By Dotun Ibiwoye
Having been commissioned to design for Grammy nominated recording artist Amel Larrieux and design concepts for another Grammy award winning artist Ladybug mecca of the digable planets, Nigerian-American, Adé Abayomi Olufeko, has brought his experience on how to elevate women. The Information technologist and multi-disciplinary designer, gives insight on how visual work and digital new media will give women the ability to structure their ideas for manifestation in free enterprise. After rendering services to Bank of America, Bill Me Later / Atlantic Records, in 2010 Ade ran a half marathon in Orlando, Florida, benefiting women in the Congo to bring awareness to female mutilation (FGM).
BEING a technologist, designer and entrepreneur, in what way can women benefit from your platform for creative professionals which comprises of artists, architects and musicians?
There is an interwoven relationship between all the creative professionals you mention. My background as a technologist and the logical mathematical approach similar to that of an architect gave me a clear understanding of what would be sought for, such as showcasing landscape diagrams. As for musicians, I am a big lover of many kinds of music; Afrobeats, deep indigenous Yoruba music, all the way to American pop and European ambient classics.
Music has a way of easing the animalistic side of human nature. The platform serves like an incubator which interfaces with the mass population of respected female Nigerians, those who are business owners, doctors, lawyers and politicians who are mostly patrons to musicians. The foundation of the “Visual Collaborative” platform owes lots of gratitude to the strategy of our women. The matriarchal position in the African family is always respected, So the future being considerably female is something we have made a provision for.
What way can this positively affect women, most especially start-up in Nigeria and emerging democracies
It would give young girls to the full grown woman the ability to structure their own ideas for manifestation in free enterprise. The concept of start-up in Nigeria is always in flux, especially with the devaluation of the currency. Most humanitarians are women and I hope though as a man raised by an enterprising woman, I can be used as an example regardless of gender to break barriers. Common sense goals can morph into common sense legacies.
Last year, you were a main speaker at Covenant University Ota, Nigeria and you spoke on ICT e-Governance Conference. How will this improve the livelihood of women?
Some of the main facilitators of the program were women, this fact alone should remind women than they can hold their place among men, so far they respect men as well as themselves. My speech mainly covered media illusions and the downside of consumerism. Understanding these are enough to boost the confidence of women. My own mother served under Grace Alele-Williams before she started her own start-up in the 80s. The future isconsiderably female – the women can aide men with tact and guile and teach many men about emotional intelligence in business.
By advancing entrepreneurship in Africa through business conference, technology and infrastructure panel, what way will you be complementing the largest economy in Africa- Nigeria?
In terms of complements, I am a product of West African’s “brain drain” and can be used as an asset to its “brain gain”. It would be a huge mistake to put people like myself in tidy boxes due to fear of the unknown. In the past some of the well intentioned formulas by the upper echelon has not worked so why not suspend old agendas? As much as I am a humanitarian, I am a lover of Jesus Christ and not oblivious to spiritual strong holds. The skeptic or the atheist may not understand this, so a common ground for everyone to compliment could not be over-stated enough.
What is the correlation between the humanitarian narrative of your visual work and digital new media
I am a humanitarian first, so my disposition is to naturally scale outdated barriers and create opportunities Visualization is now digitized and this is no longer a secret.