Home > PinnacleGold Trimonthly > “I will be a strong voice in Nigeria… a brand name in Africa – Ken Ejiofor, Golden Minds Nigeria’s Founding President

“I will be a strong voice in Nigeria… a brand name in Africa – Ken Ejiofor, Golden Minds Nigeria’s Founding President

As Golden Minds Nigeria marked her 9th anniversary in July this year as a body of motivated and visionary youths, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an exclusive interview with the Founding President and Project Director of Golden Minds Nigeria, Ken Ejiofor?

Well, here it is! PinnacleGold, the fresh online media interview platform of Golden Minds Nigeria, hooked up with the visionary Project Director of a body that had its early beginnings in the University of Benin, Benin City.

The man who is the “oga at the top” at Golden Minds Nigeria shares his thoughts on his life and vision, the growth of Golden Minds Nigeria with its 9th anniversary. He also opens up on the love of is life, and other interesting issues. It promises to be an interesting and engaging interview. Enjoy it!

PinnacleGold: We are happy to have this moment with you on this occasion. Please, can you tell us who Ken Ejiofor is?

Ken Ejiofor: Thank you. Ken Ejiofor is a Nigerian, who was born and grew up in Okpella, Edo state. He hails from Delta state, from a village called Onicha Ugbo (nicknamed Jesus Town); number 7 in a family of eight. He studied Agricultural Economics at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Benin., and loves his country, Nigeria very passionately.

PinnacleGold: Why did you start Golden Minds Nigeria?

Ken Ejiofor: At the time I gained admission into UNIBEN in 2004, I had always known that I was on a mission to impact positively on the lives of the youths on campus to help save Nigeria. That spirit of patriotism drove me greatly. In fact, the course I studied in school was largely influenced by my love to make a difference in Nigeria. And for one to be a success, one needs like minded people and I reasoned that the best way for me to get them was to build them. That was why I got to start Golden Minds in my first year in the University.

PinnacleGold: Since founding Golden Minds in July 2004, would you say the body has been positively impacting on Nigerian youths?

Ken Ejiofor: Sure, I believe that Golden Minds have been impacting Nigerian youths positively. This is because when I look at most people around me today, I discover they are members of Golden Minds and their distinctive lifestyles ultimately speak of the Nigeria I envisage; that is the impact working. As a growing platform for youth development and national transformation, we have innovated ideas and projects that have positive impact on our youths; some of which include our Green White Green Project on Uniben campus, our Women empowerment programme, the Jingle Magazine we started publishing mainly targeted at youths, our YES! (Youth Empowerment Solutions) Newsletter, and others. With more funds, we would be able to push some of these initiatives to a wider audience.

PinnacleGold: There was a time when Golden Minds was publishing, “Jingle“, your national magazine. Why have you stopped publishing?

Ken Ejiofor: I won’t say that we have stopped publishing Jingle Magazine. I had rather say that it’s currently going through a refining period to become pure Gold. Jingle Magazine is a brand designed to help stimulate transformational values both in the individual and institutions. A unique national re-orientation magazine presented in inspiring and mind-empowering pages. It is intended to get to every home in Nigeria and as such, it is capital intensive. So apart from the need to refine the magazine, financial constraint is the challenge that has halted it for now. But because we strongly believe that this is not just any magazine; but a vision, publishing Jingle magazine in a sustainable way is a dream that must be realised.

PinnacleGold: We recall that at the launching of the Jingle magazine in Lagos back in 2010, the former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili was the chief launcher. What inspired this relationship between the body and Prof. Dora Akunyili?

Ken Ejiofor: When you are on a genuine mission, nature will create a part for you. Jingle Magazine carries a vision which must have got the attention of Prof. Dora Akunyili who was then the Minister of information. At Golden Minds Nigeria, we are proud to say that Jingle Magazine is a Rebranding Nigeria crusader which is second to none. When I approached our mother and honourable minister to present the Jingle magazine project and requested that she should be the chief launcher, the Holy Spirit must have revealed our vision to her when she accepted our request. She must have sensed that passionate spirit in my presentation and drive, the same passion with which she served this great country most patriotically in various capacities. This also proves the former minister’s passion for a better Nigeria because she was not the only one we invited from the Government but she was the only who responded, and have been supportive till date. Many thought that one “big man” must have linked us up but no; I simply walked into her office and introduced myself and my mission to her. The next day, she personally called me. What a caring mother! I pray that all our leaders will learn from her.
Jingle Magazine

PinnacleGold: Let‘s talk about the leadership of the body, Golden Minds. Recently, there was a change of batons by the national executives. What informed this decision?

Ken Ejiofor: Every organisation that desires growth must be sensitive to its leadership structure and effectiveness. Golden Minds is not an exception. To keep the vision going stronger, we needed to ensure that the structure was right. That mainly informed our decision to reshuffle the leadership. I can tell you categorically that we are much better now. We now have a better coordination of the interconnected activities of the body. To enable us achieve our set goals, the role and tasks of each leadership position has also been detailed.

PinnacleGold: Would you say the transition has been successful so far?

Ken Ejiofor: To a great extent, the transition has been successful; though I personally expect more. We have to go the extra mile by putting our personal best into the vision. That has always been the message to our leaders. No comfort zone is accepted until Nigeria becomes a Golden Land.

PinnacleGold: With fresh initiatives like YES!, the body‘s newsletter, should the public expect to see more innovations from the body?

Ken EjioforInitiatives such as YES! (Youth Empowerment Skills) is one of the innovations of the new leadership. To ensure a practical and resourceful newsletter with contents that meet international standards, we successfully partnered with Mind Tools Ltd, London, established in 1996. YES! is now published every two months.

