Welcome to the Telling of Story Podcast. I’m your host, Storyteller Jewels, and along with my guests, it’s my endeavor to explore the art and science of storytelling, to attract, engage, and retain a business audience, and to unpack why it works for some, and not for the many that try. In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Oluwatosin.
[00:00:24] Jewels: Listen in as he shares where he learns about storytelling.
[00:00:32] Ouwatosin: Not every useful learning resource is… Based off a motivational book or some educational book. Many of the things you will learn, in fact, especially if you’re a storyteller are just from reading other stories. Or consuming other stories. You will learn a lot more about storytelling by consuming other stories from other people.
[00:00:55] Jewels: In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Oluwatosin [00:01:00] Ogunju Uba. I know I messed that up, so I really do apologize. Oluwatosin is a business storyteller and content developer at Ventures Africa, one of the continent’s leading business media platforms. He is passionate about finance and technology and spotlights the people, trends, and events that reflect an evolving Africa.
[00:01:19] Jewels: Oluwatosin, welcome to the show.
[00:01:21] Ouwatosin: Thank you, Jewels. It’s a pleasure
[00:01:23] Jewels: to meet you. Oluwatosin, tell me a little bit about you and where you’ve grown up and a little bit of, you know, perhaps start with your childhood stories.
[00:01:32] Ouwatosin: All right. So I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. I’ve lived here for most of my life. I’ve only left Lagos maybe when I wanted to, you know, go for school or for maybe just to visit outside or whatever the case is.
[00:01:49] Ouwatosin: But I spent most of my life in Lagos, Nigeria. And so that has already shaped a huge chunk of my perspectives of my, [00:02:00] should I say, realities as well. So I grew up wanting to be a lot of things, really. I don’t think I really grew up wanting to be a storyteller or the likes. I pretty much grew up with childhood fantasies.
[00:02:16] Ouwatosin: At some point, I wanted to even be a mad scientist, right? It was pretty much everything. Did you say
[00:02:21] Jewels: mad scientist or math scientist? Yeah,
[00:02:24] Ouwatosin: really, mad scientist. Like, I was fascinated by when I saw movies with mad scientists, with, you know, the… crazy hair and, you know, the goggles just welding stuff and building time machines and whatnots and building Frankenstein.
[00:02:41] Ouwatosin: It was just fascinating, right? I loved the persona. I wanted to be something like that for some reason, but it took a while. I was a teenager before. That reality struck in that this is not real. This is just fiction, right? This doesn’t exist. And if it does, you don’t actually want to [00:03:00] be this kind of person.
[00:03:01] Ouwatosin: This is there’s a lot more. There’s a lot of disconnect from whatever it is you were looking at and reality, right? So But one of those things that stood out for me was that I realized in those moments when I realized that this is what was going on. This is the fact this, all of this is not real. And I wanted to be all these things I wanted to be.
[00:03:25] Ouwatosin: I also thought about being a superhero for some reason, but the point is I connected with stories and that was. What was really going on, right? I thought whatever I saw looked like a story I wanted to be a part of, and that was the key thing that was really going on. I really did not understand how powerful that was until I was in my twenties.
[00:03:50] Ouwatosin: I was already. I did not really understand that until I started writing. And then I, when I started writing, I started thinking about ways [00:04:00] to make people connect with the things I was saying. And I realized that the easiest link between every concept and people’s acceptance were stories. People connect more to things that they relate with or things that fascinates them.
[00:04:16] Ouwatosin: It has to be one of those two things. If they can’t relate to it, then it has to at least fascinate them. It has to at least make them want to be a part of it. Right. So. It was when I realized that, that I decided that, okay, I think I know what I want to do here. I think I, I think I know what part I want to play with stories, right?
[00:04:36] Ouwatosin: So, that’s pretty much the reality, right? This is pretty much how I’ve grown into becoming a storyteller. It was pretty much a… a discovery journey. Yeah, that’s pretty much what it has been. So the whole build up from childhood and everything is just because we’ve seen stories right from childhood. I’ve been, I think I pretty much watched every popular story, read a few popular books, right?
[00:04:59] Ouwatosin: But [00:05:00] all of those things made me realize what a storyteller can do, what a storyteller could become. And doing that in business is pretty much. What we have stumbled upon today. Right. And yeah, here we are on your podcast as well. So that’s the journey really.
[00:05:17] Jewels: So, so you’re joining me from what looks like your living room with a fabulous photo behind you of, I think it’s family.
