The Wise Why

Episode #69

Episode #069

#Ep 69 | Yemi Elegunde, Believe You Can and You Will Succeed

by | 10 Nov,2023

About This Episode

Yemi Elegunde shares his incredible story with Kirsty van den Bulk on The Wise Why. Born in the UK and kidnapped to Nigeria at age seven, his journey is not only one of international parental child abduction but also of resilience and triumph over adversity.

Key Points Discussed:

Yemi’s Background: This is an introduction to guest Yemi Elegunde, who shares his multicultural heritage and professional background in IT.

Childhood Abduction: A startling revelation about how he was abducted by his father as a child along with his sister, taken from the UK to Nigeria without any belongings except their clothes.

Life in Nigeria: The cultural shock experienced upon arrival in Nigeria, adjustment to boarding school life away from family, and long-term separation from their mother back in the UK.

Family Dynamics: Complex relationship dynamics between Yemi, his sister Bessie, and their mother following their return visit after 11 years away, dealing with feelings of rejection when they had hoped for reconciliation.

Writing “Time Will Tell”: The motivation behind writing his book ‘Time Will Tell’ details his experiences as an abductee and its impact on him growing up. His sister’s validation was crucial before publication.

Becoming What You Believe: Discussion on his second book ‘Becoming What You Believe’, focused on personal development lessons learned throughout an extensive career. It offers guidance from maintaining professionalism when leaving jobs to understanding your brand value and preparing financially for retirement.

Sales Floor Memories & Career Advice: Reflecting on past sales floor experiences where both host and guest met, the importance of learning quickly within industries you’re passionate about, even if it isn’t your field of study.

New Beginnings & Future Endeavors: Yemi teases upcoming ventures back into the IT industry after taking a break from work while continuing authorship pursuits.

Where To Find More: Listeners can learn more about Yemi’s books ‘Time Will Tell’ and ‘Becoming What You Believe’, available online.

For those touched by stories like these or interested in insights gained through overcoming significant personal and professional challenges, this episode will serve as an inspiring testament that circumstances do not define us but illuminate paths we can take towards growth and success.

Episode #69 : Full Transcription
Kirsty van den Bulk
Hello and welcome to The Wise Why. This morning I am joined by an old friend and also somebody that I just blows my mind with his story and I didn’t find out about it until about 6 months ago when Ralph told me about it just after we’d gone live ourselves. So I’m going to do my usual thing and I’m going to try and introduce my guest. And say the surname now, as everyone knows, I’m dyslexic and dyslexic, so let’s see if I can get this one right. Hello, Yemi Elegunde.

Yemi Elegunde
That’s right. Yemi Elegunde.

Kirsty van den Bulk
So I, as usual the Wise Why, it’s not about me. It is about my guests. So yeah, me, please introduce yourself. Because, my goodness, you’re one of the most inspirational people, I genuinely have ever met.

Yemi Elegunde
Wow, thank you. Yes. So as you said, Yemi Elegunde, which is a Nigerian name. So I was born to a Jamaican mother. And well, when you read my book, I believed that I was born to a Nigerian father, hence the the name. But a lot of things have happened since then. I’ve. And worked in. I was born in the UK but lived quite a part of my life in Nigeria. As a young man from age 7 to 22. And then came back to the UK, where I’ve worked in the IT industry for about 35 years or.

Kirsty van den Bulk
So. So you didn’t just suddenly get on. I mean, your journey from being born in the UK and then, I mean, you talk about this in your book. Time will tell, but you. Didn’t. Just get, pack up your clothes and get in a nice suitcase and go to the airport. And and and travelled to Nigeria. Did you?

Yemi Elegunde
The exact opposite almost. We didn’t take a single thing apart from the clothes that we were wearing that day. So when I say we that was me and my younger sister, I was seven years old and my sister was five. My parents, as I said, two different nationalities. Something happened between them. My dad had planned something. He’d got us passports and wait. I got back from school that day. I was just with one of the neighbour with one of the neighbours and my dad came home and just said I’m taking the kids out for the day. And he took us straight to Heathrow airport that day in exactly what we were wearing. Left all our memories behind. And we got on a plane and flew to Nigeria.

