By Esther Onyegbula
Luxury real estate Company, Sujimoto Constructions, recently hosted over 200 Nigerian students and young entrepreneurs at a one-day internship and mentorship programme in Lagos.
The event which took place at the GiulianoBySujimoto, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos was graced by prominent Nigerian celebrities with participants specially selected from different institutions from all over Nigeria, the event is part of the company’s CSR initiative, which aims at equipping young Nigerians to be self-sufficient and reminding them of their true potential.
Chaired by the Chief Mentor of the day- Chief Dele Momodu, who compared the Sujimoto entrepreneurship story with the Ovation vision, he buttressed the fact that successful entrepreneurs take ordinary situations and make them extraordinary.
Momodu urged the young people to go beyond innovation to having solid plans and putting in the hard work required to earn them success and recognition. He shared his experience with his own mentor and hero of Nigerian Democracy, Chief MKO Abiola and how being under Chief Abiola’s tutelage set him on the path of greatness.
A host of successful celebrities including Mr.P of P-square, Architect Tosin Oshinowo, Nedu of Wazobia FM, Bankole Omishore, Debola Williams, Seyi Tinubu, Bovi, Fuad Atanda Lawal, Hon. Folajimi Mohammed, Dr. Chima Anyaso, Stephanie Busari, TJ Saro, Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro, Yemi Adefarakan, McLively, Dabota Lawson, and other were also present to share their own success stories and inspire the young attendees.
Addressing the interns, the MD/CEO of Sujimoto Constructions, Sijibomi Ogundele said that the initiative is a part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to empower young entrepreneurs with business skills, advisory, mentorship and build them for the future.
“This programme is set-up to inspire our young talents and also to send a message to the nation that our true assets are our human capital,” he said.
Ogundele was born on April 8, 1983. Having been featured as a brave young Entrepreneur in Forbes Africa, Ogundele, who is regarded as one of Nigeria’s youngest billionaires, grew up in Agege, Lagos. He also shared his grass-to-grace story pointing out three qualities – perseverance, credibility and diligence.
“I remember when we wanted to start the Lorenzo project, we encountered a lot of challenges while raising fund,” he said.
“Even when the King of Dubai asked me what I wanted to do; I told him I want to build the tallest residential building in Lagos. And we were able to achieve this through perseverance and ‘I no go gree’ character. I have to invest everything I had into these projects and that’s what makes us stand out among our competitors.”
Continuing, he urged them not to wait on anybody or the government for aid.
“Don’t accept failure, when failure happens be strong and learn from it. And try to challenge yourself, read books because if you are loaded, you will be needed and you have to be creative and associate yourself with the right set of people.”
While all the participants got luxury gift bags, a Macbook laptop, phones and luxury smart watches were given out to participants with the most innovative business ideas.
Among the winners was 17-year-old Sofowa Fisayo, a secondary school leaver, whose dynamic Movie Set idea fascinated the celebrity judges and audience.