Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Naija's Amazon Revealed!...Exclusive Interview with Toyin Kolawole (CEO, Truebranches.com)

Toyin Kolawole (CEO, Truebranches.com)
Toyin Kolawole is the founder and CEO of True Branches, Nigeria’s fastest growing E-Commerce and M-Commerce Intermediary buying Service. She obtained her MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in 2006 where she was awarded the FC Austin scholarship; a prestigious lifetime status awarded annually to 10 select candidates with excellent academic achievement and exceptional leadership qualities. While at Kellogg, Toyin majored in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Management and strategy, Marketing, and Analytical Consulting

Under Toyin’s management, True Branches has grown tremendously as a leading service dedicated to fostering export/import between the United States and Nigeria. With True Branches innovative technology focus, Nigerian Exporters and industries now have unrestricted access to the global market. After her MBA, Toyin joined Bain and Company, one of three foremost global management and strategy consulting firms in the world.  At Bain, Toyin consulted for several fortune 500 companies, offering and implementing highly innovative and practical solutions to complex management problems. Prior to her business education at Kellogg, Toyin worked as a private equity analyst with SME Manager Limited, an African Capital Alliance fund focused on business growth and development in Nigeria. She obtained her bachelor’s in Management and Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. She is also a Nigerian chartered accountant. She is married with two sons and loves to go hiking.

Insight into your products and services for non-techies

Truebranches.com is really about technology and customer service.  We like to think of ourselves as a Naija version of Amazon. We enable site users shop online in the US and Africa. We provide real-time information and access to the best deals available. What we set out to do was provide a solution to tackle the unwillingness and/or inability of US sellers to process, accept payments for, and ship orders originating from Nigeria. True Branches makes it easy to buy stuff.

Despite the growth of mobile and Telecoms industry, the mobile platform still has a low market penetration in Nigeria, how have you coped with this?

A good proportion of our site users access websites from work or home but over the last 3 years, we have seen a steady increase in mobile internet use. It’s exciting to see more Nigerians increasingly use their mobile devices for other things besides talk.

So how have we coped? I think the question is how have we planned? To view current mobile internet penetration as a problem rather than opportunity is a mistake. The scenario is somewhat similar to cell phone penetration in Nigeria pre- and post-GSM. There are several enablers in this space – CBN, M-Commerce licensees, GSM operators, payment processors and content providers. Truebranches recognizes the potential opportunities within this space and is poised to be a leading content provider.

How come about the name, True Branches, as it may bring to mind a Horticultural Organization?

(Laughs)…While at Kellogg, it was disheartening to see case studies, news media and TV shows portray Nigerian 419 scammers as though that’s what we were all about. Some stores like JC Penny will not grant browsing access to West African internet users. The idea behind True Branches as a name is – if you view Nigeria as one huge strong and vibrant tree, sort of like the one in Psalm 1… (Laughs)…well, we view the people we serve as the true Branches, the true ambassadors of Nigeria.

How did it feel starting your own company and what motivated it?

It felt great, scary, exhilarating at the same time but one constant was the conviction in my heart that I was fulfilling destiny and therefore on the right path. Regarding my motivation – it’s The Lord Jesus. My husband, my kids have also been a primary source of motivation. Even as a senior executive,  my husband would roll up his sleeves and help me pack boxes at the beginning when True Branches had just one staff – Me

Half a decade from now, where do you see True Branches?

Where God takes us, everyday he extends our vision, my role as CEO is just to run with it. Our primary focus is to impact lives, create opportunities, and showcase the true branches within Nigeria, within Africa, to the world via our technology platforms. We have just begun.

Moving away from these Tech things (laughs), tell us about your growing-up days.

I grew up in a mid-sized family, like most families, we definitely had our years of hardship which I think instilled some level of tenacity in all of us. My parents and siblings are devoted Christians and we’ve all lived a life of faith and trust that God always has a plan and its always perfect and timely. 

Work-Life Balance, how do you manage these?

It’s always work-in-progress. Just like most mums out there, I always have to prioritize; my sons come first so whenever there’s a conflict in schedule or roles everything else becomes secondary. I believe people find time to do the things that they value.


What is your most embarrassing moment?

(Laughs) – Not telling.

Hmm…Okay. When I read your profile, I spent another half of the time staring at the beauty of God's creation, please tell our women out there how you manage to look great, even after 2 kids.

Thanks, you’re sweet! I do the usual stuff, try to eat healthy and work out several times a week.

