My Life @ 55…The Stones that the builders rejected…

Who could believe that a young man whose father died when he was eight years old, who celebrated his 10th birthday at a bus garage in Lagos (Iyana Ipaja to be precise) selling iced water to support his mother, whose identity was stolen when he relocated to UK and who was ridiculed when he started out as a speaker is now a multiple award winner with 160 awards, an iconic global brand, a renowned international motivational speaker, human capital development expert, business transformation strategist, leadership trainer, business mentor, executive coach, award winning event host, bestselling author, a key person of influence, board member, HR leader, community champion, philanthropist and most importantly a devoted Christian, husband of a beautiful wife and father of awesome children. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvellous in my eyes. I return all the glory to God.

I am grateful for the Lord’s grace upon my life because I am a product of grace. I am grateful for who I have become. I am happy the way my life has turned out. Most people did not believe that I would turned out like this. I know my mother would be very proud of me that her toil in me did not end up in vain.

I feel great and fulfilled seeing the results in people and organisations that I have helped transform right in front of my eyes as they have choices and new strategies to help them live a more fulfilling and empowered life and become who they had always wanted to be.

I am happy that I have been able to restore belief and confidence to many who have lost it, vision to those who can no longer see and cure many people of possibility blindness. I am enjoying the products of my dream and vision.

Every day I think of the many people that I meet through my writing, speaking engagement, workshops and social medium forums and their stories of how I have impacted their leaves positively. I am very thankful for the many opportunities that I have to make a difference in people’s lives.

I am also thankful for the grace the Lord has given me to create awareness and raise funds for many charities since 2006 through running many marathons, skydiving, walking 100km from London to Brighton and feeding the homeless through Dayo Olomu Foundation.

The greatest lesson/s that life has taught me is that to be successful you must have trust God, have strong faith, have your own vision and define your goals. You must be hungry to achieve your dreams and a strong desire to succeed and back that desire with action. You must have absolute belief in yourself that you have what it takes to be successful and when setbacks or tragedies occur, do not give up; instead see them as opportunities for growth because success thrives on adversity. As the saying goes, “A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor.” Nothing worth gaining is gained without difficulty”. I must also add that you keep the right company and continue to build, expand and sustain a network of people who can support you to reach your goal. You must run your own race. It doesn’t matter what other people say about you. What is important is what you say to yourself. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be true to you. That’s a key source of happiness. I am not in completion with anyone but myself. My goal is to improve myself continuously.

You must think big, start small and act now. The person determined to achieve maximum success learns the principle that progress is made one step at a time. A house is built a brick at a time. Every big accomplishment is a series of little accomplishments. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. However, completing a journey of a thousand miles requires only that you keep walking in the right direction!”

My story isn’t unique – many others have realised their dreams just as I have. But it does go to show that you can achieve whatever you want to if you have a strong desire to succeed and backed that desire with action and self-belief. My story is all about turning dreams into reality. A speaker once said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

When I get to the end of my life, I want to know that my life counted for something, that long after I have left this world, somehow my impact lives on. I want to know that I have done all that I could to make this world a better place, by positively enhancing the lives of those around me and helping thousands, if not millions, to become who they desire to be and achieve what they thought was impossible. I want to know that I gave everything my best shot. I want it to be on record that I maximised my potential and stretched myself to the limit. Most importantly I want to know that I serve God and that I am a good husband and father who made a positive difference in the world.

Finally, I think it will be nice if we can all do our little bit to make a difference and to use the catchphrase of Steve Jobs, “put a dent in the universe”. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” (Desmond Tutu). Hence I dedicated my 55th birthday by running the marathon in one week to raise funds and create awareness for Prostate Cancer. I want to thank for the supported me by donating generously. You can still support me by donating at

I am thankful to God for making it possible for me to witness this day. And the Lord who has started a great thing in me will see it to completion. He will never leave me nor forsake me as I move from success to significance.



Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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