Tayo Kesa: Portrait of an Icon @ 50

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By Vincent Akindele

Clocking the golden jubilee is worth celebrating. For Kesa, it has been a gentle sail, though not without some life challenges. Hurray! The ship has berthed safely and gloriously at the life mid-journey, showcasing him as an Icon and a blessing to his generation.

Faith in God, contentment and diligence are the guiding virtues that keep Olusola Adetayo Kesa sailing through the journey of life. These enduring attributes, innately and intuitively imbibed and rubbed on him from his strict parents must have helped him to overcome all odds to attain the golden jubilee in Nigeria where life expectancy is frighteningly low.

Kesa cuts an appearance that conjures up love, profound reverence and admiration. His utterances and comportment are gracefully gratifying and pleasantly prodigious. Besides, his personality commands an arresting and irresistible aura that could be attributed to his disposition of honesty, humility, amiability and magnanimity. A rare breed with dual societal responsibility: he is a chief that is, a community leader and a church leader. By divine design, he is a combination of a man of God and a man of the people. Kesa is, truly, a jolly good fellow that is genuinely committed to positively touch as many lives that come his way.

Born on May 5, 1972 to the family of Mr. James Odejayi Kesa and Mrs. Iyabode Kesa of Ota Quarters, Ago-Iwoye of Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State of Nigeria, he had an upbringing that impacted on him courage, patience, divine wisdom and the fear of God.

He was moved from Ago-Iwoye his place of birth to Ibadan when he was 5 years old for early education. So, he began his educational pursuits at Ratibi Moslem Primary School, Molete, Ibadan between 1978 and 1983. For his secondary education, he attended the famous Ibadan Grammar School, Molete, Ibadan from 1983 to 1989. He proceeded to the Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) where he obtained both the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) from 1992 to 1994 and the Higher National Diploma (HND) from 1996 and 1998. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Public Administration from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.  

Kesa believes passionately that knowledge is power and acquiring academic qualifications is equally a necessary step to attain greater heights and gain access to important places and people that matter in society. Also, he has discovered over the years that schooling is an avenue to make new friends and build relationships that could be highly beneficial and tremendously rewarding. He, therefore, makes up his mind that he would continue to go back to school whenever it becomes necessary. No wonder, he is back at school pursuing a Bachelor of Law Degree (LLB) at the Lead City University, Ibadan after which he will proceed to the Nigerian Law School in his quest to be called to the Nigerian Bar as a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He loves business. He thinks business, talks business, and does business. Before he started his own business, he had a stint at the Sports Desk of the Nigerian Tribune as an Industrial Training attaché and at the Osun State Ministry of Information and Culture, Osogbo, for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. His business concerns are publishing, promotion, public relations services, real estate, importation, and auto sales. He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Limelight Associates and CityGold Integrated Business Limited.

Kesa founded Olusola Adetayo Kesa Foundation (OAKF) a non-profit, non-partisan, and non-governmental organisation with the mission to impact meaningful and purposeful living on the present and future generations. The foundation offers scholarships to students and facilitates economic empowerment to poor widows, orphans, women, and youths.

In the political scene, he was twice a Legislative Assistant to Senator Teslim Kolawole Folarin between 2003 and 2011 and, also when the distinguished Senator became the Senate Leader of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2007 till 2011.

He is widely travelled: he has participated in the holy pilgrimage to Israel. Also, he has made several visits to the United Kingdom and Germany for leisure, international conferences and seminars.

His hobbies are Table Tennis, Chess, and reading.

Akindele, a professional Journalist, lives in Ibadan.

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