The story I believe Started when uploaded a picture unto my Facebook account with me on it saying “I’m an average Ghanaian teen making a difference in my corner”. I was not convinced myself about those words but they came from within, I knew deep inside that there was something I had to give back to society. There was that star that brightened my heart.
I was at the climax of my high school years. I had a trail of activities I wanted to do after my WASSCE. Founding an organization was keen. During high school, I networked with great young entrepreneurs; and professionals; Be it male or female.
Change makers of the 21st century I will call them. I wrote down a list of products and services that the average African will need in my big blue diary I refer to as “think pad”. I wrote, drew and caricatured ideas and illustrations in it. I hope I implement those as my years grow old.
5th May, 2015 the day I wrote my last WASSCE paper; elective mathematics. Stop work! they said. Start your life Obeng; I heard. Came home pale, spent some days on admission at the hospital. By God’s ever showing grace it was all a flash and I was up and kicking by weekend.
I paid a visit to my think pad to select some ideas for piloting. I took the personal brand name “OkoDart”(Okofo Dartey) and started the idea on motivation. Just Photoshop”-ing” my quotes and that of other African achievers; young and old. You can check them out on Instagram. As always expected they were met with polar response. I love doing it. Yes I still do it!
Then the entrepreneurship phase came, wanted to start an organisation to help inspire change in the youth (15 – 35 years according to UNESCO). I did not know where and how to start. After some days I got “myself together” and started researching; websites, books and contacts. Then settled with either a social enterprise or a non-governmental organisation.
It was at this point I told my mentor extraordinaire; Ato Ulzen-Appiah, about my plans and the two organisational structures I had to choose between. He spoke at length about their differences. Then I became convinced I wanted to start an NGO because my main aim is to make impact.
RELATED: SLEEPING IN BETWEEN LECTURES
So I took a survey of friends and acquaintances on who to be founding partners. Had my initial select but some dissapointed. Out of the 10 contacts I picked two and we sailed. We are still at sea but see a shore and the end of the tunnel. We hope the sea we see is a mirage. Later that week I spoke to the science coordinator of the Ledzokuku-krawor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA).
She loved the idea and told me about a pending program she might invite me to speak at. Wow, I told my self. Week after week we communicated and she finally told me I will be the guest of honour. Darn it! Say what! With a wide smile I said. And hence have to present a speech to motivate these youngsters. Days were drawing closer, started the first phase of the NGO whiles preparing my presentation.
“Argh it’s today” I told my self at 4:00 GMT.
Gathered all I had to and left home for the venue. It was quite a headache locating the place. God being so good we were there before time. I had enough time to psych myself up and interact with some of the staff and pupils. It was fun, they did not know I was the Guest of Honour; we laughed, chatted and shared ideas. It was time.
Gosh the Master of Ceremony (MC)’s introduction was dope. Saying I was the youngest Guest of Honour she had ever seen and mentioning my relatively mediocre job titles as though I were Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. It was there the statement I made early on about being a change in my corner seemed inaccurate. ” I’m an average Ghanaian teen for positive change” I restated to myself.
I asked myself what’s next, forgetting I had a plan
Stood up to speak. My introduction was quite shaky but soon got engulfed in what I was saying and soared the speech to their appeal. The immediate response from the staff and pupils were so great that I concluded I broke a leg. Shared contacts with top notches in education and pupils.
Technology has come to stay and it is time for our youth to use it to better their lives, to ameliorate society and cause positive change. Yes our leaders failed and are failing us but do we hope to be failures our selves? Ask your self that question. Start your change today and you will not regret it.