One quote that has greatly influenced your persona

“I am not deterred by the fear of failure but motivated by the possibility of success” 

Finally a word to our women and youths out there

There’s no such thing as an ordinary person, there’s just ordinary choices. God has thoughts and plans for everyone who follows him and sometimes your logic, your reasoning, your plans, your thoughts requires faith. A person who’s afraid to fail is by default afraid to succeed. 

Thanks so much for your time on 'mikesfrequency' and I look forward to the audio interview. God bless!


Also available is the AUDIO INTERVIEW...

REMINDER: Vote for us for Nigerian Blog of the Year and Most Humorous Blog
Look for the name: @moifrequency and vote in those 2 categories on the Nigerian Blog Awards Voting Page.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

College Dropout to Corporate Sell-out - The Steve Harris Exclusive!

This month's feature is an exclusive interview with Steve Harris, a Management Consultant who has recently launched a new book that tells the story of his journey from being a Drop-out to a sought-after Corporate Consultant. Its an inspiring and interesting book as revealed in the Sneak Preview that held me spell-bound till I read the last dot.

I'm proud to present you this close-up interview on Steve's new book.
always @ moi frequency...*wink*

Being a Management Consultant, how has that been for you so far?

• It’s been an exciting journey, filled with great opportunities to identify potential problems and then turn them around for the better. I wouldn’t be in business if there weren’t any problems and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I particularly fell in love with the cover page of your new book, tell us about it.

• Well the concept for my book, “From College Dropout To Corporate Sellout” puts into perspective, the 2 parts of my personality; one’s the guy who dropped out of college twice and didn’t believe in himself because very few people did and the Corporate Sellout is the guy who’s got it all together, pretty much a corporate success. 

I’d never have been this guy without the ‘dropout’ in me. He motivates me to prove to myself and the world that I’m not the person they mistook me for. There’s a ‘sellout’ in every dropout’. Go get the book and get the full details.

What can you recall as your highlights and major challenges in the course of writing the book.

• I actually didn’t start out with the intention of writing this book. I had another book that I was writing, and I got a case of ‘writer’s block’, so my editor (‘Seun Salami) advised me to write my biography. I was a little skeptical to begin with, because I thought I needed to be someone really noteworthy to write my biography and also I’d be thought to be a little arrogant to believe that people would wanna read my story, but I acquiesced and here it is. I started writing in February 2011 and it was finished in April 2011.

I guess the major highlights would be to know for a certainty that so many people would be blessed and inspired to overcome their own perceived limitations after reading this book.

My second highlight was when a friend of mine read the manuscript and was so blown away that she wrote me a cheque for a =N=100, 000 to ensure that I got it published. That was humbling.

And most importantly, was reading the foreword of one of my most special mentors, Mr. Tonye Cole (MD, Sahara Energy). It literally brought tears to my eyes.

My first encounter with you was at a conference in 2007 where you spoke a bit on your story alongside Fela Durotoye; how would you rate FD's impact on you?

• I must say that next to Jesus Christ and my parents, FD’s been the most important influence in my life. He took a chance on a college dropout and boosted my confidence, taught me so much and today, here I am! He’s a truly great leader.
Steve & Fela Durotoye (Right)

Okay, drifting a bit from the book, who would you regard as the most influential person in your life?

• Fela Durotoye, Paul Adefarasin and Tonye Cole
Pst. Paul Adefarasin (House On The Rock)

College Drop-out to Corporate Sell-out; tell us a bit about the Corporate Sell-out aspect.

It's just how I've turned my perceived disabilities into great opportunities. Would you believe i get paid to tell people how i dropped out of school and how today, I'm living the life of my dreams? That's weird!

What's your typical work-day like?

* Saying my Prayers, Speaking to clients, having meetings, listening to soothing music and coming up with products.

I mean...it must be hectic for a celebrity like you, how do you cool-off?

* I wouldn't consider myself a celebrity, I still walk on the street and nobody knows me, I can still buy Agege bread or pull over and buy corn for my wife... (laughs) and escape unnoticed.

Well, I love watching movies (really enjoyed Fast Five), listening to music and just being with my family, watching cartoons with my chic. I don't party; I like to keep it simple.

A lot of Nigerian youths are out there with crazy ideas but lack the necessary support, how possible is it to make an impact with so little at their disposal?

* Dream Big, Start small, Grow fast! And get a mentor!!!

Who's your business icon and why?