Kirsty van den Bulk
That is huge. I mean, I’ve got a 7-year-old and I’ve got a box and a half of memories already. You know her and I call it her memory box. That must have been incredibly strange to suddenly find yourself in Nigeria. I mean, you didn’t know you were gonna be.

Yemi Elegunde
Staying there, right? No, it was a. It was a very, very strange. Time because. Like I say, and in the book, I remember my dad coming home that they’re saying I’m taking the kids, I we’re going to the barbers, and we went past every Barber that we knew and and so on. But I don’t remember even getting on a plane, you know, and we landed in Ghana initially. And I remember, again, telling, looking around and seeing people in dashiki. So on and I was amazed. I remember clearly my dad saying this is Ghana, this is Accra, the capital of Ghana. And in the first edition of the book that I wrote, I said that we stayed in Ghana for a day and then moved on to Nigeria. Later on when my dad read the book, he. Told me that we stayed there for two weeks. I don’t recall that. And then we bought another plane and I’m talking about 1973. Two kids. You can imagine how excited you should have been about boarding planes. I don’t remember getting on two planes, but as soon as we landed in Nigeria, we’re still walking down this clay road. I remember absolutely everything. And. And I wrote it so vividly. As well.

Kirsty van den Bulk
It it’s amazing what the brain does to protect you because that must have been a very strange thing that one minute you went to school, you came home, you expected to see your mum. The next minute you’re landing in. Was it Ghana?

Yemi Elegunde
Ghana initially and then Nigeria later.

Kirsty van den Bulk
I mean, that’s just huge. And so I’ve had some traumatic times in my life and there are people don’t believe it when I say I don’t remember, but I don’t. I know it happened, but I don’t remember because my brain won’t let me.

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah, you you see for me, the opposite kind of happened. Apart from the planes. I could hold on to so much because when something’s taken away from you selling off your memories go even stronger about what you had. And so I can remember me wearing a blue purplish little paper hat when I was three years old from my birthday. I remember things that my mom would ask me, how do you even know that? And the headache for my dad when we got to Nigeria, as I said, I was seven, was that I knew my full address in the UK, including the postcode. So you know, so I knew it. And so therefore I couldn’t be stopped from writing to to my dad either. So there there are things. And sometimes people ask me how do you remember so much so vividly. And I tend to ask them a question to older people at least, who remember the parcel of Diana, her Princess Diana. I just said, do you remember where you were when Princess Diana. Word and people remember, and I say it’s the same.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Hmm, that’s a really good point. I remember exactly where I was when we heard the news about Princess Diana. And So what was it like, you know? Well, you’ve you’ve just landed. You’re now in Nigeria. I mean, what’s in a culture shock?

Yemi Elegunde
It was a huge culture shock because, you know, we were walking down this road to Clay Rd. And I was thinking where what’s going on and before you could even ask questions, you had all these people running out to come and say hello. And they were speaking in Europa as I know now, but didn’t know at the time. And although I’ve heard my dad speaking Yoruba. At home and you know, they just came right now cause everyone was expecting us in Nigeria. My dad knew was taking us. So the only people who didn’t know was. Me, my sister and. My mom and we went into this. House and they. Were because you were black. You know, we went into this House and they were kids hanging out the windows, looking in every the whole. It was a little village. And everyone was excited and we just kept thinking what was going on and it was the very next day, you know, fell asleep because we’re exhausted. The next day, my dad was writing a letter to my mum and I asked him, what are you doing? And he said, Ohh, what do you want to say to your mum? And I said I just want to go home. And he said, well, you’re not going home. You’re staying here. And it felt like a joke at the time. And then I had my drink cousins telling me, yeah, you’re not going, you’re you’re here to stay. And it turned out we stay there for a total of 14 years, which is one of the longest cases of what it’s called international parental child abduction.

