Baba Tunde George Ojo Olubiyo is the Chief Executive/Founder, Sri Word of Inspirational and Transformational Entertainment. As a man of many parts, Olubiyo is passionate about helping young Nigerians realise their God-given potential, in order to be able to use their talents to better their personal lives as well as contribute positively to the betterment of the nation. He spoke on these and more in this interview with Mary Ekah
Tell us about career as a motivational speaker?
I don’t really see myself as a motivational speaker because calling myself a motivational speaker is like belittling myself. One may say it’s ego but no, it is really who I am. I am first a transformational coach, a transformational speaker and then an inspirational speaker. My perception is different from that of a motivational speaker. A motivational speaker wants to motivate you but beyond the motivational speaker is the inspirational speaker. An inspirational speaker wants to inspire you while a transformational speaker wants to transform you. And what we need today in this country is not just change but transformation. Transformation means that nothing of the past exist anymore; you become a new creation. Inspirational speakers inspire you and make you drop your old habits. Even mere seeing their lifestyles inspires you – you are left with no choice but to long to be like them. These are people you come across and you just want to check yourself whether you are doing the right thing. A transformational speaker wants to stay with you and make sure you change but a motivational speaker on the other hand does not have that time, he wants to just motivate you and go.
So far, what platforms have you exhibited your talent as a transformational speaker?
I have done countless of radio programmes. I am known in major radio stations in Ibadan, I have done some programmes with the national television, NTA Ibadan. I have done programmes in almost all the major radio stations in Nigeria including Abuja. I have travelled to other African countries where I held programmes. Over the years, I have sponsored and organised transformational programmes in majority of the radio and TV stations in Nigeria. I have also used my social media platforms to campaign against child abuse, rape, human trafficking, domestic violence, relationship and marriage, the importance of mental and emotional health in working environment, relationship, marriage and the need for re-modernising our education system in Nigeria. I have been to many schools to talk to students. I really think we have two problems in Nigeria and if we can fix those areas, the future will be bright but if we do not fix those areas, I guarantee you every other effort we are making will only end in disaster. One of these problems has to do with parenting – How we are raising our children. Number two is the educational system. The educational system right now is broke. The standard of education in Nigeria is nothing to write home about and the level of employment is poor because nobody wants to invest in something without some level of guarantee. The educational system does not give you money-back guarantee. What is the guarantee of a Nigerian graduate who have studied in school after five years that he/she would be successful. That is why I advise people that while you are going to school, make sure you are learning a skill and then use your educational qualification as a boost because when people see that you are educated, they respect you a lot. The educational system is not bringing out the best in the students and that is why a lot of graduate are unemployable. We really need to work on the educational system in Nigeria if we actually need a brighter future. But then it is very difficult for the school to handle a child that has been raised by negligent parents. Those are the children who become nuisance in the society. Parents should understand that they are images for their children, children don’t learn by instructions, they learn by imitations. I was raised by my mother and she had to go through several challenges to make sure she took care of me to grow up to become the person I am today. So being someone who has experienced all kinds of severe challenges and trauma, I understand what it is for a child to experience such and that is why I advocate for mental health.
How really was your childhood, which apparently has got so much influence on you today?
My childhood is something you can relate to. One, my dad was a young man whose dad probably wasn’t there for him. Probably my dad’s grandfather wasn’t there for his dad too. So the jinx continued that way, so when my own dad had me, he wasn’t able to relate like a father. So when I was growing up, I was always thinking he was a wicked man and so we became like enemies but when I grew up I started to understand his predicaments. That is why you really need to take time and look at someone’s background before you go into a relationship because if they were raised as victims, they become victims too.
Apart from being a transformational coach, what else do you do?
I am a businessman. I buy and sell. I run an e-commerce website and we sell a whole lot of things. You can say I am a good orator. I enjoy talking and I know how to convince people, so I decided to use that talent in business. I discovered that there were so many people who have wonderful products but they don’t have good communication skills and so they don’t know how to convince people and I decide to bridge that gap. So I started a social media platform with a website where we sell all kinds of goods and I have made a good amount of money from it.
You are apparently a man of many parts, where really lies your interest?