[00:05:24] Jewels: I I’m assuming it’s family behind you. Tell me a little, and I can hear somebody singing in the background. So those background noises. Your mother. She’s a singer, obviously. Tell me a bit about your family and how they perhaps have influenced you and shaped you.
[00:05:42] Ouwatosin: All right. So I’m gonna start from my dad, right?
[00:05:45] Ouwatosin: Yeah. I think he, in a way, played the biggest part in what I do today. Where we grew up, it was pretty much a suburb and the dominant language that we [00:06:00] all speak, or we all spoke, and we still speak today is Yoruba, right? Because we live in the southwest of Nigeria. But we also know that this is a country where literacy levels are not the same, right?
[00:06:12] Ouwatosin: Literacy levels are, it’s pretty much some sort of silos like that in when it comes to education. But what he did was to ensure that First of all, everyone was very well educated and at the same time when we grew up, we didn’t used to speak our native languages at home, at least not to him. So he was pretty much a, should I say a filter?
[00:06:37] Ouwatosin: Most of us had to learn the English language because it’s not the native language, right? So we have to learn it even though it’s the, even though it’s Nigeria’s language, it’s not our native language, right? We have a lot of languages in Nigeria. So we had to learn. The English language in school, but he also ensured that we learned it at home.
[00:06:55] Ouwatosin: So that was one of the key things that happened, right? So the [00:07:00]communication parts, it was pretty much solved from home. I was one of the best students in English while I was in school. And a lot of that happened because I spoke English a lot at home. I didn’t need to write essays at home and all of that, but I communicated.
[00:07:13] Ouwatosin: So whatever I was doing in school, I was pretty much doing what I did all my life. So that was one of the key things. At the same time, I think my interest in writing came because I used to read his, the newspapers he brought home, those days, right? He used to just… bring when he finished reading his newspapers, he just dropped it.
[00:07:35] Ouwatosin: And my brother and I would just go through it. We pretty much didn’t start from the serious stories anyway, to be fair. We always started from the little sections that were made for either puzzles or games or cartoons and all of that. But slowly we also got curious and read other things. Right. And so pretty much so it was subconscious.
[00:07:56] Ouwatosin: I think it was subconscious that I started learning how to [00:08:00] construct essays because I was reading newspapers already. So the communication parts and consequently the storytelling parts started getting solved from there by the rest of my family, right? My mom is, my mom, as you can see, she loves music as well, right?
[00:08:17] Ouwatosin: Yeah.
[00:08:17] Jewels: Does she walk around all day singing?
[00:08:19] Ouwatosin: Yeah, she does. She does. She sings a lot. She sings every morning. I think whenever I’m home, I’m not home all the time, but whenever I come home, it’s one of the things I enjoy. When I come home, I just hear her. She’s pretty much around the compound, maybe just doing chores and singing really loud.
[00:08:38] Ouwatosin: So you can hear her. Yeah. So it’s fascinating, right? It’s one of the things I love about her too. And I think I pretty much took that love for music from her because she’s, she’s the more musically inclined person, um, of both of them. Yeah. I began to learn, I started learning the piano in 2013 or so. [00:09:00] That was also a curious journey, but pretty much the domino effect was that because she loved music and we started.
[00:09:06] Ouwatosin: getting interested in it and doing it here and there. She’s not, she doesn’t play any instruments by the way, but I decided to try out the piano. And I realized over time that what happened after I started learning the piano was that it affected my thought processes. It affected the way I thought about structure.
[00:09:26] Ouwatosin: It affected the way I thought about Creativity in fact. So that domino effect as well is there. I started no, I started understanding things about even music composure and all of those things. The, yeah, so the whole mix came from them, right? The whole mix came from them really. It’s not all some independence thing that I just came up with myself, right?
[00:09:49] Ouwatosin: So the whole mix really came from them. It may be not completely deliberately, but yeah, it all came from them.
[00:09:56] Jewels: You mentioned early on that your world perspective has been [00:10:00] shaped by the fact that you grew up in Nigeria. Tell me a little bit about that. What’s your world perspective or what perhaps have you seen on your travels when you’re looking back and thinking about the way you’ve grown up?
[00:10:13] Ouwatosin: I think the whole world perspective, what I learned from Lagos or growing up in Lagos was, well, let me say the first thing that comes to mind. First thing I learned growing up in Lagos is that the world was very unequal. And that was because I saw a lot of, um, I saw a very sharp contrast in societies.
