We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change. – Sheryl Sandberg

In this edition of #SpotOn, one of the very few Nigerian ladies who have been actively exploring and pushing the boundaries of tech in Nigeria Ebi Atawodi delivers profound insight into her corporate itinerary at Uber and the drive that keeps her going.

Ebi Atawodi comes with over a decade of marketing in the digital technology space. Ebi joined Uber as General Manager for Lagos and is now Uber’s General Manager for West Africa. She was previously Head of Corporate Communications and High Value Sponsorships at Etisalat – the fourth and fastest growing telecommunications company in Nigeria, 12th in the world. She created the Etisalat Prize for Literature – Africa’s most prestigious literary prize.

Prior to Etisalat she worked various roles/projects for Nokia, FirstBank, Booz & Company (now Strategy& Afren), GlaxoSmith Klein, Channel 4 and Bupa.

She holds a Bachelors with Honours in Electrical Electronics Engineering from the University of Nottingham and Masters in Computing Science from Imperial College London with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Infographics. Ebi is a competitive Hobie Cat sailor and passionate scuba diver (PADI rescue diver).

Enjoy the chat but more importantly apply these truths to your life.

1.  Having had over a decade experience in Marcomms, What can you say motivates you and keeps you thriving?

Being able to create things out of nothing has to be my biggest driver. I’m obsessed with a challenge – the bigger the better, and through that journey I learn more about myself, my strengths, weaknesses and uncover new adventures.

2.  What are the fundamental lessons you’ve learnt working at Uber?

Some key things I’ve learned include being able to hustle, make magic and get things done. At Uber we need to ‘always be closing’, i.e. -always be hustling. This industry and company moves at an incredibly fast pace and we need to be ahead of the curve. I have also learnt to make magic happen – this includes going back to the basics, and that being said, the third fundamental lesson learnt would have to be that having something done, is better that it being perfect. Sometimes there just isn’t time to fuss over the details!

3.  With your exposure to tech, what are the evolving trends you believe youths can leverage on particularly in Africa?

One of the areas we really have not fully maximized in Africa is the wealth of knowledge on the Internet. I really would like to see young people focus their efforts on self-development first from basics like grammar and literature to more complex topics like mathematics and logic. The depths of the Internet are limitless and communities like Andela and CCHub are championing the next frontier of education.

I believe the future of technology will be founded on some key things; Robotics, AI, Neuroscience, Biotech, 3D Printing


4.   As a lady, how do you thrive in a male dominated environment?

I have read Lean In cover to cover 🙂

5.  What are your most important quotes/nuggets?

  • The only thing that can stop you is yourself
  • ‘We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.’ – Aristotle
  • It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. – Invictus by William Ernest Henley
  • Je pense, donc je suis (I think, therefore I am) – René Descartes

6.  What is the role of mentorship in achieving a dream?

I think the concept of mentorship has taken a different meaning. A mentor isn’t arranged or designed, these things just fall into place. I believe it is important to surround yourself with people – peers and other leaders – who inspire you, challenge you, call you out/keep you in line and most important strive to see the very best version of yourself.

7.  Your top three most inspiring books would be?

I have an endless list of fiction books from Pride and Prejudice to A Fine Balance. For non-fiction

  • Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People
  • The Four Hour Work Week
  • Lean In (Of course)

8.  Is there any gap or divide you have observed amongst the present youths and what do proffer as a solution to it?

One of the things I have noticed the world over is a tendency to look for shortcuts. We are in a generation of instant gratification largely fueled by the Internet. Believe it is important to remind our generation that nothing easy is worth it and nothing worth it is easy.

Watch Out for the next edition of #SpotOn!


Our Voice Is In Our Hands

9505967156_97f78bb06d_bThe internet and social media give youth an enormous opportunity to amplify their voices, writes Emmanuel Olutokun, 23, a Correspondent from Lagos in Nigeria, who looks at ways these remarkable tools have been used for positive change.

