" To be noble is to give to those who have less. It is an issue of service and leadership.”– American Proverb
“Creator of Opportunities for the Youth”
Sometime around September 2015, I got a call which later became unusual progressive mutation of sorts from one of my big bosses, Sola Fajobi, to liaise with one Lanre Oyegbola as he was about setting up a marketing communications firm for a possible collaboration on a fintech communications project.
After speaking with him on the phone, we made an appointment to meet in his office then at Adenike Ogunye, Magodo. The meeting went well as expected and we moved on with the project but unfortunately, the project was aborted midway which made me go my way.
Then came an email from him with a subject, “New Business that's sure as money in your pocket” and I began to wonder what this person was up to. I met him and we both agreed on 'Collaborative Partnership' which allowed me to operate in my own space without having to be a paid staff, unlike others in his capacity who will tell you to either take up employment with them or the working relationship will cease to exist.
“My word my bound”
Now, Boomerang has carved a niche for itself in the Nigerian advertising space and has since partnered with the fifth largest global advertising network, Havas Media. Havas Media is the media division of the global marketing and communications group, Havas. In December 2019, Boomerang Havas became a recipient of MADCom’s top 50 global advertising agencies’ awards in Dubai; a testimonial of the outstanding achievements made by Lanre and his team in the advertising industry.
With all the fetes achieved, business expansion and addition of more members of staff which ordinarily should have eased me out of working with his company, true to his word and commitment to me, I am still given the Right of Refusal Status in rendering my business with Boomerang Havas. This working relationship is the one thing that has opened my mind to the power of collaboration which many of our industry experts are canvassing for now.
An Inclusive and Detribalize Personality
Lanre as a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church Of God (RCCG) with all its influence in Christendom especially among the youths, gave me a Muslim an opportunity to work and manage the reputation of one of the biggest churches, a faith-based NGO, and a gospel record label without judging me or my abilities based on my religion, but rather on my competence.
He has demonstrated and prepared for what the future holds with some many philanthropic projects.
Just recently, he made a commitment to bring innovative solutions to problems while also addressing the challenges facing our people and at the same time creating wealth. This were the ideas behind the launch of the @mask4allNigerians project where he and his friends of like minds set out to empower 100,000 volunteer tailors and distribute 50,000,000 free face masks across Nigeria. Aside from empowering 80 tailors in Abeokuta North Local Government who have been commissioned and fully paid to deliver the 20,000 face masks that will be distributed across the 16 wards of the local government, he has also commissioned the project in Epe, Alimosho, Agege and Mafoluku in Lagos State.
As a champion of building a future for young people, Lanre founded EMAG Youth Development Foundation in 2009. The foundation provides tuition-based scholarships to indigent students in government-owned tertiary institutions. Currently, it has supported 40 students from their first year to graduation. In a similar manner, he has provided free tutorial classes to over 5,000 students preparing for the UTME and SSCE exams.
As an active student, one of the feats achieved by Lanre and other progressive students was renaming the institution after the winner of the June 12 presidential elections and icon of democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola. The latter had made significant contributions to the school and Ogun state as a philanthropist, great educationist and outstanding son of Egba land.
Olanrewaju Oyegbola was born into the Sodipo family in Oke Ona, Egba Abeokuta on the 26th of August 1975. He started his primary education in Oke Ona United School and had to be taken to Lagos when his father, the Late Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Oyegbola got employed in the then Concord Press owned by the Late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
I join the whole world, corporate, political, temporal and spiritual alike, to stand up together to celebrate this youthful icon of the Marketing Communications profession on the occasion of his two Scores and five years(45th) on the Terra firma. Not only do you seamlessly adapt to address the emerging challenges from the persistent ones that we face in our society today, but you are also always striving to make things better with new approaches and such unfaltering determination.
As an aspiring political leader and a true steward, a loving husband and father, a charming and tactful friend, I just want to thank you for all your amazing efforts over the years as a visionary servant-leader who will represent the aspirations of the people and communities; you are truly a man who puts others first!
Mogaji 'Tunde writes from Lagos