[00:10:34] Ouwatosin: From where I lived, where I lived was a suburb, right? And it was, so if you were middle class to low income. You probably lived there. Right. But I also saw that even within our community there was a lot of very huge gap between a lot of us. So it was from there that I really got to know that we, we, even though what, what I grew up in anyway, we still had a lot more, [00:11:00] we still had a lot more community then we still lived in.
[00:11:03] Ouwatosin: It’s not like what we have today ’cause. People don’t do a lot of things with each other as much as they used to 10, 20 years ago. But we still always saw that we were all really very different people who were trying to live together. That was as kids. We saw that as kids and still see that today. We saw that.
[00:11:24] Ouwatosin: When we used to play, when I used to play with my neighbor’s kids and all of those people, we used to come together to my compound. We played football a lot. We did a lot of stuff, you know, tried to ride bicycles. Then we used to rent bicycles. Most many of us used to rent bicycles, right? And, um, but what we saw was that we all lived very different lives, even though we all looked the same.
[00:11:49] Ouwatosin: So that perspective, the fact that I knew that the world is a very unequal place and choosing what parts of the, should I call it [00:12:00] pyramid you want it to be would mean that you have to, in some way, in some way, not in every way. Not in every way, you have to in some way be, you have to be better, should I use that word better, or at least different from everyone else, right?
[00:12:16] Ouwatosin: So, the hard truth I had to accept was that it was a very unequal place, and we will not all be equal. The world is not going to, it’s not going, it’s not really going to align for everybody to live a very fair life, if I’m going to say that now. It’s not, it’s not going to be fair to everyone. And. So to whatever extent you can choose your reality, you would have to do that by distinguishing yourself from whatever level of the pyramid you wanted to escape, if that makes sense.
[00:12:46] Ouwatosin: So, um, that’s pretty much the perspective that came from living here. Um, you, you can be Lagos is, Lagos is a place where you can find ma many, if [00:13:00] not all, many of the richest people and the poorest people at the same time. Mm. So you have to pretty much choose what side of the divide you want to be on, and it’s going to be, It’s not, it’s definitely not an easy task, but that’s why it shows that it’s not fair to everyone, right?
[00:13:18] Ouwatosin: So I also learned that it doesn’t that life doesn’t necessarily first reward hard work reward. Hard work is not the first thing that life reward because this place makes you hard working by default. That’s living in Lagos. When you step out by five in the morning, you find people already be working. And they did not have night shifts.
[00:13:44] Ouwatosin: They basically started 4am, 5am in the morning working already. But many of those people you see working at those times are not rich. In fact, many of them are not even middle class, but a lot of the people in the middle class do not [00:14:00] start working by 4am, 5am. Many of them start working 9am because most of them are probably in corporates or they are building businesses.
[00:14:10] Ouwatosin: They have digital businesses. They have some other businesses, whatever the case. They’re doing a lot better, right? So it’s mostly the low income people who you see having to wake up really early in the morning to work, having to, you know, try to beat traffic so early and all of those things. So it just shows that the first thing that life rewards is not hard work, right?
[00:14:33] Ouwatosin: In my opinion, this is the biggest social experiments that proves that. So we, this is the community we are in that proves that you don’t necessarily just become rich because you are really hardworking and you can see it every day. If you need proof, you can simply wake up in the morning and step out in Lagos and you would see a lot of really hardworking people who are not rich, who are still struggling to, you know, go from, paycheck to paycheck.
[00:14:59] Ouwatosin: So this [00:15:00] is the, this is the biggest social proof that you need for that. So yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve learned. And so that brings me back to the fact that you really build your own escape route by distinguishing yourself. So you have to basically have some sort of value that connects you to the higher chain.
[00:15:19] Ouwatosin: So that’s, that’s really how you separate yourself from that life. Yeah. So basically that’s my worldview
[00:15:25] Jewels: for now. That’s fascinating and, and very insightful actually, Tosin. What are some of those ways that perhaps you’ve thought about or, or endeavored to differentiate yourself and align yourself with the upper class perhaps to, to try and move through.
[00:15:42] Jewels: These phases, as you call them, the social, uh, ladder, if you like.
[00:15:47] Ouwatosin: So one of the ways that I have distinguished myself, and I’m going to bring that, I’m going to narrow it down as I move first of all, distinguished myself by. [00:16:00] Introspection. I have realized that a lot of us are not very introspective people, and you see that because a lot of people simply go with whatever, whatever they are handed, right?
[00:16:12] Ouwatosin: Whatever, whatever gets handed to them. So they pretty much just have to move with it and live that way. So the first thing that in a way, it shouldn’t be that big, But it turns out it’s bigger than I think I always thought it was. I thought it was really supposed to be a pretty common thing, right?
