BY FRANCIS OLANIYAN
“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it” – Frantz Fanon
Seyi Tinubu, son of prominent politician and leader of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, from all indications, has embarked on an independent journey of life likely to propel him out of the imposing shadows of his father and accentuate his own persona.
The young man is making his way out of the nest while maintaining a dignified balance between a pastime and focus on his lofty goals. Within a short period of time, Seyi has switched from an exuberant law school student to a strategic thinker for a leading industry and resource person on capacity building, headlining talks at high-level fora.
The UK-educated lad has refused to fit into what many have seen of some children of men of means and influence in the Nigerian society who perpetually struggle to make meaning out of life and to break out of their bubbles.
I’ve watched Seyi closely over a few years, and I must acknowledge the innovation and audacity that he has so far brought into the demanding outdoor advertising venture in Nigeria. But far from his entrepreneurial exploits and its enviable gains, his latest humanitarianism has been the most remarkable, meaningful, and purposeful endeavour.
And this, I perceive, is an important mission which Seyi will be better appreciated for and an effort that will essentially stand him out far more than his other undertakings.
Nigeria is perennially in need of basic necessities. This unfortunate situation has put the less privileged in the society in terrible circumstances of deprivation. Further stretching the misery of these hapless people in the society are the insensitive elites totally devoid of empathy and kindness.
Even in Western nations that usually come to mind as references in good governance, their privileged citizens normally extend charitable gestures to the disadvantaged amongst them, a norm that continues to compliment the efforts of government and help the masses to stay better and safe.
It is, therefore, worth reiterating that there are more self-centred people in Nigeria, including the rapacious public officials, than individuals who are imbued with act of kindness and altruism. And that’s sadly why the statistics of the poor in Nigeria keep swelling and life expectancy continues to drop.
But, seeing a few individuals, especially younger ones, committed to bridging the socio-economic gap and uplifting the poor out of their misery in a society where everyone seems concerned only about self deserves necessary attention and appreciation.
This is what makes Seyi’s mission and intervention on the challenges of the less-privileged exemplary, remarkable, and indeed worthy of mention.
The young man could have ordinarily turned the other cheek and continued with his assured life like most privileged Nigerians do.
But, that’s not Seyi. Rather, he is more committed to helping many despondent and indigent people and galvanising more support for them. Through his non-governmental organisations, Noella Foundation and Seyi Tinubu Foundation, Seyi has supported countless people in need ranging from medical assistance, provisions, cash gifts to scholarship for deprived students.
Of major reference is Seyi’s full activation of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of his company, Loatsad Promomedia Limited, to match up with latest global trends in CSR and to be holistic in supporting their host community.
Recently, as a hands-on manager, Seyi led his team to a new site in Lagos where his company’s gigantic outdoor billboard is being constructed, engaged with the petty traders occupying a portion of the site and then promised to develop the petty-trading space to a modern taste for the traders at no cost.
It was said that some traders in the space, who had waited endlessly for similar assistance from the government, were overwhelmed with emotions as they showered prayers on their young benefactor.
Instructively, on this noble path, Seyi answers the call of the United Nations (UN), which demands more action and support from the private sector, particularly proactive and selfless individual like himself, to galvanise and inspire positive actions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
So, Seyi needs to explore the targets of these development goals, particularly as they relate to the advancement of our society and keep his focus on this timely mission he’s set his mind on.
And he must not tarry. Seyi must always get reinvigorated by those powerful words of Franz Fanon and consistently be driven by the inimitable thought of respectable Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said to “do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”.