By Oluwatumininu Adetoro
Life has no significance if it has no purpose. Our path is made clear by insight. Anybody who lives with purpose and understanding will not only be an inspiration to others but will also serve God through humanity. Only a select few people maintain their clarity of thought and sense of purpose in the struggle for existence. Few privileged people consider using their time on earth to benefit humanity, and only a few powerful people feel compelled to think deeply about their influence or power.
When we do find someone who, despite her extraordinary success and influence, maintains an extremely humble, empathetic, and authentic demeanor, this rarity must be recognized and celebrated constantly.
I started to think back on the many wonderful memories and experiences I’ve had with this “limited version” of an amazing and purposeful leader as the birthday of this highly cerebral, lovely and compassionate servant leader drew near. A gift to mankind and unique breed. Who would have believed that such an established person would receive me with open arms and elevate me from the status of a boy from the “trenches” to a “sonship” status given my lack of political involvement and powerful background?
Everything began in the year 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, when everyone was placed on lockdown and required to stay at home.
I planned a webinar series to keep students’ minds engaged since, as a student leader in the faculty, I realized the necessity to constantly engage the students. In order to give credit to the subject, search for qualified, well-known speakers with extensive experience began. After contacting several people, we decided to also contact someone from the government, so we contacted a few members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, among whom was Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay. To our surprise, she responded. I said that this caught us off guard because we’re used to not hearing back from government officials when it comes to student-related events.
They’ve already been painted as being inaccessible at all times, as was further demonstrated by her fellow colleague, whose response we were unable to obtain despite our best efforts to contact him. Consequently, we weren’t really prepared for the kind of cordial reception we received from this lovely woman.
She, however, disproved our assumptions and altered our preconceptions in the most extraordinary way possible because, in addition to responding well when we contacted her online, she also made herself incredibly approachable and had a burning desire to have an impact on the next generation and see them succeed from the moment we first met her. To make a long tale short, she not only accepted that invitation but also established herself as a pillar of strength for the student body. She was responsive, passionate about the youths, and ready to make significant sacrifices in order to see them succeed. This was someone I had never even physically met.
Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay disproves the widespread misconception that members of the political elite are inaccessible by always granting requests from anyone who approaches her, regardless of who is making them or when. She is non-discriminatory and will literally show up at any event where she can make a difference in people’s lives. Her kindness and sacrifice have contributed to the success of numerous youth projects and programs both inside and outside of her constituency. She prefers to spend time with the younger generation and make an impact on their lives over anything else because she is a firm believer in the potential of the youth to change the country, in contrast to her colleagues who would rather send representatives to gatherings, especially those that involve the youth and students. She is a young leader who connects with the demographic of young people and whose motherly love is unshakable and uncompromising.
I still clearly recall how she chose to cancel a crucial appointment in order to address students from Lagos State University at a Maiden Leadership Forum. She delivered a fantastic speech that had the student stuffed to the gills from her store of information, undoubtedly in her customary fashion. Of course, the big news that day was that she salvaged the event because the other guest speakers were unable to attend in the customary fashion due to last-minute cancellations, while she preferred to spend her time influencing the younger generation over anything else. As the event’s savior, she was gracious enough to show the organizers the utmost tolerance while devoting her entire day to making sure the event ran smoothly, ensuring that the absence of the other speakers was barely noticed. The excellent deeds of this upright woman include acts like these and a great number more.
Indeed, this servant leader has taught me a great deal, and her exceptional leadership style has completely altered the way I view leadership. Honorable makes leadership seem so effortless with the way she uses her various leadership tools at various times, despite the many difficulties that come with it, especially as a woman in politics. As a leader, I have closely seen her extremely laudable dedication to service and her passion for humanity, which is shown in the countless projects, programs, and initiatives she has taken to improve the lives of the people. She has undoubtedly taught me a lot about leadership, and occasionally I even question if I could ever make such significant sacrifices as a leader if I were in her position. She has evolved into a reference work for all things leadership-related.
She frequently shares her leadership journey with those around her during our numerous chats, and I can still clearly remember one of those conversations where she made a significant and insightful statement that made me stop and ponder it. She made a joke “The youth of today aren’t really that patient, and if we as leaders had to deal with some of these issues, you guys wouldn’t be able to, and everything would have been scattered. Do you really want to gain control in this way? The lessons from those who came before you must be applied ” these were her words.
Should I discuss the several bills she has sponsored and co-sponsored to improve people’s lives and advocate for youths, girls, and women, as well as how she uses her network and influence to facilitate development programs for the people. She gave up her own personal possessions for the benefit of the people, and that was the final straw that snapped my doubts about her as a selfless leader. She preferred the needs of her constituents before her own luxury, which she obviously required at the time, choosing instead to inconvenience herself in order to meet their demands.
I questioned whether I could use the money gift provided to me to purchase a better device for the people instead of for myself. I was limited to a sigh and a silent thought. This degree of affection, dedication, and unselfish service to the people is exceptional and deserving of admiration.
She alerts us to her own imperfections and lets it be known that it is something she is consciously working on daily, which is quite impressive. Obviously, I may not have noticed her flaws, and I certainly am not saying she is perfect because we all know that perfection is not a human attribute.
Her professional experience, skills, and relentless pursuit of education have consistently set her apart from her fellow legislators, even as a woman in governance who appreciates the importance of both leadership and learning. One could tell how laden this personification of beauty and intelligence would be because she had recently finished another degree in law while she awaited being called to the bar. She constantly equips herself for leadership roles and is unquestionably equipped.
Through her eloquence, brilliance, grace, and perseverance, this highly cerebral lawmaker has imprinted her name and voice even beyond the state and national level to the global stage. She had demonstrated in her role as a leader that it is possible to be approachable and humble without raising any red flags. She exudes unusual humility and tremendous empathy in her interactions with others. One of the reasons she embraced someone like me and welcomed me with open arms to be mentored by her without giving my background a second consideration was because of her open door philosophy and capacity to recognize and nurture abilities.
She did not succumb to the alluring pull of power; instead, she views it as ephemeral, a tool to be used for the greater good of humanity, and a vehicle for selfless service.
You will be motivated to dream bigger, study more, accomplish more, and become more with Hon. (Mrs) MOJISOLAOLUWA ALLI-MACAULAY because she blazes a good path while leading from the front. She is a special kind of selfless leader that the world still needs more of.
As honourable marks her 45th birthday today, I wish her long life and prosperity. I pray that God will continue to grant her wisdom and uphold His covenant with her. Always remember that “The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps (proverbs 16:9” and that “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (proverbs 16:7)”.
Oluwatumininu Adetoro is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Lagos State University whose interest spans across Public Relations, Corporate Communication, Crisis Management and Communication, Strategic Planning and Implementation, Media Relations, and Branding.