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People & Lifestyle

19 year old, Abayomi Towase wins Mr Ideal Nigeria 2012



Abayomi Towase , a 19-year old first year student of  Obafemi Awolowo University,  has won the 3rd edition of Mr Ideal Nigeria held over the weekend.  He becomes the youngest title holder of the pageant; and a first time win for Osun State, which he represented.   Fortune Davis, Mr Lagos was the first runner up (Mr Ideal Nigeria – Earth 2012) , Mr. Akwa Ibom Nnamndi Azuide was the 2nd runner up (Mr Ideal Nigeria – Tourism 2012, Kastina’s Segun Egberongbe was 3rd runner up and Abuja’s John Akapa finished as 4th runner up. The candidates from Cross River, Kaduna , Gombe , Rivers, Yobe also reached the top 10. The Mr Ideal Nigeria 2012 finals took place at the Spiecry Hotel in Lekki, Lagos. The three hour show kicked off with a charity fashion show featuring Ville D’ettiney models and designers TnT, El frida, Isprata , Dre storms amongst others. There were also musical performances from Papi , Oyinkansola , Gmak  and Ola from Nigerian idol. The judges for the finale included Wunmi Osiyemi , Yewande Adekoya , Isioma Elemelu , Adonai Owiriwa , Wale Bello, Kenneth Nwadike, Damilola Amele , Toke Olowu, and Sanmi Apara. Other special awards were handed out to Mr Rivers (Best Body) , Mr Ondo (Best Business Idea) , and Kaduna (Mr Photogenic). Mr Ideal Nigeria 2012, Abayomi Towase commented:  “Mr Ideal Nigeria is a stepping stone to everything I want to be.  It’s a platform to influence people’s thoughts, minds and actions which is the biggest power of them all.  I will be able to inspire people and tell them they can be the best that they can be”. He is expected to represent Nigeria at the Mister Earth Worldwide pageant in Guatamala later in the year. He will launch his own business. Abayomi gets an endorsement deal from Cliclcoc Watch Nigeria and also gets to feature in a Yewande Adekoya Movie. The Mr Ideal Nigeria – Earth who was the runner up will be ambassador to Blue Storm Energy Drink and represent Nigeria at Body Beautiful in South Africa. The Mr Ideal Nigeria – Tourism 2012 Nnamdi Azuide is now signed to ISIS models and will feature in an Adonis Production movie. Ayotunde Fabamwo, President of the pageant said, “I am really excited to be working with a new Mr Ideal Nigeria and I am positive he will represent the country well internationally and also inspire young people to start up their own businesses”.]]>


People & Lifestyle

Huawei’s DIGIX Lab gives developers a space to revolutionise their big App ideas and dreams



Calling all App developers! If you love to code, build helpful digital products, and create or contribute to a variety of tech specific projects, then HUAWEI’s Developer Hub, the “DIGIX Lab” will become an empowering home for your curious and creative minds.


This Lab will allow developers to experience Huawei’s open capabilities and real devices firsthand, master and share knowledge about Huawei’s latest open capabilities through hands-on practice, and directly access the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem.


This new facility, a first of its kind from Huawei in the Middle East and Africa, shows the tech giant’s continued growth and investment in the Region, as well as its commitment to skills development and training. It will serve as an innovation hub for HMS App development on the African continent to drive idea exchanges, business growth and collaboration.


The DIGIX Lab will provide a home for developers to experience the full range of HMS developer resources such as training on: Huawei integration kits, marketing of Apps, technical skills assistance, and testing to help them reach new heights. This is in conjunction with the “HUAWEI Developers Programme”, which provides developers to participate in workshops, developer community and to receive newsletters and comprehensive support from the DIGIX Lab team. Huawei is empowering developers by putting their skills to use and giving them the platforms to innovate from scratch, building the entire App lifecycle from ideation to development.


One of the key services provided is HMS Core, which offers an extensive variety of 24 App services and capabilities such as Account Kit, Ads Kit, In-App Purchases Kit, Push Kit, and ML Kit (machine learning), which developers can integrate into their Apps on HUAWEI AppGallery to provide unique, high-quality experiences for users.


To date, AppGallery has rolled out more than 80,000 Apps, and this number continues to increase.


Huawei also has various platforms and resources in place that are helpful for the developer community, such as HUAWEI Developer Groups, which provide a space for in-depth exchange and collaboration among developers. Through these initiatives, developers all around the World get to connect and share ideas. Over one million developers have already registered on HUAWEI’s developer portal.


On 21 September 2021, Huawei Mobile Services will be launching the HUAWEI’s Developer Hub, the “DIGIX Lab” in Johannesburg. For more details visit our website by clicking here.

