Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA and Transcorp is a great socialite whose smile and large heart bring succour and warmth to many individuals. His great team spirit and philanthropic gestures are greatly displayed in the relationship he keeps. His network which cuts across close friends, business associates, political juggernauts, and entertainers brings his warm nature to the fore.
Elumelu has through diligence, professionalism and good work been able to build connections with other professionals. His network has improved his reputation, business and visibility. One must also not forget to talk about the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
Known as the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship, this foundation has helped in creating more impactful connections for Elumelu. Let’s quickly look into the network of this philanthropist.
Africa’s Richest Person, Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu are friends who are exploring Africa’s resources to see that the Continent reaches its full potential. Dangote who admires the charming and tenacious personality of Elumelu once noted that the UBA Chairman’s engaging qualities have helped him climb up the ladder of success as an entrepreneur.
In a letter dated September 22, 2020, Dangote praised Elumelu for being a leading proponent of Africapitalism – a belief that Africa’s private sector can and must play a leading role in the continent’s development through long-term investments, as well as entrepreneurship and regional connectivity. On the flip side, Elumelu’s respect and admiration for the African mogul are often reflected in the way he treats him both offline and online.
Kennedy Uzoka, an alumnus of Harvard Business School(AMP) in Boston USA, served as Group Managing Director (GMD)of United Bank for Africa Plc. During his appointment, the Chairman Sir Tony Elumelu stated that “Kennedy brings an extremely strong skill set and is ideally positioned to lead UBA in its next phase of growth.” Elumelu once said “Instead of having a pyramid of few billionaires, I prefer a large base that has prosperity, happier people, and people whose basic needs are met. I think that is what will give us the sustainability we need in Africa.” This statement is greatly reflected in his network of friends and associates.
Elumelu’s description of Uzoka was not wrong as he greatly managed the bank. During his tenure, the bank churned out impressive numbers year after year, despite two recessions, and the fallouts of an unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic. Uzoka and Elumelu’s friendship dates back in history. Before becoming GMD, Uzoka worked with the Standard Trust Bank (STB) in varying capacities while Elumelu was the CEO of the defunct capacities.
Reports say when STB merged with UBA in 2005, he then joined the new UBA and continued his service. In 2019, Elumelu shared a photograph captioned “Catching up with friends and business partners at @Heirs_Holdings today ahead of a short but busy week.” Uzoka was featured in the picture.
James Ibori, former governor of Delta state shares a beautiful friendship with the billionaire businessman. Elumelu, who hails from Delta is known for his close ties with his state. The duo have been seen at events having a good time together. Some of which include, the 80th birthday ceremony of Abah Folawiyo, and Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings 2021 Christmas party.
Ibori also congratulated Elumelu when he was conferred with the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, Belgium’s highest and oldest military and civil honour. Their close relationship has been closely linked to their tribal origin. Elumelu has on several occasions given back to his motherland.
Kola and Elumelu share a similar passion for youths. They are both passionate about empowering and mentoring young people to seek creative ways of galvanizing their energies for sustained excellence and productivity. Kola is the Managing Director of Sahara Power Group, a leading international energy (power, oil and gas) and infrastructure conglomerate with operations in over 38 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Both entrepreneurs once submitted bids to take over an equity interest worth $4 billion, held by the Nigerian unit of Hague-based Oil Major, Shell Plc, via a joint venture.
Wizkid (Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun)
Wizkid, the “Made in Lagos” afrobeat star has a great relationship with Elumelu. Their relationship once sparked social media reactions as some fans compared their net worth. Wizkid was signed as UBA’s ambassador in 2019. He was also present at a fireside chat with UBA’s GMD, Kennedy Uzoka at the ‘UBAMarket Place2019′, the largest gathering of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa. Elumelu who prides himself on supporting and encouraging young talents also invited Wizkid to his 2021 Christmas party. The internet is also loaded with pictures of the Nigerian entrepreneur and the entertainer.
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