Democracy Leadership Politics


President Carter signing Adetola Kayode's copy of 'A Full Life', a book written by him.
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When information came that we would have the opportunity of meeting and asking the former President Jimmy Carter just a question, I pondered and pondered on what best will work. As a journo, I had one thousand and one questions jamming, should I ask about my country, should I make it general, global or about my profession…because I am so sure he will have a whole lot to talk about journalists. I eventually settled for one, very unlike me, this is because if there is only one opportunity, I tend to add at least one more, lol!

At a time when a lot of people, young and old struggle with their integrity, the former president shared the best advice ever given that worked for him. Carter said no matter what the circumstances, you must always speak the truth.

Adetola Kayode asking President Carter a question.


He looked away and came straight back with, ‘that’s a good one, I will say, always speak the truth!’. I said the same thing, when I was asked to advise President Donald Trump.

In almost an hour, seeing and listening to the one time and 39th President of The United States of America was so overwhelming. At 92, Jimmy Carter is still very much aware about national and international affairs and his stance on some issues when he was president. His sense of humor is still very intact and high, making everyone in the room laugh, giggle and chuckle.

He said the biggest threat to democracy in Africa is when incumbent presidents refuse to step down when their tenure is over. He said although there have been some remarkable and commendable turn arounds but he couldn’t say the same for his very good friend (not any more) Robert Mugabe. 

Carter said he was very pleased when Mugabe got elected and he was an amazing leader for 12 years but suddenly he became corrupt and wealthy. Right now, he sincerely hopes that the Zimbabwean President, would step down for an honest election having ruled the country for 37 years.

On Global development, he admitted that China is destined to be the number one economic power in the world.

For leaders and emerging leaders, Jimmy Carter has one piece of advice: Promote peace and Human rights and you will be at peace in your country and with neighboring countries!

Born James Earl Carter on October 1, 1924 IN Plains, Georgia. He was and is still the only president who used his nickname, Jimmy, officially and as President. He was elected president on a Democratic platform after serving as a two-term Senator and one as Governor having participated actively in the development of his community.

He’s described as one of the country’s most impassioned and sincere president. In 2002, he was awarded a Nobel peace prize for his work with his Carter Centre. An amazing Presidential Library and Museum toured by Humphrey fellows who were on the Global Development and Social Justice Enhancement workshop at The Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.



President Jimmy Carter established the Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 1978 when he was president, to honor the memory and accomplishment of the late Senator and Vice President.

President Jimmy Carter with the 2016/2017 Hubert Humphrey fellows at the Global Development and Social Justice workshop at Emory University in Atlanta.

About the author

Adetola Kayode

For more than 20 years, Adetola Kayode has trained and worked in the broadcasting world as a writer, reporter, news anchor and presenter. Presently, she plies her trade with Lagos Television, LTV, the foremost state owned Television station in Nigeria.

In the course of that time, her work has made tremendous impact by beaming spotlight on human conditions, thoughts and insightful coverage of the lives of the disadvantaged people across Nigeria.

With her sharp, witty take on the most pressing social issues, she “gives a voice to the voiceless” by engaging authorities at state and national levels.

Outside of broadcasting, she has also been a constant pillar of support to several charities,non-governmental organisations and publications. As an adviser to some of these NGOs, she provides guidance and unpaid communication consulting towards the well-being and education of less privileged people across the country.
Travelling,singing and proofreading gives her joy and satisfaction.

Adetola is a 2016/2017 fellow of the United States of America's Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, an alumnus of the Radio Netherlands Training Centre, RNTC, The Netherlands, The Lagos State University, LASU {MCS} and The Polytechnic, Ibadan {OND/HND Broadcast Major}


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