Investment Opportunities in Nigeria: The Top 4 sectors

The past year has been one of economic progress for Nigeria, with Africa’s largest economy managing to crawl back into growth territory in the second quarter of 2017.

The Nigerian government has realized that they need to make the country as attractive and lucrative as possible for offshore investors to bring their capital, skills and business trade into the country.

The need to develop the Nigerian economy offers lucrative potential returns Click To Tweet

One way is to provide tax holidays to “pioneer companies,” who are engaged in the production of export goods, establishing new industries, or expanding production in vital sectors of the economy.

Pioneer companies that are eligible under the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act can enjoy an income “tax holiday” for a period of up to five years. In addition, pioneer companies enjoy other benefits such as the exemption from withholding tax on dividends paid out of pioneer profits.

Here’s a look at investment opportunities to consider:



Nigeria’s population is an estimated 186 million people. This population suggests a massive potential workforce as well as a consumer base. For a manufacturer this is an ideal scenario, not only do you have potential customers, but you also have potential employees.

The Nigerian government is eager to expand the manufacturing capability in the country, and to that end, they are offering incentives for manufacturers that are able to locally source their raw materials, for example, agro-allied manufacturers processing foodstuffs such as fruit juices and vegetable oils.

Any manufacturing industry that provides multiplier effect solutions for the economy is also looked upon favorably. An example of this would be machine tools, flat sheet metal, and spare parts manufacturing.

Finally, any investment in research institutes, especially those that focus on adaptive research and commercialization of local inventions, is looked upon favorably by the Nigerian government.

An organization that has seen the potential in Nigeria is US-based software trainer @Andela Click To Tweet



Nigeria is one of the fastest growing internet users in the world. According to Statista, a global statistics company, there are approximately 76.2 million Nigerian internet users as of 2017. This is an increase of nearly 50 percent from the 2013 figure of 51.8 million.

There are millions of Nigerians who are interested in involving themselves in Information Communications and Technology Services (ICTS).

This new economy does not require someone to be in a specific location to provide the service needed, rather they can be located anywhere in the world.


An organization that has seen the potential in Nigeria is US-based software trainer – Andela. The company offers learning programmes for young adults who are wanting to become computer programmers.

Nigeria is one of the fastest growing internet users in the world Click To Tweet

The learning programme is a 2-year practical course where the learner interacts with companies around the world and assists them in building programmes, websites, and mobile applications.

After the conclusion of the programme, the learner is able to provide remote programming support to companies that they have built a relationship with.

By tapping into the underdeveloped skills of the Nigerian youth, there are countless opportunities for new economy companies to develop technology leaders of the future in Nigeria and in the rest of Africa.

The Nigerian government has set up incentives to help modernize and mechanize their agricultural industry Click To Tweet



Nearly one-third of all employed Nigerians find themselves working in the agricultural sector, which is one of the country’s main foreign exchange earners.

The Nigerian government has set up incentives to help modernize and mechanize their agricultural industry. Not only will locally grown foodstuffs be promoted on behalf of the investor, business and enabling companies may receive the pioneer company status and qualify for tax incentives.

Subsidies on fertilizer and zero import duties on raw materials needed to manufacture livestock feed are some of the other incentives to attract investors to this sector.

Another is the release of grants from the Raw Materials Research and Development Council for research and development that leads to the greater domestic use of Nigeria’s raw materials.



The need for skilled tradespersons, computer programmers, and agricultural workers will only increase in demand as Nigeria transforms its economy and becomes an international economic power.

At present, there is an opportunity for private education to offer specific programmes that are in demand in the country. Nigeria is a country with vast underemployment and by offering distance learning or night schools, there is potential for strong investment returns in for-profit education.

As an example, one can look at the success of Curro in South Africa, which began as a private for-profit primary and secondary schools but now even has a post-secondary offering. If a Nigerian model were created that focused on skills development, the potential returns could be very lucrative.

Nigeria is in the fortunate position to offer investment opportunities to both local and international persons and companies. The need to develop the Nigerian economy offers lucrative potential returns for those looking to invest in the above sectors, including manufacturing and private education.

These areas are in some ways interconnected, and by increasing the investment and development in one area, there is tremendous potential for spillover into the other, sectors.



How Hobbies Can Help You Connect With Employers

Sometimes a hobby is more than a hobby

Do you like long walks on the beach and kittens? Yes, of course, you do. But what does that have to do with getting a job?

Sharing your interests on a resume is a way to build a connection and show off your personality. The tricky part is knowing what hobbies to put on your resume to give off a good impression and let the hiring manager know that you will be a good fit for their company.

