A journey to discover the people who change our world.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Intergrating Ireland- Who is Rotimi Adebari?



Rotimi Adebari’s focus is on the community of Portlaoise. Arriving there six years ago from Nigeria, he immediately realised that things operated quite differently to what he was familiar with. So he went about exploring, understanding and ultimately embracing those differences.

Rotimi made it his mission to promote cultural understanding and integration between the Irish and immigrant communities. To do this he set up ‘Optimum Point’, a consultancy which trains companies and educational institutions in cross-cultural awareness. He also completed a Masters in Intercultural Studies from Dublin City University, while at the same time running in the local Town Council elections. He was successful in both, and is now one of the very few elected representatives in Ireland representing the immigrant communities.

Once a week Rotimi also hosts a radio programme on Midlands 103FM. The programme discusses social inclusion issues, and aims to inspire those who may be experiencing isolation, whatever their background. Each week he welcomes ‘A Hero from Zero’- a person who has overcome disadvantage or exclusion, to tell their story so others too may realise there is hope.

What keeps him going? Mainly his family. Rotimi has three boys, and another child is on the way. He wants his children to feel at home in Ireland, and indeed wants an Ireland in which those coming into the country feel part of the community, making it their home. ‘I look forward to a future in Ireland’ he says, ‘in which people, irrespective of their colour, creed, religion or nationality, see each other as one’.

And his advice to young people? ‘The sky is the limit. It is getting started that is the big thing. But once you start, you will be changing the world before you know it, and remember, ideas change the world!’

In recognition of all his work, Rotimi recently received a national MAMA media award. The judges on the night of the award ceremony paid special tribute, commending him; ‘For the leadership he has shown. For breaking new ground in the field of political representation. For the creativity and commitment he has applied to creating an integrated intercultural society’.

And his political aspirations? ‘Well’, he says, ‘we will see how it goes over time, I’m open to opportunities’.

Bring on the opportunities!

15 Comments:

Blogger Jamie said...

I love your project! Will you be catching up with Byron Katie?

7:17 p.m.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed

6:41 a.m.

 
Anonymous Emmanuel Amadi said...

Congratulations on your new position as the first Black Mayor in Ireland, and a Nigerian in particular. I'm so proud of you after reading your profile on Nigeria online news (Nigeriaworld) this Friday evening. I have read and heard so many bad news reports about Nigerians and fraud as if all Nigerians are bad. The News about you shows that not all Nigerians are bad. I'm a Nigerian trainee pharmacist living in London building a career and my aim is to create a good image of Nigerians wherever I go,in the place of work, Church, etc. I have sent this exciting news to my British friends who think nothing good comes from Nigeria. Hope to meet you later in Ireland when I visit my friends. You are a blessing to my heart, and Nigeria in general. Nze Emmanuel Amadi, wrote from London

10:11 p.m.

 
Anonymous Olanrewaju O LEWIS said...

There is an adage in our motherland which says;

It is from the black pot that you get the white pap from

The moral of this is that the world should learn to appreciate and see the good in Africans as is shown here than spend time publishing negative propaganda about the Black Nation.

I am proud of you sir and kudos to the owner of this blog site.

I believe you will meet a lot more as you go on your world trip.

Cheers

12:47 a.m.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a role model Adebari Rotimi i am soo proud of you...
Sola Durodoye
Tx.USA.

2:34 a.m.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now this guy has won the Mayoral election in Potalaise! Listen Rotimi, I have reffered your story to Jow Onyekwere to profile you in Newswatch Magazine, Nigeria's top news weekly.
Kemi Olunloyo
10 year Journalist USA
WBAL Radio, Baltimore USA
CNN Medical contributor
investigativenewswoman.com
July 2nd 2007

4:36 p.m.

 
Blogger Dapo said...

To some of us that grew up with you, we were not suprised at your new achievement. You have always being a leader from the onset. Congrats mate! the sky is the limit and more grease to your elbow.

2:39 a.m.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proud of you as a Nigerian and pray that other Niger out there learns from you.
HTA HAKEEM, Abuja Nigeria

6:09 p.m.

 
Anonymous Dele Adefemi said...

Omo Nla o ga o. Congratulation. Oye a mo'ri o. my name is Dele Adefemi.Dele@africanartsproductions.org is my e-mail address. site is www.africanartsproductions.org .all of us in Las Vegas greet you and congratulate you. All fom Native Son bookstore say CONGRATS!!! Iwaju Iwaju l'opa ebiti nre si. Owo a ma r'oke o. More grease to your elbows. God bless and keep you always. AMEN!!!

7:23 p.m.

 
Anonymous collins said...

Congratulations my friend. I don't know you but I am happy to call you a friend. I am very pleased with your achievements. You are somebody other Nigerians are happy to look up to. Congrats.

A fellow Nigerian working with utah state Govt. U.S.A

8:16 p.m.

 
Anonymous yewawori@yahoo.com said...

Congratulation Barry,

We are proud of you and hope you'll be willing to export the Magic back home in YewaLand. Most of your project in Ireland are needed back home and its better not to forget home.

On behalf of YEWA- AWORI PAtriotic MOVEMENT (YAPMO)
Sulaiman ATINSOLA
General Secretary.

3:15 p.m.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,Rotimi Adebari,congrats. You are an example to the whole world. I am an Indian, but I was born and I grew up In Lagos, Nigeria. My father lived in Nigeria for 50 years and eventually became a Chief "Otun Bamokun of Lagos. I know who and what are Nigerians. The first thing that comes to peoples mind about Nigerians is "he must be a 419 fraudster". No no no, Nigerians are not that, I would like to tell the world. There are criminals and fraudsters all over the world : they are not only in Nigeria and Nigerians. Does the world know about the Asian and British businessmen in Nigeria, who defraud the Nigerian Govt. and banks of millions of dollars ???
Sir,Rotimi Adebari, not only Nigerians, but each and every human being should be proud of you. You are an example to entire humanity. I wish you all the best in your activites.
Rajesh Keswani
curdubai@yahoo.com

1:25 p.m.

 
Blogger Lorna Dunbar said...

Rotimi Adebari i love what you have done.I am a black femal preacher in usa.I love to come and preach,need invit.
Dr.Lorna Dunbar

7:56 p.m.

 
Anonymous Alvaro Antunes said...

Rotimi Adebari
We wish you good look.
From Brazil/São Paulo with love

1:27 a.m.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across this site while researching information for Diversity and Employment Equity here in Canada.
This is quite impressive. I am of mixed orgin and just finding out some amazing information about my own black heritage in relation to what my great, great, great relatives were a part of. Reading this today, was very impressive considering the challenges that I have been reminded of recently for my relatives that came from such a different world that I am now part of. Many people forget the struggles and this is such a great reminder of what still can be accomplished. Sincere congratulations as you move foward in life!

8:22 p.m.

 

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