How I Became a Thought Leader in Creativity - 10 Inspiring Stories - Iredafe Owolabi
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The Story of How I Became a Thought Leader in Creativity

The Story of How I Became a Thought Leader in Creativity

Before I made Canada my home, there were various experiences that shaped me into the authority I am today in the realm of creativity and problem-solving. These memories have followed me everywhere I go.

Even as I share my knowledge, insights, and techniques from one conference stage to another, and from nation to nation, those moments remain top of mind.

This journey towards mastery in creativity cannot be done in one short story. So, I did my best to put together 10 inspiring stories and milestones from my journey in a summarized form here.

I do hope you find it inspiring and would like to get your thoughts in the comment section after you read this article.

How it All Began – The Journey to Creativity Mastery

My journey into the domain of creativity took a remarkable turn when I was invited to deliver keynote presentations in Katsina, a culturally rich state in northern Nigeria.

The thought-provoking 2-day conference, tagged “Think Outside the Box,” was held in 2018 and brought together a diverse audience of youth and adults who warmly embraced the unconventional ideas I presented.

It was during this event that I realized the pressing need to bridge the gap between having great ideas, gifts, or potential and transforming them into profitable creations.

The Problem I wanted to solve

Before embarking on this speaking engagement, I had observed that a sizable portion of people often fail to fully tap into their creative potential.

Many carry untapped reservoirs of gifts, talents, skills, and ideas that often go unnoticed and remain dormant unless ignited.

Some have simply outsourced their creativity to God, when, in fact, God has already sourced them with the ability to be creative.

He did that so He could ensure that the creative work He initiated in the beginning would continue.

However, many potential creatives are yet to take their place in today’s world and contribute to the ongoing creation story.

Another pain point – Insufficient Information on Creativity

During my research for the presentation at Katsina, I made a profound observation. I noticed that there was a scarcity of information that could sufficiently explain what creativity truly meant.

I wanted to grasp a solid understanding of the very fundamentals of creativity and how they can be harnessed intentionally.

However, the existing resources were either abstract, disorganized, confusing, or inadequate.

The information available online at that time was either half-baked truth or well-baked ignorance. If like me, you have sought answers to the question “what is creativity?” I got you covered.

Check this article for answers: What is Creativity? Here is My Powerful 7-Sided Definition!

Lack of Structured Content

I also noticed another pain point in addition to the lack of reliable resources.

There was no packaged resource available to save interested seekers from wasting time on poorly structured free content online.

This gap inspired me to create a solution. So, determined to find answers, I embarked on a personal journey of exploration, guided by the Spirit of God.

After delivering an exceptional presentation at the seminar, I kept researching and studying the subject of creativity.

That year, I wrote a book to document some of the findings I had made titled “Unlocking Your Kingdom Creativity.” Two years after publishing that book, another one followed titled “4-D Thinking” or “Fourth Dimensional Thinking.”

Unlocking Your Creativity and 4D Thinking
Unlocking Your Creativity and 4D Thinking


Acquiring Problem Solving Skills

It will also interest you to know that in a bid to solve the problem which I had identified, I did not stop at writing books and teaching others about creativity.

I sought ways to make my understanding of the concepts and principles relatable to the everyday employee or entrepreneur in the corporate world.

I wanted to go beyond mere words to truly convince others of my ability to teach, impart, and inspire creativity.

To bridge the gap between theory and practice, I embarked on a journey to acquire another skill that demanded a high degree of creativity.

I felt it was essential to not only share principles but also put them into action in my own daily experiences.

This led me to transition into the realm of computer software programming, where I began writing words in languages that machines can read. It also helped me sharpen my problem solving skills.

How this further made me a Thought Leader in Creativity

By venturing into the corporate world, I gained invaluable insights into the inner workings of globally renowned tech giants known for their innovation.

This includes companies like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft, and more.

Through daily use of my programming skills and an informed study of the tech industry, I immersed myself in their creation processes and witnessed the continuous development of new products on a global scale.

This immersive experience further refined my craft, empowering me to wield it as a powerful instrument for teaching and imparting creativity and problem-solving skills.

