The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi-Ojaja II has recognised some prominent Nigerians for their contributions and achivements to enhance good living and humanity.
Among those present at the ceremony were the United Arab Emirate Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Fahad Al-Taffaq; and the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare; who presented an award of excellence to Sijibomi Ogundele, Funke Adesiyan, Eyitope Kola Oyeneyin, Seyi Awolowo and many other young Nigerian Entrepreneurs, at the Royal African Young Leadership Forum, held in Oduduwa hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Speaking on the award, Mr. Ogundele, the CEO of Sujimoto Group stated that “it was a great honour to have received this call to duty and recognition from the most distinguish frontline traditional ruler in Africa – His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi. This award of excellence is a continuous reminder that he who works hard will stand before Kings because I strongly believe that there is no nobility in poverty and it doesn’t matter whether you are from Ikorodu or Ikoyi, immediately you substitute recklessness for diligence, your true potential becomes a reality.
“The Ooni’s palace brought back many beautiful memories of my childhood. I was born into a family just 10 km from this palace, around the famous mountains of ‘Eremo’. I can still recall the great stories my father told me of the exploits of the Oonis, the worldwide impact, rich and dynamic culture of Ile-Ife, whose influence has been the pillar of the Yoruba nation, dating back to 1400 A.D.
“38 years later, here I am standing in the same room with great leaders and in the presence of my most revered King, His Imperial Majesty, Alayeluwa Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi Ojaja II, 51st Ooni of Ife.”
Speaking about his award, Mr. Ogundele remarked that “This, to me, is not just an award. This is a symbol of responsibility-to uphold the Omoluabi spirit — the spirit of integrity, the spirit of perseverance, and the spirit of nobility.
“As I sat in a room filled with more than 1000 students and over 99 awardees from fashion, entertainment, technology, manufacturing, business, and other industries, I realized that the Nigerian youth have not even utilised up to 10% of their potential, our true asset is not in crude oil but in the potential of young vibrant people of our nation.
“From Dubai to Singapore to Shanghai and to Silicon Valley, true leaders are those who seize opportunities and drive change to impact their nation. The Indians and the Lebanese that you see here today didn’t come here to count the bridges, they came to find opportunities in our nation”.
According to Ogundele, “The future of Nigeria is dependent on the opportunities we give our youth. The Ooni has set a precedent for us all to follow. I am happy for the opportunity to be part of a block-chain of young Entrepreneurs, making a difference. I left the events humbled and overzealous to do more; inspired to be an agent of change in my industry”.
Speaking at the occasion, the Ooni said, “we are setting up a movement, a block-chain of young Entrepreneurs that has never been done before because we see an intrinsic value in you guys. We shall set up a forum for all of you to meet world leaders starting from Accra, Ghana.”
The awardees were full of praises for the Ooni on the platform and the opportunity he gave to young enterprising Nigerians to blossom, beyond the shores of the country.