CHINELO MEG EGBUNONU
Lawyer/ Creative Blogger/Feminist.
Chinelo Meg Egbunonu is an Associate with Aluko & Oyebode. Her practice areas include Corporate Governance, Corporate Financing, Commercial Litigation/Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property. After university and law school, she also graduated as a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of the United Kingdom and Nigeria in 2010 and in 2012, was awarded double scholarships by both the Schulich School of Law, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies of Dalhousie University Canada for a Masters Degree in Business Law.
Member of the Abuja branch of the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Chinelo is also involved in Action against Child Sexual Abuse Initiative (ACSAI), which is an upcoming non-governmental organisation, raising awareness on the need for the protection of children in Nigeria from Sexual Abuse.
Chinelo is a vocal feminist, who believes in equal opportunities for both genders, is passionate about Child Sexual Abuse, and the need for good governance in Nigeria. She has contributed articles on her areas of focus to national newpapers (ThisDay, Guardian) and also mentors young women (particularly fresh graduates) on productive hard-work, and building a successful career-path in a male-dominated environment.
She continues to advocate her causes via creative writing on her blog www.meetmybusymind.blogspot.com .
Brand consultant, Creative/art director, Design professional.
Ifidon is an art lover and computer scientist who has studied and worked with the Adobe Creative suite for about 8years, and has handled branding projects for Longman, Style Vitae, the Bank, The Executive Mansion, Delta State and Mercedes Benz to name a few.
With a knack for detail and the drive to push beyond the boundaries of communication and design, he is constantly adding beauty, colour and style to the corporate branding industry one project at a time.
Head of Innovation, A2 Creative
Adaora Mbelu-Dania is a creative Industrialist who is passionate about fleshing out ideas, building dreams, and launching projects that solve problems and inspire social innovation. She is currently the Head of Innovation at A2 Creative, a Strategy and Brand Development Company with a diverse portfolio, which was responsible for the experiential launch of Guinness Africa Special across Nigeria.
Somewhat of a serial entrepreneur, she has valuable experience in Brand Development, Business Strategy, Media Production, Content Creation and General Business Management.
Born into a diverse family background, a Nigerian father and a Sri Lankan mother, she considers herself a world citizen. She attended Northern Kentucky University, USA, where she studied Economics and Entrepreneurship, and was drafted into the National Honors Scholars Society as well as the Entrepreneurship Institute Honors Committee.
Adaora has worked on projects across various industries as a Project Manager, Media Manager, or Content Director/Developer. Some of these projects include: Copa Lagos, X Factor Nigeria, The United Nations World Tourism Organization conference, Presidential Democracy Day event with former President Goodluck Jonathan, and International Conference on Peace and Security (with 28 World Leaders in attendance).
Aside from her academic and professional accomplishments, Adaora has a passion for learning and teaching, as well as nurturing and building dreams. She is founder of Socially Africa, a social enterprise platform that nurtures and promotes giving back to communities in need.
Novelist & Short Story Writer
A Nigerian novelist and short story writer, was born in 1976. His last novel, Fine Boys, which chronicles the voices of Nigeria’s post-Biafra generation, was published in 2012 by Farafina.
Eghosa has worked as a doctor, having studied medicine at the University of Benin and also as a banker, business manager and publisher.
He works for the Book Buzz Foundation, organisers of the annual Ake Arts and Book Festival and is the co-founder of Ouida Limited, a Nigerian publishing and media firm based in Lagos.
He currently lives in Lagos with his wife and twin sons.
Linguist & Lexicographer - www.yorubaName.com
"Kọ́lá Túboọ̀sún (born Kolawole Olugbemiro Olatubosun) is a Nigerian writer, linguist, editor, and teacher. He was born in Ìbàdàn and raised in a family of six. He has an MA in Linguistics/TESL from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2012) and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Ibadan. His work spans the fields of education, technology, literature, journalism, and linguistics. He is a Fulbright Fellow (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 2009) and recipient of the Premio Ostana Special Prize for Mother Tongue Literature 2016, the first African to be so honoured. He has written in Yorùbá and English, and translates between both languages.
PERFORMING & RECORDING ARTIST
Nigerian-born Lindsey Abudei is a performing and recording
A graduate of Law from the University of Jos, she followed her passion working for about a year with Chocolate City, after which she got on the Project Fame West Africa train.
That same year, she got into the Radio France Internationale (RFI) Prix Decouvertes as one of the twelve African finalists, taking third place after those from Burkina Faso and Madagascar.
Filmmaker / Writer
Deinbofa Ere is a filmmaker and writer.
