The first thing a lot of people think when they hear Nigeria is fraud, or lazy youths, but mostly fraud. Online polls and YouTube videos are rife with interviews with foreigners who are unable to dissociate their image of Nigerians with fraud. But the problem isn’t only online, or with foreigners. At home, we judge our people. We are quick to believe that whatever wealth they possess is the product of some evil behind-the-scene machination.
It’s worse for young Nigerians who have some sort of affluence or live fairly comfortably. Their ability to care for themselves and have extra is subconsciously associated with fraud or other vices. It is as if our minds, and the minds of outsiders, have been configured to think of young Nigerians as incapable of making a clean living through hard, smart work. This is with reason. But while it is true that a significant proportion of Nigerian youths are given to such vices, it is important to talk about the other, even more significant portion that isn’t. This group is made up of hardworking, honest, passionate people. This group is also the one that receives less coverage, the one hardly in the spotlight.
It is because of this imbalance in the way the stories are told we curated this list of young, hardworking Nigerians who are making both positive change and a name for themselves. It’s the 21st century and the trend is shifting from traditional jobs. Entrepreneur is quickly becoming the new cool. Here are some Nigerian entrepreneurs putting a spin on the narrative you should know.
Ronke Bamisedun was on the 2018 Forbes list of 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa. Her brainchild, BrandWeLove (BWL) Agency is an award-winning public relations and strategic communications firm whose pool of young consultants help clients build lasting brands and run audacious campaigns that uniquely position them in their niche. Their services cover areas such as fashion, consumer goods and music coverage.
Her firm is a two-time recipient of the SABRE Award in Western Africa. The SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement) Award is the biggest Public Relations Award in the world. BWL was also listed as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs in Nigeria by Business Day in 2018.
Ronke, fondly called Ronx, holds a first degree from Birmingham City University. She interned at different music PR agencies in London, then at Grayling. She began work as a consultant at Kaizo PR, where she managed clients such as House of Marley and Trivia. She has advised multinational giants such as Pandora, Moet Hennessy, Universal Music Group and many NGOs looking to broaden their reach in Africa.
Raised as a farmer’s child in northern Nigeria, it is easy to see where Nasir Yammama’s interests in agriculture comes from. Nasir is a creative technologist and entrepreneur whose interests are agriculture, technology, enterprise, design and renewable energy. He is the founder of Verdant, an AgriTech company and value chain establishment which proffers innovative solutions to farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Nasir attended the Institute of Creative Technology at Middlesex University, London. He is recognized by The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme for his contributions with AgriTech.
Gossy Ukanwoke’s BAU Executive Education caters to professionals, executives and graduates who want to develop business and leadership skills online and on-campus. BAU is short for Beni American University. It was launched in 2012, when Gossy was 23, and is considered Nigeria’s first private online university. He doubles as the President of EduTech Nigeria, an education tech company with a commitment to helping African traditional universities digitize their degree programs.
He was also mentioned in the 2018 Forbes list of 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa.
Florence Chikezie owns entrepreneurs.ng and is the founder of ReDahlia, a brand whose wide range of services are focused on catering to the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. ReDahlia offers business consultation services to entrepreneurs. ReDahlia Workspaces, entrepreneur.ng and The Business Clinic are all under ReDahlia.
Florence is a native of Abia state and holds a first class degree in Management from the University of Nigeria, Nsuka. She also has a Masters in International Business from Hult International Business School, London. In 2019, she was nominated and won the ELOY Award for Young Entrepreneur.