Full Name: Tolu Ogunlesi
Date of Birth: March 3, 1982
State of Origin: Abeokuta, Ogun state.
Chieftancy Titles: None reported
Marital Status: Married
Spouse: Kemi Agboola
Children: None reported (based on internet research)
Who is Tolu Ogunlesi in Nigeria?
Tolu Ogunlesi is currently serving as the Special Assistant on Digital and New Media to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari. He was appointed to the role on 18 February 2016.
Tolu Ogunlesi was born 3rd of March, 1982 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Nigerian parents. He however lived most of his life in Nigeria.
He wears many hats in the media industry as; a journalist, poet, photographer, fiction writer and blogger.
Tolu attended the International School Ibadan. The school is located on the Campus of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s oldest university.
For his tertiary education, Tolu Ogunlesi need not look far away as he was able to gain admission into the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) in 2004.
He would later further his education in the United Kingdom (UK). Tolu graduated in 2011 with a Masters of Art (BA) Degree from the University of East Anglia (UK).
However, prior to his Master’s Degree, in 2008, he was selected for the guest Writing Fellowship, Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden.
Likewise in 2009, he was selected for the Cadbury Writing Fellowship, Centre for West African Studies, University of Birmingham, England.
June 2011: Reporting on International Security and Terrorism (Reuters Seminar; London)
Tolu Ogunlesi worked most of his career as a freelance journalist.
He served as an Analyst of Resources Operating Group, Accenture, in Lagos, Nigeria between September 2006 and January 2008.
Tolu Ogunlesi joined Visafone Communications Limited (also in Lagos) in February 2009 as Pubic Relations (Corporate Communications) Officer.
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He joined the NEXT Newspaper in August 2009 and quit his role as Features Editor in of the media company in September 2010. Tolu continued to participate as a weekly columnist and Editorial Board Member of the Newspaper after quitting his role.
Tolu Ogunlesi has also worked as a West Africa correspondent for The Africa Report but Lanre News was unable to confirm the duration ― the date he resumed and resigned the role.
He then became active as a blogger for Huffington Post (UK) and Freelance journalist published on CNN.com; Guardian.co.uk; Africa Confidential, The Economist (Baobab Blog), Arise, The Guardian (Nigeria), Think Africa Press, 3 Quarks Daily, London Independent, Harvard Africa Policy Journal, Wasafiri, and Farafina.
Family and Marriage
Tolu Ogunlesi in December 2014 tied the knot with Kemi Agboola in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. Their white wedding had an elegant palette of blues, white and silver.
The traditional wedding was held in November 2014.
July–Sept 2011: The Singing Word, Royal Opera House, London (writing for opera)
2009: CNN Multichoice African Journalism Prize (Arts & Culture)
2009: Shortlisted for the inaugural PEN/Studzinski literary prize
2008: Nominee (longlist), The Future Awards Artist of the Year
2007: Winner, Guardian (UK)/Ziji Publishing short story Competition
2007: Winner, 1st Facebook Poetry Competition
2006: Winner, 2006 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize
2006: Nominee (shortlist), The Future Awards Writer of the Year
2006: Noteworthy Poet, Concorso internazionale di poesia Castello di Duino
2005: National and International Winner, Scenarios from Africa writing Contest
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Authored Books by Tolu Ogunlesi
Listen to the Geckos Singing from a Balcony (Poem)
Conquest & Conviviality
In 2018, Tolu Ogunlesi came under heavy backlash for describing Nigerians as “animals”. In his reaction to comments requesting details of the meeting of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and model Naomi Campbell, Tolu Ogunlesi posted on Twitter;
“Naomi Campbell met Nelson Mandela more than once. He hugged her, called her his “honorary granddaughter”. She visits Nigeria for a fashion festival and meets President @MBuhari, and some of you animals are slandering her. YOU’RE RAVING MAD WITH NOBODY TO TELL YOU.”
Tolu Ogunlesi has been chastised by different journalists claiming his model is not what they envisioned. Investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo described Tolu Ogunlesi as someone “who sold his heart to the devil for a pot porridge”.
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Another journalist David Hudeyin on March 27, 2020, wrote a vitriolic article about Tolu Ogunlesi titled “Why the Tolu Ogunlesi Model of Journalism is Not for Me“.
Tolu Ogunlesi Contacts:
Mobile: +44 75 833 11 422 (UK); +234 803 337 6685 (Nigeria)
Disclaimer: The information in this article was sourced from different websites across the web. Lanre News cannot guarantee it is 100 per cent authentic. We however try to only retrieve information from websites considered reputable enough.
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