The Germany-based music artist, cultural ambassador, development activist and sports enthusiast Uche Sunday Alphonsus Ojiodu-Ambrose (popularly known by his artist name Toni Tuklan) is a man of many parts.
His resumé is indeed formidable: Toni’s group of companies comprises Cleantone Records GmbH (music label), Tuklan GbR (music production company) and Tuklan Sports UG (sports management company).
Moreover, the serial entrepreneur is the marketing communication consultant at the social enterprise company AfricanTide Union in Dortmund, Germany, while he is also actively engaged in different organisations in a voluntary capacity where he shoulders many responsibilities.
A graduate of Marketing from the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, Nigeria, the professional songwriter, producer, performing artist and football manager can therefore be described veritably as a man about town.
With Sean Paul to global fame
Toni Tuklan became famous in the African community in Europe as a performing artist. His collaboration with world star Sean Paul led to Ebony Eyes, a production that sold more than 13 million records and gathered over 10 million YouTube views while topping the charts in many countries. He has also performed with leading artistes in Europe including Cecile.
Toni’s current music project is in partnership with the legendary Tito Jackson (Michael’s brother) of The Jacksons fame. The video shooting for the production is ongoing.
The successful performing artist is equally actively engaged in sports – as a youth football trainer and manager, talent hunter and youth sports development activist.
Supporting youth sports development
Toni Tuklan partners the recruiters of leading German clubs to seek out young talents in Nigeria and manages their professional career here in Europe.
While promoting African footballers in European leagues, Toni also champions the development of new talents in Africa.
The passionate football enthusiast is currently running a project Glücklich Geht Einfach /Sport Artikel für Afrika (Happy is Simple/Sports Articles for Africa), under which he supplies sports gears and equipment donated by individuals and organisations in Europe to young sportsmen and women in Nigeria.
Toni is also a German Football Federation Talent Trainer, focusing especially on youth with a migration background in the country.
Toni Tuklan is equally engaged in virtually all other aspects of organised Diaspora life.
Toni Tuklan is not only an active member of several African organisations where he puts his immense networking talents to the use of community, he has also been a tireless promoter of African culture in Europe.
His boundless energy and commitment to duty in any group to which he belongs has earned him the nickname of Mr Fix It – the man who could be relied upon to deliver!
As the current Assistant Secretary General of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Germany, Toni Tuklan is an engine that makes the vehicle work – coordinating the activities of the group in a way that goes far beyond his schedule of duty.
In Werne, the western German town that has become a second hometown for him, Toni carries the African banner high through his engagement in entertainment, intercultural activities and efforts for a better integration of migrants.
How does Toni Tuklan find the time for all these engagements?
“My brother, it’s not easy but I believe that when you see duties entrusted upon you by circumstances, you have to bring in the energy to fulfil them,” he says. “What has to be done must be done!”
As champion of African cultural values
A traditional chief in his home town of Agba Onicha-Olona in Delta State, Nigeria, where he holds the prestigious title of the Onu-Obi (palace spokesman), Toni Tuklan sees himself as having been entrusted with the responsibility of promoting not only Nigerian culture but also a positive image of African system of traditional leadership in Europe.
Last year, he hosted his traditional leader, HRM Jeff Mafiana Ezeanochie IX, Obi Agba Onicha Olona, to a weeklong visit in Germany. In fact, a main reception for the visiting Nigerian chief and his entourage in Werne was attended by the Mayor of the German town and other leading personalities from all walks of life in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Through the visit, which Toni Tuklan sponsored and which must have cost him a fortune, he sought to show the importance of traditional leadership in Africa, which even though doesn’t have constitutional powers but enjoys the loyalty and trust of the people at the grassroots.
It’s Toni’s conviction that traditional leaders should be better engaged in international development co-operation as they guarantee that whatever assistance offered would reach the people for which it’s meant.
“Traditional chiefs are not relics of the past as often assumed; they are, in fact, active agents of development in their domains and they carry the weight of the problems of the people,” he said at the reception in July 2019. “We need to support them to lighten the burden on their shoulders,” he added.
As a traditional title holder, Toni also has responsibilities at home. And he has not been shirking in fulfilling these responsibilities. He visits Nigeria often and takes part in his community’s cultural, social and development activities.
For example, Toni Tuklan is actively engaged in community development projects under the auspices of the Alimini-Ugo Royal Dynasty Foundation in Onicha-Olona.
He is also, for example, the chief sponsor of the annual Idu-Olu Festival Olona, which is a platform for high chiefs in the ancient town to come together in felicitation of life with the people. This year’s event, holding on 18-19 September despite the Corona pandemic, is another celebration of original African culture.
Now an Eminent Peace Ambassador
Like it’s said, a golden fish has no hiding place, Toni Tuklan’s efforts for Africa has now been recognised internationally.
He was recently honoured with the Eminent Peace Ambassador award by the International Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA).
The organisation, which describes itself as a body of Peace Ambassadors, brings together people who in their private capacities are dedicated to providing solutions to world problems.
IAWPA promotes peace and harmony in various local communities across the globe to ensure that the aims and objectives of the United Nations in the maintenance of global peace is achieved by “engaging local stakeholders whose peaceful disposition will better the communities to which they belong”.
The goals of the IAWPA encapsulates all what Toni Tuklan has been doing for many years both in Europe and Nigeria which perhaps made the organisation to appoint him the Country Director for Germany, few weeks after conferring him with the award.
Chief (Ambassador) Uche Sunday Alphonsus Ojiodu-Ambrose (aka Toni Tuklan), a man of many parts, has again been entrusted one more responsibility. We wish him strength to shoulder it.