Outside of film making and writing, his varied interests include Philosophy, the Environment, Food and Gender issues and he is currently working on a project on mitigating violence against women and children in Bayelsa State.
He lives in London and the Niger Delta.
Cofounder/CEO of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX)
Adetayo Bamiduro is the Cofounder and CEO of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) - a hyper-local logistics platform that provides proprietary mobile applications to consumers and retail businesses, and leverages a network of independent drivers to deliver orders to customers at the last-mile within minutes to hours.
He graduated top 2% in Computer Science at the University of Ibadan and earned an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and London Business School and before founding MAX, worked as a Software Developer, Product Manager and Management Consultant across 4 continents for global companies such as PwC, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas and Dalberg.
He was awarded the MIT Legatum and MasterCard Foundation Fellowships to develop MAX during his MBA program and after graduating in the summer of 2015, launched MAX with Chinedu - his Cofounder from MIT, and immediately achieved remarkable success. Within 3 months, MAX grew 1500% and signed up over 100 retailers in Lagos including Jumia.com - the Amazon of Africa. In September 2015, MAX became the first startup from Africa to join the world renowned Techstars Startup Accelerator Program in New York City and by December 2015, MAX set another record as the 1st technology startup from Africa to win 1st runner-up at Techcrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield in London.
Adetayo and the MAX Team are on a mission to transform urban logistics and transportation in Africa using mobile apps and networks of independent drivers. MAX has clocked over 25,000 express deliveries and is on track to achieving its pan-African mission.
OKWUKWE IFEOLU-MAYOKUN IFEDIORA
Freelance Artiste/ Short-story Writer / Blogger / Singer
Okwukwe Ifediora is young, multi talented, gifted and versed in literary and lyrical forms and flows of creative arts and expression. A graduate of Psychology from the Covenant University, Nigeria, Okwukwe is fascinated by human thought, process and behavior.
'Kwiksie' as she is fondly called, is a prolific writer and her blog - Spot the Difference - is replete with short stories, poetry and spoken word pieces. Her songs are accessible on SoundCloud and noistrade.com. Mimicry, modeling and acting are other art forms she enjoys and her personal interests and passion peak on songwriting, music, nature photography, counseling and children.
An emerging interest, Kwiksie has performed spoken word pieces on various art platforms nationwide and raptured entire audiences with her songs.
Change Agent & Technocrat
A deliberate Change Agent and technocrat committed to international best practices who has in three decades traversed the Real, Banking and Public Sectors of the Nigerian Economy, Eugene Irefa Abels was born, bred and schooled in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
He hails from two oil producing Communities, Nembe and Finima and believes that they are a microcosm of the Niger Delta Region and that Nigeria, laden with contradictions, has not been able to harness the great opportunities that these challenges bring for the emancipation of our societies.
An exponent of the need to exorcise our Colonial past from the souls of our public servants and elected officials, he believes the art of governance has been reduced to the single person pronoun ‘I’ whereas ‘we the people’ holds no relevance.
An advocate for the Public good, he has engaged in mobilization of blood donors for blood banks, creation of a continental team from street basketball, campaigns against kidnaping, elevation of the reggae genre to become elitist, inclusive & evangelical and has celebrated people and his city, Port Harcourt, at his expense for over a decade.
He is an evangelical Christian who is convinced that the Body of Christ is the conscience of society and that titles eventually do not count rather our ‘works & lifestyle’ based on grace will determine our standing.
Eugene is a father of three and resides in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Poet / Essayist
Gbenga Adesina is a poet and essayist whose works map aesthetic as well as human spaces. He jointly won the prestigious Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2016 and was also a Norman Mailer Writing Fellow at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.
He has been offered fellowships, residencies and scholarships by the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center and was a 2015 Fellow of the Open Society Foundation Poetry Residency on Goree Island, Dakar. His chapbook, Painter of Water, was published in spring 2016 by University of Nebraska Press and Akashic Books, New York.
Gbenga has shared and discussed his works in three continents and across several platforms of the world. His works interrogate love and loss, the lyric rendering of trauma, displacement, national memory and collective forgetting, liminal spaces and fluid identities and everydayness. Some of them have been published in Premium Times, Open Society Anthology of New African Poems and the New York Times and also displayed at the Musee Historique (Historical Museum), Goree Island.
ADEOYE JOSHUA BIODUN
Dentist / Public Health Specialist
Born in Kano State, Nigeria, Dr. Adeoye Joshua Biodun is a Dentist and a Public Health Specialist whose drive is to solve complex problems that matter. He considers himself a citizen of the world, and is a proud pan-Nigerian having visited every Nigerian State. He feels deeply about seeking creative solutions for Nigeria’s problems.
His undergraduate Dental education was at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where he found expression in all kinds of extracurricular activities and enjoyed multiple scholarships and awards for outstanding academic excellence.
Despite being voted the least likely to practice medicine, and the least likely to specialize by his peers – with good reason - he continued into postgraduate residency training in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and while there, developed an appetite for research after which he was later employed as a Lecturer of Dental Public Health in the new Faculty of Dentistry of the Bayero University, Kano.
Not long after, he proceeded for a Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management at the prestigious Harvard School of Public Health, simultaneously bagging the celebrated Presidential Scholars’ Scholarship at Harvard, and the TETFund Scholarship from his base University, Bayero University. While at Harvard, he was a pivotal member of the Nigerian Students Association at Harvard, and was one of the conveners of “Apathy is Haram”, their effort at ensuring that the apathy of followers in Nigeria and Africa towards holding government accountable came to an end.
Wanting to try his hands on something new and understand the “messy” world of information and money, he ventured into the world of business and journalism, becoming a management fellow at Sahara Reporters Media Group in New York. He returned a year ago after excelling in that position to complete his postgraduate residency program.
Currently, Joshua is involved in cutting-edge research and implementation projects at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and the Bayero University, Kano. His research includes teasing out the entanglements between the effects of cost and proximity in the utilization of healthcare; answering questions relating to Nigeria’s oral health policy; and finding effective ways of educating students to foster life-long learning.
He contributes to several e-zines including Pangyrus, volunteers as a cleft surgeon for the Grassroot Smile Initiative (for whom he doubles as the oral health coordinator) and consults for a few Non-Governmental Organizations around Nigeria.
Head of Stations Cool FM /Wazobia FM/ Nigeria Info Wazobia Max TV - Port Harcourt.
With over 15 years of experience in the broadcasting business, Aduratomi Bolade started out as a radio Disc Jockey and moved on to full-time presentation, which he did for 8 years before he became a pioneer member of the now defunct NN24.
He worked as a TV reporter and producer and in 2011, was appointed the Head of Stations Cool FM & Wazobia FM, Port Harcourt. Nigeria Info and Wazobia Max TV were added to the bouquet of stations in 2012 and 2016 respectively and with his wealth of experience and exceptional leadership skills, he steered the radio stations to become the top 3 most listened to radio stations in Rivers State.
Aduratomi Bolade holds a National Diploma in Mass Communication from the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ogun State and a Bachelors degree in English & Literary Studies from the University of Lagos.
He is a member of professional organizations including the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). He was also a Board member, Dawn In the Creeks Ltd. (A Non-Violence Advocacy project)
An alumnus of the US government sponsored International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), Aduratomi is a media trainer and mentor.
Chemical Engineer / Writer
Chidozie Akakuru is a creative who is passionate about the roles business and technology can play in improving the Nigerian society. He also has interests in management and organizational culture.
Bagging a First Class Honours in Chemical Engineering from the University of Port Harcourt, he represented the University in the Pan-African Universities Debate Championship (PAUDC) in 2013. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of The Reactor, the flagship magazine of the students’ branch of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE) in 2015.
Chidozie’s desire to understand the underlying nature of man and the fault lines that exist in our humanity led him to writing, thus, the bulk of his essays are rooted in exploring the psychology of everyday actions as well as the unseen forces that drive our decisions. When inspired, he also writes short stories and poems, which can be found on Ijéebi, a lifestyle blog that he co-founded, as well as other platforms on which his works have been featured. With a passion for societal development, Chidozie is involved with SparksHub, a non-profit organization aimed at providing a springboard for youth interested in solving problems by utilizing technology and entrepreneurship. He has also been an associate with Incubator Matrix, a technological hub in Port Harcourt, with a focus on software and business development.
POET / POLEMICIST
ODIA OFEIMUN was born in Iruekpen-Ekuma, Edo State of Nigeria, on March 16, 1950. He worked as news-reporter, factory labourer, and civil servant before studying Political Science at the University of Ibadan where his poetry won first prize in the University Competition of 1975. He has worked as an Administrative Officer in the Federal Public Service Commission, a teacher at Ansarul Islam Grammar School, Ijomu Oro, Private (Political) Secretary to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Unity Party of Nigeria, and a member of the Editorial Board of The Guardian Newspapers. After a stint at Oxford on a Commonwealth fellowship, he returned to Nigeria at the annulment of the 1993 election, and maintained columns in THE GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY, THE NIGERIAN TRIBUNE and contributed to many other newspapers. He was Chairman of the Editorial Board of the defunct daily, A.M. NEWS as well as The News and Tempo magazines, proud exponents of guerilla journalism, during the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha. He has been Publicity Secretary (1982-84), General Secretary (1984-88) and President (1993-97) of the Association of Nigerian Authors. He won the Fonlon Nichols Prize in 2010.
