The balmy night at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, was just the right atmosphere for a new man to be crowned the president of Eagle Toastmasters International. Well-dressed guests mingled amidst glasses of cocktails as they exchanged pleasantries.
Before long, the main event began. It was a change of guard night in honour of Oladele Olunike, to be sworn in as the new president of Eagles Toastmasters International.
A non-profit organisation, with clubs worldwide to help members improve on their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills, Toastmasters has been in Nigeria for over a decade.
Olunike said he joined the club in 2009 and has remained very active ever since attending Eagle Toastmasters Club’s bi-monthly meetings. According to him, his experience at the club has made him better in personal, professional and public life, through the many transformational programmes of Eagle Toastmasters.
Olunike believes his new position is a call to serve the club better. “I wouldn’t see it as being honoured; some people may see it as honour to be a president, but I see it as a call to service because of the ideals of Toastmasters. One of our core values is service and I see every promotion in every aspect of life as a call to higher responsibility.”
As part of his plans to take the club to the next level, Olunike said his vision for the club, in 2016 is titled Eagle Vision three V…Bigger, Bolder and Brighter milestone, which is the payoff line.
“The three Vs stand for viable, vibrant and visible. Our vision statement is to make the club more viable, vibrant and more visible nationally. Our mission is to intensify capacity development, through the development of people’s communication and leadership skills.”
A 35-times best speaker and 52 times best evaluated award winner, Olunike said: “in the last 65 days, we have been steering the ship of the club in the direction of making the club more visible through our educational programmes.”
While giving her valedictory speech, immediate past president of the club, Keji Sanni, encouraged both men and women, young and old to achieve success.
Currently in 136 countries, Toastmasters began in 1924 in Santana, California, USA. In over 92 years, it has helped over four million people to conquer their fear, to find their voice and release their success.