It was celebration galore on Thursday in Lagos as political bigwigs and the crème de la crème of the advertising and marketing world gathered to honour advertising icon, Lolu Akinwunmi.
The event was the launch of Mr Akinwunmi’s book, ‘Skin for Skin: The Prima Garnet Story’ as well as the unveiling of the Lolu Akinwunmi Family Foundation, LAFF.
Mr Akinwunmi, who is the founder of one of Nigeria’s premier advertising agencies, Prima Garnet, also celebrated his 60th birthday.
The event, which held in Victoria Island, was attended by Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Tunji Bello; Jimi Agbaje, a gubernatorial aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party; former senator Olorunnibe Mamora, among other dignitaries.
Speaking at the event, Mr Osinbajo described Mr Akinwunmi as a professional who practiced with honesty and integrity without being consumed by the mad rush to cut corners among practitioners in his field.
“He demonstrated that there is value in honesty and integrity,” he said.
The vice-president also eulogized the celebrant’s wife and children, adding that they stood by him when he needed them the most during moments of trials and tribulations.
Mr Osinbajo explained that in moments of trials, human beings must recognize the place of faith, family and friends.
In his speech, Mr Ambode recognized Mr Akinwunmi’s contribution to the growth of advertising in Nigeria, describing him as one of the foremost players in advertising in Nigeria.
Represented by Mr Bello, Lagos’ SSG, the governor also urged the Prima Garnet boss to continue to be an inspiration to many Nigerians.
In her review of the book, the CEO of Treewater, Julia Jacks, described the book as one that chronicles the trials, triumphs and success story of Prima Garnet and its CEO, Mr Akinwunmi.
Divided into three phases, Mrs Jacks noted that the book covers the NYSC years of the author, his years as an applicant looking for job, his years working at Lintas, his heroes and zeroes and ultimately, the story of Prima Garnet. She urged all professional advertising practitioners and student of communication to read the book and learn from its lessons.
“This is certainly one book you can judge from the cover,” she said.
Mr Akinwunmi on his part thanked family and friends who honoured him at the event, adding that he remained grateful for their support for him during his moments of trials and tribulations.
He highlighted what he wrote in his book, adding that it was his contributions to public knowledge especially with regards to his profession.
He however called on the Nigerian government to ensure that advert contents are vetted as the nation moves toward the polls in 2019, adding that efforts of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, in the area of advert vetting during the 2015 electioneering period went a long way in instilling discipline in the profession and avoiding political unrest.
He called on the Nigerian government to look into the concerns surrounding the operations of APCON, saying “this is the time we need APCON the most.”
Born in 1958, Mr Akinwunmi graduated from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and worked in several advertising firms before he founded Prima Garnet, reputed as one of the nation’s premier advertising agencies.