His collections of poetry include Dreams at Work, London Letter and other poems and I will ask questions with stones if they take my voice. His collected essays In search of Ogun: Soyinka Inspite of Nietzsche, Taking Nigeria Seriously, and A House of Many Mansions are published by Hornbill House. He has edited three theme anthologies of poetry including Lagos of the Poets, on the city of Lagos, Salute to the Master Builder, on the personage of Obafemi Awolowo and, with the poet, Obari Gomba, Onomonresoa: an anthology of Nigerian Poets on Mothers and Motherhood. He won the Fonlon Nichols Prize in 2010. No Country is Enough is his latest collection. A proud Lagosian, and keen watcher of the “citiness of cities”, he wrote the primary text for the coffee table book, LAGOS, A City At Work. His latest intervention in the national debate is titled THE NIGERIAN AGENDA on the inevitable transformation of Nigeria's nation space
POP-AFRICAN SINGER / SONGWRITER
Ikechukwu Eric Ahiauzu, known professionally as Ric Hassani, is a Nigerian born Pop-African singer and songwriter. His style/genre of music is “Pop-African” and he is an independent artiste who describes his music as “World Pop Music with an African Influence”.
The last born of 5, Ric started singing in a choir at the age of 8 and later, graduated from Covenant University in 2009 during which he performed on stage as ‘Rico Slim’ and was well-known for the song titled ‘Tomorrow’. He attended the University of Surrey in England to study Energy Economics and policy at Masters Degree level. After graduating in 2013, he relocated to Nigeria to pursue his music career full-time, moving between Port-Harcourt and Lagos.
In 2012, Ric released his first single called 'Dance Dance Baby Dance' after which he released a follow up single titled 'Double Double' which was produced by renowned music producer, Dj Coublon. In September 2015, he became the first Nigerian Artist to headline the Lake of Stars Festival in Lilongwe Malawi, along-side Uhuru and Toya Delazy. Upon return, he released his first Album Compilation called; African Tour Select Singles 2015, after which he released an EP, a five track compilation of acoustic versions of his pre-recorded music including fan favourites Joy, Stay and Depression.
In December 2015, his hit single titled 'Gentleman', was produced by Doron Clinton, which is the first single off his forth coming debut Album 'The African Gentleman'. His 'Gentleman' single which speaks against domestic violence, now has four other versions. One by StarBoy producer 'Dj Tunez', another by Ice Prince Zamani, third by Vj Adams, the fourth by Zambia's very own F. Jay and Thee A. Jay of Urban Hype. Other covers of the song have also been done by fans.
September 2016, Ric Hassani was nominated for 3 award categories; Best Artiste in African RnB & Soul, Most Promising Artiste, Video of the Year at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA 2016). He has also been nominated for 3 prestigious fashion awards: Lagos Fashion Awards 2016 - Fashionable Revelation Artist of The Year (Male), Nigeria Fashion and Style Awards 2016 – Fashionable Celebrity (Male) and Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards 2016 – Best Dressed Celebrity West Africa. He has also featured on the online cover of Complete Fashion Magazine.
Ric Hassani just returned from his tour in Malawi, where he performed at Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, continuously using his music to inspire positive social change.
Principal Manager - Banking & Supervision Department ,Central Bank of Nigeria
Mr Amonia Opusunju is a Principal Manager with the Banking and Supervision Department of Central Bank of Nigeria since August 2003. He is a Chartered Accountant, with over fifteen years of accounting and regulatory banking experience cutting across the banking and telecoms sectors. Bagging a BSc. Accountancy from the University of Nsukka and a Masters in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos, he proceeded to work briefly for the then Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and its Mobile Telecommunications arm Mtel from 2001 to 2003 until August 2003 when he proceeded to The Central bank of Nigeria.
Amonia Opusunju was responsible for the Introduction of Stress Testing in the Application for Licence Process for Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), for which he received a commendation from the Deputy Governor FSS. He designed Training Programmes for OFIs on Returns Analysis & Submission System and was a member of the team that designed and implemented the “Migration of Microfinance Banks from a manual processing platform to a robust on-line reporting system”. He was also a member of the FinA implementation Project team and Financial Institutions Analysis Processing System (FIAPS) implementation committee.
He has attended various local and International Trainings and Conferences, including the Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond Virgina. He is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, a Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner and has undergone extensive training on Cobit 5 implementation.
He is married to Engr. Umarani Opusunju and they are blessed with 3 children.