Another speaking engagement – Creativity Accelerator

Moved by a deep passion to educate and enlighten people about the true essence of creativity, I committed myself to training and teaching others how to discover and harness their creativity and critical thinking skills.

As I traveled from one conference to another, from one stage to the next, sharing my knowledge and experiences, a pivotal moment occurred – I made a promise.

Let me tell you how it all happened.

In the year 2019, on a sunny afternoon, as I sat in my bedroom trying to take a nap, my phone rang.

As I picked up the phone, I had no idea that the ensuing conversation would go on to weave the threads of destiny.

I believe this conversation set me on a transformative path as a thought leader and an established authority in the arena of creativity.

The message I received from the caller was nothing short of an invitation—an esteemed opportunity to share my insights and wisdom at a youth conference held in the vibrant city of Benin, Nigeria.

The host, Apostle Gordon Jnr., a man I hold in high esteem, reached out to inform me that I had been selected as one of the keynote speakers, joining a distinguished lineup of presenters for the conference.

Creativity Accelerator Seminar Presentation
Creativity Accelerator Seminar Presentation

My Preparation – Mastering Creativity

This recognition heightened my sense of duty, fueling a determination to leave a lasting impact on each attendee. By the way, this is my ultimate goal in every keynote presentation, speaking engagement, masterclass, or training I facilitate.

The gratifying impact on every audience I get invited to speak to consistently reaffirms my commitment to this mission.

The invitation was inspired by the host’s encounter with a seminar presentation tagged “Creativity Accelerator,” which I had previously facilitated in the bustling capital city of Abuja, Nigeria.

By the way, if you would like to invite me to give a keynote virtually or physically, anywhere around the world, you can do so here.

The profound impact of that seminar resonated with him, prompting him to extend an invitation for me to share this powerful talk on creativity with a larger audience in Benin City, Nigeria.

Although the setting was not new to me, and “Creativity Accelerator” as a keynote topic was familiar territory, I did not take my preparation lightly.

I engaged in deeper reflection, exploring the inner recesses of my heart and mind, in search of profound insights that would ignite a lasting transformation in the lives of the conference attendees.

I dedicated extensive time to further prepare my PowerPoint presentation slides, determined to present a reloaded episode of Creativity Accelerator, infused with more insights and profound principles.

Creativity Accelerator Welcome Slide
Creativity Accelerator Welcome Slide

The D-Day, the Arena, the Atmospere, and the Impact

The day finally arrived, I cannot forget it, it was September 14th, 2019. On that auspicious morning, the auditorium buzzed with excitement as vibrant young adults, ranging from ages 20 to 45, trooped in.

The arena was packed with over 1,200 attendees, their breath bated, eagerly awaiting the insights I was about to share. As I took the stage, the atmosphere became electrified with anticipation.

The Atmosphere At the Conference
The Atmosphere At the Conference

With each concept, technique, and story I shared, the minds of the attendees opened up to the boundless possibilities of creativity and how to unlock it.

The energy in the room intensified, reverberating with powerful responses to the message I delivered.

Witnessing the transformative effect my talk had on these attendees left me humbled and immensely inspired to this day.


Creativity Accelerator Thank You Slide
Creativity Accelerator Thank You Slide

After a Creative Delivery – The Big Question

After my presentation, as I settled back into my seat, I turned my attention to the surrounding audience.

Just two seats away from me, a gentleman who had been deeply moved by the insights I shared on the platform expressed appreciation for the thoughts I had conveyed.

His heartfelt gratitude served as a powerful reminder of the impact of the profound exposition on creativity that I had just presented. However, his gratitude was accompanied by a question that set the wheels in motion for the creation of my 17th book. He asked:

“Do you have a book that contains what you just shared?”

That question I believe, unlocked my creativity even further. To learn more on the creative power of questions, check this blog: The Creative Power of Questions: 5 Keys to Innovative Discoveries.

At that time, I had already established myself as a prolific author with a collection of seven books. His hopes were raised, anticipating that one of those books might hold the timeless inspirations he sought.

At that moment, I realized that although I already had a book on creativity titled “Unlocking Your Kingdom Creativity,” it did not cover the aspects I had shared on that memorable day.