Kirsty van den Bulk
It’s just incredible. Are you in contact with your mum now?

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah. So my mom and I didn’t end up having a good relationship because I would write to her for years. You know, while I was in Nigeria, I’d probably write about six letters. I would get one reply. If so much. She blamed us for going with my dad. You know, obviously, she my mom was young. She’s 21 years older than me, so should have been about 28. When we went missing and you know she’d come home that day when I would, the 2nd edition of time would tell I’d interviewed both my mom and my dad. And so they’ve given me their feedback as to how this all. Happened. Yeah. From their points of views and, you know, she’d come home after little while she realised that something was wrong. They should check the wardrobes and saw that his clothes were missing, even though all of us were there. And when she reports it to the police, you can imagine the police thought, you know, it’s and it’s not 24 hours. And all of this and. Maybe in the UK somewhere, but we. And you know, and it took a while, maybe until the letters arrived before it was finally confirmed, because we were missing children in the UK. So it took a while for it to to all be confirmed. But in the meantime, my mum, you know, it’s been a difficult relationship. So she she’s held too many secrets back.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah.

Yemi Elegunde
She kind of blamed us. I felt like she she denies it, but that’s how. Felt and we did have one opportunity to come back to the UK, which we came back on a short visit 11 years after we’d gone missing. So I was 18 and stayed with my mom for a month. I actually gave her both mine and my sister’s passports and they hoped that she wouldn’t give them back because she’d want us to stay. And but we had to test her. So the plan was on the final day, I’d ask her mum. We need to go back and have the passport, even though I was scared of that because I felt that it might be an insult to her. So a week before my sister and I kept planning, how do we do this? But lo and behold, my mum said Ohh, here’s your passport, by the way. You need to start planning to go. That and that really, really hurt, you know? So we ended up going back to Nigeria, where my dad was excited to see us back, cause he didn’t think we’d be coming back. And I thought I’ve been spending eleven years trying to get out of Nigeria to get away from my dad. But my mother doesn’t want me and my dad is happy to see us back.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Ohh, the rejection and the pain in that is just wow. Well, most children just like, have an argument and their parents and go, you know, and and it’s you’ve gotta that that that locked up 18 year old self. You’re still desperately looking for your mum’s approval cause yeah there’s this big thing about your brain isn’t mature until you’re 25 and so you’re still you’re still such a a young person. And looking for that. Ohh. My heart breaks for you.

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah, it was. You know, then if you look at it from the other perspective as well, we arrived in Nigeria at my dad was the 9th of ten children. And so he looked up to his oldest brother, the first born as a father figure because he had lost both his parents by the time he was 10, he had lost his dad at 9 and his mother at 10. So his brother, who was 19 years older than him, was his father figure. That’s the guy who really brought him up. So whatever that man said, my dad also did. And so, you know, we arrived at his house, the Uncle Joe. We arrived at his house in Nigeria that. But in 14 years, the first eleven years or so we spent boarding school, so we were in boarding schools and we during school holidays. We would spend the time at uncles and aunts, so I’d be an uncle. My sister would be. Our aunt, so. We didn’t live with my dad, you know, and we went to some boarding schools. So the first two or three boarding schools, my sister and I went. We went to the same schools. And those were. You know, I remember it and it used to really trigger me when I explained this, but I haven’t written the books it. It helped me get over it. But I’ll give you one thing which was I couldn’t talk about in the past cause they just bring tears to my eyes. And that was so we’d have the afternoon siesta at boarding school, and that was the time that busy. Busy. My sister is busy and I would be split. You know, she’d go to the girls dormitory. I’d be in the boys dormitory and as soon as the girl went to, you know, for wake up, which is an hour later. I can always see as soon as I came out of the dormitory, my sister would be there, just standing waiting for me to come out and, you know, and I could always picture her just they’re lonely. Or if it wasn’t her waiting for me, I’d be waiting for her. And people used to tell us that cause we only had each other. We there were people who wanted to. You know, we had friends and so on, but. The two of us understood the emotions that were going through me more than her because she was obviously only 5 when were taken and people used to tell us you’re going to be separated and we thought, Nah, it’s impossible. You know, we can never, never be separated. But of course we went to secondary school. We went to different colleges. We’re still in boarding school. And that’s when we did get separated.