[00:16:28] Ouwatosin: Everybody, everybody thinks everybody introspects and all that. But I realized that introspection is not as deep as you would expect it to be in some places than it is. in the other places. And I think that comes down to education and exposure at the same time. I think that comes down to exposure and education.
[00:16:46] Ouwatosin: I have pretty much exposed myself to a lot of things. I don’t consume a lot of books, but I consume a lot of content that educates me. So I also consume a lot of content that fascinates me, and I use that [00:17:00] because I realized that one of the things that probably triggers me is fascination. So, but that also happens because I understand the reason I know that fascination also, you know, triggers my creativity and all of that is because I have exposed myself to it and I have introspected about gets me moving.
[00:17:19] Ouwatosin: So that’s one of the things that distinguishes or that I have done to distinguish myself, so to make it more personal. That’s the first thing. The second thing that I have done to separate is that, should I say improves what I do right now, which is storytelling and writing. So the core or the primary way that I tell stories right now is writing.
[00:17:43] Ouwatosin: And it’s a skill, right? It’s a skill that has to be built over time. It has to be built through a lot of elements. So over time I have, um, I think in the last, this is 20, 23, I started writing professionally in [00:18:00] 2021. Yeah, I started writing professionally in 2021, and between 2021 and this year, I have pulled, I’ve been able to pull what I did, what I do now and what I did then side by side, and they don’t even look similar anymore.
[00:18:13] Ouwatosin: They almost, they, you can probably tell that it was the same writer, but you can tell that. The writer has evolved a lot. So what I have done over time is to infuse a lot more things that weren’t in my writing before. So that has pretty much separated me from a lot of people. I, so it’s, the feedback has changed as well over time because what I have started doing, I’ve started doing a lot of things that were different from what I used to do.
[00:18:39] Ouwatosin: back then. And then I think the other thing that separates, which is that’s, that’s really insight, having insights or building the ability to have insights. I think that’s the word really, because insights maybe for a lot of people come naturally, but I think it’s also an ability that it’s built. [00:19:00] Yeah.
[00:19:00] Ouwatosin: Because what I have realized is that you can build. Mental pathways that let you get insights, right, that let you see things beyond what is on the surface, right? And when you want to see things, you can really build structures on how to think about them, so that you can ask the right questions and think about the right things and, you know, look for the right answers, basically.
[00:19:24] Ouwatosin: So those are really elements that separate you. You realize that when you have those things. You probably, many of those things I really did them out, you know, just in a bit to improve myself, but you realize when you do them that they are not as common as you think they are. When I started writing and I started looking for, you know, reference materials and a lot of things, a lot of, I was looking for people to learn from and the likes.
[00:19:48] Ouwatosin: I think one of the things that struck me was that there was a real, um, dearth, a real, like, there was so much scarcity of material or people who really showed a [00:20:00] lot of insights in what they did. Many people really wrote about things at surface level and left it that way. And so they did not fascinate me and what I know that really triggers me is fascination.
[00:20:14] Ouwatosin: So I wanted to be fascinated by the things I read, right? So I realized I had to, you have to think about things that would fascinate you and see if they are around you. What would fascinate me? Are they around me? And then start writing about them or at least the things that you see around you that look basic, what about them will be fascinating, right?
[00:20:37] Ouwatosin: It’s basically those kinds of mental pathways because now what I’m looking for is more specific. So it kind of just separates you because you know, you pretty much build the kind of pathways in your head that allow you to find the things that either fascinate you or really educate you, basically. So kind of is the separating factor.
[00:20:58] Ouwatosin: I hope what I said makes [00:21:00] sense to you.
[00:21:00] Jewels: It does, absolutely. And Tosin, you’re showing an incredible amount of maturity. I mean, you look, you appear relatively young. I’m not sure exactly how old you are. But you have a self awareness that you’re way beyond your years. Many people go their entire lives and don’t have this level of self awareness.
[00:21:18] Jewels: Where does this… drive come from?
[00:21:21] Ouwatosin: Like I said, it’s really down to everything that has happened over the years. I think that’s really it. I think whatever happens to you forms you. So when I think about things, I’m not really sure about how I’m going to answer this in the most constructive But when I say that, I feel like introspection is just something that you build over time.
[00:21:45] Ouwatosin: Really, first of all, I think it’s something that you build and I think I really, because I’m a very introverted person, personally, that’s my, you know, that’s my temperament. I don’t really go out a lot with people except if they’re really my friends like that. I don’t [00:22:00] like being around strangers and all of that, but I think that.
