In many parts of Africa, what coming of age means for boys transitioning into manhood is that they have to accomplish one risky, life-threatening task on their own—like hunting, taming a horse, enduring body mutilation, or slaying a wild animal to prove their worth to their clan.
The deduction is simple: face a fear and overcome it and you earn the right to be called a man.
For Seyi Tinubu, slaying a lion meant breaking free and creating his own path; not being ensconced in the tempting comfort of the Tinubu dynasty, but pushing himself beyond the perks, pains, and baggage that came with it. To fly, he had to be the eaglet, throwing himself off the height of the mountain, plummeting towards a dangerous demise while learning to use his wings to stay alive and dot the skies.
Oluwaseyi Afolabi Tinubu was born on 13th of October, 1985, as the eldest son of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He was born and raised in an era when power-grabbing was rife in Nigeria. He went on to attend St. Saviours School Lagos in the South West of Nigeria, then proceeded to United Kingdom where he studied at Holmewood House School, London and Milton Abbey, Dorset, UK. Then he bagged his Legum Baccalaureus, Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Buckingham, before attending the Nigerian Law School and got called to bar.
It is quite interesting that the academic and life achievements that seemingly appear smooth-sailing for the son of the Jagaban is not entirely linked to the successful name of his father.
Some people who are born into the homes of the rich and famous would most quickly relate that the road is not always paved for you to ride on. While being born into some wealth certainly has its privileges, being born the eldest son of the Tinubu family comes with huge responsibilities as well. Coming of age for Seyi Tinubu, therefore, meant that he needs to realise his position, re-assess his challenges, and paddle his own boat.
After an initial failed attempt at his bar exam, Seyi chose not to give up. Having gotten his degree, he was also faced with the big question youths of his age face—so, what next? He may not have known what he was going to do with his life, but what he chose not to do was tie himself to (his) fathers apron’.
He once told a reporter, “I have to be my own man. I have to create my own family and legacy. Thats how my dad and mom raised us to be. We were all told from day one: once you are done with school, thats all we can give you.” Apparently, his words instantly poke gaping holes at the lingering assumption that his achievements are only derivatives of his parents influence and hand-outs. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
As Seyi Tinubu clocks 36, he has grown to become a man with a mind and fist of his own. He is happily married to a beautiful wife and they are both amazing parents to two lovely kids. He is also a serial investor and entrepreneur, currently serving as the CEO of Loatsad Promomedia Ltd, arguably one of the leading and most innovative marketing and ad agencies in Nigeria.
Even though the journey to making a name for himself has not been easy-peasy, he still pulled through. Starting off, Seyi encountered many challenges many of whom could have caused him to give up but he didnt. The first and quite daunting was discovering what he really wanted to do with his life. With his friend and business partner, Adenrele Olusoga, he began to explore several ideas and opportunities, most of which came back as failures. Through his quest for a life of meaning, he discovered an essential treasure—a zeal to create something innovative and impactful for the world. This discovery propelled him into the world of advertising, where he would later build a notable brand name of what’s today known as Loatsad Promomedia.
For a boy whose pivotal resolve was to branch out from his fathers shoot, blossom and bear fruits of his own, it is worrisome but expected to see people attribute his hard work to the Tinubu name. While business and life in general must obey the undulating order of things the ups and downs that all ventures must follow ,Seyi acknowledges the challenges and victories that present themselves on his journey to becoming a man of his own.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Seyis attempt at a simple public servicehelping with food and relief packages to the less privileged—was met with speculations that he was being groomed for the next political appointment in Lagos. Again, he wasnt deterred or distracted by the rumours, hearsays, postulations, or click-bait gossips; instead, he kept his focus on doing good works to humanity. For someone who puts his best efforts out there, he is often amazed and amused that many still believe that the growth of Loatsad is only because he is the son of Bola Tinubu.
While he does admit to receiving sound advice from his father, simply leaning on him for financial assistance or handouts is not how Seyi believes in carving his identity. Rather, he believes in finding his own voice, building his own name and writing his own story. Yes, there is nothing he can do to change his heritage which by the way he is very proud of , he is not a lazy bone, only waiting to be spoon-fed from the benevolence of his father.
On an occasion such as a birthday, it is often with joy that we look back on our lives and appreciate the distance covered, learn from our mistakes made and celebrate every timely decision, resolution, and serendipity that have led us to the persons we have become. Hopefully, Seyi Tinubu will engage in this much-needed reflection of gratitude for the admirable gentleman, role model, father, husband and business leader he has been simply by choosing to put his nose to the grindstone and working out his own destiny. A once-Lagos-boy is today a force to reckon with; a youth leader and a man rewriting history through his sheer act of enterprise, determination, independence and love for humanity. So, as he celebrates the turn of a new year, we hope that the world would see a man who has carved his own path, one whose achievements have been earned on the merit of his competence and character.