Kirsty van den Bulk
That’s really tough. So I’ve got a little bit of insight into this for reasons I I won’t say live on air, but it’s about those moments and how you can be ripped and ripped and ripped. So one of the situations I do know is, is my sister and I are really tight. And the reason we’re tight is at five years old. She was knocked over and she disappeared for 10 weeks. She didn’t disappear. She was in hospital for 10 weeks. And the she was the the injury in her brain was was pretty significant to be honest. And the person who came home and I talked about this quite a. Lot and this. One I will share when she came home from the hospital, she smelled different. She wasn’t. You know, we were tight as hell. But she’s smart. Different. And she wasn’t saying we’re still really tight and you’ll never get anyone to get between us. Same with my brother. Actually, we’re really, really tight. Don’t try and get between either one of us, but that’s because that childhood trauma of my sister was five. I was three. My brother was one, you know. 1 1/2. That. Yeah. You. Yeah. Lisa, when she was. Learning she was going, she went back to school, went back to a normal school and she was in a wheelchair and she was having to learn to walk. And she was having epileptic fits and people were taking the Mickey out of her. And I was about 7 and I’d walk into this big group of people and I would be pushing, shoving them and. And you know, I’d be there ready to to fight and defend my sister. Don’t know if you had similar thing.

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah. So my sister and I were both mid 50s now. Well, actually I’m late 50s now, so my sister’s 55 and I’m two years older without saying my age and birthdays in February, by the way. So yeah, so when people say you’re nearly 60. Yeah. Yeah. When people say you’re nearly 60, actually. I can’t dispute it anymore, but we are very, very close. We talk every other day minimum. It’s not every day, you know, just to say hello. We’ve got nothing to say, but we’ll talk anyway. Yeah, that really, you know, we have to look after. Each other, and again, just to give you one quick example, when we arrived in Nigeria, we stayed at one of my uncle’s house, another of my dad’s brothers, and this was probably in the first month or so that we’d arrived when there was a burglary, 11 armed robbers, all with knives, came into that house. And my dad. It’s I think I wrote in the book as well. My dad that day when the when the burglars came in, he ran out of the house in his underwear and ran out leaving us behind in the bed. But my sister and I was still sharing the same bed at that time because obviously it was a small house. But my uncle who was there was busy fighting 11 armed robbers, you know. He got stabbed a few times, but he fought. Then he injured one or two of them and they came into the room where we were lying down and my sister wanted to. My sister started screaming and I put my hand over her mouth and. What they did. Was they rolled us to one side, pulled the sheet from underneath us. So just so that so the bed sheets so that they could put stuff inside the bed sheet as a sack to carry things like they’re still in a way. So yeah, so you know, we’ve always been there for each other. We’ve been through a lot together. And when I wrote the original time hotel because it was 30 years of things in my head and learn.

Yemi Elegunde
And I couldn’t let go of and I wrote it not to be a book. I just wrote it for me because I thought, why is this all in my head? And it turned out that people wanted? To read it. But if one person I wanted to authenticate, it was my sister. And once you were there and she just said, yeah, she wanted to write her book, but she’s more reserved than me. She she. She’s not really a public person. And this happens a lot, you know, in a case of abduction, children, you don’t really hear from the children you hear from the parents. Ohh. He took my dad. She took my sorry. He took my son. My child, she took my child and so on, and I should have them. I should have the. But you don’t hear of the effect that it has on the child. So through writing that book I discussed on BBC News Back then in 2011, I was one of the first children to talk about the effects of. Of parental abduction on the child.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Well, just gonna put the the thing on the the ticker tape. So if you want to get the Emma’s work time, we’ll tell you can get it off the leading online platform, which I won’t mention here and this is what the book looks like. So this is what you’re looking for. But yeah, you didn’t stop. At one book. Did you? No, you did a second one.

