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Innocent Ujah Idibia better known by his stage name 2face Idibia, or 2Baba was born in  in Jos, Nigeria on18th September 1975 (age 41). He is from the Idoma ethnic group in the southern part of Benue State, in central Nigeria. He enrolled at Institute of Management & Technology, Enugu (IMT), where he did his preliminary National Diploma course in business administration and management but eventually dropped out to pursue his music career.

Here are 15 things you need to know about the R’n’B Legend.

  • He dropped out of school to pursue his music career.

 

  • In 1996, he moved to Lagos and started performing with rapper Blackface (Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo, who he had met while attending IMT).) and with musician Faze (Chibuzor Oji), he went on to form the trio band Plantashun Boiz.

 

  • Plantashun Boiz released two successful albums: Body and Soul (2000) and Sold Out (2003) under the Nelson Brown's owned Label (Dove Records) before disbanding in 2004.

 

  • The band came back together in 2007 for the purpose of recording a third and final album entitled Plan B.

 

  • After the disbandment of Plantashun Boyz in 2004, 2face Idibia released his debut solo album Face 2 Face (2004), which established him as a viable solo artist.

 

  • He released his second album Grass 2 Grace in 2006, which contained hits "One Love", "True Love, "4 Instance”.

 

  • In 2006, his song "African Queen" was used in the soundtrack for the film Phat Girlz, which was released internationally.

 

  • In 2010, 2face released an "international edition" of his 2009 album The Unstoppable International Edition making him the first Nigerian artist to have an appropriately priced international album.

 

  •  He is the first non-Liberian to become an honorary member of the Liberian music society in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the growth of music in Africa.

 

  • 2face met heavy weight American Rapper and business mogul Jay Z in New York City 2014.

 

  • Formerly signed under Kennis Music record label, he set up his own record label known as Hypertek Entertainment after his contract ended with Kennis music.

 

  • On October 8 2007, 2Face was robbed and shot by armed robbers.

 

  •  2face has 7 children from 4 different women.

 

  • On 2 May 2012, 2Face Idibia and Annie Macaulay married in Lagos, Nigeria in a private ceremony. Annie Macaulay and 2Face had their traditional wedding on 8 March 2013 in Eket, Akwa-Ibom State Nigeria. The couple also had a white wedding in Dubai, on Saturday 23 March 2013 with Nigerian and Ghanaian celebrities all present to see the long term couple tie the knot.

 

  • 2Face has received one MTV Europe Music Award, one World Music Award, five Headies Awards (Hip-hop award), four Channel O Music Video Awards and one BET award for his musical work, four MTV Africa Music Awards, one MOBO award, one KORA award, and numerous additional nominations.

 

2face is an is an avid reader and constantly seeks information and in his spare time he enjoys watching football
In his words, he adopted the stage name "2Face" (Tuface) because he was "trying to demarcate my personal life with my business life.

 

 

 

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We are head over heels in admiration for the works of Adrian McDonald. A Philosophical art photographer and award winning film director.  His impeccable ability to capture moments and imagery and tell a thousand stories with it is simply outstanding. Fascinated by his diction, We decided to add to his CV and call him a ‘wordsmith’.  On his website, Adrian wrote;

“Photography for me is not about the shutter, aperture or exposure, those are all just peripherals; it is about the moment, moments which can transcend time. About 2 years ago my style became completely revolutionized. It was the first time an image made my Vogue Italia portfolio. The editor in her words stated, "A good photograph needs to have a soul, be open, not provide answers but rather trigger questions, it needs to intrigue, have several layers of meaning and not be dull, flat, banal or one-dimensional."  That statement completely shattered my prior one dimensional view of photography for both fine arts and weddings. My emphasis was always based on objective perception, that is for many persons to acquire the same meaning, but that is so limited in many ways more than one. The problem with objectivity ( even though it's useful in some realms of art) is that the artist tells the story, but with subjectivity the viewer creates their own. I then employed the perspective of subjectivity and with such I brought soul to my work. This soul became much more than just the resonance of emotions, it was the culmination of telling stories whilst preserving the authenticity of each moment. I transferred this art of telling stories from my fine arts background to my weddings and the results became like poetry, sweet to the tongue, warm to the heart and soothing to the mind.”

He was definitely telling the truth, check out some of his works below:

Amazing yes? Be Inspired. 

Follow him on instagram @Lexonart 

 

 

 

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Polly Alakija is a renowned British-Nigerian muralist and artist that is absolutely exceptional and is using her paint brushes to redefine contemporary art. The themes of her paintings revolve around Nigeria, most especially women.  She moved to Nigeria upon getting married to her Yoruba husband. She is one of the artists commissioned by the Lagos state government to decorate some landmarks in Lagos. She was also an artist in residence for the 2015 Cheltenham Jazz festival and had a solo exhibition at the quintessence gallery Ikoyi in 2015.

We’re proud of her generous contribution to art and decided to share her story today for you to be inspired. Art is not necessarily what rich people use to pass time; we appreciate her for delving into it and changing the whole concept around it and of course Nigerians are starting to truly appreciate it. Polly has successfully painted molue buses and Volkswagen beetles in Lagos, bringing old, cranky abandoned items back to life.