* Right now, it would be Tony Robbins.
He's proliferated his products and conferences around the world and has been an adviser to Presidents, Fortune 500 CEO's and still connects to the 'Regular Joe and soccer mom" out there. That's my dream.

Where and when can we purchase your books?

* Well, from June, they should be in any good bookstore, so keep your eyes open!
Book Samples

In a piece, what would you like to tell our youths out there?

It's not what you don't have that limits you; it's what you have but don't know how to use! 
Identify your gifts and spend your life being the best at what you're naturally good at!

You can download the Sneak Preview here: Steve's Book  | Cover Page

This June 6, nominations will begin for the Nigerian Blog Awards. Don't forget to vote mikesfrequency o! I'm counting on you all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 9th Showdown...Reginald Bassey speaks.

With just barely 24 hours to the elections and a myriad of political drama, what's your view on the current situation of things?
Reginald Bassey
      I think we are witnessing for the first time a virile political climate in the country where there is a symbolic engagement of a large portion of the voting population. The events that led up to the elections on June 12, 1993 seem like a shadow in the light of the present political climate. This is simply because Nigerians are at the intersection of progress and retrogression; we either move forward or backward. So this situation has kept most people, especially the youths very active in the political leadership discourse and a fresh willingness to determine who leads the country and the character of that leadership.
However, it is still very obvious we are yet lacking in strong political institutions like a well organized electoral body that ensures the delivery of the citizen’s hopes. This has been revealed by the latest postponement of the National Assembly elections and thus the entire process, revealing the lack of electoral structures in the country. However, I am generally satisfied with the potency of the discussions so far. By now, from listening to the several candidates, Nigerians should have decided who they are pitching their tents with. And I hope what happens in the end is that we will elect a candidate that most Nigerians choose and work towards a national renaissance. 

Professor Jega, renowned professor of Political Science, though issuing threats of resignation still holds the coordinates to steer the Ship of Nigerian Elections to a fair and credible state...how would you react to this?

Prof. Attahiru Jega - INEC Chairman
-       I am not sure I can effectively rate his performance until we see the outcome and reports of the entire process. We will see then if the investments were worth it and if the process was effectively and efficiently managed. I think no one will question his integrity and competence given his antecedents as an academic scholar and consultant.  He is very qualified to head INEC, and to some extent was clear in his assessment of the need of the organization in ensuring smooth elections given the time constraints before it. However, the events of April 2nd have began to cast doubts on the minds of many Nigerians if he is a good manager of the process, seeing the logistical problems INEC faced. We have to wait to determine if indeed he will deliver as he has promised.

Many publicity posters and media awareness have reinstated the fact of voting for the 'person' and not the party. But in a case whereby the right person is in the wrong party, what does that leave us with?
-       A square peg cannot fit a round hole. You will have to hard-knock it in and taking it off will be hard labour. How can you clearly articulate your desire for a whole country without recourse to the platform that you are standing on? It’s like standing on a swamp and claiming you want to build a skyscraper. The cost will weigh too much. While we must be objective enough to assess the personality, but must be wise enough to consider the party as well. President Jonathan may have noble intentions, but can he effective manage the cantankerous PDP to ensure that his goals are met? From the inception of the era of our democracy, we have seen what the PDP dominated National Assembly has produced. From one fight to another, starting with furniture allowance to salaries, and end to increase in allocations. Besides that, the intense party politics, which they have tried to tag on the whole country, has shown every Nigerian that the part is driven by the interest of greedy men and not the nation. Be that as it may, we still have the option of changing the entire political landscape and ensuring that not only one party holds sway over the country. We can get a CPC president and an AC/PDP/ANPP house, or a reverse case. This will make us more reflective of the differing interests in the country.

GEJ, Buhari, Ribadu, Shekarau and the likes...who in your view can really deliver the much-craved dividends of democracy? and why sir?
-       Since the question says “in my view”, I will go ahead an opinionate on the issue. In all honesty, I like all the characters in the frontline of the race to the presidency. They all have something unique about them and I have personally met one of the candidates and spoken one-on-one to him on two occasions. A basic concern for me in choosing a candidate is who can deal decisively with the issue of executive and bureaucratic corruption. Which of the candidates will have the capacity and willingness to take on establishments of corruption without fear or favour? Who is it that can revisit thieves who have raided the public treasury and bring them to book as a deterrent to potential thieves? Who is it that can set in motion certain mechanisms that will ensure public funds are treated with respect and used for its intended purpose? That person for me is Muhammadu Buhari. The reason is that from precedence, and given his antecedence, he has no fear and of a strong will. He may not be a good orator or communicator, but he says what he will do and delivers on his promise. So while I recognize that we do not need strong men but strong institutions, it will be foolhardy to believe that weak men will build strong institutions. So of the pack, I will go with the former General.