When to list hobbies on your resume?

Listing hobbies on your resume is a much-contested matter. To some, a Hobbies and Interests section is a relic of the nineties — something generation X started doing to prove they aren’t just corporate drones, but actual people.

Nowadays, many hiring managers hate it when employees waste valuable space on their resumes to talk about their love of books and socializing.

But work culture is increasingly changing. Many companies are refocusing on personality-based hiring and finding employees that would be a good fit for their work culture.

Adding a hobbies section might just do the trick!

Work culture is changing. Many companies are refocusing on personality-based hiring Click To Tweet

How to match the company’s work culture?

Trying to figure out whether you should put a Hobbies and Interests section on your resume?

First off, you need to understand the company’s work culture:

    • Go to their website and have a look around. Read up on the company values and what        perks they provide their employees with. What events they organize.
    • Then, have a look at employee profiles to see if they mention hobbies.
    • Next, check employee profiles on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Employees are        more likely to put some hobbies on a LinkedIn profile than elsewhere.
    • Finish up with any general press to get a feel for how others perceive the company’s            work culture.
  • If you know who is responsible for hiring new talent, look them up, too. Interests are          great way to break the ice and create rapport with the interviewer.

What hobbies should you put on your resume?

Let’s say you want to work for a professional wedding planner. You did your online research. You checked out the company site and browsed employee LinkedIn profiles.

Perhaps you found out the company is looking for outgoing, playful, yet business-savvy employees with a basic understanding of social media.

You noticed the recruitment page even points to some specific hobbies that their employees engage in, such as, say, dance, cooking, and mixology (all these evidence from their Instagram profiles!)

How are you going to show those dream wedding planners that you’re playful yet business-savvy?

That’s right. You add your hobbies that mirror the general vibe you’re getting from that company.

Pro Tip: Don’t lie about your hobbies and interests. Assuming that adding them does the trick and you get a face-to-face with the recruiter, you’ll want to be able to leverage your hobbies and not stutter and stammer once you get asked about them.

 Don’t lie about your hobbies and interests Click To Tweet

How to fit in hobbies on your Resume

Once you’ve pinpointed a company’s work culture, there are a couple of ways you can flesh out your hobbies section.

Leverage your hobbies to signal cultural fit:

According to research on what employers look for on a resume, cultural fit comes in a close second right after work experience. And that makes perfect sense. According to this comprehensive study, good cultural fit makes for happier, more motivated employees who stay longer on the team.

If you think using hobbies as evidence of your value as an employee this is what you should do:

    • Choose a hobby that requires you to use a skill set that would compliment the skills               you need for the position you are seeking.
    • For example, if you’re applying for a creative job, go for a couple of creative hobbies.            Want to become a journalist? Photography might come in handy.
  • Another approach is to add hobbies that require the use of a skill set that the hiring              manager may have a hard time finding in other candidates because of a skill gap in the        market. Want to work for a travel agency and you happen to run a travel blog?                      Mention this hobby as proof of your interest as well as niche grasp of skills such as              wordpress and basic HTML.

Pro Tip: The hobbies section might be better for recent graduates rather than professionals with years of experience.

Now, coming back to signaling cultural fit.

Say you want to work for a travel agent specializing in crazy adventure vacations. Your love of whitewater rafting might just come in handy! Want to be a server at a restaurant and you have a knack for cooking?

Go ahead and list that on your resume. It’s relevant, plus, who knows, the employer might need a competent backup for the kitchen, too!

What hobbies should you avoid on your resume?

Are there any hobbies you should not mention on your resume?

Those include any hobbies that are of a religious, political, or sexual persuasion. You also might want to avoid hobbies that others might consider strange or awkward (taxidermy anyone?)

Or, if they are too general to make sense — like reading books and watching movies. C’mon, it’s like saying you are special because you breathe air!

Remember that the whole point of sharing your interests is a way for a hiring manager to get a fuller image of you, to connect with you. And, perhaps, to see what skill sets you have apart from those you developed in a work environment.

Sometimes a Hobby Is More Than a Hobby

If you’ve taken part in conferences, expos, and industry events, you might want to create a separate section like Conferences. Especially, if you were a speaker. Did you volunteer at an NGO? You might want to move that to a Volunteer Work section.

Although it’s not typical work experience, it does imply you can navigate the work environment.

And finally, command of foreign languages warrants a mention in the skills section. Don’t hide it among semi-relevant hobbies. You’re a superstar, show that off!