I have so many things I am interested in – business, politics, religion, psychology, philosophy but I really love psychology because psychology is very close to what I identify myself as. First and foremost, I want to know what makes people do and why they do them. And if you understand psychology, you can operate in any level. All these started when I was a very little boy. I wanted to know more about the human beings; what causes human beings to take the decisions they take; why some people are poor while others are rich; what makes some countries better than other countries, is it just resources or is about intelligence. I wanted to know all these things which led me to studying these things early in life. Fortunate enough, I grew up with people who are spiritually and philosophically inclined; people who were intellectually matured and experienced. That exposed me a lot to all kinds of knowledge, information, insight and understanding about things that my peers and contemporaries don’t even have information about. I really love Psychology because it is a scientific study of the behaviour and mental processes of animals and human beings. So a psychologist wants to assess measure, evaluate, control and predict. So I really see psychology as my main interest and psychology has given me that understanding to be able to work with everybody at any place.
That means you studied Psychology at school. Didn’t you?
Yes, I did professional Psychology, which is holistic because usually the Psychology we do at school; don’t usually give us enough information about the human mind. Psychology define the mind as an entity of its own but it does not really give you so much detail but holistic Psychology goes behold that. Holistic Psychology has to do with body, mind and soul. So studying Psychology at school gave me a different perspective of Psychology and because I had already had psychological background, people who are mentors and who are even PhD doctorates in various courses do not even understand the way I do. If a psychologist is talking to me now, I could know where he is stuck. I could know where his knowledge ends and from there I can carry on. So studying Psychology at the University of Ibadan wasn’t really a big deal because I had already had a holistic background and that is why I am different from all other psychologists. I don’t just use cognitive therapy but I use meditation, affirmation and my SDP, which means Self-development Programme, to help people come out of depression. I don’t just treat your depression or coach you, I transform you and also increase your awareness about yourself.
Now the only reason why we have problems in this world is because most of us don’t know who we are and what we are capable of doing. Our biggest problem is ignorance because if everybody knows who they are, what they are capable of doing and what they can achieve, we won’t have any problem. This ignorance has been translated in so many terminologies. So for me, Psychology is a big deal and it is something I will probably study all my life because there is no boundary, there is no limit when it comes to knowledge and then, its personal development aspect is such a very important part of human life.
If you look at the world today, people are always looking outside for solution. You see people travelling outside their countries to look for solutions to their problems but the solution to everything is inside of you. Everything comes from inside. So my kind of psychology is rare, my kind of coaching is rare and my kind of experience is rare.
In this part of the world we are no longer practical, we are becoming more theoretical and life is beyond just talks, it has to do with result. If I haven’t demonstrated by result, I don’t have any right to talk about anything. Psychology for me is wonderful and it was just two years ago that I decided to go get a degree at the University of Ibadan in Psychology otherwise; I have already had the background.
Would it be right to say that your practical involvement with people sharpened your psychological prowess?
One of my spiritual mentors was actually a psychologist and that also helped me lay the foundation. I also have the same story as the average Nigerian boy who comes from a broken home, so when I add up all these negative experiences, that are not good for mental health, all of those things actually motivated me to become a psychologist.
You said you started thinking outside box at a very tender age. Exactly at what age was that?
I started wondering about the human existence from the age of 13. One incident happened where a close pal of mine died and that was the first time in my life, I heard that someone was dead and I was like, how come? Do people really die? And I went on and on to ask so many questions. Again, I come from a very spiritual background and we practise the Eastern philosophy. My parents practise Hinduism and because of this, they laid foundation for me to know early enough the human makeup. So I had already known who I am. I know I am a spiritual being having physical experiences. I had already known my identity right from when I was a very little boy because of the kind of environment I grew. And the only way I could relate to the outside world was because I was somehow connected to psychology, otherwise if I speak where other people don’t understand these things, they would lose their minds. So for me to be able to relate with people around me, I had to study some form of psychology so that my social life would not be continuously affected.
At what point were you able to reconcile your belief with the various beliefs that other people around you had without it affecting your social life?
My belief actually affected my social life at first but I just realised one day that I was doing the right thing. We have all been raised in a certain way and we all are working according to what we have been told. We have all been programmed right from when we were babies to think and see things in a particular way. At a particular point, I asked myself if I really knew what I was doing. Those who understand and know what they are doing that decide how much money people pay to them. They write their own tickets in life.
What is your vision for Nigeria, Africa and the world?
I only have one goal and that is the goal I want to be remembered for and I think I am already achieving it. My one goal is to awaken people and make people think about themselves positively so that they can be convinced in themselves and be aware of the presence of God within them. When you become aware of the God in your life, there is nothing you cannot achieve.