I would rather describe him as a living LEGEND, although I strongly believe if it were in the days of our ancestors, he would have been able to kill a lion and maybe with bare hands, and that would have earned him the title of OGBUAGU (the lion killer) LOL!
If you get closer to him, one of the first things you will easily notice about him is his adventurous nature. A man who has travelled to the evil forest and returned alive. A class 2 college boy who could run out of school, and travel alone all the way from Umuahia to Enugu just to meet Ojukwu face-to-face at the airport during his famous homecoming.
Dr Raphael James is the Founder and Director General of the Centre for Research, Information and Media Development (CRIMMD). He first established it as a library in 2004 at Ejigbo but later advanced into what we now see as a non-political, non-governmental, non-profit-making but standard research developmental institution.
He is the Publisher of two magazines namely, ‘The African Dame’ and ‘The National Biographer’ magazines. He has written 56 manuscripts and published 24 books. He has donated over 57,300 books to the public since 2008 when he started his book donations to help bring back the reading culture in our society. He also donates to orphanages and gives free motivational speeches to students and to anyone who is willing to listen and ask questions- of course I am a beneficiary of his free mentorship class in the form of gisting. He is a great listener!
His CRIMMD Skill Acquisition Centre for Women has trained a total of over 7,400 women free of charge in different vocations as at March 2022. He is the founder of the CRIMMD Museum of Nigeria History with close to 40, 000 photos.
Dr Raphael James has met and interviewed 7 world presidents and had interactions with families of 14 African presidents/heads of state.
In the area of tourism, he is a historic and educative tourist. He has visited 33 out of 36 states of Nigeria and documented over 500 tourist sites in the last 9 years. He has visited some East African countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya where he met with the 96-year-old granny of President Barrack Obama of America. He has also visited the West African countries of the Benin Republic, Togo, and Ghana. While in Ghana he held deliberations with the former head of the Military Government / President of Ghana, President Jerry John Rawlings.
He has been called many names like ‘Ajala-Travel’, ‘The return of Ajala’ ‘Raphywalker’, and “King of Tourism in Nigeria”. He was honoured in Dubai, in September 2016, by the AJALA Group, and his citation was read and filmed in an over 200 filled capacity hall for his historic/educative in-depth research work and most revealing on MOSHOOD OLABISI AJALA.
On September 27, 2018, he donated 50 books on Tourism to the Association of Travel and Tourism Writers of Nigeria, ATTWON. In all, he has donated over 400 books to promote tourism.
Dr Raphael James contributes tourism topics to different publications including “The Difference Newspaper”, “The News Magazine”, “Come to Nigeria Magazine”, “Great Achievers’ World Magazine”, and he also runs a blog ‘Dr Raphael James Tours’, besides his own magazines.
He was part of the facilitators of the 2021 class of Nigerian Tourism Specialist Certificate Course NTSC, he talk’s tourism at seminars and conferences.
AWARDS, APPRECIATION AND COMMENDATION LETTERS
Dr Raphael James has won a total of 209 awards for his commendable works to humanity. He was listed in the New Telegraph Newspaper of January 23, 2021 as Nigerian “Top Historian and Record Keeper” according the ‘Naija7Wonders’. He was also listed among the 5 enterprising Africans for the last quarter of 2016 by the ‘African Enterprise Magazine’; voted “SDLG Africa’s Most Reliable Person” 2016. He has also received Appreciations / Commendations Letters, including: October 4, 2007: Lagos State Government Education District VI Appreciation letter for the Development of Education in the District; September 24, 2007: NTA2 Channel 5 Lagos Commendation letter for encouraging reading habit in the Nigerian Society; October 2005: USA President, Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation for assisting Katrina victims; February 2000: NYSC Abia State Secretariat Appreciation Letter for contributions at the “NYSC Millennium Festival of Theatre”; March 17, 1997: Queen Elizabeth of England Commendation Letter on General Aguiyi-Ironsi biography
On March 11, 2022, he was listed among the Best Promoter of Domestic Tourism in Nigeria in the year 2021 by Abuja JABAMAH and the Seven Wonders of Nigeria (Naija7Wonders).
On March 27, 2021, ‘he own the Travellers Awards – Top Tourism Promoters for 2020, and a Certificate of Nigerian Tourism Specialist’ by NIHOTOUR, Naija7Wonders and AKWAABA Travel Market.
On December 30, 2021 he won the “Africa’s Most Outstanding History Preservation Award 2021” by Nigeria Standard Newspaper USA.
On October 1, 2021 he won the Award of Excellence – “for your ability to preserve and document Nigerian History through the establishment of the Nigeria History Museum, Idimu” on the occasion of Nigeria @ 61 celebration, by NIGERIA YOUTH MOVEMENT Alimosho.
On September 17, 2021, he won the Special Recognition Award – ‘Industry Icon at Nigeria Tourism Award 2020’. The award is in recognition of his contribution to the growth of tourism in Nigeria by The Balearica Awards organizer.
On July 25, 2021 he won the Green & White Nigeria Achievers Award: African Humanitarian Icon of the Year 2021 Award
On November 16, 2018 he was inducted into the CLUB 100, Top 100 Tourism Personalities in Nigeria.
On October 28th, 2018, he won the “Educational Tourism Award 2018” in special recognition of his relentless commitment to the development and growth of educational tourism in Nigeria by Tourism-Edge Travelogue Magazine.
On October 13, 2018 he won the “Kofi Annan Global Integrity Historic/Educative Tourist Of The Year Award, 2018 by the “South Africa Integrity Media-Group.
On October 10, 2018, he was voted ‘Nigeria’s Leading Cultural Ambassador of the Year 2017 in Diaspora’ from Dallas, Texas, USA. by The Nigeria Standard Newspaper Award.
On June 7, 2017, he won the “Tourism Educational Ambassador” Award at the 8th Youth Tourism & Hospitality Leaders Forum in Ibadan.
On November 19, 2016 he won the “African Tourism Education Enterprise’s Ambassador Award” by The African Institute of Enterprise Development and Management, “in recognition of his immense contribution to the private tourism education Enterprise in Africa
On December 18, 2017, he won the STAR of Tourism Award, in appreciation of his contributions to Tourism Promotion in Africa from the United Kingdom.
On December 19, 2015, he won the “Africa Leadership Improver Award 2015 – Corporate Leadership Award” in recognition of his efforts in the promotion of Culture, tourism, and Education in the continent of Africa from the Gambia.
Dr Raphael James is indeed a great man. If you visit CRIMMD Library and Museum at 138 Ejigbo-Idimu Road behind Ago Adura bus stop by Chrisland College, Idimu, Lagos, you will be astonished at the great work he has done and is still doing to preserve our political and cultural heritage. A try will convince you!