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Radio & TV

Life at 50°C: New study from BBC reveals that extremely hot days have doubled in past 40 years



Days where the temperature exceeds 50C degrees have doubled since the 1980s, and now occur in more parts of the world, according to new analysis from the BBC.


The analysis was commissioned by the BBC World Service for their new series, Life at 50°C and carried out by BBC News’ data journalism unit. It reveals that temperatures reached 50C or more on 14 days per year on average between 1980 and 2009, but since 2010 the number of days that has surpassed the extraordinary temperature is now 26.


BBC News examined data across a forty-year period and found that the total number of days above 50C increased in each decade since 1980. The BBC’s research also found significant increases in maximum temperatures around the world.


Days above 50C mostly occurred in places in the Middle East and the Gulf. Scientists expect even more areas to break the 50C mark in future.


The BBC’s Life at 50°C analysis also revealed that the number of days over 45C has increased by around two weeks per year on average when comparing the same forty-year period.


Dr Friederike Otto, a leading climate scientist from the University of Oxford, told the BBC that she believes the increase in the days and places above 50C “can be 100% attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.”


Extreme heat can make disasters, such as wildfires and droughts more likely, and can have devastating consequences for human health. It can also parch the land as higher temperatures boost evaporation from the soil. Increasing temperatures could even lead to many parts of the planet becoming too hot for people to live in.


Heat stress conditions could affect as many as 1.2 billion people around the world by 2100 if current levels of global warming continue, according to a Rutgers University study published last year. This figure is at least four times more than those affected today.


The research was carried out to launch the BBC’s Life at 50°C. The series, which will run across BBC outlets and digital platforms, presents the reality of climate change through stories of people around the world and explores how communities living in cities and rural areas have had to adapt their lives to cope with extreme heat. It has been produced by BBC News Arabic, in collaboration with BBC News Mundo, BBC News Urdu, and BBC News Hindi as well as the BBC’s other Indian language services.


Highlights include four-half hour programmes on BBC World News TV channel and a collection of ambitious digital films on the BBC News YouTube channel, with stories filmed in Nigeria, Pakistan, Australia, Mexico, India, Mauritania, Iraq, and Gulf states.


Life at 50°C launches with Nigeria Burning. In the film, Farouk digs wells by hand in Kilankwa, central Nigeria. Joy cooks tapioca in the extreme heat of illegal gas flares in the Niger Delta. Now climate change is making their lives even harder; this year Farouk and his team have to dig down to an unprecedented 27 feet before they find water. Their stories show how ordinary Nigerians are exposed to the hardship of extreme heat. Haruna, who works with Farouk says: “When I was a boy the weather was not this harsh.” Digging the well exposes Farouk and his team to temperatures too hot for their instruments to measure, and while she knows it’s ‘bad’ for her health, Joy braves heats of 90C to cook by the flares to make income to help to support her family.


Watch Nigeria Burning here:  (3 mins)

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People & Lifestyle

Resources for Running a CBD Company



With the massive and growing popularity of CBD in the United States, starting your own CBD company makes perfect sense. However, being an entrepreneur in an industry that’s still in its infant stages can be difficult. You have to find ways to generate revenue, protect your company and its assets, and compete in digital markets.


As you can see, a lot goes into running a CBD business, but having the right resources will make running your company easier. That begs the question, “What are the right resources?” Well, you’re in luck because that’s the question we answer in this article.

White-Label Supplement Manufacturers

The CBD industry is growing rapidly, and new CBD brands are hitting the market all the time. Your CBD business might sell some of the top CBD brands in the industry, but have you ever thought of launching your own CBD products?


Starting your own CBD brand allows you to create products your customers will love and grow your brand. Many retailers like Wal-Mart and Target have their own brands on their shelves, and they offer them at lower prices than the “brand name” products they offer. You can increase your share of the CBD market by doing the same thing.


Nutritional supplement manufacturers all over the U.S. create quality products and provide white-label supplements like CBD oils, gummies, and CBD tinctures at wholesale prices. The good news is that these supplements often have lower overhead costs than wholesale products from brand-name CBD products, meaning you can sell your own products at more affordable prices.

Asset Tracking

If you have a sales team working on getting your CBD products on the shelves of other small businesses, you need to equip them with the tools to succeed. They might need anything from tablets to show customers different product offerings to smartphones to keep in touch.


Electronic equipment is expensive, and it can be hard to trust team members to take care of company property as if it were their own. In fact, depending on how responsible your team members are, you might not want them treating your equipment like it’s theirs.