See some of her works below: 

BE INSPIRED

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African manifestation of intellectual achievement in terms of social wealth and political power has always been marginalized against women. As much as we would like to declare that women are being empowered especially in the 21st century, we can’t also argue that it is far from being balanced.  As an African woman, it is hard to equate the needs of social accomplishments and needs of the home.  Sparingly, the society stigmatizes you on the blanket of respect.

To breach that gap, Mary Chinda, a bold and daring Tv presenter, OAP and book writer recently birthed the initiative for ‘The Single Ladies Conference’.  The Ikwerre-born blogger and author from Rivers State in Nigeria, Mary Chinda through her conference enlightened hundreds of ladies on the concept of ‘feminism’. The conference was tailored to empower ‘The Single Woman’ on discovering herself before saying ‘I DO’. An influential broadcaster in the south east, Mary has an interesting book on the way. She has captioned it ‘The Single Lady’.

This book entails the untold struggles of a single woman in a pressure filled Nigeria: coping with a career, and choosing a man that fits into the chosen career, struggles with being horny, masturbation and breaking free from lesbianism. This book is yet to see the light of day but has already been endorsed by ace comedian, actor and motivational writer Ali Baba.

 For women, it’s a choice; power, fame and success or a family. They can’t have both. Mary Chinda’s book is a gold mine of knowledge waiting to be tapped. Good looking to her, we sure can’t wait to read that book!

 

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Conference convener (in blue and crested black shirt) Mary Chinda, Lovett Obiakalusi (last first right), Blogger Jenny Chisom (2nd Right) and other speakers at Dream FM 92.5 Enugu.

 The Single Ladies Conference organized by Mary Chinda Initiatives held in Enugu recently. The maiden conference which was organized by Rivers-born TV Host, Mary Chinda, was attended by hundreds of ladies and few men across the south east. Mary Chinda, the Enugu Television presenter and book writer, while introducing the theme of the conference ‘The Single Lady: Her Career, Love & Marriage’ said the essence of the conference was to get Single Ladies to be relevant, discover their God-ordained purpose before getting married."The Single Ladies Conference is not about feminism.

It is to empower the Single Woman to find herself before saying 'I do.' It's great when ladies explore their potentials that is, build their career before loving a man and staying married. It’s high time we make the men who will marry us proud by becoming the best version of ourselves. What are you bringing to the table beside your human hair wigs and expensive lipsticks?" She quizzed.

 

  Another speaker, Lagos-based Mrs. Lovett Obiakalusi who spoke to the ladies on 'Why You Ain't Married Yet' noted that single ladies must frantically prepare for marriage like they prepare for success in other areas of their life. "You can't come into a marriage with all your bad character and expect it to work. You discipline yourself to study 4 years to get a degree yet you don't discipline your character to be a wife in the future. You prepare for a job interview, a meeting, a church service, visa interviews and even examinations yet you sing prepare for 'wifehood’. You don't succeed in marriage cause you are 25,30 of 40.You succeed because of character. “she hinted. The wife and mum, with 23 years of experience who also doubles as the Convener of the Valiant Women Awards, advised the young ladies against extreme feminism pointing out that respect and submission reminds the demands of a man greater than sex. She said "Even as you make more money, single ladies must understand the difference between their roles as women--a helpmeet and their purpose--their assignment on earth." 

 

Similarly, Jenny Chisom, Africa’s pioneer men empowerment blogger and founder League of Extraordinary Men (LEM) begged single ladies to relish every day of their spinsterhood. She condemned the rush into marriage because of age and pressure from family.  The 36-year-old continued by saying "It's suicidal to marry a man for age, good sex or affluence." In the same vein, Convener of the conference, Mary Chinda, who dissected the mystery of 'Pain to Purpose' explained to the ladies that while self forgiveness is rife it is the key to breaking free from addictions and low self esteem troubles."You are not your past, let it go. The pains you go through melts you to a more purposeful version of yourself"  Enugu's popular OAP, Fabulos Gloria noted that the best way a lady can build her  career is to marry her friend. Other contributors, Dr Collins Chinda of the Benue State University and Sammy Ajufo, Enugu's media consultant, employed the ladies get a life rather than think marriage is the next big thing.  One of the participants, Success Oma, described the conference as insightful and worth the time.

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As we enter into the seventh month of the year, we often look at how far we have come and what we haven’t achieved. If you are looking at starting a up a business why not look t our list and carve  niche for yourself, instead of lolling round and waiting to be pushed.  After nearly10 years of undulating economic growth, the continent experienced a very sharp decline last year. The hardest hit was the major commodity exporters, especially Nigeria, Angola and South Africa.  Our very own

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, went through a recession and its currency took a severe beating, losing more than 60 percent of its value in less than 12 months; which we experienced, some of us took to twitter to curse  and rain abuses on ‘HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED’.

Well it’s not just us, In South Africa, pull-backs in mining operations and volatile commodity prices (especially for gold, platinum, and coal) led to increased unemployment and slow economic growth. And at this point, it’s tempting to think: “Are there still any viable business opportunities in Africa for us? “Is Africa still rising?”You see, for decades, the biggest business opportunities in Africa were created through “traditional” sources, especially from the trade and export of raw and non-value-added commodities such as crude oil, timber, gold, coal, cocoa, tea, coffee, leather and several others. Today, the wealth that is breeding a new generation of millionaires in Africa is being created through new and unconventional business opportunities.

