Monday, 19 December 2016

Why I established AfricanHub—Oluneye Oluwole + Her fears over poor reading culture in Nigeria

By on 11:07
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Mrs. Oluneye Oluwole, Executive Director, AfricanHub

Oluneye Oluwole is a very smart and sharp lady. If she was to be an actress, she will shine like a million star; and if she chose to be a Television host, the heavens might not contain her limitation. But she is much more into something bigger than entertainment. This low cut wearing, average height lady connects business people and encourages authors to write for many to read. I ran into her at her NO 4, Sule Abuka Street, off Opebi Road (by GT Bank Bus Stop)  on Saturday December 10 during a Book Reading Event. The Event which was organized by her organization, AfricanHub was to review the book published by the 5th son of the winner of the June 12 Presidential election, Basorun MKO Abiola, Alhaji Abdul-Jamiu Abiodun Abiola. The book titled “The President Who Never Ruled” is presently making waves across the globe via Amazon and other e-platforms. Mrs. Oluneye Oluwole who met Jamiu Abiola through his wife, Hajia Khadijat Abiola at a diplomatic summit decided to bring the very busy Author and Business man on her monthly book reading platform.
Alhaji Abdul Jamiu Abiodun Abiola....Shetima Rasheed of Borno and Author 'The President Who Never Ruled'
The Month of December of course is an auspicious month and Oluneye made use of that opportunity to bring Jamiu over. The book was reviewed by a brilliant IT expert, Okungbaye Adeola. Social entrepreneur
Jumoke Olowookere later summarized the entire book before it was thrown to the cream of guests who included journalists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, lawyers and social critics. I later met Mrs. Oluwole over breakfast and she told me a bit of what she stood for. It was the first time Asabeafrika was meeting such a gifted woman. Read what she told us about herself in this short report.Enjoy the excerpts.
Your organization AfricanHub has just reviewed the book for the Month of December titled ‘The President Who Never Ruled” by Mr. Jamiu Abiola. How do you feel about the event?
Mr. Segun Alao Aka Basorun reading his own portion of the book 'The President Who Never Ruled'

