Kola Oyeyemi is 50. That is the big news. And this is authoritative. For those who still can’t catch the drift lets quickly tell you that this handsome, ever smiling man is a strategically robust and creative marketing and sales management guru with over 22 years wealth of management, marketing and marketing communication experience and a track record of successful marketing management practice across industries. He started from a leading multinational FMCG company; Cadbury Nigeria Plc now Kraft Foods to Telecommunications.
Kolawole Oyeyemi is the General Manager; Business Development within the Sales and Distribution division of the largest telecommunication company in Nigeria and Africa; MTN Nigeria Communications Limited. He has been saddled with the responsibility of developing strategies for business growth via both traditional and emerging channels, structures, systems, technologies and platforms to deliver business targets on market share and revenue. Prior to this new role, he was General Manager; Consumer Marketing at MTN. And he has a solid reputation for having led many award winning Marketing and Marketing communication campaigns that grew both volume and value market share.
Trained in some of the best schools locally and internationally, Kola is an alumnus of the following great institutions; Obafemi Awolowo University, Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University, Columbia Business School, New York and Cranfield, UK.
Deeply strategic and highly creative, Kola has been behind several highly successful and award winning marketing initiatives and marketing communication campaigns like the Saka I Don Port that generated over N4bn in free media.
Kola is an author of five books; The Winning Mentality; Beware of Pastors; Pastors Beware; Pitfalls To Destiny Fulfillment; Wealth Without Theft and ‘Kill Or Get Killed; The Marketing Killer Instinct’. This first known Marketing management book of its kind by an African was approved and catalogued by the US Library of Congress and today is proudly on the shelf of the US Library of Congress shoulder to shoulder with revered global authors. Kill Or Get Killed has also been endorsed by the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria as a text book for Marketing practitioners and students. Three Nigerian Universities have also adopted the book as a Marketing textbook.
Kola has won varying awards in marketing creativity, professionalism and knowledge share in the course of his career and instrumental to several awards won by his marketing communication agencies. He won the Cadbury Creativity Award in his days in Cadbury Schweppes and was also a part of the team that won the Marketing team award. Kola was awarded the Marketing Professional of the Year 2012 by Marketing World Awards 2012 and was a part of the team that won the Marketing World Awards Marketing Team of the year 2012. He was awarded the Brand Icon of the Year 2013 by Brand Age Nigeria. In 2014, Kola got the Marketing World Awards Lifetime Achievement Award In Marketing. In 2015, Marketing Edge conferred on him the Marketing Personality of the Year 2014.
Kola is a foremost marketing management industry thought leader in Nigeria and has held two leading industry roles as a two term President of ADVAN; Advertisers Association of Nigeria; the body of all companies that advertise in Nigeria represented by Marketing Directors or Heads of Marketing. This group is responsible for over 80 percent of the Nigerian Marketing Communication budget. He is also a member of council of the advertising regulatory body in Nigeria; Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria.
Kola is the founder of Ignite Africa Leadership Foundation. Ignite Africa is a nongovernmental organization founded in 2010 borne by a huge passion for youths due to their vulnerability and their tendency to channel their boundless energies into vices that have the potentials to destroy their future, the future of our nation and the future of Africa.
Ignite Africa focuses on teenagers and young adults but pays special attention to teenagers in their peculiar age of sudden discoveries. This formative age is critical to molding great leaders who will take Africa into the next millennium as an informed and prosperous continent. Ultimately, the Foundation aims to raise a new vanguard of Nigerians and Africans with a ‘Can Do’ spirit and a commitment to positively impact themselves, their environment, the nation and the continent while holding the values of integrity, diligence, genuine care for others and the fear of God as core values.
One of the initiatives of Ignite Africa is the Revival of the Reading Culture amongst students in primary and secondary schools through her Book To Child Project in primary schools and Book Clubs in Secondary schools across Lagos and Rivers States The Foundation has one of the best stocked Online and physical private libraries in Nigeria. This is free and open to the public. Check www.igniteafricalibrary.org
The state of the art Ignite Library is located at Zaeed Mall, 16, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Ikeja. Kola is married to Adenike and they are blessed with children.
Kola is also a teacher of the word and pastors a young and vibrant Church in Ikeja, Lagos with a vision to Raise World Changers and a mission to Raise Onto God; A People of Integrity, Power and Passion.