Unlocking Your Creativity
Unlocking Your Creativity

So, while I explained that to him, I recommended the book on creativity that was available, and he got out his phone to order it right there. Nevertheless, his satisfaction remained elusive.

He continued to express a fervent desire for what he had just heard me talk about from the podium.

He earnestly appealed to me, urging that I should author a book on those profound ideas, recognizing their transformative potential.

A promise fulfilled – The birth of “Ignite Your Creativity”

Touched by the enthusiastic plea and the raw desire I could see in his eyes, I made a promise to this gentleman, whom I could consider an elder brother, given his age.

I pledged to him that I would author a book that specifically captures the cutting-edge, creativity-laden insights that I had bombarded their minds with during that one-hour presentation. It is my pleasure to announce to you today that my 17th book titled “Ignite Your Creativity” is the fulfillment of that promise I made to that gentleman at the conference.

Ignite Your Creativity
Ignite Your Creativity

Throughout the remaining sessions of that week-long conference, the impact of my talk continued to resonate with the attendees. As I walked toward the cafeteria during recess just after my slot, I encountered several people trying to express their appreciation. Among them was a lady whose words were nothing short of inspiring.

With heartfelt sincerity, she said,

“I wish I could immerse myself in your complete program on creativity.”

Her words served as an evocative reminder of the life-changing potential the ideas and concepts I had shared held within them.

Although at that time, I did not have a dedicated creativity program to offer, her sentiment planted a seed in my mind that eventually sprouted into the creation of various creativity coaching programs and online courses.

This encounter, without a doubt, further intensified my drive to craft the book — an all-encompassing exploration of creativity that would not only kindle the flames of inspiration but also release the hidden gifts, skills, and talents within you and a vast multitude of people.

It also made me seek ways to deepen my mastery on the subject of creativity

Another phone call

In the aftermath of that seminar, I received a call from one of my mentors, Professor Sam, a distinguished professor in his mid-sixties at the time, who had graced the conference as a special guest.

Brimming with delight, he extended an invitation to me to visit his university, where he held the esteemed position as Head of Department (HOD) in one of the institution’s faculties.

He believed his students, lecturers, and co-professors needed to hear the ideas I had shared at the recently concluded conference.

Weeks later, I found myself delivering another version of the Creativity Accelerator message to PhD, MSc, and BSc students, including lecturers and professors at the University of Benin, Nigeria.

Entrepreneurial Creativity Presentation
Entrepreneurial Creativity Presentation at Uniben

About five years after the seminar, I was having a chat with Professor Sam.

That was when he told me that the students who attended that seminar kept thanking him for organizing it and for bringing me in as the keynote speaker.

He then went on to say they were fired up by my presentation, and some of them had gone on to become successful entrepreneurs and CEOs.

These encounters, along with others, played a significant role in shaping the birthing of this book.

Between when I conceived the idea to pen down this book and just over five years down the line, I embarked on a profound journey.

I delved even deeper into the insights, gained invaluable experiences, and meticulously evaluated and refined the concepts.


What kept me going – YOU!

Could you imagine that it took me over five years to fulfill that promise? A lot happened within the period of conception and the delivery of this masterpiece.

Of course, there were days when I felt like aborting this brainchild as it was premature in the womb of my mind.

There were stomach cramps of uncertainty, periods of uneasiness, and sleepless nights.

I carried this baby bump of ideas wherever I went, feeling the mental kicks of this baby that sometimes left my brain throbbing. Does the question, “What kept you going?” ever cross your mind? You bet it does!

Now, the reason I made sure to develop and publish Ignite Your Creativity book, and not abandon it halfway despite the setbacks I encountered in the process, is this: I always remembered the moment when that gentleman requested this book.

As I looked into his eyes, I saw you! Yes, I saw you yearning for a book that could help you ignite your creativity.

Even when thoughts of aborting this book idea came, all I saw in my mind’s eye was you telling me that I could do it, and that we could make this work. And you know what? I believed you! I believed we could make it work.

I realized the immense potential of this brainchild and the trans-generational impact it could have on you and countless others.

It was this realization that kept me going, pushing through the discomfort, and embracing the growth that came with it.

Just like an expectant mother who chooses to nurture and bring forth new life, I made the decision to wholeheartedly embrace the birth of “Ignite Your Creativity.”