The youthful age offers so much opportunity, potential and prospects to build, learn, and explore. A period to create the future we desire and work towards accomplishing it. But as an adage ironically puts, ‘many use their youth age to make their old age miserable’.

There was a time in the history of mankind when we thought the only way to make our voices heard was through protesting, fighting and even shedding of blood. But with the disruptive intervention and explosion of the internet, this conception is fast eroding.

Our voice is gradually moving to our hands. With our internet enabled mobile phones, our voices can hardly be ignored. It is simple but effective. There are immense opportunities that we the youths have to hone and positively make use of.

Recently, there was a premature coup in Turkey, where some disgruntled individuals in the military decided to overthrow the present government. The coup would have been a success if major traditional means of communication – radio and television – had been taken over.  But another importance means of communication was underrated, and that was the voice of the people. People who had access to the internet in Turkey took to their social media platforms to hear from their president, express their displeasure and dissatisfaction with the ongoing coup, and re-affirm their support to their president. These raised the consciousness of the world to crisis in Turkey and in no time the attempted coup was crushed.

This essentially brings to fore how loud and how far our ‘hands’ can go if used positively and in the right manner. Social media creates a very suitable platform for youths to start an initiative, galvanize support and implement projects that are beneficial to the society.

One such tool is Twitter. This platform is 320 million people strong globally and has been seen as a community where matters of importance are being discussed by people whose voices might never have been heard if there was no internet.

Last week, a hashtag #SaveMayowa was trending on Twitter Nigeria, which was a call for financial support ror a Nigerian lady who was diagnosed with cancer and in need of immediate medical attention. The unity of Nigerians was reflected when people took empathising steps to ensure that the needs of the lady were met. A Gofundme account was set up for her whereby people could donate, and within three days, over 31 million naira was raised for her operation. is another social tool whereby youths everywhere in the world can start campaigns, mobilise support from concerned fellows and also work with decision makers to drive solutions. Just starting a petition over an observed ill in your nation is now sure to be the first step to solving that ill. Amazingly, all these social platforms are free.

The truth is, there is never a better time to start than now. The change we desire to see in the world rests in our hands. Just start.

photo credit: Find your voice via photopin (license)

First Appeared on Your Commonwealth


APPLY-Social Intrapreneurship for Innovation in Health and Wellness

Image result for ashoka innovation
Course Dates: November 7 – December 16, 2016
Rolling Admission between September 12th and October 14th

Course Description

In our rapidly changing world, employee skills—such as intrapreneurship, agility, teamwork, empathy and collaborative leadership— are fundamental to an institution’s ability to innovate and grow into the future. The pitfalls of ignoring these skills can lead to loss of opportunity and competitiveness, along with increased redundancy and inefficiency. Social intrapreneurship is a methodology for sparking, cultivating, advancing and scaling social innovation within institutions. It involves intrapreneurial employees capitalizing on trends such as technology advancement and globalization, and deploying agile, startup strategies. Check out why Forbes is calling the Social Intrapreneur the Most Valuable Employee of 2014.
Ashoka, one of the world’s largest networks of social innovators and entrepreneurs, has teamed up with Boehringer Ingelheim, a world-leading health company with a vision for “value through innovation”, to create a six-week online course in social intrapreneurship for innovation in health and wellness. This course is part of the global “Making More Health” initiative to explore innovative pathways with non-traditional stakeholders to improve access to healthcare. In this course, you will connect with a global community of participants from institutions across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors and convene to learn entrepreneurial and start-up strategies for creating social and business impact in the health and wellness space. Social entrepreneurs are also included in the course to enable knowledge exchange between innovators within and outside of large organizations.

