Nigeria: Tributes Rain As Oluwole Rawa Passes On

4 March 2021

"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." Looking back at the life of the late General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Oluwole Rawa, the words of Chuck Palahniuk offer comfort to the numerous lives he impacted while on earth.

On February 22, 2021, the ever vibrant and kind-hearted Oluwole Rawa took off his hat and bade the world farewell. Although he's physically gone, he was able to create something that will last forever.

Oluwole Olanrewaju Rawa was born in Ibadan on June 13, 1976 to Frederick Olu and Helen Olayinka Rawa. As a young boy, although a bit rascally, Wole was hardworking, diligent, dedicated, ambitious and extremely generous and kind-hearted.

Prior to his appointment as the General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Oluwole Rawa worked at Oceanic Bank, Econet, now Airtel, and Etisalat, where he eventually served as the Director, Marketing Segments and Strategy.

Upon his demise, tributes naturally poured in from different corners of the world. From colleagues to friends, to old schoolmates, what stood out to them was his unmatched kindness.

Benedicta Ladeinde speaking about Oluwole's role in her life said, "Wole was a kind-hearted boss, a passionate person, and an inspirational friend. As a boss even till death, he believed in his people and never saw the success and growth of his people as a threat. He was a selfless teacher.

Achievement of business objectives, development and successes of his team members both in career and otherwise were his greatest goals and he did this so well by constantly sharing his personal experiences across all spheres. With Wole, I understood what leadership should be.

Thank you for sharing your kind self with us. Thank you for teaching us to number our days through your life of impact. We bless God for your life and may your sweet soul Rest in Peace."

The former CEO, Etisalat Nigeria, Steve Evans, in his tribute referred to Oluwole as the "brightest of stars" while he worked at the company. He said, "As the former CEO of Etisalat Nigeria I think that I can say on behalf of everyone who worked there that he was the brightest of the stars in that world and was much loved, admired, and respected by everyone who had the good fortune to work with him. I will personally miss him greatly as we had maintained close contact over the years and spoke often. It was a great shock to receive the news. Wole will be sorely missed and never forgotten."

Adding to this, his past colleague at Etisalat, Rotimi Adeeko, recalled the pleasant memories he shared with the marketing professional during his stay at the company. He said, "Sir Wolex as we fondly called you back in Etisalat Mulliner towers, it was a huge shock when I heard that you passed on to the great beyond. You were admired by all because of your larger-than-life approach, genuine interest, and care in making sure that people progressed in all spheres of life, be it a career, family, and personal ambitions.

I can't forget the football discussions/rivalry first thing on Monday morning with Debo, Edwin, and Tope about each individual's love for Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and the likes (those were fun days). You showed love and became very friendly to all around you, sometimes I wonder why the good die young? May God almighty accept your soul in heaven, grant you eternal rest, and grant your family & loved ones the grace to bear this unimaginable and painful loss. You definitely put a smile on the faces of many and would always be remembered for good. Rest in perfect peace."

In addition to his kind-hearted nature, another quality highlighted was his impeccable leadership qualities. Ify Kagho in her tribute said, "Wole, you were an amazing person that lived a remarkable life. You were a leader, by the true definition of that. It's difficult to understand why you had to leave at the prime of your life. Some things are just inexplicable. You often shared knowledge, and inspired us to do, and be the best. My consolation is that you are with our Father, in heaven, and that your legacies will live on."

A former classmate of his also shared fond memories of Oluwole, mentioning how he was elected as the class representative throughout his secondary school education because his leadership qualities were identified earlier on. Shola Esho said, "Though your sojourn was short, it was impactful each step all the way. Right from our days in Christ's School, we were able to spot your potential. From our JSS1 through to SSS 3 you were chosen by your colleagues to be their class captain. You were indeed a natural-born leader.

You were humble, generous, and peace-loving. Your memories will forever be a blessing."

Oluwole Rawa fostered relationships wherever he found himself. Idowu Adesokan in a moving tribute described him as "a spider with thousands of webs that held tight to each point it was attached to,". He added that Wole had a strong relationship with every member of his team, stating that he paid special attention to everyone and was constantly seeking ways to improve the quality of life of the people around him.

Wole is survived by his beautiful daughter, Olayinka, and his siblings. He adored, cherished, and doted on them, providing a fatherly figure since the call to glory of their late dad.

According to Terry Pratchett, "No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away." Oluwole has left an impact in the lives of many, each life touching another life so it is safe to say that he lives on, in the hearts of the many he blessed with his kind words and actions.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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