GBOLA OBA was born into extreme poverty and raised by his single-parent trader mother in one of Lagos’ notorious slums of the ’60s, ’70s and the ’80s, Mushin, before he emigrated as an “economic immigrant” to Europe.
The contrasting values of love, loyalty and creative self-enterprise that he, on the one hand, learned from his doting mother and the streetwiseness instincts of survival, toughness and innovative existential strategising, on the other hand, have shaped his value-creating entrepreneurial persona.
A strategic business thinker-and-doer who has gained the peculiar fame of collaborating with and helping business originating entrepreneurs take their businesses to heights of exemplary stature. He innovatively, as the chief contributing political broadcaster on BEN TV in United Kingdom in the early 2020s, raised the profile of the station by regularly getting the good and the great of Africa (like Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and late Prof. Wangari Maathu Mathai, presidential, ministerial and gubernatorial personages across the continent) to feature on his much loved and watched shows. He (at the very dawn of his return home in 2007 after spending almost two decades in Europe, where he amongst other political accomplishments contested as the Conservative party’s candidate in the then London Borough of Greenwich’s St. Mary’s ward 1997 council elections) discovered a fellow returnee, Engr. Kunle Shonaike, with whom he has partnered to innovatively–through strategically designed auto maintenance/repair artisans and young tertiary education graduates’ training programme that he conceptualised and nurtured into blossoming reality–redefine the Nigerian auto maintenance/repair industry with more than 4000 (four thousand) automotive mechatronics alumni of the famous AUTOMEDICS INSTITUTE. Hundreds of the institute’s alumni now own their superlatively successful auto workshops and related businesses, and they employ thousands nationwide. Hence he prides himself as “One of Nigeria’s few minters of sustainable millionaires!”
A strong believer in the Nigerian youths; “All they ever need to beat the world is visionary and purposeful public and private sectors leadership” he often says.
An experiential and methodical mentor, who is now religiously committed to dramatically reducing Nigeria’s near-20m housing-stock deficit and the near universal culture of incompetence which defines the building and construction industry; by encouraging diaspora and returnee industry experts to kickstart a strategic interventionist TRAIN2BUILD youths and artisans skills-cum-enterprise-empowerment and skills upgrade programmes respectively.