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Do it afraid: A message from Tony Elumelu to graduates

Do it afraid: Tony Elumelu’s advice to graduates

Dear reader, Do it Afraid! We understand that the process of embarking on a professional career can often prove to be a challenging experience, particularly for recent graduates who may find themselves grappling with uncertainties regarding their future. Nevertheless, the story of Tony Elumelu serves as a sterling illustration of the crucial role that perseverance, hard work, and determination can play in overcoming adversity.

In this blog post, we delve into the formative years of Tony Elumelu’s career, where he found himself fresh out of school, uncertain about his next steps, and yet full of ambition and a strong desire to succeed. Despite harbouring a deep-seated admiration for the banking profession, and wishing to pursue a career in this field, Tony was initially unable to meet the minimum requirements for a job opening he had spotted at All States Trust Bank. Undeterred by this setback, Tony courageously applied for the position and worked tirelessly to demonstrate his worth and earn his place within the organisation.

In a flashback Friday post shared on social media, Tony himself recalls,

“I remember my days of national youth service in Sokoto, as a young man just out of school, uncertain about my future but determined to make my mark through hard work and resilience. I had always been drawn to the banking profession, entranced by the sharp and professional appearance of the individuals within it, particularly the trend of wearing suspenders. A few years later, after completing my Masters, I came across an advertisement for a graduate position at All States Trust Bank, requiring a minimum 2:1 degree. This opportunity aligned with my career aspirations, but my 2:2 degree prevented me from meeting the minimum qualifications. Nevertheless, I submitted my application and informed the bank that, if given the chance, I would prove myself and earn my place through hard work and dedication. To my delight, I was offered the position, and I dedicated every day to demonstrating my worth and earning my luck in the bank.”

Today, Tony Elumelu is a renowned Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, widely regarded as one of Africa’s leading business figures. He is the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the chairman of Heirs Holdings, a conglomerate with significant investments in the power, real estate, agriculture, and healthcare sectors. He has received numerous accolades for his contributions to Africa’s economic growth and development. But what if he was too scared to chase his dreams? What if he saw himself as not qualified or suitable, and because of that he did not apply for the position? Would he have become a much-celebrated personality today? No one knows.

Let this story serve as a powerful reminder to you that the world needs your courage. And that, even in the face of uncertainty and obstacles, you can achieve your dreams if you are willing to put in the effort. Whether it be overcoming academic barriers, applying for Scholarship opportunities or taking that first step towards a new career, Tony’ Elumelu’s advice is clear,

“Do It afraid and unsure!”

Take courage and chase your dreams, regardless of the obstacles in your way. You never know where they may lead you.

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