By Joshua Gwebe
Nelson Mandela, the great apartheid hero and former South African leader’s assertion that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world underscores the profound influence education wields in shaping leaders. Education equips individuals with the knowledge and critical thinking skills essential for effective leadership. Leaders who are well-educated are better equipped to navigate complex challenges, make informed decisions, and inspire others toward positive change. By fostering a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and fostering a sense of global interconnectedness, education empowers leaders to address societal issues with empathy and inclusivity.
Moreover, Mandela’s statement extends beyond individual leadership to the broader scope of societal change. Education serves as a catalyst for social progress by breaking down barriers and promoting equality. A well-educated population is more likely to actively engage in civic responsibilities, challenge injustice, and contribute to the development of a just and equitable society. The transformative impact of education is not confined to personal growth but radiates outward, influencing communities and societies at large. Mandela’s words emphasise the pivotal role education plays in shaping leaders and driving positive transformations that have global dimensions.
In contemporary Nigerian society, Amb. Kolawole Akinmosun fits squarely in that profile of a globally educated citizens with the requisite intellect and avid dedication to service towards providing solutions to local challenges and creating opportunities for economic and social growth. Whereas the charismatic ambassador is not the most educated Nigerian of his time, his choice to return home after obtaining versatile academic credentials from the best Universities in the United Kingdom (UK) and acquiring global experience as well as exposure when his fellow compatriots are looking for opportunities to leave the country stands him out. These are the kind of people President Bola Ahmed Tinubu needs to populate key sectors of the economy to rapidly drive his renewed hope agenda.
As a Nigerian and raised in Ode-Irele in Ondo State, Nigeria, Amb. Kolawole demonstrated right from his childhood that he was a dedicated child who would make an impact not just on his community but the nation at large. This earned him first, the position of of Class Prefect and later the Senior Prefect in his primary school. This pattern of dedicated service continued through Secondary school and all his Ife as shown in the number of awards and recognitions he garnered over the years. Indeed Amb. Kolawole has not only carved a remarkable niche for himself but has become a beacon of inspiration for the youth and a tireless advocate for progress in his community. Now that Nigeria is yearning for technocrats to head sensitive ministries, it will not be out of place to appoint this dedicated and service oriented patriot to head one of those sensitive agencies in the country.
Education is indeed the key and Amb. Akinmosun’s academic journey is a testimony to his commitment to excellence. Starting from Victory Primary School and Arerin Grammar School in Ode-Irele, he progressed to the prestigious University of Ilorin, earning a degree in Geology and Mineral Science. His thirst for knowledge led him to the United Kingdom, where he pursued certificates in visual welding inspection and Oil and Gas at Cambridge University. A law degree from the University of East London, UK , embellished the young leader with an additional arsenal of skills needed to navigate the complex environment of leadership both in the private and public sector. Not satisfied, he enrolled and acquired the Higher National Diploma in Paralegal from the University of East London. Currently pursuing a Masters in Law (LL.M) and (LPC) at the University of Strathclyde. This unquenchable thirst for knowledge will no doubt translate to an unequally unquenchable test for leadership excellence and development. This is what Nigeria needs most at a time that many qualified Nigerians are leaving the country in droves to pursue greener pastures in foreign lands. Welcome back son. Nigeria indeed needs you and there’s a high possibility that you’ll soon be one of the changemakers of our time.
As a grassroots and community leader, Amb. Akinmosun’s heart beats for the less privileged, evident through his numerous community projects during his National Youth Service in Akwa Ibom State which targeted underprivileged communities and students. His dedication earned him the “Best Corps of the Year” award in 2009. His philanthropic endeavours are manifold including his brainchild, Billycares Charity Foundation from where he has pulled resources together and sponsored countless underprivileged children’s education. For someone who has given so much to his community, he can even do more for his country if given the opportunity. Surely, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will have a place for him in his adminstration as many agencies including the Nigerian Ports Authority are yet to have their Boards constituted.
Every leader is judged based on his antecedents. As a multifaceted professional, Amb. Akinmosun has demonstrated immense capacity and professionalism as the Chairman and CEO of Powaline Ltd in the United Kingdom, showcasing his business prowess. As the editor of Ikale Newspaper Worldwide and Project Manager/Manager at ALs Optima Fm UK, he has exhibited exceptional leadership in media and project management. His roles in ALS, Elite Construction, Sphere Solutions, and Basebuild Limited underline his versatility and managerial expertise. There’s hope that with the right opportunity, the global scholar and philanthropist will use his education and wealth of experience to catapult Nigeria to an enviable position in any capacity at all.
It must be pointed out that Amb. Kolawole is not a novice to leadership as highlighted in his exploits right from his school days. An appointment to higher office now will never lose any challenge as the young man has been tested and trusted in different capacities. Having served as a adviser on the Youth Concord of Nigeria (YCN) and an aspirant for the House of Representatives under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2022, Ambassador Akinmosun brings a wealth of political experience to the table. His involvement with the Human Rights Association in the United Kingdom further demonstrates his commitment to justice and fairness. If he had chosen to remain in the UK, he would have been a candidate for the UK parliament. It’ll be a monumental loss if he’s not given an opportunity to serve his dear country.
Even as Nigeria grapples with leadership challenges and poor leadership at certain levels, Amb. Kolawole Akinmosun emerges not just as a qualified candidate capable of bringing a breath of fresh air to the table but as an embodiment of leadership, education, philanthropy, and business acumen. His diverse experiences, unwavering dedication, and proven track record make him the ideal to man Nigeria’s Ports or a befitting portfolio in the Oil and Gas sector, where his vision and passion can drive positive change and progress for our great country.
Joshua Gwebe, a public affairs commentator writes from Abuja.