Haleemah Gegele is a self-development coach, public speaker and social entrepreneur who is passionate about inspiring personal development in young people. She is also the Director of Programmes at the Grand Charity Youth Development, a non-government organisation in Ilorin, Kwara State. In this interview by Kangmwa Gofwen, Gegele talks about the readiness of Nigerian youths to handle power and how her journey into being a coach began.
Why do people need to be coached, particularly in areas outside sports?
First of all, let us understand what coaching means. Coaching is a process focused on improving performance and developing an individual. Coaching helps to boost confidence, improve work performance, and build effective communication skills. In all, coaching is a partnership between the coach and the client. The coach helps the client to achieve their personal best and to produce the results they want in their personal and professional lives. Coaching ensures that the client can give their best, learn and develop in the way they wish.
People need coaching to build their personal awareness, assessment and development. Coaching is needed by all to be more productive, understand their own potential and make quality decisions that will help them maximize their own potential to the fullest. Coaching is also important to help set realistic goals and provide measures to achieve such goals. Coaching is a powerful tool that helps to make positive impact in all aspects of life.
What do you think young Nigerians can do to improve themselves as entrepreneurs?
To do better as an entrepreneur in Nigeria, one has to understand the problem that needs solution. Providing solution is key. Ways to provide the solution is what makes you unique because we all know that a lot of businesses similar to yours keeps coming up every day. The only way to stand out is by being consistent, have good customer service, do more on business and self development which will help in improving your capacity to run your business effectively.
Do you think Nigerian youths are ready to take up leadership roles in the country?
Honestly, I don’t think so. A few are truthful and ready to make changes but you hardly find them in places where they are needed. Others that you see out there are mostly out for selfish gains, to get famous, but they hide under the guise of being ready for leadership.
How long have you been a coach and what else do you do?
I started my journey into personal development by volunteering for different organisations both in the public and private sectors in 2011. In 2014, I enrolled with Resource Intermediaries to learn about personal development. In 2017, I started advocacy on self development. In 2019, I realised I needed to do more and started counselling. In 2022, I decided to enrol into a coaching academy to learn the art of coaching.
Aside from coaching, I am currently the Director of Programmes at the Grand Charity Youth Development, a non-governmental organisation in Ilorin, Kwara State. I’m also the brand ambassador for Digprom, a digital tech company in Ilorin and ambassador for Champions Educational Foundation. I am a coach, public speaker, and social entrepreneur who is passionate about inspiring personal development in young people. I enjoy teaching and helping people discover themselves in order to utilise their potential and become better.
What would you say to someone who has lost hope?
It’s very okay to feel lost sometimes, but please, the best act of living is picking yourself up and trying again because if you don’t pick yourself up, no one will. Always remember that no matter how far you might have gone in the wrong direction, you can always turn back to start all over again. Don’t get tired of trying because you can never tell which one will be the breakthrough you seek.
Why did you choose this career path and how has the journey been?
I learned from my mistakes while growing up, especially when it comes to decision-making. I always knew what I wanted but never had the proper guide to do things the right way. Coming across personal development coaching helped me to do much more than I envisaged. I decided to give back to young people by letting them understand the need and importance of personal development coaching. I am glad I found myself on the coaching path because it has been a wonderful, life-changing and impactful journey so far especially when young people who had got coached by me come back to give testimonies.
Do you have plans to venture into politics?
Well, I have no definite plan for now. I am open to any government appointment, but I do not see myself contesting an elective position. So, appointment, yes, except if anything changes.
Where do you see yourself in the coming years and what are you doing to get there?
I see myself creating a network of self-developed and focus-driven people who take control of their lives by listening. Listening is a very important aspect of self-development, when you listen to your environment and people around you, you become aware of a lot of things. I also see myself coaching, supporting, and inspiring young people to do more for themselves.
Do you agree with the assertion that women are their own problem and have you experienced any pull back by women?
When you limit yourself, then you start to put blame on other people when you should take full responsibility for your actions. Everyone is in control of their lives, if one decides to allow others to control it, then there is a problem. No one can pull you down unless you allow it. When you focus on yourself and determine to achieve your goals, you need to be busy with your goals. So, I do not believe that women are their problem or anyone can pull you down.
What advice do you have for people that are struggling out there particularly with the current situation in Nigeria?
Be yourself. Always keep it at the back of your mind that if what you are doing presently isn’t yielding the result you want, it’s okay to try a new thing. Don’t give up and don’t underestimate the power of your own prayers.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE