Ayo Moses Ogedengbe: The strategist “driven by freedom, justice and minimalism”

The journey (probably untold)

Untold, because there’s something you didn’t know about the founder of Lagos Brands Festival and a Brand Strategist with years of invaluable experience. It means you won’t have known that Ayo Moses Ogedengbe has had “hell and heaven” as unavoidable words in his professional journey. But, he says he is “appreciative to the clients, friends and associates who have shown us support, despite the fact that this is a peculiar environment where conforming appears to be the only thing that guarantees constant projects and the attendant revenue.”

He continues: “The Journey into marketing communications started well over a decade ago, but in between, we have gotten involved with telecommunications and other businesses that saw us leaving the marketing space for a while and returning 3 years ago into mainstream brand management.”

The break can be seen as a blessing in disguise as it gave us the opportunity to look at the industry from outside with a panoptic view and determination to doing things differently.”

Dealing with change

Considering change is a regular phenomenon, we will always ask how the players in different industries approach change – because we want to learn from them. Ayo says, “some people say that change is the only constant thing in life. Guess what? I agree with them 100%. The most important thing, for me, is to be nimble enough to survive first then to thrive by all means necessary.”

However, in our quest to survive and thrive, we hold very dearly to a belief system that is principle-based. Humanity comes first and we do not compromise on that. Everything we do takes a cue from the thinking that if it helps humanity makes progress, then it is sustainable. If it doesnt, then it isnt sustainable. Sustainability is indeed the variable that helps us survive and thrive, no matter what the situation is.”

Who says learning ever stops?

Ayo says he learns through books on leadership, autobiographies and associating with knowledgeable people…”I am talking about people who are responsible for the lives of others in a conscious way and apply themselves to their responsibilities.” He also learns from watching documentaries and true-life stories.

He adds, “but above all, the best learning experience that a man can have is that which he has been given the opportunity to pass through. In other words, it is good to read but quite better to be given the opportunity to apply whatever one may have learned through books, documentaries and the lives of other leaders.”

In summary, “my first point of learning, is through books and I have a reasonably up to date library on Marketing, Branding, Public Relations, Politics, Africa, storytelling, corruption and corporatocracy.” Great stuff!

Building lasting air scrapers

I would like to be remembered as a simple man who came, saw and lived his life on his own terms.”

He tells he is “driven by freedom, justice and minimalism. I respect people who are, not necessarily wealthy or the richest around, but those who are knowledgeable and simple in their ways.”

Is there a connection between money and legacies?

Money is hardly my motivation for wanting to do anything worthwhile. Unfortunately, some amount of money is needed to defend ones life against economic predators, sociopolitical oppressors and religious bigots.”

Ayo is a simple man. “Let the world, if it ever cares to; remember me as a man who lived life on his own terms.”

Doing it different from brand management

I think I still have all the opportunity I want to do anything I want. One of the things I would like to do and do well is to build a conscious movement among Africans.  I would like to see, in my lifetime, a generation of Africans that are environmentally, politically and socioeconomically conscious enough to know that Africans and Africa should never have to “Carry Last”.

I have a series of Social Media posts tagged AFRITHINK. The idea is basically to challenge Africans everywhere to rise to the occasion and change the neocolonial narrative that paints us as poor and incapable of self –developing. I am quite impressed with the works of Seun Kuti and his vision with Naija Resistance Movement.  His organisation resonates with my feelings on what needs to be done to save the next generation of African men and women.”

I think young Nigerian Professionals should pay attention to the power they have to birth real change.”

Ideas fly around, Ayo has some of them in the air.

We are very inquisitive, so we asked him to tell us what we didn’t know about him

Maybe you thought you knew everything.

Many people do not know that I am a very easy person. When people come across my face anywhere, the first thing they think of is a tough guy. (Laugh out Loud).  Maybe because of my beards or my looks…It may also be because I am non-religious, sometimes criticize religion and its western influence on our people. I really don’t know. But trust me when I say that I am a very simple man. However, I can never and will never be simple to an oppressor.”

What are you really into outside of work?

Basically, I like having conversations with young people. I spend, these days, quite a number of hours weekly seeing how I could share knowledge with our next generation of men and women who fall into the ages of 18-25.”

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