Akintunde Rotimi, Jr. (a.k.a. AkinOmoAkin) was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1981 and is an indigene of Odo-Ayedun, Ikole Local Government, Ekiti State, Nigeria. He comes from a long line of public servants, activists, and ministers on both paternal and maternal sides of the family, and is continuing this family tradition of service to God and country.
His paternal grandfather Late Sir Daniel Adeleye Silva of Idofin Quarters, Odo-Ayedun, was a builder and minister and was one of the founders of the Methodist Church in the town. His paternal grandmother Late Madam Grace Ibileye Silva (Nee Iginla of Odo-Oro Ekiti), was a trader and community organiser.
His maternal great-grandfather, Late Most Reverend Jacob Silvanus Williams from Abeokuta, Ogun State, of blessed memory was the First Primate of the African Church between 1922 and 1933 and was one of the African Christians who advocated for the decolonisation of the practice of the Christian faith in the then Euro-centric Anglican Church. His grandfather Late Chief Adesola Kolajo Lamilisa (formerly Jonathan Adesola Williams) was a public servant, independence era activist, and nationalist, and one of the advocates of Mazi Mbonu Ojike’s ‘boycott the boycottables’ mantra.
It was in 1948, the year of AkinOmoAkin’s mother’s birth that her late father, Pa Adesola Kolajo Lamilisa changed his names from western names to fully indigenous names and stopped wearing western clothes till he died many decades later. His mother, Madam Modupeola Rotimi (Nee Lamilisa), led an illustrious career as an educationist and civil servant, and retired as a Director from the Federal Ministry of Education, after a meritorious career – her last posting being as the Head of the Federal Inspectorate Division, in Ondo State. She was one of the first set of recipients of the National Youth Service Corps Presidential Merit Award conferred by the Head of State at the time, Gen (Rtd.) Yakubu Gowon.
His father, Late Chief (Hon.) Akintunde Rotimi (formerly Samuel Akintunde Silva) was a second republic parliamentarian, activist, and public servant who was conferred a traditional title by the late Asaba – the traditional ruler of Isaba in Ikole Local Government, HRM Kabiyesi Samuel Idowu Adesanya Oyabade, the Oluwagbamigbe II. AkinOmoAkin’s father graduated from the University of London with a degree in Political Science and Sociology and worked for many years in the United Kingdom before returning home to join the civil service. He worked as an Administrative Officer in the Political Division of the Cabinet Office (now the Presidency), between 1975 and 1978, during which time he held several positions of trust on inter-ministerial committees, including; Secretary, Abandoned Properties Panel, responsible for the documentation of root titles of owners of abandoned properties from the South Eastern Zone after the Civil War; Secretary, Orile Agege Army/Civilian Crisis Panels, 1976; Protocol Officer, Constitution Drafting Committee, 1976; Executive Secretary, Crash Programme on Technical Manpower Training; and Executive Secretary, Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi Panel, 1977.
In the course of Late Chief (Hon.) Akintunde Rotimi’s time in the Nigerian Civil Service, in spite of his privileged position, got in the cross-hairs of the military authorities for leading the activism for improved working conditions for Nigerian workers. Amongst other agitations, he fought against the abolition of car loans to public servants by the military administration of the day, earning him the nickname “Mr. Car Loan”, and leading to his exit from the Nigerian Civil Service.
He joined the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and was one of the closest administrative aides of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He then contested and won the election to the Federal House of Representatives, representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency of the Old Ondo State, on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria, during which time he served as a Member of the House Committee on Public Service Matters; Member of the House Committee on Information; and the Leader of the Nigerian Parliamentary delegation to the 1983 conference of African Parliamentary Union in Libreville, Gabon. He was also the Secretary of the Ekiti Caucus in the Second Republic National Assembly, under the chairmanship of Senator Ayo Fasanmi. He prepared the historic memo that was signed by all Ekiti Federal and State Legislators on May 9, 1980, and sent to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Creation of States – this was one of the earliest documentation of the agitation for the creation of Ekiti State, which later came to fruition on October 1, 1996.
AkinOmoAkin was raised in the finest tradition of the Christian faith, academic excellence, pan-African worldview, and omoluabi values. This accounts for his worldview, character, devotion to public service, passionate pursuit of the common good, and advocacy for equality and protection of vulnerable segments of society. After his first few years in England, AkinOmoAkin attended Corona School Victoria Island, Lagos for his primary school education, before proceeding to the Federal Government College Ido-Ani for the first year of his secondary education. He then attended Kings College Lagos to complete his secondary school education in 1997.
