Scroll Top



August/September 2023

blessing "Yemi" Mobolade

By Pam Bales

It's the smile. That's the first thing you notice when you meet Blessing "Yemi" Moboblade. And, then that genuine warmth, kind eyes, and authenticity wrap up the whole package. If you haven't met him yet, you may soon.

Citizens are meeting the new mayor of Colorado Springs at a record pace. Mobolade and his team are getting out of the City offices to connect with and listen to residents, neighbors, leaders and other officials where they live, work and play – much aas they did during his unprecedented campaign. 

Sworn in as the 4nd mayor of Colorado Springs on June 6, 2023, Mayor Yemi Mobolade is the first Black man and immigrant to be elected mayor of Colorado Springs and one of the youngest, at 44. “I’m already quite comfortable with my title as Mayor Yemi, not Mayor Mobolade. It’s who I am, and I want to be accessible to all our citizens, even in name,” says Mobolade. 

“People born in the United State often don’t understand just how amazing their country really is to those not born here,” explains Mobolade, who was born and raised in Nigeria. “When I came to the United States at 17 years old, I was following in my older brother’s footsteps. We had family friends in northern Indiana, and we were lucky enough to be able to attend Bethel University. Even growing up in a more middle class family in Nigeria, we did not have the abundance of this country. Walking into an average grocery store here stocked to the ceiling with food – food everywhere – was almost a shock.”

There is not an abundance of higher education in his home country either, he notes.

“Those who want to pursue a higher education degree take a national test to get into one of a few universities and trade schools in the country,” Mobolade explains. “I did pass the test, but the universities were on strike. My parents were adamant about higher education, and that’s how I ended up in Indiana.”

"...I've even added some of the candidates who ran against me for mayor to my advisory boards. Democracy thrives through diverse perspectives."

-Mayor Yemi

He’s happy about his Indiana landing, as he met and married the love of his life, Abbey, a native Hoosier. Plus, being close to Notre Dame University, Mobolade will always have a special place in his heart for American football. “Bethel students had access to Notre Dame’s library, so even though I didn’t understand football at all, I immediately bough a Notre Dame jacket and wore it proudly. I was able to go to many games, and the sport has since held a special spot in my heart.” 

He was born to two bi-vocational pastors: Yemi’s father was in finance and his mother was a secondary education teacher. He took full advantage of his educational opportunity, gathering a wide range of knowledge. Mayor Yemi has bachelor’s degrees in business administration and computer information systems from Beth University (Mishawaka, Ind.), master’s degrees in management and leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Ind.), and theology-intellectual leadership degrees from the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, part of Simpson University (Redding, Calif.). Using his vast education, Mobolade embraced his journey to make something of himself in a country of unlimited opportunity, as he saw it. 


"Taking risks, leading change is the way we move our community forward."

-Mayor Yemi

“We’re a nation of immigrants,” states Mobolade. “It can remind us of the best of who we are as Americans. Our founders had that hustle and drive – everyone has their own set of challenges, and it is up to each of us to hustle and show that we have the drive to succeed and contribute to our community,” exudes a passionate Mobolade. ” The ability to make something of yourself when you are given this opportunity influenced the way I live and lead from an early age.”

Armed with a unique combination of talents, his first job after college was in manufacturing, with his IT degree. “I loved working in manufacturing,” says Mobolade. “It is the heart and soul of America, and I got to be right in the thick of it.”

While he and his wife were pursuing their American Dream, both participated in their church. “You have to remember, as the son of two pastors, it was only natural that being a part of a church was part of life,” explains Mobolade. Then life took an interesting turn.

In his 20s, mobolade served as a pastor in a church in northern Indiana – a town of only 3,000 people. Though the town was small, the church was attracting nearly 3,000 people each Sunday, including many Amish residents of the area. As a local, Abbey knew this opportunity was highly unusual and exceptional.

However, after a few years in ministry, Mayor Yemi says he began to see the dark side of religion and had a crisis of faith. It was time to leave – they moved to Colorado Springs in 2010 to start a new chapter of their lives. 

Now with a family, Mobolade jumped into his community feet first. “My siblings would tell you, I’m always starting new things,” explains Mobolade. “But I’m still cautious to look at all angles – I see this in my 4 year old [the youngest of the Mobolade children] right now.”

And start new things he did.

As he began connecting into the Colorado Springs church community as a minister for First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, he co-founded COSILoveYou. This nonprofit works with churches, business, and civic organizations to provide collaborative opportunities for addressing the most pressing needs in Colorado Springs. 

He then embraced his entrepreneurial side, co-founding Wild Goose Meeting House at the tail end of the recession. The premise behind his first business – and then the second partnership as co-owner of Good Neighbor Meeting House – was to create an inclusive place for all to gather.

“Taking risks, leading change is the way we move our community forward,” explains Mayor Yemi. “Complaining really does nothing. I’ve always felt I need to be the change I want to see in the world.”

To that end, he served as the vice president for business retention and expansion at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDS, and as the small business development administrator at the City of Colorado Springs. 

Courage, empathy, and humility are the core values Mobolade lives by. Armed with those values, he has now entered the next chapter of his career – politics. A self-described “serial collaborator,” Mobolade believes the time is right for positive change in Colorado Springs. 

“People have asked me – did you always want to be mayor? Uh, no!” laughs Mobolade. “But I believe the opportunity is ripe to disrupt politics and business to lead our community in the best possible direction we can – for all people, not just select groups.”

He’s only a few months into his first mayoral term, but Mobolade shares his approach to balance in his life. 

“I practice what I preach – literally,” he says. “I’m not a micromanager. I pick the best people I can find and watch them shine. I’ve even added some of the candidates who ran against me for mayor to my advisory boards. Democracy thrives through diverse perspectives.”

Mayor Yemi is an avid gardener in his spare time, and relies on a group of twelve people who help him stay grounded – mentors, spiritual directors, leaders, friends – he counts his wife, Abbey, as the most important. “We also have a village – you know, the friends that become your family. Many transplants to Colorado have experienced this wonderful tradition. Our ‘friend family’ has been and will continue to be there for me and for my family.”

Leave a comment