Getting Rid of the Box – setting scary goals and living a life of purpose

yasr2I had an amazing time July 5 in Atlanta speaking along with some amazing speakers to over 100 young professionals at the 2013 Young Adults Summer Retreat. My talk (see synopsis below) is taken from “On Your Marks, Get Set, Goals!” my 3-part personal development and goals setting workshop.

Your telephone voicemail is is programmed to ask two simple questions: Who are you and what do you want? Most people live their entire lives without ever answering either one! Continue reading

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The African Spring: How ‘Afropreneurs’ will shape Africa’s future

photo(28)Had a great time speaking at the London Leadership Forum on Friday, June 28 in London UK. See below the synopsis of my talk at the Forum which was organized by the London think-tank, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue 

The African Spring: How ‘Afropreneurs’ will shape Africa’s future

African populations are growing rapidly. It is expected that by 2040, the total African population will be the largest in the world, surpassing both China and India. Jobs are not keeping pace with population growth rates and issues of unemployment acutely affect the growing ‘youth bulge’ across the continent, which has implications for political stability across the continent, as has recently been witnessed by many of the northern Arab States, and even more recently in Mali and Northern Nigeria. Continue reading

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Plan your finish, or your finish is planned ; An overview of the 800-years old graduation ceremony at the University of Oxford.

1043983_10201523897803109_2012730630_nI am a big believer in finishing what I start, and so June 22, 2013, so having matriculated in Oxford back in October 2011,  I headed back to the city of dreaming spires to partake in the 800-year tradition of an Oxford graduation.

Below is my feeble attempt to capture the amazing event in a few words and pictures.

Wearing this attire -the advanced student gown-in Oxford could mean any of several things: from matriculation, to taking an exam, to attending a formal dinner, to going for a ball, to preparing for graduation. Continue reading

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Young, Gifted and Black

young blackLast year,  as part of activities in honor of Rice Universitys centennial celebration, I was honored to be featured in the film ;Young, Gifted and Black; Reflections from Black Alumni at Rice.

The 80-minute film explores the lives of 15 distinguished black alumni before they came to Rice, during their stay at Rice and their careers after Rice. You can enjoy the excerpt below, and you can order the full DVD here

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Is this what mid-life crisis looks like?

Midlife CrisisA few weeks ago, I attended the 2nd year reunion of my Executive MBA Class with whom I had spent two very intense and exciting years at Rice University between 2009 and 2011. It was great to see several people again and to catch up to what people had been up to since I had been unable to attend the previous year, when I was stuck somewhere else on the other side of the Atlantic between Oxford and Swaziland. Continue reading

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Its been a while

its been a whileIts been a while since I blogged last. Since I left Oxford about 9 months ago, I have been busy. So busy I keep putting off updating this blog. I have gotten several emails from folks out there asking what I have been up to.

Hence I plan to blog more frequently. However, I am going to trying keeping my posts short, and most times it will be some quick reflections on article/books I have recently read, or new ideas I have recently come across. Comments are welcome as always.

For the most part these days, my time is divided between Houston (with family and working on a software project for the energy industry) , Nigeria (where I still oversee the work at Wennovation Hub of creating more afropreneurs) and airports (where I relax in between flights ).


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2000 breasts…perhaps a lump you pick will save someone’s life.

brresiNot had time to blog for some time, and I hope to make up for that soon. But I could not help putting this post up to support an initiative by my youth corper (NYSC) medical doctor baby sister to bring attention to the issue of breast cancer in Nigeria. Below is verbatim from her….

Breast cancer is a major killer of women worldwide. It is the commonest cancer affecting women and the fifth commonest cause of cancer death worldwide. Here in Nigeria, it is the commonest malignancy and is estimated to kill 25,000 women annually, making it the commonest cause of cancer death in them.
A diagnosis of breast cancer puts overwhelming stress on the patient, family members and close friends. It disrupts family relationships causing considerable physical, psychological and occupational vulnerability, which persists even long after treatment. However, these consequences can be significantly lessened when it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages. Continue reading

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Fighting Youth Unemployment in Nigeria, the Wennovation Way

Watch this

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Wennovation Hub Emerges as SAP/Ashoka Global Competition Finalist: VOTE NOW

