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

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
, Alhaji Abdul-Jamiu Abiodun
. 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
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.
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’

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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

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
(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
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
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

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
(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

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’


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