Meet the Geek using Games to save African Culture from extinction

Adebayo Adegbembo, the brain behind Genni Games, the outfit behind the Asa range of African Culture teaching apps targeted primarily at kids.

 

Could you please introduce yourself ?

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I am Adebayo Adegbembo, Founder & Lead Programmer at Genii Games Limited. I also like to refer to myself as a self-acclaimed Cultural Evangelist given my love for the promotion and preservation of our indigenous cultures vis-a-vis my Asa brand.

 

What actually prompted you to start Genii Games?

I was inspired to start Genii Games going by my observation of my niece and young neighbours growing up with little knowledge and interest in our cultural elements such as native languages. I wanted to leverage my skills in making these cultural elements more appealing to them in terms of delivery style.

 

That’s interesting. Tell us about the“ASA”brand and where the idea came from.

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Asa is a range of interactive apps and videos for the promotion and preservation of our indigenous African Cultures. These apps and videos leverage features as text, animation, games, voice, sound and colorful graphics to deliver subjects around our Cultures (not only Yoruba) such as folktales and languages. The name Asa arose from Co-Creation Hub’s Tech-In Education competition in February 2012. That’s when and where the Asa brand was born.

 

What exactly do you (and your team) hope to achieve with ASA?

In the face of declining interest in African cultural subjects among kids, we want to reshape our narratives and delivery towards promoting these contents in beautiful and appealing ways. We want people to be proud to identify with their cultural roots.

 

What does an average day look like for you?

My average day is spent working with my team, reading and engaging customers online.

 

Great! Could you tell us the part of your job you enjoy the most?

I’d say the development part. I love to try my hands on new ideas, hence always a pleasure to contribute towards the technical developments of our products.

 

As an entrepreneur, what’s the worst decision you’ve ever made and what did it teach you?

Every decision has been about practical evaluations and experiments to learn without which I couldn’t have found out what works or doesn’t. Hence, I can’t think of any that I can term a worst decision.

 

Many entrepreneurs complain about not succeeding in business due to lack of adequate funding. What’s your take on this matter and how do you cope with funding issue in your business?

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Well, success is a journey and I’m still on that journey myself. Funding is a requisite but from my experience, a concrete plan and passion for the business comes first. With that, the process of creating value and repeat patterns for sustainable business follows. You’ll be amazed at the level of available support that comes with the fore-mentioned. My partners, the Co-Creation Hub Nigeria provide great support to a number of individuals and organizations on that basis.

 

What aspect of your background or education has been most helpful to your experience as an entrepreneur?

My commitment to self-education. Continuous improvement across various facets of my business as it demands.

 

Do you have any favorite business or related books you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

Richard Branson’s ‘losing my virginity’ is one of such.

 

What do you think is your greatest achievement so far?

Relationships with folks who continue to help me achieve my dreams.

 

Tell us, what are your plans for the future?

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I’d love to take Asa beyond the 3 major Nigerian cultures and cover the entire continent making it the one stop shop for contents on African cultures for all.

 

Do you have any advice for young and aspiring entrepreneurs reading this interview?

Hold on to your dreams. Success is what you define it to be. Don’t subscribe to anyone’s definition of success.

 

-Culled from Under35CEO

 

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded Epower.ng, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

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