Making it to What Achievers Do: Olatunji always makes us proud

By Suzyo Banda

Olatunji Lincoln Oladayo exemplifies the tenacity and drive that define true achievers. As a student majoring in International Relations with a focus on Foreign Policy and Diplomacy at the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), Olatunji’s academic pursuits are just the tip of the iceberg. He is also a Mastercard Foundation Scholar, a Global Peace Ambassador under the Global Peace Chain, and a Rotary Youth Leadership Ambassador in Abuja, Nigeria. His accomplishments reflect a blend of intellectual rigor, social commitment, and leadership excellence.

In 2023, Olatunji became a Resolution Project Fellow (after his initiative was selected as one of the winners of the 2023 Social Venture Challenge). He was also named as a Buddy-up fellow at the Resolution Project in New York, USA. This accolade added to his recognition as one of Nigeria’s under-30 most influential individuals in 2021. Last year, Olatunji was recognized as the Most Outstanding Leader by the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa during the annual Scholars Awards Evening.

As the Founder and Executive Director of the Poverty and Disability Initiative in Nigeria (PADIN), Olatunji has made significant strides in empowering marginalized communities. His journey and achievements are highlighted in John Suzyo Banda’s book, ‘What Achievers Do: 35 Inspiring Stories of Success,’ available at the USIU-Africa library.

The book is a beacon of inspiration, compiling stories of individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary perseverance and innovation in their professional or entrepreneurial journeys. This anthology serves as a guide for navigating the complexities of modern careers and entrepreneurship, offering readers wisdom earned through real-world experiences. Each narrative, including Olatunji’s, provides raw and insightful glimpses into the paths taken by these achievers.

Through the stories of seasoned executives and daring startup founders, the book captures the essence of human achievement across various industries and continents. It highlights how individuals have reshaped industries, disrupted the status quo, and turned challenges into opportunities. This is a must-read for anyone serious about success, providing invaluable lessons from those who have endured and triumphed.

Olatunji’s inclusion in the book underscores his impactful journey. After graduating from high school in 2012, he faced financial challenges that prevented him from immediately pursuing further education. Instead, he worked as a student tutor in Mathematics and Physics, which paved the way for his employment at God's Grace College, where he taught over 200 science students.

In 2014, Olatunji transitioned to a managerial role at Sammy Oguns Timber Company, one of the largest timber mill companies in Ute, Ondo State, Nigeria. Seeking greater opportunities, he moved to Abuja in 2016, where he joined his brother and took on the role of secondary vice principal at St. Theresa’s Secondary School, Mpape-Abuja. His tenure there lasted three years, during which he also contributed to ‘My Dream Nigeria,’ an initiative by the late Mike Omotosho of the Nigeria Rotary Club.

Recognizing the dire conditions faced by disabled youth from impoverished backgrounds, and driven by his own experiences, Olatunji founded PADIN. This not-for-profit organization aims to empower persons with disabilities by meeting their physical, economic, health, political, social, and material needs. Under his leadership, PADIN has trained over 5,000 Nigerians both vulnerable youth, women and persons with disabilities in various vocational skills, fostering financial independence and entrepreneurship among vulnerable populations.

Currently, Olatunji is spearheading a telemedicine project aimed at providing quality healthcare to 9,000 persons with disabilities in Karomajigi, Abuja, and across Africa. His work continues to break barriers and set new standards in the field of social entrepreneurship.

John Suzyo Banda, the author of ‘What Achievers Do,’ brings a wealth of experience as a labor and development expert. His career includes roles as a lecturer, youth employment coordinator at the International Labor Organization (ILO), and social development consultant at the World Bank. Banda’s dedication to social causes is also evident in his involvement with various boards, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award-Zambia and the Sr. Albertina Development Fund of the Franciscan Sisters.

Beyond his professional life, Banda is a devoted family man whose strong faith and commitment to integrity and compassion inform his writing. His previous work, ‘Move Retreat Succeed: From Security Guard to UN Staff and World Bank Consultant,’ further showcases his dedication to inspiring others through his own life story.

‘What Achievers Do’ is more than just a collection of stories; it is a comprehensive guide to personal and professional development. By delving into the habits, strategies, and mindsets of highly successful individuals, the book equips readers with actionable techniques to achieve their own goals. Olatunji’s story, along with those of his fellow achievers, offers practical advice and motivational insights that can inspire anyone striving for success.

Olatunji Lincoln Oladayo’s achievements and the broader narratives in ‘What Achievers Do’ serve as powerful reminders of what is possible through perseverance, innovation, and a commitment to making a difference. The book is an invaluable resource for young people and anyone seeking to navigate their path to success.

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