Professor Mrs Adebisi Sowunmi - Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Ko'ya Leadership and Training Foundation
Margaret Adebisi Sowunmi is a Nigerian botanist and environmental archaeologist. She was Professor of Palynology and Environmental Archaeology at the University of Ibadan. She pioneered the study of environmental archaeology and palaeoethnobotany in Nigeria and she is the founder and president of the Palynological Association of Nigeria.
Sowunmi was born in Kano, Northern Nigeria on September 24, 1939. Her father was a pastor in the Church of Nigeria. She studied for a BSc in Special Botany in the Department of Botany, at University College Ibadan, graduating in 1962.
In 1967 Sowunmi was appointed a postdoctoral research fellow in the Archaeology Unit at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. In 1971 she established the Nigerian University Palynology Laboratory. Sowunmi was appointed Professor of Palynology and Environmental Archaeology in 1982. Throughout her career Sowunmi held various visiting positions, in 1997 in the Department of African Archaeology, Uppsala University, and in 1998 at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and the Departments of African Archaeology and African Archaeobotany, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität. During the course of her career she supervised seven PhD students, and is noted for being an inspirational teacher. Sowunmi has worked on gender issues in archaeology in Nigeria, including modifying androcentric course titles.
Sowunmi was the founder and president of the Palynological Association of Nigeria, and president of the West African Archaeological Association. Sowunmi retired in 2004.
Sowunmi’s research achievements include the first identifications of the age and paleoenvironment of the Gwandu Formation, the first descriptions of Eocene pollen of the Ogwashi-Asaba Formation, the first study of Late Quaternary vegetation and environmental history of Nigeria, and the first study of pollen from an archaeological site in Nigeria.
In 2003, Sowunmi received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Humanities by Uppsala University to recognised her outstanding scholarship and research and teaching contributions in environmental archaeology and paleobotany.
Senator Tokunbo Ogunbanjo- Vice- Chairman, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation
Senator Tokunbo Ogunbanjo is a respected Yoruba manfrom Ijebu in south west Nigeria. His father, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo is also a wealthy businessman and prominent AMORC member in Nigeria. Toks, as Ogunbanjo is fondly called has been a Non-Executive Director at AIICO Insurance Plc since March 22, 2007. He was elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2003 to represent Ogun East Senatorial District.
He attended Trent College, Long Eaton, (UK) and Cherwell Tutorial College, Oxford, (UK) where he attained his GCE Ordinary and Advance levels.
He holds LLB from the University of Buckingham (UK) between 1980 – 1982. He attended the Nigerian Law School in 1983.
Dr. Oluronke Ogunleye - Member, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation
Dr. Ronke Akintade-Ogunleye is an educator and entrepreneur. She is the creator and CEO of Dr. O. Butters and Obalende Foods; companies she runs with her husband and daughters Mr. Akinloye Ogunleye, Ms. Simisoluwa Ogunleye and Ms. Timisola Ogunleye.
Ronke is a community organizer and an advocate for social justice. Ronke is an adjunct professor of STEM Methods at the University of Redlands in California where she got her doctorate degree in Leadership for Educational Justice.
Ronke hopes to see true educational justice in Yoruba land – where education truly conquers poverty, and elevates everyone. This is why she is a proud member of Yoruba Ko’ya.
Chief Dolapo Balogun- Member, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation
Chief Balogun is an Ijebu man. He is the Chairman and Managing Director of Equity Assurance PLC, a non-life assurance company with headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Otunba Elder Wale Shadare - Member, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation
Otunba Michael Olawale SHADARE is a Nigerian-British artist and mental health nurse with experience spanning over several decades. Mr Shadare is an old student of prestigious Igbobi College(1967 – 1971).
He earned Higher Stage Certificate in Public Relations & Marketing from London Chambers of Commerce (980 – 1981), Certificate in Advertising from Centre for Business Studies (1980 – 1981), Certificate in Studio Graphics from East Ham College of Technology (1982 – 1984) and Certificate in Graphics/Advertising Barking College of Technology (1984 – 1986).
Mr Shadare progressed to Thames Valley University Faculty of Health and Human Sciences (2004 – 2007) where he graduated with Dip. HE (Nursing programme), subsequently commencing practice as a mental health nurse.
He has a proven track record of achieving success in challenging mental health care roles within both public (NHS trusts) and private health care sectors over the past two decades.
He is a self-starter and effective team player who is adaptable to changing situations and dedicated to the tasks in hand.
He possesses Strong problem solving and organisational skills with the ability to prioritise responsibilities. Mr Shadare possesses strong interpersonal and relationship management skills. He is capable of clear verbal and written communication at all levels.
Mr Shadare is the immediate past Coordinator, Yoruba Tennis Club, United Kingdom chapter. He is currently the Chairman, Yoruba Council of Elders Europe and America.
His interests include art, photography, Football and table tennis.
Dr. Yemi Farounbi, Member, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation
A veteran who has traversed all genres of the motion picture trade, Yemi Farounbi as the former teacher and public servant is simply called, was born in October 1944. He was educated at the University of Ife and at the Polytechnic of Central London, Leicester University and Stanton University in Florida, United States.
A holder of a Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the University of Ife, Farounbi’s first brief on joining the broadcast industry was as an assistant secretary with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Akure. It was through hard work and diligence that he rose to become General Manager of the station in 1981.
A prolific writer, film and television producer of numerous credits, Farounbi’s name is on the credit line of critically acclaimed productions like Iwa and Agbaarin as producer. He also produced and funded the two part Yoruba movies Yapon Yarin as well as Arelu and Igba Oro. As a writer, Farounbi has penned a number of stories and articles for titles such as Owena News, Sunday Sketch, Sunday Tribune and Saturday Tribune where he is till date a guest columnist.
Said to be instrumental to the establishment of BCOS -TV Ibadan, Farounbi was at a time Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on Broadcasting; Chairman, Directorate of Information Oyo State; Chairman, Visitation Panel of the University of Benin. A one-time member of the Governing Council of the Yaba College of Technology; Chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria and Chairman, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation and member of the Governing Council of Lead City University, Ibadan. He is also a former Nigerian Ambassador to Philippine.
Barr. Tayo Douglas- Secretary, Board of Trustees, Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation
Tayo Douglas, Esq., hails from Akunnu Town in the Akoko North-East Area of Ondo State. He is a Legal Practitioner and has been in active practice for some past decades.
He attended the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria as well as the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He holds a Masters degree certificate in law and has appeared in the annals of his career before the following courts of the land and these are; Customary Courts, Magistrate Courts, High Court, Election Petition Tribunals, Arbitration, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
He is an international legal expert whose area of specialization includes but not limited to Constitutional and Chieftaincy matters, Aviation, Energy, Communications, Environmental and Immigration laws.
He is happily married to Mrs. Yetunde Douglas and the marriage is by the Grace of God blessed with children.