Will adding hobbies to your CV help you beat the applicant tracking system? Not really, but... Click To Tweet

Key Takeaways

Adding a hobbies and interests section is the fun part of resume writing. You get to write about things that interest you. Plus, you can show off your sparkling personality.

Just remember to research the prospective employer. You want to match their expectations and make sure they are a good fit for you, too.

Will adding hobbies help you beat the applicant tracking system? Not really. But that isn’t the goal here. You want to show your human side and prove to the employer that you get them.

P.S. There are many more ways to come up with the perfect resume for the job. You can read up on everything you need to know online.

Then again, if you want to save time, you might as well just use a resume builder. Here’s a handy list of the best online resume builders. Just make sure the creator you choose will provide you with expert guidance and tips!


Mo Abudu: It’s an honor that people liken my work to that of Oprah Winfrey

Mo Abudu is one of  Africa’s most successful women. She is a media giant for Africa in broadcasting, an entrepreneur, and a talk show host.

She is the founder of Ebonylife TV, an African multi-broadcast entertainment network, that portrays Africa at its best.

Over the years she has created a signature brand that resonated with black audiences both in Africa and its diaspora. 

Described as Africa’s very own Oprah’,  Mo is keen in her resolve to rewrite Africa’s story. 

We learn more about her journey and of  her trending project (Sisterhood awards) for African women in the industry, that is empowering women to work together to accomplish great things  while also celebrating women who have excelled in laudable achievements’

 Ebony life is a contributor to the Annual Discop Africa and we caught up with the station in presenting its projects with the rest of Africa in exposing African content to the rest of the world.



What’s your background, and why business?

I was born in the U.K to Nigerian parents. I moved to Lagos in 1993 and spent more than a decade in the corporate world, where I launched a consulting firm, and later a hotel.

However, my love for film and telling African stories brought me to a totally different ball game. I found myself working towards Ebony life TV channel and films.

There are so many African stories that are yet to be told”. “Let’s take these stories to the world now, that’s the journey we’re on,” says Mo.


How difficult is it to own and run and whole TV station?

It’s been just over a decade since I launched the ritzy entertainment and lifestyle network, Ebony life channel in eastern Nigeria.

I have now opened a new studio in Lagos, the country’s entertainment and media capital.  For me, it has been all about keeping with a philosophy passion and love.


There are so many African stories that are yet to be told - @MoAbudu Click To Tweet

You are often nicknamed the “ Oprah of Africa”, why do you think people call you that?


In 2013 I had decided to put my investments and time to the launch of my network, Ebony Life TV. It was the first fully Nigerian-owned entertainment channel to be carried on the South African pay-tv platform – DStv.

Many take my work and development in the broadcasting industry as a following in Oprah’s footsteps. It’s an honor that they liken my work and journey to that of Oprah Winfrey.

My contributions and work in the range of original reality programming, drama series, and news magazines may be the outline that makes people compare me with Oprah, I guess. Also, talk shows have somehow resonated with black audiences both in Africa and its diaspora.

Ebony Life now airs in the U.K. and the Caribbean. It is soon to be airing in the U.S. and Canada.

Who are the inspiring people you’ve come across on this journey?

In 2006 I launched “Moments with Mo,” it then became the first syndicated daily talk show in the continent.

I’ve sat across from a remarkable range of guests, from Nigerian Noble Laureate, Wole Soyinka to fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, and even then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


In 2013, I put my investments and time to the launch of Ebony Life TV - @MoAbudu Click To Tweet

What is your vision for creating African content in broadcasting and film?

We have many African stories that are yet to be told.

When I first approached DStv with the proposition that Africa was ripe for its own Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres show, I had already planned for a global TV channel opportunity.

I explored channel possibilities with SKY in the UK and knew that I needed a big platform to project Africa in a different, more positive light. This was what incited me to start thinking of establishing Ebonylife TV and take African Stories to the world.


The network’s global ambitions, sums up with the tagline “Made in Nigeria for the world”, tell us more about that?

To address this, Ebonylife TV last year partnered with Disney to co-produce “Desperate Housewives Africa,” which drew rave reviews across the continent.

Ebonylife TV has acquired the rights to “Dynasty” and “Melrose Place” from CBS Intl, and we are  the next seasons of “Housewives.”

We want an increased African audience to be glued to the same TV shows as their friends and family overseas.


Tell us about the release of the movie “Fifty”?

The movie “Fifty,” was Ebonylife TV’s first feature film, which was picked up by Netflix and released worldwide. The film was showcased four successful career women facing difficult midlife crises.