 These business opportunities are simmering beneath Africa’s endless stream of unsolved problems, underserved needs and everyday frustrations. New wealth on the continent is emerging from solving problems and creating value, and not from “old school” resource extraction. In this post, we will share with you the top business opportunities on the continent that are very likely to make more millionaires in 2017.

  1. Financial Technology aka fintech

As the name implies, FinTech involves the use of technology to support and enable banking and financial services, making it easier, faster and cheaper to meet Africa’s underserved demand for financial services. In many countries on the continent, access to financial services is very poor. In most cases, just about one in five adults have a bank account, and most transactions are still done in cash. But since the wild success of M-Pesa, the revolutionary mobile money solution that has transformed financial services in East Africa, several innovative fintech products and services have erupted across the continent. Just a few months ago, Paystack, a Nigeria-based fintech business 1.3 million dollars from local and international investors. Paystack provides an online payments platform that allows local merchants to accept payments from around the world, via credit card, debit card, and direct bank transfer on web and mobile. Another fintech solution, TopCheck, helps users to compare prices of financial products such as various types of insurance and bank loans. It has attracted over 1million euros in investments and was recently acquired by South Africa’s Silvertree Internet Holdings. Snapscan the South Africa-based fintech service, allows consumers to make payments with their mobile phones by simply taking a photo of a QR code and punching in the amount they want to pay. These are only but a few examples.

There are hundreds of entrepreneurs on the continent behind fast-growing fintech companies such as Paga, Zoona, Interswitch, Wealth Migrate, Riovic, BitPesa and several others. Financial technology is hot in Africa right now because financial services are a severely underserved market, and a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the continent.

  1. Film & Movies

Over the last three years, three different blockbuster movies from Nollywood, Africa’s leading film industry, have broken local box office records back to back. Despite major economic difficulties and a tough recession, the wedding party a romantic comedy drama, has become one of the highest grossing African movies of all time, raking in over 400 million Nigerian Naira (just over $1 million) in less than 60 days after release. One million dollars in box office pickings may be pocket change by Hollywood standards, but it’s the scale and growth of business opportunities in Africa’s film industry that’s truly breathtaking. With a population of over 1 billion people, of which about 60 percent are young people below the age of 25, Africa presents a very fertile ground for its local film industry. The four biggest business opportunities in this industry are in film financing, production, distribution and exhibition. With less than one cinema per million people, Africa is the most underserved cinema market in the world. That’s why entrepreneurs like Kene Mkparu, who worked for many years with Odeon cinemas in the UK, have returned to the continent to explore lucrative opportunities in the African cinema market. Since launching his business, FilmHouse has opened Nigeria’s first IMAX movie theatre and about10 cinemas across the country in just a few years. In the film distribution space, home grown companies such as iroko are consolidating their positions on the African market. With nearly $40 million in funding, and a strategic partnership with Canal +, Iroko is widely regarded as “The Netflix of Africa”, serving films in over 35 countries on the continent. We are excited movie market by the prospects of Africa’s film and, and there’s no doubt in our minds that the rest of 2017 will be another year of blockbusters from the continent’s creative and entrepreneurial minds.

  1. Sports Betting

Often regarded as a complicated and controversial industry, sports betting is making a windfall in Africa. Africa’s young and fanatical sports fan base makes it a very promising market for the global sports betting industry we have noticed how a growing number of betting businesses in the US and Europe are expanding into Africa as they position themselves to tap into an explosive growth opportunity for sports betting on the continent. Lax laws on betting, a widespread use of mobile phones and increasing access to the internet have reduced the barriers to enter a 350-million strong African market, where nearly 50 percent of male adults in Nigeria, South Africa and several other countries are involved in active sports betting. In July 2016, SportPesa, the biggest sports betting business in East Africa, became the first organisation in Kenya to sponsor an English Premier League football club after it signed a 3 year deal with Hull City FC .Why would a sports betting company in Kenya spend over a million British Pounds on a sponsorship deal in the most-watched football league in Africa? Your guess is as good as mine: “expected high returns on investment.” Across the continent, in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and several other countries, hundreds of sports betting businesses are jostling for a greater share of this lucrative market as they spend handsomely on marketing, promotion and customer acquisition.It would be interesting to watch how this fast emerging industry evolves in 2017.

  1. Digital healthcare

Only a handful of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa can provide basic healthcare to all their citizens’. With less than one doctor per 20,000 persons in countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania, the healthcare industry in Africa is in a perilous state. But entrepreneurs across Africa are taking on these challenges by creating innovative digital healthcare solutions. These innovations, which include telemedicine, e-prescriptions and m-Health applications, are helping to free up congested health facilities from dealing with non-life-threatening conditions so they can provide better care to patients who require more critical care. In Uganda, Brian Turyabagye – a young entrepreneur – and his team have developed a bio medical kit for early diagnosis and continuous monitoring of pneumonia, a disease that kills half a million children in Sub-Saharan Africa every year, according to UNICEF. This kit, named “Mamaope” eliminates most human error, and diagnoses pneumonia at a rate three to four times faster than a doctor. In Nigeria, Redbank is a new service that helps hospitals and patients quickly and easily search and find safe blood supplies in real time via SMS. This could potentially save thousands of lives especially in emergency situations and for patients in need of critical blood transfusions. Across Africa, there is a growing trend of pharmaceutical firms looking to discover, support and partner with digital health start-ups. Last year, Merck – the global pharmaceutical giant expanded its digital accelerator program for the first time outside Germany to Nairobi, in East Africa.