In the course you will:

  • Prepare for a lead or supporting role in developing a health and wellness innovation with social and business impact
  • Gain skills and strategies to garner internal and external support for innovative projects
  • Learn how to collaboratively advance innovation in a bureaucratic setting
  • Become familiar with the intrapreneurial strategies of co-creation and prototyping
  • Connect with a network of intrapreneurs and innovators to share ideas, make critical connections, and get continuous support and feedback on your own innovation ideas
  • Engage with the Ashoka network, including Ashoka Fellows, staff and other innovators
Through the online dynamic learning environment, which utilizes Ashoka’s knowledge and networks in intrapreneurship, participants will join facilitators and leading experts in the field to discuss the topics above,  while exploring case studies, major trends and social business ideas, thus keeping you on the cutting edge of intrapreneurship.
Apply here

Where Does Change Begin?

fb_img_1473411772326The present administration rode into power on the mantra of change and many Nigerians did buy into it because the insight was apt but more importantly Nigerians were in dire need of change. But barely 16 months into power it seems this mantra has turned against them biting them at the back, as the only change the people believe they have experienced is a downward slide and an overburdened standard of living.

While some critics are of the opinion that these current mishap is majorly an administrative failure others hold firm that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is just a child born in a turbulent time claiming that there is a global economic crunch which includes Nigeria, not also forgetting the large scale of corruption that exists in the country.

Recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in real terms, declined by 2.06% at the close of the second quarter of 2016. This implies that for the first time in 20 years the Nigerian economy has plunged into a recession.

The Nigerian economy is presently in a state of comatose and a heightened brouhaha, with various multinationals daily suspending or closing down their companies due to the daily free fall of the naira against the US Dollars and many companies in the private sectors are also quietly laying off hundreds of their staffs.

I believe the government is developing innovative ways to combat this menace and providing sustainable solutions to the economic crunch the country is experiencing.

As one of the ways to salvage this situation the Federal Government has initiated a National Re-orientation campaign tagged ‘Change Begins With Me’. The campaign was set up to primarily entrench the values of accountability, integrity and inculcate positive attitudinal change amongst Nigerians. It is expected to trigger positive change that will boost Nigeria’s image, enable the country gain acceptability and command respect in the comity of nations.

According to the Minister for Information and Culture, “The campaign is not a replication of the War Against Indiscipline which the Buhari-led administration initiated in 1983 but that it would achieve the same goal using a different mean”. Noting that what is wrong with Nigeria is not limited to the elite, the political class or the civil service, rather the change we want must address all issues and target every strata.

An objective look at these initiative in relation to the present economic condition of Nigeria provides two different perspective. First is a deeply thought out and well-crafted declaration of incompetency on the part of the ruling party. One would recall that during the campaign season there was a lot of promises and ‘we will do this’, ‘we will do that’ if only you bring us into the helm of affairs but a cursory look at those promises prove that 90% of them are yet to see the light of day top amongst them is the provision of 3million jobs in the first year in office.”

A Nigerian columnist puts succinctly “Change does not begin with the average Nigerian. No, it begins with those who promised us change a year ago. They go into office and Nigeria turned out to be animal farm where clueless pigs replaced clueless animals.” She brings to bear that before Nigerians accept the new initiative there should be some display of integrity by the government and not some intellectual manipulation.

Second perspective is an admonition and a truth that change cannot be accomplished in isolation but a joint, mutual and harmonious effort. A re-orientation that change is essentially achieved if it goes through a bottom-top approach, quelling the perception that the government would perform magic overnight.

According to the president of Nigeria. “The campaign is all about the need for us to see change not merely in terms of our economic, social progress but in terms of our personal behaviour on how we conduct ourselves, engage our neighbours and how we relate with the larger society.

I strongly believe that change begins at both level for while the government is trying to educate and sensitize the populace on the need to lead a responsible life which would one way or another impact the progress of the nation, they should also live up to expectations and be an ardent doer of what they preach.

What are your thoughts?

Apply for The PitchIt @ LendIt Competition for Fintech Startups

LendIt, in partnership with Capital One®, introduces PitchIt (a competition for fintech startups) to its Europe agenda for the first time. This partnership will nurture emerging talent throughout the competition, provide selected finalists with unparalleled access to industry expertise as well as invaluable exposure at the leading marketplace lending event in Europe.

This is an opportunity for fintech startups have their pitches heard by the international fintech community, and to secure investment and partners by meeting investors. Receive mentorship from industry leaders as well as gain valuable exposure through global PR.