The “Wennovation Hub Initiative” has been selected as a finalist in the SAP/Ashoka ‘The Power of Small Competition‘.
The flagship creation of US-Nigerian business incubator ‘LoftyInc’, the Wennovation Hub was one of 11 finalists selected from more than 370 innovations submitted globally, tackling various issues around innovation and entrepreneurship. To emerge winner, friends of Wennovation Hub are invited to VOTE at this LINK.
As a competition finalist, the Wennovation Hub is “being honored for outstanding demonstration of innovation, social impact, and sustainability” according to a Press Release by the Ashoka Changemaker organizers.
The Wennovation Hub has been invited to participate in the SAPPHIRE NOW event organized by SAP in Madrid from November 13-16, 2012.  Represented by its Program Director, Idris Bello,the Hub will showcase the power of its innovative model for powering start-ups in Frontier Markets. This model of “Product to Commercialization” has yielded six portfolio companies in the past year, three of which were funded by outside investors, and four of which are in full operations today.
The four finalists with the highest number of online votes will be announced as winners at the SAPPHIRE NOW event in Madrid. Wennovation supporters, friends, and well-wishers across the globe are invited and urged to VOTE for the platform at:
Just click on the check mark icon next to our entry, and LOG-IN with your Facebook Account to have your votes recorded. You can also create an account if you do not want to vote via Facebook.
Your vote for ‘taking the Wennovation dream to the next level’ will be appreciated!
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I have been busy…………….

So busy I have not had time to keep this blog updated.

After managing to get exams out of the way, and an amazing Pan Africa Conference over with, May 7, I headed off to Swaziland (no, not Switzerland).

I was here to work on an m-Health project with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Ministry of Health in Swaziland  aimed at improving appointment attendance (and ultimately retention) among pre-ART and ART patients through the deployment of  what we refer to in-house as the AP Reminder System.

But I have been doing more than mHealth in the small but beautiful country of Swaziland as you will discover from this CNN iReport . Its been a different clinic each day, a different mountain each weekend. I have gone hiking, rock climbing (including Sibebe Rock-the world’s largest exposed granite dome and second biggest rock after Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia), and on a safari trip. I even managed to experience an earthquake

In June, I took some time off from Swaziland  to make a 2-day trip to London. I had been named as one of the  “10 Most Outstanding Black Students in the UK for 2012″  by a panel consisting of Rt. Hon. David Lammy MP, Trevor Phillips OBE, Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, and Jean Tomlin, HR Director for London 2012.

Organized annually by Rare Rising Stars, I was deeply humbled to be so chosen and attended the Awards Ceremony on June 7 at the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London.

From London, I was off to Texas, where my team, AfyaZima Africa had just been announced as the 2012 Winner of the $10,000 Best Innovation Leveraging Technology Award presented by Dell, Inc

This is what Dell had to say:

At Dell, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are not “born” but can be “bred” through the right community, support, tools and inspiration. And we’re especially delighted to announce the winner of the Dell Technology Award: AfyaZima Blood Pressure mCuff, a low-cost device that eases blood pressure measurement and transmission via a mobile in hopes of early hypertension diagnosis, especially in areas with low resources.

The trip to Austin was amazing as prior to the awards ceremony, I got to visit the Dell Headquarters, where I met one-on-one with Michael Dell, CEO and Founder of Dell and the rest of the amazing Dell Team.

I was also impressed at how Dell uses Social Media, as evidenced by the amazing tools at the Social Media Center which I had the opportunity to visit. I even found one of my Dell-related tweets on the screen.

I also had the opportunity to share my  personal inspiration and thoughts about innovation in a changing world with Dell employees by speaking on a Dell Innovation panel moderated by the young but very impressive Nnamdi Orakwue (Harvard & Wharton alum), Dell’s Director of Strategy, who also doubles as Executive Assistant to Michael Dell.

Then it was time for the award ceremony at the Austin  City Limits Theatre followed by a sumptous dinner afterwards.

With my time in the US up, I thus returned to the Kingdom of Swaziland but not before a short tour of Frankfurt!

Until my next blogpost, I invite you to join me in dreaming bigger, scarier dreams, because if your dream does not scare you, it’s probably not big enough!

Remember that people who dream in their sleep are dreamers, but those who dare to dream while they are awake are the people that change the world.


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