Yemi Elegunde
No.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Right. So coming, what you believe, which is amazing.

Yemi Elegunde
Yes. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Sounds a little bit on that as.

Yemi Elegunde
Well, so becoming what you believed was just published actually just last month, October, I finally published it, but again, there was a lot of things in my head over the years of my career and things that I’ve learned. So I have this knack just like time will tell of really observing things as they go by. And seeing them in a different way and the same applies. You know, I went to a lot of courses, read a lot of books and, you know, experiences and a lot of things stayed with me. And later on in life, you know, people ask Ohh how do I get a car like yours? How do I do this? And you or you come across as such a nice guy or humble guy, even though you’re you’re. You’re doing well and so on. So how do I get to do these things? What’s my opportunity to get as black people in particular in IT, just like women, when you, you know, that the the balance is just not right yet? And you know, I’ll have black people asking me how do I get into? I see. How do I become a referee, for example, all those kind of things and. I just felt that I needed to give back, you know, after so many years in the industry. I took a break earlier on this year, this I’ve been off for about seven months and that gave me the time to finally look at my phone and you won’t believe the notes that I’ve written over the years and just and I started to write this book called becoming what you believe. And the idea of it, even though the touch is becoming what you believe, is really to avoid becoming what you do not want to become, if that makes.

Kirsty van den Bulk
You’ve got some great advice in there. I loved it when I was reading it and the one bit that obviously jumps out is about leaving a job on a good note. So many people get really, really they they are not hating the the company they’re working for and they want to stick two fingers firmly in their faces and they leave under a black cloud but leaving. With dignity and then not moving to the social channels and absolutely trashing them. I think it was a really good bit advice and there’s other bits of advice in there if you could cherry pick anything. Is there one that just springs to mind right now?

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah. Obviously the one about living on on good terms or even if you live on bad terms is to not trust, and it’s very, very important because, you know, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. You hear that quite often. You never know when that company might be, might acquire the company that you’ve. Gone to work. For and then you end up back. And you know that you’re the first one out. If if you’ve done that and also there’s more humility in not throwing much, because as I wrote the book, actually, if you throw mud, you lose ground. So but the most important one, I’ll I’ll pick two. The one is about brand and self advocacy. I really believe in that and my name has helped me a lot. Hear me because in the UK it’s quite unique. So when you hear hear me just like you said when Ralph said, you know, yummy, you know, this helps me a lot and it made me realise the importance of building that brand and you know, making sure that wherever I work, there’s two brands. There’s the company brand. And then there’s my brand, you know, so it’s always two brands coming in synergy to agree with each other to work. Together and then the other one is in Chapter 10 and that is something that is was really important, actually drove me to write this book because a lot of the self help books that I’ve read tell you about, you know, I think with the end in mind and all these things, but what they don’t say about the end in mind is think about your pension. And think about your investments for retirement. And I was lucky when I started my sales career. I started out in financial services and I worked in it for three to four years. So I knew a lot about pensions endowments back then, right indeed. And writing your will and so on. So I started my. Initial savings or pension saving at the age of 21 or two. It’s too and that’s really helps a lot. You know, part of why I’ve been able to take a good break. And so I thought I knew the importance of it and I know so many people who I’ve spoken to who never looked at their pension funds, who never really, you know, they just think, yeah, it would be fine at the end or I’ll rely on the state pension. So that’s one thing that I wrote in there. I thought hopefully we’ll give back and help. A lot of people as well.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Brilliant advice because I’m one of those because I was an an actor for many years and I was living hand to mouth. I didn’t get a pension until I joined dealing. I remember there I was and it was like they said. I was I. I get a pension and you know, I was in my forces at this point and it. Was like, well, this is. And and there there’s unbelievable. I wanna talk a little bit actually about. How we met. Because we’ve talked about you both. We’ve talked about your books and and I also wanna talk about your your business. But we met on a sales floor, didn’t we?

