Q&A: Adediran Alao, Coordinator of ThinkOyo initiative

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Think Oyo initiative is the convener of the 30 Under 30 Awards. In this exclusive interview with Adediran Alao, coordinator of the initiative, he spoke extensively on the awards, the initiative and successes recorded in 2013 plus agenda for the new year.

What is the rationale behind the 30U30 awards?
The 30U30 Awards was scripted to recognise deserving youths that are affiliated with Oyo State either by origin, place of residence or business residence. By recognizing youths that are doing well, we hope to create a chain reaction that will stir up other youths to greater heights.
How many nominations did you receive in all?
291 nominations
In what categories did you have more nominations?
Advocacy, Creative Arts, Entrepreneurship.
How were the finalists selected?
They were selected based on their achievements which were written in theirCVs and Bios.
How will the voting be carried out and what are the prizes to be won?
The voting will be carried out via the website and via SMS using the short code 32144. The winners will be presented with a plaque of honour.
How aligned are the objectives of the Think Oyo initiative with the Abiola Ajimobi-led administration?
Think Oyo is a strategic public-private partnership aimed at aggressively changing and challenging the way things are done in Oyo state. In the past, Oyo state had become famous for the wrong reasons but with the change in the political landscape in the state driven by Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s developmental policies, Think Oyo aims to latch onto the wind of change blowing through the state.
What should we expect at the Friday event?
Glamour, inspiration and celebration of excellence.
Is the ceremony a strictly-by-invitation event?
No, anybody who is interested is free to attend.
What informed the choice of the speaker?
It is a programme seeking to recognise excelling youths and hoping to inspire the other sleeping giants. To achieve this, we need someone that has a passion for the youths and connects well with them. Standing tall amongst those that can do that well is the delectable media giant Ms. Funmi Iyanda.
Briefly describe the achievements of the Think Oyo initiative
In its bid to aggressively challenge how things are done in Oyo State, the Think Oyo initiative has engaged in so many programmes like the ThinkOyo initiative has also organized lecture series which is geared towards changing the conversations of youths in the state. The lecture series bordered on different topics and we have had different seasoned intellectuals coming to speak to us.
Road trips to see landmark and historic sites across the state.
The maiden book reading that took the crème de la crème of the literary world to a public primary school where they read stories to children. This was in a bid to re-ignite and resuscitate the reading culture that is dying amongst children. It has also done library makeover of some public secondary schools. This is part of the programme tagged ‘’Reading Revival’’ which is geared at reviving the ailing reading culture among students and young people.
What do you intend to achieve in 2013?
Basically, we intend to change the thinking of the people of Oyo State and how they view the state. There is no state without its own challenges but it also has its own strengths. In the course of the year, we have sought to open the eyes of the teeming Oyo state populace to the hidden beauty of the state.
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