Although we have others such as GOLD (Get Optimum Leadership Development (GOLD), specially for leadership development; and very recently PinnacleGold and Touch of Gold, our out-reach project for meaningful impact in Nigerian communities, these initiatives are to reach their full potentials. Soon, we will be practically involved in the day-to-day lives of Nigerians.

PinnacleGold: Noticeably, there has been a gradual transformation of Golden Minds Nigeria from a campus youth organisation to a national youth development platform mainly driven by web technology. Has this been a deliberate move under your leadership as the Project Director?

Ken Ejiofor: Golden Minds is a vision, and one criterion for a true vision is the ability to grow and accommodate new ideas. Becoming a national youth empowerment organisation has been in line with the vision from the outset. Web technology has only added a new dimension to it, helping us reach-out to a wider audience, particularly the Nigerian youth. So, you could call it a deliberate move because it has helped to hasten the vision. Working closely with my co-national executives, our growing online platform is one of our innovations for meaningful impact.

PinnacleGold: How would you describe the membership strength of the body?

Ken Ejiofor: In Golden Minds Nigeria, we have come to appreciate that our greatest assets lie in the strength of our members. And experience has shown us in the past nine years of our existence that real membership strength lies not in numbers, but in substance. We have a growing number of members, but not without the passive ones. Thankfully, the active ones have been able to steer the ship these nine years. That means we have able hands. Our approach is now more geared at reaching more Nigerian youths to become active members of a greater nation and golden minds in a better Nigeria that we envisage, and not only by their group affiliations. Again, a Golden mind is anyone that dares to make a difference.

PinnacleGold: For most initiatives such as this, finance is usually a major challenge. How has Golden Minds Nigeria been handling this?

Ken Ejiofor: You’re right. We’ve had to generate funds from within, among members as personal sacrifices towards realising a Golden Land. This include voluntary contributions and annual membership dues, a means we have not been able to fully maximise presently. We hope to improve on this.

PinnacleGold: On July 16th, 2012, the body marked its 9th anniversary. Where is Golden Minds going to be in the next five years?

Ken Ejiofor: In the next five years, I see a victorious Golden Minds that has conquered the challenges of a humble beginning, where we will be in the heart and lips of every Nigerians and fully involved in the affairs of this nation with physical presence in the six geo-political zones of the country.

PinnacleGold: On April 5th, you marked your birhaday. Congratulations! Would you say life has been golden for you?

Ken Ejiofor: Yeah, you can rightly say that life has been golden to me because God is on my side and I’m still in my vision. Living a life of purpose makes life Golden.

PinnacleGold: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Ken Ejiofor: In the next five years, I will be a strong voice in Nigeria; a brand name in Africa. Own and run my companies, farms, and continually growing with Golden Minds Nigeria.

PinnacleGold: As a leader in a youth organisation such as Golden Minds Nigeria, do you have any mentor?

Ken Ejiofor: Sure, I have got mentors that have helped in moulding my life. I have them in three categories; spiritual mentors such as Pastor King Michael Awuhe, Pastor Michael Wealth and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. The second category of mentors is my financial mentors, namely Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Gov. Rochas Okorocha; while my leadership mentors are Prof. Dora Akunyili, Gov. Mu’azu Babagida, and Prof. Pat Utomi.

PinnacleGold: Whenever you have the opportunity, you rarely fail to recognise Pastor King Awuhe. Is there a significant role he plays in what you have become today?

Ken Ejiofor: I never really knew what it meant for a man to have vision until I met Pastor King Michael Awuhe. I got my vision and purpose in life through his vision. When I was to start-up this youth body, he gave the name. I owe him a lot in life. He is my No.1 mentor.

PinnacleGold: On a sad note, in February this year, you lost your father. What are those things you would always remember him for?

Ken Ejiofor: My Dad was a man whom I always cherished for his boldness and courage. He is always full of appreciation when people do things for him, no matter how littlel. I will always miss him.

PinnacleGold: Now, let’s get a little more personal. In Golden Minds Nigeria, we have seen the golden vision, the golden pillars, GOLD for Leaders, GoldMentorship and many others. Have you found a golden heart you intend to build a golden future with as a loving partner?

Ken Ejiofor: Hmmmmm, I have found my desired Golden partner but don’t ask for her name now (laughs), soon CNN would cover it all and nothing would remain hidden.

PinnacleGold: At the risk of making you the freshest “oga at the top” in town, please can you provide the website address of the body, Golden Minds Nigeria to our readers out there who may need more information?

Ken Ejiofor: You should be my Oga at the top now because you put me on a hot sit to drill me (laughs). Well, I hope if I say it now, you my oga at the top will not say something else? Hahahahaha. You may reach us on http://www.goldenmindsnigeria.org, our official website. Though if you use search engines like Google, you may still find us on http://www.goldenmindsnigeria.wordpress.com but we have upgraded to our official website.

PinnacleGold: Any last words for Nigerian youths out there?

Ken Ejiofor: Youths, be prepared. The baton is coming over to you now, the Nigeria of your dream is what you need to aim at. First, create it in your heart, and soon the opportunity to execute it will be provided. Join the Golden Minds.

PinnacleGold: Thanks for your time, sir. It’s been a nice time with you.

Ken Ejiofor: You’re welcome. I appreciate you too.

  1. Y D Amakiri
    17/08/2013 at 03:37

    Very insightful interview from the man himself. Good to know there are still youths with vision for this country!

  2. 23/08/2013 at 21:06

    It is from Ken Ejiofor’s undying vision to see Nigerian youths empower their minds to become golden assets for this potential world power (Nigeria) that individuals like me lighten their path. Thanks our Founding President…

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