Why Nigeria’s Mr Eazi is one of the most successful musician-entrepreneurs in Africa today

Abu Mubarik April 27, 2022
Mr Eazi. Photo: Twitter/Public domain

Mr Eazi has built a glowing music career for himself with his unique “Banku Music”.  His brand of music has won him global fans, making him one of the fastest-rising performers on the world music stage. His reputation reveals itself in his recent music collaborations. He has a number of global hits with artistes including Kwesi Arthur, Diplo, Rita Ora, Wiz kid, Sarkodie, Lil Kesh, Burna Boy, among others. Some of his hit records include Skin Tight, Pour Me Water, Short Skirt, and Leg Over. 

Aside from music, Mr Eazi is a tech entrepreneur and a venture capital investor. He is building a business empire that is waiting to ‘explode.’ Mr Eazi has always had the spirit of entrepreneurship, in case this comes to you as a surprise.

While studying mechanical engineering at Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Nigeria-born Mr Eazi was running an entertainment business on the side. The venture was in charge of bringing some of the top artistes to the university for performances, according to Techpoint Africa.

Since his first venture at the university, the musician has combined his music career with entrepreneurship. Upon his return to Nigeria at the age of 23, he was involved in six business ventures including soft drinks import, gold mining, and food distribution.

In 2019, he founded emPawa Africa, an African-focused music services company that works with artistes, producers and independent labels across Africa. Thirty musicians were selected for his emPawa Africa program and they received funding and mentorship to scale up their music careers with YouTube as a partner.

According to Mr Eazi, the idea of starting emPawa was inspired by the need to give back to Africa’s music industry and help new artistes reach their full potential.

“EmPawa is an initiative I created with one simple mission: Helping new artists reach their full potential musically by equipping them with the knowledge and funding to do so,” said Mr Eazi on his company website. “It’s something I wish someone had created when I first started making music. Sometimes, all it takes is that one person to believe in you.”

For his emPawa Africa program, the artiste and CEO worked with mentors like Diplo, Afrobeats producers E. Kelly, Juls and GuiltyBeatz, South African rapper Kwesta, Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie, Tanzanian music superstar Diamond Platnumz, afrobeats veteran DJ Neptune and executives from the African music industry, his website says.

According to Tech Point Africa, emPawa’s incubator program discovered Nigeria’s Joeboy and Ghana’s J Derobe. What’s more, the platform has reached over three billion streams, has a publishing partnership with Kobalt, has its own festival Detty Rave and a premier event center.

In addition to emPawa, Mr Eazi has other ventures, including African fintech firm PawaPay. Pawapay is in Zambia, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, and Rwanda. He is also the founder of investment firm Zagadat Capital. Despite his business ventures, music plays a central role in his activities. The 30-year-old told Tech Point Africa why:

“I read Jay-Z’s book, Empire State of Mind, and it felt like I’d seen the blueprint, the future, and what could come out of it. That’s why I decided that of all the things I was passionate about that showed traction, and it was going to be music. I always knew it would come to this phase where I get influential enough for the music to open doors for me and provide the cash flow needed to have more creative freedom.”

Mr Eazi was born Oluwatosin Ajibade on the July 19, 1991. He was born in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt. Becoming an entrepreneur was not particularly surprising because he grew up in an entrepreneurial home. His mother was a small business owner while his father was a pilot who later established his own aviation consulting firm.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 27, 2022


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