By Gani Kayode Balogun Jr
For Funso Aina, the first in a family of five boys, leading from the front comes naturally.
Growing up in Agege, It was almost a given that his world view would be greatly influenced by his environment.
But Funso is made of sterner stuff.
After passing out of St. Joseph Secondary School in Agege, Funso had the option of doing his A/Levels at any of the prestigious schools in the Agege axis, but he has his eyes set on the top of the mount: King’s College Lagos!
And like the proverbial snail which will always succeed in climbing trees from the ground no matter how slowly, Funso not only got into KC, he also excelled.
Thus began a pattern that has guided his career projection, and his personal motto:
“Do not tell me the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon”.
Armed with a Bachelors degree in History from University of Ilorin, and later a Masters degree in International Relations from OAU, Funso was primed to stamp his footprint on the moon.
From the stables of The News to starting the gist column in the Punch, where he rose to become the State House Correspondent in Abuja, then Foreign Affairs Correspondent and a ember of the Editorial Board, Funso became a rolling stone, gathering more journalistic notches at Daily Independent and The Nation as an Assistant Editor.
His unique reportorial style and wit caught the attention of the US State Department as he was invited in 2003 to be part of the International Visitors Programme. He was also admitted to the Fellowship of the Commonwealth Press Union, which afforded him the opportunity of doing job shadowing for the British Council in India in 2005.
With such extensive international training, it became inevitable that Funso’s next berth would be either an international or multinational platform.
He joined the British Council as the Communication Manager before berthing at MTN in 2009, where he presently serve as Senior Manager in charge of External Relations Strategy.
Funso, a married father of three, Oyindamola, Ayowonuola and Oluwadunbarin, has traveled extensively, and still believes that ceteris paribus , he could still, one day, stamp his footprint on the moon.
Knowing Funso as well as I do, that is also achievable.
Happy 50th birthday, my dear brother. Many happy returns of the day.