I had imagined today differently.
I didn’t plan for a pandemic or to be stuck in quarantine. I had planned to be back in Benin City after such a long absence. I had imagined a celebration of my father’s life and times. I have now learned after 10 years that things don’t always go as planned.
I didn’t even know 10 years ago that my father had died after surgery until the next morning when my mother called me crying. It didn’t hit me fully until after the burial and I was back home in Lagos alone and playing songs…
Early investment experience in an African Unicorn
Hello, again, world!
Just in case you have not heard it yet, Flutterwave is now a Unicorn ( a company with a valuation of over $1B) less than five years after it launched. Will I gloat a lot about this? Hell, YES, I will!! The team deserves all the” accolades.” Working with them has been pure joy for me.
Will I give unwarranted advice about how to invest in…
Lessons while growing up in Edo.
My maternal uncle Paul Omoruyi was a customs officer, he is now retired and a successful businessman in Lagos. He has been an inspiration to me in many ways. He was the first relative I knew to buy an expensive sports car, a Nissan ZX with retractable headlights.
Unfortunately, the car was wrecked when a goat strayed into its path on the Benin-Shagamu expressway. The car was written off. It was a miracle that he survived the accident without any injury.
I was surprised at how easily he wrote it off and bought a…
Another Nigerian phenomenon
Oga — Nigerian term for boss.
Earned as a result of status or wealth. Typically well to do and at least of above average means or with assets or access to using or acquiring assets.
I remember the day our gardener in Ikoyi “Baba John” first called me “Oga Victor” it felt weird. The gardener was a man who knew me as a kid while still in school, and he was now referring to me as “Oga”. I shrugged it off until I started hearing it repeated by the security guards and others. …
On the first day of June almost six years ago, I found out definitively that we were going to have a son. It was surreal. I was going through a myriad of emotions at the news. I was happy, worried and sad at the same time. I wished my father had still been alive for me to share the good news with him. I also was quite worried that I probably had not learned much about what it took to become a father. …
Building the present with technology
The Rise of The Okada
One of the fascinating sectors in Africa is transportation. It is also one of the most underdeveloped with so much potential as it touches everyone directly and indirectly. It is the backbone of economies. Even in war-prone areas, warring sides depend on logistics for survival. I have always said that the two mechanical tools that have impacted Africa the most in recent times were the AK 47 assault rifle and the motorcycle.
The motorcycle has helped to open up new markets in the urban areas and hinterlands as it made…
I was my father’s Obama. The real Obama is just more organized.
Do they have two heads?
The typical African parent will ask you if the person who got ahead of you in an exam or any contest in life has two heads? My parents never did that to me. I was usually the one with two heads that other parents urged their kids to chase after. I don’t know how they managed to do it. It was not the koboko or the flying slippers, those were meant for grave circumstances. It was more from subtle yet positive reinforcement.
Not a good story about Nigeria
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” — Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
Three experiences have shaped the way I now look at Nigeria. My current views are very different from those of the idealistic patriot that I was in 1993 who was willing even to risk his life to restore MKO Abiola’s mandate. I was also one of those in university who raged against the military regimes and felt that…
No, the title is not wrong. I have also not been abducted by aliens. Sometimes, reality hits you so hard that you blurt out the truth. Building for Africa is a mistake. Don’t do it!
Building for Africa is hard. One of my most significant mistakes in life was to think “Africa First” in business and services. It should have been “Global First”. Surmounting African barriers does not necessarily give you a Global edge. It may just waste your time. I think it wasted mine.
The first thing that I realised too late was that Africa sells more…