[00:22:03] Ouwatosin: Silence is one of the things that helps you think, yeah. So I think, you know, the ability to just stay silent, think of things, see things and, you know, just observe. I think the fact that I, as much as possible, try to reduce noise in not just physically around me, but psychologically as well. I try to like filter noise around me.
[00:22:27] Ouwatosin: And so I think it. Just maybe helps. I’m guessing that that’s what helps to have it to have a lot more self awareness. Maybe when there’s I think, yeah, and I also think it helps to be boring at the same time. Sometimes maybe not. So yeah, I think it helps that you just want to maintain some sort of decorum.
[00:22:46] Ouwatosin: I believe to an extent, I mean, I’ve met a lot. I’ve met some extroverted people who are like also deeply intro you are deeply introspective. It shocks me sometimes because they, they turn out to be. It turned out [00:23:00] to be the exception and not the rule when I meet them, but I’m not, I still don’t hold it as a stereotype anyway that when you’re a very extroverted person that you probably are not very introspective, but I think that it’s primarily my point is that it’s a skill.
[00:23:15] Ouwatosin: Or it’s an ability that you learn, you basically, and a lot of things shape it, right? And it, I think it varies from one person to the other. For some people, it’s basically their life experiences that make them, that shape the way they think, that shape their outlook towards life. For other people, it’s basically the things they learn, right?
[00:23:37] Ouwatosin: Some people have very high consumers of learning material, and you know, and like, so they do that and It turns out those things shape their imagination, it shapes the way they think, it shapes the way they act, and all of that. For some of us as well, it’s pretty much experiences, like the things we’ve gone through, and the kind of people we’ve met, and you know, all of those things.
[00:23:59] Ouwatosin: [00:24:00] Yeah, so for me, I think a large percentage of that is the former, that’s the kind of things that I’ve gone through, the kind of people I’ve met, the kind of things I’ve done, and all of those. So it pretty much just shapes that, right? I’ve met a lot of people who have inspired me to think, who made me feel like I should start thinking more of all people who make me think I should be more introspective, right?
[00:24:24] Ouwatosin: So all of those things, and maybe also for the fact that I’m pretty much aware that the place I live is a place that thrives on really deep competition. So it maybe makes you realize that you have to do a lot more and you have to like, Introspect a lot more, right? So that’s, that’s it for me.
[00:24:45] Jewels: I have to agree that none of the skills that you mentioned there are, you know, you’re born with, all of them are skills.
[00:24:52] Jewels: And I think you’re on the, well onto a fabulous track of just self improvement first and foremost, and [00:25:00] you know, that will take you places. And I’m sure We’ll see good things to come. Let me just switch tack for a little bit. Tell me a little bit about your writing. You mentioned you’ve been writing for a couple of years now.
[00:25:10] Jewels: Tell me what do you write about? What do you enjoy writing about? And are there any other formats of storytelling that you’ve been exposed to?
[00:25:19] Ouwatosin: All right. So I write business articles primarily. And I write about technology as well. So I’m going to start with this. I started writing about business out of curiosity.
[00:25:31] Ouwatosin: I don’t have an educational background in business or in technology. The only technical, my educational background was in food science and engineering, and so maybe that’s the only sort of educational exposure to technology that I should have had, but I don’t practice that I pretty much. knew I wasn’t going to practice that before I left school, but what I do, what I started doing was pretty much out of curiosity.
[00:25:57] Ouwatosin: I started, I just got [00:26:00] interested in things about, you know, Economics, business, finance, technology. And I read a lot of things out of curiosity, right? I, um, so when I start, when I was going to start doing professionally, the only thing that I knew I needed to do was that. I saw that there was a pretty, like, large divide between myself and a lot of people around me as pertaining these subjects because people found it so boring.
[00:26:27] Ouwatosin: They didn’t want to engage with things like this, like. So if you started talking about inflation, started talking about interest rates, they just pretty much zoned out, like, what are you talking about? So, what that sparked in me was the fact that I needed to create content that everyone could read. Or, maybe not everyone, but at least if you were anyone, you should, you should be able to read it, right?
[00:26:52] Ouwatosin: If I was talking only to, a lot of people are already talking to. the, to the, the big guns, right? What about [00:27:00] everyone else? So, who’s really talking to them? So, I started writing in, I started writing, I started putting my personality in what I was doing. So, I started writing, I think one of the first things I started doing, and I kind of gave credit to my first editor for allowing that because Structurally, I don’t think it was a thing before I started doing it, but he’s pretty much allowed me to write in my voice.