  • Selected finalists will receive up to 2 free passesto LendIt Europe 2016
  • Selected finalists will receive up to $1,000 for travelto PitchIt
  • Winner receives a complimentary Bronze sponsorship packageat next year’s LendIt Europe conference (£7,500 value)
  • Winner receives a personalized mentor planfrom Capital One including mentorship from experts associated with Capital One Growth Labs, a partnership between Capital One and L Marks
  • 50% off Startup Zone boothsfor the eight selected PitchIt finalists


  • Applying organisation must be a high-growth fintech startup.
  • the organisation must have only raised less than £4M in funding.
  • Must have at least 2 full-time founders.
  • Must have created a working prototype with customer interaction.
  • Company must have been founded in between 2014 and 2016.


Applications for Pitchit @ LendIt Europe 2016 are due September 12.

Click here for more information and to APPLY



What you need to know about the Eclipse
An Eclipse occurs or takes place when the Earth or the moon passes through a shadow.

If the Earth passes through the shadow it is called Lunar Eclipse while if the moon passes through the shadow it is called Solar Eclipse. 
When Solar Eclipse occurs it does in four ways

1. Total 

2. Partial 

3. Annular 

On Thursday 01 September 2016 within the hours of 07:14:27AM – 9:52:59AM, There will be Annular Solar Eclipse of Nigeria.

Annular solar Eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller. It does not block the entire view of the sun. The moon in front of the sun looks like a dark disk on top of a larger sun-colored disk. This creates what looks like a ring around the moon.
The effects of looking at the Eclipse is medically irreversible. So it is strongly discouraged. 

But you can enjoy the view by using the Eclipse glasses which is a scientifically research gadget produced to protect your eyes from the adverse effects of the Eclipse.
The glasses are available for sale all across the nation and also in Unilag Pharmacy in akoka.

And also at

56 Ikotun Egbe Road. Ikotun

19 Nnobi Street (left) Ikate Surulere, 3 Adepetu Street bariga, 

Suit 62, 2ns Floor Ogba LSDPC shopping Arcade, Ogba 

15 Ileri oluwa street off college Road, oyemekun bus stop. Ifako-Ijaiye. Ogba

For other locations please call

08155651279, 08023049792, 08062878174. 

When the Rains fell!


I was awakened to a thunderous noise from my deeply cherished friends, some i had known since way back High school and the rest most recently. You could see the excitement on their faces, the joy and the scream.

“It’s your day baby girl, You’re finally going to be a MRS”

These reverbing words sent a cold chill down my spine, as i was nervous, disturbed about many things i couldn’t nomenclate.

As the movement, noise and traffic increased around the house, with my mischievous friends suggesting the best of make-ups to use, i thought to myself quietly.

“Could this be true? Am I going to loose my priced possession to the man I love?”
I wiped my face continuously in disbelieve, it was too good to be true.

This is the beginning of something wonderful and i have to give my best- in smile, in dance and yes in love.

I just couldn’t wait to see my beloved. Now it was time to be finally one with him.

As we got to the entrance of the church, with my hand locked into that of my gleeful father. The pianist played the song i had always admired on television but i still couldnt believe it was for me.

“Here comes the bride”

We patiently followed the rhthym of the song, as the congregation stood in awe, but truth be told my heart was impatient, it had run to meet him. His innocent and loving smile swept me off my feet. i just loved him more.

The priest could feel how desperate we were to get to the end of the ceremony. And as he said

“You may kiss the bride”
The veins of our mouth garnished with a deep love of over 2 years, got ready to express their mutual desire but The last thing i remebered was a distinct, manly violent voice that said “FIRE”

Did i just sleep again?

When i opened my eyes, the church was painted in blood, disarray, and sadness. My beloved was still beside me only that the bullets had taken his heart away. My eyes were soaked
I want to believe i was one of the lucky few that escaped that holocaust

43 years and still counting, i am still looking for the heart of my beloved. My only question was “Why didnt the rain fall a day before or a day after”