I made my first phone call to Albert Mensah during the second week of January 2014 to request an interview during the wee hours of that morning and we had a fruitful conversation which ended with him agreeing to grant me an interview opportunity a week later.
It was an honor for me to chat with Albert on behalf of my blog’s audience and his cool demeanor really made us hit it off pretty smoothly. Our conversation lasted about half an hour within which we talked about his beginnings and passion for his work to the reason why he feels the best place for Africa’s youths to be is in Africa.
When I asked why he is so passionate about getting young Africans to seek opportunities on the continent and encouraging those who are out of it to consider returning to help build and enhance the image of Africa, Albert said that it is simply because Africa is perfectly aligned to become the next global super power and it was thus imperative that her youths started preparing her to rise up to the center stage.
In 1999, Albert Mensah placed second in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking contest held in Chicago USA. This made him one of the first Africans and Ghanaian to achieve such a feat. Prior to that he left Ghana for the USA in 1978 to pursue the representation of The America Dream which he saw on TV screens while growing up.
Today this motivational speaker is able to show his audience that though people have many differences, underneath we’re basically the same. He instinctively knows how to bring listeners both to laughter and to tears while getting across basic truths of life by sharing that inspiring and uplifting story of his which he has used to captivate and invigorate attendees of his conferences all over.
One question I posed to Albert was: What are some of the things societies across Africa could do to keep young talents home so they don’t fall victim to the brain drain phenomenon or the enticement that living in developed nations offer? His response: ‘We as a continent need to start investing more into our youths by doing things like making sure that established local and international firms offer internship opportunities to them. This will give young graduates the chance to have a firsthand feel of the workings of their choice of industry.
‘We as Africans could also motivate and encourage the youth home by making it a habit of getting individuals who have secured successes in respective endeavors to talk to these youths so they can share their stories with them, get to hear about their questions, fears and dreams and simply talk about ways to overcome challenges or get to that place where they can be armed with all the confidence they need to brave the odds out there when they walk out of school.
For those young Africans who are living outside the continent, Albert said Africa could copy initiatives like those of China and India which saw these countries making concessions to encourage their nationals who had finished pursuing higher education in developed countries to return home to help build the economy with their expertise and experience. If Africa could for example offer half a year free accommodation to some of these highly experienced professional or some form of opportunity to prove themselves in the job markets then they will not become victims of human capital flight.
As one of the world’s leading motivational speakers, leadership coach and trainer for employees at top companies world wide with clients ranging from Boeing, Starbucks and Merrill Lynch of the USA,Telus of Canada, Mohammed Jalal group of Bahrain in the Middle East, Africa Online and a host of others, Albert earns around $300,000 in annual revenues through creative marketing and extensive networking strategies. He has also earned the prestigious “Certified Speaker Professional” award—a nominal feat only given to the top 7% of international professional speakers.
The holder of a bachelor’s degree in English from Western Maryland College has advanced academic laurels from institutions like the University of Washington and the Dale Carnegie School of Public Speaking, all in the US. He also knows what it means to have nothing and how the passionate desire of hunger for success can yield positive results when fueled by discipline and determination.
I asked Albert if he was willing to bite the bullet and lead by example in his call for the youths of Africa to return from the diaspora to elevate it, he said yes and as a matter of fact has started the slow but sure migratory process to return to Ghana to help his motherland and become a positive impact on Africa.
The ending I have always wanted for my–life he tells me–is to return home and share all the fruits of my success with all who aspire to live the African Dream. I do not even care about the money because I just want to drive morale amongst the youths, increasing their work productivity, and enhance team commitment through inspiration, which is what am doing around the world today. ‘I have hope in the success of Africa and her youths, and I want to be a part of their story’ he tells me.
Listen to my conversation with Albert here and be inspired by it, share or comment on it too. Thank you:
Also watch Albert speak here.
Written by Oral Ofori