Some states have made it a compulsion for the NYSC members to take part in the voting exercise, what advice would you give to them being fully aware of the weak security measures in place?
-       It is a wonderful thing that our young people are actively engaged in the process through the NYSC scheme. It would have even be more amiable to see that they handled the entire voter registration and voting process. During an election year, if I were in charge, I would use only Corpers to carry out the entire process and ensure that before that year, of all the students that are going to be serving, proper training and orientation would have carried out to prepare them for the tasks. This way, we ensure that more competent hands are doing the job and they can be easily monitored through the already existing NYSC framework. I do not think security should be much of a big concern to these one since they have spent a few weeks in paramilitary training. They only have to be sensitive to the environment and report quickly any infractions they may observe. In the face of weak security measures, they should fill in the gap and ensure the process is safe for other citizens.

As a proud and patriotic Nigerian in Diaspora, how do you portray and sustain the Nigerian brand on the international scene?
-       I am not sure Nigeria has a brand yet. We will get there someday. As a Nigerian abroad, I recognize that we mostly we mostly fall into the category of talkers and social media and cyber activists, who have no tangible effort to show in contributing to Nigeria’s development. So one way I try to represent my country well and be an example of a great and progressive nation is to work on small initiatives that can bring little changes to sectors in need of change. I work tirelessly at engaging other Nigerians in the Diaspora to create shared spaces where ideas and innovations are brought to bear in contributing something to making the country better.

Any words in closing sir?
-       I will not deceive myself in assuming that this year will change everything for us. No! it will not. And I think it is even better that way because not all peoples know how to manage sudden change very well. But at least as a people we can change something year, something that will determine how much positive change we encounter from now on. This starts with a honed-in commitment to do something no matter how little to change society. Doing something tangible and measurable is the only way we can look back after many years and see that our collective efforts created a better future for us all. So beyond the excitement and romancing of the political process is the need for a service-oriented relationship with our country. 

      Think of a small solution to a problem, share this with others, and then find a way to carrying it out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

April Election Series featuring Steve Harris and Co.

If you missed the interview with Myne Whitman, you can read it here.

As each second passes by, the political cloud thickens and more things unfold. Check out what it is this individuals actually think about April 2011 elections. Where our fate lies, only time will tell.
Another...@ moi frequency. Enjoy!

This is what Lowla Dee, popular blogger and Editor of LowlaDee.Com had to say:


"I feel its a great thing. Its a time were Nigerians can truly Identify with their country. The process has been going smoothly. I just know that only the right person will sit on that chair and without bloodshed!
Goodluck Jonathan is my best bet. Lets give him a chance to lead us.

I strongly believe in voting for the right reasons. Why are you voting whom you are voting? Is it because the multitude is? When you vote the right leader, its a chain reaction because every other thing becomes right, including our economy".


Steve Harris a Managing Consultant at EDGEECUTION gave his opinion also...Let's hear...

"Well, I believe that INEC's making the best of a bad situation, though they needed a lot more time to prepare. But I hear the INEC boss is a man of integrity, so I'm sure he'll do the right thing.

Well, my pick would be Nuhu Ribadu.
He's young, dynamic, has a proven track record of performance and is globally accepted as a reformer against corruption.

Nigeria needs fresh young blood with dynamic vision who can take us to the proverbial Promised Land. We don't need RULERS, Nigeria needs LEADERS who have a track record of competence, integrity and performance.

This isn't the time to vote along ethnic or religious divides. We need to come together as a nation.

With no disrespect to the other candidates, their value proposition is either vague or non-existent.

Steve Harris

I feel that with the candidacy of Mr. Ribadu, corruption will be kicked to the curb, and it will signify a New Order in Nigeria's economy. No longer would we be the sleeping giant of Nigeria and laughing stock of the international community.

That's just my 25 cents!



Also interviewed was the Team Lead of Youth for Generational Change (YGC) Africa, Tunde David, a dynamic youth whose NGO has been a prestigious nominee of 'The Future Awards'.

Please tell me what your feel about the whole election process (INEC Reg and April elections).

We still have failed to get the fundamental issues right in Nigeria. The regulatory commission that is meant to bring sanity to the processes leading to the April elections and conduct a free and fair election is itself enmeshed in insanity. How else do you explain that N87 billion was spent on “those things” they brought in from China called data capturing machines? We still haven’t got it right!. The registration process I guess went pretty fine with few cases of irregularities except malfunctioning machines.

Tunde David (YGC Africa)

For the very first time in the history of Nigeria, we witness a deviation from the status-quo that has seen young people pioneer mechanisms and platforms to ensure that the election process takes it due course. I’m very proud at this moment to call myself a Nigerian youth as it is obvious that we have decided not to allow some persons that won’t be part of our future decide it for us. Thumbs up to every young person advocating for a fair say in the events leading to April.

Your possible pick if you were to vote?

A candidate?. I still haven’t made up my mind. I would have supported Jonathan but I presently  have issues with his administration as we presently have our debt portfolio at the highest figure ever (about 40 billion dollars) even after several increases in the price of oil in the International market. Sincerely I can’t see any concreteness in his plan for Nigeria.
BB?. That combination came to me as a huge shock and I still haven’t recovered from so I find it quite hard to share my thoughts. All the same, I’ve listened to Pastor Bakare on several platforms and I know he shares a deep passion for Nigeria. Let’s see how it goes…I’ll prefer to be silent on General Buhari for now.
I see the two parties above as major contenders. I’ll have to wish the others best of luck!

Also, please give a piece of advice and how you feel this would impact the Nigerian Economy.

Elections in Nigeria have been unacceptable by all standards. But as bad as elections have been, it cannot absolutely be described as the root cause of Nigeria’s economic woes; Elections, governance and economic development all have a positive relationship. Put in the right man and you get the right results…shikena!

From another perspective, everyone all over the world will have their focus on this year’s general elections as for once, it will no longer be business as usual and we have to put up the best structures for our elections. Statistically, election expenditure is estimated at N5.16 trillion, revenue is put at N3.18 trillion, while budget is estimated at N 4.67 trillion. That to me is a lot of stress on the economy…

I want to encourage everybody  to go ahead and SELECT the best candidate, VOTE that candidate and PROTECT their vote.

Nigeria is the Big deal….
Let’s make it the Nation of our dreams….
It’s a reality…
Let’s make it happen!


‘tunde DAVID

Stay hooked for more interesting feedback in this interesting new April Election Series...You have the say!

Friday, February 11, 2011

April Election Series with Myne Whitman

If you to conduct a poll on hot topics that concern Nigeria in this crucial period, I'm pretty sure the 2011 Elections would be top on the list.  Lots of awareness by NGOs, the constant media frenzy coupled with political drama  has really set the stage in which all Nigerians are patiently watching to see who is really worthy of the Aso Rock seat and hoping the outcome would be fair.

Feedback was received from notable personalities such as Steve Harris (Management Consultant), Myne Whitman (Author), Lowla Dee (Popular Blogger), Tunde David (YGC Africa) and a couple of others who have shared their candid opinions about the upcoming elections...

Today we bring you the opening of these series by Myne Whitman as she shares her views on The registration process and Election as a whole...
Enjoy as you read @ moi frequency!

Here's what Myne had to say: 

Myne Whitman 
After much speculation, the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) set the elections for April 2011 and I think they made the right decision instead of choosing January like some wanted. We have to remember that Jega, the INEC Chairman was only appointed around the middle of last year. The whole electoral body needed some time to put things in order and now with the registration process, we get to see what they can do for the election proper.

The truth is that a lot of challenges will be seen during the elections but I believe that they can be better handled and give us a better result than previous ones. During the voters’ registration exercise, some of the points of interest that came up included that of security, what the parties are doing to sensitize people, the capabilities of INEC, to the role of voters and the ad-hoc staff of the INEC.

INEC was lucky with the financial and legislative support it has received so far but it has to do better. A lot of bloggers reported their experiences and many were not favorable to INEC. While about 80% of them registered, more than half encountered problems that cost them hours and in some cases days even if not outrightly preventing them from registering.

Harry Itie, a blogger and NYSC member, also talked about his experience of being a corper and being made to take part in the registration. Similar stories to his may have led to the news about how using youth corpers gave so much problems, from not being comfortable with new DDC machines, to non-payments, dangerous situations etc.

That said, and even though I was not in Nigeria and so could not register, I want to say that I'm happy at the youth involvement in the whole process. During my visit to Lagos last December, I noticed large billboards by the 'Enough-is-Enough' group in several locations. They had their message of RSVP - Register, Select, Vote and Protect. They are also pushing this message on Facebook and Twitter, where they ran some live commentary on the various places/venues to register.

Also, Youth for Transformation, a Nigeria-based NGO will be hosting a unique Valentine’s Day event titled 'Four Shows in Four Cities' on the 14th of February 2011. What they have done is to tie together Naija hiphop culture and the elections by making the shows free for registered voters. As INEC has been able to get support to continue the registration, I see that more youths will surely go in to be counted.

So I believe that going forward, INEC has to look for solutions to the problems already manifested in terms of staff and machines. they also have to capitalize on the efforts of non-government agencies, especially among the youth, to give a better outcome to the April 2011 elections.

If I could be present at the polls, I will be voting for Goodluck Jonathan or Nuhu Ribadu.

Feel free to share your views below...
You might also like: Good People...Good Nation?
About Myne Whitman
Myne Whitman was born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, where she spent most of her time, studying, reading and daydreaming or climbing trees and playing with the boys. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health Research but has chosen her childhood dream of spinning stories. After a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland, she now lives with her husband in Seattle, USA where she writes and blogs, and also volunteers as an ESL tutor for a local charity.

Myne is passionate about using the internet and social media to promote the book industry and literacy levels in Nigeria.

Music Artists' Awareness Poster
To this end, she facilitated a session, "Social Media and the Book Publishing Industry", for the Publisher’s Forum at the 2010 Garden City Literary Festival, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
She is also the founder and Managing Editor of NaijaStories.com, a critique website for aspiring Nigerian writers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brief Profile on H.eX.N group

Came across this group on Facebook and was really surprised by the few number of members on the network as I could really picture the potentials and how beneficiary the growth could be, speaking of benefits and people networking opportunities it holds.

So if you're affiliated with Covenant University in any way, I accurately recommend this group you should join on one of the largest social networking sites (Facebook).

Click the link below to navigate to the page and please go through this brief profile below.
Join H.eX.N now>>

Our Vision:
"promoting and protecting the Covenant University brand, home and abroad"

Our Mission:
"to promote the Covenant University brand through her products (students) using the power of media and public relations"

> to market covenant university products, her students
> to be a project of the Covenant University Alumni, especially the public relations department
> to produce a world class Alumni magazine
> to monitor and control what is being said about Covenant University on the web and social media
> to unite Covenant University graduates and paint a good image of the school in the hearts of the alumni
> Reduce the Unemployment Rate among CU Alumni
> Opening a platform to air the views of the Alumni & welcome their ideas about improving the school
> to do so much more as the vision permits

Target Members:
> All Covenant University Graduates
> Employers of Labour
> Potential Undergraduates
> Public Media personnel

Short Term Goals:
To do a presentation on this vision to the Incoming Covenant University Alumni during the Eagles Gathering period (Oct 1&2)

Long Term Goals:
> To do a world class Alumni magazine
> To do a seasonal TV show

Present Strategy & Progress So Far:
> Monitor what is being said about Covenant University on the Web and make the necessary amendment.
> Created a group on facebook.
> Proposed the Idea to Mr. Muyiwa Fadugba, he loves it but asked that we do same to the incoming Alumni Excos.
> Sent out messages on what most of our Alumni are doing presently and solicited support for them.
> Trying to edit a Wikipedia page on Covenant University.
> Designed a temporary logo but am looking @ doing something more excellent. The logo can only be 
used temporarily.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eagles @ 50...

50 Days ago, some eagles were released...
20 friends they say do not play for 20 years...
Here's some feedback from members of the Grace Set after 50 days as I present to you Eagles @ 50...
@ moi frequency...*wink*

Here’s what GBENGA AJIDE(owner of aIRplaY podcast) had to say:
Hi Gbenga, how has it been since grad?
Uh, It's been great. Have had a lotta time to myself

Hmm...Speaking of great, I've seen your online launch of 'aIRplaY', tell us about it
Glad you saw it. aIRplaY is a tech show that's concerned about gadgets, technology and gaming…
Largely targeted towards a Nigerian audience but international audience is welcome.

k that's great, how long have you had the idea?
Believe it or not almost a couple of years. I wanted to start it in school but it just wasn't happening.

 So would you say being a graduate has helped you actualize it?
The downside is I'm kinda far away from friends that are willing to help. The guys that know about aIRplaY already and have something to bring to the table.

