The TRUE Africa 100 is our list of innovators, opinion-formers, game-changers, pioneers, dreamers and mavericks who we feel are shaping the Africa of today and tomorrow. We’re featuring them over 100 days and we’ve asked them all three questions.
Buffy Okeke-Ojiudu is the CEO of Zebra Group. He runs Zebra TV, a lifestyle channel focused on the continent’s ‘celebratory culture and alluring lifestyle of Africa’s elite’ and publishes the newspapers Abuja and Lagos Times.
Here’s why he thinks Africapitalism is the way forward for the continent and where he gets the finest traditional wear and suits in Nigeria.
What media innovations in Africa are you keeping your eye on?
At the moment I’m quite taken by the rapid advancement of online television platforms within the continent. As Africa’s online population grows – mostly due to a rapid increase in smart-phone penetration – more Africans are keeping themselves entertained via their mobile phones. As a result, online-TV is growing fast, creating overnight stars and celebrities in its wake.
It will be interesting to see what this grows into. Safe to say the cable TV providers have definitely noticed the signs.
You’re a stylish man. Which homegrown fashion labels do you support?
I head to E20 Bespoke by Edozie (a gifted and creative tailor in Lagos) for my suits and blazers. For traditional outfits I like Rebaz or Afam. Both fashion houses are based in Enugu in Nigeria’s south-eastern region.
Who’s your African of the year?
My African of the year would have to be Tony Elumelu, the founder of Heirs Holdings LTD. He’s an astute businessman with significant investments across multiple sectors in Africa. However, it’s his focus on impact investing that appeals to me the most.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation deploys its resources to generate solutions to challenges that inhibit the growth of the private sector in Africa.
A firm believer that Africa can be elevated through entrepreneurship, he’s channelled significant effort towards supporting and driving policies that promote competitiveness within the continent. Elumelu is the creator of the term Africapitalism, ‘an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth’.
His achievements inspire a new generation of young African entrepreneurs, not just to seek profits but to do so in tandem with the aim to have a significant and positive impact on society at large. It is for the reasons above that I pick him as my African of the year.
Follow Buffy @SirBuf
Check out Zebra Group
Come back tomorrow for the next TRUE Africa 100 and keep up to date using the hashtag #TRUEAfrica