Nowadays, the internet is awash with tales of men and women who became rich overnight and are making youths set unrealistic goals without basis. Such stories are uninspiring. The rough and turbulent journey from Egypt to Canaan is symbolic . The Bibles says ‘these things happened’ so we might learn from them.
Show me a man who endured hardship and had scars for his success and I will gladly appreciate and celebrate him.
Today, we see and admire OSM, wish we own one of his exotic automobiles with customized plate numbers without first knowing all he endured to achieve the height. He was not born into privilege and wealth, and yet by his own efforts, by pulling himself up by the bootstraps, managed to become a great success that we all can be proud of today.
For those who care to know, Otunba Adebowale Olusola MOGAJI was born on Saturday, July 30, 1960 in Ebute Metta, Lagos. His father Mr. Raufu Akintola Mogaji was a civil servant working with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, (Foundry Workshop), Loco–Yaba, Lagos. He hailed from the Awodein Family in Ilese-Ijebu in Yemoji Local Council Development Area and his mother, Mrs. Comfort Olufolake Mobereola Mogaji was a caterer and from the Alebiosu Family of Owu Kingdom in Abeokuta North Local Government of Ogun State.
He is a devout Christian and was baptized at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Ebute Metta, Lagos in 1961, confirmed and received his first Holy Communion in 1967
Otunba Sola Mogaji (fondly called OSM) attended St. Paul’s Catholic School, Ebute Metta, Lagos for his primary education between January 1966 and December 1972. He gained admission into Baptist Boys’ High School, Abeokuta in January 1973 and obtained his Secondary School Certificate in June/July 1977.
His working carrier started in August 1977 when he was employed by VYB/Bewac, Apapa, Lagos, as a casual warehouse worker while awaiting his WASC Examination result. This employment lasted for just one week and withdrew upon gaining employment at Nigerian Railway Corporation (Accounts Department), Headquarters, Ebute Metta, Lagos on August 22, 1977 as Clerical Officer Grade 1. In August 1979, OSM was promoted to the rank of Senior Clerical Officer in the service of Nigerian Railway Corporation and acted as Executive Officer in relief capacity as the opportunities would arise.
On March 13, 1979 and September 13, 1979 (exactly six months apart), OSM lost his father, Raufu and mother Mobereola respectively after brief illness, an ordeal that nearly made his educational progression impossible. With cheer providence and trust in God, he continued in his employment with Nigerian Railways.
In September 1985 after securing a study leave without pay from NRC, OSM proceeded to England as he was admitted into University of West London, Slough, England (former Slough College of Higher Education) to study for a course leading to the qualification in Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). He returned to Nigeria on December 31, 1988 and resumed back to duty in Nigerian Railway from his study leave in March 1989. He then resigned his appointment with effect from September 30, 1989 and finally qualified in December 1989.
On his return to the shores of Nigeria, OSM thereafter wrote other professional examinations leading to the award of Associate Membership of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1991 and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in 1996.
He was admitted as Fellow Member of ACCA in October 1999, Fellow Member of ICAN in January 2001 and of CITN in March 2004. He was appointed Examiner by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1999.
Subsequent upon leaving the NRC, OSM had worked in several organizations including ED & F Man (Nigeria) Limited, a produce trading company, as Chief Accountant, Bolaji Coker & Co. (Chartered Accountants) as Trainee Accountant and United Distillers & Vintners Limited, Atan-Ota as Chief Accountant.
He left United Distillers & Vintners in 1995 to set up his own firm namely Sola Mogaji & Co. (Chartered Accountants) and another called Mogaji Consulting specializing in company secretarial services, manpower development, tax consultancy services, management advisory and other allied services. He is the Managing Partner in both professional firms.
As time passed on, he co-founded a Junior/Senior Secondary School called Daily Light College on October 2000 and in September 2006, Daily Light Nursery & Primary School both in serene area of Olowora and Isheri in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. He currently serves as the Executive Director of both schools. Many families have enjoyed his philanthropic gestures by way of scholarship awards to their wards/children.
On March 6, 2011, Otunba Sola Mogaji (OSM) was appointed and installed the Sogbamade of Ilese-Ijebu Kingdom. His wives also benefitted from the kind disposition of the Sogbamade Royal Family with their conferment as the Yeye-Otunbas.
OSM, a very amiable person, kind-hearted and witty; and has contributed both in material and physical sense to the wellbeing of his community and Yoruba community at large, and his impacts have been felt since he has returned to settle and dwell amongst his people.
In appreciation of his contributions, OSM was recognized with a Merit Award, a honour bestowed on him in 2013 by the good people of Ilese-Ijebu. Other award in recognition of his meritorious services was in 2015 by the Student Union of Ogun State College of Health Technology, Ilese-Ijebu, Ogun State. In July 30, 2017, he was also invested by Flashlight Magazine, a prominent periodical in Ijebuland, as Ijebu Hero of Change in the category of Great Ambassador. He was the winner of the Outstanding Community Builder’s Award in the 2017 edition of Yorùbá Youth Summit.
Otunba Sola Mogaji is married to Omolara Olayinka (Nee Savage) of Isale-Eko, Lagos and Veronica Oluwatoyin Oriyomi (Nee Adekoya) of Omu-Ijebu. He is blessed with five lovely children namely Oluwanifemi, Mobereola, Mopinnuola, Oluwakamiye and Omo-Aridunnu.