Audu Maikori is a lawyer, successful partner in a law firm and entrepreneur. He is the President of the Chocolate City Group, a multi-award winning and globally celebrated entertainment company with footprints in Africa, Europe and America. He talks to Living Africa about his vision, inspiration and why he calls Africa home.
I am an Entrepreneur
The best piece of entrepreneurial advice I ever heard was that you should do what come so naturally to you. If there is a skill some attribute you seem to display very well, pay attention to it, it could be your business calling.
Africa now more than ever, needs people who can solve problems. Entrepreneurs are people who can solve problems. Their job is to solve problems. If you can solve problems, you are in business and once you stop being able to solve problems, you are out of business. To improve our lot, and Africa’s look at where the gaps are and fill them; that is what business is all about.
Africa is my home
This is my natural habitat. My ability to connect with people, and understanding their basic values helps me add value. So if you are not in sync with the cultural attributes, history and upbringing of your target market, you can’t be of much help. So I don’t see America or Europe benefitting me as much as Africa because as Africans, we have similar backgrounds. We have similar problems; so if you have a solution that works in Nigeria, it is quite likely that it could also work in Cameroon.
Nigeria will be the hub of enterprise in Africa, ten years from now. I see Nigeria making serious headway in terms of manufacturing. I think the culture in Nigeria has a right to orbit. It is a huge export product. As we grow into our own, as we refine ourselves, we will be able to export this culture through our music, films, fashion, and art.
Nigeria’s biggest opportunity is its people. It has the numbers. It has the drive. The average Nigerian is very entrepreneurial. 170 million people cannot be ignored.
It is time for the rise of Africa. It is the only place in the world where you can put a dollar in and get three dollars out within twelve months. We have a people who have been suppressed for a long time, and now, with the spread of information and connectivity. the barriers that divided us are being broken. Now you find a lot of inter-country, inter-cultural, pan-African trade, a lot collaborations and synergies. Our people are finding common ground to celebrate our similarities and differences in culture.
I am inspired by the fact that anything that dwells on the past is already dead. To experience progress, there must be movement- forward movement, not backward movement. If you go backwards, it must be for reference purposes only; not for you to rest in the past. Most people who talk about the past have stopped dreaming; and if you stop dreaming, you are dead. The future belongs to those who have vision and begin to move towards that vision.