The Lion King Magazine | January - March 2017

bunmiboy

ISSN 0794-9855

9 770794 985005

ISSUE 53

January - March 2017

Proudly

amongst

the pack

The

Enterprise:

The Success

Formula

Softer

Side of VO


Editor’s View

We are a quarter of the way into 2017 and so much has happened

already, we would need double the pages of the Lion King to

communicate all the wonderful news of 2017 thus far.

The Lion is the undisputed King of the jungle, but the Lioness

actually rules the pride. Whilst the protective male is constantly on

patrol, the female goes hunting to feed the family. In this edition

of the Lion King, we celebrate our lionesses across Africa who

are working really hard to contribute to the pride of UBA (Proudly

amongst the pack, page 34).

Whether you are a Lion or a Lioness, we all need to make a living

these days as hunting for food is no longer trendy or sustainable.

Read about how you can make money through investments (page

7) and the successful young entrepreneurs across Africa who

are pursuing the ideal of Africapitalism (Enterprise: the success

formula, page 41).

Editor-In-Chief

Bola Atta

Editor /

Art Director

Nonso Nduanya

Contributors

Ama Tanoh

Anthony Osae-Brown

Ayomipo Ajayi

Beizia Fointama

Bertha Appiah-Gyapong

Dr. Kazeem Akano

Ewulluh Ogonna

Funlola Obe

Judith Umunna

Kayode Olowoyeye

Mariam Mohammed

Marietou Thiam-Seye

Morenikeji Omotoso

Moshood Azeez

Ola Babs-Olugbemi

Olawale Hamed

Omede Odekina

Sunday Onwuemele

Udeme Ekwere

Africa is a beautiful continent. The world just doesn’t know it yet.

We visit Cameroun, one of those hidden treasures on our continent

(Africa in miniature, page 18). Who needs a Caribbean holiday? If

you haven’t seen the Adventures of TASA on REDTV (Must see series,

page 55), you should subscribe to REDTV and take yourself into a

world of dreams, glamour and fun.

I caught a glimpse into the world of our DMD outside the office. I

was let into a secret…shhh don’t tell anyone about VO’s roses (DMD

with a difference, page 10).

I hope you enjoy this edition

of the Lion King magazine.

Don’t forget to write to let us

know what you liked and what

you didn’t like. I can’t wait to

bring you more exciting and

informative news in the next

edition.

À la prochaine!

Bola Atta

Editor-in-Chief

Catch up past issues

Follow us @UBAGroup

www.ubagroup.com

January - March 2017The Lion King • 3


GMD’s Message

Dear Colleagues

The year 2017 has taken off on a

positive note for our Bank, setting

the tone with the introduction of our

new core values which define our

behavioural tenets especially as we

seek to build an enduring institution

that will outlive all of us.

As we set our gaze on expected

resounding gains in the year 2017, we

focus our attention on the ultimate

goal of the new core values which

is to ensure effective delivery of our

promise to the Customer.

We intend to drive home the

importance of the 3Es – Enterprise,

Excellence, Execution - until every

staff of the Bank personalises and

breathes these values. UBA is building

a culture of Enterprise, Excellence

and Execution in our service delivery.

This quarter and in this edition of the

Lion King, we shall emphasise the

thrust of the first of the 3Es – Enterprise

The word Enterprise means different

things to different people. It also

means different things at different

times. I would like to share what it

means to us in UBA.

By Enterprise we refer to the resilience

and never-say-never attitude of

every staff of UBA, top to bottom. It

describes the strong desire to own a

task, a function, a role, an assignment

or a responsibility like everything

else depends on it. The self-driven

aspiration to go the extra mile in

satisfying your customer – external or

internal.

Going forward, it is expected that

all of us will become believers in the

Bank and not just mere employees

who work for the pay day. Our

intention is to have a workforce

across the Group with a unique

culture of conceiving what needs to

be done and will go ahead to do it

without hesitation – People that make

things happen!

As we march into a promising future,

we believe that career growth

within the Bank will be for those

who effectively and consistently

demonstrate this key attribute of

being entrepreneurial. Only an

entrepreneurial workforce will serve

customers better – existing and

prospective.

I want to therefore challenge you

all to take responsibility for ensuring

we do things to serve the customer

better, ALWAYS. The UBA DNA of

enterprise shall be seen in those who:

• consistently own tasks (do not

pass the buck)

• go the extra mile to solve

problems

• demonstrate a high sense of

ownership

• show initiative and take charge

of situations as they arise

• break barriers and not

constrained by excuses

• constantly come up with

innovative ways to do things

better, always seeking

improvements

These attributes are synonymous

with the workforce of High

Performance Organisations

(HPOs) and we are committed to

building same in UBA.

I challenge you to

relentlessly strive to do

better and affirm our

Corporate essence;

Excellent Service…

Delivered.

Thank you,

KENNEDY UZOKA

...we focus our

attention on the

ultimate goal of

the new core values

which is to ensure

effective delivery of

our promise to the

Customer...”

4 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Contents

Business

06 How to make good Investment

decisions

07 Protecting your investments to get

higher returns

08 How to make more money as an

entrepreneur

09 Social media is big business

Cover

10 DMD with a difference

INTERVIEWS

14 Growing the Seed - Isong Udom, MD /

CEO, UBA Cameroun

18 Country Focus - Cameroun

26 The ‘Rounds’ in 3 months

Features

34 Proudly amongst the pack

41 Enterprise: The success formula

44 How to be a true brand ambassador

45 Can you handle the six types of

people you meet daily?

46 The banker’s guide to a stress-free life

47 Lighten up your mood…

Lifestyle

48 Health

50 Fashion

52 Food

55 Movies

56 Poetry and Arts

58 Humour

January - March 2017The Lion King • 5


Business

HOW TO MAKE GOOD

INVESTMENT DECISIONS

By Olawale Hamed

much you are prepared to lose if

along the line things do not go 100% as

desired. Risk appetite depends on certain

factors which include age, past

experience, personality and financial

target. Younger people tend to have

higher risk appetite due to their relative

inexperience in financial matters.

Older people may have taken losses

in the past due to bad judgement

and tend to be more careful as they

progress in life.

STEP 1: LEARN THE BASICS.

Before joining the Investors’ Club,

it is only normal that you learn the

language. You need to understand

basic terminologies and principles

as this will equip you to make

informed decisions. You need to

know the basic investment products

available in your chosen sector.

For instance, in the financial world,

investment products include stocks,

bonds, mutual funds, etc. You can

do this by reading, watching investment

programmes or attending

seminars. You should also familiarize

yourself with investment related

costs such as brokerage fees and

other commissions.

STEP 2: SET GOALS.

The next step is to set your goals.

Although the ultimate goal for most

investors is to grow their wealth,

some only wish to preserve their

capital based on certain factors

which may border on age, family

circumstances, religious belief and

risk appetite amongst others.

STEP 3: DETERMINE YOUR

RISK APPETITE.

How nervous do you get when you

lose money? Before taking on the

investment, you must decide how

STEP 4: DEFINE YOUR

INVESTMENT STRATEGY.

Here you need to identify your total

capital and determine what portion

you wish to invest in high-risk-highreturn

projects and what portion you

want to invest in low-risk-low-return

projects. You also need to decide

which sectors you want to invest in.

UBA Provides quite an array of investment

products such as Treasury Bills,

FGN Bonds, Bankers Acceptances/

Commercial Papers, Fixed and Call

deposits amongst others. For further

inquiries please contact

treasurygroup@ubagroup.com or

investorrelations@ubagroup.com.

STEP 5: CHOOSE

INVESTMENTS.

After following the steps above, you

need to choose the investments that

will make up your portfolio. If you are

averse to risk, your portfolio should

carry low risk investment options such

as government treasury bills and sovereign

bonds. However, if you desire

quick and big profits your portfolio

should carry more of high yielding risky

assets such as loans stocks and equities.

It is essential that we allocate and

diversify our capital portfolio in order

to avoid the risk of losing our entire

capital if the sector in which we have

invested fails.

UBA Treasury or Investor Relations as

your investment advisors are available

to provide you with financial advisory

services on investment options within

the financial sector. Please note that

financial advisory services are provided

along with a disclaimer notice

as the ultimate decision remains that

of the potential investor.

6 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Business

Protecting Your Investments

to Get Higher Returns

By Udeme Ekwere

These are very hard times indeed, and as such, every

extra penny is important. Of course investing extra

income is usually a sure way to increase the value of

your savings, rather than to leave it sitting idly.

Investing your money can allow you to grow it.

Most investment vehicles offer returns on your money over

the long term. These returns allow your money to build,

thus, creating wealth over time. If carried out wisely, these

investments when they are done with a long-term focus can

bring about interesting yields to the investors, which could

aid in their future plans.

There are various investment options which an individual

can choose from, including but not limited to mutual funds,

bonds, treasury bills, fixed income assets, stocks and shares,

certificates of deposits, land and properties.

Because money is hard to come by, monitoring your

investment, whether in mutual funds, stocks and shares or

any other means cannot be overemphasized, as failure to

keep an eye on your investment can lead to huge losses on

the part of the investor.

By keeping an eye on your investment portfolio, you can

prevent minor mistakes from turning into big problems. You

can protect your investments by taking the following steps:

Diversify your risks: This is a very

important rule of the game. In other

words, ‘do not put all your eggs in

one basket.’ If you fail to diversify,

you increase your risk. For instance, if

you put all your savings in a certain

company, and something happens

to the company which leads to its

folding up, chances are you may

not get your hard-earned money

back. Therefore, a wise investor should

spread his risks; you can opt for various

sectors in an economy, or different

investment options to diversify your

portfolio and increase your chances

of higher returns. The truth is at one

point or another your investments will

drop in value. If you don’t want to

deal with volatility, you’ll be better

off sticking to cash and government

bonds. However, you can’t expect

higher returns from these. Stocks and

bonds offer higher returns but they

present higher risks, too. Despite that,

if you still wish to invest in stocks and

bonds, you can minimize the risk of

volatility and protect your investments

in the process by placing them in a

diverse mix of bonds and stocks.

Review your portfolio

regularly: From time to time, an

investor should put his books in order,

and review his portfolio to ensure

that his investments meet up with his

planned objectives. Be sure that you

understand and are comfortable with

the risks, costs, and liquidity associated

with your investment options. You

have a right to know what is on your

portfolio and ensure that all records

about you are accurate and are in

line with your investment objectives

and goals and make any changes

where necessary.

Keep all documentation safe:

It is important to take time to study

and read all documents that you

receive from your broker, mutual fund

or investment adviser, and also ensure

that documentation are kept safe.

If you do not understand anything,

consult your financial adviser or

lawyer. Also check to make sure

your confirmations and account

statements are accurate.

Learn to reward yourself: You

need to learn to reward yourself when

you have made some meaningful

profit off your investment. You can pay

yourself by selling off a small part of

your profitable venture and investing

the income in something else. This will

also help to reduce risks if any, and to

ensure that your funds are not stuck in

one sector all the time.

Put your money where your

mouth is: Literally! You should

only invest in what you believe in

and not based on just hearsay. In

other words, if you don’t understand

an investment, then don’t put any

money into it. There are lots of good

investment opportunities that are easy

to understand. Why risk putting money

into something that might or might

not make sense? Alternatively, spend

more time learning about the markets

and sectors you wish to invest in.

Lastly remember that if something

sounds too good to be true, it probably

is. There is no such thing as a free lunch,

but there are plenty of con artists who

are willing to take your money.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 7


Business

How to make more money as

an entrepreneur

By Anthony Osae-Brown

Most people want to make more money even if they

do not say so openly. The world is ruled by money as

you need money to access the basic and complex

things of life. But how do you make more money, is a

question that many keep asking.

Your focus should not be on the money to

1

be made but on the service or product to

be offered. Money comes to only those who

create value. So, instead of thinking of making

a million naira, why not think of offering service

to a million people. Imagine, if you can create

a product that reached a million people, the

impact you will make. The money will naturally follow, when

the focus is on offering incredible service or product to a

million people.

2

Money should be the fuel to offer more service or

improved products. When you start making money

from offering incredible service, what do you do

when the money starts coming in? The money

should be used in offering more incredible service

or products. Simply, the money should be invested

in improving whatever product or service you are offering

and increasingly elevating your service or product in a way

that those who want to compete find it difficult to catch

up. Your money should be invested in a relentless pursuit

of excellence in whatever you sell or the service your offer.

That is the only guarantee to make more money.

Be the best at one thing. Do you have

3

something you can do better than anyone

else in your immediate environment or even

in the world? Is it something you are very

passionate about? If your answer to both

questions is a “yes” then all you need to do;

Work at it. Train. Learn. Practice. Evaluate.

Refine until you become so good in it that

the world notices in a way that they are

ready to pay you premium to deliver it to them. Achieving

excellence in what you do usually commands premium

pay. So, aim for excellence in what you do and watch the

world pay you a premium price for it. However, excellence

can only be achieved through continuous persistence in a

desire to achieve excellence.

8 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Business

Social media is big

business

By Morenikeji Omotoso

Social media

Evolution

2005

2006

Twitter

2004

2004

Flickr

The main function of social media

is interaction. People near and far

are able to communicate because

platforms like Blogs, Facebook, Twitter,

Instagram, Snapchat etc. exist. The

origins of digital communication go

way back. In the 1700's unconventional

means of communication like the

telegraph, became popular because

people were able to connect with

loved ones across long distances with

ease. Fast forward to 1890 and 1891

when the telephone and radio were

invented. How many of us remember

the excitement of getting to call a

friend or relative for the first time. You

wouldn’t say too much but the joy

you experienced from hearing the

voice of that loved one across the

line was oddly satisfying; Or you and

your family gathered around the radio

with the long rabbit ear antenna's that

you had to adjust every so often so

that you could listen to your favourite

program for a half hour. We have

certainly come a long way since then.

Many would argue that the major

communication shift happened

with the invention of email and the

internet in the 1960's. People were

given the opportunity to connect,

interact, learn and engage with

people they'd never met before.

Fast forward a few years, and social/

digital media is the cornerstone of

most communication strategies

across the globe. Social media has

shifted the general perception of

what it means to connect with others.

