Rewa Udoji is a leading African finance expert with an extraordinary journey into the visual art world – determined, enterprising, and diligent, she; she is blessed with the superpower of being multi-faceted and exceptionally creative – which has taken her on the road less traveled and has allowed her to effortlessly make a name for herself in both the visual art and the high finance world. Currently, she is the founder and CEO of Cranstoun Corporation; a global equities fund focused on offering African clients access to international capital markets and providing tangible value to her investors by way of returns. On her journey, she honed her skills in the Financial Services space across Western and African markets by playing various significant roles within the Old Mutual Group across Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. Before that, she worked as a Management Consultant at Accenture (UK). Seeking an outlet and retreat from the high-pressure world of finance, she discovered her creative side and unlocked a new world to conquer. Over the years, she has not only built her finance career but has. Still, she has also become a celebrated visual artist whose Igbo Vernacular Art has been exhibited at various museums and galleries in the USA, Nigeria, the UAE, South Africa, the UK, and Spain. She continues to provide value to her collectors by giving them pieces of beauty and history.
If you could advise your younger self, what would you say?
Do not be swayed by the limited and biased opinions and options that society and circumstance may have placed before you. Know that there is no exploit outside of your reach, no matter how technical, esoteric, or remote your dream or desire may appear at first glance. Considering this, be intelligent, bright, and bold with networking, and be confident and assured in your pursuits. Define your success, don’t dwell on past (supposed) failures, and know that the present moment is what is of utmost importance because it is only in the now that you can act.
In what ways have you broken the bias in your career?
In Visual Arts, I am autodidactic; I have neither a B.A. nor an MFA and arrived at this career path, arguably later than my contemporaries. Because of this, I have been relentless in my continuous pursuit of self-improvement, working incessantly to improve my craft, to increase renown and global success.
In Finance, that I had never worked at a “traditional” financial institution nor obtained a degree in a related field never deterred me from bringing my dreams of establishing the first investment fund, owned by a Nigerian woman, to fruition. I was passionate about the space, and so I executed.