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My Rotaract journey: learning I could speak in public



by Taiwo ‘Orbs’ Okunlola, Rotaract Club of Surulere South, Lagos, Nigeria


Igrew up in a community where young children were not supposed to speak. That was something reserved for elders. If I forgot these community rules, I could sometimes expect a knock on the head or a hard twist of my ear from a disciplinarian. As a result, I had a reluctance to speak out – almost a trauma around speaking – that followed me into university and lecture halls.


The effect was so pronounced that I would honestly have preferred the ground to open up and swallow me then to have had to speak in public.


But as I grew into a young man, I gradually developed a desire to contribute. I realized my growing need to speak publicly stemmed from more than just curiosity, but from a desire to make a positive impact in my community. I became interested in student government, which allowed me to develop my personal and leadership skills.


Then I discovered Rotaract. Since joining my Rotaract club, I have had many opportunities to contribute what I call the “Four T’s” – treasure, time, thinking, and talent – to various community service projects. I have served at different leadership levels in my club, providing me with ample opportunities to speak up and contribute in public discussions. As club president, I helped organize a digital conference attended by over 270 youth and young adults who learned about public speaking, copywriting, project management, and branding from six experts. I also launched a fundraising drive for donations to an orphanage, and co-organized a drive to provide feminine hygiene projects for young women.


Through Rotaract, I have worked with creative minds all over the world, and I have grown to see how even the smallest actions can make a big difference. I have learned that money is not the only currency that is important, and that building valuable friendships is worth more than riches.


Whether I am volunteering at a local shelter or raising funds for a global cause, being in Rotaract allows me to be part of a larger movement dedicated to making the world a better place.


I am so passionate about Rotaract that I love to share my story to encourage other people to find what I have found. Let’s continue to work together to create a brighter future for ourselves and for generations to come. Learn how you can get involved in Rotaract.


What is your Rotaract journey? share with us to inspire other

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