Growing up, I was an extremely creative child. I remember having aspirations to be a fashion designer, singer-songwriter, dancer, actress, and writer at certain points in my life. By my senior year of high school, I was determined to study music in college and become a singer. My parents however were not in support of that. And after many heated arguments, I decided to major in International Relations and now I am PhD student in African Studies.
But about the rest of us---whose passions, dreams, and desires never quite fit within the lines of the coloring book?
A majority of us share this same story of aborted dreams and deferred hopes. We were not exposed to the plethora of career choices and life-long passions outside the traditional professions of medicine, law, engineering, and finance. According to most of our parents, these professions would bring us respect and financial security because they did not want us to suffer what they did. But what about the rest of us —whose passions, dreams and desires never quite fit within the lines of the coloring book? Those who want to be creatives: dancers, artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, fashion designers, and etcetera.
Given the reality of our globalized era, anything is rapidly becoming possible. Nowadays, African creatives pervade global pop culture from fashion to music to art to literature to Hollywood. Innovative companies like Airbnb, Uber and Facebook have also shown us the practical value of creativity in industry. Therefore, now is the time for unconventionality. Now is the time for us to build those collaborative networks across disciplinary and professional boundaries that will not only thrust Africa into the limelight positively but also keep us there for good. In order for us to accomplish this, Africa needs dynamic thought-leaders, who are unafraid of new ways of thinking and being. Africa needs passionate, creative, and dedicated individuals who are willing to pledge their lives to revolutionize the state of the Continent. Africa needs me. Nigeria needs me.
I started Orisun Collective in order to inspire young Nigerian children not to limit themselves from the start, to think and dream beyond the circumstances (family, neighborhood, city, country) in which they have been born in, and to imagine limitless possibilities for their future.
Although I did not live out my then dream of becoming a singer, looking back I am extremely grateful for these experiences because they taught me how to imagine numerous possibilities for my future as a young African immigrant girl in America. Through them, I was able to discover my purpose and identify my life-long passion of creative arts, education and community-building in Nigeria. This why I started Orisun Collective in order to inspire young Nigerian children not to limit themselves from the start, to think and dream beyond the circumstances (family, neighborhood, city, country) in which they have been born in, and to imagine limitless possibilities for their future.