People fall in love, start businesses

and apply for jobs. Many corporations

have identified the shift, and are

embracing it to appeal to customers.

Social media plays a huge role in

the marketing and customer service

arms of an organization. It can help

bring in new customers, it assists in

servicing current, prospective and

future customer bases and to be frank,

it’s easier.

In the early 2000's corporations

took advantage of the unique

environment the digital space fosters.

Customers are at liberty to send a

tweet directly to a bank’s handle

for one reason or another, and the

bank can respond. Social media

bridges the gap between the large,

unattainable façade of a large Pan

African bank and the concerns of

individual customers. Interactions in

the digital sphere make it possible

and convenient to communicate

effectively with customers, therefore

enhancing their experience and

affinity with the brand. Now, brands

are discovering new and innovative

ways to appeal to their customers by

engaging in activities that are in line

with the interests of their customers.

There is a psychological theory known

as the theory of social influence. It

is the change in behaviour that one

person causes in another, intentionally

or unintentionally, as a result of the

way the changed person perceives

themselves in relationship to the

influencer, other people and society

in general. This influence, paired with

relevant and engaging digital content

will grow an organizations following,

increase customers and generate an

additional source of revenue.

In sum, social media is affecting the

way companies interact with their

customers. Organizations are able to

control how people perceive their

companies by the content they

post and interactions they have with

followers. Because of this, customers

trust the organizations they follow

and gain affinity. This trust births an

atmosphere for social influence and

behavioural change.

Facebook

2003

MySpace

2001

Wikipedia

1999

1966

Email

1792

Telegraph

2003

SecondLife

2002

Friendster

1999

Blogger

1985

The WELL

1890

Telephone

January - March 2017The Lion King • 9


Cover

I like indoor games.

I play chess. I read

novels. Just name

the novel and I

have read it...”

Picture by Oghenero Onosode

10 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Cover

DMD with a difference

By Bola Atta

Bola Atta spends an

afternoon getting

to know our Deputy

Managing Director, Victor

Osadolor and captures the

man behind the numbers.

“I am a Scorpio. Scorpions have an intense way

in which they are mindful of their environment

and I spend time trying to decipher what is

going on in my environment.”

Victor Osadolor (VO as we all know him),

tells me this during our chat one bright

sunny afternoon. It was not far from the

first impressions I had ever made of him,

I must admit. My first few interactions

with VO left me curious about the quiet

man behind the glasses. The man who

would rarely eat or drink at functions,

but pleasantly watch people and the

environment. He wouldn’t know that I,

equally being a people watcher, was

also observing him as part of my learning

process.

We would one day, soon after I started

working at UBA, get to chat very briefly

about lifestyles. He wanted to know my

background, I wanted to know why he

ate so little at functions. I learnt that he

is very careful about what he eats, very

health conscious and also methodical

about the choices that he makes. I

learnt that he has a passion for the

French language.

Many months after this, I had the

opportunity to go into his office and the

first thing I noticed was a bouquet of red

roses that had a place of prominence.

There was a softer side of VO!

Victor Osadolor was born about 51

years ago and qualified as a chartered

accountant 27 years ago. This hadn’t

been what his parents wanted. ‘Studying

accountancy was accidental. My

parents wanted me to study medicine

and I was okay with this. But in the

course of pursuing that objective, I got

admission into Uni to study pharmacy

and not medicine.’

Being a methodical thinker who plans

ahead, VO decided he wouldn’t go in for

pharmacy. That was not part of his plans.

He instead, took a gap year and worked

at First bank. He found excitement in

banking during this time. He fell in love

with the profession. ‘There weren’t many

universities offering banking as a course

in those days. The closest I could get to

it was accountancy.’ And so he went

on to the University of Benin to study

accountancy.

After his Accountancy degree at

Uniben, VO went to work at Coopers

and Lybrand before proceeding to

Afribank. ‘Banking in those days wasn’t

customer service oriented, but there

was deep knowledge of banking with

significant amount of training in the

understanding of banking operations,

of credit.’

He remained in the banking industry

even though he trained with Coopers

and Lybrand and became a chartered

accountant.

When Guaranty Trust bank came

unto the scene, he joined them at the

early stages, from there he went on to

Ecobank and then STB. The rest is history.

Our conversation moved back to life

outside numbers. He didn’t mention that

my budget was high; VO didn’t check

the website to see if there were any

changes to be made.

We talked instead about his growing up

years. His father was a civil servant and

his mother, a trader. First in a family of 5

children, he became very responsible

at a young age. He attended primary

education in Benin and secondary, at

Edo College (where both the present

Oba of Benin and the former Oba of

Benin attended). ‘It was a privilege to

have been a part of that school. It is

where we all cut our teeth in terms of

etiquette and the way we live our lives

today.’

His boarding school experience at Edo

January - March 2017The Lion King • 11


Cover

College was tough, but it taught him

discipline and how to compete. ‘We

used to have brain tests and I would

always come first. For some of us

who couldn’t afford provisions (school

tuck), we would do the brain test and

win provisions to give to friends and

earn the acknowledgement and nod

of our seniors.’

VO as we know him today, is very

good with figures. ‘I am exceptionally

good at math and its just God that

gave me that skill.’

At school, he wanted to excel in

everything and not just math. ‘I am a

fairly pragmatic person and we came

from a humble home. My father was

a disciplinarian. If you wanted to have

peace at home, you needed to do

well at school.’

VO recalls when in his 3rd year at

primary school, he came 1st in the

first term, 4th in the second term and

7th in the third term. His teacher wrote

in his end of year report that he was

a talkative and a fighter in class. This

didn’t go down too well with his dad,

the disciplinarian. ‘In fact, that was

the last time I ever didn’t come first

in class’ he says of the way his dad

dealt with him after the report that

appeared scathing.

He had to do well for himself and for

his dad. ‘My dream for myself was a

very practical dream. Because I came

from a humble background, I dreamt

that I would work hard to support

my parents and my younger ones.

Getting into Edo College was a turning

point for me. It was consistent with my

father’s goals and dreams for me. My

father shaped my life in a lot of ways.’

I gathered this throughout our chat,

as reference to his dad was consistent

and frequent. With pride he says of his

dad ‘there was absolutely nowhere

I would be going to that my dad

wouldn’t follow. He was always there

when I won awards. He would excuse

himself from work to take me to major

exams like the common entrance

exams, sit throughout the exams and

be there to give me food during the

breaks. He was a dad. A real dad. He

worked at the ministry of Agriculture

and would always bring home fruits

and other things to make one happy.’

His mother’s role was not lost in all

of this. He speaks of her with a lot of

affection. ‘My mum was a confidante

growing up. Someone you could

share your thoughts with. She had a

lot of wisdom. She knew how to calm

things down and effectively tackle

issues. That’s why she was able to live

with my dad’ he laughs.

He himself is calm but doesn’t really

know why. ‘I would say that it’s the

way I grew up. I didn’t grow up being

mischievous, going to parties and the

likes. Neither was I that child that was

always in church. I think I was just a

very disciplined child. I love being

able to relate to people but I also

realize that one must always comport

themselves. I see this a lot in the British.’

Of his office he says ‘You must have

carriage in your office. I have had

to do some very challenging jobs

and those jobs require that you obey

certain behaviour and be disciplined.

An ED risk cannot be excessive in their

behaviour. I have also once occupied

the position of Group CFO. Investors

and stakeholders are never happy

with untoward behaviour’ he asserts.

In spite of this calmness, he does

want to be able to relate with his

colleagues. ‘It is important that as you

remain responsible in your behaviour,

you do not create a block between

yourself and colleagues. I want to be

able to relate with my colleagues so

people can feel welcome and be

welcoming.’

When he is not working, VO can be

quite sociable. ‘I like indoor games. I

play chess. I read novels. Just name

the novel and I have read it: James

Hardley Chase, Robert Ludlum, Nick

Carter, John Grisham... those are some

of my favourite novelists. It’s tougher

now, but I still read a few novels from

time to time.’

Before we end our conversation, I find

out that VO is a good cook. He likes

all kinds of music including rock. He

likes desert. He really likes ice cream

but because he is health conscious,

doesn’t indulge. He also loves to

teach. ‘I see myself as retiring from the

banking industry to go into teaching.

I enjoy training people. I would like to

teach at the Lagos Business School

and all over the world, teaching the

things that will draw up some of the

experience I have gotten over time.’

I suddenly realized that I had taken up

a lot of our Executive’s time and even

though he had been very patient with

me, I knew I had to leave to allow him

get on with his busy schedule.

Picture by Oghenero Onosode

12 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


I see myself as

retiring from

the banking

industry to go

into teaching. I

enjoy training

people.”

January - March 2017The Lion King • 13


Growing the Seed

Everything is possible to

those that believe!

Isong Udom

MD/CEO, UBA Cameroun

By Omede Odekina

14 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Growing the Seed

UBA Cameroun has been

a force to reckon with in

Cameroun, one of Central

Africa’s biggest economies. The

bank was recently recognised

as ‘Bank of the Year 2016’ in

Cameroun by renowned UK

publication, The Banker Magazine.

The bank also recently signed

a landmark agreement with

the Government of Cameroun

to provide a loan of XAF 24.5

billion. The bank has continued

to play a key role in financing

Cameroun’s economy by lending

to key corporates and parastatals,

disbursing about XAF 125 billion

as credit to the economy.

Isong Udom is the game-changer

driving UBA’s operations in

Cameroun. His goals-driven

approach has seen the bank in

Cameroun win several awards

and placed UBA Cameroun as

one of the leading banks in this

unique country. Meet Isong Udom,

MD/CEO, UBA Cameroun.

Congratulations on your recent

outstanding performance. How

have you been able to achieve this,

considering the challenging global

economy?

It is quite heart-warming that despite

the major challenges in the global

economy, Cameroun’s economy

has been relatively resilient and

shown good performance. The

economic and long-standing political

stability have created an enabling

environment for businesses to thrive

successfully.

Thanks also to the dedication and

resilience of our staff as well as the

support and patronage of our valued

clients. Our staff are equipped to

deliver and even surpass expectations.

Service delivery has been top-notch,

thereby, providing customers with the

quality of service they deserve.

Our customers have also been faithful

because they trust us. Not only have

they continued doing business with

us, the majority have also decreased

their wallet share with competition

to our advantage. We have also

succeeded in signing on new clients

who relate to us as strategic partners

to our mutual advantage.

Congratulations again on the feat

achieved by the Indomitable Lions

of Cameroun at the just concluded

Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. How

can you draw from this victory to

inspire you team to achieve success?

Everything is possible to those that

believe! It is what you think about

yourself as a team that matters

most. The indomitable Lions’ victory

is a classic example of belief, faith,

resilience, hard work, team effort,

focus and determination towards

achieving set goals. Many did not see

them as favourites or even a team that

would lift the highly coveted trophy of

the tournament. However the team

believed in their strengths and came

together pushing forward always and

in the end they were crowned African

champions. In the bank it is the same

story; we are working to be among

the top three banks in the country

and to do that we need to embrace

the qualities of the indomitable lions

and sure we would meet and surpass

our objectives. UBA Cameroun Lions

and Lionesses should then take the

indomitable Lions as model and the

victory will be ours.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Nigeria where I had my

Secondary and University Education

before joining the banking profession.

I am married and also a father. My

career in banking has seen me work

in various capacities over the years.

I have attended many professional

courses and training in Nigeria and

abroad. Much of this experience has

helped me to adapt to work in West

and Central Africa. I am passionate

and result-oriented.

What inspires you?

I am inspired each time I see someone

or people working hard to create a

positive, unique change or add value

aimed at making life better for others

or the society at large.

As CEO, what is a typical day in your

life like?

As a CEO my days are usually full,

from when I wake up in the morning

till I retire at night. I usually plan my

days in the mornings. The day is most

of the time focused fully on working

to drive the business of the bank

forward. This will include meeting with

potential and existing customers of the

bank and also working with the staff

of the bank to ensure we serve our

customers better. It is usually hectic

and interesting as events and issues

are not usually similar. Often there are

unplanned events that come along

and make the day more interesting.

What other passions do you have,

beyond banking?

Aside banking, I love to read a wide

range of books. We have a lot to see

in other countries across the world

and I like to travel and meet different

people to understand their way of life,

culture, etc. For now, in my present

role, this is difficult but I find time once

in a while to travel.

How would you describe the

Camerounian Economy?

Unlike the other Central African

Economic and Monetary Community

(CEMAC) countries, Cameroun has a

well diversified economy that exhibits

resilience against the external shocks

related to the drop in oil prices. It is

“the engine of the CEMAC”. In 2016,

according to the World Bank, the real

GDP growth rate stood at 5.6% and is

expected to hover around 5% - 6% over

the next three years. Services account

for 48% of the GDP while Industry

represents 31% and Agriculture 21%.

The inflationary pressures are under

control as the country’s inflation rate

is within the 3%-ceiling set by CEMAC

convergence criteria. Commodities

like oil, cocoa, cotton, timber

represent the major source of the

January - March 2017The Lion King • 15


Growing the Seed

country’s export earnings. European

Union, China, India and Nigeria are

the top four trade partners of the

country.

What are the likely investment

opportunities waiting to be explored

in Cameroun?

The likely investment opportunities

waiting to be explored in Cameroun

are mainly in the Construction, Mining,

Energy and Agriculture sectors.

What is the Camerounian banking

sector like?

The banking sector, which comprises

15 banks, is mostly concentrated with

the top three banks holding about

50% of the loans and deposits of the

market. The financial inclusion is quite

limited as the percentage of people

having a bank account is estimated

at 18% (3.3 million customers: 1.7

million for the microfinance institutions

and 1.6 million for the banks). The

Camerounian banks capitalization is

quite low and the industry average

NPL ratio (around 14%) can be

considered as high according to

international standards. The banks are

also dependent on sight deposits and

the sector is still evolving particularly

in terms of innovation of financial

products.

The recent surge of mobile money

services offered by mobile telephone

operators represents one of the key

areas of focus in order to promote

a better financial inclusion in the

country.