“Fifty” is a film that reflects my broader desire to tap into unaccustomed narratives of Africa — and African women in particular.

We're celebrating women who work together to accomplish great things - @MoAbudu Click To Tweet

Tell us about the Ebonylife TV Sisterhood Awards you’re hosting.

This is what we have established annually to empower women to work together to accomplish great things and seek to celebrate women who have excelled in laudable achievements.

The Ebonylife Sisterhood Awards was launched during my 50th birthday celebration in September 2014.

The event was themed – “Mo @ 50, Celebrating sisterhood”, it was a celebration of the deserving, but unsung women in the society. Women not often celebrated or celebrated enough, but who are making significant impacts in their particular areas of influence.

We recognize awardees based on their demonstration of excellence, commitment, innovativeness, integrity, and national impact.  

Do you have any career lessons to share?

Let us know here.

How Africa Matters Initiative is unapologetically changing the African narrative

The Africa Matters Initiative (AMI) is a youth-led organization dedicated to creating spaces for African expression and robust dialogue by embracing our complex identities and history through online platforms, workshops, and summits rooted in ‘Afrocentricity’.

Lead by black women, AMI empowers young Africans to reject the notion that Africa is only corrupt and poor.  They are changing the narrative by re-shaping the way we look at Africa, cultivating active citizenship and leadership in all spaces.

AMI has a three-part mandate: Change the African Narrative, create platforms for critical engagement, and accountable media reporting

What inspired the start of Africa matters Initiative?

On the 7th January 2015, the world was in chaos as writers at Charlie Hebdo in Paris fell victim to a grisly terror attack.

Social media campaigns flared up with people from around the world proudly proclaiming #jesuischarlie. While this solidarity made many feel that perhaps there was some hope, after all, the global outpouring of love for Paris made the deafening silence surrounding the Baga attacks in Nigeria that was much more damning.

Days after the attacks in Paris, Boko Haram carried out a massacre in Baga, but the news cycle left it relatively unreported.

In addition to the media’s silence, too many fellow Africans also remained silent. This is because many African youths have bought into the negative notions of Africa as poor, corrupt and hopeless.

Africa has the youngest population in the world with over 200 million youth between 15-24. So what happens when the youth become despondent?

Who are its initiators and for how long has the initiative been in existence?

AMI was founded by Farai Mubaiwa and Reanne Olivier in April 2015.

Both Mubaiwa and Olivier are passionate black women who are actively changing the African narrative in their own spaces and aim to empower African youth to also make tangible change.


How are Africa matters beneficial and useful to young people?

Many young Africans have bought into the notion of African inferiority and Africa Matters aims to change this by facilitating the process of unlearning and learning.

Africa has the youngest population in the world (especially the female population), and for youth to be empowered and to empower the continent, we must unlearn negative notions and re-shape how we see our continent and its contributions.

What makes Africa Matters beneficial and useful,  is our aim at changing the African Narrative for Africa to Matter. We as an initiative are taking an active approach to not only creating awareness about embracing one’s identity but teaching them why and how to do so in their own uniqueness.

We are an organization that is unapologetic in grappling with difficult conversations and using these tough spaces and histories as a springboard of encouragement for African youth.

In what countries are Africa Matters Initiative present, and how can interested people become a part of the initiative?


AMI has a strong global reach on our social media platforms especially in over ten countries in the continent.

Many of our community members span from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, United States and the United Kingdom.

We intend on expanding our physical reach throughout the continent. For those of you are interested in forming part of our global community please feel free to apply here.


What platforms does Africa Matters Initiative use to fulfill its mandate?

Africa Matters uses four platforms to fulfill its mandate:

  • Online engagement through opinion pieces by Africa Matters writers or the sharing of news articles
  • Hosting summits to engage on specific topics with various crucial stakeholders
  • Presenting workshops on African leadership, feminisms, and youth empowerment
  • Giving school talks on youth empowerment and the role young people need to play in shaping Africa

Our end goal is for African youth and the diaspora to be empowered to change the narrative by actively bettering society while embracing Afrocentricity. Get involved in leading the change now.

Is the organization adopting any unique approaches to changing the narratives about Africa?


We try as much as possible to partner with various organizations who share similar values and visions as we do.

This is unique because it is key to our growth as African organizations as a whole, for us to recognize that there is value in collaboration. This is something often referred to as creating ‘shared-value’.

By working together, we share resources, knowledge, and networks. Africa Matters has found various strategic partnerships that have given us access spaces that we would not have gained access to without the partnership.


