From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
The US-Nigeria Legislative and Executive Leadership Forum has picked Prince Kazeem Eletu-Odibo as the “Most Outstanding Philantropist in Nigeria” for his community achievements in human development capacity and philanthropy. He also bagged a United Nations ambassadorial title from the Convenant International University and Seminary with a conferment of Honourary Doctorate Degree (Doctor Of Philosophy).
He felt elated and fulfilled: “Today reminds me again of my growing up. You probably would have seen in my profile that I was born into a royal family but it was unknown to me for many years. Hence, I had to do all kinds of menial jobs just to survive. I was only two years old when my father passed on and my mother took me to a suburb called Ajegunle, it means wealth is here, but it is indeed a paradox.
“However, as a child I had a strange belief that one day I would be wealthy but I couldn’t tell how. I couldn’t steal or cheat anyone for a living. I was just like every Nigerian child born into what I presumed was poverty and I wanted to have a great future.
“I attended a press conference in Lagos in respect of this meeting and I stated without mincing words that I am very much aware that people and or organisations receive awards because of their affluence but my case is different. I didn’t pay for this. Instead, I believe that it was because of my little contributions that have been recognized.
“I have traveled thousands of kilometers, flew over several mountains, oceans, rivers, lands and cultures to a country many people wish to visit, truly God’s own country. I am indeed honored by this kind gesture and I would like to accept this award as I trust it would further motivate me to do even much more.
“I want to dedicate this award to two categories of people. First to my lovely mother who raised me up single-handedly. And two, I dedicate this to every Nigerian child who has a dream that someday Nigeria, Africa will be a better place and the world at large.
“I want to say also to my Creator, thank you indeed and I want to draw as always some inspiration from the national slogan of the United States of America: In God, We Trust. In God, I trust. I will keep impacting many more lives positively as I journey through life. So, help me God.”
His philanthropic gestures led to the birth of Prince Kazeem Eletu Odibo Foundation and Kazeem Royal Empowerment Program” with the sole aim of empowering the youth to fulfill their dreams. Recently, ECOWAS decorated him with ECOWAS Senior Advocate for Youth Empowerment Award. It is to recognise his immense contribution to the better standard of living of people.