Bunmi Akinyimeju and Kunmi Demuren, football enthusiasts and founders of Venture Garden Group, were at the Teslim Balogun Stadium over the weekend to watch the battle for supremacy on the football pitch between Sporting Lagos and Ijebu United.
Akinyimeju and Demuren were in attendance with African tech heavyweights like Edmund Olotu, Kola Aina, Fola Olatunji-David and Shola Akinlade, a demonstration of the growing convergence between technology and culture. And gradually, Nigeria tech entrepreneurs are making an inroad into the footballing world.
Traditionally, there has been very slow progress to youth development and growth in Nigeria, despite the popular rhetoric of her youthful population being heralded as the future of the country and the continent.
Akinyimeju. who is also a youth development advocate is convinced however that the convergence of technology and culture could usher in a new trajectory for Africa’s youth.
The future of the continent and global appeal is being led by Tech entrepreneurs, Afrobeat artists, Nollywood players, Football players and other cultural influencers. At a quick short interview, he had this to say,
“Our common goal here is to ensure that we are deliberately crafting an opportunity for youth development and ultimately the future of the continent. It’s a new day. All of a sudden, our youth can see hope and ultimately, improved engagement and economic outcomes,” Akinyimeju said in a statement.
“With Sporting Lagos, opportunities will open up along the football game value chain. Shola is ambitious and he likely has a defined plan to make a positive impact. He has my full confidence and support.”
Also, Shola Akinlade is CEO of Paystack, a leading payment platform in Nigeria, but also the marvel behind Sporting Lagos, a football debutante capable of causing upsets.
Investors from Target Global, a venture capital firm, Khalil Hefaf and Ricardo Schafer were also present at the event to cheer the teams on. So was Insure-Tech startup founder Bode Pedro who recently announced a capital raise of $4m earlier in February 2022.
With these technology personalities in attendance, it is clear that something big is brewing and it is only a matter of time before we can tell what tidings technology is bringing to football. It is going to be an exciting wait.