Have there been any difficulties so far with achieving the initiative’s purpose?

A difficulty that we face is not being physically accessible to our audience due to lack of funding. Over the years we have been self-sustained and to fully achieve our mandate of hosting summits, works and school talks it is important for us to conduct these platforms in person or have a full-time representative in countries to do so.


Please share some of the milestones you have achieved

Some of our milestones include two International Awards.  In June 2017, our founder was awarded the Queen’s Young Leader Award.

This award recognized the incredible work that Africa Matters is doing in changing the narrative. From over 3000 applications, only 60 were chosen, and the work and influence of Africa Matters were highlighted globally.

In September, we were invited to the One Young World Summit in Bogota, Columbia. We have successfully coordinated and hosted three summits, 4 workshops; attended 5 African and Global Conferences and obtained over 10,000 followers on our various social media platforms respectively.

Where can people learn more about Africa Matters Initiative?

To gain a better understanding of AMI, please watch this YouTube video. People can also learn more about Africa Matters from our various social media platforms: 

Facebook: Africa Matters

Twitter: @AfricaMatters15

Instagram: @AfricaMatters2015

LinkdIn: Africa Matters Initiative


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

5 Career Lessons to Learn from Aisha Ahmad

Aisha Ahmad

The Nigerian political and financial industry are abuzz with news of the newly appointed Deputy Governor of its apex bank, Aisha Ahmad.

Aisha was Head of Consumer and Privilege Banking at Diamond Bank as well as the Chairperson Executive Council at Women in Management, Business and Public Service- WIMBIZ.

Now… to get past the screening in the senate is no easy feat! I as well as many others consider this a major milestone. At 41 Aisha has a solid 20 years of work experience in the financial sector. She is a member of Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

How did she climb her way up the career ladder? Let’s find out.

Give your best contribution wherever you find yourself

Nothing attracts attention better than a job well done. As Aisha puts it, “what has worked over the years has been a focus on doing my very best in the current job”. Hard work and diligence is required to flesh out the best of what you can offer, and before you know it, that promotion you seek, or the door of opportunity you never imagined, will open up!

Have a strong work ethic

Without a strong work ethic, you might not find yourself climbing higher up the career ladder. Simply put, most people will not recommend or trust someone who is not consistent, reliable and hard working.

A strong work ethic is a must if you want to see positive outcomes in your career. It begins with being professional in the way you dress; producing an excellent job output, and your relationship with others. Aisha credits her mom for inspiring a strong work ethic in her.


Follow your talents and abilities

Time and again, it’s been emphasized that doing what you are good at helps you achieve success. Therefore, consider pursuing a career and seeking roles which match your abilities and skills.

Aisha has been able to find herself consistently at the top because, she began and continues to work in a sector where her talents, creativity, skills and competencies come to life. Life becomes more meaningful when you find yourself in a place where you are better able to express your innate gifts.


Follow role models in your field

Aisha spoke to some participants at a seminar on succeeding in their career, and she mentioned finding role models in your field who have achieved the growth you seek and learning from them, as one of the tips to succeeding.


Be deliberate about your growth

Being in her early forties and having twenty years of experience makes me infer that she started quite early on, and in addition, was deliberate about where she is headed.

Every day is an opportunity for us to sharpen our skills ;who knows how tomorrow might open up to us.We should be preparing today for tomorrow. Aisha says,“never make assumptions or leave your career development solely in the hands of your employer”. Therefore, be deliberate and intentional about your growth, don’t leave it to chance!


Photo source: The Guardian Nigeria

Do you have any career lessons to share?

Let us know here.

Ryteprint: The biggest print shop in West Africa

What is Ryteprint?

Ryteprint is an online print ordering platform. Using an innovative, transparent and technology driven platform to enable individuals, micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) and corporate organizations to buy: customised business printing, marketing materials, photo and digital art products.

Products include; Business cards, Letterheads, Envelopes, Flyers, Brochures, Notebooks, Paper Bags, Invitation Cards, Wedding Stationery Customised Boxes, Posters, Roll up Banners, Stickers, Banners, Labels, Plan Prints, Canvas Prints, Wall Art, Photo book, Pop Up Stand and many more.


How do you benefit organisations?

The following reasons are why Ryteprint online platform should be of benefit to you or your organization


  • Largest printed products offering in Nigeria and West Africa making us the biggest print shop in Nigeria and West Africa


  • We pride ourselves in the quality of our products making everything we offer first rate, and as you can guess, we do not do sub-standard products.


