Launching Isoko Africa - Our Story
For a year plus, I have had the urgent need to kick start my #ShopAfricanGrowAfrica project because it really sucked that everytime I wore a pretty dress or used a local car service or organised an event with well tasty and packaged souvenirs etc, my friends and people out here were "AMAZED" that it was a truly African product most of which are from Nigeria. People hardly take the time to find out what we have internally and take advantage of it. I have a bag that is exactly like my Givenchy bag in quality, design and texture which I bought for few Naira change compared to the hundreds of dollars I paid for my GIV bag. Till today, my colleague has refused to believe the producer made it in Nigeria, Aba specifically. I am so glad that over 3 years ago, I met Shimite Bello and since then, she has instilled in me the need to patronise internally and support indigenious people and products as much as we can yet encouraging quality control!
Now, I am happy that I can start ISOKO Africa and accomplish my mission through identifying quality African brands that dominate locally and compete globally; thereby spotlighting them to the World. Isoko Africa is coined from the Swahili Language, ISOKO Y’AFRIKA meaning African Markets. People close to me know of my love for East Africa after growing up there 2-4 of my high school years. I thought that since I am from West Africa, we could balance the name of the show with East African heritage :)
Early this year, thanks to Sola Abolurin, I found Midas Radio, an online radio platform for podcasts. In partnership, they have provided a platform to bring this podcast across to a global audience. Piriye Isokrari and Wande Thomas, the creative director, has guided me in the mechanics of podcasting and my weakness as a perfectionist to become the best podcaster I can be.
More so, the branding aspect has been trying; Ademola Badejo, Bukola Abiola Falobi & Iyanu Akinremi have been instrumental towards making it happen. I although began to fret for my website after realising the huge costs it would gape in my pocket but have recently started designing it myself. Its been interesting reading up stuff about websites and mostly, podcasting websites and trying to make it work. You can always check my progress on www.isokoafrica.com and give me feedback. It may not look top shape but I believe that by end of this month, I’ll be ready to launch. I look forward to hosting on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud & Talking Bookz. Most importantly, I am blessed to have Mary Fashanu, as my managing partner. With her, speed and impact has been made.
We hope to find trust worthy partners, sponsors that believe in Africa, brands and speakers that are passionate about value creation, quality and uniqueness, a team that loves God, gym bags & pizza; and panelists that have a wealth of experience to teach us. My desire for Isoko Africa is to nurture customers that love & evangelise African brands, critque experts that ensure quality control, investors that can impact growth, entrepreneurs that are passionate and daring to risk it all in, foreigners that love us, a global market that gives our brands an opportunity and a happy productive interaction among Africans.