3. "Be My Mentor, Sir"

She had on a very determined look and her long strides betrayed her lithe tall frame. The cavernous hall was bustling with people, young and old. A few young people looked in her direction and beamed smilingly at her. Of course, she was well known to the young. A multiple international award-winning motivational speaker extraordinaire and the moving force behind easily the leading youth empowerment programme in the land, she was motivator and mentor, directly and indirectly, to them all. The U.S. first lady once referred to her as “one of my personal inspirations”. She moved her head from one side to the other as she swept her eyes over the teeming crowd. The conference was over and she was indeed in a hurry to make contact with her target before he departed the arena.

“There he is!” she exclaimed as she looked to the right and saw his slight tall frame at the centre of a mild scrum. Without pause, she made a beeline for the group.

“Good evening, young lady. How may I help you?” he asked in impeccable English. A slight smile was planted on his handsome bespectacled face which was topped off with a “middle parting” of his dark well-groomed hair. He had delivered the keynote address at the conference but you couldn’t tell from his calm mien.

She was very direct. “I’d like you to be my mentor, sir”, she said to him, once she’d introduced herself. The look on her face made it quite obvious that she wasn’t going to take ‘No’ for an answer.