Using digital media to promote liberty in Africa
Olanrewaju Elufisan has a very clear vision for bringing more freedom to his home country, Nigeria, and the African continent in general. For this SFL alumnus, the ideas of liberty need to be communicated in a simpler way because, “Freedom cannot help people who don’t understand it.” And so, the ambitious young entrepreneur recently founded Ominira TV, a pro-liberty media organization that provides solutions to contemporary African issues while promoting freedom.
If we look at what he’s achieved for freedom now, you might be surprised to find out that Elufisan used to be a staunch believer in government. When he was first invited to an ASFL event in 2011, he was pretty indifferent and for a while, turned down every invitation. He finally decided to go, and found himself so drawn to the ideas and was excited to explore the ideas for himself, starting with Bastiat’s “The Law”.
However, Elufisan didn’t become a local coordinator until after he graduated from the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria. At the time, he was furthering his journalism studies at the FRCN Broadcast Academy in Lagos, Nigeria and started to wonder how he could incorporate the ideas of liberty into journalism. He realized he needed the training, resources and the network that Students For Liberty had to offer.
As a local coordinator, he started to leverage digital media to plan and organize and host events. His events were well-attended, reaching over 150 attendees. During this time, he started to develop his fundraising skills, a skill set that has become invaluable as he seeks investment for his communications business.
When asked how SFL helped prepare him to be a founder, Elufisan emphasizes, “Students For Liberty taught me how to lead through building relationships. Through different training programs, I learned how to communicate and also got introduced to proper email and professional etiquette. This has helped improve my credibility as a leader. And of course, I learned how to raise funds.”
As for his motivation to start Ominira TV in November 2017, Elufisan says that being a part of Students For Liberty helped him realize that one does not have to be involved in politics to effect change. Instead, he decided to use his experience in broadcast journalism and his love of the ideas of liberty to influence popular opinion in favor of more freedom.
“I saw that across the global liberty network that there was Reason TV, Free To Choose Media, and other organisations that use video and other multimedia to promote these ideas. I asked myself, why not Nigeria? Why not Africa? And I got to work on making it happen.”
The organization has started off on an excellent note, and is has already collaborated with well established pro-liberty think tanks and media organisations in Africa. On June 22 - 24, 2018, Ominira TV worked as a media partner at the Africa Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training organized by the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) in Ghana. Currently, Elufisan and his team are working on expanding their operations across Africa as well as working on a film.
Although he’s since left SFL, Elufisan continues to support the organisation because, “with SFL, you get to learn how society really works and get introduced to ideas that bring people together and can make the world a better place. You become more professional and know how to navigate life beyond the campus. SFL gives you the tools to deal with the world’s problems, but you have to be willing to be part of the solution.”