Island News

Oduwole brains behind tourism exposure

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND . Ademola Oduwole is the brains behind the inaugural Fiji Tennis Invitation Classic and the reason why Hollywood stars are in Fiji. Mr Oduwole was
05 Feb 2010 12:00

image Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND . Ademola Oduwole is the brains behind the inaugural Fiji Tennis Invitation Classic and the reason why Hollywood stars are in Fiji.
Mr Oduwole was inspired to do something for Fiji after seeing the poverty level.
He said they decided to have a prolific tennis tournament which would help the country by attracting attention from abroad to shed some light on the children of Fiji.
“I’m just a guy who one day minding my business went past a Fijian village in 2008 and I saw something that woke me up. I saw the poverty level out there, in a space of five minutes I had three emotions,” said Oduwole.
“Emotion of happiness, emotion of joy and emotion of anger. I was happy because I had never seen kids so excited, giggles so clear, eyes so bright, just happy kids. No Nintendo, no ipods, no computer games but they were happy.
“I felt sad because I saw the poverty, these kids were poor. You could tell by the clothing they wore, the pants they wore, the clothing had faded so I knew they were poor. Then I got angry because I figured out more can be done. They had houses in the middle of the village and there was no electricity and I said so we saying we can’t get solar panels and send to these guys.
“I got back to the States and we did the simplest thing we could do. “We got a box of clothing from the Venus Williams clothing line and sent it down to the village.
“I said you know what it’s actually easy to buy a box of clothing line why don’t I actually go down and do a little bit more and then the journey started.”
Mr Oduwole said they decided to host a tennis tournament in Fiji so that young children could look up to rising players and follow their dreams.
He said later they pulled in Hollywood stars to attract more attention to Fiji.
“Hopefully if the news goes back to the United States they can begin to say I went to a place called Fiji. It was beautiful but they have needs. This is how it all started and how we sprinkled a little bit of Hollywood,” Mr Oduwole continued.
“All we doing is sowing a seed letting them know there is an opportunity, there is an avenue, there is hope, there is light, they can be, they can do, the future has indeed come to them, they are the future of Fiji.”




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper