Over the last five years, I’ve been fortunate to host an eclectic mix of Nigeria’s most exciting and driven technology entrepreneurs via my TechTurks TV show. I started whilst still at Diamond Bank and really, the format was quite a curve ball for a Nigerian bank MD to talk to tech start-ups; the banking sector had, up until that point, leaned more towards corporate business builders than the early days technology mavericks.

Tech Turks was launched because I saw a new breed of entrepreneur emerging in the country, using technology to tackle real challenges around logistics, food, health, education, finance…


My father told me a story once about a man who gifted one of his sons N100K. The son was very grateful, thanked his father and was happy with an additional N100K in his pocket. However, the next day, the same son found out that his father had given his other son N150K and was upset and hurt by this; he felt short changed and that the N100K no longer held the same weight. He was no longer happy with his N100K. Upon confronting his father about the N50K discrepancy, his father replied, “How do you know that I gifted…


I treated myself to some new hair clippers recently; Wahl, wireless clippers. State of the art. A thing of beauty. My previous ones, a fine pair of electric, wired clippers, had held me in good stead for many years, but I am a sucker for tech and gadgets, and thought, when purchasing them, how wireless would be easier, simpler for my barber and also, with the promise of less noise — almost silent. No wires to navigate or get tangled in — good to go. And the results were fantastic — an even, cleaner cut, no nicks whatsoever.

But my…


Every Monday at Sparkle, we host a “lunch and learn” session. Each takes turns to bring to the table and discuss something specific they want to share. Our most recent one was led by Bidemi, who wanted to discuss work/life balance. As we each went around the room, I was fascinated to hear how everyone’s perspectives [from Millennial, to Gen Z to Gen X to me] were completely different. They all had different work experiences and, importantly, expectations on how life should be.

So let’s start with the basics. What does work actually mean? When I was young, it was…


What’s the difference between trust and faith? Something I’ve been pondering recently.

Nigerians — we have faith. We are, as a people, deeply religious and we have faith in our chosen Gods. We’ve never seen Him [or Her] but we have faith that God exists. We have no data points, other than the Bible which, of course, as a data source and piece of evidence, is another story.. But apart from that, we have no data. We just have faith.

I am not the first to raise the point about data in relation to faith; indeed Doubting Thomas requested evidence…


We officially launched Sparkle this time last year [yes, at the height of the COVID pandemic] with a view to building a digital community centered around trust, transparency, freedom and simplicity. No offline transactions. No murky or opaque decision making. Just data-driven, unbiased choices, in an app that gives its users freedom to do what they want to do so they can move on with their day.

And you know what? It worked. We were able to build a digital financial community, not in spite of, but perhaps somewhat due to, COVID. The plague of our times actually helped to…


Just two weeks ago, the CBN banned the use of Naira to acquire or trade Crypto currencies. This decision was based on concerns around KYC, AML (anti — money laundering) and terrorism etc. But all fiat currency is used for that too. Secondly it’s only a small fraction of the population that have access to crypto usage capabilities, but the impact of this decision can be huge. A pretty insignificant fraction of the population has been responsible for Nigeria being the second largest trading spot for Global P2P player, Paxful [trading $566m over 5 years].

Why don’t we channel these…


Having worked in banking all my adult life, having worked at Diamond Bank for over 20 years, having been the Group Managing Director there and having overseen its merger with another bank… it’s virtually impossible for me not to be associated with the label of “banker”. But I don’t see myself as one. And I’ll tell you why. For me, the banking that we have now is suited for a Nigeria of 20-30 years ago, whereas I prefer to see myself in the present and future of the sector.

At the Investment and Corporate banking level, there is adequate information…


Capital is a safety net that allows you to take risk or go through perilous times and survive

From both a business and personal perspective, of everything that comes to mind when analysing and trying to put 2020 into some sort of order, the concept of “Capital” sums up the year for me; in every sense of the word.

From a business perspective — those who had accrued financial capital to fall back on during the toughest times, were able to continue to do business — paying bills, paying staff. That in itself — ensuring timely payments of salaries, is…


My new enterprise started life as a small, crack team of experts who would be the core, the essence, the heartbeat of Sparkle, but who essentially would also oversee the procurement and outsourcing of experts to join and build our tribe. That was the concept.

I have always been a believer in letting the experts work their magic. I knew what Sparkle could be, I knew the tactics we would need to employ to make it happen. Whilst I don’t advocate the “it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in….”

Uzoma Dozie

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