So I guess you'll be getting married in say 2 years right*mischievous smile*
2 years?! No.
I see myself being on the 'move' a lot for a while being 'super-busy'

Ok then, just a shout-out to other members of the grace set as we round-up
To the members of the Grace Set, I say good success and let's do it big.
Yeah, I'd like to say a quote from one of my favorite artists:
"The bigger your dreams, the smaller the competition" - J. Cole
Of course, the harder it is. :)

Nice one, thanks for your time and we shall see at the top!
For sure! You're welcome


Lets hear from Adeoluwa Adeyemi, graduate of Building Technology (2010) and CEO of Oriel Design Studio:

Almost 2 months since grad, how has that been?
Ade (Oriel Design Studio)
Wow! In two months it’s been beautiful and full of opportunities to grow and become better. Oriel Design Studio has grown in clientele and experience. All thanks to God.

I’m glad to hear that…tell me something crazy you've been up to recently?
I just got a lawyer as a P.A and the next step is to open up a physical studio before the year runs out.

Now that’s crazy…Do you ever wish you'd started earlier?
Most definitely! But then the most important thing is that I started.

You had this in mind for a long while I guess?
Not really. Too much time shouldn't be spent on planning.
That's the mistake most of us make. As soon as possible, while the idea is ripe, launch out and be ready for everything that gets thrown at you.

That’s very true, but Ade where do you see yourself in the next 10years?
Ten years is both a long and short time. I see myself as a very successful family man with far reaching influence in business and African development.

So what's the master plan to achieving that?
The master plan?
That's hard to put own in words. Basically I have to follow God's direction with diligence and hardwork.

True talk bro, thanks for your time and see you at the top.
Ok Michael, thanks for the consideration.


Also among the people we got feedback from is Dara Asinobi who just released her magazine, Dazzle which borders on the Beauty & Health line.

How has it been since grad?
It has been wonderful since we left school....relieved that school life is over and I am looking forward to the future.

Tell us something crazy you've been up to or planning?
I haven't been up to anything crazy, just trying my best to learn new things and be more versatile in some aspects of my life.

Her Magazine Cover
So I guess you'll be getting married soon?*mischievous smile*
*laughs* It depends on your definition of soon. By God's grace in the next 3 to 4 years, I should be in that institution.

How would you rate your development since graduation on a scale of 1-10?
It is a gradual process so I will say 5 but I need serious motivation.

Hmm…same here, so where do you see Dara Asinobi 10 years from now?
In the next 10years, I see Dara married with kids, impacting lives especially in the health sector to reduce the rate of obesity and empowering mostly women on how to raise a healthy family and also working in a multinational company as a consultant.

Great dreams you got there, well thank you for your time.


Here’s another inspiring feedback from Yomi Amoussa, who was an active member of Covenant University Student Leadership and graduate of Economics.

How has it been since grad?
It has been relatively wonderful, having to readapt to the harsh realities of our everyday world as opposed to the make shift 'idealistic' society of CU. It's been good generally.

So, what have you been up to?
Preparing for NYSC, Business & Relationship development in summary.

Was this a projected plan of your undergrad days or you just decided to pick something up?
You could say it was a projected plan as everything I intended to be doing by this time of my life. In summary this is a time for capacity building prior to full take off.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10years?
I see myself realistically at the helm of affairs of a thriving business, a philanthropist par excellence, married to my heartthrob with 2 kids and creating an undeniable niche for myself and legacy for those coming after wards.
On the Christian platform, to be established as a man after God's heart as it were.

What's the master plan to achieving that?
Summarizing it in 4 sentences; Build the brand called 'Yomi' I.e. Develop myself to a point of relevance in my generation for which reason I can't be ignored.
Chase after God wholeheartedly.
Love my wife and family and finally never give up regardless of whatever I might come up against. Possibility mentality all the way!


Popular blogger and poet, Harry Itie had his own experience to share.

Lets get to meet you
My name is Harry Itie. I am 21 years old. I am a writer, blogger and spoken word artist.I graduated from the 2010 class of Mass Communication

Harry @ a book launch
How has it been since graduation?
Life after graduation has been amazing. Even though I have encountered challenges along the way, I see that all I learnt from school were very important.

Tell me something crazy you've been up to recently?
Well, I am going fully into the new media industry. I will be launching my news and information site next week.
The name of the site is YADA and it will blow you away!

Was this a projected plan of ur undergrad days or you just decided to pick something up?
No it wasn't. In my undergraduate days I saw myself getting a job and earning a fixed salary. Now, all I see is a world of possibilities. Anything can happen.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10years?
In the next ten years, I see myself running my own media company.

