Thursday, September 27, 2007

Can I have this Dance?

This must be the busiest period of my life in the last 5 years as I've got massive projects ahead of me and I'm just wondering where I'm getting the strength and the motivation to keep pushing ahead from. I must confess the last 3 weeks has been extremely busy and my wife has told me several times to try and manage some smiles and sleep early! Well for now that’s still a luxury.

In my quest for a more balanced life I have set my alarm to remind me to sleep at 10.30pm everyday but unfortunately I have not been able to respect the alarm…not even once. I think I'll take some time off soon to refocus…may be in October but I must first put in perspective the pressing projects ahead of me.

Yes Celebrity Takes 2 is a couple of weeks away!

Our company will be partnering with Spirit of David in providing the SMS Voting solution for the largest couple's dance competition in Africa. I also have my Cranfield MBA application and essay to write, have a Portal consulting contract with BT till December, commited to mentor some youths in church, promised ot get more involved in some social entrepreneurial work in Africa ….and the list just goes on…

So what are some of the challenges and lessons learnt as I lead the voting project:

  • Convincing the sponsors of the viability of the project in 9 countries (well so far I think we have achieved about 60% success here as I have set up short code for UK, US, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, the other countries have not been approved but I think we'll get a go-ahead for Ghana which is good news)
  • Satisfying all stakeholders on the features of our control panel….(whatever that means to you! :). PricewaterhouseCoopers will be auditing our system and you know what that means
  • Coping with our lead developer - Ranti Familusi who calls me night and day. I think those guys are just perfectionist and they give you serious warning ahead of what could happen to your project if you don’t listen to them. I'm learning to balance the business side with the technical side
  • The networks in Africa just gave us a shocker yesterday by tripling shortcode rental fees! Still don’t know how I'll fix that into the budget.
  • I have also learnt to read contracts line by line even though they are small prints! I won't go further on my experiences in the past as regards reading contracts thourougly and understanding it

Some good news from the organizers - SOD

  • Skye bank sponsoring the show

  • Agreement with NTA to air the show (largest TV network in Africa)

  • Mnet to air the show on satellite TV

  • Ben TV to air the show in the UK and on the Internet

  • The first production actually took place at the prestigious Planet 1 on Friday 21st September 2007

What you should expect:

The best of dance coming from Africa (Unique, Contemporary and Spiritual!)

Professional SMS Voting Solution powered by Onecard Technologies Limited & Onecard Interactive

All in all, I look forward to a great show in the next 16 weeks and also the great learning experience it will afford me as I manage my first international project.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fate Model Entrepreneur Award 2007 Call For Nominations

This year, FATE Foundation (again) is seeking previously uncelebrated high impact, successful, and ethical entrepreneurs across the length and breadth of Nigeria as its FATE Entrepreneur for 2007. The essence of the FATE Entrepreneurial Awards (FATE Model Entrepreneur Award &
FATE Alumni Model Entrepreneur Award) is to celebrate successful and ethical Nigerian entrepreneurs, who have distinguished themselves in their enterprises, and then offer them as credible role models to inspire budding Nigerian entrepreneurs as well as FATE Entrepreneurs.

FATE Model Entrepreneur Award seeks to recognize and celebrate ethical Nigerian men and women who have successfully established a fast growing business, created employment as well as contributed to the fostering of other businesses in the country. FATE’s hosting of the FME Award is driven by the need to rectify the dearth of role models in the Nigerian society; a dearth which is at the root of the decay in values in the society and the festering of sharp and corrupt practices. FATE’s belief is that searching for such inspiring and respect-commanding Nigerian entrepreneurs through a very competitive and transparent process, would help identify people who have through hard work, ingenuity and tenacity traversed the rough and sometimes hostile Nigerian business terrain and struck success, celebrate and present them as role models for other Nigerians to aspire to.

Transparency is one of the tenets of the Foundation, and the process for selecting the FME is done as openly as possible. Nominations for FME are called from the general public through advertisements in the print and electronic media. The FME Award committee reviews all nominations and using the approved selection criteria, prepares a shortlist of awardees. This is followed by extensive interviews with staff and client of the nominees’ organization as well as the nominee, to further ascertain that they match the profile of FME.

Criteria are:

  • FME must be self-made Nigerian with a successful business that has provided employment for a significant number of Nigerians;
  • FME must possess the attributes of ethics, creativity, discipline, hard work and innovation. (NB: FATE is very particular about ethics);
  • FME must have demonstrated social responsibility and positively impacted his/her community;
  • FME must be an accomplished individual who has recorded notable milestones

Nominations (online:; email: to include Name, Business and Contact details (if known). Please forward to your network to help us discover those men and women who are transforming the society through their businesses.