  1. Renewable Energy

With a growing global bias for climate-friendly energy solutions, Africa has become an international test bed for innovative renewable energy solutions. According to a recent World Bank study, only one in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity. And up to 80 percent of households on the continent use firewood and charcoal as a primary energy source for cooking, endangering the continent’s fast-depleting forest resources. In Ghana, one company is harnessing the force of crashing ocean waves from the Accra coastline to generate electricity. Yam Pro Energy has secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) that allows it to sell the electricity it generates, and the project could provide up to 10,000 households with electricity. Across the continent, the solar energy revolution is in full swing. In East Africa, businesses such as M-Kopa Solar, Off Grid ElectricStemaCo and several others are lighting up Africa by using the power of the sun to provide low-cost electricity to unconnected households. In West Africa, where sewage collected from households is often dumped into rivers and the ocean, this business in Accra Ghana, converts smelly human waste into an odourless and energy-efficient fuel which looks exactly like charcoal and can be used for cooking. This year, the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will open in East Africa. This 6,000-megawatt power plant will be the largest dam and hydropower plant in Africa. Though a government-owned asset, this dam will be a major milestone in Africa’s progress toward a renewable energy-dependent future. Africa’s significantly underserved energy needs presents a lucrative market for renewable energy solutions and I expect more players will be drawn to this promising industry in 2017.

  1. Urban Transportation

The effects of rural-urban migration and natural population growth have overwhelmed transport systems and infrastructure in major cities and towns across Africa. According to the AfDB, Africa has experienced the highest urban growth in the developing world. During the last two decades, Africa’s urban population grew by 3.5 percent per year and this rate of growth is expected to hold into 2050, with some African cities accounting for up to 85 percent of the national population. While government authorities and urban dwellers are frustrated by the congestion, inefficiency and disorganized nature of urban transport systems on the continent, a growing number of businesses are exploring the business opportunities behind this underserved market. Uber, a highly successful multinational ride hailing business, is one of the big players harvesting the opportunities in Africa’s urban transport market. Now present in 12 cities across the continent, including Johannesburg, Lagos, Kampala, Nairobi, Rabat and Cairo, Uber has created a powerful platform for entrepreneurs and investors to reap the lucrative rewards of serving urban transport needs in Africa.Hundreds of entrepreneurs now earn recurring monthly revenues by putting cars on the Uber network, whose value proposition of convenience, affordability and comfort has created a loyal and fast-growing customer base of urban commuters. In 2017, more entrepreneurs and investors will be advancing innovative solutions to the urban transport problems in Africa. It’ll surely be an interesting industry to watch.

  1. Pay TV

There are over 100 million TV households in Sub-Saharan Africa .However, at the moment, just about 15 million of these households are pay-TV subscribers, and this number is expected to reach 30 million by 2021.Currently, the biggest players in these markets are South Africa’s MultiChoice, China’s StarTimes, East Africa’s AzamTV, Safaricom and Zuku TV. In Francophone Africa, Canal Plus Overseas remains the dominant operator. Africa’s large population and its youthful demographic makes the continent a very attractive market for the pay-TV industry. With annual revenues estimated at over $4 billion, there is still a lot of room for new players in this market. Africa’s growing internet penetration, rising Smartphone adoption, and digital migration will be the key growth drivers of the pay-TV market in Africa as niche offerings such as video-on-demand (VOD) and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) evolve. In 2017, we are seeing more PAYTV subscribers.

  1. Food Processing

It’s widely believed that Africa does not produce enough food to meet its own needs. The continent actually produces far less food per hectare than the world average. However, while food production remains a big challenge for the continent, post-harvest losses and waste are the biggest threats to food security in Africa. Due to inadequate processing options, a significant proportion of harvests from farms in Africa never make it to the final consumer. Right now, Africa’s biggest food problem isn’t production; it’s processing, and then, marketing. If young entrepreneurs could make Africa process more of the food it produces, food waste will reduce, food supplies would be more stable and less seasonal, and food prices would be less prone to wild swings. Take the case of tomato in our very own Nigeria. Despite being a leading producer of tomato in Africa, Nigeria has spent millions of dollars on processed tomato paste imports from China. The same situation applies to several other imported processed food products whose raw materials are abundantly produced in Africa: fruit juice concentrates (processed from raw fruits), industrial-grade starch (from cassava), and edible oils (from soybean and cotton seed) and several others. Young African entrepreneurs like Affiong Williams, founder of Reelfruit, are taking on the food processing challenge in Africa. Reelfruit processes a range of seasonal fruits including mango, pineapple and coconut into dry fruit snacks that can be consumed throughout the year. As more entrepreneurs and investors become agriprenuers, opportunities in 2017, we are looking forward to more grand ideas and innovations that could transform the state of food.