He proceeded to the University of Ibadan, and earned a Bachelors Degree in Geography. During his time at the University of Ibadan, he served as President of the Nigerian Universities Geography Students’ Association (UI Chapter), as well as President of the Fathers’ House Project. Through the Fathers House Project, AkinOmoAkin was instrumental in addressing the menace of cultism and other vices on campus at the time, working closely with Late Prof. Olumuyiwa Awe (one of the seven founders of the Pyrates Confraternity), who was the Chairman of the Unibadan Anti-Cultism Committee.
He subsequently earned a Masters Degree in Diplomacy and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos, a diploma in film production from the Toronto Film School, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations from Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario. He also holds certifications from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars; the United States Institute of Peace; and the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.
He served as a member of the National Youth Service Corps in Lagos state between 2005 and 2006, and began a career in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. He is a consummate strategic communications professional whose career trajectory lies at the nexus of the public and civic sectors, at the national and sub-national levels of government in Nigeria and Canada. His early career saw him work in companies such as Rosabel Leo Burnett, Verdant Zeal, and BGL Plc, before his foray into politics and public service. He was one of the earliest appointees in the first tenure of Dr. Kayode Fayemi as Governor of Ekiti State, serving as Special Assistant to the Governor (Corporate Communications), and was steadily promoted to become Senior Special Assistant, and subsequently Principal Private Secretary to the Governor.
During his time of service between 2010 and 2014, he was central to the administration’s communications and strategy, knowledge management, content production, and management of the principal’s proprietary initiatives. He particularly takes pride in being responsible for coordinating the process that resulted in the creation of the Ekiti State logo on March 6, 2011, under the oversight of the late former deputy governor H.E. Mrs. Funmi Olayinka. He is also the author of the Ekiti Charter of Values which was adopted to be used in all Ekiti public schools.
He subsequently served as Special Adviser on Investment Promotions to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development between 2015 and 2018, and amongst other assignments served as a member of the committee that developed the 20-Year ‘Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector.’
During his sojourn in Canada for further studies, AkinOmoAkin served as a member of the Residents’ Reference Panel on Automotive Insurance that made recommendations to the provincial government on how to improve the administration of the auto insurance industry in Ontario, Canada.
In 2020, AkinOmoAkin returned to Nigeria to serve as a member of the Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Enquiry into Alleged Cases of Police Brutality in Nigeria. He was subsequently appointed Special Adviser to the Governor on Communications and Strategy.
He specialises in Communications for Development (C4D), which leverages social impact storytelling, and the use of communication strategies and tools to support social change and progressive government reforms. As co-founder of Great and Mighty Things Inc., he has produced and directed many short films and documentaries on various social themes in Nigeria and in Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and previously served on the boards of the Canadian Public Relations Society – Hamilton, as well as STAND Canada, an organisation that advocates to make preventing and ending genocide a cornerstone of Canadian foreign and domestic policy.
In spite of his busy schedule, he found expression for his talent and versatility as an actor and has featured in vast content broadcast across Africa and beyond such as Africa Magic’s Tinsel (Dieko), Battleground (Dr. Abiodun), and Forbidden (Mustapher), as well as several movies. The roles he has selectively interpreted have served the advancement of social justice themes because he sees the entertainment industry as not only a platform for creating jobs and economic opportunities for young Nigerians, but also a veritable tool for social transformation. As a model, he has featured in commercials for leading global brands such as HSBC and Walmart.
His activities in the civic sector which focuses on post-conflict peacebuilding, youth development, and social protection for vulnerable people, have seen him lead humanitarian missions within Nigeria, and to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. He previously served on the board of STAND Canada (an organisation that advocates to make preventing and ending genocide a cornerstone of Canadian foreign policy. He is the Founder of Samuel Akintunde Silva Foundation (SASCARE Foundation) with a focus on supporting Military Widows; Mental Health and Wellness; Medical Missions; and Elderly Care. He is also the Founder of Ekiti Connect, a network of young professionals.
In addition to several medical and economic empowerment initiatives carried out over the years, AkinOmoAkin has also demonstrated a profound capacity to mobilise Ekitis at home and abroad, as well as other well-meaning individuals and corporations even beyond Nigeria, to carry out infrastructure interventionist projects in Ekiti. One of his central development philosophies is the popular saying that “together, we are greater than the sum of our individual parts.” His life’s mission is to contribute to building a kinder society where no one is left behind. He believes that elected representatives of the people must be aggressive mobilisers with the integrity, network of goodwill, temperament, and capacity to get all stakeholders involved in development.
AkinOmoAkin’s recognitions include the LEAP Africa Nigeria Youth Leadership Award, and the Future Award. He was recognised as a Crans Montana New Leader for Tomorrow and is an Associate Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI). He is also an alumnus of the United States Government’s International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP), and holds the title of Supremo Viajante Del Sudoeste conferred by the order of the Officials of the City of El Paso Texas, and the El Paso Council for International Visitors.
He is married to ‘Tina, a lawyer, and they have three children Tammy, Timmy, and Tommy.