Taiwo Akinkunmi, the visionary creator responsible for crafting Nigeria’s National flag, has sadly passed away at 87 years old.

His passing was officially announced on August 30th, 2023, by his son, Samuel Akinkunmi, who shared the news through his social media platform.

Born in Abeokuta in Ogun State, he had a remarkable impact on the history and essence of the nation as a former civil servant.

Here are ten noteworthy facets of his extraordinary life and lasting impact:

1.Sibling Tragedy: Akinkunmi was part of a set of twins, tragically losing his twin sibling during his early years.

2.Childhood in the North: After being raised by his father until the age of 8, Akinkunmi relocated to Northern Nigeria, where he began his early education journey.

3.Transition to Engineering: Following the completion of his secondary education, he served as an agriculturist at the Western Region Secretariat in Ibadan. His passion for learning led him to pursue studies in electrical engineering in London.

4.Discovery of Flag Design: Encountering an advertisement in a library introduced him to the details of a national flag design competition. He embraced the challenge and submitted his innovative design.

5.Evolution of Symbolism: Although his original design featured a sun, this element was later excluded. The green, representing Nigeria’s natural wealth, and the white, symbolizing peace and unity, remained intact.

6.The Winning Creation: Akinkunmi’s design was chosen from a pool of over 2,000 submissions, earning him a prize of 100 pounds. He used part of the reward to acquire a camera and a radio.

7.Return to Public Service: Upon his return to Nigeria in 1963, he resumed his civil service career in the agricultural department in Ibadan. He ultimately retired in 1994 as an Assistant Superintendent of Agriculture.

8.Notable Accolades: Throughout the years, Akinkunmi received numerous honors, including the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) award from President Goodluck Jonathan, and the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

9.A Remarkable Achievement: In 2021, he once again captured attention by revealing the world’s largest national flag in Ibadan. This colossal flag, measuring an astonishing 3,275.6 square meters, secured a spot in the Guinness World Records.

10.Family and Enduring Influence: Akinkunmi’s legacy lives on through his spouse, children, and grandchildren. He passed away on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023, after a brief illness, leaving a nation grieving for the individual who bestowed upon them their emblem of identity.

 

Boluwatife Adedokun is a passionate journalist, who writes to ameliorate societal ills. As a young journalist, she aims to have a society devoid of corruptions by righting the wrongs with the power of pen. Her enthusiasm towards speaking for the masses has engendered her publication in different national dailies and she wish to be more impactful through her stories.

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