  1. Real Estate

This is hardly surprising given the current and future size of Africa’s population. According to the United Nations  more than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa. Of the 2.4 billion people who are expected to join the world over the next 30 years, 1.3 billion of them will be Africans. Where will all these people live, work, shop and play? Currently, countries across the continent suffer a significant real estate deficit. In Nigeria, for example, the World Bank estimates the affordable housing deficit at over 17 million homes. In Lagos, one of Africa’s largest cities with a population of over 15 million people, there are less than 7 major shopping centres. It’s the severity of the real estate deficit across Africa that makes it such an amazing multi-billion dollar business opportunity. Across the major segments of the market – residential, office spaces, retail, industrial and hospitality – investors and developers are positioning themselves to benefit from underserved needs. The landmark group is one example among several others that have been pursuing real estate opportunities in Africa, and maintains a multi-million dollar portfolio of properties on the continent. The Group has developed and managed over 130,000 square meters of prime real estate across the continent, and is building a Landmark Village, which will be an iconic “Live, Work, Play” mixed-use development with breathtaking sea views in the exclusive area of Victoria Island in Lagos.

  1. African Fashion

Africa is in the throes of a fashion revolution. The explosive combo  of creative genius and entrepreneurial talent is increasing the visibility of African fashion on the world stage, as a new breed of designers are leveraging the continent’s rich cultures, history, and fabrics to make bold fashion statements. Young African designers such as Maki Oh and Aisha Obuobi have featured fashion pieces worn by international celebrities, including Beyoncé and Michelle Obama. The African Development Bank estimates Africa’s fashion industry could be worth 15.5 billion dollars over the next five years. While this is huge, it’s only a small share of the global fashion industry’s value of $1.3 trillion. Despite its current challenges, Africa’s fashion industry has the potential to create millions of jobs and significantly boost economic growth on the continent. This is already happening in countries like Mauritius, Ethiopia and Lesotho where apparel exports are a major foreign exchange earner.African entrepreneurs like 26-year old Kelechi Anyadiegwu are already reaping benefits from the fashion value chain. She started her online African clothing store , zuvaa with just $500 two years ago. Her idea was to share African-inspired fashion designs with consumers around the world. Zuvaa is estimated to make nearly $2 million in sales in 2016.

  1. Startup Funding

Mark Zukerberg’s surprise first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa last year was a strong external validation of Africa’s fast emerging start up landscape. During the trip, the Facebook CEO who is one of the world’s richest men, visited start up innovation hubs in Lagos and Nairobi.In June 2016, Zuckerberg ,invested 24million dollars in Andela  a start up that trains African engineers and programmers, and outsources them to top tech companies in the USA and Europe. According to the latest disrupt Africa report on African tech start ups, the continent attracted $129 million in 2016, with a 16.8 percent increase in the number of successfully funded start ups. South Africa and Nigeria raised the highest amount of funding, followed by Kenya, Egypt, Ghana and Morocco. Africa’s fast-emerging start up scene is a hotbed of innovation and disruptive possibilities. It’s no surprise there’s been a fast growth in the number of innovation hubs, incubation and accelerator programs on the continent. Africa is one of very few places in the world today that can deliver the massive growth and scale necessary to yield very high returns on investment capital.

 

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22- year old Oreoluwa Osoba is the big shot behind Coz Designs, a brand that specializes in luxury bags.  At its inception, Oreoluwa said it was hard to convince people to buy Nigerian because of the negative conceptions about “made in Nigeria” goods. Now, the likes of Peter Okoye, Reekado Banks, Toyin Abraham, and a number of Nigerian celebrities have become constant customers of Coz Designs.

It is amazing to know that young people are starting to diversify. Move away from the mentality of ‘white collar jobs’. That is not to say proper education is being neglected, in fact, Oreoluwa bagged a first class degree in Computer Science from Covenant University. He was simply blessed with the realization that, there is a market for luxury bags that are made in Nigeria, and also more affordable than designer names like Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

Find below some of his designs and we hope fervently for you to be inspired. 

 

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

Chisom Winifred is a creative writer and wordsmith. She believes in expressing herself through written words.

Find her on instagram and Twitter @chisomwinifred 

 

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As we enter into the seventh month of the year, we often look at how far we have come and what we haven’t achieved. If you are looking at starting a up a business why not look t our list and carve  niche for yourself, instead of lolling round and

waiting to be pushed.  After nearly10 years of undulating economic growth, the continent experienced a very sharp decline last year.The hardest hit was the major commodity exporters, especially Nigeria, Angola and South Africa.  Our very own

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, went through a recession and its currency took a severe beating, losing more than 60 percent of its value in less than 12 months; which we experienced, some of us took to twitter to curse  and rain abuses on

‘HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED’.

Well its not just us, In South Africa, pull-backs in mining operations and volatile commodity prices (especially for gold, platinum, and coal) led to increased unemployment and slow economic growth.And at this point, it’s tempting to think:“Are

there still any viable business opportunities in Africa for us ? “Is Africa still rising?”You see, for decades, the biggest business opportunities in Africa were created through “traditional” sources, especially from the trade and export of raw and non-

value-added commodities such as crude oil, timber, gold, coal, cocoa, tea, coffee, leather and several others.Today, the wealth that is breeding a new generation of millionaires in Africa is being created through new and unconventional business

opportunities.These business opportunities are simmering beneath Africa’s endless stream of unsolved problems, underserved needs and everyday frustrations. New wealth on the continent is emerging from solving problems and creating

value, and not from “old school” resource extraction.In this post, we will share with you the top business opportunities on the continent that are very likely to make more millionaires in 2017.

