Connect with us


5 Business Lessons to Learn from Showmax’s Freemen



Kindly share this post

In Nigeria, entrepreneurship and business enterprises play a pivotal role in the economy, with businesses spread across all corners of the country. However, when seeking advice on business matters, one group stands out – the Igbo people, renowned for their enduring affinity with commerce, notably through the Igbo apprenticeship system.

This system has nurtured numerous millionaires and notable figures in Nigeria’s business landscape. And Showmax’s compelling documentary, Freemen, delves into their journey, showcasing their rise, stories, and the rich culture of the longstanding “Igba Boi” tradition.

From the chairman of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, to the chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the Founder/Group Executive Chairman, Chicason Group, Sir Alex Chika Okafor and the renowned entrepreneur Obi Cubana, the documentary imparts invaluable lessons from their experiences and successes.

Here are 5 business lessons we’ve learned from Freemen.

1. You Can’t Do It Alone

In the world of business, collaboration is key. Just like in Igbo apprenticeship where a master mentors their apprentice, building a network of support and guidance can significantly enhance chances of success.

Speaking in the first episode of the documentary, the Executive Producer of Freemen, Nigerian rapper, and actor, Tobechukwu ‘Illbliss’ Ejiofor, emphasised the importance of togetherness in building a successful business empire.

He revealed: “When I came into Lagos, I realised that my journey wasn’t going to be complete if I didn’t create an opportunity for others from my own hustle. When you get in, you bring in your brother; it’s a philosophy that we built and ran with. I just know that I need to be able to get in and pull other people in, showing them exactly what it is that needs to be done”.

Obi Cubana captures it all in the same episode: “Never leave a brother behind”, he concluded.

2. Master One Thing; Not All

According to Freemen, rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to do everything, concentrate on mastering one aspect of your business.

Dr Cosmas Maduka’s story in episode two of the documentary is a prime example. Having begun his apprenticeship as early as the age of seven, even though he absorbed the knowledge of supply management, inventory control, accountancy, and administration which the Igbo apprenticeship system availed him, he focused on “internal combustion engine” under the tutelage of his uncle who had a catalogue for motorcycles. This led him to discover not just the contents but all the working parts of motorcycles and automobiles.

Unsurprisingly, Dr Cosmas’ breakthrough came from selling motorcycle crash bars, a product in scarce supply, at a substantial markup.

For Chief Innocent Chukwuma, one of Nigeria’s most successful car manufacturers, he had to spend seven months studying and mastering motorcycle parts before proceeding to work with his brother under whose auspices he became an apprentice. Before long, he was able to build a motorcycle by himself. In fact, he once brought the price of a motorcycle down from ₦150,000 to ₦60,000 due to his homemade brand.

In the near future, Chief Innocent Chukwuma aims to produce homemade cars that are cheaper than imported cars, in order to make automobiles more affordable.

3. Keep Developing

Continuous learning and improvement are essential for staying ahead in business. Just as apprentices in Igbo culture undergo rigorous training and skill development, entrepreneurs must continually invest in their own growth and development.

Engr Okezie Onyemelukwe, owner of Soundhouse Digital Multimedia, an independently owned and operated full-service event management company based in Enugu, is a testament to how developing one’s skill and talent can be the biggest pathway to success. In the third episode of Freemen, Engr Okezie revealed how he started from his local church, joining the team in charge of sound production. Before long, he joined his uncle’s music outfit which started with only a keyboard and a microphone. However, he honed his skill for years, ensuring that people rely on him before they can get their music production jobs done.

Today, some of the most competent sound engineers and live event professionals in southeast Nigeria have gone through Okezie’s tutelage as apprentices.

“When people see me driving the cars I drive, they want to be like me,” he said. “But they don’t see all the efforts and discipline that went into getting here. When you want to copy and paste someone’s life, make sure you copy from their past, not only their present”, Okezie said on the importance of discipline and development in running a successful business.

4. Find a Niche, Where There’s a Gap

Identifying an unmet need or underserved market niche is a recipe for success. Similar to how Igbo apprenticeships often specialise in specific trades or crafts, Freemen reveals that entrepreneurs must seek out opportunities where they can fill a gap in the market.

Reflecting on his journey, Dr Cosmas Maduka recalled how he identified a niche market opportunity within Boulos Enterprises. He seized the chance to sell motorcycle crash bars, a product in scarce supply, at a substantial markup. This strategic move propelled his success and layed the foundation for the highly influential business mogul he is today.  By offering unique solutions or products tailored to a specific audience, you can carve out a profitable niche for your business.

5. Be Ready to Serve

At the core of a successful business lies a commitment to serving others. In Igbo apprenticeship, both masters and apprentices understand the importance of service in their relationship.

For Anene Cyril Okeke, CEO of Lastborn Investment Ltd, a business owner who currently has over 14 apprentices working under him and over 20 who have graduated through him, he too had to go through his period of service.

“At a point, I regretted being an apprentice at my brother’s because he was hard on me. I would be the one to go on errands, I would be the one to fetch water, I would be the one to cook”, he said.

“It is now that I know that all of those were trainings that I should have gone through. If not, all the things I know now, I wouldn’t know”.

For Dr Cosmas Maduka, he had to serve and go through the Igbo Apprenticeship System at an early age, leading him to eventually take on the management of automobile branches in Jos, Sokoto, Nnewi, and Lagos.

During his years of service, Dr Maduka was under the guidance of his uncle, who was a motorcycle spare parts trader. However, they lived in humble conditions: “My uncle himself had just started a business and lived in his own uncle’s house in a one-bedroom with his wife. In that bedroom, they used curtains to divide the sitting room from the bedroom. A man that is sleeping in a passage went to get an apprentice so you can know where my bedroom would be,” he said.

