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Marriage and The Bread Winner

Posted on: August 8th, 2016 by The Moderator 4 Comments

Welcome to The Octagon.

The Octagon: We appreciate your taking time out to join this chat session which is one of the first of many conversations to go on www.theoctagon.com.ng. This session will end at 5pm. We have two moderators in the room who will only offer guidance where necessary. Please feel free to openly share your thoughts and experiences. Let’s begin with some introductions before going into the discussion. Can everyone let us know who they are and share a bit about what they do? Thank you

Tolu: Hi everyone My name is Tolu. I’m married with 2 beautiful kids. I’ve been married for 3 years + but dated for 14 years on and off before marriage. I’m a Marketing Director for 2 F ‘n’ B brands and I love talking about relationships.

Alex: My name is Alexander Umole, I am married for 10 years with my wife Sola. We have 2 lovely girls. I work as minister/pastor with a church in Florida.

Uju: Hello everyone, Uju Okoye here. Public health physician in the US. Community advocate and entrepreneur. Always seeking ways to partner up and empower. Married for 6 years to Obi with one amazing child.

Kelo: Hi everyone my name is Kelo and I’m married, no kids yet. I run an online youth culture publication, an online fashion store amongst other things.

Joshua: Good evening. My name is Josh. Speaker and consultant based in the UK. I trust y’all are doing great.

The Octagon: We can begin and then the others will join in. According to a Research study, on the average, a larger percentage of adults said they agreed it’s generally better for a marriage if the husband earns more money than his wife. Their argument is usually related to issues of respect, egos, either party having to ask for funds, the kids feeling one party is ‘richer’ than the other, etc.  Do you think it’s important who earns more? What’s a family man to do to keep his marriage strong when she earns more? And how can a breadwinner wife best keep the love alive?

Alex: Someone said humorously that it takes finance to run romance. I agree that money is crucial to relationships.

Tolu: The male Ego is the bigger question. Another factor is up bringing of each person. Everyone has their expectations of what a marriage should be and that’s why couples need to discuss before getting married. Money is a not the issues its dealing with the money issues that the problem.

Uju: True. But in some cases, say if the man is in a field that is naturally lower paying. For example he may enjoy working with teenagers in impoverished communities, and she is in a naturally higher paying field. The problem may be behind the mine” thinking and not thinking “ours”. I think people set themselves up with expectations by looking outwardly instead of inwardly. Stop the comparisons to others, culture or otherwise.

Kelo: I think this boils down to our cultural “orientation” and the setting in which we were raised. I’m Igbo and the norm is that the man takes care of his wife and the wife is the one who he has chosen to “eat” his wealth.  So if the man fails to live up to this provider role society has created for him, he’s seen to be slacking.

Uju: Kelo, I am Igbo as well, and that same attitude sets ppl up to fail. I can’t imagine how stressed out that would make any man, struggling to step out into a field that he is passionate about, if it’s not as lucrative for a period of time.

Kelo: I agree with you Uju, I’m just creating the context

Alex: But in a marital situation the question of cultural orientation is key.

The Gender Equality Question

Posted on: August 1st, 2016 by The Moderator 3 Comments

Welcome to The Octagon

See the profile of our guests in this Octagon room conversation

The Octagon: Let’s begin with introductions. Please let us know who you are and what you do. After that we will go into the conversation.

Wakeji: My name is Wakeji, officially known as Mary W. Gani. I’m a lawyer/academic/creative writer who is currently on a foray into communications. I manage the communications desk for an international charity.

Titilope: My name is Titilope Sonuga. I’m a performance poet, writer & actor. I’m Intel’s She Will Connect ambassador for Nigeria.

Jibril: Hello all my name is Jibril a civil servant and academic.

Ihotu: I’m Ihotu Amuta, I am an idea strategist and enterprise educator. I run a company called The Scratch Board focused on business strategy, startup incubation and organisational design. I also run Jewels Network aimed at women’s enhancement. I write, I speak and I mentor kids in Secondary school

Nimah: Hiya, I’m Nimah Arigbabu currently Studying politics and security. I worked as a project manager with an NGO prior to my current study.

Venya: Hey everyone, Im Ven Lannap, a passionate individual that hates any form of injustice. Lead at Bo SITA MADE, a youth developmental ngo that is active in the fight against sex trafficking and the Director of Before and After School Academy, Jos

Jake: Jake Okechukwu Effoduh, I Have Been A Human Rights Lawyer For 6 Years And A National Radio Presenter For A Decade Now.

Blessing: My name is Blessing Oyeleye. I am a Chemical Engineer and Global Energy Consultant. I am a working mother and try to find balance at home and at work.

The Octagon: The lines between what is feminine and what is masculine are drawn from birth. Little girls are wrapped in pink blankets and little boys in blue. Treating men and women as different is so intrinsic to Global Culture that most of us think nothing of it. While in developed countries it often takes the form of unequal pay, glass ceilings and lack of childcare provisions, in developing countries it’s evident in the tradition of child marriage, female infanticide, female genital mutilation and barriers to education for girls.