[00:27:27] Ouwatosin: So I started writing in my voice. And when I started writing in my voice, I pretty much did everything out of curiosity. When I started writing things and got unrealized. When I saw that things were not simple enough, I pretty much accepted that. Maybe I didn’t understand them enough, right? Because if I do understand, I should be able to simplify.
[00:27:48] Ouwatosin: They should sound simple because you know what you’re talking about. So. I always, I started interpreting complexity as an absence of [00:28:00] understanding because this, the more you understand, the simpler you make things. So that’s pretty much one of the things that has driven the way I write up till today. And then one of the next things I started doing, one of the things I started doing later on was to, which is still part of my attempt at simplifying things, right?
[00:28:20] Ouwatosin: So it was to begin to use relativity and rethink the way I write, so For example, I remember once writing about this whole tick tockification of the internet, for example. And the first thing I had to use to explain it was the block universe theory, right? So I was talking about the blocking of a story. I don’t know if you know what that is, but it’s basically an idea that doesn’t, that says that, you know, time doesn’t really just flow.
[00:28:49] Ouwatosin: You know, like we just go from past, present to future. It just pretty much assumes that, you know, the past, present and future are all standing, are all just blocks that stand, can just think about three blocks in front [00:29:00] of you. And the block on the left is the past, the block in the middle is The presence the block on the right is the future and they are all just happening simultaneously.
[00:29:11] Ouwatosin: So it’s not like it’s flowing from the past to the future. All of them are happening at the same time. So that idea allows you to understand why some of the things that you see today might have happened in the past. And some of the things you’re going to see tomorrow have also happened today and have probably happened in the past before.
[00:29:32] Ouwatosin: So, that idea allowed me to explain that this concept of, should I say, widespread imitation that you’re seeing among the internet platforms with Facebook, with Instagram, Twitter, everybody trying to, you know, build the same models, or trying to… chase the same audience. It’s not new. It’s something that has happened before.
[00:29:55] Ouwatosin: And so you could have seen, you have also seen that happen with television or with, [00:30:00] you know, with newspapers, those things happen all the time. And that’s just an idea that just brings that sort of relativity that you understand why it’s happening. It’s not, it’s not new. it’s still going to happen in the future, right?
[00:30:14] Ouwatosin: As long as the apocalypse doesn’t happen and the still going to happen, right? So that’s basically one of the things, one of the elements that I use that I still use today. Yeah. And then I think I pretty much started getting more engaging with the things I did in the sense that I started becoming visually engaging, especially when I write for people.
[00:30:35] Ouwatosin: And I learned that by reading anyway about reading other people’s, um, Styles of the people’s approaches. I think I have a pretty short span of short interest span, meaning that I always want to add something to the mix. After a while when after my, after I master one thing, I want to try the next thing and, you know, build on it.
[00:30:57] Ouwatosin: So, yeah, that also happened. So I started getting [00:31:00] more visually engaging there. For example, when I, if I were to write about this interview or this podcast, it’s pretty probable that the first thing that would come to my mind is to start describing everything I saw in the room. Talk about you, talk about the facial features that I saw, the headphones, the, the guitar, the drum kits, seeing, you know, the cute little dog, the library, and all of those things, they’re not necessarily things that add to the, um, information in quotes, the key information that I was trying to pass, but that story sort of capsules what I was trying to do, it pretty much eases you into what you wanted to consume, it just pretty much lets you feel like you, Are in this conversation with two of us.
[00:31:45] Ouwatosin: So that is one of those things, right? It’s one of those elements that also engages the audience, that just captures them, that makes them want to take in whatever you’re doing. It also lets them enjoy the personality of the person you’re writing about. [00:32:00] And, you know, when you’re telling their story, it makes them feel like they connect to the person, right?
[00:32:04] Ouwatosin: So, which is one of the things I’m saying again. So it’s fascination, one of those things. They can’t, they might not be able to relate with where you are, right? But they can feel it, right? They can feel it. And they, they think they should, they are probably part of it. It’s the same idea that runs with the mad scientist that I thought.
[00:32:22] Ouwatosin: I think I am like this guy, or something. But, I’m not. I’ve never seen that mad scientist before. The only professors I have seen with the crazy hair and the likes are not mad scientists, right? So it’s pretty much just the fact that you were fascinated by something and then you became a part of it by consuming that content, right?
