“Giving for us in Sujimoto is beyond Corporate Social Responsibility, it is a Lifestyle! Nothing inspires me more than touching the lives of others, because if no one had given me a chance, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
These were the golden words of the MD/CEO of Sujimoto, Mr. Sijibomi Ogundele, when he decided to reach out and touch the lives of ordinary and hardworking Nigerians, who have been the most affected by the Corona Virus pandemic that has crippled businesses and economies world over.
2020 has been a very tough year! From the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world, to the tension of #EndSARS agitation, where many lives were lost; and more recently the economic recession that we have finally plunged into as a nation, 2020 has indeed been a very tough year. If for anything, 2020 taught us about the importance of gratitude and the frailty of life. More importantly, it has taught us the significance of being our neighbours’ keeper – we need each other to survive. In the words of Sijibomi Ogundele; “If your neighbour is hungry, your chicken is not safe”.
From Falomo to Agege, the Sujimoto Santa stormed the streets of Lagos, rewarding diligent Nigerians with large hampers and envelopes of cash meant to empower and put smiles on the faces of these vulnerable but hardworking Lagosians.
Leading the Sujimoto team, Mr. Ogundele himself, took to the streets of Lagos to proliferate the good news of love to Lagosians who are striving at different levels to earn an honest living and fend for themselves and their families. People who despite the economic downturn, have decided have been resolute and resilient in their quest to provide for their families.
According to Mr. Ogundele, “One of such lucky Lagosians was a pregnant hawker by the name Mercy, who we later learned has been abandoned by the husband. I was sad to see this lady, heavily pregnant but still trying to provide for herself and her unborn child. It is interesting to see how enterprising she is despite her condition. She reminded me of the resilience of most Nigerian women, in the face of hardship. The same resilience that took my trader mother from Ijebu Igbo to Lagos, to become one of the major distributors for Nestle Nigeria, just as the lady moved from one tray to multiple gifts. We have launched a campaign to find her and better her life.
Another beneficiary of the Sujimoto Santa was a middle-aged traffic warden at Ogudu roundabout. A woman who is known in that community as a very committed and a dedicated traffic warden, never leaving her duty post, come rain or shine, always ensuring the traffic is smooth in that axis and she is known for always wearing a smile.
According to Mr. Ogundele, ‘An incredible, selfless and patriotic Civil Servant like her deserves special recognition for her selfless service to her country people. While we appreciated her with a cash gift and a bumper hamper, we believe that people like her should be specially rewarded by the government to serve as an inspiration for the younger generations.”
From Ikorodu to Ogudu, Sujimoto also reached out to unsuspecting petty traders, group of highway managers, industrious disabled men who did not allow their condition affect their hustle and many others.
Despite all that 2020 came with, the MD still made all Sujimoto staff, do the Gratitude jump in recognition of what 2020 represents to many more. In his New Year Address to Nigerians, Mr. Ogundele reiterated his stance on the need to start 2021 with an attitude of gratitude. According to him;
“Be a source of HOPE to the hopeless, because 2020 has shown us all that we are all interconnected. What happens to one, affects everyone else. Therefore, when our neighbour bleeds, we all bleed