TBWA’s Dotun Bello and The One Club Launch Free Creative Bootcamp in Nigeria

By Kyle O'Brien 

Lagos, Nigeria is the second largest metropolis on the African continent, but not many may know it’s also a hub of creative advertising. One ad creative is heading up an effort to elevate the creative community from his home city through a new bootcamp.

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 two agencies, 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 U.S., some of the barriers for creatives in a smaller market like Nigeria gradually became more apparent to me,” said Bello in a statement. Bello 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 before landing at TBWA.

Bello went on to say that creatives in Lagos are focused on the client’s work, but don’t give the same energy to building their own brands. “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, including Adweek international editor David Griner, will coach attendees on topics including personal branding, creating a portfolio site, building their brand on LinkedIn and other social platforms, getting press coverage and tips on salary negotiating, among other topics.

Other confirmed tutors include Lionel Carreon, executive director, global creative recruiting, TBWA\Worldwide; Chapin Clark, ecd, R/GA New York; Aisha Hakim, acd at Preacher; Sai He, copywriter, Wieden+Kennedy; Anna Melissa Ledesma-Raquid, copywriter on Nike at Filter Los Angeles; and Derek Walker, creative/owner, Brown & Browner.

The bootcamp will be run virtually for the most part, but an onsite location at the office of Lagos-based agency Yellow Brick Road will also be utilized. Local program coordination will be handled by Jolomi Awala, creative director at Ogilvy Lagos.

“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, who also spearheaded efforts with the NY Festivals Advertising Awards to highlight creative from Lagos.

Deadline to apply for the free 10-week program is April 1, with the bootcamp kicking off April 21.