[00:32:43] Ouwatosin: So that’s pretty much what has happened in writing. And, um, as for other forms of media, I think I’m really trying, trying, trying a bit to be part of video content. I’m kind of a shy person, so I don’t, I tried it once or [00:33:00] twice and I didn’t like what I produced. Although, I mean, I guess with a little more moral support, I’m going to maybe try that out.
[00:33:08] Ouwatosin: And I think maybe the also maybe also the other reason why I haven’t done so much of video content is because I Pretty much like I said, I think about structures. I don’t want to just do random things So I think about what’s the video really going to be about and I think about continuity if i’m going to do this video About this particular thing what I think about Videos.
[00:33:30] Ouwatosin: Now, maybe, maybe the best form of videos that I’m thinking about, it should probably be videos that I don’t have to appear in, I think, because I do have other things that I think about for videos. A lot of things go on in Lagos, so I think about capturing those things, right, and telling stories, image stories as well.
[00:33:47] Ouwatosin: A lot of things go on here that you probably won’t believe if I told you just by word of mouth, but if you saw them on a video, you… You’ll be shocked, right? But it’s, it’s, they’re also stories, right? Then you must do it.
[00:33:59] Jewels: [00:34:00] All right. If it’s something that’s worth telling, then you must do it. So there’s your encouragement and your ability to break down, uh, process structure, but also psychology behind it.
[00:34:12] Jewels: Once again, well beyond your years, you’ve only been writing for Two years and you’ve, you’ve come to realization that many writers don’t get after decades of writing, so I could just gotta take my hat off to Tossin. It’s, it’s really impressive for a young Ladd who’s, you know, working very hard. I can tell.
[00:34:31] Jewels: Tell me, if you were to give some advice to, to somebody in business, perhaps that has. technical kind of product set, you know, they’re a technical something or other and they really struggle with the idea of, of telling that story without boring people, as you sort of mentioned, you know, a lot of technical, you know, if you don’t understand something, it tends to go over your head and therefore you tend to switch off.
[00:34:56] Jewels: So what advice would you give to somebody who perhaps struggled to tell their story [00:35:00] because it is maybe a very technical piece or a very complex environment, where would you start?
[00:35:06] Ouwatosin: I think it’s weird for me, but I think the first advice I’ll give that person is to watch a lot of sci fis because I think the people who do the most excellent job, in my opinion, of breaking down complex things are science fictions, be it in novels or in movies.
[00:35:24] Ouwatosin: The first place that really, and I’m going to give some, some real examples, right? The first place that I learned about Well, the first story that I saw something about cryptocurrencies was pretty much a sci fi, right? In fact, the idea, the entire idea of cryptocurrencies started with a science fiction and it didn’t exist then.
[00:35:47] Ouwatosin: But then that person was talking about, he was also talking about cryptography in a story. And then he was talking about money. And all of those elements are parts of the things that people started building, you know, blockchain and [00:36:00] cryptocurrencies and all of those things on today. So I think that people should consume a lot of science fiction as far as telling stories about complex things that are concerned.
[00:36:11] Ouwatosin: Science fiction are usually based off complex subjects, if I should say, that they’re trying to make into stories. So one of the background ideas among the many things that are probably not real that they use, they actually have something, some concepts that is real, that exists in real time because they need you to relate to something right here and they do.
[00:36:37] Ouwatosin: A pretty good job of explaining those things in many cases, maybe not all cases, but in many cases, those cases where they don’t explain well, you realize that you also zone out of the story. So if it’s a well told sci fi, then chances are they explained a concept to you in a way that you will relate to.
[00:36:55] Ouwatosin: And I think when you adopt their style, their approach to telling those [00:37:00] stories, it will also show in the way you start writing. Or make videos or whatever form of content you’re creating, then you, you would understand how they grind contents for the everyday consumer because they are not, they’re not making movies for people who are necessarily tech savvy or people who are even science students or science people at all, you know, in any way, it’s the average Joe, a 10 year old should be able to watch what they’re doing.
[00:37:29] Ouwatosin: And the fact that they can make it simple enough shows that they understand how to break down complex things. So I think you can learn a lot from sci fi. That’s the first place that I can point you to, right? It’s not every useful learning resource. is based off a motivational book or some educational book.
[00:37:48] Ouwatosin: Many of the things you will learn, in fact, especially if you’re a storyteller, just from reading other stories or consuming other stories, you would learn a lot more about storytelling by consuming other stories from [00:38:00] other people. So if you want to learn to break down complex things, learn from the people who did it best, which are the people who produce the best selling movies or the best selling science fiction movies.
