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  • Friday, May 24, 2024
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Meet 7 exceptional Nigerians who turned their skills, hobbies to business

The saying, “Madmen rule the world” is best exemplified in the life of some exceptional individuals who dared all the odds to succeed in life.

Entrepreneurs are first dreamers who know how to seize opportunities, and have the capacity to turn their dreams into realities. And sometimes people consider such people as mad.

Most successful entrepreneurs are those who knows how to convert their skills, hobbies and passion into a profit making venture.

Read also: Female entrepreneurs need to maximise online presence – Expert

Here are some Nigerian prodigies who turned skills, and passions into wealth.

Olabanke Meshida Lawal


Popularly known as “Banke” is a Nigerian make-up artist and the founder and chief executive officer of BMPro Makeup Group, a make-up and cosmetology firm.

Banke started make-up art as a passion while still in school. She found pleasure in making up her friends before setting out for occasions. However, along the line Banke began to make fortune from her hobby.

The Ile-Ife, Osun State born make-up artist won the award for Brand of the Year at the 2009 Eloy Awards, as well as the Nigerian Event Awards (2012) for Best Makeup Artist and the Makeup Artist of The Year at the FAB AWARDS (2010).

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji

Aboyeji is a Nigerian entrepreneur, and a co-founder of Andela, and the former managing director of Flutterwave.

He was cited as one of the top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019.

Aboyeji, and his friends cum business partners recognised the shortage of technology talent in the United States and saw an opportunity in Africa, where they had worked with and observed talented individuals.

The Kwara State born entrepreneur became a Harambean in 2010 at the age of 19. He has a passion for tech.

One of his popular quotes is, “Technology is one of the highest leveraging tools that we have for creating change in the world, and transforming people’s lives.”

Read also: My growing up influenced my entrepreneurship endeavour Gbenga Adigun, Co-founder Rebar Perfecta

Chika Madubuko

Madubuko is a bioengineer, entrepreneur, and the co-founder/ chief executive officer at Greymate Care, a digital platform that connects patients that need 24-hour care to an insured and professional caregiver, established in 2016.

The idea of the invention which is first of its kind is to use technology to connect the at-home elderly to trained care-givers in Nigeria.

Madubuko attended the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State, where she studied microbiology, before progressing to biotechnology and bioengineering at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom (UK).

“All I wanted to do at the time is solve problems with bio-tech, with everyday biological systems, creating drugs and industrial solutions,” says Madubuko.

Uchenna Jennifer Eze

She is popularly known as Uche Eze and is the founder and managing director of BainStone Limited, founded in 2009 and BellaNaija.com founded in 2006), a pioneer online media industry in Nigeria. She was born in 1983.

Her early education actually started in Nigeria before she moved to Canada. She graduated in the year 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada.

She got married to Bode Pedro, son of the former deputy governor of Lagos State, and she was blessed with a set of twins.

Uche Eze started BellaNaija as a hobby in the same year she graduated, while in Canada and shortly before she resumed her first ever post-graduation job with Shell.

Read also: NBC empowers youths with entrepreneurship, employability skills

Oluwatobi Ajayi

Oluwatobi was born in 1988, and he is the first child in his family. He attended Nigeria Navy School for his primary and secondary education.

He studied Soil sciences and Farm Mechanisation from 2004 – 2010 at the Olabisi Onabanjo University. He just completed his Masters of Business Administration, (MBA) at the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria.

In April 2015, together with some investors, Tobi started Jetvan Automobiles Limited to take the Mercedes-Benz vans sales and after-sales to the next level.

He was at Jetvan as CEO until April 2018 when he left the company to enable him focus on building his own brand and company “Nord Automobile Limited”.

He now assembles his own elegant, reliable, durable, and cost-efficient vehicles that are as good as any vehicle in the world. According to the last valuation, Nord Automobile is worth a little over N4.2 billion.

Pelumi Nubi

Pelumi was little known in Nigeria until some three months ago when she turned her hobby to a great feat driving from London to Lagos.

Now Pelumi seats with dignitaries, government officials and is proudly serving as a Lagos State Tourism Ambassador.

Her hobby has given her doors to meeting the governor, building a community of almost 300k followers on instagram and over nine thousand, and even receiving an encouraging comment from the former vice-president is a testament to the power of taking action and making one’s dreams a reality.

Hence, to succeed in life, one must keep believing, keep pushing, and watch his/her dreams unfold before his/her eyes.

Read also: Firm restates commitment to deepen financial inclusion for entrepreneurs in Africa

Olajumoke Orisaguna

Jumoke as she is popularly called was born in 1989. She is a Nigerian model who got public attention when while hawking bread on the streets of Lagos, stumbled onto a photo shoot session with a British rapper, Tinie Tempah.

She appeared on the cover of Above before she was encouraged to become a model. Though she fancied being an actress while growing, economic hardship forced into selling a local bread called ‘Agege Bread’ but she did not lose sight of her shape.

She has since then modeled for Stanbic IBTC bank, Shirley’s Confectioneries, and Payporte, among others as brand ambassador.

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