African Students For Liberty hosted its debut LiberTea Chat on July 4, with its founder, now SFL’s Director of International Programs, Olumayowa Okediran. ASFL LiberTea Chat features Students For Liberty alumni, who share behind the scenes stories of volunteering for liberty, reminisce about fun moments, and seek to inspire more young people to become change-makers for a freer society.
Linda Kavuka (Mama Africa), Director of African Programs, is the show’s host. Olumayowa takes the audience through the early years of the organization, from his time in college in Nigeria to hosting Africa’s first ever Students For Liberty event. He discusses his experience with setting up the first teams to drive the ideas of liberty across the continent.
In their first chat, Olumayowa spoke of the challenges in grappling with the mindset of many African academics who see socialism as the ideal to aspire to. These pervasive ideas have delayed unlocking the potential of capitalism, which is instrumental in creating a modern, prosperous and free Africa. He noted that the ideas of growth, prosperity and freedom in Africa were not even taught within the economics classes of higher learning institutions. Instead, he emphasized how it was books, and the thoughts of many libertarians, that had influenced him, enabling his learning and personal development.
It was inspiring to hear him talk about how, in 2012, as an undergraduate in his twenties at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, he managed to create the African Liberty Students Organization with a few friends. He spoke of the difficulties involved in convincing university authorities to allow them to host campus events to share classical liberal ideas. Olumayowa, who later became a member of the Students For Liberty’s Executive Board, has been featured in publications such as “Why Liberty,” and also became involved in founding African Liberty, where he is now the Managing Director and is publishing his newest book: Navigate.
Mama Africa corroborated Mayowa’s point on the importance of each and every leader understanding the group’s vision and mission in order to be more effective at convincing others to agree with them. This is especially important when setting up a chapter on a university campus. Major victories and feedback that accompanied their acceptances meant a lot to the growing team. It was interesting to learn that, when Mayowa and Mama Africa travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, they had to literally walk into the school to seek management’s approval to establish a campus group at the University of Nairobi.
One of the very insightful highlights of the show was when Mayowa shared his experience of the value he found in volunteering. He described it as instrumental to his journey of personal growth. He placed great emphasis on being able to create a niche and gain a stronger grasp of the ideas in order to remain relevant. During the LiberTea Chat, moderated by Mama Africa, we were able to find out more about how volunteering helps in developing skills that are useful in the workplace.
Linda Kavuka drew the curtain on the discussion, as participants learned about what led Mayowa to embark on his journey, and how he became motivated to grow with little or no practical support. Mayowa’s story is certainly inspiring. He started with a small charter team, and now the organization enjoys a presence in over thirty African countries, with hundreds of leaders all across the continent.
He shared how he made the move from volunteering to working with Students For Liberty, as well as how some other colleagues ended up working with other great organizations or starting their own, largely thanks to the knowledge and skills they had gathered from their volunteering days at Students For Liberty.
Stay tuned as we will soon be announcing the details for future episodes of the LiberTea Chat show! In the meantime, you can watch our recording by clicking on the button below.