Motunde Senbanjo: A philanthropist (Dec. 28, 1942- July 5, 2009)
Elder Motunde Olaseni Senbanjo was born in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State on December 28, 1942 and died 10 years ago, on July 5, 2009.He was a man of great vision and British-trained seasoned technocrat with pedigree and so much famed in quality paint production in Nigeria, was indeed, a man of many parts: philanthropist, captain of industry with a great repute, a community leader and a giver.
After completing his primary and secondary education in Nigeria, he travelled abroad for quality training and obtained Diplomas in Marketing, Purchasing and Supply and Industrial Chemicals from various colleges in the 60s.
On his return to Nigeria in 1974, he was employed to work at the Marketing department of International Paints West Africa Limited (IPWA) Ikeja, Lagos; Nigeria. He served IPWA in Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt till he resigned his appointment to start his paint manufacturing industry: President Paints Nigeria Limited in 1987; with a passion to see indigenous quality paints production and to create a wealth of international knowledge and experience in Africa and worldwide. He also developed his staff’s capacity for knowledge and market penetration in the international scene.
According to his daughter, Mrs. Bukola Adetomiwa; Managing Director of President Paints Limited, ‘Our father made sacrifices to train his children. To him character mattered, one of his favourite sayings was “good name is better than silver and gold”. He works hard for the comfortability of his children and the family. Senbanjo was a pillar of strength to many and was a cheerful giver to the widows, orphanages, the motherless, President Paints staff, family and friends. He instilled in us a strong positive value. He was a man of integrity, stubborn to a fault, but a sticker for principles and values.’
He loved his people and was fabled for giving to the less privileged. His open door policy brought him lots of tributes and appreciation. He was indeed a man of the people who always had a listening ear for the needs of the people.
His passion for excellence was demonstrated in all he did and there was no place for substandard approach to assignments, which was evident in the quality production of paints across the country and in diaspora. Many described him as fearless and courageous. He encouraged his staff at President Paints to work hard by giving award of excellence, certificate of outstanding stewardship and granting them house loans. After his death, there were not many challenges at the company, because some of his children had been well positioned in the business. Due to his children’s experiences in the business, the quality of the products was maintained.
Married to his heartthrob, Mrs. Ronke Senbanjo, the marriage was blessed with children. He was a caring father, who always loved the company of his children. Senbanjo was a devout Christian, who vigorously pursued the knowledge of God and had a most intimate relationship with his Saviour, Jesus Christ. His teeming admirers recall with nostalgia this passion, and the fact that he never failed to attribute all he was ever able to attain in life to the love and mercy of God. He believed God had made him to live a wonderful life, always frontal in any of his speeches, showing the great values of modesty and humility.
Fondly remembered by his wife: Mrs. Ronke Senbanjo, children, grandchildren, siblings, family members, friends, management and staff of President Paints Limited.
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