Yemi Elegunde
We did, yeah, we did. So that was quite a few years ago now and. Yeah, it was.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Today, great day.

Yemi Elegunde
Absolutely, yeah. With the black and whites now. So yeah, and no beard at the time, actually. So, but yeah, it was. And it was. It was an absolute pleasure meeting you. You haven’t changed much. So you look, you know, that smile, that big smile of yours still the same. And yeah.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Was I running his fifth day by any chance, which the? Salesperson Day was I.

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah, I think that was dealing. Was it? Yeah. Yes.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Quiet.

Yemi Elegunde
No, no. You were publishing very, very bubbly. You were definitely alive. So, yeah, I remember that vividly.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah, and people don’t realise what we used to do and and I just want to touch on the fun that we used to have. So at the time, it was probably it’s at. Us at the. Time. Yeah. Microphone in those days. And we used to do these sales in terms of days and you would have one or two running. And the idea was to really promote and push your product, but also to get the guys and give them prizes. All right.

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah. Yeah. So I was at Ingram Micro, so it was Ingram Micro and so. Yeah. So.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Ohh Aaron. Oh my goodness. We have to. We have to say that. Alan Matthews. God rest you. Yes, of course. I forgot it was England might cry. We had some busy, busy days though. And and what? People probably can’t imagine is when you’re a vendor going into a distributor, you come in and you’ve got a vendor table.

Yemi Elegunde
No.

Kirsty van den Bulk
And you’re all there and you’re all working and they don’t realise that because you’re a field, you’re in the field. The other vendors become. Part of your team, don’t they?

Yemi Elegunde
They do, they do and. And the other thing is when you’re a vendor and you’ve got, that leads to death, sometimes the salespeople, distributor or the reseller or the buyer, they don’t realise. The significance and the importance of you travelling, they don’t know how far you’ve travelled, what time you got up and and when you go to speak to this. Ohh I’m busy and you know so I used to tell them that. Do you think that your company would have asked me to come in here? If I couldn’t give you something, and do you think that I would have wanted? To get up and. Come in here. Travel all the way here. Get back to get back home when you’re in. Bed. You know, if I didn’t have something to offer. And yeah, you know, we worked very, very, very hard and you know, dedicated, long, long hours back then as well. And those are I was a distribution at the time and I remember listening to you and listening to other vendors who would come in and it helped me because I was a top salesperson. But it’s because I would give that time to listen to what people had to say. Yeah, of course I wanted to win some of those incentives and did alright with those, but it was more to learn and that was my thing because I didn’t study it. I I did civil engineering. And again I wrote that in becoming what you believe. I came back to the UK, I just civil engineering, couldn’t get a job in civil engineering, ended up in financial services which I never studied, but I was very good because I read everything and learned very quickly. But my passion was technology. So I came into IT and first thing I did was buy. And it dictionary so I could understand what people were talking about. And so I learned very quickly and that’s always been my thing. And again I writing become what you believe still being a student always.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Just brilliant. So now you’ve had your break and you’re launching, aren’t you?

Yemi Elegunde
Yes. So I’m going back into the industry that I know very well IT in particular. So I started a company called TWT Consultancy Services. And TWT if anyone could figure that out actually comes from, time will tell. Cause three books are called TWT 0ne, two and three. And so the idea of my some of my business is to collaborate with other companies and. Offer IT services and so on solutions and just my expertise where there’s helping to do some business development in there and anything like that. So I’m yeah, I’m back in the industry and then there’s two other boats to the business which is obviously trying to help other people who want to publish their own books. And because the first two books that I did the first two time would tell were published by they’re. Self published but. By companies where I paid thousands of pounds for the last two books I’ve done were 100% yearly, so they were written by me. The book covers were designed by me and then the publishing was done. And by me learning how to use Amazon Kindle publishing tools and getting it done that way. So I try to help other people now who want to tell the story. I can have the right to it if they need to, but most of I can show them or help them publish it through Amazon Kindle. And then the final thing I do, which I’ve always done is mentoring. Helping people to. Achieve wherever they want to try to achieve, whether it’s setting up their own business, whether it’s just that they want guidance in becoming what they want to become and. So on as well.

