Kunle Adeyanju (C) celebrates with supporters after arriving at the Ikeja Rotary club in Lagos on May 29, 2022, after a 41 day trip from London, by motorbike, to raise funds and awareness for the End Polio campaign. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)
Bill Gates, a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has joined many others in celebrating Kunle Adeyanju, a Nigerian who travelled from London to Lagos.
Adeyanju, known as Lion Heart, completed the trip on Sunday
when he arrived in Lagos – to a group of cheering supporters who welcomed him.
He took the 41-day trip to raise funds for a campaign against polio.
Accompanied by a dozen bikers for the last stretch of the journey from the Benin Republic, the group was welcomed by supporters in Ikeja, in central Lagos.
“I am sleep-deprived because I slept only three to four hours per night. But I feel proud because I accomplished this challenge,” Adeyanju told AFP just after he arrived, wiping sweat off his face.
The 44-year-old departed London on April 19 and arrived in Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos on Sunday after slogging through more than 13,000 kilometres (8,000 miles) across 13 countries.
In Senegal, Ghana, and even in countries battling jihadist insurgencies like Mali and Burkina Faso, Adeyanju posed for selfies with fans and local officials, waving a banner saying “End Polio Now.”
His aim was to raise funds for Rotary International’s fight against polio, which remains a threat in Africa despite being eradicated in 2020.
Bill Gates described the feat as ‘incredible’.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 31, 2022
Adeyanju told Bill Gates that he is one of his inspirations for the fundraising campaign to end polio.
“Your good works birthed the inspiration for #LondonToLagos,” Adeyanju tweeted at Gates.
Thank you @BillGates for the kind words, & a big thank you also for your tremendous support to Rotary Foundation towards eradication of Polio & solving other world problems.
Your good works birthed the inspiration for #LondonToLagos pic.twitter.com/XvTTObZPit
— Kunle Adeyanju (@lionheart1759) June 1, 2022
Adeyanju said he embarked on the epic journey in memory of a friend who was affected by polio.
The former Shell employee self-funded his trip with 19,000 euros ($20,400) in savings, hoping to raise up to 20 million naira ($48,000) for Rotary International.
With London to Lagos completed, Adeyanju said he is eyeing a possible cycling trip to Ghana or a bike ride to Israel to help raise more funds. And he has another dream: to climb Mount Everest.