STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility

Tolu Ogunlesi

Tolu Ogunlesi

Special Assistant to the President/Head, Office of Digital Engagement, Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Tolu Ogunlesi is the Special Assistant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Digital and New Media, in which capacity he heads the Office of Digital Media in the Presidency. An award-winning poet and journalist, Tolu, who studied Pharmacy at the University of Ibadan, started his career as a management consultant with Accenture in Lagos Nigeria. Thereafter, he veered into journalism.

As a journalist, he has been a contributor to Tell Magazine, The Guardian (Lagos), Daily Independent (Nigeria), New Age, Forbes Africa, The Guardian (UK), Financial Times, Huffington Post, Business Day (Nigeria), and Premium Times. He was Arts Manager Nigeria for the British Council between 2011 and 2012, and has worked as a Features Editor and Editorial Board member of NEXT newspaper, and as a West Africa Editor for The Africa Report magazine from 2014 to 2015.

His works have won him plaudits both home and abroad, including fellowships such as New Media Fellow of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programme (2015), the Nordic Africa Institute Guest Writer Fellowship (2008), and the Cadbury Visiting Fellowship, University of Birmingham (2009). He has twice been a winner of the annual CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards in Business and Arts categories (2009 & 2014).