Sijibomi Ogundele popularly known as Sujimoto has risen to become one of the youngest rich men in the country through hard work, resilience and dedication in the real estate and construction sector.
In celebration of his 34th birthday, the CEO of Sujimoto Construction Limited held an exclusive charity dinner at Rhapsodys in Victoria Island on the 7th of April and on the 8th he proceeded with his ‘10,000 Giving Back with Sujimoto’ charity campaign visiting over 70 stops in different areas including Ojuelegba, Orile, Iyana Ipaja, Makoko, Oshodi and many others.
The young CEO of one of the fastest growing real estate company in the country reflects on life, he talks about his humble background, experiencing poverty and the idea behind his ‘10000 Giving Back with Sujimoto’.
“I grew up between Agege and Oke-Arin, so I understand what it is to drink Garri without sugar; and because I know and understand what poverty means, giving back to me is not voluntary, it is an obligation. The ‘10000 Giving Back with Sujimoto’ idea was borne out of the need to reach out to the needy in society, focusing 80% on our physically challenged women, single mothers, widows and other under privileged citizens of this nation. It is a major call to action on the Poverty Emancipation Programme (PEP) programme.
On the 7th of April 2015, it blew my mind as I saw a multitude of happy faces coming together in a hall, filled with love and excitement, packing items for distribution in the spirit of giving back to our society. The idea stimulated my brother and friend Abba Atiku, who not only attend the dinner event, but helped us in packaging these items, and also joined us on the road show. About 15-20 items/provisions consisting of Rice, Gala, Noodles, Oil, Maggi, Golden Morn, Water, Toothpaste, Dangote Sugar, Salt, Soap, T-Shirts, and loads of nourishment courtesy of Nestle Nig. Plc, were carefully packed in customized ‘Sujimoto10000’ bags, as we were all set to hit the road on the 8th of April 2015.
On Wednesday, what looked like a political rally was a campaign towards giving back to society. The 8th of April 2015 would never be forgotten. This isn’t because it was actually my birthday but for the fact that I was able to leave home from 9am and we did not stop until we touched the lives of so many people. A convoy of about 10 cars and buses set out to give out our packaged bags and other items to charity organizations, needy on the streets and the general public. With about 70 stops in different areas from Ojuelegba, Orile, Iyana Ipaja, Makoko, Oshodi and areas I never knew existed. We had music, friends, and volunteers as recipients were extremely pleased as they received a surprise bag. The excitement, happiness and love was truly an unbeatable feeling for us. One lady with tears in her eyes said: ‘I didn’t know what to feed my kids with today, but your surprise has blessed my day, only God would bless you all’.
I have such a huge love for twins. It has always been my desire that when I get married, God gives me twins. Coincidentally, there are one year old twins who were born on the same day as I was. These twins are at the Red Cross Home in Yaba which was one of the homes we visited. I instantly fell in love with them and adopted them until they finish their university. I pray that God gives me the strength to support them.
My friends, colleagues and many other people volunteered and joined us as we toured within Lagos to give to back.
It is my belief that poverty is not just the absence of finances but in reality a poor mind is a weak mind. So it might not be the capacity to give financially but the moral support, the time spent and selfless commitment to change someone’s life positively…that to me is the biggest asset invested in you by God.
We might not be able to help everyone but everyone can help one person. So let’s eradicate poverty as we all join together and touch one life after the other.”
If your neighbour is hungry, your chicken is not safe.”