Kirsty van den Bulk
And I love it now. We’ve had a lovely comment coming from Aquino Donatti who I absolutely adore. So lovely to hear about your journey. Yeah, me very inspiring to me. A fellow Nigerian in IT. The positive new share and your amazing ability to connect with people on a people level. You and 19 have to connect because. You are you. Know obviously you two would be a powerhouse. So this is. Where the tables get to be turned and you get to ask me a question and I always do panic because I’ve got no. Idea what this is gonna be so you get. Try and up. Well not try and put me off off when we know each other really well. You get to ask me a question. So I’m gonna stand here and. Like. We’ll sit here and go so off.

Yemi Elegunde
You go ohm. So you’ve spoken a lot about this, let’s say so one. And so how did it feel when you really believed that you’re going to start your own podcast and your own? Business and you know you’re going to have to read a lot. You’ve had to at least read some parts of my book, for example, especially in those early years when people might not know who COVID B really is and the father. Podcast. Usually I don’t. Most podcasters don’t go on for two years and you’ll celebrate two years. Congratulations by the way. So how did that start and how do you feel about it?

Kirsty van den Bulk
So it’s it’s a really interesting situation because I was just about to launch again something that I didn’t mean. I didn’t realise I was going to do and I think that’s I talk about Alice moments quite a lot and I talked about just my whole life. So there’s a big life change in my early 30s and that taught me to just jump into the deep hole and see where I landed. And so I am very not going home because there is, there is structure in what I’m doing. So the podcast came about because. Dyslexia means that writing can be a little bit little bit. Of. A challenge I do blog and I have got loads of really useful blogs on the website, but I’ve always got A and a fear. And then there’s also a fear that I’m not gonna be very good at anything. So I live my life worrying and I do suffer because I’m actually an introvert, not an extrovert. So I guess I push myself a little bit. So I knew somebody wanted to have a voice on LinkedIn. They couldn’t get a voice on LinkedIn. It took me an extra glass of wine and I hit send and I applied and I got it. And then it was like ohh, I need to do it now because the person I am, if I don’t throw myself into something 100%. I will absolutely talk myself out of it because I’ve got the ants that come in as Joey Frost calls them the automatic negative thoughts. They come marching in and they will destroy me. So I’ve learned because of the dyslexia, because of the way my brain works, that if I don’t do it immediately, I won’t do it. And that sounds really silly. But I will talk. I really will talk myself. Of it. So a lot of the stuff I’m brave because I have to be. So it was one of those brave moments where I had to be because it got the permission. So I knew I had to launch it in two weeks because if I didn’t launch it, I wouldn’t launch it and it would set on. Myself. So I launched it without really much replan. Apart from the name because I really wanted it to be about wisdom and I wanted it to be about the wise. Why I just and the the name was always there, not that it meant to be. As soon as I got permission, it was like, Oh yeah, the wise, why? And it was ridiculous and the evolution talking about like your book has been incredible cause it started off with a Beatle. No, it’s very branded and all. It’s very nice. But the podcast was my way of kind of pushing out into thought leadership to show what I actually do and what not telling my story. But I didn’t want it to be about me. I don’t mind this bit at the end, but that introvert comes out. So when I’m sitting on a call on the one that has to really focus to, to speak up, which people don’t expect, I’m good in my zone. But I’m not comfortable out of my zone. And so that’s why I put the question at the end, because otherwise I wasn’t gonna talk and and it was. Right now I need to do this and and the two years I didn’t expect, I thought I’d do 10 episodes, maybe, and now this is episode 69, I think, and it’s not gonna stop because the more people that I do it every week, the more people go. Ohh. I really like it. And I go really. And they go. Yeah, because you’re really celebrating your. Best. And so it’s my way of giving back. It’s 100% about me saying to people Share your story because. I want to hear. It so I I do this this way and then the online course is coming because I didn’t think I was going to launch an online course like the podcast. I said I never will. A bit like the YouTube channel. I said I never will. And here I am. So it’s really interesting that now these online courses are coming out because somebody said Ohh, I’d really love to be able to do that as an online course. And so I looked at what I got and now I’m launching 3 courses in a couple of weeks. Or by the end of the month, maybe December. And it’s like ohh so I think it comes down to that bravery of I’m going to jump into the hole. I’m going to see where I land, but I have to react and do it because they don’t do it. And we’ll talk myself out of it if that makes sense.