  • Thousands of design templates to enable you to order prints yourself (DIY)


  • You will have access to our professional creative design professionals, without spending a fortune on fancy design agency fees.


  • Excellent customer care service to enable you achieve your goal. Through advice, free file check and assistance to help make the process as smooth as possible.


  • We will deliver to your doorstep.


  • Customer satisfaction is very high on our list of priorities, we will work to make you happy. That is a promise.  


Why was Ryteprint created and what problem are you solving?

Ryteprint was created to give individuals the opportunity to order print, customized marketing materials, photo and digital art products.

We use a technology platform which turns what is usually a very stressful ordeal for individuals, small and medium enterprises and corporate organizations, into a simple straightforward process- with pricing transparency and delivery convenience.

Ryteprint currently offers the widest range of printed products in the print industry in one place. Essentially making the platform a one stop shop for customized printed material.


What type of organizations do you cater to?

The platform enables individuals, micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) and corporate organizations, to order printed products and customised marketing material.


What type of products do you specialise in?

  • Business cards
  • Letterheads
  • Envelopes
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Folded leaflets
  • Notebooks
  • Paper Bags
  • Invitation Cards
  • Wedding Stationery
  • Customised Boxes
  • Posters
  • Roll up Banners
  • Labels
  • Stickers
  • Banners
  • Labels
  • Plan Prints
  • Canvas Prints
  • Wall Art
  • Photo book
  • Pop Up Stand 
  • Portable display products
  • Customised Clothing
  • Promotional items,
  • and many more.





What locations can individuals and organizations order from? 

Individuals and organisations can order from their home or offices, and have the products delivered to their designated address- taking the hassle out of ordering print.


Please describe the delivery process…

  1. You register on our platform;
  2. Identify the product you want to order on our product list;
  3. Select your product, decide to use our design templates or simply upload a ready design,
  4. or better still you can  request for a customised design from our creative team.
  5. Once we receive the order, we will perform a file check to ensure the order is ready for print.
  6. We then produce the order with the very latest printing technology equipment.
  7. Then we have our logistics team arrange delivery to your preferred delivery address

It is that simple, no hassle.


Do clients have to pay for delivery?

We are currently charging for delivery, but we might begin offering free delivery for orders above a certain amount at some point.


How can people contact you?

You can go on to our website , and our hotline number for customer support is 07019109598 or 0700 7983 77468






Use the code: SLA5  for a 5% discount coupon!











Yemi Adewale: I am constantly raising the creative bar for myself

Yemi Adewale: My drive, passion and good reference from clients is what keeps me going. Click To Tweet

Event management is a fast growing industry, especially in Nigeria with the rise of many event planners these days. CEO of YDA Creations, Yemi Adewale, shares with us how she is able to distinguish her brand and service in such a clustered market.

Having lived most of her life abroad in the UK, Yemi finally moved back to Nigeria. With the desire to be her own boss, she ditched her law degree and followed her passion for interior design and party planning.

Four years and counting, YDA creations has grown into a successful event management and design company.  It has been featured in several media platforms such as; Creme De La Bride, Wed Daily, Nigerian Wedding Blog, Love Weddings Ng and The knot & beyond.

As a returnee, what were some of the challenges you faced when trying to start a business in Nigeria?

When I got back and wanted to set up my own business, it wasn’t the easiest thing for many reasons. I realized quickly that in Nigeria it’s not about your skills or passion, it all boils down to the people you know and the connections you can get.

With the help of my family and some good friends I met along the way, I was able to gain the courage to keep pushing. I must say I have done well for myself, for someone who came into the industry knowing no one and having no “connection”. My drive, passion and good reference from clients is what keeps me going.

How do you multi-task when you plan or manage multiple events?

To me planning is like a natural high or rush, the more pressure I’m under the better I tend to work. Having multiple events on same day or around the same time is not a task we can’t handle.

I trust my team leaders to manage the event well on occasions where I can’t physically be present, such as if two events are on the same date, but in two different states.

Yemi- Adewale


Yemi- Adewale

What do you enjoy the most about event management and what is the major challenge you face when coordinating events?

I enjoy putting things together, right from when I was young. I like to bring something new and fresh to each event, I’m constantly raising the creative bar for myself. Being entrusted with the management of an occasion is not something I take for granted. It is a sacred responsibility and a passion because I enjoy bringing ideas and visions to reality.

When family members get involved and do not like the idea of a planner, they most likely would not abide by the desires of the couple who are getting married and end up taking over. The challenge would then be how to satisfy your clients while trying to ensure you don’t start a family war.