1)   Financial Technology aka fintech

As the name implies, FinTech involves the use of technology to support and enable banking and financial services, making it easier, faster and cheaper to meet Africa’s underserved demand for financial services.In many countries on the

continent, access to financial services is very poor. In most cases, just about one in five adults have a bank account, and most transactions are still done in cash.But since the wild success of M-Pesa, the revolutionary mobile money solution that

has transformed financial services in East Africa, several innovative fintech products and services have erupted across the continent.Just a few months ago, Paystack, a Nigeria-based fintech business 1.3 million dollars from local and

international investors. Paystack provides an online payments platform that allows local merchants to accept payments from around the world, via credit card, debit card, and direct bank transfer on web and mobile.Another fintech solution,

TopCheck, helps users to compare prices of financial products such as various types of insurance and bank loans. It has attracted over 1million euros in investments and was recently acquired by South Africa’s Silvertree Internet

Holdings.,Snapscan the South Africa-based fintech service, allows consumers to make payments with their mobile phones by simply taking a photo of a QR code and punching in the amount they want to pay.These are only but a few examples.

There are hundreds of entrepreneurs on the continent behind fast-growing fintech companies such as Paga, Zoona, Interswitch, Wealth Migrate, Riovic, BitPesa and several others.Financial technology is hot in Africa right now because financial

services are a severely underserved market, and a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the continent.

2)   Film & Movies

Over the last three years, three different blockbuster movies from Nollywood, Africa’s leading film industry, have broken local box office records back to back.Despite major economic difficulties and a tough recession, the wedding party a

romantic comedy drama, has become one of the highest grossing African movies of all time, raking in over 400 million Nigerian Naira (just over $1 million) in less than 60 days after release. One million dollars in box office pickings may be

pocket change by Hollywood standards, but it’s the scale and growth of business opportunities in Africa’s film industry that’s truly breathtaking. With a population of over 1 billion people, of which about 60 percent are young people below the age

of 25, Africa presents a very fertile ground for its local film industry. The four biggest business opportunities in this industry are in film financing, production, distribution and exhibition. With less than one cinema per million people, Africa is the

most underserved cinema market in the world. That’s why entrepreneurs like Kene Mkparu , who worked for many years with Odeon cinemas in the UK, have returned to the continent to explore lucrative opportunities in the African cinema

market.Since launching his business, FilmHouse has opened Nigeria’s first IMAX movie theater and about10 cinemas across the country in just a few years.In the film distribution space, homegrown companies such as iroko are consolidating

their positions on the African market. With nearly $40 million in funding, and a strategic partnership with Canal +, Iroko is widely regarded as “The Netflix of Africa”, serving films in over 35 countries on the continent. We are excited movie market

by the prospects of Africa’s film and, and there’s no doubt in our minds that the rest of 2017 will be another year of blockbusters from the continent’s creative and entrepreneurial minds.

3)   Sports Betting

Often regarded as a complicated and controversial industry, sports betting is making a windfall in Africa.Africa’s young and fanatical sports fan base makes it a very promising market for the global sports betting industry .we have noticed how a

growing number of betting businesses in the US and Europe are expanding into Africa as they position themselves to tap into an explosive growth opportunity for sports betting on the continent.Lax laws on betting, a widespread use of mobile

phones and increasing access to the internet have reduced the barriers to enter a 350-million strong African market, where nearly 50 percent of male adults in Nigeria, South Africa and several other countries are involved in active sports

betting.In July 2016, SportPesa, the biggest sports betting business in East Africa, became the first organisation in Kenya to sponsor an English Premier League football club after it signed a 3 year deal with Hull City FC .Why would a sports

betting company in Kenya spend over a million British Pounds on a sponsorship deal in the most-watched football league in Africa? Your guess is as good as mine: “expected high returns on investment.” Across the continent, in Ghana, Nigeria,

South Africa and several other countries, hundreds of sports betting businesses are jostling for a greater share of this lucrative market as they spend handsomely on marketing, promotion and customer acquisition.It would be interesting to watch

how this fast emerging industry evolves in 2017.

4)   Digital healthcare

Only a handful of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa can provide basic healthcare to all their citizens.With less than one doctor per 20,000 persons in countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania, the healthcare industry in Africa is in a perilous state.But

entrepreneurs across Africa are taking on these challenges by creating innovative digital healthcare solutions.These innovations, which include telemedicine, e-prescriptions and m-Health applications, are helping to free up congested health

facilities from dealing with non-life-threatening conditions so they can provide better care to patients who require more critical care.In Uganda, Brian Turyabagye – a young entrepreneur – and his team have developed a bio medical kit for early

diagnosis and continuous monitoring of pneumonia, a disease that kills half a million children in Sub-Saharan Africa every year, according to UNICEF. This kit, named “Mamaope” eliminates most human error, and diagnoses pneumonia at a

rate three to four times faster than a doctor.In Nigeria, Redbank is a new service that helps hospitals and patients quickly and easily search and find safe blood supplies in real time via SMS. This could potentially save thousands of lives

especially in emergency situations and for patients in need of critical blood transfusions.Across Africa, there is a growing trend of pharmaceutical firms looking to discover, support and partner with digital health startups. Last year, Merck – the

global pharmaceutical giant expanded its digital accelerator program for the first time outside Germany to Nairobi, in East Africa.