Talking about financial inclusion, what

are you doing about the huge and

untapped market out there waiting to

be banked?

Just like most African countries there

is a huge untapped market. We

are continually designing products

that meet the needs of particular

segments of the population (e.g.

VPPC, accounts for Muslims, U-star

for students, Freedom savings for

low income earners, U-care for

kids etc). Generally we try to take

into consideration the needs of the

different segments of customers in

designing and fine tuning our products

and services.

Win-win partnerships with different

stakeholders who would open up

doors to other markets are key. In this

light we consider partnerships with

MFI, Investment companies, telecom

(mobile money), digital marketing

companies etc. as the way forward.

Where do you see UBA Cameroun in

the next five years?

UBA Cameroun would be one of the

top three banks in the country across

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

such as deposit, loans, PBT, customer

base and quality service.

A strong focus on channel expansion,

strengthening our leadership in

electronic products coupled with

the continued improvement of the

organizational structure will provide

the bank a better position for growth.

We will equally focus on the proper

growth and diversification of both our

Balance Sheet and income sources

and rendition of superior quality service

to our clients – these will facilitate our

entrenchment as a major systemic

bank in the country.

We will utilize our various banking

channels around the country to

serve more customers, employ more

Camerounians and partner with many

businesses to provide value, growth

and contribute to the development

of the Camerounian economy and

create more value for our shareholders.

16 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


January - March 2017The Lion King • 17


Cameroun

Africa in miniature

By Beizia Fointama

Reunification Monument Buea is a monument commemorating

the Reunification of Cameroun. The magnificent structure

is built with concrete and metal cylinders, with the logo of

the celebration of the Independence and Reunification of

Cameroun as the central unit. It is a relaxation park.

Picture by Mark Fischer

18 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Country Focus

Lake Maga is located in the far North region

of Cameroun. A trip across this lake is quite

intruiging, revealing the flimsy huts in which

fishermen and their families live during the

fishing season. The landscape is breath-taking

and there is also abundant birdlife on the lake.

Picture by Carsten ten Brink

The Republic of Cameroun is often

referred to as “Africa in miniature”

because it exhibits all major climates

and vegetation of the continent:

coast, desert, mountains, rainforest,

and savannah. At 475,442 square

kilometres (183,569 sq mi), Cameroun

is the world’s 53rd-largest country. The

country is located in Central and West

Africa on the Bight of Bonny, part of

the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic

Ocean.

Portuguese sailors reached the coast

in 1472. They noted an abundance

of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus

turneranus in the Wouri River and

named it Rio dos Camarões (Shrimp

River), which later became Cameroun

in English.

The German Empire claimed the territory

as the colony of Kamerun in 1884

and began a steady push inland.

They initiated projects to improve the

colony’s infrastructure. Some of these

structures are still being used to this

day around the country.

With the defeat of Germany in World

War I, Kamerun became a League

of Nations mandate territory and was

split into French Camerouns and British

Camerouns in 1919.

Wide view of Yaoundé

capital city of Cameroun

East Cameroun gained its independence

from France on 1st January,

1960 to become the republic of

Cameroun. After a plebiscite in British

Cameroun on 11 February 1961, reunification

was opted for and materialized

on 1 October 1961. The fed-

January - March 2017The Lion King • 19


Country Focus

Downtown Yaounde,

capital of Cameroun

eral Republic of Cameroun was born.

Evolution through the years has seen

the country become the Republic of

Cameroun as it is known today.

Cameroun enjoys relatively high political

and social stability. This has permitted

the development of agriculture,

roads, railways, and large petroleum

and timber industries.

The country is divided into 10 regions.

A 2013 estimate puts the population

at 22,534,532. Yaoundé is the political

capital and Douala the economic

capital. French and English are the 2

official languages. However, there are

24 major African language groups,

with some 270 indigenous dialects

spoken. Most belong to the Bantu and

Semi-Bantu (or Sudanic) language

groups.

factors that often impact underdeveloped

countries, such as stagnant

per capita income, a relatively inequitable

distribution of income, a topheavy

civil service, endemic corruption,

continuing inefficiencies of a

large parastatal system in key sectors,

and a generally unfavourable climate

for business enterprise.

The Bandjoun chefferie.

Bandjoun is of the largest

traditional chiefdom (chefferie)

in Bamiléké country. This

intriguing structure is the

main symbol of Bandjoun.

The country devotes significant

resources to several large infrastructure

projects currently under construction,

including a deep sea port in

Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower

Project. Cameroun’s energy sector

continues to diversify, recently opening

a natural gas powered electricity

generating plant. Cameroun continues

to seek foreign investment to

improve its inadequate infrastructure,

create jobs, and improve its economic

footprint. Major efforts are being put in

place to encourage foreign investors

ECONOMY

Modest oil resources and favourable

agricultural conditions provide

Cameroun with one of the bestendowed

primary commodity economies

in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oil remains

Cameroun’s main export commodity,

and despite falling global oil prices,

still accounts for nearly 40% of export

earnings.

Cameroun’s economy suffers from

20 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017

Picture by Carsten ten Brink


Country Focus

to come into the country.

CULTURE

Over 250 ethnic groups live in

Cameroun’s 10 regions. Across the

different regions, communities have

an allegiance to local chiefs as well

as being ruled by central government.

As might be expected from

the large number of ethnic groups,

Cameroun’s people follow different

religions. Around half are Christian

(Catholics and Protestant), mostly in

the south. In the North, Muslims dominate,

accounting for nearly a quarter

of the population. The remaining 25%

of the population follow variations of

traditional animist beliefs, paying homage

to the spirits of ancestors.

With so many cultures and traditions,

there is general tolerance between

groups. Camerounians tend to be

more conscious of a person’s region,

than their religion. And in some

aspects of life, particularly in sport and

football, Camerounians think nationally!

Music and dance are an integral part

of Camerounian ceremonies, festivals,

social gatherings, and storytelling.

Popular music styles include ambasse

bey of the coast, assiko of the Bassa,

mangambeu of the Bangangte, and

tsamassi of the Bamileke. The two most

popular styles of music are makossa

and bikutsi.

The different cultures have also

blessed this nation with a very big

variety of foodstuff. Camerounian cuisine

is known for its uniqueness, nutritive

value and richness. A tourist can

eat one new meal every day for a

whole month. Cocoyam, maize, cassava

(manioc), millet, plantains, potatoes,

rice, fresh vegetables, fish, just to

name a few are available throughout

the year.

SPORTS

There is no way you can talk about

Cameroun without mentioning sports,

and most importantly, football. The

Indomitable Lions, the male senior

team, were the first African team to

qualify for the quarterfinals of the world

cup in 1990. They have been a dominant

force on the continent winning 5

AFCON titles. The most recent won at

the just ended 2017 AFCON in Gabon.

In addition they have been to the

world cup 6 times. The Olympic football

team is one of the only 2 African

countries to win a gold medal at

the Olympic in Sydney 2000. Football

remains one of Cameroun’s biggest

exports with thousands of players playing

on almost every continent.

Other sports disciplines too have

brought much glory to the country.

Francoise Mbango bagged 2 gold

medals in the triple jump at the

Olympics in 2004 and 2008. Handball,

volleyball basketball, wrestling, weight

lifting and martial arts are sports also

very present in Cameroun.

Cameroun last year hosted the

Female African nation’s cup and in

2019 will be hosting the male AFCON.

Preparations are gonging on to ensure

all is set before the start of the tournament.

Sunset on Lobé River.

Take a local boat ride up this lush river to visit

the pygmies of Bagyeli village. Lobe waterfalls

empty the waters of the Lobe river directly into

the Atlantic ocean, a very rare phenomenon.

Picture by Ludwig Tröller

January - March 2017The Lion King • 21


Country Focus

Sites to

visit

Cameroun is an ideal tourist destination

in Africa and has a

good record of security. The

people are very welcoming to strangers.

It is a good destination for sea and

beach loving visitors, with about 400

km of the Atlantic coast stretching

along part of the country. Kribi and

Limbe towns are the highest points

of attraction for tourism on the coast.

From these coasts, tourists can also

carry out inland tourism to other destinations.

In Kribi, there is an excellent beach

of white sand extending over a large

area with coconut trees from time to

time appearing on the scenery. The

contact between the Ocean and the

sea is also an extraordinary site to see.

Another wonder of Kribi is found in the

south where a number of cascades

of about 30 m high have given rise to

waterfalls, the most spectacular being

the Lobe fall which issues out directly

into the Atlantic Ocean. From Lobe,

further visits on boats and canoes

will take you to the discovery of the

Pygmies of the equatorial Forest.

The Limbe region is close to Douala

and has a splendid site marked by the

mount Cameroun which dominates

the Atlantic region of Cameroun. The

road linking the coast to Douala passes

along magnificent plantations of

rubber, palms and bananas. The geology

of the coastal area is generally

characterized by a large expanse of

grey sand.

Kribi beach.

Kribi beaches are stunning

with white sand, surrounding

the blue sea. There are plenty

of hotels in the Kribi area and

most are reasonably priced.

There is a high diversity of most fauna

and flora species found in Africa,

with some that can only be found in

Cameroun. There are presently nine

national parks serving as a safe haven

for wildlife in its natural state. These

are areas of safari in which visitors can

observe, take photos and feel the

presence of animals in nature.

The Waza National Park is the most

22 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Country Focus

Kribi beach resort.

Because of its popular beach locations in Ngo’e and near

the Lobé Waterfalls, Kribi is a renowned tourist destination

in Cameroun. Kribi is equally very popular for its roasted

fish. Fishermen typically come in from the sea on weekends

and sell fresh fishes that tourists can then buy and

have roasted in many restaurants around the beach.

Picture by Tdyy

Foumban Palace.

The Royal Palace of Foumban is one of the oldest

palaces in the history of Africa in ancient times. The

Palace is currently inhabited by the sultan (King),

who is the 19th ruler of the Bamoun dynasty.

popular in Cameroun and one of

the most spectacular in francophone

black Africa. It is located in the Far

North Province and is a paradise for

lions and numerous mammals like

giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, leopards

etc. as well as a great colony of

diverse bird species.

The Bouba Ndjidah National park is

a territory for rhinoceros. There are

January - March 2017The Lion King • 23


Country Focus

Limbe beach.

Limbe is another great tourist

destination, especially for travellers

looking to explore nature’s beauty

and wildlife.

equally lions, elephants, buffaloes

amongst others found here. The Benue

National Park is at the heart of the

northern region and it is a region with

the largest antelopes, hippopotamus,

hyenas, panthers, buffaloes etc. The

Faro National park has a large number

of animals amongst which are: buffaloes,

rhinoceros, elephants, giraffes

etc. The Kalamaloue National Park has

elephants, crocodiles and a multitude

of birds. The Mozogo Gokoro National

park is of high botanical interest, and

therefore a good site for research. The

Korup national park located in the

southern part of the country and has

one of the oldest and most beautiful

tropical forests in the world.

Besides National parks, Cameroun

also has a good number of reserves

and sanctuaries such as that of Dja

and Campo which are great gorilla

sanctuaries.

One of the country’s major tourist sites

is the Foumban palace. The Palace is

located in the town of Foumban. The

Royal Palace of Foumban is currently

inhabited by the sultan (King), who is

the 19th ruler of the Bamoun dynasty

which dates back from the 14th century

in history.

Foumban city is one of Cameroun’s

major attractions and an important

centre of traditional African art. Some

of the major things found in the palace

include a multitude of royal gowns,

arms, musical instruments, statues,

jewellery, masks and colourful beadcovered

thrones carved in the shapes

of the men who sat on them and seat

of power for the Bamoun people.

Botanical gardens Limbe.

Limbe’s botanical garden is a great place

to learn about nature and plants.

A grey day on Limbe’s coast

There are numerous monuments

spread across the country, each built

for a particular purpose, such as the

Unity Monument in Yaounde, the

Reunification Monument in Buea and

the numerous statues left by the former

German, British and French colonial

powers, all offering great attraction

and history of Cameroun.

The national museum in Yaoundé is

a melting pot for all the culture of

Cameroun. Built at the former presidency

in the heart of the capital it has

become the home for many artifacts

and precious traditional objects. Other

museums like the maritime museum,

the Bafut palace museum and others

scattered in every region display what

the country has as culture.

Picture by Carsten ten Brink

24 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


January - March 2017The Lion King • 25


THE ROUNDS in 3 Months

January 2017

2

1. Entrenching a culture of appreciation:

UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu; ED, Lagos and

West Bank, Ayo Liadi; Afro Pop artiste, Mr. Eazi

with staff at the luncheon in honour of UBA’s

social media team

1

2. L-R: UBA Chairman; GMD/CEO, Kennedy

Uzoka and Mr. Eazi at the luncheon.

3

4

3. Speaker of Nigeria House of Representatives

Assures UBA of Continued Patronage:

L-R: GMD/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka with the Speaker,

Nigeria House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu

Dogara in Abuja.

4. UBA Ghana Signs MoU with MIMOSA

Conference Ltd:

L-R: MD/CEO, UBA Ghana, Abiola Bawuah and

Founder, ASEA Consulting & Associates, Chris

Samson Andoh during the signing.

5. UBA staff and other partners at the signing

ceremony.