That humble beginning of service, which is enclosed in the “Igba Boi” system, not only propelled his success but also enabled him to amass his first million dollars by the age of 24. By 25, his wealth had doubled to more than 2 million dollars.

Freemen is a captivating exploration of the Igbo Apprenticeship System, known locally as “Igba Boi”. Binge all seven episodes of Freemen now on

Kindly share this post

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd


Techy Accountants in partnership with ACCA Host AccounTech Summit to Empower Finance Professionals



Kindly share this post

The AccounTech Summit, hosted by The Techy Accountant in partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), is a groundbreaking event designed to navigate the evolving landscape of the finance industry in the digital era.

Techy accountant

Recognizing the critical need for finance professionals to adapt to technological advancements and emerging trends, this summit is a driving force for innovation, transformation, and progress.

The event is set to take place as follows:

Date: August 15th, 2024,

Location: Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel in Lagos, Victoria Island, Nigeria.

Time: 9:00 A.M

The summit aims to celebrate achievements in the finance sector, support entrepreneurship ventures, and enlighten participants on industry challenges and opportunities. With a focus on bridging the employability gap and promoting high-quality skill development in finance, the summit aims to address the evolving landscape of the industry in the digital age.

Over the past six years, The Techy Accountant has graduated over 1000 finance professionals and trained more than 5000 individuals worldwide.

Event Highlights

The one-day event will bring together over 200 attendees, including finance professionals, entrepreneurs, policymakers, academics, and Techies.

Attendees can expect a day of immersive learning and collaboration, culminating in an award and grant ceremony. Event Highlights include keynote sessions, interactive workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities, all centred around the theme “Emerging Tech in Accounting & Finance – A Game Changer.”

Commenting on the summit, Mrs. Toyin Olufon, Founder of The Techy Accountant stated, “We believe in equipping finance professionals with the skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing industry”.

Commenting on the collaboration, Mopelola Jatto, CFA, Regional Head, ACCA Nigeria remarked, “Partnering with The Techy Accountant underscores our commitment to fostering innovation and driving excellence in the finance profession. Together, we aim to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge required to thrive in the digital age.”


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


NASENI, Nasarawa State, Firm to Establish Tractor Manufacturing Plant in North-Central Geo-political Zone



Kindly share this post

National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is set to collaborate with Nasarawa state government and Bobtrack Tractors, a division of Saint Bob Motors Limited to start the manufacturing and assembling of tractors in the north-central geo-political zone.

Left to Right: The Chief Executive Officer, Bob Track Ltd, Mr. Ibifiri A.C Bob Manuel; the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu; the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, and Mr. Jerry of Bob Track Ltd, during a courtesy visit at NASENI Headquarters on Monday, April 22nd, 2024.

The facilities and infrastructure available at one of NASENI’s Institutes, Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI), Lafia, Nasarawa state will be used for assembling and manufacturing of the tractors.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NASENI, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, the project which is aimed at creating wealth and jobs for Nigerian youths is in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda of ensuring food security and promotion of mechanized farming and agro-business in the country. Halilu disclosed this when the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdulahi A. Sule led a delegation comprising of Bob Track Tractors to pay a visit to the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday, April 22nd, 2024.

Mr. Halilu who assured Governor Sule and the delegation of NASENI’s readiness to do business with them, said, “the Agency is willing to partner with you and sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) so that in the next couple of weeks we will move into action.”

He disclosed that Mr. President had recognized NASENI as a national brand and its National Tractor Recovery Programme wherein 55,000 tractors would be refurbished for mechanized farming nationwide.

In his remarks, Governor Sule said, he aligned with NASENI’s vision of collaborating and promoting made-in-Nigeria goods and also believed that government’s role is to provide a level playing field necessary for businesses to thrive.

The objective of his visit, he said, was to introduce the Bob Track Tractors which deals in assembling and manufacturing of tractor and farm implements with offices in Port Harcourt to NASENI so that it could utilize the existing facilities at AMEDI, Lafia for assembling of tractors instead of acquiring a new land for the business.

The CEO of Bob Track Tractors, Mr. Ibifiri A.C. Bob Manuel said, “We are ready to take up the facility that you have in Nasarawa State, create employment and wealth for the youths in the area and also use it as a hub to drive mechanized agricultural vision of the present administration. We are willing to invest in Nasarawa state with help of His Excellency, his team and NASENI.”

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


ARISE News Channel Goes Live in SA, 9 Other Southern African Countries



Kindly share this post

ARISE News Channel, Africa’s premier broadcaster, has announced its expansion into South Africa and nine other Southern African countries.

ARISE News Channel Goes Live in SA, 9 Other Southern African Countries

The channel is now available on Multichoice/DSTV Channel 416 in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

With this expansion, ARISE News Channel is now live in 54 African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon, Sudan, Ghana, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire, among others.

Celebrating its 11th anniversary on January 31, ARISE News Channel continues to showcase Africa’s diversity in business, politics, technology, commerce, science, sports, show business, and fashion, while projecting the best of Africa and its cultures globally.

Nduka Obaigbena, chairman and editor-in-chief of ARISE News Channel,, expressed determination to launch the channel in all countries worldwide, stating, “The move to Southern Africa reaffirms ARISE News Channel’s position as the leading broadcaster in Africa with independence and clear thinking. We are determined to celebrate the best of Africa and tell the African story in the global marketplace.”

He added, “We shall continually showcase the emerging African century where Nigeria and other African countries will be some of the leading economies around the world. This is a marathon and not a dash: we will do for Nigeria and Africa what the CNN, the BBCs, and Aljazeeras have done for their nations and regions. In the emerging African AI- driven new information highway, no one will shape your narrative better than you.”

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading