Successful People’s Man Of The Week, Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin

His Personality Profile !

         

By Charles Segun Adegbite

     An accomplished pharmacist, successful publisher and Chairman of Literamed Publications Nigeria Limited, Otunba Olayinka Lawal-Solarin is our

Successful People’s Man-of-The-Week

Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin: A man with excellent spirit

     A Lagos based octogenarian pharmacist, veteran publisher, successful corporate executive, international award winner and community leader,Lawal-Solarin was born in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria, in 1935. This son of Alhaji Saka Olarenwaju Lawal nicknamed “Saka Doctor” was educated at Wesley School, Sagamu, and Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. He later attended Norwood College UK, University of Bradford School of Pharmacy and Portsmouth University School of Pharmacy UK.

Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin receiving an award at India International Book Fair
R-L: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Former V.C. of the University of Benin, Prof Grace Alele Williams (middle) and Otunba Lawal-Sholarin

After graduation, he worked with the Boots Chemists in United Kingdom. He later returned to Nigeria and was employed in Leventis Stores where he set up the Pharmacy division.

Otunba YLS, as nicknamed in Sagamu, also worked for Boots Company Nigeria as Field Sales Representative.  He started his own business as a Retail Pharmacist and became proprietor and managing director of Corona Chemists Nigeria in 1969.

The same year, through his entrepreneurial spirit, he pioneered medical publishing in Nigeria with Medipharm, a medical index of Pharmaceutical specialties, the first of its kind in Africa. This led to the incorporation of Literamed Publications Nigeria Limited in 1969, which has not only published Medipharm and other medical journals but also children’s books.

Otunba YLS at the installation of Akarigbo of Remo Kingdom, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi late last year in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.

With its imprint, Lantern Books, which has become the companion of every nursery and primary school pupil, Literamed Publications Nigeria Limited is one of the largest publishers of children’s books in Africa.

Lawal-Solarin in black suit; being presented Certificate as Grand Patron of the Arts in Africa by Pan African Writers Association Award in Ghana on Nov 12, 2017.

     Awards & Recognition 

  • Included in Newswatch first-ever Who is Who in Nigeria (1990)
  • Readership Promotion award of the Nigeria Book Foundation (1995)
  • African Refugees Foundation (AREF) Merit Award as Supporter (1998)
  • Award for invaluable contribution to Book trade by the Nigerian Booksellers Association (1998)
  • Outstanding Intellectual of the 21st Century in the Field of Pharmacy & Publishing (Cambridge)
  • Sterling Enterprise Award of Distinguished Leadership Role in Recognition of Accomplishment in Book Publishing (2003)
  • Award of the recognition by Nigeria Book fair  trust
  • Sagamu Distinguished Citizen Award (SDCA) (2011)
  • Rotary International Merit Award (2012)
  • Distinguished Publisher Award by Afro Asian Book Council (2012)
  • Best Publisher of the year by National Association of Proprietor of Private Schools, Lagos state chapter(2012)
  • Icon in Educational Sector Award by National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Osun State chapter (2012)
  • Meritorious Award by Association of Model Islamic Schools of Nigeria (2013)
  • Distinguished Merit Award by Ansar-ud-deen Society (Remo Divisional Council) 2014
  • Consumer Friendly Publishing Company Award by Consumer Campaign Foundation (2014)
  • Award of Recognition by National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) (2014)
  • Ebedi International Writers Residency Award in support of Literature (2014)
  • Pan African Writers Association Award as Grand Patron of the Arts in Africa (2017)                                      
    Lawal-Solarin(2nd Left) after the presentation of Certificate as Grand Patron of Arts In Africa By PAWA in Ghana in Nov 2017

    Professional Associations

  • Member, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (1966)
  • Registered Member, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (1967)
  • Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria
  • Former Assistant Secretary (Chairman Publications Committee) and Council Member, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria
  • Former Member, National Association of General Practice Pharmacists
  • Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Publishers
  • Former President, Nigerian Publishers Association (1996-1998)
  • Member, African Publishers Network (1996 to date)
  • Former Chairman, National Anti-Piracy Committee of Nigeria Copyright Commission (1997-1999)
  • Former Chairman and Trustee Nigerian Book Fair Trust (2004-2011)
  • Former Chairman, Reproduction Rights Organization of Nigerian (REPRONIG).                                                                   

Chieftaincy Title/Community Relevance:

He is Otunba Fuwase of Anoko/Ogbonyari ruling house of Akarigbo Remo. The chieftaincy title bestowed on him by the Akarigbo of Remo Kingdom, Ogun State, nearly two decades ago. He is also the Asiwaju Adinni of Remoland; an Islamic leadership title given to him by the Muslim community in Remo.

Otunba YLS is also a former National President of his Alma mater, Remo Secondary School Old Students Association.

Otunba YLS (Right) with a friend, Otunba Lanre Awoyemi (a.k.a. Omo Todebo) at the coronation of Akarigbo in Dec 2017

   Marriage & Family Life: He is married over half a century ago to Bjorg Bjorseth, a Norwegian and successful architect. Their marital union is blessed with three sons and a daughter.

Hobbies: He enjoys reading and have pleasure in music and golf.

His numerous achievements therefore spurred Successful People Media, publishers of Successful People Magazine, to choose him as:

Successful People’s Man-of-The-Week  (for Sun Jan. 14 – Sat Jan 20, 2018) 

NOTE: With this recognition Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin becomes a nominee for Successful People Leadership Award 2018

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