You are welcome to yet another Konnect Africa interview. We trust you are doing well.
Today, we have on our hot seat, a fast rising Personal Development Consultant from Nigeria who has risen out of the ashes of failures and heartfelt setback to become a Thought Leader and an inspiration to his generation.
I am talking of none other that Amb. Young Anyanwu. This interview is a very insightful one, so take a few moments and enjoy it all.
Amb. Young Anyanwu, you are welcome to Konnect Africa. So, tell us about yourself, your family, ethnicity, education…
Amb. Young Anyanwu is the only son of a family of 5, late dad, mum and 2 sisters from Ngor-okpala Local Govt. Area of Imo State. I schooled in Lagos; Nursery, Primary and Secondary before moving to Enugu State University where I studied Applied Biochemistry and graduated at 19 years of age. Very importantly, I was born, bred and still leaves in Ajegunle, Lagos.
When and how did you begin your professional journey as a Personal Development Consultant?
It all started when I was 15, before I gained admission and shortly after finishing secondary school as the Head-boy. I joined an NGO where I learned some basic life skills and since then, I have sought every opportunity to be a blessing to mankind.
What were your expectations when you started out as a Personal Development Consultant?
I had just one dream, which I still hold until this day. My dream expectation is that by my grave side when I eventually die, I would have all sorts of professionals, presidents and worldwide renowned leaders who would look at my corpse and say, “I would never have become who I am if I had not met Amb. Young Anyanwu.”
What avenues do you use to reach young people with your inspirational gospel?
I speak, I write, I consult and I train. I am the author of “Self-Development: Beyond the Classroom, What Successful People Do –The Success Story of an “Idiot” Born in The Ghetto”– where I shared my story and journey to success as a black, african, ghetto child.
I also have a website: www.projectyoung.org where I share timeless insights with young people on how to succeed in life. Then, I run online and offline training, including training on whatsapp and twitter.
Have you had any major wins in this area? Kindly share.
I personally love to appreciate every milestone. As far as I know, there are over 1.5 million youths in Nigeria, but you chose to interview me. I believe if I were doing nothing, you wuld not have found a need to. This is a major win for me (smiling).
You run a project called Project YOUNG, What inspired it?
Project YOUNG means “Project Youth Outreach for a Unique Next Generation”. I grew up in the slum and has cried on several occasions when I see young girls, some a lot younger than I am roaming the streets pregnant, and the boys roaming aimlessly and gambling.
One faithful night, I had just finished watching Akeelah and The Bee, and I couldn’t help myself. I replayed time 40mins, 20secs of the movie again and again for more than 20 times and burst into uncontrollable tears.
Immediately, I shut the door of my room, picked a pen and paper and started writing the vision that followed and that was how Project YOUNG was born. That night which I would never forget was the night of 4th of April, 2013 in Imo state, after I just started healing from suicidal thoughts of myself following a major failure I will share later.
How have you leveraged your failure to become a better crusader for Personal Development in young people?
Yes, like I mentioned earlier, faced with the option of suicide afterfailing on several attempts, I have come to see that, “Success is not about rising all through, but it is about combining the ‘joy of failure’ to the ‘ego of rising.'” I have hawked satchet water at age 8-10, lost my father at 17 and was ejected from the University after my final year project for fake admission. Yet, I learned from them all and failed forward.
With this, I can say that those mistakes and failures have taught me as a Personality Development Consultant that the better you know and are willing to follow through, without giving up, the better you become with time. Today, I am better and celebrated by many.
If you were to give the young African a cheat sheet on success in life, what would it contain?
I already did. It’s in my book. It contains more more than I can ever say here. To get a copy of my book, place your order by sending a whatsapp message to +234-813-382-4480
You have a writing side. How did you get into this space and what has been your achievements so far?
Hmm! Okay, my highest achievement on writing is my book. Like Comrade Ozor Ugonna Kinsgley, a Social Crusader, Leadership Coach and the CEO of Holyplanet Info-Technology Empowerment Foundation (HITEF) wrote about my book; “Obviously, the book work is enough to immortalize Amb. Young now and the hereafter.“
My second highest achievement is the innumerable number of people that are empowered and and enlightened by my writings and online training programmes.
Thirdly, I work with Prof. Pat Utomi as the Script Writer of CVL (Centre for Values in Leadership) and it has been an awesome experience.
To start with, content is king. Never be in a hurry to get to the limelight. “If you arrive too early, you arrive too small, and might become irrelevant for the rest of the time.” –Pastor Kaycee Abraham. First, build content. Also, never despise superiors no matter how much content you are blessed with. So, to win as a Personal Development Consultant, start with you! Yes, your very self.
What role has Social Media played in your emergence as a Thought Leader?
Okay, I mentioned earlier that I work with Prof. Pat Utomi, but the most interesting thing about this is the fact that I control my time 100%. Why? It’s because the company understands that I have my personal duties, vision and goal yet, I don’t have any offline platforms, so how did they know? Simple, Social Media.
I am always teaching, training and writing. I run my website and I don’t give up despite numerous challenges. I work from home mostly and impact tons of people across the country and beyond without getting to meet them one-one-one.
So, Social Media has been a great tool, both for garnering and disseminating information and of course, emerging as a Thought Leader.
How can those reading this interview leverage the Internet in their different spheres?
Very importantly, I would say; never despise trainings. You can attend social media trainings even though you are a Pastor, or whatever you may be doing. For example, in 2015 I attended a 2 days training for #80,000 for a one-one-one consultation session with the CEO of a company, to improve my internet writing skills especially. I could as well have excused that, that is not Personality Development or Life Coaching certification training or what have you.
Also, learn to make maximum use out of every evolving and popular social media to disseminate your work, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
What is your inspiration? What keeps you going?
- My Dreams,
- My Mentors,
- My Mentees, and
- Numerous experiences with failure and the will to succeed above them.
After God, mentors are the shortest cut to achieving success. I have a son who works at UK Trade and Investment Limited (UKTI) with O’Level, and interestingly, he was interviewed alongside 2 other M.Sc holders. How? Mentorship.
Abraham Lincoln said, “I have seen farther, because I stood on the shoulder of giants.”
So, here are my mentors whom I am most grateful to:
- Pastor Osasere Omoregie
- Pastor Chinedu Promise Edeh
- Pat Utomi
- Acho F. Nwoke
For you, Life is….
For me, life is a journey of self-discovery from the moment of birth, and self-emptying before the moment of death.
Making yourself better, to be able to make others the best they can be.
Inspire us in 140 characters
It doesn’t matter your current challenges or weaknesses, you can become anything you set your mind to ever become with undying commitment.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” –Martin Luther King Jnr.
Wow! Many thanks Amb. Young Anyanwu
You are most welcome.
We trust you are richly inspired by this interview. Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
You can reach Amb. Young Anyanwu via his Social Media Handles:
Whatsapp: +234-813-382-4480 | FB: /ProjectYOUNG | TW: @Youngskonzultz | BBM: 333A0642
BBM Channel: C0037600E or email him directly from his website: www.projectyoung.org/contact