I saw you and millions of others around the world clamoring for this masterpiece to emancipate them from the limiting beliefs that have long hampered their creativity.

Yes, I saw you in that gentleman who made the effusive request that fateful day, expressing your need for a book that would help you ignite your creative spark and fan the embers of your gifted innovative mind.

That gentleman made a fervent appeal and somehow committed me to make the promise. I believe he did it on behalf of the millions of people who are waiting to ignite their creativity through this book.

Ignite Your Creativity
Ignite Your Creativity

Therefore, I am happy to present to you this book—an immersive exploration into the depths of your creativity, carefully crafted to extract your superpowers, and empower you to become a proficient problem-solver in your sphere of influence.

It is a guide designed to help you live a purposeful and fulfilling life by making the most of your unique talents and supersonic capabilities.

In “Ignite Your Creativity,” I invite you to embark on a thought-provoking and creativity-stimulating journey.

Together, we will delve into the core principles and practices that will unlock your creative genius, explore the interplay between creativity and spirituality, and equip you with practical tools and strategies to infuse creativity into your daily existence.

This book not only draws insights from contemporary examples and practical techniques but also from scriptural wisdom.

It offers a comprehensive understanding of creativity and its intersection with spirituality.

Through engaging stories, practical exercises, and accessible techniques, you will learn how to tap into your creative reservoir and channel it towards achieving your goals and aspirations.

Get ready to shed the layers of misconceptions, embrace the true essence of creativity, and unlock the boundless potential that lies within you. It’s time to ignite your creativity and embark on a remarkable journey of self-discovery and growth.

My Approach

People often ask me why I make reference to some scriptural truths in my books, training, keynotes, masterclasses, and teachings. Perhaps, this question may cross your mind as you read some of my books, so I will help you answer it right away.

The reason is that as a thought leader, I am duty-bound to rely on authoritative references and well-researched publications when teaching every concept and precept.

There are some known facts about the widespread nature of the book we now know as the Bible. These facts qualify the Bible as a worthy source of truth and reference material.

First, the Bible is widely considered to be the most read book and the number one best-selling book in the world.

The Bible has been translated into numerous languages and has had a profound influence on literature, culture, and religious thought throughout history.

While it is challenging to determine the exact number of copies sold or the number of readers, estimates suggest that billions of copies have been distributed worldwide.

Another interesting fact is that despite its widespread acceptance and distribution worldwide, the Bible is still considered by many to be the most misunderstood book in the world.

This is the reason that whenever I get the chance, I try to expound on key truths by referring to stories, quotes, and insights from scripture.

My intention is to unveil enduring principles and insights that may have either been forgotten or misconstrued by its readers.

This approach allows for a wide-reaching impact, as billions of people worldwide, irrespective of religious affiliation, can resonate with the relatable stories contained in the Bible.

I also draw insights from contemporary stories and historical facts to give a well-rounded and balanced view to the reader. I have found this to be an effective way to aid a deeper understanding of the ideas expressed in my books.


My journey to becoming a thought leader in creativity has been nothing short of inspiring. Embracing my passion for innovation and mastering my creative skills, I have navigated challenges, celebrated achievements, and uncovered the true potential of my imagination.

Throughout this transformative process, I have learned the power of perseverance, the value of continuous learning, and the importance of embracing change.

My experiences have shown me that creativity knows no bounds, and it has the remarkable ability to shape careers and open doors to new opportunities.

May this inspiring story serve as a reminder that creativity is not just a skill—it is a transformative force that can guide us towards becoming thought leaders in our own unique ways. If you would like to learn more on mastering your creativity, read this article: 5 Steps to Master Your Creativity. 

To invite me as a speaker in your conference, feel free to fill the request form here and we can get the conversation going. Also do not hesitate to drop comments and questions below as I would like to know what you found most inspiring about my journey.

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About the Author

Iredafe is a creativity coach, author, and software engineer with a passion for unlocking creative potential and inspiring individuals to master the business of their creativity.

He is an author of 17+ books based in Canada. He speaks, writes books and blogs on topics of utmost interest which includes Creativity, 4D Thinking, Problem Solving, Authorpreneurship, and Kingdom.