Born May 1, 1985, Taiwo Bankole Ogunyemi, lived life in full. In his own words, "Community organisation is my passion while being a change agent is my calling. But, creating innovative businesses remains my expertise."
As a community organizer and change agent, Taiwo led projects such as the first Summer Technology Camp in Delta State and several ICT workshops in Lagos and Delta states - including free training for students in Oshodi Local Government. He was part of the team responsible for Warri Makeover, he teamed up with others to paint classrooms at Tokunbo Alli Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos and serves as a volunteer for many Enough is Enough Nigeria projects, including leading the publicity team for ReVoDa, co-organising Town Hall Meetings and providing back-end support for ReVoDa during the 2011 elections.
Taiwo volunteered for Paradigm Initiative Nigeria where he worked on the Maga No Need Pay anti-cybercrime project, Digital Lifestyle of Connected Nigerians survey and helped pioneer the Techie. Entrepreneurial. Nigerian. Talented (TENT) project through the TENT Workshop in Warri. Taiwo, also volunteered at the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), after completing his training there. He was part of the team that helped place other graduates on Internships, helped with technology support, contributed to monitoring and evaluation projects, and was part of the team responsible for the program's 2009 MTN scholarships. Taiwo served without hesitation, and provided support for other organisations such as The Future Project.
Taiwo graduated with a B.Sc in Chemical and Polymer Engineering from Lagos State University, a Diploma (Chemical and Polymer Engineering) from the same university and he coordinated The Visionaries Academy, Warri, where he planned and executed ICT training projects, liaising with the state government on training and project-related services, initiated projects in schools and organizations, led monitoring and evaluation, and more. He loves traveling and socializing, activities which he said made him appreciate diversity and learning about different cultures.
Taiwo also had stints with Kannisamab M&E Consultants, Ilupeju, Lagos, where he was a Computer Analyst and served as part of the team that designed M&E for the National Industrial Court in Ibadan, Kano, Lagos, Calabar and Maiduguri. He was an Industrial Trainee at NNPC Warri Refining and Petrochemicals, Ekpan, where he worked on crude oil transfer and dispatch to Kaduna, researched for the re-designing of operations and translated the pipe layout at Pump House A on AutoCAD. Taiwo was General Secretary and Follow Up Secretary of TACSFON in LASU. Taiwo ran Lavidarica Travels Company, providing travel logistics support to clients, and shared travel updates with numerous friends and follower on social media platforms.
His friends, colleagues and others had a lot to say about Taiwo and the amazing life he lived. "We can attest to the achievements of Bankole Taiwo. He was young and ready to do anything to fix Nigeria, and he died doing something for Nigeria. He had a purpose in life and got things done." "Taiwo was a young man with a major vision. He knew there was a way to touch the lives of young people. Taiwo touched many lives in his short time on earth. He was a born leader. He bubbled [with] positivity. He had optimism. He knew he was destined for great things. He was a determined, dedicated Christian. He loved his family."
In his honour, the Taiwo Bankole Prize was announced at the TENT Gathering 2012 event that was his last volunteer effort for Paradigm Initiative Nigeria. The annual prize will be awarded each year at an event that was dear to Taiwo's heart. Taiwo's words will continue to ring true: We all have one mission in life! To change the world.
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