5

26 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


The rounds in 3 Months

UBA Chairman, GMD join global business and public

leaders at Davos to discuss world economy

1

2

3 4

5 6 7

1. L-R: UBA GMD/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka; Nigeria’s Vice

President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and UBA Chairman, Tony

Elumelu at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

2. Uzoka with CNN Correspondent, Fareed Zakaria

3. Brainstorming session between the TEF and Red Cross delegations,

led by its President, Peter Maurer

4. Elumelu being interviewed by France24’s Stephanie Antoine

5. Uzoka with President/CEO of SASOL, Bongani Nqwababa

6. Elumelu with Jianlin Wang, Chairman, Dalian Wanda

Group and richest man in China

7. Elumelu with CEO, Bureau Veritas, Didier Michaud-Daniel

and his team

January - March 2017The Lion King • 27


The rounds in 3 Months

February 2017

1

2

3

UBA strengthens brand affiliation on Nigerian campuses, unveils 15 Ambassadors

1. DMD, Victor Osadolor (middle); ED, Lagos &

West, Liadi Ayoku (12th right); ED/RCEO, Oliver

Alawuba (3rd right); ED, Risk Management,

Corporate Governance & Compliance, Ike Uche

(5th left) and Head, Student Banking, UBA Plc,

Mr. Tomiwa Sotiloye (2nd right) flanked by UBA

Campus Ambassadors at their Inauguration

ceremony which took place at the UBA house

2. GMD, Kennedy Uzoka (middle) with the Campus

Ambassadors

3. Chief Technology Officer, Roland Awo-Osagie

taking the Campus Ambassadors round the

Bank’s IT facilities

1

2

President Ernest Bai Koroma

commissions UBA Bo branch:

1. The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai

Koroma cutting the ribbon to officially open UBA Branch in Bo,

Sierra Leone

2. L-R: President Koroma and MD/CEO, UBA Sierra Leone, Ndubuisi

Ejiofor displaying cash withdrawn from the Branch ATM

28 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


The rounds in 3 Months

1

2

Ghana plays host to UBA

Business Innovation

Summit 2017

1. GMD, Kennedy Uzoka, addressing staff at

the Business Innovation Summit

2. Uzoka and ED/RCEO, Anglophone Africa,

Oliver Alawuba during a staff teambonding

event before the strategy session

4. Uzoka, Alawuba and MD/CEO, UBA Ghana,

Abiola Bawuah with staff in Ghana

3

UBA Africa Business

Innovation Summit in

Cameroun

1

2

3

4

1. GMD, Kennedy Uzoka

addressing participants at

the 2017 Business Innovation

Summit in Cameroun

2. Uzoka, ED/RCEO,

Francophone Africa, Emeke

Iweriebor and GH, Wholesale

Banking, Erebor Franklin

participating in a tug-of-war

contest

3. Iweriebor flanked by all subsidiaries

CEOs and COOs

4. L-R (front): Chambisse Helder,

CEO, UBA Mozambique;

Erebor Franklin; Chioma

Mang, CEO, UBA Gabon and

Salami Aliyu, CEO, UBA Chad

Business Innovation

Summit in Nairobi

1. ED/RCEO, Anglophone Africa,

Oliver Alawuba delivering

a lecture at the summit in

Nairobi, Kenya

2. L-R: MD/CEO, UBA Zambia,

Emeka Dimanochie; MD/

CEO, UBA Uganda, Johnson

Agoreyo; GMD/CEO, Kennedy

Uzoka; Alawuba; MD/CEO,

UBA Tanzania, Peter Makau

and MD/CEO, UBA Kenya,

Isaac Mwige at the summit

1

2

January - March 2017The Lion King • 29


The rounds in 3 Months

UBA wins Most Innovative Bank of the Year

Director, Independent Newspapers, Adaobi Nwakuche (l), and Managing

Director, Independent Newspapers, Ted Iwere (r) presenting the award for Most

Innovative Bank won by UBA Plc to the Divisional Head, Digital and Consumer

Banking, Yinka Adedeji at the Independent Newspapers Awards, held in Lagos

UBA Ghana partners Air Peace for collections:

L-R: COO, UBA Ghana, Adedayo Adeshipo; MD/CEO, UBA Ghana, Abiola

Bawuah; Nigerian Afro Pop Artiste, KCee; DMD, UBA Ghana, Soni Anwal

and Franklina G-Ackon, Head, Transport, Corporate Banking, UBA Ghana

at the partnership flag-off ceremony

Boutique Hotel officially launches REDTV for Francophone Africa

1

Thursday, February 16, 2017,

marked the official launch of

RedTV Francophone version

and the exclusive screening/

premier for its first Francophone

TV series Boutique Hôtel in a

grand display of excellence

hosted in the beautiful city of

Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire.

"Boutique Hotel" features a young

woman, Lola Durant, played by

Alexandra Amon, who takes

over the reins of a hotel once

run by her widowed mother.

Without much experience, she

is faced with unusual staff and a

rather unusual clientele.

2

3

4

5

1. L-R: Minister of African Integration & Ivoirians of the diaspora, Ally Coulibaly; MD,

UBA Cote d’Ivoire, Sarata Kone; Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications,

Bola Atta and Minister of Culture & Francophony of Cote d’Ivoire Maurice Bandama

2. Musical Comedy by African Cabaret

3. L-R: Movie Director, Marie Amon; Actress, Cycy Nassardine; Director, Marketing &

Corporate Communications, Bola Atta; Producer/actress, Alexandra Amon; a guest;

and Actress, Line Jaber

4. Hip Hop Group, Kiff No Beat thrilling the audience

5. Fashion Show by J. Art Williams

30 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


The rounds in 3 Months

REDTV’s Our Best Friend’s Wedding (OBFW) Premieres

REDTV, our dynamic online lifestyle

channel, in conjunction with

The Naked Convos on Sunday,

January 29, 2017 premiered a

new web-series titled, ‘Our Best

Friend’s wedding’.

The impressive gathering attracted

a good number of A-list dignitaries

and business leaders, from

different industries across Nigeria

including: the Honourable Minister

of Information and Culture, Alhaji.

Lai Mohammed; UBA Chairman,

Mr. Tony Elumelu; GMD/CEO, Mr.

Kennedy Uzoka and players in the

entertainment and film industries.

L-R: UBA Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Minister of Information

and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Director, UBA Plc and

Proprietress of Bridge House College, Mrs. Foluke Abdulrasaq

and GMD/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, at the premiere of

REDTV’s new web series Our Best Friend’s Wedding

January - March 2017The Lion King • 31


The rounds in 3 Months

UBA Launches New Core Values

UBA’s new Core Values and Corporate

Statement (the 3 Es: Enterprise, Excellence and

Execution) were recently launched officially.

Staff across all business offices and countries of

operation participated in the launch.

Nigeria

Kenya

Nigeria

Nigeria

Tanzania

Mozambique

New York

32 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


The rounds in 3 Months

March 2017

1 2

3 4

5 6

1. UBA Group partners China Development Bank: L-R: Director, Global

Financial Institutions, Sola Yomi-Ajayi; UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu and

Director, Corporate Bank, Muyiwa Akinyemi during the meeting with China

Development Bank (CDB) delegation led by Executive Vice President and

Board Member, Wang Yongsheng

2. L-R: UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu with Executive Vice President and Board

Member, China Development Bank, Wang YongSheng

3. L-R: Director, Global Financial Institutions, Sola Yomi-Ajayi presenting a

gift to Katharina Jacoby, Managing Director, Head of International Trade &

Transaction Banking, Credit Agricole, China

4. L-R: Dupe Olusola, Head, Embassies & Development Organisations;

Razak Shittu, Director, Oil and Gas; Wu Guohua, Deputy Director General,

Global Cooperation Department, Americas & Africa; Sola Yomi-Ajayi; Tony

Elumelu; Jin LYu, Commissioner, China Development Bank, Republic Office,

Nigeria; Muyiwa Akinyemi; Sam Nwanze, Director, Finance and Investments

Heirs Holdings and Obong Idiong, Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Heirs

Holdings

5. UBA Chairman, GMD attend Chief Obasanjo’s birthday: L-R: Chairman of

Forte Oil Plc, Femi Otedola; UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, GMD, Kennedy

Uzoka and Former DG, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Frank Nweke

Jnr. at the 80th birthday celebration of former President of Nigeria, Chief

Olusegun Obasanjo

6. UBA delegation meets President Koroma of Sierra Leone: L-R: ED/RCEO,

Anglophone Africa, Oliver Alawuba; Head, Embassies, Multilaterals &

Development Organizations Dupe Olusola; President of Sierra Leone, Ernest

Bai Koroma and GMD, Kennedy Uzoka

January - March 2017The Lion King • 33


Feature

Proudly amongst the pack

By Bola Atta

The month of March just past,

witnessed worldwide celebration

of women on International

women’s day as well as Mother’s day,

recognizing the role that women play

in all societies. We are familiar with

common expressions such as mother

land, mother tongue, mother earth…

women are natural nurturers but even

as far back as civilization begun, they

have also been providers of food

and sustenance for their families. In

ancient society, many cultures had

women going out in the morning to

work and bring food back to their

families. Working women are not a

modern phenomenon. The barriers

between men and women in the work

force today is fast breaking down and

the SDG’s have placed emphasis on

ensuring the world gets to a place of

equality between men and women.

We are proud to say that at UBA,

gender does not pose a barrier,

neither does being a woman

provide any advantages over male

counterparts. Women occupy a

decent percentage of the executive

management positions and the

board has representation of some of

the most experienced women in the

continent’s work force.

We speak to ten of our UBA lionesses

across the continent to find out

how they have navigated and how

they are navigating their careers

as women, inspiring other women

and letting them know that yes as a

woman, you can indeed have it all.

Emem Usoro

Regional Director, Lagos Bank 2

What do you do at UBA?

As a Group General Manager and Regional Director, I am

currently responsible for the supervision and co-ordination

of the overall Business Development of the Lagos 2 Island

Bank in the Lagos Directorate. My core deliverables include

Sustainable Revenue Growth, Profitability, Operational

Efficiency and Balance Sheet Growth.

What has it been like amongst men, especially as you rose

to the top?

Being amongst men has not posed any peculiar challenge

or conferred me any special benefit on the job. The bank

is an equal opportunity organization that doesn’t have any

bias or preference for gender, so opportunities are made

equally available to both male and female. This institutional

value has made it possible for me, and I believe most other

women with leadership role in the bank, to focus on what

needs to be done and do it well because the bank rewards

based on performance and loyalty.

To a very large extent, most men I have met with as I

progressed in my career in the bank have related with me

more on the basis of the job and position rather than my

gender. This has really helped.

What has helped you stand out the most?

To mention one quality I would say generally stands me out,

it will be my result-oriented nature anchored on team spirit.

• Emem Usoro

As a naturally amiable and emotive person, I can work

well with people by persuading and encouraging them to

overcome their weaknesses without despising and ordering

34 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Feature

• Bukola Imoyo

I used to work in Consulting and

honestly, at some point, I got burnt out

and had to re-calibrate my life.

them around, respecting and not to

undermine, I also maintain a clear

focus on priorities. Above all, I am

always willing to learn by seeking

counsel and advice from both

superiors and subordinates.

What are the advantages of being

a woman in a system dominated by

men?

Hmmm! I really do not see any serious

advantage. Like you know, women

don’t get paid more for the same

job men do neither do they get less

responsibilities for the same role. As a

mother, you may suffer some set back

or delay in your career progression

as the need to balance both family

and work can take you off for a

considerable period.

That being said, the potential of being

a role model to other women in a

male dominated system and proving

that women can be as competitive as

men in the workplace are gratifying.

BUKOLA IMOYO

Corporate HR Specialist Projects

What do you do at UBA and how long

have you been here?

I’ve been at UBA for about two and

a half years. I am in charge of HR

Projects, the most important now

being the implementation of Sage

Human Resource application for UBA

and all its subsidiaries. I also contribute

to the development of strategies

for different areas of HR including

Employee Engagement.

What informed your decision to work

in a high demanding profession?

I guess it is because I am very energetic

and passionate. I like things that are

fast-paced, I like variety and I like to

learn.

Has the decision affected your

personal and social life in any way?

I would be lying if I said it hadn’t.

But I guess that comes with almost

everything in life. The important thing

is to understand your priorities at every

stage in life and strike a balance.

Have you had to go the extra mile just

because you are female to compete

favourably with your male peers?

I don’t think so. But I always feel

confident and powerful. I take it

that anyone I meet does not know

what is within me and so I have

the upper hand to channel what is

within optimally, which is something

that would work for anyone actually.

Having said that, sometimes just being

the only female in a male dominated

environment is what makes you to get

people to see things your own way.

Being that you are so fashion savvy,

how did you feel when you were stuck

in grey and black suits? Did it make

you feel less feminine?

Thanks. I don’t think I am that fashion

savvy, I just try to look good always.

To be honest, it was quite a shock to

me. I couldn’t understand the ‘dulling

down’ that characterized the UBA

dress code. It was even more sombre

than the legal garb that I left behind

years ago, which up until I joined UBA,

I thought was the height of solemn

dressing. I was more than happy to

be part of the team that worked

on revising the Bank’s Dress Code. I

didn’t feel less of a woman though,

that is psychological. It will take more

than dull clothes for me to feel less of a

woman if ever I get to that point.

Christie Chuks-Ngwu

Acting Chief Security Officer

What do you do at UBA and how long

have you been in this position?

I joined the UBA family in June 2008

as Head, Corporate Security and until

very recently the Acting Chief Security

Officer. As CSO, I have oversight

for Corporate Security, Executive

Protection, Electronic Security and HSE

& Fire.I am Responsible for all aspects

of UBA Security.

You are in a male dominated industry

and in a male dominated segment.

What strengths do you have as a

woman that have made you successful

here?

I was privileged to have started my

career as a security practitioner in

a 'gender friendly' Service. The DSS

offers its operatives the same trainings,

exposures and does not discriminate. I

have always seen myself as a security

officer, not a female security officer.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 35


Feature

Have you ever trained in combat and

do you advice women to do this?

Yes, trainings in the DSS involves combat

and advanced combat training for

body guards. I was a member of the

Presidential Body Guards' Corps and

as such had extensive and rigorous

training in weapon handling and

unarmed combat.

You take charge and always seem

to be in control. Do you have to

change when you get home and be

the submissive wife?

I make concerted efforts to make the

quick switch from being the officer to

wife as soon as I get home. I happen

to be particularly lucky to have a

husband from a similar background.

He switches also from officer to

husband.

Being in the force, did you ever have

to defend yourself physically against

a man? How did you feel about that?

Yes, very many times and on each

occasion my unarmed combat skills

came in very handy.

Helena Manhenje

Head, Corporate Services, UBA Mozambique

What do you do at UBA and how long

have you been in the system?

I am the Head of Corporate Services

and the Bank’s Translator. I have been

with UBA for 5 years.

What does it feel like to work in a male

dominated industry? Have you felt

disadvantaged or privileged?

