TBWA NY’s Dotun Bello and The One Club Launch for Free Creative Bootcamp in Lagos

As a way to help elevate the creative community in his native Nigeria, TBWA\Chiat Day New York senior copywriter Dotun Bello has partnered with The One Club for Creativity to launch a free 10-week Lagos Creative Development Bootcamp. 

The program is co-sponsored by TBWA\Chiat Day New York and Wieden+Kennedy, and based on the platform and curriculum of The One Club’s own long-running Creative Boot Camps.  The Lagos Creative Development Bootcamp was developed to train creative professionals in Nigeria on how to build their own personal brands, and show them how to promote their work at an international level.  

“Having worked in both Lagos and the US, some of the barriers for creatives in a smaller market like Nigeria gradually became more apparent to me,” said Bello, who began his copywriting career with Noah’s Ark, Etu Odi and Saatchi & Saatchi in Lagos and then came stateside to work at agencies including Goodby Silverstein, MullenLowe and Eleven.  

“Creatives in Lagos are focused on the client’s work, but don’t give the same energy to building their own brands for themselves,” he said.  “Most creatives in Nigeria don’t have websites and don’t often think to promote themselves on social media or with international press.  At the global level, a creative person without a book is seen as less professional.  These are some of the barriers the bootcamp will address.”  

A group of leading industry figures will coach attendees on topics including personal branding, creating a portfolio site, building their brand on LinkedIn and other social platforms, getting press coverage, tips on salary negotiating, and more.  

Among those confirmed to serve as tutors are Lionel Carreon,executive director, global creative recruiting, TBWA\Worldwide; Chapin Clark, ECD, R/GA New York; Aisha Hakim, ACD at Preacher in Austin;  Sai He, copywriter, Wieden+Kennedy; Anna Melissa Ledesma-Raquid, copywriter on Nike at Filter Los Angeles; David Griner, international editor at Adweek; Derek Walker, creative/owner, Brown & Browner, with more to come.  

Deadline to apply for the free 10-week program is April 1, 2022.  The bootcamp kicks off on April 21, with sessions running 2-3 hours every Thursday evening.  Applicants must be based in Nigeria – preferably in Lagos – and currently employed as a creative in advertising.

While run as a virtual bootcamp, the program will also utilize an onsite location at the office of Lagos-based agency Yellow Brick Road.  Local program coordination will be handled by Jolomi Awala, CD at Ogilvy Lagos.  

“Dotun contacted me last year with the idea of a free virtual creative bootcamp in Lagos, and we jumped at the opportunity,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club, the world’s foremost nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the global creative community.  “We have nearly 15 years of experience in running impactful DEI programs around the world including our own Creative Boot Camps, and were eager to provide the planning, platform, operations and curriculum to help bring his amazing idea to life.”

Lagos Creative Development Bootcamp branding was created by Arthur Mazi, art director at Vosshall Marketing in Kiel, Germany.

Bello credits Ogilvy Advertising North America president Chris Beresford-Hill, his former boss and mentor at TBWA\Chiat Day, for pushing the bootcamp funding proposal through the approval process before leaving the agency last November. The funding helped Bello and The One Club kick off the production of the program.

Lagos is the second-largest metropolis on the continent of Africa and a major business hub in the Western region, yet creative work from the region consistently flies under the radar at global award shows and in industry publications.  

“We want to help shine a light on the advertising industry in this region by creating a bridge to the biggest advertising stages in the world,” said Bello.

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