The Ooni of Ife’s wife recently said “The modern pattern of feminism has succeeded in limiting women of the heights they could reach; gender equality is unrealistic. We can never be equal with men, we are here for a great purpose, we have our roles to play we are powerful and we are a force of nature. Relationships are suffering today, because women want to be men”

To what extent do you think that the educational system tries to push (or unconsciously pushes) people into traditionally “female” and “male” roles?  Do you think women really get the ‘short end of the stick’ in Society, or is this a Myth ? Finally, Is Gender Equality Possible ?

Jake: Gender equality is feasible. It has happened; is happening; and will happen if we make it happen. Women will soon stop demanding quotas and will dictate what they want. They will not matter if they are 10% or 40% but will ensure that whoever is representing them In every level is mindful of their interest 100%. The Ooni’s wife spoke for herself. She can’t speak for women. So I need not reply her, or comment on her statement.

Ihotu: I think the concept of gender equality has been misrepresented in societal discuss. I do not completely agree with the Ooni’s wife but I understand her perspective. Women can do what men can but should they? Every society will evolve into gender equity or equality at different times based on its exposure.

Titilope: I don’t think it’s so simple. If it were happening we wouldn’t still be having this conversation. Being a feminist or demanding gender equality does not equate a woman wanting to be a man. The comment from the Ooni’s wife (who we should actually be calling by her own name) illustrates that people don’t actually understand the importance of gender equality and do not see the subtle ways we consistently relegate women in our society.

Wakeji: I’ve heard it said that equity and equality are different concepts. This may be just semantics, but the different words may be useful for the purpose of context. The comments by the Ooni’s wife may have been made on the basis of her concern for certain societal norms that she considers to have been eroded. The question, in my mind, is whether some of those norms are incompatible with gender equality. Some of these norms may be childcare and home making. The way I see it, gender equality, and these norms that people feel are being eroded are certainly not incompatible.

Venya: Hmm…interesting, each of the gender has a unique role to play, respecting that is what would give balance to the society. God created man and woman to give that balance undertaking that is what ‘equality’ in gender should be. And, most people’s opinions are mostly contextual, so I can understand with Ooni’s wife.

Nimah: You see the problem with people like ooni’s wife is they are too ignorant to pick up a book. A lot of us have forgotten what roles feminism has played in our lives and how it has shaped our society. I don’t think she knows people like Efunsetan, Moremi, Oya, F. Ransom Kuti etc. Without these women we won’t be able to do the things other women see as ” basic things” if she wants to see what gender inequality is I suggest she sees what happens with the women in Saudi.

Ihotu: Even today I go for some management level meetings and there are less women in the room than men and some of the men try to shut you down or are condescending. Is that society’s fault or should every man take responsibility for his actions? Or are there women refusing to go past a level in their careers because of the assumed “gender” issues posed by society

The Octagon: For clarification purposes. Gender inequality swings both ways – affects men and women . So, for the men in the group – Society tells you that you can’t be “too emotional”, you need to achieve status by earning lots of money, resolve conflict with violence, choose mechanical and analytical jobs, etc. When a man decides he wants to be a Make up artist, he’s often viewed as Effeminate. This being said, the focus when Gender equality is being discussed is women (not so much men). Why do you think this is?

Can technology truly help traditional Nigerian Businesses experience astronomical growth?

Posted on: August 1st, 2016 by The Moderator 8 Comments

Welcome to The Octagon

See the profile of our guests in this Octagon room conversation

The Octagon: Let’s begin with some introductions before going into the discussion. Can everyone let us know who they are and share a bit about what they do? Thank you.

Bade: Bade Adesemowo – Co-Founder, Social Lender; & Deputy Group Head, Bincom ICT.

Kazeem: Kazeem Bello-Osagie MD QUO Courier & Logistics

Daniel: Hello All,  I’m Daniel Oparison. Head, Growth Strategy & Brand Marketing @ Paga. Exec Creative Director @ Dmastermind Agency.

Udoka: Udoka Uzoka. Technologist. Run a software development company (Cubix Labs) and a few startups with focus on Education (BrightCube) and e-commerce (Heels.com.ng).

Mayor: Hello All. My name is Mayor. I like Game of Thrones and work in Brand Management/Marketing to be able to pay for this passion. (Hands of the King (And Queen) are very expensive!)

Dami: Hello, Akinwale Damilola. I used to work in Financial services, now I am on the proverbial Streets looking for a Unicorn.

Sam: Hi my Name is Sam Uduma, serial entrepreneur with a flair for innovative technology and Impact investing. Give me $ 1billion and you’ll get a dent in the African Eco space.. Give me $1m and I’ll get you a billion

Kola: Hello house. I’m Kola Aina. I provide leadership at Emerging Platforms Group – a suite of technology companies. We also recently lunched Ventures Platforms Hub (hybrid incubator / co-working / enterprise development / investing) with our first campus in Abuja – Ventures Park.

The Octagon: Great! Everyone is here….

