Losing one’s parents before the age of 16 can be devastating and crippling. However, when you then summon courage and confront life’s challenges head-on, notching outstanding academic laurels and notable career accomplishments, you know that it could only have been possible by the grace of God and the assistance of destiny helpers. Edward Ademosu’s parents wanted him to be a priest. After their sudden death, he chose to be a Pharmacist. He eventually ended up studying Mass Communication, and becoming a successful Public Relations specialist. The Podium’s Publisher, Ademola Akinbola, sought out the reserved, almost shy Eddy on the occasion of his 60th birthday. The interview is published below:
Who is Eddy Ademosu? Please give us a brief insight into your family background?
Precisely on the 27th of April 1962, I was born in Shomolu, Lagos State, of humble and God-fearing parentage; mostly of Catholic background who hailed from Imomo, Ilugun Ijebu in the present Ijebu North East Local Government area of Ogun State. My Dad was a Teacher, and a Catechist of the Catholic order with strict disciplinary dispositions. Both attributes had a lot of influence on our upbringing as children, and I, as the only male child of a family of four, really went through a strict disciplinary tutelage; one designed to prepare me as a Reverend Father.
Indeed, I had my secondary education in a Minor Seminary (Saint Theresa), Oke Are, Ibadan, Oyo State with the intent of being ordained a Priest. But man can propose a plan, it’s only God who endorses it into fruition. The desire of my dad was premised on the stated plans but we lost our parents early in life and were left in God’s hands to fulfill our assigned destinies. Invariably, what I’m today is God’s benevolence and the grace of the Catholic Mission that granted us scholarships to pursue our educational goals to the highest levels. With an upper division in HND, two master’s Degrees, and a Ph.D. in view, I can only thank God for being faithful and gracious thus far. All glory to His Mighty name.
How do you feel striking Diamond on the occasion of your 60th birthday?
Frankly, if you peeped carefully into my family background, and the challenges of attaining the little achievements that have been recorded so far, one can only be grateful to God and be appreciative of the system that provided the leverage of accomplishments. I feel partly fulfilled and I’m quite certain that the good Lord who has started a great work in me is able to complete it to His glory. We still have a lot more to accomplish to fulfill the essence of destiny.
Was there a time you ever thought you would not make it this far?
Truth is that life can be uncertain and suggestive of past occurrences. Against the background of losing our parents very early in life (my mum, when I was about 13 years old, and dad, at about 16 years old), the tendency is to be agitated and fearful of breaking through in life. Once again, I thank God who, as a Solicitor, not only vindicates our survival but also ensures our modest accomplishments thus far.
What has life taught you at 60? What are the learning points you want to share with us?
From birth to death, life is a continuous lesson. Taking from the perspectives of the corporate world, the journey of life, to me, can be likened to the business appraisal of the SWOT acronym. Life contains a lot of threats (challenges) as well as opportunities. In the past 60 years, one has encountered a series of downtime and uptime but the inherent strengths in us, have overcome the weaknesses in a way that today, I praise the Almighty God. Thus far, life is truthfully a bed of roses and thongs. It’s instructive that the ability to blend the two variables and achieve a balance helps to appreciate life from a positive perspective. Put in a literary form: life contains the good, the bad, and the ugly. We live with them, manage them, and make the best out of them.
What has been your guiding philosophy in life, and how have you been able to sustain it?
Trust in God’s perfect plans, and self-contentment! In other words, “what will be, will be”. It seems to me that no one can outrun his or her destiny; you are bound to fulfill life’s essence no matter the odds and the duration. What’s required, in my view, is patience and contentment when trudging on in life with all its attendant challenges. I have learnt to resign my fate into the infinite mercies of God and then, be contended, applying the logic of patience. The Yorubas will say: ‘Surù le se okuta jina’ (patience can literally solve all problems).
You had a distinguished career working in various organizations. Would you like to share with us the highlights of your career milestones?
Talking about my career, I had wanted to be a pharmacist. However, through providence, I ended up studying Mass Communication with its wide areas of career options. I opted for the Public Relations (PR) specialty, and that landed me in the Banking industry after my service year with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in the early 90s. Thereafter, it was an upward mobile trend from one bank to the other, namely: Wema Bank Plc (as a Manager/Senior Manager), Union Bank Plc (as Senior Manager 1), and the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank). I was privileged to work at the top end of my career in the stated Banks, culminating at the management Group Head level; an Assistant General Manager (AGM) status.
What have been the high and low points of your life?
Our Lord has been faithful in ensuring that we live a balanced life across the board; carrying our cross and following His footsteps. Rising to the level of an Assistant General Manager (AGM) in the banking industry is by no means a little achievement. It’s one of the high points of life that we give God the glory for. The challenge of life could also impose its lowly point by almost turning one into a non-starter. Generally, we take solace in His infinite mercy which has not left us perpetually at the lowly end of life’s struggle.
What are you doing currently?
As a consummate communications professional, the field of consultancy is wide and offers challenging opportunities to practice. This is essentially germane in a growing democratic dispensation like ours. I fit into the Brand Reputation Management and Consultancy sector; offering wide services to corporate institutions and high net worth individuals. Essentially, we remain in the dynamic field of Mass Communication with all its attendant challenges and opportunities.
PR remains relegated to the background in public administration in Nigeria. How can this anomaly be addressed?
This is a topical subject, and it’s essentially true of the Nigerian setting. It’s a sad development that despite the long history of Public Relations (PR) practice in the Nigerian corporate entity (PR was introduced into the Country in 1944), it is still a far cry from relevance, acceptability, and application in the socio-political and economic re-engineering of the country. I want to admit that the blame can be partly laid at the doorstep of the practitioners; most of whom refused to assert their competencies (professionalism), and evolved with contemporary trends in the practice.
As a solution, the regulatory body, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) must rise up to the occasion by asserting its authority in the area of enforcement of the code of professional practice.
What are your future plans?
The future is in the hands of the Almighty, and as an individual, what I have in place is a robust plan to be of relevance in my field of competence. Pursuing higher knowledge (Doctoral degree) in the dynamism of PR practice, particularly in the financial sector, is one plan that I intend to see to its logical conclusion by God’s grace. I believe we can achieve a complete paradigm shift in the way PR is presently being perceived with a view to according its rightful position in our country. I also believe it’s time to begin to impact knowledge in the next generation of practitioners so as to sustain the gains made in the field by the founding practitioners.
The enhancement of PR practice in Nigeria can be better enhanced with a practical demonstration of its efficacy in solving socio-political-economic challenges of the Society. If well planned and coordinated, PR becomes a tool of National cohesion, growth and development.