A great mind such as Tony Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF); Chairman of UBA, Africa’s Global Bank, and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, an African investment conglomerate, amongst several others of his mate is rare.
The Nigerian multi-millionaire in an interview with Times 100 Talks Magazine said he is learning how to barb hair and his wife now owns a hairdressing salon.
Taking to his Instagram in June while barbering one of his son’s hair: “After Madam braided the girls’ hair, my turn to cut the boys’ hair! Covid-19 is making us multi-skilled” he captioned the video.
Tony Elumelu, group chairman of the United Bank of Africa, on Thursday, featured on the TIME 100 Talks series.
He said “COVID has changed lives” as he spoke about one of the positive effects of the pandemic.
He continued: ” “Africa is a land of opportunity. Challenges exist in Africa, but we also have a huge return on investment,”
“There’s no better time to make that bet than the time we live in.”
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe, killing hundreds of thousands of people and wreaking economic disruption, the idea of making a big investment may seem brazen. Countries in Africa face particularly grueling obstacles as COVID-19 cases across the continent continue to surge, locusts swarms in east Africa threaten food security and the African Development Bank warns of a looming recession due to the pandemic.
But while some may see investing now as a gamble, Elumelu, knows how rewarding taking a bold risk can be. In 1997, Elumelu led a small group of investors to take over a small, financially distressed commercial bank. Just a few years later, the bank became a top-five financial servicer in Nigeria and would eventually merge with UBA, according to Forbes.
Now, in spite of COVID-19, the 57-year-old is pitching investors to put their bets on Africa’s economy.
“Today there’s more market stability than ever before and there’s a willingness and realization by African leaders that capital will come to where it’s welcome. So they’re trying to make an enabling environment in their markets and in their countries to attract foreign investments,” Elumelu said.