and Masters level, ProtectOzone came as a result of my trip to Tanzania in 2015 as mentioned in the story above. ProtectOzone is a Non for Profit organization. YALI RLC Ambassador position is a voluntary position in structuring YALI RLC alumni in Nigeria together with my co-Amb. Diana.
Training of young people in sustainable agricultural practice is what I love doing – its my hubby:
All these were made possible through God’s grace in wonder team members and viable structure.
RGNMEDIA; What exactly does your farm produce and sell… how would you describe the success of mobile kitchen garden?, any statistics available on the effect on the Ozone layer depletion?
SIPASI; Mobile Kitchen Garden can always be better. The pilot was awesome, we are working on channels to effectively cascade the knowledge most especially in the city, as we may know that about 70% of Carbon di Oxide emission happens in the City.
RGNMEDIA; Further words on how Nigeria can leverage her natural produce and have economic growth.
SIPASI; Agriculture is a gift for our dear continent, Africa. It is scandalous if we say Africa cannot feed herself – a continent holding more than 65% of the World’s arable land. To this effect, the structure should harness the strength of her Youths through Rural Youth Employment Strategy thereby keeping more youths in the rural communities with proper and adequate social amenities and incentives, by doing this we cannot but achieve an Africa of our DREAM.
RGNMEDIA; 5 things people probably do not know about you. E.g best food, most embarrassing child hood moments/ major highlights in life.
- I am very professional with my mails and naughty on facebook and most especially BBM
- I finished with a very strong and powerful Second Class Lower from the University, you know Second Class Lower that is Close to Third class lolzzzzzz
- For Nigerians: I love EKO but hate akamu / ogi to the core — weird right? Yeah I know
- I have wanted to be a farmer right from my childhood
- Probably you don’t know am my Mom’s carbon copy