The Nigerian twin brothers, Oguntoye Taiwo Oyedele and Oguntoye Kehinde Oladele were celebrated in a unique way in the United States of America. The duo who were named the Most Famous Twins in Africa Tourism last year by The African Sun Times Newspaper were in America to receive Africa Diaspora World Tourism Award as the initiators of a world creative tourism brand known as Twins Tourism and they were also celebrated by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world busiest International Airport.
The Oguntoye twin brothers received 2016 African Diaspora World Tourism Awards as the “Outstanding Millennial Tourism Leaders” on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the ceremony which was organized by African Diaspora Tourism, an online magazine exploring black culture and heritage worldwide, in association with Atlanta’s AD King Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting peace and non-violence. Taiwo and Kehinde Oguntoye were the youngest and the first twins to receive this prestigious award which was also received by prominent figures like The President of Gambia, Sheih Professor Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Babili Mansa, Zimbabwe Minister of Tourism, Hon. Engr. Walter Mzembi, Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Diana McIntyre-Pike, Jamaica’s International Community Tourism pioneer, Avline Ava, President of the Mother of Humanity Project (Cameroon), Sharon Parris-Chambers, the CEO, “Let’s Do it in the Caribbean”, the Sierra Leone Minister of Tourism among others.
According to Kitty J. Pope, the founder and publisher of Africa Diaspora Tourism, “we received good recommendations of the Oguntoye twin brothers that prompted us to beam our search light into investigating their activities from last year and we discovered uncommon outstanding passion for the tourism industry as well as various innovative and creative ideas they represent, most especially the creation of twins-tourism. They are truly Pan -Africanists per excellent and Oguntoye twins are well equipped with ideas that can drive the economy, empower young people and transform the Africa continent. Within their short stay in the United States before today’s award ceremony, they have demonstrated that they really deserve this Award”.
In his own remark, Dr Babs Onabanjo, the President and Chief Executive Officer of A.D. King Foundation eulogies the Nigerian twin brothers for showing the world that there are talented and good young people in Africa who have what it takes to create a niche for economy advancement through tourism in the continent. “ I am so excited to see that the only Nigerians who made the list of awardees are young people full of innovative ideas and outstanding creativity and I must say this, Oguntoye Taiwo and Kehinde are good ambassadors of not only Nigeria but of the entire Africa as a continent”. He further called on other young people to emulate the virtues in the Oguntoye twin brothers who never waited for what the government can do for them but what they can do for their country.
Also, the management of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had earlier organized a welcome breakfast to honour Oguntoye Taiwo and Kehinde for their unique creative innovation called twins-tourism on Friday, August 26, 2016. The welcome breakfast which was held at the Atlanta executive offices gateway conference room of the airport commenced at 8:30am with an opening remark by T.J Jackson, the manager, Office of Travel Industry Engagement (Commercial Division). In her remark, “the twins here have found a unique niche market in being a set of twin, fortunate of being born just a few moments apart have developed an amazing twin-tourism ambassador that has brought international spotlight on Nigeria and they are here in the United States bringing awareness and raising attention and to show the world what their homeland has to offer. We are pleased to offer this breakfast in honour of you, Oguntoye Taiwo and Kehinde as you make yourself here in the Atlanta area.” She further stated the world most travelled airport is there to support travelers economically and respect culture of places they are travelling from.
In her welcoming remark, Myrna White, the Director, Office of Public Affairs eulogies the amazing research innovation of the Oguntoye twins, “I was greatly impressed by the amazing discovery of the twins when we met in Kenya last year, so when we heard of their arrival in the United States to receive the Africa Diaspora World Tourism Award, the management was pleased to honour them with this breakfast because they represent the future of tourism in Africa”. The Oguntoye brothers presented a paper titled “Welcome to Africa in America” where they highlighted the following sub-topics; welcome to Africa, come to Nigeria, tourism opportunities in Nigeria, twins tourism and opportunities for investors. They were able to market Africa and Nigeria as a tourism destination. In their presentation, they cited practical ways of using the abundance to twinning to draw tourists as well as improve the economy in Africa with special focus on Nigeria. Also, the Oguntoye twin brothers while thanking the management of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the great honour done to them, pointed out those three factors of their success story “the three things that is working for us are; Almighty God, God and God”. To God be the glory.
The Gambia ambassador to USA, Sheikh Omar Faye in his own remarks called Oguntoye Taiwo and Kehinde the twins of the world, “Today am happy to be here, the twins had done a great job in marketing Africa to the world, am so much impressed by these young people who are not selfish in marketing Nigeria alone but are well equipped with the adequate information about marketing Africa as a continent, they are the twins of the world”. While the director of tourism international of the Gambia tourism board, Ida Jeng-Njie called the Oguntoye twins ambassadors for tourism to Africa, speaking further she said “we the Gambia tourism will support the twins-tourism initiators , because these are the kind of people our President love and we believe other destinations will support your passion. You are really a blessing to Africa, I have crowned you the twins of Africa promotion”.
The Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International welcome breakfast to honour Oguntoye twin brothers was attended by Roosevelt Council Jr., the interim Airport General Manager as well as business persons, dignitaries and representatives such as; Ruth Riley for Representative for Congressman John Lewis (US House of Representatives), Hon. Adrian Dixon Fofanah, Sierra Leone Deputy Minister of Tourism; Ida Jeng-Njie, Gambia International Director of Tourism; Sheikh Omar Faye, Gambia Ambassador to USA, Hon. Benjamin Roberts, Gambia’s Tourism Minister, Avline Ava, President of the Mother of Humanity Project (Cameroon), Kitty Pope , Dr. Babs Onabanjo, Dr. Eugene Franklin, the CEO of National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center, Zimbabwe tourism authority representatives among others.
The America civil right activist, Dr. Joe Beasley also organized a Sunday dinner to honour the twins tourism initiators at his Peachtree street mansion. The dinner which had in attendance dignitaries from all works of life with representative from Ghana, Somalia, Sierra Leone, USA as well as people from the Caribbean. The Egbe Omo Yoruba of Greater Atlanta (EOY-GA) also organized a dinner at the popular Buka restaurant owned by a Nigerian to endorse twins tourism.
The five weeks stay of the Oguntoye twins in the United States of America gave them the opportunity to tour about five(5) states and thirteen(13) cities which included New York, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tampa, Valdosta, Atlanta Ga, Nashville Tennessee, Savannah among others. They meet with the likes of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. (one of the foremost civil rights, religious and political figures of our time), Mrs Naomi Ruth Barber King (sister-in-Law of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and Christine King Farris (the only surviving sibling of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). They also featured at WRFG Atlanta 89.3FM on the Pan African Public Affairs Program named “What good is A Song? Discussing twins tourism for Africa as a continent.