THE Living Icon Project is a non-profit initiative started in 2008. It documents important and esteemed African personalities (icons) who are making impactful footprints that will make for inspirational references for the young and future leaders. The project adopts the medium of drawing, painting, sketching and sculpting to immortalize chosen icons.
The project is a live-painting session to document and immortalize great African personalities. The living icons are prominent individuals that have exhibited a high sense of integrity while deploying human and material resources in their fields of work to enhance social economic development in society that spans over a period of 30 years.
The 9th personality of the initiative planned for June is truly iconic as it is specifically dedicated to showcase the category of business. Past recipients have essentially come from the worlds of governance/ leadership, culture and academia.
In this iteration we are featuring the special category of enterprise, personified by the distinguished personality of Dr. Biodun Shobanjo, the CEO of Troyka Holdings Limited, as the leading light in the strategic industries of advertising and public relations, among his many enterprises. The venue of the life painting session by a constellation of the best of contemporary stars in the fine art discipline will be DIDI Museum, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island Lagos, on Sunday, June 9, 2022, from 11:00am to 5:00pm.
Biodun Shobanjo is one of Nigeria’s finest marketing communications practitioners. With a career spanning 50 years, he started off in broadcasting some 56 years ago and later switched to advertising at the American-owned Grant Advertising in 1971.
He rose quickly, becoming deputy managing director in 1976, before leaving to co-found Insight Communications, Nigeria’s foremost advertising agency in 1980. He ran the company for 25 years before stepping aside in 2004.
Shobajo’s pioneering role in the marketing communication industry is unchallenged with a chain of firsts: In 1990, he established the Quadrant Company, Nigerian’s first PR consultancy; in 1997, he founded All Seasons Mediacom, Nigeria’s first media independent. In 2005, he set up the second media independent, Media Perspectives. Other specialist organisations in the Troyka Group of which he is chairman include Optimum Exposures in 1984, and Halogen Security in 1992, as asset protection company, which employs over 19,000 people nationwide.
In 2015, Shobajo’s ultimate dream of turning Troyka into a global player was fulfilled, when he went into an equity partnership with Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest marketing communications group to scale up to Insight Redefine, the communications arm of Troyka Holdings that has two advertising agencies – Insight Publicis and Leo Burnett; two media buying companies – All Seasons Zenith and Media Perspectives Starcom, and Quadrant MSL, a reputation management outfit.
Over the last two decades, he has earned more than 50 national and international awards and recognitions for professional excellence and integrity, outstanding leadership and remarkable contributions to both the marketing communication industry and national development. Notable amongst these awards are Advertising Man of All Time, Most Influential Personality in Advertising in African, and Zik Prize in Leadership, to mention just a few.
A past President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Shobanjo holds the certificates of both British Institute of Public Relations, and Institute of Marketing, where he is a Chartered Member, Fellow of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria and Fellow, Commonwealth Journalists Association.
In December 2019, he was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) Honoris Causa, by the Governing Council and Senate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, making him the first ever in the marketing communications industry to be so honoured by any Nigerian university.
In July 2021, the Council and Senate of the University of Lagos also awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) Honoris Causa, at its 51st Convocation Ceremonies, in recognition of his commitment to the development of education/advancement of knowledge, impact on the economy and his humanitarian pursuits.
A quiet philanthropist and public-spirited business leader, Shobanjo in February 2010 was inaugurated as the First Ambassador-General of Mass Medical Mission (mmm) of the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP). In 2014, he donated the Biodun Shobanjo Multi-Media Centre of Excellence to the University of Lagos.
Married to Joyce, and he is blessed with children and grandchildren.