So I decided to catch on what the contestants of the first and only season of ‘The Apprentice Africa’ have been up to because I met one of them on my recent trip to Lagos, Nigeria. Oh and by the way did you know I also auditioned for the show and got cut after the second round in Ghana?
Anyway, Nnamdi Mbonu was one of the contestants on the show, which premiered in February 2008 and ended in June 2008. Like most of the other contestants, I followed Nnamdi on Facebook and we became ‘Friends’ but the funny thing is that each time I met him in person I only would stare at him and say in my mind ‘where do I know him from?”
I first met him once in Luton, England when I went shopping. After wondering where I knew him from I concluded he must have been one of the Nollywood actors I had seen on TV. I even made a Facebook update to say “ I just met a Nollywood actor at so, so and so shop. So I felt like a star shopping there too”.
Due to some of my social media update on the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum, Nnamdi followed me on Twitter and again I said to myself ‘I know this name’. When I saw his profile picture he also looked familiar but I couldn’t immediately recollect how or where I knew him. And of course he had added on some few pounds now (clearly life has been good haha).
But when I spotted him at the forum in person, ‘it finally clicked’ and I remembered that Nnamdi is only a familiar face from The Apprentice Africa’ reality TV show, a show I followed and reviewed weekly in my early years as a blogger.
So based on this, I decided to revisit the show and see what the big dreamers on the show have become almost a decade after. The Apprentice Africa was an African version of the original American Reality TV format, The Apprentice, hosted by Donald Trump (now president of the USA). Biodun Shobanjo, an advertising magnate, hosted the show. It gathered 18 contestants from across Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon and Guinea.
Ghana’s Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng, who was a Customer Account Manager for Huawei Technologies won the season. He was hired by Biodun Shobanjo and offered a brand new car and an annual salary of $200,000. The show was sponsored by Bank PHB.
Dankyi-Koranteng is married to Ghanaian gospel musician Obaapa Linda and they have three children, Darrel Asiama Dankyi-Koranteng, Aimee Sampomaa Dankyi-Koranteng and Hillary Kwesibea Dankyi-Koranteng.
After the Apprentice Africa later worked with Bank PHB in Lagos, Nigeria, from 2008 to 2009 as a member of The Corporate Execution Team. He returned to Ghana and joined Airtel Ghana as the Corporate Sales Manager from 2009 to 2012 June and he joined IBM as Territory Sales Manager for Ghana.
From January 2014 Isaac was appointed the Managing Director of Resourcery Ghana Limited, an IT integration giant in West Africa.
Hannah Acquah is the Founder/CEO of The Knowledge Channel (TKC). She is an Economist and Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in business development, training and recruiting and deal facilitating across the African continent.
Hannah Acquah is currently also the Recruitment Manager for the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), an initiative launched by the United States Government and implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Hannah is excited to be part of an organization that identifies and trains Africa’s future leaders.
Now known as Regina Honu, Regina has remained in the news a Social Entrepreneur and software developer. She is the founder of Soronko Solutions, a software development company.
She has also opened Soronko Academy, the first coding and Human-centered design school for children and young adults in West Africa. As one of the few women making significant contributions to Africa’s development through innovative technological solutions, Regina has received multiple awards for her tireless efforts, including being named by CNN as one of the one the 12 inspirational women who rock STEM.
She was also named as one of the six women making an impact in Tech in Africa and one of the ten female entrepreneurs to watch in emerging economies.
Omar has worked in array of industry leading companies and organizations in the fields of international development, non-profits, oil and gas, media, and government.
In 2012, Omar founded the Pantera Group, and works as a business development and communications consultant for this multifaceted investment, services, contracting and procurement Company. Pantera’s mandate is to service the sophisticated, operational needs of large multinationals conducting business on the African continent.
Omar has over years of acting experience and has extensive knowledge of television production through his experiences working on Los Angeles, CA based television productions; The Price Is Right, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Dennis Miller Live, and The Bold and the Beautiful.
Nancy Kalembe seems to have since grown into Uganda’s top female entrepreneurs. She is the founder of Spring Clean, a cleaning company, and Mbalimbali Ltd, a pineapple juice and jam-producing company based in Nakawa.
