Born on the 20th of April earlier 1980s, to the family of Oki Ayinla in Okitipupa, Ondo state, Oki Samson Olatunji is a name that has over the years established a brand renowned for excellence in the media world and authority in youths advocacy. Although he maintains a low profile, the trained accountant cum publicist and media guru is the CEO of Mckinggs media productions, a branding and media company with major interests in advocacy, publicity, photography, publishing, events and talent developments.
In this Interview with Obasa Adedeji, urban entertainment publicist, the Ambient Orator, Oki Samson discusses his Life, Passion, Projects, Role Models, Advocacy and Plans for the Future. He has successfully mobilized the youths for countless community initiatives, hosts of the annual skill empowerment, Trek Africa Entrepreneurship Conference and the prestigious Trek Africa Awards and National Discourse, Samson is more popular as a voice that resonates with the youths, owing to his numerous initiatives and programmes which keeps empowering several entrepreneurs and emerging young leaders. Enjoy the exciting excerpt.
TrekAfrica: Would you briefly discuss your background.
Oki: My Dad is from Ondo while my mum is from Sierra Leone, Third of four boys, all through my nursery years, I was homeschooled before attending Victoria island Primary School and Kuramo College in Victoria island, Lagos. It was there I discovered I had a flair for literary arts but didn’t pursue a career because I felt the pay would be low but that didn’t stop me from representing my schools excellently during debates and competitions. I eventually went on to study Accounting at the Lagos State University where I discovered my passion for politics.
TrekAfrica: Can you describe how your journey into media began?
Oki: Asides my flair for arts, I also took keen interest in photography, especially in my university days, i was always taking pictures, as time passed, I underwent several programmes and trainings in Photography and Video editing, some were even sponsored by outsiders who admired my interest. I launched Mckinggs media productions back in 2011 at my church, it was broadcast on national TV. Beginning as a team of 3, We were initially into visual production, photography, talent development, events and magazine but when every aspect except TV production flourished, basically because we couldn’t meet the demands of 13 episodes, we continued with our Trek Magazine and skills acquisition training projects; like the Creative Entrepreneurship Opportunities (CEOs) which began with 30 participants. I must also add that Like minded hands helped in building the Mckinggs’ brand and willing clients still engage us and give us referrels from time to time. I was also, a Freelance writer for New Telegraph Newspaper.
TrekAfrica: Would you mind discussing memorable projects and Ongoing ones.
Oki: Mckinggs has handled several projects but the most memorable ones include covering the Federal government Amnesty Project under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, being a Volunteer/ grassroot campaign mobilizer for the Buhari-Osinbajo and Ambode campaigns and also co-organizing mega concerts for churches and youths. Others are mainly celebrities, politicians, NGOs and personalities. But for some years now, we have been running our Trek Africa Entrepreneurship Conference which engages unemployed youths with skill empowerment schemes, turning them into employers of labour thereby creating wealth distribution in the economy. Also the Trek Africa Awards that bring together eminent personalities and leaders across Africa has been on for four years and currently I’m working on a book project alongside a few like minded youths.
TrekAfrica: Who would you describe as your major influence?
Oki: In the media world, Babajide Kolade Otitoju is an evergreen inspiration while I’m inspired by the leadership qualities of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Growing up, his presence was always felt across Lagos. I would love to engage the Jagaban in an interactive session. Both men have managed to stay relevant over the years.
TrekAfrica: Which events would you describe as the turning points in your career?
Oki: My happiest moment was when I got the federal government Amnesty project, I didn’t even negotiate and I got a bigger cheque than expected, considering I was just starting up. My saddest was when I lost my dad, it was surreal because he was just middle aged and a very caring father, my embarrassing moment is a recurring one, because of my busy schedule and my single status, friends keep matchmaking me with blind dates.
TrekAfrica: What brought about your interest in youth development and advocacy, as your programmes are mostly youth oriented?
Oki: Ideas rule the world and our youth are filled with ideas and leadership traits. We all can see our youth excelling in various fields including sports, banking, ICT and entertainment, the difference between them and the millions of unemployed graduates is the exposure and the ability to maximise their potential. Which is what we are trying to do with our activities. Also I have always been an admirer of talent and I believe given the proper platform, a lot of talent can be maximised in Nigeria. The Bible teaches us to trade with our talents, now you see companies and brands using youths who have harnessed their potential as brand ambassadors. Besides let’s face it, the government and blue-chip companies can’t completely help us, we have to help ourselves and each other too, which is why I’m an advocate for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship which is a better option if we must diversify the National economy. The youths are in a better position to restore the economy of the nation.
TrekAfrica: To what would you ascribe your success story?
Oki: First and most importantly, i give all glory be to almighty God for his continuous inspiration. I would like to describe myself as a go-getter, following the footsteps of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I like rendering services and really enjoy being the man behind the scenes, thankfully It has made a postive impact on my brand. Most people find it hard to believe I’m really the man behind the projects when we finally meet following the massive success.
My mum’s younger sister and Senator Oluremi Tinubu gave me the confidence when I needed it the most so they are highly placed in the Trek success story.
TrekAfrica: If not media, what would you have ventured into?
Oki: Considering my enthusiasm towards advocacy and accounting background, I believe I would be either a lawyer or a successful banker.