[00:38:11] Ouwatosin: If you like, if you were thinking of the easiest one, just think of anyone, the Avengers, for example, you still, you would find a lot of concepts that were broken down in the Avengers, you find some of them in Star Wars, you find some of them in Back to the Future. Those are classics anyway. So most of those movies.
[00:38:28] Ouwatosin: did a really good job. And I think if you want to learn how to do it, consume those movies first. Then at the same time, another thing is, which is still related is learn from other people who break down concepts apart from movies. If you’re not the movie type, then learn from other people who have done a great job at doing those things.
[00:38:46] Ouwatosin: Read from people who are pretty good at building relativity. I think that’s the key thing that ends up missing. Most of the time, they don’t know how to. Make people relate with what they are saying. So [00:39:00] the key thing is to make them find something that makes them relate to what you’re saying. So if I was talking about, um, I’m trying to remember an example of something I did so that I can create a vivid picture.
[00:39:11] Ouwatosin: Yeah, I think one of those things was about the I was writing about a currency, a common currency, that some people were trying to build in West Africa. So the first thing I had to do was to go through a historic pattern, right, to talk about the fact, to give a story, a background story that the reader probably didn’t know about, which did not happen in Africa, in fact, happened in Europe.
[00:39:36] Ouwatosin: So I talked about the Spanish silver coin. And from the Spanish silver coin, I built a sort of cadence up until the fact that there was the euro, how the Spanish silver coin was pretty much the first domino in how, you know, Europe had the euro. And from that, I could just give it, I just, I sort of, I showed that there was just a brief time gap between [00:40:00] what happened and the ideation for that common currency that they wanted to build in West Africa.
[00:40:06] Ouwatosin: So that you could see. Well, where was coming from and the entire idea behind it. And so I could build relativity as well. I could say that this is pretty much the structure that you are looking at in form of a story that has already happened. So now I can explain this concept to you, um, without without losing you.
[00:40:26] Ouwatosin: from the beginning, right? So it’s I think one of the things people don’t do is build relativity. They think about elements that people connect to, that people see every day. People read stories every day. So sometimes the easiest way to reach them is to tell them a story about something that has a, you know, a very lateral relationship with what they are trying to make them consume right now.
[00:40:52] Ouwatosin: So yeah, that’s it for, for that.
[00:40:54] Jewels: Absolutely amazing advice, Tosin. You’ve broken that down absolutely beautifully. [00:41:00] And we can definitely learn a lot from that, you know, tying known concepts into complexities and then viewing that from those that have been able to explain those complex situations and breaking them down to simple concepts.
[00:41:13] Jewels: As you say, you know, a 10 year old can watch a movie and understand what’s going on along with the adults as well. So brilliant insights once again, really well done. And Tosin, I could talk to you about this stuff all day, but I know we both could have sort of wind this up at some point. Been absolutely fascinating.
[00:41:30] Jewels: I’m going to watch your journey because I think you’re going places. Thank you. Where can other people find out a little bit more about
[00:41:36] Ouwatosin: you? They can read my stuff on Ventures Africa or they can follow me on LinkedIn. I think I do I do want to i’ve not started that anyway, because i’m still building a lot of things together But yeah, a lot of things are still going to come up Maybe if maybe soon i’ll let you know when that comes out if there’s going to be a newsletter, but before then You can still consume my everyday [00:42:00] articles, um, Ventures Africa and yeah, I’m on LinkedIn.
[00:42:04] Ouwatosin: I’m on Twitter as well. My Twitter handle is rich underscore father with a double R. So that’s pretty much where I am for now. Like I said, I’m pretty introverted. I don’t talk a lot outside, but gradually coming out of
[00:42:18] Jewels: that. Fabulous job, Tyson. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time.
[00:42:22] Ouwatosin: Thank you so much, Geralds.
[00:42:23] Ouwatosin: It was a really amazing time. I hope you enjoyed. Pretty long speech, if I should say. I think I speak a lot.
[00:42:30] Jewels: That’s what a podcast is for. If you weren’t speaking, it would be quite boring. So, thanks, mate. I really appreciate it.
[00:42:37] Ouwatosin: Thank you so much.
[00:42:43] Jewels: What an amazing young man Tosin is. His passion and drive is infectious. I loved hearing how his family and environment influenced his early development. How self aware is he? and how he uses fascination to keep himself [00:43:00] learning and growing. I can’t wait to see his development and growth over the next little while and I’ll leave you with this quote from Tosin for you to ponder.
[00:43:12] Jewels: Complexity is an absence of understanding. Much love, chat soon.