His life philosophy is: Please God; Impact men; Fulfill purpose.
The big news is that Kola Oyeyemi is 50. As you read this, Oyeyemi who has successful combined his career with his pastoral calling is preparing to celebrate his golden age which comes up on 19th February 2017.
And for 2 hours, a few days back this man of God who pastors a church and still maintains his job at MTN spoke to City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE about his new life at 50 plus how he juggles his many roles.
How do you juggle your normal day to day job with your career in the Ministry serving God?
This is a question I get asked by a lot of people. They always ask me how I juggle this. The first thing I will say is God. If you are doing what God has called you to do, it will demand extra fromyou but God will give you the grace so that your effort of putting in the extra will not compete. The reality is, its by Gods grace because I am doing exactly what he wants me to do.
Several times, I had muted the idea of leaving my job and focusing on the work of the Ministry but he told me. No. I want you in the market place. So that you can provide a balance for people, so that they will know that its possible to serve me and do professional work excellently well in such a way that people can know that it is possible to earn a living legitimately (8-5pm) and still serve me without allowing either one to suffer.
The major guiding rule for me is that my work in the secular must not suffer on account of my work in the Ministry, so that the name of the Lord does not get maligned. At the same time, the work of the Lord must not suffer.
So, it demands discipline. When you have to maintain both lives, you cannot live a normal life, you can not play normal hours like your colleagues, have free time like your colleagues, eat or drink normally like your colleagues, you can’t take holidays have to be managed in such a way that while it guarantees you rest, it gives you the opportunity to reflect and do deeper things, more spiritual things, that will impact the kingdom of heaven and impact humanity.
The 3rd thing is sacrifice. If you really want to holden to what your colleagues and contemporaries hold on to, you can’t make a mark. The reality is that if you are going to be a star in anything you will bear some scars. There must be some sacrifices that you have to make, you must go beyond the call of duty.
In my secular life, the work does not end until I have scan that something is concluded. And so you can find me sometimes in the office till sometimes 10pm or 11pm. or sometimes till the following day. I need to ensure that performance is not hindered in any way. So that when I switch on to the mode of the take of the Ministry side my mind is clear, my spirit mind is free. I do not carry any guilt in me that I have made my secular work suffer because of Ministry. And at the sametime I must be free in my spirit to know that I am giving my best to God.
But the beauty of it all is that because it is God who has told me to stay there, he has given me the grace for it.
The final point is what I will call the support structure. It means people No 1 is family, I have a family who understands and appreciates what I have been called to do. They are fully supportive of me. I have a very understanding family and children.
No 2 is in the Ministry I also have a very good structure of people who are committed, who have bought into the vision, into my calling. They believe God has sent them to come and work with me. So when I am not there, they are there. So, there is no missing link at that level.
The 3rd level is my own staff in the secular world. I have a bunch of committed people, who know that when we agree that something should be done it would be done. They know I have their interest at heart.
Therefore you get loyalty, commitment, both on the Ministry side, as well as on the secular side and family. If you have all these structures with God backing you, it gives you a very high level of probability of success.
So to answer your question as to how far I have come, it is God and these 4 pillars that serve as factors.
At 50, what is on your mind?
It is something I have been told to stop saying. I wish I could do or I wish I could have done more, than I have done. I look back and I say to myself, I am so grateful to God, so privilege to have been able to do what I have done. I will be launching my 6th book on my birthday and I still say to myself, you could have done more. But at the same time, I am grateful to God that he even kept me alive and well. I am healthy. I have a great family. I have a good job. I have a great Ministry. What more can I ask for.
I am eternally grateful to God who has kept me alive and supported me with people. I am so grateful that I have the right people around me. I have people around me who reprimand me when they need to because I sometimes push myself beyond limits. I have people who caution me to slow down you are not a super human being o.
You are human. They say that because I have a tendency to overwork sometimes. The kind of people I have around me has made a difference in my life. After God, its my family, and the peple who work with me at work, in church and my friends. I look forward to the future and I say to mysefl there is still so much to be done, so much. I pray to God that I will die empty, when in my old age I want to go to be with the Lord, I want to be able to look back and say there was nothing I brought here, that I did not plan here.
That is what drives me to put in the extra in what I do.
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