According toForbesmagazine’s annual30 Under 30 list, here are the young Nigerians who are making things happen.
These guys are the ones making things happen in there generation. We are proud to have two Nigerians on this list.
Obinwanne Okeke, 28
Okeke could not fail his mother. A promise meant hard work and dreaming big. He was raised in Ukpor village, 790 kilometers from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, as the 17th child of a polygamous father. He went to boarding school aged 10, lost his father at 16 and moved from one relative to another. He named his company Invictus after one of Nelson Mandela’s favorite a poems, by William Ernest Henley, about the undefeated and unconquerable soul of a hard worker, from an impoverished background, who will not give up.
Invictus is in construction, agriculture, oil and gas, telecoms and real estate. He has 28 permanent and 100 part-time employees across nine companies.
Atawodi has lived the good life. She spent most of her life playing professional polo for brands in over 22 cities around the world. When she was 21, she launched Bamboo Green Concepts, an investment outfit with a diversified portfolio, with the help of her father. Bamboo Green Concepts owns Bamboo House, a boutique hotel and lounge in the heart of Abuja. Bamboo evolved into what Atawodi loves most; a place where people can play polo. She partnered with SuperSport to bring polo to television across Africa. She constructed the bamboo polo arena on the beach in Lagos.
Her experience raising funds to launch the arena, and the difficulty for SMEs to access finance, led her to launch Africa’s first equity crowdfunding platform, Malaik. Malaik closed its first $300,000 deal within two months of launching, and is currently raising its own seven-figure round to help connect more global investors with high impact investment opportunities in Africa.