What's the master plan to achieving that?
I have to apply myself and develop the gift that I have been given. I also have to work really hard so it would be a success. Thanks

Thanks for your time and God bless!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

West Africa's 1st Electric car by CU graduate!

May 2003, a Nigerian inventor named Brino Gilbert won the INPEX award for his invention, the CCG (Counter Collision Gadget), a device that averts accidents on road, sea, air and rail. It won the award for best invention from Africa that year.

Renowned Nigerian-bred scientist Philip Emeagwali who dropped out of high school 4 times invented the world’s fastest computer.

Now as always I’m proud to present to you another great innovation from Nigeria and from a fresh graduate of Covenant University.
…always @ moi frequency *wink* Enjoy!

Joseph Maichibi: Innovator of the EV
I’ve been eager to let d world know about you sir, so let’s get to meet you
Maichibi Joseph is the name…Just graduated from Elect July 2nd, 2010

Permit me to call you Mr Joe for the rest of the interview…
That's OK

what was growing up like for you?
…well I schooled around most regions of the nation but basically grew up at Lagos.

any particular reason why you decided to come to Covenant University?
I was mostly fascinated with nature but picked a flare for science in my 6th class in primary school. I wanted to master the art of electronics and kick start my childhood dreams in science. CU turns out being it.

Hmm…so d science genes had been infused long time ago...
I would think so too.

Mr. Joe I'd like you to tell us about this great innovation of yours cuz I still find it hard to believe
I stepped into CU in my 1st year with 2 clear goals, build a PC in my 3rd year and make a car in my 5th year. It turns out being I did both at the speculated time.
It didn't occur to me at the time that I would be making an electric car.
Eventually in my 2nd semester year 3, I came to a conclusion on an electric car as I envision it to be the future of automobiles and transportation in the world.
It all boiled down to the fact that electric cars are clean and quiet. They are perfect for mother earth survival and the human race at large.
Green Reflexions: Front View
That's how GREEN REFLEXION came to be.

So this would mean u began your research a long time ago…I must say this is really inspiring owing to the fact that very few innovations come from this side of the world
Well, I think we have what it takes to do more but there are too many political issues tied to human greed that deters innovations and inventions in this side of the world otherwise a brain is a brain whether black, white, red or whatever race.

What were the various challenges you encountered in the course of the project
Let’s just streamline them to finance and handling people involved in the project stages.
But I came to figure out that the greatest challenge I came across was me. Giving up was so easy to do thank God for grace I would have yielded if not for such.

...thank God you pulled thru d self-limiting barriers
Yeah thank Him.

But Joe...for clarification reasons is it truly the 1st in West Africa?
From my research all through the project, it turns out that only South Africa has an Electric Car programme going on in the continent so you could say "In Africa minus SA".

Wow!...I feel honoured interviewing you
But to also mention a Man called Jelani Aliyu a Nigerian was among the team designing the GM VOLT (an electric car) in America. So I could say he is the first African to design an electric vehicle in General Motors USA.

Work time!

Ok...that’s interesting; at least we’ve got you on the home front
I guess you already have patents for the ‘Green Reflexions’ beautyor working on that I guess...
*Laughs* Haha...no not yet. I still have to finish my paper work on it.

Alright never mind my curiosity
copy that.

Before I round up, I'd like to know…what was the total costing of the electric car project?
It cost me about N800K.
It’s worth the cost you know.

Yes most definitely, that’s a great investment into something greater I see coming from you
Thank you.

On a lighter note, how do you feel and what’s your message to upcoming Nigerian youths out there?
There will be no government capable of financing all your ideas neither will everyone embrace it. If you believe it will work, kick start it with the little you have when God sees your zeal he will do His thing His way for you.
It's not the UN, it's YOU.

That’s very deep and insightful...I’m most honoured to have you share such great message with us
You're welcome Mike.

I hope to spread this message to the world every way I know
Suit yourself, pls.

It was nice having you once again, any words in closing?
I would say we join hands and make our nation ours. Let’s invest into whatever path we've chosen. If you become outstanding in your endeavour and I become outstanding in mine, definitely, Nigeria will be an outstanding place cuz as it were, Nigeria is not the land but we the people.
Nigeria, Good people and a Great Nation.

Well said! Thanks for your time and God bless!
Aurevoir my friend!


For further questions, send your mails to mikeylinks@yahoo.co.uk or feel free to comment below.

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