With Cheqroom’s asset tracking tools, you can hold employees accountable when using company assets. With their asset tags, you can also track who has what, when they got it, and when it’s due for return. You’ll even get updates on the usage and condition of your assets. So, give your team the tools they need to soar without worrying about losing your investment.

E-Commerce Platform



Having an e-commerce platform is necessary to grow your business in the digital age. Most people shop online, even if only for small purchases. These days, you need an online store to encourage sales across multiple platforms and extend your market.


One of the best ways to grow your online CBD business is to offer special deals for online orders. After all, when people shop online, they look for deals they can’t get elsewhere. You know the law of supply and demand, so give people what they’re looking for when they visit your e-commerce store—great deals. A great way to increase online sales is by providing customers with deals they can’t find in your brick-and-mortar location.


The CBD industry is steadily growing, and you need the right resources to keep up with the rest of the field. With your own line of CBD products and an E-commerce platform, you can significantly increase your revenue. Furthermore, digital marketing is essential to growing your online presence and brand awareness. Finally, having a legal team and asset tracking tools protects your business’s integrity and operational equipment. Using the resources listed in this article will help protect your business and give it a competitive edge.

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People & Lifestyle

Absa Announces Collaboration to Strengthen Digital Partnerships Ecosystem Across Africa



Absa Group, one of the largest financial service providers in Africa, will strengthen efforts to grow its digital partnerships ecosystem across Africa with the appointment of HYBR and SystemicLogic, which will help Absa identify potential collaboration partners. 


“We believe in the substantial mutual value that is created by connecting with key local, regional and global ecosystem networks that have extensive activities on the continent across multiple industries,” says Absa Group Digital Partnerships Ecosystem Lead, Andrew Davies. “HYBR and SystemicLogic’s skill sets and networks will augment our efforts to connect and collaborate with Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs,” says Davies. 


Absa is looking to work with start-ups that have innovative tech-based solutions which could ultimately be scaled and deployed to benefit its customers.


An Absa Digital Partnerships capability was established in 2020 with support from global collaborator Elixirr to create the strategy, operating model and execution capabilities to collaborate effectively with innovative, mature start-ups from around the world. This capability has enabled Absa to set up, mobilise and deliver a digital partnerships ecosystem through which the Group now continuously sources collaborators to innovate with and rapidly co-create new value propositions and capabilities that align to business objectives.


With a notable combined reach, the three scouting partners boast networks and memberships within the African and global start-up environments.


“Our collaboration with Absa Group is a long time coming, having been exposed to Absa’s work in the innovation ecosystem across Africa over the past five years,” says HYBR partner Vuyisa Qabaka. “We’re looking for companies with which to build solutions to align with the Bank’s ambition to deliver financial impact that improves lives,” says Qabaka. HYBR is a scale-up advisory firm with offices in both West Africa and Southern Africa.


SystemicLogic is actively involved in contributing financial and mentorship support to various networks and individuals in several markets.


“Every entrepreneur needs someone to believe in them, and there is no successful business that scaled without some involvement from a trusted financial partner,” says SystemicLogic CEO Audrey Mothupi. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue working alongside the bank and offering opportunities to other companies like ours,” says Mothupi.


Absa is looking to accelerate its digital transformation through strategic partnerships which collectively form an ecosystem that will deliver improved customer experience, reduce costs and support revenue growth.


“We believe strongly in the power of open innovation and true value exchange between large corporates and startups,” say Chris Weiss, Partner at Elixirr. “Absa’s Digital Partnership capability ensures that they are able to effectively engage with potential partners to define what the value exchange will be, setting both parties up for longer term success. We are proud to have supported Absa on this journey and look forward to great things from our continued relationship.”


“We will be focusing on establishing a meaningful exchange of value between Absa and future ecosystem members, as well as our scouting partners – for the benefit of all involved, and the ultimate benefit of our substantial customer base,” says Davies. Davies invites interested organisations to make contact with Elixirr,  HYBR or SystemicLogic.


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People & Lifestyle

Vodafone Business Unveils Exciting Packages for SMEs in September



Vodafone Business, the enterprise arm of Vodafone Ghana, has announced various support packages for the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the month of September. (more…)

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People & Lifestyle

Optimizing Digital Services



Navigating the Digital Age

Digital – along with its many variants and associations – has become a pervasive buzzword of our times.  More than just some contemporary hype, it is fast becoming the de facto medium for both social interactions and commercial endeavour.  Indeed, many organizations cite digital as the mainstay of their strategic ambitions, and the facilitator of the value-creating assets that will sustain their businesses well into the future.  And why not?  The opportunities and benefits that digital technologies promise to bring are set to dwarf and wildly disrupt traditional offerings.  But how do we get the most from our digital setups?


