If there is one man the youths of Amuwo Odofin call a hero, it is Mr. Seun Ayeni. This is due to his contributions to ensure Amuwo Odofin and its youth get the attention and support they need.
Mr. Seun Ayeni, popularly called GGG (Godly, Gorgeous, and Genius), is the founder of Amuwo Games with the sole aim of fostering communal unity and curbing social vices.
The Amuwo Games is a bi-annual mini-sports festival featuring 16 games that began in November 2017 after the 2017 Amuwo Odofin elections, in which the youths were flustered about their outcome.
On a breezy Wednesday evening, Mr. Ayeni waved the Arsenal flag high as he wore his favorite club’s jersey, ready to share his journey with Amuwo News.
“The election happened and people were not too happy about the result, so the youths were already agitated and I could see it in Amuwo Odofin too.” We saw the energy buzzing in the community, and it was looking like something was about to happen, so we came together, me and a group of friends,” he recalled.
“We wanted to start with a football competition in the community, and I just told them why a football competition when everybody does football competitions. Let’s try all the sports we can do. It shouldn’t be a big deal if we have proper support. “
The objectives of Amuwo Games according to Ayeni include “curbing restiveness in the community, youth development, and team spirit in the community and curbing social vices among youths,” noting that when youths start to play sports, it reduces social vices.
On how Amuwo Games was funded, he said, “First editions are usually rough, people are watching you, people want to see if you are there for real, so people won’t drop their funds unless you have somebody bankrolling you.” In this case, we bankrolled ourselves. We came together and put down the money and made sure we used all the resources we had to make sure we didn’t spend too much.”
“For instance, I’m into media production and event production, so I used all my resources, and I have a lot of friends in the media. Everything I could get for free, I got for free. Those things could have been paid for in millions, but I got them for free by leveraging my friends.
“Even sponsors that came on board were because we had people in those places who were able to talk to the sponsors. It wasn’t easy, but we pulled it off for the first edition. Funds didn’t come in from outside. I am sure we did not get 1 naira from any company, but we got products, we got support, and we used our money to do the rest. Lagos state commission supported us by giving us officials and technical resources. The local government supported us by giving us a few things. But for the second edition, we got small amounts of money from the local government, and things are getting better.”
He added that “Fero Mobile gave us phones, and MTN gave us some souvenirs that we distributed among the athletes, which was how we ended the first edition.”
He further explained that the second edition, which was held in 2019, got better and the third edition, which was held in 2021, was great as he did not have to spend personal funds, which he described as an improvement.
As a strategy to combat boredom, Mr. Ayeni said Amuwo games was made biannually. “The reason is that we know it can get boring and monotonous, so we spaced it out.”
“You know, the Olympics are every four years, and the World Cup is every four years. It also helps with the glamour and prestige that come with the trophy. “
“The major reason was that we saw that we were addressing sport by using it as a tool to curb restiveness, curb social vices, community development, and youth development.” So we said if we’ve used sports to do this and it’s been successful, we can also use music to do it. You can divide the youths into two groups: those that like sports and those that like music, so we used music as a tool, similar to Amuwo Games. We came up with the Battle of the Sounds, which comes every year after the Amuwo Games. This year we are going to have a Battle of the Sounds and not Amuwo Games. “
The two-time winner of the 50 most influential awards in Amuwo Odofin, who is also a nominee for the Founder of the Year awards (FOYA), a pan-African award based in Kenya, reiterated his passion for youth and community development in Amuwo Odofin, where he was born and bred.
He also stated that Amuwo Games is a corporate social responsibility of his event production company, called Bizzybody.
Mr. Ayeni juggles a 9-to-5 job along with his commitment to the Amuwo Odofin community.
“I’m a brand communication guy. Let’s just say I’m an agency, although I don’t like to call myself that because I do more than just advertisements. I can do web design, programming, video production, and social media marketing. Those are the things I do on the side. Bizzybody is mostly active on weekends. My normal 9-5 is facing the work that gives me money to run those businesses. “
A social media ambassador of the 2019 Amuwo Games, Michael Akigbe, praised Mr. Ayeni for his commitment, humility, and contributions to Amuwo Odofin and its residents, saying he is a charismatic and understanding person.
“He is just too much. He is outstanding and exceptional, and he has given too much to this community. He is so humble that he does not want accolades. “
He recounted how he was rewarded after the 2019 Amuwo Games with a new Samsung A20.