Over the last few years we have seen technology change the face and pace of businesses around the world. So many tech driven businesses have not only emerged but have earned great profits in their very early years. Uber is a great example of the speed at which new markets are created, and it’s all driven by technology. Nigeria is not left out in this global trend. Do you think Nigeria is at the point where technology driven businesses can truly thrive? Can technology help traditional Nigerian Businesses and SMEs experience astronomical growth? Do we encourage and bring business developers and tech solution experts together to collaborate? Or should these exist as separate items? Over to you guys!

Mayor Esiaba: Ah Yes. Uber another famous American Unicorn

Dami: To be honest I don’t think the question can technology help traditional businesses is necessary anymore we are past that stage. The question is more how can we use technology to help solve uniquely Nigerian business problems quickly. Don’t get me wrong technology will not solve all of our problems.

Mayor: I would really like to Segway slightly to what has indeed driven “change” in Nigeria, helping us along the way elect a new Government. We can lay our current woes at the doorstep of tech. Our first technology powered elections ensured the voices of most Nigerians counted.

Kola: For me I think the real question here is not what tech can do for Nigerian SME’s rather is that how can we get SME’s to leverage tech in becoming more global brands. My other concern is how our SME’s and tech companies can collaborate more and build bridges for scale.

Kazeem: Technological advancement is a global trend & Nigeria being in the forefront of Black Africa must embrace this phenomenon or be engulfed by it. History has taught us the unhappy truth, that we must at all times engage or open up to disruptive technologies, because sooner or later, it becomes the norm.

Sam: I don’t mean to throw a spanner in the works… or maybe I do… But I’d like to shed some light on what I feel is a fundamental misrepresentation

Dami: OK Sam lay it out

Sam: Uber is not a tech business… Uber is a customer service and a tracking business powered by technology. Customer Service to stake holders, Tracking to vendors, and merchants as the case may be

Mayor: Errr…Mr. Travis says he runs a tech business. He collects rounds and rounds of money, whilst terrorizing everyone in his path.

Sam: Cos it’s sexy. Tech is sexy. But ask Andressen Horowitz. The Hard things about doing hard things

Mayor: Therefore the entire sharing economy isn’t tech?

Sam: Tech is the sexy dress you put on a fully functional paper/mortar business.

Kola: I agree with Sam. Tech leveraged well can make “any” business sexy. The key lies though in the business engineering first and building the tech to scale and make delivery more efficient.

Mayor: So Uber is just a Taxi company?

Sam: Nah Uber isn’t a Taxi company. Customer service and tracking, and seeing the fuel Come out of a sexy filling station tank, we wanna go and build our own filling station.

Mayor: Do you mean like DHL/FedEx? Sam, all of us who deal with direct to consumer businesses are in the end simply in the business of logistics and customer service.

Sam: Mayor, you are getting me now. And until we see ourselves as that, we are building castles in the sky.

Kazeem: Uber is the largest taxi company that owns no vehicle. So I will say it’s more of a taxi company.

Mayor: Nope. Not a Taxi business. You cannot be in the taxi business and own no taxis.

Kazeem: Most airlines lease their planes.

Sam: Monsieur Kazeem, Uber builds its customer service business on taxis but can easily switch that to moving goods around and take out your business. They can even start carrying technicians around and take out my business.

Mayor: They’re already doing that in New York. You can now deliver stuff whilst Ubering and earn some cash.

Sam: Uber eats will soon launch. If not already, they will take food delivery businesses out, and then dove tail into Uber for Okada… And then we don hear am. That’s why Travis is going to collect more money every month. Simple – For world domination. Same as Mark Z, all he wants is to be president of the largest country in the world. Anyway, I’m sure you get my point.

Mayor: Sam, I am absolutely passionate about tech, but have desperately worried about what the current American model of executing tech has done to their economies.

Sam: Hey Mayor … Me too. But I’ve failed a few times to know what won’t work at the least.

Mayor: I believe this growth in tech is responsible for the extreme Nationalism that has emerged across the World and the clowns masquerading politicians who come with them.

Sam: My problem with addressing these questions laid so intelligently by The Octagon is this. Nigerian businesses have caught on late in the tech game… So what they are seeing is result of years of infrastructure development by the Henry fords and Rockefellers. We are catching up to decades of pipe laying.

Bade: I think it is inevitable. That we are generally behind the curve is also true. Imagine a tomato seller on the street actually using basic technology. If we think of technology as an enabler, the question will be slightly different.

Mayor: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Hi Bade. I’m now with Sam. She’s at her core, tomato Seller

Kazeem: Lol @ tomatoes seller

Dami: Bade, but she does already. If she wrote down all her customers numbers and called before venturing out she could scale.  I.e. determine what routes are best, and how much quantity to take with her.

Bade: that’s actually my point, she would actually scale better based on the technology available to her. For example, if someone put her tomatoes on Konga and we all knew I can get quality tomato on Konga. She would sell more, and we would buy conveniently. There is a site like that by the way. So I think the focus should be on the how … and actually the massive education required on both end of the value chain.

Daniel: Uber is getting more airplay than our Tomato seller here… and she’s the one who needs the enablement #justsaying.

Dami: @Bade I think that’s where we start to make mistakes. By scaling too quickly.

Bade: @Dami managing scale can also be done with other technologies, but more education is required.

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