5)   Renewable Energy

With a growing global bias for climate-friendly energy solutions, Africa has become an international test bed for innovative renewable energy solutions.According to a recent world bank study , only one in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa has

access to electricity. And up to 80 percent of households on the continent use firewood and charcoal as a primary energy source for cooking, endangering the continent’s fast-depleting forest resources.In Ghana, one company is harnessing the

force of crashing ocean waves from the Accra coastline to generate electricity. Yam Pro Energy has secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) that allows it to sell the electricity it generates, and the project could provide up to 10,000

households with electricity.Across the continent, the solar energy revolution is in full swing. In East Africa, businesses such as M-Kopa Solar, Off Grid ElectricStemaCo and several others are lighting up Africa by using the power of the sun to

provide low-cost electricity to unconnected households.In West Africa, where sewage collected from households is often dumped into rivers and the ocean, this business in Accra Ghana, converts smelly human waste into an odourless and

energy-efficient fuel which looks exactly like charcoal and can be used for cooking.This year, the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will open in East Africa. This 6,000-megawatt power plant will be the largest dam and hydropower

plant in Africa. Though a government-owned asset, this dam will be a major milestone in Africa’s progress toward a renewable energy-dependent future.Africa’s significantly underserved energy needs presents a lucrative market for renewable

energy solutions and I expect more players will be drawn to this promising industry in 2017.

6)   Urban Transportation

The effects of rural-urban migration and natural population growth have overwhelmed transport systems and infrastructure in major cities and towns across Africa.According to the AfDB, Africa has experienced the highest urban growth in the

developing world. During the last two decades, Africa’s urban population grew by 3.5 percent per year and this rate of growth is expected to hold into 2050, with some African cities accounting for up to 85 percent of the national population.While

government authorities and urban dwellers are frustrated by the congestion, inefficiency and disorganized nature of urban transport systems on the continent, a growing number of businesses are exploring the business opportunities behind this

underserved market.Uber, a highly successful multinational ride hailing business, is one of the big players harvesting the opportunities in Africa’s urban transport market.Now present in 12 cities across the continent, including Johannesburg,

Lagos, Kampala, Nairobi, Rabat and Cairo, Uber has created a powerful platform for entrepreneurs and investors to reap the lucrative rewards of serving urban transport needs in Africa.Hundreds of entrepreneurs now earn recurring monthly

revenues by putting cars on the Uber network, whose value proposition of convenience, affordability and comfort has created a loyal and fast-growing customer base of urban commuters.In 2017, more entrepreneurs and investors will be

advancing innovative solutions to the urban transport problems in Africa. It’ll surely be an interesting industry to watch.

7)   Pay TV

There are over 100 million TV households in Sub-Saharan Africa.However, at the moment, just about 15 million of these households are pay-TV subscribers, and this number is expected to reach 30 million by 2021.Currently, the biggest players

in these markets are SoutAfrica’s MultiChoice, China’s StarTimes, East Africa’s AzamTV, Safaricom and Zuku TV. In Francophone Africa, Canal Plus Overseas remains the dominant operator.Africa’s large population and its youthful

demographic makes the continent a very attractive market for the pay-TV industry. With annual revenues estimated at over $4 billion, there is still a lot of room for new players in this market.Africa’s growing internet penetration, rising smartphone

adoption, and digital migration will be the key growth drivers of the pay-TV market in Africa as niche offerings such as video-on-demand (VOD) and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) evolve. In 2017, we are seeing more PAYTV subscribers.

8)   Food Processing

It’s widely believed that Africa does not produce enough food to meet its own needs. The continent actually produces far less food per hectare than the world average.However, while food production remains a big challenge for the continent,

post-harvest losses and waste are the biggest threats to food security in Africa.Due to inadequate processing options, a significant proportion of harvests from farms in Africa never make it to the final consumer.Right now, Africa’s biggest food

problem isn’t production; it’s processing, and then, marketing.If young entrepreneurs could make Africa process more of the food it produces, food waste will reduce, food supplies would be more stable and less seasonal, and food prices would

be less prone to wild swings.Take the case of tomato in our very own Nigeria. Despite being a leading producer of tomato in Africa, Nigeria has spent millions of dollars on processed tomato paste imports from China.The same situation applies to

several other imported processed food products whose raw materials are abundantly produced in Africa: fruit juice concentrates (processed from raw fruits), industrial-grade starch (from cassava), edible oils (fromsoybean and cotton seed) and

several others.Young African entrepreneurs like Affiong Williams, founder of Reelfruit, are taking on the food processing challenge in Africa. Reelfruit processes a range of seasonal fruits including mango, pineapple and coconut into dry fruit

snacks that can be consumed throughout the year.As more entrepreneurs and investors become agriprenuers, opportunities in 2017, we are looking forward to more grand ideas and innovations that could transform the state of food .