@ydacreations: being entrusted with managing an occasion is not something we take for granted Click To Tweet


Which do you think is the most important factor in events planning, creativity or structure?

To be honest both are essential. The passion for the job comes creativity, this drives one to research more for new ideas and ensure you are always up to date with trends.

That being said you also need a good team behind you; a group of hard working individuals who take pride in and love what they do. This would help in the execution of the overall planning once its event day.

In your experience, what are the three things that should always be on point in an event?

Well for me, the ambiance must be just right, this sets the tone for the day. Thus decor is key, it should be attractive enough to draw the crowd in and leave them excited as to what the rest of the day would bring.

Secondly, I believe music is important. People come to events to escape whatever they have been dealing with all week. It’s their one time to relax and have a good time. Nothing gets people more relaxed than good ole music.

Finally, I believe food is essential. You can’t deny the fact that many people come to events to eat. It would be the greatest disappointment when a guest comes to your event and hears “food has finished” and even worse when they realize you had an event planner. The goal is for guests to leave saying they over ate and even had to decline food. This means we had a successful event.

Ambiance music and food must always be on point at every event Click To Tweet

There are more than a few event planners now in Nigeria. How are you able to distinguish your brand from others?

Every event planner has a different style and what they bring to the table. For me it’s my creativity and my connection with my clients. I believe when working with someone, the only way to perfectly execute the job is to get to know your client on a more personal level. This would ultimately guide you and help direct your ideas towards what best suits that individual. I also believe in constant feedback and updates.


You are a lawyer by profession and now practice event management. Is there any other field of business you would like to explore?

Eventually, I may expand my business to include other interests, and it may not even be related to events. However, there is power in focus and I don’t want to be a Jack of All Trades.

My focus at this time is becoming the best event planner I can be. I do hope one day to have a chain of successful businesses and be known as a business mogul.


With creativity, we find ways to deliver more than what was thought possible @ydacreations Click To Tweet

 If you were to plan an event in a different country, what country will you chose and why?

I would choose the United States, because it offers me more options due to range of vendors and facilities they have. I would be like a kid in a candy store.

Nevertheless, we make the most of what we have here. This is where our creativity comes in and we work our magic. With creativity, we find ways to deliver more than what was thought possible.

Want to see women you know featured on SLA?

Tell us what amazing things women are doing in your communities here.

First Ever Nigerian Exhibition At The Venice Biennale

What can we learn from the past, how do we find meaning in the present, and what awaits us in the future? These three questions provide the bedrock of the first ever Nigerian exhibition at the Venice Biennale, otherwise known as “The Olympics of Art”.

Since 1895 the world’s oldest cultural biennale has risen to become one of the most prestigious art exhibitions. Eight African countries are represented at the prestigious showcase this year: Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe.

Nigeria makes its solo debut this year. Though superbly rich in artistic and cultural talent, the country hasn’t had nearly enough representation on the international art scene. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State and commissioner of the Nigerian Pavilion, says that “opportunities like the Biennale offer a platform to establish national pride and develop a more positive narrative for the country.“

Curated by Adenrele Sonariwo and Emmanuel Iduma, the Nigerian exhibition at the 57th Venice Biennale, titled How about now?, features a rich multi-layered journey showcasing the country’s past, present and future, with an emphasis on the present, or as preferred by the artists, “the now”.

Mixing videos, conceptual art, installations, and performances, the exhibition showcases exceptional pieces by award-winning visual artist, writer and photographer Victor Ehikhamenor, acclaimed writer, poet and mixed-media storyteller Peju Alatise, as well as performance artist, Qudus Onikeku. The combined genius of these three artists creates a contemporary, as well as far-reaching exhibition, that tells a fresh African narrative, while presenting Nigeria as part of the global art community.


Biography of the Forgotten BY VICTOR EHIKHAMENOR

standard bankPaying homage to the unsung and unrecorded pioneers of Nigerian art, Victor Ehikhamenor’s “Biography of the Forgotten” amalgamates bronze, mirrors, thread and acrylic to create a pure masterpiece.

In this installation, he tinkers with both the dilemma and material form of history while paying homage to the historical Igun Street in the heart of the ancient Benin Kingdom. He sources hundreds of Benin bronze heads from the World Heritage Site that still maintains its guild structure to this day, addressing a fragmented history.

Against large canvases, Ehikhamenor alternatively places mirrors and the bronze heads, which bear metonymic weight, as symbols of colonial encounter – the former often exchanged for commodities as valuable as humans, and the latter plundered. In addressing the now, “Biography of the Forgotten” reenergizes historical time and material, reviving the past in an effort to bring meaning to the present.