It is great to work in this industry. I do

not feel like that puts me in a position

of disadvantage at all. I have always

been able to get what I want from

my profession and compete with my

fellow colleagues equally.

What is your stance about women’s

rights and equality of the sexes?

I think that there is a lot of work still to be

done with regards to women’s rights

especially mental work because in my

society women feel disadvantaged

just because they were born women

in a so called male dominated society

and that becomes worse when we add

the cultural factor to the mix. Quality

education must be emphasized at

all times as a tool that will change

people’s lives, because from there

will come an openness to the world

and to other values, cultures and most

importantly critical thinking, and a

refusal to conform to pre-established

norms that were designed to place

women in a position of disadvantage.

In Mozambique are women getting

nearer to equal rights?

I believe so. Women are much more

educated, independent and they

have each other’s backs. Women

are in business and raising families.

Women are in positions of power and

they are successful.

If God gave you a choice to come

back to earth and you could choose

between being a male or a female

what would you choose and why?

I would definitely be a female. There is

so much pain that comes with being

a woman but there is also a lot of

joy which I think at the end of the

day outweighs the pain and struggle.

Women are strong emotionally, and

they were blessed with the gift of

giving life. There is nothing better than

that.

• Christie Chuks-Ngwu

• Helena

Manhenje

36 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Feature

• Marietou Thiam-Seye

Marietou Thiam-Seye

Head, Marketing and Corporate Relations, UBA

Senegal

What is the Senegalese community

like for women? Is there discrimination

like other parts of the world?

For a long time considered, as inferior

to man and subject to him, or at least

as a person who had only to take

care of her home, the Senegalese

woman had to obey her parents,

her husband. Her opinion was almost

never taken into account. She was not

consulted prior to making decisions,

even in matters of concern to her.

Her main role was not only to look

after the home but also to ensure the

sustainability of the family. Although still

marked by the weight of custom, the

Senegalese woman seems today to

emerge gradually from this stereotype

that has long characterized her.

Senegal is one of those African

countries in which women have,

over the years, placed themselves

at the forefront of social, political

and economic life and women's

associations are flourishing.

How have you personally made strides

in a male dominated industry?

Gender imbalance in business

decision-making remains a major

challenge for all states in the world,

including the socially most advanced

countries.

As I grew up, I understood that it

was necessary to raise both sexes

together and that being a woman

you must DARE, you must give yourself

the strength of your ambitions and it is

my daily life.

What would you like to see differently

for African women in the work force?

As a woman, I would like to see a

stronger participation of African

women in the decision-making

bodies. We must gradually push to the

disappearance of all the prejudices

and archaisms that continue to weigh

on women, thus preventing them from

reaching massive levels of leadership.

Do you think that being a working

woman hinders the prospects of

marriage and child bearing?

NO! Never! We can work, and that

does not prevent us from looking after

the husband, the children and the

house. This is all the more true as some

women are faced with the obligation

to contribute to household income,

hence the importance of work.

If God gave you a choice to come

back to earth and you could choose

between being a male or a female

what would you choose and why?

Why want to reborn in another form?

I am proud of my feminine condition.

Knowing that woman is the future not

only of man but of humanity!!

Morenikeji Omotoso

Digital Marketing

What do you do at UBA?

I work in Digital Marketing in the

department of marketing and

corporate communications at UBA.

I assist with managing the digital

platforms of the bank, primarily

social media platforms and website

management.

Growing up in America, what were

your expectations of working in Africa

as a woman?

Before moving to Nigeria, I was

intrigued at the prospect of working

in Africa. My perception was that

Africa, specifically Nigeria, was a

place where ideas and life changing

opportunities were developed and

encouraged. It was a place where

people were bold and unafraid to

take professional risks. I was fascinated

at the fact that emerging adults my

age were 'moving back' of their own

volition, rather than being summoned

by their relatives. I was empowered

by the stories and conversations I'd

had with other young women who

decided to move to Africa to chase

their dreams, start a family or pursue

a career.

Have the expectations been your

reality?

My perceptions and expectations

proved to be reality to a certain

extent, but things were not as rosy

as I'd once assumed. As a woman,

I understand that the climb to the

top will sometimes be challenging,

but I know it is attainable. I have

great examples of women who made

similar transitions and are making

huge waves in their respective roles

on the continent. I figured if they

could do it, so could I. I expect to

succeed, because I see these women

succeeding. While I choose to be

optimistic about my journey, I'd be

remiss if I did not mention the truth.

Unfortunately many people on the

continent have not yet subscribed

to the mystique of the 21st century

woman that is capable of doing

whatever it is she puts her mind to. I

am however confident that the more

women push the boundaries and

forge on in the pursuit of relentless

fortitude and success, the sooner it will

be considered the norm.

Do you feel advantaged or

disadvantaged being a woman at

UBA or is there little difference?

While there is a difference between

men and women at UBA, I do not

January - March 2017The Lion King • 37


Feature

• Aminat Tunji-Akinwande

• Morenikeji Omotoso

feel disadvantaged in anyway. I believe women within the

banking industry have the unique opportunity to push the

limits and shatter glass ceilings. My senior female colleagues

serve as an everyday reminder that with hard work and

dedication, I too can enter and succeed in spaces that

are traditionally male dominated. They help validate my

contributions to the organization. I feel motivated to do

my very best professionally to one day burst through glass

ceilings of my own.

Do you suppose you can have it all? A terrific career,

marriage and kids and still rise to the top?

Yes, I believe I can have it all. My 'all' may not look like the

next persons, but I believe that each person is entitled to

define what ultimate success is for themselves. Again, I've

seen women that I respect and revere who in my opinion,

have it all, and they drive me to pursue my own definition

of 'all.' Their successes don’t all look the same, but they are

successes never–the-less. World renowned author Sheryl

Sandberg sums it up perfectly in her book Lean In. She writes

that success is not a vertical ladder of consistent progression

or regression. She says that success is more like a jungle gym.

There's no formula, there's no map. You do what works for

you and create your own unique path to the top, or the

side, or to the point at which you feel.

Aminat Tunji-Akinwande

Branch Manager

What is your position at UBA and how long have you been

at the bank?

I am the Business Manager at our 24, Oba Akran Avenue

and have spent 19yrs in service.

What to you is the true essence of a woman?

Being a woman is God's gift that we must all appreciate.

A woman shows what sharing, loving and caring are all

about. It is as special as it is complicated. A woman's true

essence is not measured by what she looks like but by who

she is as a person.

Do you have a family? Married with children? If so how

have you done so well in your career without neglecting

your family?

I am happily married to an understanding husband and

blessed with a lovely son. A woman with a caring and

understanding husband will do well in any chosen career

and maintaining some balance has also helped me.

Do you dream of being the first female CEO at UBA? How

do you plan to get there?

Hmm, tough question to answer. I am a lioness and my

dream is to go as high as possible through hardwork,

loyalty and commitment. And becoming the CEO of UBA

is achievable.

38 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Feature

• Victoria Ejeckam

Victoria Ejeckam

Branch Manager

What do you do at UBA and how long

have you been at the bank?

My name is Victoria Ejeckam, a LIONESS

and Branch Manager at 97-105 Broad

Street Lagos. I have been in the bank

for the past 15 years, precisely since

July 2001.

What is the true core of a lioness in

your opinion?

A lioness is BOLD, Fearless and does not

see challenges but, rather opportunity

in every situation. A lioness is the lead

hunter for her pride and together

they accomplish their dexterity with

precision. Each lioness develops

precise ability for her role in the

technique of hunting to achieve the

prides Goal. I, being a Chief Hunter

like the lioness in her pride have the

prowess to lead from the front and

my quest is to uncover and nurture

upcoming Lionesses to believe in their

prowess and innate abilities. “I might

not know or do everything, but what I

know, I will do very well”

There are obviously challenges to

being a working woman one of which

includes managing work and children.

How have you dealt with this?

I am blessed with a lovely family and a

very good job that I love. I got married

early enough and my simple secret

was to adequately space and plan

the kids in a way that the older ones

can effectively mentor and guide

their younger siblings. This gives me

more time to focus on job demands

and other responsibilities. When I am

home, they have my full attention

and I closely monitor them. Same

way, I oversee my work colleagues,

who are set up in teams to learn

and achieve more collectively. With

both important parts of my life set

up to function, I only look forward to

enjoying my interactions.

Tell me about the assets /advantages

to being a woman and how has that

helped you?

Firstly, as a woman and a mother, I

naturally show empathy towards all

people I come across. This quality has

helped me in building a good network

of people that have supported my

career. Furthermore, as a woman and

working in the financial sector, it is a

tough terrain that requires extra hard

work for women and that womanly

instinct of being strong-willed has

always come to play for me. This has

kept me focused on my goals with

a lot of dedication to work, I have

always achieved expectations.

Would you come back to the world as

a woman?

Oh yes, I would not change a thing, I

will come back as a woman!!!

Olubukola Abitoye

Branch Manager

What is your role at UBA and how long

have you been there?

I am the Branch Manager of Allen

• Olubukola Abitoye

2 Business Office and I have been

there for 2 years; prior to that I was the

Branch Manager of University College

Hospital Business Office, Ibadan for 22

months.

During this time have you witnessed

any barriers to your career progression

as a woman?

YES, I have witnessed many challenges

that ordinarily would engender a

career change but I have been able

to overcome them and that is why I am

still in the industry. The challenges vary

from building a happy home, being

successful on the job and building

good relationships with my customers

which I consider my assets.

Home front and career are two

independent projects that are

interrelated because of the singular

factor, i.e. “the person” managing

both. I have enjoyed God’s grace in

getting the required ability to manage

both successfully.

What is the most difficult situation you

ever faced as a career woman?

The most difficult situation was when

I relocated to Lagos in March 2015

while my family was in Ibadan. It was

like a mirage when I finally decided to

work in Lagos; although, I never lived

nor worked there. The attraction was

about two transactions that turned

around my former BO in Ibadan which

I got from Lagos and my supervisor saw

a quality which was latent in the quiet

town of Ibadan. I saw the inherent

opportunities that lies in working in

Lagos and I was prepared to give it

a try and stop being celebrated as a

star in Ibadan (local champion).

I shuttled between Lagos and Ibadan

for 19 months before my family joined

me in Lagos. I was faced with the

hurdle of being a responsible mother

to my children, a loving wife to my

husband (even in my absence) and

at the same time to turn around a

loss making BO with less than a Billion

balance sheet. It was indeed a rough

journey and a challenging situation

plying the deadly Lagos-Ibadan

expressway on weekly basis but I

never lost focus and the reason for my

relocation.

Looking back, I am very glad that my

Business Office makes an average of

N40m contribution monthly from a loss

position with a balance sheet size of

N5bn from less than a Billion. My family

has also relocated to Lagos, we are all

together now.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 39


Feature

My driving force is a strong

determination to excel as a woman

in my career with a high level of

commitment and dedication; God

made everything work together for my

good. I received tremendous support

from my family, especially my Husband

who believed in my career path, and

would do anything in his capacity

to support my growth, also my Boss

who motivates and encourages me

to move on.

Do you think you can have it all,

Family, career and be happy too?

YES, you can have it all. Family,

work and personal life should be

complimentary and not conflicting

with one another. Some are successful

in their careers but fail in family and

personal life, whereas some others

who have a vibrant personal and

family life are below par at work. Being

successful in one's sphere of life at the

cost of the other is not healthy. Family

happiness and a decent personal life

are key determinants of a successful

career; to be a successful career

woman you must possess the ability to

manage your home effectively.

It is a collective responsibility to support

ourselves in the family and women

have greater role in cascading these

to every member of the family.

My husband identifies opportunities

and gets prospects for my business,

my children always pray and are also

eager to know my progression at work;

indirectly they are inculcating the habit

of being successful in whatsoever they

do in life. God has deposited grace in

women to multi task themselves but

it takes a determined and focused

woman to be successful in all. The

most important thing is to create a fair

balance between work and family

lifestyle.

If you had to relocate far away without

your family, what decision would you

make?

I have done it before without regret

and I can still do it again; it is all about

identifying the inherent opportunities

in your prospective location and

clarify if it fits perfectly into your career

plans. It is a decision that needs to be

deliberated and agreed upon by the

entire family.

NAOMI KAGONE

Customer Service Officer

What do you do at UBA?

I am currently handling Customer

Service Experience. Through

interaction with customers of

diversified expectations, I have learnt

great life skills and my relationship

management has moved to a greater

level. And I look forward to giving the

best service ever for there is joy in

serving.

Kenyan women are known to be very

strong on feminism. What is your take

on this?

I totally agree on that, besides the

strong backing by our constitution,

Kenyan women have devised

their own mechanism to empower

themselves especially by going back

to school at any age, on realization

that they can be of great value not

only in the kitchen and dining room but

also in the boardroom. This is clearly

represented by strong women like

Ambassador Amina Muhammed, who

has made significant contributions to

Public Sectors and Institutional reforms.

She is a precise representative of a

true Kenyan woman and what she

can be in a conducive environment.

How realistic is the notion of a female

Kenyan president in the near future?

Currently we have high flying

women in leadership and they have

demonstrated they can deliver,

in both elected and nominated

positions; also we have quite very

exemplary performers both at National

Assemblies and County Assemblies.

The outspoken ones like the leaders of

political parties such as Martha Karua,

Charity Ngilu among others have

exhibited great leadership qualities

that warrant them to take up the helm

of leadership of Kenya.

What are your dreams in your career?

Are you planning to break glass

ceilings and have it all?

Honestly, I plan to break glass ceilings

and have it all and become the head

of customer experience in Kenya if

not in Africa. This is clearly guided by a

very simple fact that a dream is simply

the recognition of an opportunity,

both current and future and asking

whether there is a better way to

deliver existing products or services. In

my experience with both internal and

external customers, I have learnt that I

only need the right attitude to tap the

untapped market segment by offering

heart to heart customer service which

is rarely offered and is greatly sort by

customers at all levels of interaction.

Women are primarily nurturers, how

have you used this quality to progress

in life generally?

