Unity in diversity is a unique feature of Nigeria that binds everyone together to uphold peace and brotherhood. Embracing diversity, especially in the workplace is one of the ways to foster inclusiveness regardless of tribe or gender.
Optiva Capital Partners, the Investment Immigration giant in Africa, demonstrated its unique culture of inclusiveness with a vibrant Thank God it’s Friday (TGIF) event which took place over the weekend with the theme, ‘Rep Another Tribe’ focusing on embracing diversity in the workplace.
Over 1000 staff of Optiva Capital Partners spread across 17 branches and expanding in Nigeria turned up for the high-octane staff engagement at their various branches looking gorgeous in cultural attires of other tribes.
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The October event, which coincidently is Nigeria’s Independence month geared towards promoting harmony between different tribes and cohesiveness within the company while showcasing Nigeria’s rich and unique cultures.
Keeping with the concept, Franklin Nechi, chairman of Optiva Capital Partners, demonstrated his close ties to the Yoruba community in Lagos by capping his Yoruba attire with a ‘Fila’.
He underlined how critical it is to recognise and value diversity in culture as well as embrace Nigeria’s unity.
Nechi reminisced his experiences assimilating into Yoruba culture and language while residing in Lagos since 1976, demonstrating that unity and harmony can exist among diverse ethnic groups.
Nechi in his address, highlighted the significance of embracing unity, especially in the face of recent happenings in Nigeria, stressing that progress can only be achieved through unity and understanding. He emphasized Optiva Capital Partners’ commitment to spreading love and bridging cultural gaps.
“Our representation is about promoting peace, spreading love, looking at the things that bring us together rather than things that divide us. We must ensure we promote unity amidst our diverse backgrounds. There can’t be progress if there is disunity. We should see the need to help and love humanity irrespective of tribe,” he said.
The event witnessed a remarkable turnout as staff from various tribes in Nigeria, proudly represented other cultures in attire such as Fulani, Efik, Urhobo, Kalabari, Igbo, and many others.
In her remarks at the ‘Rep a Tribe’ soiree, Amaka Okeke-Lawal, executive Director of Optiva Capital Partners, explained why the company decided to hold an event on embracing diversity.
“Unity in diversity is a phrase that signifies unity among people with diverse cultural, and religious beliefs, social statuses, and other demographic differences. The ‘Rep Another Tribe’ event demonstrated our belief that we are ONE irrespective of where we come from. We believe that by understanding and appreciating each other’s culture, we can strengthen our organization’s fabric,” she said.
Okeke-Lawal excitedly explained why she turned up in a regal outfit.
“As an Igbo lady, married to a Yoruba man, I embraced the opportunity to represent the Edo Tribe and I learned a few things about the Edo culture for example; My Head piece and coral beads is called ‘Okuku.’ Our choice to represent another tribe serves as a powerful reminder that our shared humanity transcends cultural boundaries. By stepping into each other’s shoes, even just for a moment, we enrich our understanding and create lasting connections.
“This event goes beyond a mere celebration of diversity; it is a celebration of our shared identity as Nigerians. We stand united, regardless of our tribal affiliations, and we are dedicated to creating an environment where every individual is valued and respected. We are shaping a workplace culture where empathy, respect, and understanding are the cornerstones,” she said.
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On staff welfare and inclusiveness, Nechi promised that no one would be left behind as the company has different welfare packages that target the specific needs of staff and members of their families, regardless of their tribal affiliations.
“We are engaging and promoting unity among our staff, but we are also extending it outside the four walls of the institution to include families because by working together and valuing our differences, we can build a peaceful and successful future for everybody,” he said.