Yemi Elegunde
It makes sense and congratulations, by the way. And just like you, you wouldn’t. People wouldn’t believe it unless people really know me that I’m an introvert. Well, although I’m very extrovert because I’m writing books and I’ll talk about myself and so on. But I am very introvert as well because that’s how I grew up. When you retire, will tell you. See, I just wanted to be on my own. Apart from spending time with my sister and then the other part about, you know, you making sure you did what you wanted to do is. A lot of what my of what becoming what you believe is all about is that, you know, making sure that if you dream the first quote in the book is from Pablo Picasso. Anything you dream about is is real. You know, and that’s the first quote in the book. Quotations are very positive by the way. And you know those are the kind of things. So but you you have to go for it. You have to plan for it. You have to go for it. So. Well done to you and.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Ohh thank you.

Yemi Elegunde
So can I just quickly say as well then if people want to find out more about me, you could just go on to yemielegantly.com. You’ll find out. You’ll see plenty of photos about me growing up in Nigeria as well, and you’ll find out a lot more information about the books. And if you if you wanna sign copy of any. Books. You can order them from there as well.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Awesome. No, I think it’s important and Akeem’s just come back and says time it comes back to time or time and it does you. Know it’s like. We we’ve learned skills to get over our our into fitness and and I’m time is what shapes me. You know, if you think about it, it different, very different childhood. But there was trauma. And that trauma has fired me on. Yeah, that was my sister having to learn to reward, learn to talk. I was having to learn to talk because I’ve got a I’ve been born with this speech. And and and there was my brother as well. And and it’s like. Bonding that that. That journey. It’s incredible how our childhood shapes us so time it out.

Yemi Elegunde
So time will tell. Was such a big taxi for me and I’ll, I’ll leave one bombshell for you. So which is why I wrote the third book. So I was taken away by my dad to Nigeria, where I live for so many years and two years ago I wanted dates. Explanation. You’ll have to read it. But two years ago I found out that. He’s not my biological father.

Kirsty van den Bulk
Yeah. I wouldn’t leave it there because I think it’s a great cliff hanger to leave it on so people go and read yemi’s book. Time will tell. It is awesome, and then if you really want to know all about just dreaming and leaving and achieving, get his new one becoming what you believe, which is awesome. Yemi. Thank you so much for your time this morning.

Yemi Elegunde
Yeah.

Kirsty van den Bulk
I really appreciate it and I cherish you.

Yemi Elegunde
Thank you so much Kirsty for inviting me, especially on your second anniversary. We really appreciate it.

Kirsty van den Bulk
No problem.

Yemi Elegunde
Thanks for everyone listening in as well.

00:26 The Wise Why
00:53 Yemi Elegunde
02:19 Abducted at Seven
05:24 Culture Shock
06:50 Contact with Mum
10:50 Sibling Support
14:24 Eleven Armed Robbers
17:26 Becoming What You Believe
19:23 Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You
22:23 Life in IT
25:13 Retirement to Business Owner
28:18 Launching The Wise Why
33:56 Trauma Shales You
34:51 Close

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Yemi Elegunde

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