My motherhood journey has been a

big stepping stone to my nurturing

capabilities. Nursing my three children

while at the same time being a career

woman, wife and a student has been

quite challenging and at the same

time exciting and worthwhile. It taught

me that you must be patient, caring

and tender to achieve the best

desired lifetime goals.

I have also nurtured many young girls

at close vicinity, this has come out

in my relationship with my domestic

house managers where I have ensured

that any lady that comes on board

leaves a better and more empowered

person academically, socially and

economically. As I strive to nurture

them I have gotten incredible support

from them hence playing very well in

the field of work-life balance.

40 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Enterprise: the

success formula

By Nonso Nduanya

A

friend mentioned to me that he

was helping his uncle register

a name, Bumbisco & Sons

Enterprises, for his trade. Funny name

for a business, I thought, but the word

“enterprises” stuck, so I asked out of

curiosity, “why enterprises?”

If you think of a ‘business’ involved in

the provision of goods and services to

consumers when you hear the word

“enterprise”, you are not far from the

truth. However, if you give that first

notion a second thought, you will

realise that this word connotes an

even deeper meaning.

So, I looked up the meaning on

different reference materials.

Merriam-Webster defined Enterprise

as a project or undertaking that is

very difficult, complicated or daring,

and as one’s readiness to engage in

such an undertaking. Dictionary.com

defined Enterprise as an undertaking

that requires ingenuity, boldness or

energy while Businessdictionary.com

defined it as Entrepreneurial activity,

especially when accompanied by

initiative and resourcefulness.

I realised from these definitions that

Enterprise is actually a personal

quality. Yes, it is a quality you possess.

It is that extraordinary quality that

makes you go where ordinary people

fear to go. It is the quality that makes

you take on ‘impossible’ tasks and

produce extraordinary results. An

enterprising person sees opportunities

in all aspects of life, and dares to take

them. It is a mind-set. An enterprising

person is daring, creative and

disciplined enough to not only see the

opportunities in everything he does,

but also seize them.

This is a quality organisations should

lookout for in their employees. Not

surprising, “Enterprise” is the first of

UBA’s three core values: Enterprise,

Excellence and Execution.

Enterprising people see themselves

as co-owners of their employer’s

business and execute their tasks

with the same kind of mind-set.

Such people own whatever tasks

you give them. They go the extra

mile, solve problems, show initiative,

break barriers and bring innovation

into their work.

Furthermore, because employees

who possess this quality are selfdriven,

they go out of their way

to help their organisation achieve

its goals. Imagine an organisation

where all the employees possess

this quality, all the gears of the

organisation will function with the

perfection of a Swiss clockwork

mechanism. The organisation will

satisfy its customers and ultimately

meet its goals. It therefore goes

without saying that this core value of

UBA is one many other organisations

will be looking for in their workforce,

going forward.

Enterprise is also a quality all

successful entrepreneurs possess.

Yes, you must have the courage

to take on new challenges and

the tenacity to provide creative

solutions that will ultimately add

value in order to succeed as an

entrepreneur. It therefore goes

without saying that whether you

are an employee or an employer,

enterprise is one quality that is key

to your success.

Here are some enterprising Africans

who have inspired us with their

success stories:

Mamadou Saliou Diallo

is one of the Guinea’s richest

business men. “Saliou Kenieko”,

like he is commonly called, is the

Chairman and GMD of Société

nouvelle de commerce (Sonoco), a

group composed of five subsidiaries

specialized in mill (Les Moulins

d’Afrique, LMA), transport and logistics

(AM Transit), metal work (Métal Import),

construction and real estate (Global

Investment and Construction, GIC)

and finance (Nouvelle Compagnie

d’Investissement, NCI). All of these

companies represent a

total of 800 direct

employees and

a turnover

of several

millions of

dollars.

What spurred you into this line of

business?

I started at a young age as a bread seller

on the roads of Conakry. That business

was actually good enough to convince

me to go into it. The demand was high

and once in it, I had a lot of customers.

I started this business twenty years ago

with the equivalent of 14,000 euros,

and now we are at the head of a mill

that represents more than 25 million

euros of investment. Moreover we have

developed the mill’s capacity so as to

start exporting to sub-regions (Guinea’s

border countries).

January - March 2017The Lion King • 41


Cheick Omar

Doro

is the Manager

of CEITP (cabinet

d’expertise

Immobilières et d’Etudes

en Travaux publics) in Burkina Faso.

Cheick had dreamt of belonging to

a world of creativity and discovery,

and wanted to make a difference by

engaging in the study, monitoring and

control of civil engineering works.

His firm, already in its 7th year of

establishment, is into real estate,

building and civil engineering, as well

as interior architecture and public

works studies.

What was the most daunting challenge

at the time you started?

The beginning was a Chinese puzzle,

what with finance issues, technical

references and all. But it is necessary to

quickly transform these difficulties into

solutions; to believe in one’s self and in

the business. We just have to set a goal

and have the desire to reach it. It is in

doing this that we will be able to change

the conditions imposed on us.

Vicky

Udomi

is a Tony

Elumelu

Foundation

(TEF) 2015

Entrepreneur

and CEO

of Kings and

Queens Integrated

Enterprises limited, an Agribusiness

involved in the cultivation of hybrid

cassava, processing and packaging

them into vitamin fortified and nutrient

infused cassava snacks and meals.

She is a Nigerian.

How did you raise capital?

First of all I started from the little I had,

and looked out for access to funding

opportunities, I got seed capital through

the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship

Programme and it took my business to a

whole new level.

Daniel Nassa

also in Burkina Faso, is the head of

BECADIS (Bureau d’Etude de Calcul et

de Dimensionnement de Structures),

a company that is into civil engineering

and construction. He decided to

start his business when after working

at a company renowned in civil engineering

and architecture for two

years, he was contacted

by investors

for projects,

and an

international

school to

give courses.

Is there a perfect time to start a business?

Yes, because to start a company, you

need to be sure of three things: the

idea, the know-how and the financial

resources. In my case it was essential

to get some experience in another

competent company.

Abel Ng’andu

is the founder and owner

of Ng’andu Consulting Ltd

a very successful

consulting firm

in Zambia.

How did

you get

here?

I was not satisfied

with working

for someone. It was not challenging

enough. I was convinced that I could do

better on my own. I got to where I am

today through hard work, having the

right attitude and perseverance.

Bukola Olawuyi

is a Nigerian and

founder of YT

International Concept

Limited, a company

into exportation of

cocoa, cashew, ginger

and groundnut. Bukola is

also into clearing and forwarding.

Budi Norbert Mbua

the Founder and CEO of Next

Digital Ventures Ltd, is a 26 year old

Camerounian motivational speaker

and entrepreneur. Next Digital

Ventures Ltd is a tech company that

focuses on Value Added Services

and Content Aggregation, currently

working with several mobile operators

across Africa. He also runs a

motivation and counselling academy

called Budi Motivates Academy

which aims at empowering the youths

towards self-development and liberation.

When Budi realised that many

of his classmates were still without

employment, it dawned on him that

self-employment

was

probably the

best way to

combat

unemployment.

Have you ever a

made a business

decision you regret?

I have made tons of business decisions

I regretted, but somehow they always

turn out to be a stepping stone to

greater things. Each time I made bad

business decisions, it always led to

disappointments which challenged me

to do more by either fixing it or stepping

up my game. Blind trust in a business

partner once cost me everything and

helped me draw the line between

business and emotions.

How did YT International Concept Ltd

start?

I started clearing work with Molhadeen

International Ltd where I worked for

5 years. I was so passionate about the

work. Because of this enthusiasm for

my work, my wife was ready to

put her money to bet a success

on me standing on my own.

To intensify her undiluted

belief in me, she gave

me business registration

document as a gift to

start my own business. I

was really challenged and

within a week I resigned and

began on my own.

42 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


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Joe Wiliams

is a 30 year-old Ivorian-Vietnamese

designer and owner of a

Communications agency, MILC

Agency and publisher of a magazine,

MILC magazine, which he describes

as an African version of Vogue.

Joe is also an actor. His journey into

entrepreneurship started in 2012 when

he returned to Cote d’Ivoire, after

his studied in France. He observed

the market for one year and first

started working as a Communications

Consultant. He later started J. Art

Williams, a socially responsible brand

that his identity. J. Art Williams

combines Asian silk and traditional

hand woven textiles from various

African countries.

Samuel Bikai and Guy

Micheal Kingue

both Camerounians, are

co-founders of NGEVENTS

CAMEROUN, a Communication

firm specialized in reputation

management, graphic design,

events management and

consultancy services.

Mathus Latevi

Lawson-Adokpeze

is CEO of BENINLOGIS, a company

based in Benin Republic and

specializing in geolocation

services. He provides an online

platform that allows people to

find businesses and properties

in selected geographic areas in

a few clicks. The site boasts of

more than 25,000 subscribers and

over 17,000 visits. Mathus is also a

benefactor of the Tony Elumelu

Foundation Entrepreneurship

Programme.

What is

the most

important

lesson you

have learnt as

an entrepreneur?

I think it would be perseverance! As

a young entrepreneur operating in

sub-Saharan Africa, a non-conducive

business environment, you must be fully

determined to succeed and passionate

about your undertakings. When loosing

hope, just remember that our continent

is blessed with all the resources required

to make it rise, be it human or material,

therefore you have no reason not to

succeed.

How did you raise capital to

start your business?

This was very difficult. We

actually started without

any capital. Our capital was

our ideas, knowledge and

contacts. Soon we were

able to convince somebody

to solicit our services. From

there we got other clients.

How was the business idea birthed?

The idea came from a bad

experience. I represented a

multinational in Benin and I was

responsible for housing some of

its employees in the country. It so

happened that on one occasion I

had great difficulty finding a place

for some of the Directors who

came in. So I started imagining

an alternative way to do this kind

of operation quickly and safely.

We started with real estate but

gradually extended to the other

sectors.

Youssouf Rahma Amane

is a Chadian consultant in marketing. He is

a serial entrepreneur and runs a marketing

firm, IBC Chad and a centre for capacity

building, ITCR. Youssouf believes that

observing his direct environment is at the

root of all his initiatives, because “with a little

concentration one always gets to detect

explicit or implicit needs not adequately met.”

What have you learnt as an

entrepreneur?

Be creative in the face of all the

obstacles that may arise along the

way. Always think carefully before

acting. Establish the right team and

as much as possible retain all the

members of the team.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 43


How to be a

true brand

ambassador

By Babs Olugbemi

One of my driving desires is to

look back when I am 70 and

see how much I contributed

to some brands as employee. I want

to have the good feelings of being

an ambassador and a brand loyalist.

I recently came across a prospective

customer who was so loyal to his

bank and difficult to convert because

the bank was the customer’s former

employer. His loyalty touched me.

In organisations, the most successful

employees are those not necessarily

with the best of skills but who are

rightly connected to the objectives

of the company. Good company

ambassadors are people who play

their roles and portray themselves as

the owners of the organisation. They

imbibe and live the company core

values, find avenues to change things

and represent the brand positively all

the time.

Being an ambassador of your

company benefits you and your

career in so many ways. Here are

a three attributes of a true brand

ambassador.

Contagious Loyalty: You cannot be a

good ambassador for a company you

do not love and accept its core value.

You must live the company’s core

values, love the products and accept

the leadership of the company. If you

love the company, you will promote

the brand everywhere, anytime. One

of the ways to develop infectious

loyalty is to avoid complaining about

your employer. Instead, do all you can

to improve or change things. At every

engagement opportunity, seek how

the brand can be better and not how

you could benefit. Your loyalty must

be strong to the extent of infecting

others with your level of passion and

belief in the company’s mission. Thus,

you must think and act like the owner

of the brand.

Brand Knowledge: Every entity is

unique. Some call this internal workings

or culture. You must have the total

knowledge of how things work and

how emotions influence decision

to be an effective ambassador.

You must know the products, the

processes and how best to manage

the decision makers in the best interest

of the company. Your knowledge of

the brand will help you in playing the

role of a change agent and creating

a circle of influence. Once again,

let your action be geared toward

the benefits to the brand and not to

you. Being an ambassador is about

all the extra things you can do for

the company. The knowledge of the

products and internal workings will

enable you to represent the company

in any capacity.

Profession Expression: What you

say about competition is as important

as what you say about your brand.

In the process of representing the

brand you work for or love, don’t

“de-market” others. I am a UBA and

industry ambassador and when faced

with questions about competition, I

often reaffirm the fact that no bank will

die while selling my UBA. This has given

me a professional image of someone

who has the industry in mind. Your

professional expression cuts across

different spheres of life. The way you

appear outside work, your utterances

with colleagues and customers are

part of the judgement metrics for

assessing your brand loyalty.

44 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Feature

Can You handle the six types of

people you meet daily?

By Judith Umunna

According to psychologists, based

on temperaments, there are four

kinds of people on earth. But

when behaviours and characters are

in play, you can meet a thousand and

one different kinds, all in one day.

I walked into a restaurant one day and

met the waitress crying, when I asked

her why, she said a customer came in

and placed an order and she mixed it

up, he got angry, refused to pay, asked

that she pay and be sacked as well.

Now I don’t know the man’s previous

experience with her but I’d always had

excellent service from her so I decided

to pay.

Personally and professionally, you need

to recognise that people/customers

are the backbone of your life/business

and knowing and understanding them

is the overarching rule of successful

individuals/companies.

But just how much do you know about

people and your customers? To get the

best answer to this question, we need to

break down categories of people you’ll

meet into 6 types:

2THE AGGRESSIVE/IRRITABLE:

They may be really stressed or

just have an aggressive/irritable

personality. They are reasonably

choosy about everything. They

want you to talk, act and behave in

a certain way when addressing them.

They are quite loyal and consistent

and can give you good business if you

consistently prove your worth to them.

Advice: Be patient and knowledgeable

because a few mistakes will send them

packing.

3THE IMPULSIVE/INDECISIVE:

With them, you may never know where

you stand. They are difficult to convince

as customers as they want to do business

in urge or caprice. They have no product

in mind and just want to buy what they find

good and productive at the time. There’s a high

probability of getting huge sales from this group.

Advice: You need patience and a very good

knowledge of your products.

