Tony Elumelu is the rallying point of many heart-warming ideas. And wherever you find him, you are likely to see some of the brightest minds of our generation. Go to Heir Holdings or United Bank of Africa where he is the Chairman, or to Tony Elumelu Foundation where the youngest brains are being discovered.
The very brilliant banker who recently added to his age is unafraid of putting ideas to the forefront because he’s not only talking. Some of his peers count their wealth in coins. Others measure their impact by the fatness of their business deals. But Tony weighs the size of his pocket by the breadth of his ideas and the depth of impact.
The man atop Heirs Holdings is not so much a chief executive than a master operator of one of the greatest incubation networks in the country. His chief currency is ideas and these he spends liberally, nurturing young minds with water and oxygen in a fertile environment, turning them into blooming flowers, some of who have gone on to become towering trees of productivity in their own right.
Tony has done too many things to convince all that he has the can-do magic wand. Courted by dreamers who are eager for a breakthrough, Elumelu is never tired of supporting the youths who are the future of this country. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is one such grooming avenue that straps the rockets of resources to the backs of enterprising young men and women and watches them as they head into the stratosphere.
Nor is his Midas touch confined his home country. Nigeria is too small a circumference to contain an explosive personality like Tony. His doctrine of Africapitalism – economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth – has caught on in Africa like a forest fire. His efforts have been recognized through multiple continental awards like banker of the year and African business leader of the year.
Having done all he has, not many would begrudge him some much-needed rest from the centre of creating impactful change. But Tony is just getting started. His is a lifelong fight against economic deprivation. Even though he turned 56 in March, the banking tycoon shows no sign of slowing down.