Variations of Digital

Though most organizations have resolved to ply the digital path, for obvious reasons, the nature and extent to which they have invested in and committed to this journey varies significantly.  While some are merely digitizing and others are digitalizing, a bold few are executing all-encompassing digital transformations.  It is worth noting that these descriptions are not just different words to describe the same practice, but actually represent different faces and varying degrees of the “digital movement”.

The first – that is digitization – is the creation of technology-based versions or replicas of existing processes and artifacts.  It is thus another word for basic automation.  The second – digitalization – involves a more substantial (re)construction of key assets using digital technologies such as analytics and artificial intelligence.  Digital transformation, on the other hand, is a more extensive strategic activity that seeks to challenge and reimagine an organization’s value co-creation and capture capabilities, to the extent that it may materially alter the entire business model (or large aspects of it).


The Make-up of Digital

Digital is not equal to technology.  It is far more involving than that.  It is the facilitation of human activities and experiences – from socialization to commerce – using new age technologies and devices.  Simply put, it is the use of modern technologies to enable things to be done simpler, faster, more conveniently, and in a more customized way.  In that sense, digital is more than the sum of its component parts.

Building digital assets to solution needs or drive service delivery requires bringing together a number of important elements. These make up the various components, which fit and work together to enable interfacing, processing, and servicing.  They include core services and platforms, channels or user interfaces, analytics and AI, and digital marketing, all of which are enabled by technology and encapsulated in a conducive culture.  Additionally, as our reliance on technology increases and its associated threats become a menace, the need for robust controls is also brought to the fore.


Optimizing Digital Components

Regardless of whether an organization is merely digitizing or wholly transforming, both the digital capabilities used by its personnel and those used to service customers must perform optimally if goals are to be achieved.  Optimal performance essentially means the organization must undertake some concerted work to fine-tune all components across the spectrum.  Since the digital construct is made up of distinct components, each must be improved in a manner that is commensurate with the nature and size of the organization and its customer base.  The objective is to make each as good as possible.

So, how should this optimization manifest?  Those responsible for the separate components should ensure best-in-class configuration and execution, as per the typical standards described below:

  • A robust, resilient, and scalable technology infrastructure, to provide the necessary processing power, storage and network connectivity. This will ensure that platforms and applications have the needed resources (dynamically allocated) and function in a highly available environment.
  • An effective data management approach that ensures appropriate access to, use of, and protection for customer and transactional data. This will be the “fuel” for all services.  Solid analytics would also birth optimized product development, tailored experiences, and targeted sales and marketing.
  • Effective operational and security controls that safeguard assets and processes, as well as assure efficient day-to-day operations. The objective here would be to achieve >70% controls automation.
  • A set of well-architected and highly available core platforms and services. This is where the servicing or solutioning of customer needs or requests happens.  For a Bank this will most likely be the Core Banking, while a Telecoms Operator may point to the IN (Intelligent Network).
  • Friendly, intuitive, and consistent channels that make it easy for customers to engage and transact. This will be a primary touchpoint and will therefore be perceived as the key value delivery hub.  Obviously, top-notch design considerations must be applied here, including user interface (i.e. look and feel), fulfilment processes, and usability.
  • A strategically-aligned digital marketing machinery that churns out well-crafted, targeted, and well-timed messages (and stories) using all available media.

A culture that is agile and future-oriented will be the glue that makes these components work well together.  It will also create Ambassadors who will evangelize the offering to colleagues and customers alike.  The eventual result will be a digital machine that is not only well-oiled and optimized, but also greater than the sum of its parts in terms of impact and outcome.

Ebo Richardson, Chief Enablement & Information Officer, Absa Bank Ghana_1-2

Ebo Richardson, Chief Enablement & Information Officer, Absa Bank Ghana_1-2

Management buy-in is key

The requirements of a digital setup that is both fit-for-purpose and fit-for-use tend to be extensive.  Building such an asset requires substantial investment and sustained support.  Consequently, buy-in from top management is a critical success factor.  They must see a clear line-of-sight between the substantial investment needed and the benefits expected to accrue.  To create sustainable value, management must then strategize to achieve a good balance between what their organization is good at today and what it must be good at tomorrow.  With such commitment, the chances of success will outstrip the likelihood of failure.

As the digital race heats up, those organizations that manage to find the pulse of their customers and leverage it to optimize their digital offerings will undoubtedly deliver superior experience that will set them apart from their competition.  It will also engender levels of loyalty that may well stave-off likely digital disruptions.

The race is make-or-break and very much on!

Written by Ebo Richardson, Chief Enablement & Information Officer, Absa Bank Ghana


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