She also worked as a news anchor at the then Uganda Television (UTV). She was the account manager for Uganda Telecom (utl) and account holder for Nation Media Group at Lowe Scanad advertising agency, and sales and promotions executive at Sanyu FM.
Nancy also had a working stint at PHP bank in Nigeria after The Apprenctice Africa and later also at Orient bank in Uganda. Despite being formally employed, Kalembe, a mother of two, was interested in making jam and started off slowly.
Bekeme Masade after The Apprentice Africa has evolved into a social entrepreneur. She is the executive director of CSR-in-Action, a social business-networking platform and advisory enterprise, dedicated to corporate social responsibility, women and youth empowerment, and sustainable development in Nigeria.
Bekeme Masade organized the Nigerian Business Council for Sustainable Development (NBCSD) in May 2014, an initiative spearheaded by Shell Nigeria which aims to form a coalition of businesses across all sectors to drive collective development.
Kenya’s Joyce Mbaya-Ikiao is a Dynamic Entrepreneur who has launched and runs successful business enterprises in line with her overall business vision to champion the empowerment of the people of Africa.
Joyce is also a published author who launched her book, GIBÉBÉ: imaGIne, BElieve, BEcome, in 2011, and has worked with various organizations to enable them achieve success through the GIBÉBÉ framework.
In 2011, Joyce had the honor of being selected as the opening speaker for Robin Sharma in Nairobi (one of the top leadership coaches in the world
In 2011, Eddie made the conscious decision go back home and joined the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group in Kenya as Business Development Manager.
He also continues to act in movies.
He later became Head of Internal Control at Orient Bank (Bank PHB) Uganda in 2009. He then moved to Credit Bank Kenya Limited as Projects Coordinator in 2010. He also worked as Project Manager South Sudan Commercial Bank from 2011 to 2012 and joined Isolutions Associates Ltd (ISOLS) as Head of Business.
He is currently the Managing Director of LipaEasy Limited, a company that deals with IT Security Solutions and Real Estate Development.
Oscar has harnessed his Business & Marketing management experience in the Telecommunications Industry, Insurance & Risk management sector, the Banking & Finance Industry. He also worked as Corporate Accounts Manager at Uganda Telecom.
Currently at Oskam MarketPro, he is the Managing Partner responsible for Strategy setting, execution and driving performance across business segments.
After the show Blessing like most of her collegaues joined Bank PHB Plc, as a Human Resource Strategist. In 2011 she moved to First Bank Nigeria Ltd as HR Business Partner and rose to become Head, HR Strategy.
Eunice Omole came in second place on The Apprentice Africa and now works to dispel African stereotypes. She is the Founder of O&M Media based in New York. She used her O&M Media to produce a new Pan-African television series called Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs.
In 2016 Eunice was named host of a new show on Mo’Abudu’s EbonyLife TV. The show “Hello Africa” sees Omole interviewing some of Africa’s most inspirational and successful celebrities. Omole, who was also the producer of the show joined EbonyLife TV as Chief Strategy Officer.
Deox is today one of the youngest billionaires in Uganda, he is the founder of a very powerful and efficient full-service law firm known as Tibeingana and Company Advocates which handles legal work for giant companies, he is an advocate of the high court of Uganda and all courts of judicature in Uganda.
He is also the owner of Rivonia Hotel, a $3 million investment of suites has opened in Mbuya, arguably the most expensive in the eastern part of Kampala. His hotel has 16 suites and a luxurious health club; he is also a real estate dealer.
Nnamdi Anthony Mbonu
And now to Nnamdi Mbonu, the man who made me put together this post. The Chemical Engineering grad from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria has been around the business world pretty much since the show.
He has worked with Bank PHB/Keystone Bank, and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems.
Nnamdi is the CEO of Mobicoll Technologies Ltd, and founder of Indigitech Innovations Limited. Mobicoll Technologies is a Fintech start-up deploying innovative solution with policy and process expertise to deliver services to the bottom of the pyramid or low-income groups in Nigeria.