It’s not hard to to not notice humility of #55FORWARD Ambassador Philip Ogola. The husband and new father traveled from his country of Kenya to attend Social Media Week Lagos. He was honored, and even speechless, about being chosen as an ambassador. Ogola chats with us about the horrendous traffic in Lagos, places he’s traveled to on the continent, his role in connecting Africa.
How do you feel about being a #55FORWARD Ambassador?
I’m actually humbled and privileged that what I started in Kenya is being recognized across Africa. And being a #55FORWARD Ambassador is to me… I have no words. I’m looking at my position being an ambassador. Now, not only can I influence my countrymen but now Africa as a whole. And it shows the next steps Africa is taking in tapping into the resources of every country.
What other places have you traveled to on the continent?
I’ve been to Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ethiopia and Senegal. Coming to Nigeria, for me, was a shocker. The traffic here is insane. How do you guys live with the traffic (laughs)? As in people are driving , they’re honking every two seconds It drives me crazy but it was a culture shock. But I’m quite impressed by Nigeria. Nigerians are very loving, very informed and their resilience is amazing.
How do you see your role in connecting the continent?
I think my role as a #55FORWARD Ambassador, it’s going to play a critical role to not only empower, unite, mentor youth in Africa to, it’s a dream which I had , and I’ve actualized my dream, where we’re going to use social media to debunk the myth about Africa. People think there’s nothing about Africa. I’ve come to Nigeria I’ve seen how people are very sharp, well-educated the way they use social media is very, very good. But now how are you going to handle that? So through the ambassadorial position it’s good now to harness all of that, the different cultures, different ideas from each country and put them together and change the perception that Africa is dark. I think it’s about time we change the perception of Africa and project a positive and a more informed society. And I think it’s going to be easy; right now we have a platform to showcase the positiveness of Africa.
Where can we find you on social media and where can we find your work?
I’m normally a very private person; I like my work to show itself. But now I’m learning to actually put my face to my work. I’m on Twitter @philipogola and my website is www.philipogola.com.