9)   Real Estate

This is hardly surprising given the current and future size of Africa’s population. According to the United Nations  more than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa. Of the 2.4 billion people who are

expected to join the world over the next 30 years, 1.3 billion of them will be Africans.Where will all these people live, work, shop and play?Currently, countries across the continent suffer a significant real estate deficit. In Nigeria, for example, the

World Bank estimates the affordable housing deficit at over 17 million homes. In Lagos, one of Africa’s largest cities with a population of over 15 million people, there are less than 7 major shopping centres.It’s the severity of the real estate deficit

across Africa that makes it such an amazing multi-billion dollar business opportunity.Across the major segments of the market – residential, office spaces, retail, industrial and hospitality – investors and developers are positioning themselves to

benefit from underserved needs.The landmark group is one example among several others that have been pursuing real estate opportunities in Africa, and maintains a multi-million dollar portfolio of properties on the continent.The Group has

developed and managed over 130,000 square meters of prime real estate across the continent, and is building a Landmark Village, which will be an iconic “Live, Work, Play” mixed-use development with breathtaking sea views in the exclusive

area of Victoria Island in Lagos.

10) African Fashion

Africa is in the throes of a fashion revolution.The explosive combo  of creative genius and entrepreneurial talent is increasing the visibility of African fashion on the world stage, as a new breed of designers are leveraging the continent’s rich

cultures, history, and fabrics to make bold fashion statements.Young African designers such as Maki Oh and Aisha Obuobi have featured fashion pieces worn by international celebrities, including Beyoncé and Michelle Obama.The African

Development Bank estimates Africa’s fashion industry could be worth 15.5 billion dollars over the next five years. While this is huge, it’s only a small share of the global fashion industry’s value of $1.3 trillion.Despite its current challenges, Africa’s

fashion industry has the potential to create millions of jobs and significantly boost economic growth on the continent. This is already happening in countries like Mauritius, Ethiopia and Lesotho where apparel exports are a major foreign

exchange earner.African entrepreneurs like 26-year old Kelechi Anyadiegwu are already reaping benefits from the fashion value chain.She started her online African clothing store , zuvaa with just $500 two years ago. Her idea was to share

African-inspired fashion designs with consumers around the world. Zuvaa is estimated to make nearly $2 million in sales in 2016.

11) Startup Funding

Mark Zukerberg’s surprise first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa last year was a strong external validation of Africa’s fast emerging startup landscape. During the trip, the Facebook CEO who is one of the world’s richest men, visited startup innovation

hubs in Lagos and Nairobi.In June 2016, Zuckerberg ,invested 24million dollars in Andela  a startup that trains African engineers and programmers, and outsources them to top tech companies in the USA and Europe.According to the latest

disrupt Africa report  on African tech startups, the continent attracted $129 million in 2016, with a 16.8 percent increase in the number of successfully funded startups. South Africa and Nigeria raised the highest amount of funding, followed by

Kenya, Egypt, Ghana and Morocco.Africa’s fast-emerging startup scene is a hotbed of innovation and disruptive possibilities. It’s no surprise there’s been a fast growth in the number of innovation hubs, incubation and accelerator programs on

the continent.Africa is one of very few places in the world today that can deliver the massive growth and scale necessary to yield very high returns on investment capital.

 

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Former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has given insight into how he became Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces at the age of 31.

Giving a breakdown of events that led to his emergence as the Head of State, Gowon disclosed that coup and counter coup led him to power.

He disclosed that his then superior, Zakariya Maimalari, would have been the Head of State in July 1966 “after the convolutions” that followed the Kaduna Nzeogwu-led coup early in the year but could not as he, Maimalari. was killed in a counter coup.

Gowon made the revelation in a book titled, “The First Regular Combatant: Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari,” which will be launched today in Abuja.

He said Maimalri would have been the “natural choice” after the so-called counter coup.

Giving a breakdown of the coup and counter coup, the book recalled that Nzeogwu, a Major at that time, had executed a failed coup on January 15, 1966 which led to the assassination of the prime minister, Abubakar Balewa, the premier of the northern region, Ahmadu Bello, and the premier of the western region, Samuel Akintola.

As a result of the coup, key officers from the Northern part of the country were also killed, including Maimalari, a brigadier General at the time.

Following the execution of the coup, Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who was the most senior military officer assumed power but his failure to prosecute those behind the coup led to his overthrow and subsequent death in a counter-coup by officers from the North.

Against this backdrop, Gowon, who was a lieutenant Colonel and Chief of Staff to Aguiyi-Ironsi, became Nigeria’s Head of State at 31.

In the book, Gowon said had Maimalari survived the January 1966 coup, “the convolutions in Nigeria that followed might have been averted, and Maimalari would have eventually taken his rightful place in the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army, following the appointment of General Aguiyi Ironsi as GOC of the Nigerian Army after Sir Christopher Welby-Everard, the last British GOC.

“He would have been a natural choice for leadership after the event of that day. I do not see how I could have become commander-in-chief, if Maimalari or any of those senior ones above me from the same school were alive.”

SOURCE: TODAY.NG

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Nigeria-born Williams Chechet is a supremely talented graphics designer, illustrator and muralist responsible for globally acclaimed contemporary art pieces. He has been featured severally on CNN Africa for his creative beautiful illustrations from Northern Nigeria.

 Being raised in the north, William is known for his art movement which involves imagery from popular culture being visually removed from its known context, isolated and or combined with an unrelated material.

As a thriving entrepreneur in the world of art, we appreciate and wish the spread the works of Williams, to encourage others who wish to tow his part.

See some of his illustrations below:

 

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

Chisom Winifred is a creative writer and wordsmith. She believes in expressing herself through written words.

 

 

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