5THE ONES WHO KNOW

AND TALK A LOT:

They know and say

a lot. They can keep

you talking for hours.

Advice: Never start an

argument with them; subtly

steer the conversation to what

they came to do.

1THE FRIENDLY AND LOYAL:

We all want to meet them; they

are the customers we want to

have. They are nice no matter

the type of service you offer.

They are patient, kind and believe

in you and your brand. They

promote more sales

and profit as they are

the ones that are

completely satisfied.

Advice: You should

keep them at all

costs.

4THE DETACHED/INDIFFERENT:

They lack loyalty. They see you as

someone who can sometimes

help them. As Customers, they are

reasonably happy but have no buy-in.

Advice: You have to work hard to build on the

relationship they have created.

6THE WANDERERS:

They wander from

place-to-place

and can have

mischievous motives.

Advice: If you are asked

a weird question like “Do

you have a security alarm

here?” My dear, find a way

to discharge them!

Remember perception is

everything. Never underrate

anyone. Always smile!

January - March 2017The Lion King • 45


The Banker’s guide to

a stress-free life

By Sunday Onwuemele

should grow as your salary grows, and

since it is invested for you by a fund

manager, you earn income which is

also capitalized.

Cultivate a good savings

culture:

However hard it might be, save.

Saving requires serious discipline and

sacrifices. As long as the elementary

principle of insatiability of human wants

in Economics is still valid, one’s wants

would always outweigh one’s income.

No one’s salary is enough. If your

salary is increased today, you would

only appreciate your management

that month. The second month, your

expenses would adjust in response to

the increase in your salary. However,

if your salary is slashed down, you will

still cope. It might take time but your

expenses would find a way of adjusting

to the decrease in the income.

So why don’t you further cut down

your salary by additional 20% and put

into your recurrent savings account.

Any increase in your salary should

never be viewed as an increase in

income, rather as an increase in

savings. Transfer such increase, if

possible, in entirety to your savings.

Plan exit at entry:

The day you take up a pay job should

be the day you sit down to plan

your exit from the job. By this, I mean

you should create your own personal

pension fund allowance. Do this by

discounting your proposed monthly

take-home pay by at least 10% (it

could be more). For instance, if your

monthly salary is N80,000 simply

assume that your take-home pay is

90% of N80,000.00 which is N72,000.

The balance of N8,000 (10%) should

be transferred to your personal

pension fund account on a monthly

basis.

Ensure the funds are not accessible

to you, and invest it with a long-term

fund manager. Your contribution

Avoid credit like a plague:

To the best of your ability, avoid

spending what you would have

tomorrow today. Do not make the

credit card your means of livelihood.

This is simply an indication that

you are living above your means.

Where future expectation fail, credit

obtained against them would put you

under pressure. If you must take loan,

credit card or any other form of credit,

use them for an income-generating

venture.

If a commercial bank is offering me

a personal loan at 23% per annum

and I have a secured investment

opportunity that would fetch me 5%

per month, it wouldn’t make sense

46 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Feature

to refuse such a loan simply because

I do not want to owe. I would be a

bad decision maker if I refuse to take

a loan to acquire a landed property

which I know if I am unable to repay, I

could dispose the property at a profit

and pay up the indebtedness. What I

am saying is that credit must be used

for what would yield income more

than the cost of the credit.

Love your job:

There are millions of better jobs outside,

but you do not have them. The job you

have now deserves your best input.

You must give all the commitment

and attention you have to it. “If a

man pays you, be loyal to him” ensure

that you earn your pay. As long as

you have not gotten another job, be

diligent in the one that you do now.

It is said that “a man who is diligent

in his work shall sit among princes”.

When you love your job, you would be

happy doing what you do.

Value relationships:

Talent is not enough. This is the title

of a very interesting book by John

Maxwell. Compliment your talent and

nourish the good relationships you

build. Allow no relationship to go sour.

Give gifts when necessary to massage

your relationships. Every successful

person is so successful not because

of his professionalism, but because of

his positive attitude towards people.

Those you meet today might be your

helpers of tomorrow.

Have a life:

Do not limit your existence to the

confines of your bank and your family.

Create fun for yourself. Take time

out to see other parts of the world.

Take advantage of your holiday to

visit places (please do not borrow to

do this). Eat good food, sleep well,

exercise. Give yourself, and your loved

ones a good treat sometime.

Have options:

The fact that you have a well-paying

job does not mean you cannot build

a bank of business ideas. It does not

even mean you can not establish

businesses that could generate

income as long as the management

of such would not affect your banking

Job. Have income from other sources

for this is the key that opens the door

of financial breakthrough. Go for

world class courses and certificates

that would increase your labour

market worth. Nurture and develop

your natural talents.

Lighten up

your mood…

By Nonso Nduanya

Keeping your ‘hustle’ tight is no joke. Things may not

always work out as planned, annoying incidents may

occur occasionally, and a host of other things could take

away your cheer in the course of the day. Here are a few

things you can do to lighten up your mood.

Play music:

Create a playlist of your favourite songs, press play and

let the music blast you away.

Watch a funny movie:

Go to the cinema or go online. Watch a movie on Netflix

for a token or watch free ones on YouTube.

Do some exercise:

You don’t need a gym subscription to exercise. Take a

walk down the street, cycle, skip, play soccer, tennis, golf

or whatever makes you happy.

Play a game on your phone:

You think it’s childish to play games? Try one of the millions

of free or paid online games; pray you don’t get hooked

when you find yourself on a winning streak.

Take a nap:

Nothing beats a refreshed mind when it comes to tackling

problems. A 10 minute nap can do wonders for you,

resuscitating and rejuvenating you for the tasks ahead.

Read a book:

Sleep is good but books are better, says George R Martin.

Reading is a great way to lighten your mood while also

enriching your knowledge base.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 47


Health

7 Daily Routines That

Keep You Healthy

By Dr Kazeem Akano*

Love them or hate them, routines

are essential to maintaining good

health while creating the resilience

and positivity we need to navigate life

successfully.

Surely we all know what to do? Not

necessarily…When growing up, there

was a dearth of reliable information

on what constituted a good lifestyle

choice. Everything we learned was

hear-say, courtesy of an old wivestale

and if you were lucky, from the

family doctor. Today, we know so

much more now about wellness and

preventive medicine that it is easier to

make positive life changes.

The downside of having all this

information at your fingers tips is that

there is too much information (if such

a thing exists). To help, we’ve decided

to go through the rigorous process of

pulling these micro habits together in

one place on your behalf.

Here are seven helpful routines that

can be easily adopted that will surely

improve your health status. They’re

simple, practical and there’s no

reason why you shouldn’t make these

part of your life.

1. Start your day with a positive

affirmation about yourself.

The way you view yourself and your

life in the morning sets the stage for

the rest of the day. Tell yourself: “My

life is beautiful and I have plenty of

opportunities to succeed and be

happy,” “I am capable, deserving,

and ready to create an amazing life

for myself and my loved ones,” or,

“I’m proud of my body and I deserve

to treat all of myself with love and

kindness.” Changing your internal

dialogue through positive affirmations

is a fundamental part of having a

clean bill of mental health.

2. Get in a workout

Exercise keeps your brain fluid,

increases your productivity and

generally sets you in a positive

mood. Always aim to do at least

a 30-minute, high intensity workout

every day although a mini-workout

within your compound is better than

nothing. It’s also advisable to follow

up your workout with a sugar-free

drink that includes amino acids and

antioxidants; these will aid energy,

exercise recovery, insulin balance,

and cellular repair.

3. Floss your teeth

Flossing cleans those tight spaces in

your teeth and the gap at their base.

These are the places that a toothbrush

can’t reach. A healthy mouth isn’t the

only reason to floss every day. Medical

research has proven the bacteria that

flourish in an unhealthy mouth can

lead to systemic problems like heart

48 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Health

disease, diabetes and respiratory illness. It may look painful

and awkward, but with practice and a commitment to

doing it every day, the floss kit will soon be the first thing on

subsequent shopping lists in no time.

4. Add one additional veggie to your meal

Vegetables are one food source that will never fall out of

fashion. They supply you with energy, nourish your body

with nutrients, help kick start other healthy eating habits

and help you eat less as they are very filling while being

naturally low in calories. If you are more of a meat and

carbohydrates person, pick one meal every day this week,

and think of how you can up your intake of vegetables.

Adding vegetables to your diet doesn’t have to be arduous

– it can be as simple as add two tomatoes to your omelette

or having steamer ugwu with your rice.

5. Drink water

Drinking about 2 litres of water a day is an awesome habit to

start and maintain. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates

you, flushes out toxins, gives your brain a boost all while

helping you eat less. In addition, experts say water can

increase your life expectancy.

6. Stretch during the day

We’re not asking you to roll out a yoga mat in the middle

of the office floor but simple stretches done throughout the

day can go a long way in terms of loosening muscles. Arm

lifting, waist stretching, neck rotations and walking to your

colleague’s desk instead of sending an email are all help.

Stretching increases your blood flow, mobilises your joints

and daily freshen up your mind. It’s to this effect that we

have our weekly Deskercise videos to help you with light

stretches by your desk

7. Get enough sleep.

A good night’s sleep is healing in so many ways. Not only do

you feel rested, but a full night’s sleep also helps maintain

a healthy weight size, lightens your mood, and significantly

reduces your chances of having health issues.

If you’re not getting enough sleep and find yourself fatigued

during the day, you need to move up your bedtime even if

it means leaving a project undone. You’ll have more energy

the next day and the project will be done in no time.

There you have it folks! Inculcate these routines into your

daily living and you’re well on your way to a healthier, fuller

life.

*Dr Kazeem Akano manages the Client Quality Assurance

and Provider Education & Engagement at Avon HMO.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 49


Fashion

Buy African

In recent times, there have been ongoing campaigns to buy locally produced goods. So why is it important for us

to patronize our own locally made goods? In the current economic situation, it makes no sense to spend money

buying FX so you can order things from the UK and the U.S just because we seem to have the perception that goods

(especially clothes, cosmetics and household items) produced overseas are superior to ours, when we can ‘buy African’

and improve our economy as this makes the currency stronger and also supports local industries.

NIGERIA

By Funlola Obe

Picture: randrluxury.com

For those of us who are used to

ordering things from abroad and are

not used to buying things here in

Nigeria, here are a few of my favourite

Nigerian brands who produce their

goods locally with superior quality (Be

warned, this article is mainly about

clothes and makeup).

MAJU

Maju is a womenswear brand located

in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi and online

at www.shopmaju.com. With very

affordable prices ranging from N5,000

to about N15,000, they have tops,

skirts, trousers, dresses, shoes and bags

to keep you looking stylish and trendy.

Think of it as your Nigerian answer to

ASOS.

LUXE SPACES

A relatively new interior design and

furniture company, Luxe spaces is fast

becoming a favorite for affordable

furniture and household items. With

the ability to create custom furniture

designs (couches, tables, beds, desks,

wardrobes, rugs, throw pillows, you

name it) , you end up with furniture

that is not only innovative but also

unique as well (for those of us who

hate to have things ‘everyone else’

has). Check them out at www.

luxespacesng.wordpress.com

SLIPPERS BY KENE

SBK is an initiative to promote the

development of the local (Nigerian)

industry, by using locally sourced

materials and workmanship, to

provide bespoke handcrafted slippers

and sandals. I got a pair as a gift from

my cousin for being a bridesmaid at

her wedding and they were super

comfortable and looked good as

well. And as an added reason to

patronize them, the CEO (Kene Rapu),

is also a Tony Elumelu Foundation

entrepreneur. www.kenerapu.com

R&R

R & R is a skincare company which

produces handmade skin care

products using 100% natural local

ingredients, especially Shea Butter.

Their Shea Luxury body oil is especially

popular as it helps with clearing stretch

marks and spots (I like to mix it in with

my usual body lotion to prevent my skin

looking dry and ashy). They also make

great Shea Butter Soaps, Liquid & Solid

Black Soaps, LipBalms, Coconut Oil,

Baobab Oil and Container Candles.

www.randrluxury.com

YILI

Yili Footwear is an affordable footwear

brand inspired by colors, textures,

culture, and travels. All the styles have

a personal inspiration and story behind

it. The sandals are colorful without

being obnoxiously loud and are also

very comfortable.

Picture: shopmaju.com

GREY PROJECTS

Grey is one of the few Nigerian

designers who offer chic everyday

fashion staples at reasonable prices.

In fact, their mission is to ‘make clothes

you wear every day as it’s what you

live your life in’. So if you’re looking for

fashionable but comfortable clothes,

Grey is the designer for you. www.

greyinc.blogspot.com

50 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Fashion

ICONOLA

Iconola is a Nigerian ready to wear fashion brand that

specializes in making clothes with Ankara. Seen on celebrities

like Zainab Balogun and DJ cuppy, Iconola is rising in the

fashion industry and with affordable prices it’s not hard to

understand why. www.iconola.com

Picture: iconolabrand.com

COTE D’IVOIRE

By Ama Tanoh

IVORY BLUE

Augur-Industries created by Ivorian entrepreneur, André

BRAUD-MENSAH, produces espresso capsules entirely made

in Cote d’Ivoire. The beans are grown in Man, the western

part of the country because of its climate. Ivory Blue makes

coffee accessible to all Ivoirians, regardless of their financial

status and contribute to the local economy.

Picture: L.E Creations

L.E CREATIONS

This brand is a reflection of designer, Liliane ESTIEVENART, a

mix of Africa and Europe. She first offered African flavored

bags made of materials such as jute, leather, and wax. The

brand rapidly grew popular and is now offering clothing,

accessories, and housing items. L.E CREATIONS is becoming

popular overseas and was recently featured in London

Fashion Week.

Picture: Ivory Blue

NACKISSA

This brand got a prize for the best collection by Cote d’Ivoire

Fashion Top 10. The designer Isabelle NACKISSA uses a lot

of African fabrics and makes sure her clothes are easy-to

wear. This brand is young, vibrant and refreshingly colorful!

NATURE & TRADITIONS

This brands offers natural products for black women.

