Seeking The Next Generation of Leaders

 In YBBA Blog

Gori YahayaI am sitting in the Costa Coffee on the corner of Tottenham High Street and West Green Road for two reasons: firstly, to purchase a green tea with two tea bags in my re-usable bamboo cup; and secondly, to write this piece about my meeting with the dynamic Gori Yahaya this morning. He, in my opinion, has many of the qualities that the quintessential 21st Century black ethical leader in business and politics will need to possesses. The following 5 points give some insight into my reasoning:

  • He is a wizard in the digital age, which is why Google the Emperor of the digital age, have aligned key aspects of their business development in Africa and other places with Gori and his company (
  • Community and people empowerment is at the centre of his business model. We all know that people empowerment, alongside conservation are two of the key pillars of the fourth industrial revolution. This is how he describes his business model and broader philosophy:



“We’ve all sat through fairly unimaginative training sessions that end up leaving us drained of enthusiasm. UpSkill Digital is a training agency with a difference. We’re reinventing the professional learning journey in digital by starting with what matters – the learner. Inspiring people to embrace digital technologies in the workplace requires an extensive understanding of how we as humans learn.

At Upskill, we understand that not everyone has the same level of digital expertise. So we went out on the road with a team of charismatic Digital experts on a mission make training incredibly fun, practical and most importantly, accessible. And it worked!

To date, we have trained over 50,000 individuals in a variety of formats and topics such as G Suite, Digital Marketing, Data & Analytics and Cyber Security for Businesses.

Our method of training has led us to find a focus on deploying in-person training. It’s helped us to build awesome Train-the-trainer programs that have brought the most technical of experts out of their shell, suddenly able to share product advice and company values at scale.”


  • He is an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, in that he has been able to establish an independent brand, whilst simultaneously leveraging the biggest and the best in his industry. Aligning himself so closely to the Google brand, rather than aggressively pushing his own brand identity, has afforded him the trust and support of Google whilst maintaining and growing the independence, freedom and respect that comes from being your own boss. “To date, Gori’s team have trained over 60,000 individuals in a variety of formats and topics such as G Suite, CV Building, Digital Marketing, Data & Analytics and Cyber Security for Businesses.
  • He understands the importance of building a strong diverse team and that this can only be achieved if he approaches his leadership role with humility and a clear understanding of what his staff need to remain on board, loyal, innovative and highly motivated. He said: “At Upskill, we understand that not everyone has the same level of affinity to adoption of digital tools.
  • He understands how important it is to give back to the community that nurtured him. Even more importantly, you cannot truly be happy if you do not have some element of tithing in your life. Sadly, too many find this nugget of truth much later in their lives.


Gori and I will continue our dialogue around our overlapping visions as we both agreed that it makes sense to do so. I just wanted to take this moment over my green tea on a rain-sodden Thursday in a Tottenham coffee shop, to acknowledge that I met with one of the many rare talents that are emerging from our community, who is taking the fourth industrial revolution by storm.

Viv Ahmun

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