Actually, I feel fulfilled because my vision is to give wings to people to fly. To give them the platform for their expression and for their creativity. That is what brings fulfillment actually when I see visions unfolding. People’s vision, people’s ideas unfolding and that is where I derive my joy and fulfillment from. It is not always about money. It is all about being part of somebody’s success, that you are part of that person’s journey and history. It is a social-enterprise side of us. That from what we do, we also know that we need to give back and that is part of giving back that we are doing.
The GDA and Alhaji Abdul Jamiu Abiola arrives for the book Reading at AfricanHub
Really, what is AfricanHub all about?
AfricanHub is an entrepreneurship and incubation hub. We are there for start-ups, we have a platform that we have created. A business platform for start-ups, for micro, small and medium enterprises to develop and grow their businesses. And by that we have services that we do offer which is office spaces. We do also offer business advisory services for clients’ businesses and also for virtual office. For people who do not want to have an office presence physically. So, they have what you call virtual office. That is the business hub that we have created. Now, aside from that, because I am also a writer, I have passion for books.
Oluneye Oluwole (Mrs.) to Asabeafrika...'I love business and i love books. I network'
I write books, I read books.  In the course of doing business I see a lot of people who say ‘oh, I write books or I publish books’. So, what we have done as part of our social enterprise platform is to create a literary hub and a book reading platform where we bring authors that are not known and that have strong stories, literary convictions and the most important thing for people is having a platform. If that platform is not there, the zeal, the enthusiasm will just die and I have been in that situation before and I can say I know what it means to be denied a platform. So, it is like a mission to give of ourselves, of our time, of our resources and platform and we do that graciously. We leverage on networking.
Jumoke Olowookere shares a joke with book Author, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola
There is no height to which you can fly if you give up yourself and if the will is there; there is always going to be a way. So, how myself and Khadija (Jamiu Abiola’s wife) met is through the power of networking and meeting Jamiu and that led to this event. You can see that there is endless possibilities that can be created from networking, it is endless and I can tell you the kind of possibilities and collaborative networking that has taken place in this place today. I am sure it was unimaginable, it is unimaginable and that is where I derive my joy and passion.
Who is Mrs Oluneye Oluwole?
Oluneye Oluwole to Asabeafrika....'I am an outgoing person'
I am an entrepreneur. I will say I have always wanted to do something that I am passionate about. I have a Geography—Social sciences back ground from Obafemi Awolowo University (Great Ife) and early in life, I have always known that I am an outdoor person. I am a people-loving person, I love meeting people. I love interacting with people and at times, people might think you are too out there, you are too in their faces. But you see, you have to believe in yourself
Mrs. Oluneye Oluwole of AfricanHub speaks with Mrs. Hafsat Costello Abiola at the Book Reading
. I have also seen that staying through to yourself will get you anywhere. So, Oluneye Oluwole is being passionate about people. I am very passionate about relationships, I am very passionate about giving up myself to people. So, I used my resources and platform to achieve that. You might not necessarily call me a core entrepreneur, maybe a social entrepreneur, and I could always go back to business because I have a first degree in Geography, a second degree in Communications and Language Arts and I am a kind of person that see things, I take my surroundings into consideration.
L-R: Mrs. Oluneye Oluwole, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola, Mr. Segun Aka Basorun and Mrs. Hafsat Costello Abiola
I see people, I see events, I see activities and I connect them and that is my gift and that is where I am very strong. So, putting Africanhub together is part of it. Because I am passionate about Africa, I am passionate about where I come from, I am very passionate about being a Nigerian, being an African woman. So, we came up with AfricaHub. It is Africa’s hub for business, for creativity and for excellence.
Mrs. Oluneye Oluwole with children of the late MKO Abiola
What do you think is happening to the book reading culture in Nigeria, do you see it as a challenge in your organization?
The Author of the book 'The President Who Never Ruled' Alhaji Abdul Jamiu Abiodun Abiola
It is a problem because when we grew up we grew up on books. We grew up on books and not just school books. We read the  brightening books, the famous five, the secret seven and we grew to the African writers, the Pace Setters etc. So, we used to challenge ourselves that ‘who will be the first to read and finish the pace setter’. And that was where I learnt some of my vocabulary.
The Reviewer of the Book 'The President Who Never Ruled'  Mr. Okungbaye Adeola
You know I can’t forget, I think it was ‘famous 5’, that I first encountered ‘a ragamuffin’ and I was like ‘what is a ragamuffin?’ (Laughter) and I had to go to the dictionary to look for what a ragamuffin is. And I remember, if I want to really upset somebody in those days,
Oluneye Oluwole (Mrs.) I learnt the word 'Ragamuffin' from reading books
I will say ‘you ragamuffin’. (More Laughter). That was then but you can see that the youths of today, they can’t speak English, they can’t express themselves any longer, they can’t put forward their ideas because they are lacking in something that is very fundamental; they don’t read and this things will always show. Because, one, you go to the university, you want to do your dissertation, you want to do your thesis, you need English to construct it, so, how do you learn? How do you present your ideas?
Social Entrepreneur Jumoke Olowookere
So, I see it as a very terrible challenge for the young ones. Most of them are permanently focused on twitter, on Facebook and other social platforms, even to go to amazon and read e-books, they don’t want to do that. It is a very huge challenge. It is an embarrassment to this generation.
The GDA & a Guest at the event
It is not a good thing to be proud of. From books, you can derive priceless ideas, from book an idea can generate that can lead you into great potentials. You can practically become something just from reading good books. But today, the generation of young ones are lacking in this regard and this is a big threat to society itself. Government must do everything within her reach to re establish a strong reading culture because a good reader is going to become a great leader but if no one is reading, how do you become a leader? That is why we have a generation of youths who do all sorts of nasty things. We must go back to the basics. We must take them back to books. At AfricanHub, we are trying to do that by encouraging writers to write books and  we celebrate their books and the other side of the coin is to appeal to the young ones in the society to please, read these books. Read and you will be able to  lead as a leader tomorrow. 
Hafsat Abiola & other participants at the Book Reading of 'The President Who Never Ruled'

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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  1. Jumoke Olowookere2 May 2017 at 09:48

    Wow...It was an honour and a priviledge meeting you and others that day...I've been following you and getting more enlightened by the day...Welldone AsabeAfrica..for this write-up and many more that we have been enjoying...God bless Afican Hub and Mrs Oluwole Oluneye..

  2. it was a great honor to be at this meeting. Mrs. Oluneye Oluwole is a motivator and an achiever. More grease to your elbow. Well-done African Hub, good job AsabeAfrica