Sandrine ASSOUAN masters the art of cosmetics as she

holds a degree in Chemical engineering obtained in

Lausanne, Switzerland. She uses local products to develop

the local economy and embrace our culture. The basis for

her products are shea butter, cocoa butter, and mangoe

butter.

Picture: Nackissa

January - March 2017The Lion King • 51


My Quick

Fix Meal

By Mariam Mohammed

The Satisfaction of hunger is

a worthy pursuit… Let me take

you through one of my hunger

satisfaction journeys.

Errrrm, before I continue, I will like to

mention that I'm a foodie… small-sized

hottie! Oh yes… and who loves to

cook but does not eat much. Hehehe.

The best gift I could give you is my

food or the recipe because I am

giving you from my heart…yup that’s

how much I love to cook.

52 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Food

My 10-minute quick fix meal saved a

life when all hope seemed lost. Yes,

I checked all around the house for

what to cook but didn’t find anything

interesting. I was about to take the

cereal when I just remembered the

couscous in my hamper basket.

Couscous is a traditional food from

Northern African cultures (…forgot

to mention that I have this northern

thing in me, cos’ I grew up there).

The original name is derived from the

Berber seksu or kesksu, meaning “well

rolled”, “well formed”, or “rounded”.

Couscous is made from semolina,

wheat’s finest product. Couscous is

obtained by coarsely grinding the

heart of robust wheat. Originating

from the wheat’s inner seed, and

containing all the rich goodness and

protein of the wheat gem.

Couscous has a wide variety of

health benefits, including the ability

to prevent certain cancers, increase

heart health, prevent bacterial and

viral infections, promote normal

metabolism throughout the body’s

systems. It is known to also control

fluid levels in the body, improve

digestion, help weight loss efforts,

heal wounds, build muscles, and

boosting the immune system. This is

sure a vast span of derivable benefits

from it.

It is a good alternative to Rice.

So, I will share my yummy 10 minutesrecipe

with you. It is 10 minutes

because I had my stock and diced

vegetable in the fridge already. If

not it could take a little longer than

10 minutes.

Ingredients:

• ¾-1 cup couscous

• Chicken breast – cut into small

chunks

• 2 small carrots – cut into cubes

• 1 small onion – blended or thinly

chopped

• 1 green pepper– cut into cubes

• 2 bell pepper / atarodo – cut into

tiny pieces

• A finger chunk of ground ginger

or ginger powder

• Seasoning cube or powder

• 3 tablespoons of oil

• A knob of butter – optional

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Curry

• 2-3 cups of water

Method:

1. Marinate the chicken breast with

the onions, ginger, curry and

seasonings and leave to tender/

cook. Meanwhile, put your

couscous in a deep bowl.

2. Ensure you have enough stock

and add more water because

you need that watery stock. Also,

the stock should be tasty enough

to ensure it infuses well with the

couscous.

3. Once the chicken is done, Sieve

the stock and pour the boiling

stock into the couscous, the stock

shouldn’t be too much so the

couscous doesn’t become soggy.

The stock should just be enough

to cover the top of the couscous

and cover for about 5 minutes. The

stock will definitely penetrate to

the bottom of the couscous if it is as

watery as I mentioned, otherwise

you may end up with uncooked

couscous at the bottom.

4. Put a frying pan on fire and add

the oil.

5. Fry the diced pepper

6. Stir fry the chicken and the diced

carrot and green pepper

7. Add little seasoning, putting in mind

the stock added to the couscous is

seasoned already

8. Fluff up the couscous with a fork

9. Pour the couscous into the frying

pan and stir fry with the carrots,

bell pepper, green pepper and

chicken, mix well and serve.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 53


Books

The Books

We Like

By Kayode Olowoyeye

Enterprising

Stories

Know Your Worth: Stop

Thinking, Start Doing

By NK Sondhi, Vibha Malhotra

The secret behind the success of

most of the people is not what they

do, but how they do it!

This book discusses the life-changing

concepts through storytelling. You

would find yourself closely connected

to these stories. They will encourage

you to explore your own potential to

inspire you, and to achieve your real

worth. This book will also help you to

understand the traits that keep you

from achieving your dreams. The

book lays down a process to help

you emerge from the clutches of

negativity and develop a positive

approach towards life.

The Ultimate Stress-Free

Productivity Secrets

By Manikanta Belde

You may have come across several

productivity guides, what is different

about this one?

The Ultimate Stress-Free Productivity

Secrets will guide you through innovative

productivity strategies that would

enhance your time management

abilities. It will also transform your

regular life into an exciting life full of

hopes, success, and good relations.

All In: How Women

Entrepreneurs Can Think

Bigger, Build Sustainable

Businesses, and Change the

World

By Stephanie Breedlove

Stephanie Breedlove took a

leap of faith, left the corporate

world, and answered the call of

entrepreneurship. Over the next few

years she built a thriving business

while simultaneously raising two

young children, eventually selling her

start-up for more than $50 million.

Breedlove outlines the HOWs and

WHYs behind the decisions that led

her towards success. Her inspiring

message empowers readers to be all

they are called to be, to set the bar

higher, and to grow businesses with

economic impact and power.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com

54 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


Movies

Must-See

SERIES ON REDTV

By Kayode Olowoyeye

BOUTIQUE HOTEL

(Francophone Online TV Show subtitled in English)

Lola has never worked in the hotel business

before. Her mother wants to devote herself

to her farms and plantations, and prefers that

Lola manages this family property that remains

to them. Lola hesitates to accept as she feels

unable to manage this hotel and the staff are

rather strange.

This is a hotel residence like no other and the

people in it will keep you laughing and coming

back for more.

HERE AND NOW

The Adventures of TASA

Discover and explore the world of four

daring, young, beautiful, savvy and

intelligent ladies who have been friends

since college – a foodie, an artsy one,

a diva and a music head. Reality TV like

you’ve never seen it before! Share in the

energy and experience the spell-binding

conversations.

Here and Now: The Adventures of TASA is

a non-stop crazy roller-coaster ride that

will leave you wanting MORE!

OUR BEST FRIEND’S

WEDDING (OBFW)

EXCLUSIVES

A special premium interview show, spotlighting A-list celebrities and

personalities who have excelled and are indeed excelling in Africa.

Our Best Friend’s Wedding is a romantic

dramedy about a young man who

panics and buys an engagement ring on

a whim. He recruits his two female best

friends to help him go through a list of

potential candidates and sets off a series

of events that leads to a wedding. The

series, which was launched on REDTV on

January 26, 2017 stars Adebola ‘Illrymz’

Olowu, Oreka Godis, Gbemi Olateru-

Olagbegi, Chris Attoh, Timi Charles-

Fadipe, Unamka Marycolette, Yewande

Lawal, Sarah Boulos and Theo Lawson.

Subscribe to REDTV on YouTube or visit www.itsred.tv for more.

January - March 2017The Lion King • 55


POETRY & arts

When words have done their best

And the impact done their worst

When remembering is painful

But forgetting is doubtful

So sure one minute, never doubting

But a shock the next minute,

Constantly wavering

Every attempt to mend the wrong

Every mistake ever wrought

Every attempt to amend the words

Every word spoken in fury

Every syllable uttered in wrath

Every breath taken in grief

Every exchange made in furious

desperation

Then the walls are built

In anger, in fury, with wrath

The bridges are broken

In silence, in disappointment, in grief

and in anguish

The abyss is formed, the chasm

widened

No more familiar

No more routine

No more assumptions

No more my friend

Never thought it would be like this

Never thought it would come to this

Never thought you would be like this

This stranger, my friend,

Nothing changes

It still remains the same

Friendship is broken.

Forever.

‘Pain of Beauty’ by Nduka Omeife (Watercolour, 2016).

Temptation

By Moshood Azeez

Temptation

And infatuation replaced love

Days after days in winter

Nights after nights in summer

Colours of days

Fragrances of Nights

Time after time

We are overwhelmed

Sexiness trumps beauty

Lusts over character

Materials over immaterials

Heart over soul

Temptation is charming

Lust is never thoughtful

And, all in all

Seclusion supersedes interaction

~How alluring temptation can be~

Interaction supersedes seclusion

And, all in all

Thoughtful never is lust

Charming is temptation

Soul over heart

Immaterials over materials

Character over lust

Beauty trumps sexiness

Overwhelmed are we

Time after time

Nights of fragrances

Days of colours

Summer in nights after nights

Winter in days after days

Love replaced infatuation and

Temptation

Nothing changes

By Bertha Appiah-Gyapong

It all remains the same

When trust has been broken

And feelings hurt

When words have been spoken

And nothing left unsaid

Something to Mind

By Ayomipo Ajayi

Defying all definition

Defining all recognition

Against all odd, against other muse

Against all works and against all fuse

This is my mirror

This is my form

This is my bone

This is my throne

The place where I get my light

Yet a place I see the dark

A place with all my wrong

Yet a place with all my right

Just in between, there is no work.

A placed with all my doubt,

Yet a place with all my trust,

Nothing really happens until there is

a thrust.

A place with all my faith,

Yet a place with all my fear

As far as you can see, that’s who you

are.

A place with all my tears,

Yet a place with all my smile,

Being happy is in its self; that is what

it is.

A place filled with all my worries,

56 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


POETRY & arts

Yet a place filled with all my comfort,

Nothing brings it low until it starts to

gear.

A place with all my sorrow,

Yet a place with all my joy

The place where I do the worst

But the closing and lining of some

best

I have it all laid out for history but till

done

Can be the imprisonment of life for

life

It is the center that gathers my 5 lines

and the 6TH,

Yet the center of judgment and fate

if I do not deceive;

An inner world of good and ill.

A larger world of muse and feel

The only place where winning ever

starts

The only place where losing begins

If there is ever something to mind

I think that is; my mind.

It hold my position and further steps.

And once again I worry.

I worry because even though we won

the battle against bad leadership

we are now faced with a far bigger

problem, ‘recession’.

They say though that without hope

we are nothing.

So I ask, if we do not believe, do we

at least hope?

Do you?

Ololufe

By Moshood Azeez

I am Ololufe, the prince of love!

Husband-In-Chief among women:

Last son of Ifelade, mother of Love

I was conceived before the first man

Birthed in terrestrial mysteries

In my own sacred abode,

We dine like there’s no tomorrow

With our hands, we eat

Through our noses, we sneeze

No anomalies, all is perfect!

I am Ololufe, a rootless stone

Firm, solid and unwavering

The Balogun-General of love,

That knows his strength in prime,

Love’s frailties are clear before me,

They are laid bare and open

I’ve been with him since inception,

Before the lands, seas and air

Were spoken into existence

As ancient as his days, so I am!

I am Ololufe, a multi-faced being

A soothing relief to some,

A flaming sword, to others

People of the unending crossroads

Dance to the sound of the bata

drum!

As the oju oro surfaces the stream,

As the osibata lives above the water

I’ll ever be above my adversaries

Love will always triumph

It is an eternal code!

Our Nation Today

By Ewulluh Ogonna

Do we still believe?

Do we still have faith in our father

land?

Many have given up hope.

Have you?

A lot more have gone as far as saying

‘nothing good can ever come out of

this country’.

Do you agree with them?

I turn around and all I hear is

recession.

All around me everyone talks

recession.

Recession….a word that has become

our reality.

A reality we mostly blame on our

current leaders.

We fault them.

We say before them our country was

doing well.

Were we?

Can we actually say the current

government brought this upon us?

Can we in all honesty, without

sentiment agree with this?

Because the fact remains I am a

Nigerian and I feel as well as you.

So I ask again, do we really believe

that the problems of our nation arose

with the current government?

I say to you though in a voice that

rings without sentiment nor religious

beliefs, before now, for 5 years we

lived without direction.

Drifting.

Ruled by a leader who had no actual

knowledge of leadership.

And for the first time in my life I

worried for our nation.

‘Mama Iyabo’ by Nonso Nduanya (Charcoal and Pastel, 2015).

January - March 2017The Lion King • 57


Humour

Management Lessons

By Nonso Nduanya

Culled from www.tickld.com

Lesson 1

Lesson 2:

Lesson 4:

A sales rep, an administration clerk,

and the manager are walking to

lunch when they find an antique

oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes

out. The Genie says, ‘I’ll give each

of you just one wish.’

‘Me first! Me first!’ says the

admin clerk. ‘I want to be in the

Bahamas, driving a speedboat,

without a care in the world.’

Puff! She’s gone.

‘Me next! Me next!’ says the

sales rep. ‘I want to be in Hawaii,

relaxing on the beach with my

personal masseuse, an endless

supply of Pina Coladas and the

love of my life.’

Puff! He’s gone.

‘OK, you’re up,’ the Genie says

to the manager. The manager

says, ‘I want those two back in

the office after lunch.’

Moral of

the story:

Always let

your boss

have the

first say.

An eagle was sitting on a tree

resting, doing nothing.

A small rabbit saw the eagle

and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like

you and do nothing?’ The eagle

answered: ‘Sure, why not.’

So, the rabbit sat on the ground

below the eagle and rested. All of

a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped

on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you

must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 3:

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

‘I would love to be able to get to

the top of that tree’ sighed the

turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the

energy.’

‘Well, why don’t you nibble on

some of my droppings?’ replied

the bull. ‘They’re packed with

nutrients.’

The turkey pecked at a

lump of dung, and found it

actually gave him enough

strength to reach the lowest

branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating

some more dung, he

reached the second

branch.

Finally after a fourth night,

the turkey was proudly

perched at the top of the

tree.

He was promptly spotted by

a farmer, who shot him out of

the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull Sh*t might get you to the top,

but it won’t keep you there.

A little bird was flying south for the

winter. It was so cold the bird froze

and fell to the ground into a large

field.

While he was lying there, a cow

came by and dropped some dung

on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the

pile of cow dung, he began to

realize how warm he was.

The dung was actually thawing him

out!

He lay there all warm and happy,

and soon began to sing for joy. A

passing cat heard the bird singing

and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat

discovered the bird under the pile

of cow dung, and promptly dug

him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who sh*ts on you

is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you

out of sh*t is your friend.

(3) And when you’re in deep sh*t,

it’s best to keep your mouth

shut!

58 • The Lion KingJanuary - March 2017


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