Using metal, fiberglass, plaster of Paris, resins, and cellulose black matte paint as primary mediums, Peju Alatise uses her storytelling skills to create a fantastical masterpiece. Based on a book that Alatise is set to publish, the piece describes Sim, a little Yoruba girl who lives in two alternate worlds.

In one world she is a nine-year old girl who is rented out as a domestic servant working in Lagos, and the other world Sim lives in a dream world where she can fly at will. Alatise describes “Flying Girls” as a body of work dedicated to girls in Nigeria that offers them a little safe place for them to be children.


Right here Right now BY QUDUS ONIKEKU


Harmoniously combining elements of modern and African dance, contemporary choreography, and aspects of age-old Yoruba spirituality and philosophy, Qudus Onikeku presents his artistry in three sections:

Of Contemplation, Of Poetry, and Of Engagement.

His dance film brings into clear focus the tensions between the various senses of time, and how an audience can be triggered to remember. It draws from his recent and ongoing work to infuse dance with the energy of Yoruba spirituality, with emphasis on the significance of self, the commune, and the divine in imagining the role of aesthetics, beauty, and art.

Onikeku says: “I’m not interested in the present, I’m interested in the now, the present is concerned with the past, but the now is so powerful that it doesn’t have time to think about the past, it’s grabbing at the future. That’s when dance becomes so interesting; it’s constantly inventing the now.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Ibeabuchi Benson

5 minutes with SheHive London 2017 speakers: brother and sister team Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick

Chuku’s is the world’s first Nigerian tapas restaurant based in London, fusing authentic Nigerian flavours and the best of Nigeria’s West African culture with the world. Founded by sibling duo Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick.

On founding Chuku’s

The sibling duo’s idea to create a food company, offering a variety of small plates of Nigerian dishes, was born out of growing up in a Nigerian household, and having friends who loved their home meals. This lead them to explore Nigerian cuisine, by fusing traditional recipes with food from their travelling experiences, and their experiences of being part of the diaspora.


Running the operations at Chuku’s

Every day is different for this team, with something new to be learned and done each day. They note that creating a routine is one of their main goals in the short term. But, their weeks are broken up into:

  • Shopping days
  • Cooking preparation
  • Events and logistics
  • Administrative tasks
  • Strategizing
  • Marketing

This is one busy duo, as we can see!

Hear the Chuku's team speak at SheHive London 2017: Click To Tweet

Long term goals…

Their long term plans include:

  1. Finding a permanent space to offer their food.
  2. Establishing a chain of mainstream Nigerian tapas lounges.
  3. To become a UK household brand name.


What trends keeping their eyes on…

  1. The evolution of technology in the food space and how it continues to evolve and disrupt the market.
  2. The rise of healthy meals and food, which their already onto, with their delicious tapa’s.

To learn more about the creative Nigerian foodie duo, get a ticket to our SheHive London event on the 24th of September.

5 minutes with SheHive London 2017 speaker: Minna Salami

Minna Salami is a Nigerian-Finnish writer, blogger and commentator who has contributed to the popularisation of African feminism through her blog, MsAfropolitan

On woman empowerment:

At the risk of sounding too spiritual, or something, let me first say that I believe that if there is a purpose to life, then it is self-actualisation. Some might call this “becoming the highest version of yourself”.


Challenges facing professional women.

I would say, firstly, the absence of adequate constitutional rights. Secondly, the absence of a robust civil society fighting for adequate constitutional rights. The absence of both disturbs the smooth flow of a woman’s professional life.


Women feeling whole and complete.

We need to cultivate a culture where women feel the opposite of lack, namely a sense of wholeness. Women working in male dominant fields, as most women are, need to cultivate a sense of inner acceptance that they are enough just as they are, which will enable them to want the same for others.

Hear Minna speak at SheHive London 2017: Click To Tweet

On Economic growth…

The question women should be asking is: How is the money they are contributing to the economy benefiting women? The system should work for us and not vice versa. Put it this way, gender equality is indeed necessary for economic growth, but economic growth is not the only reason we want gender equality.


African women and feminism.

It is in Africa that I have encountered women with the most dedication to the feminist revolution; women who do not pander to patriarchal narratives, and women who inject a deep humanism and criticism to the global feminist discussion.

To hear more from Mina Salami and her world changing creative pursuits, get a ticket to our SheHive London event on the 24th of September.