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Damilola Solesi Is Transforming Nigerian Tech Industry

Some women have taken it up to compete with men in the Nigerian tech space. One of such women is Damilola Solesi who is the CEO of SMIDS Animation Studios. The company that creates entertainment content for television series, CG animated feature films and short films and also help brands tell compelling stories through animated campaigns.

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She had the passion for cartoon right from her childhood. It was this passion that initiated her to undergo the necessary training required to bring her dream to reality.

As IT Personnel while working with NIIT at Festac Lagos, Dami handled system troubleshooting, maintenance and repairs and also provided administrative support to the counselor. She believes failure is defined by your perception and she maximizes all the opportunity given. She eventually founded SMIDS in 2010 with savings from her national youth service year.

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Damilola Solesi, graduated with a B.Sc in Computer Science from Bowen University, Nigeria. She also did a course on Business and Entrepreneurship from Clark Atlanta University.

In her bid to promote the emergence women’s interest in technology, she co-founded TechDivaz (now Women R.I.S.E), a platform where women are inspired to expand their interests in technology through collaboration, networking, training, mentorship, and funding to help them play a stronger role in growing the technology startup scene in Nigeria and Africa.

Although she face several challenges as a startup but she was able to overcome. She said “We faced several challenges when we started, one of the first challenges was funding. We realised that starting an animation company is a capital-intensive business but we were able to mitigate this by finding creative ways to raise funds. Another challenge we faced was finding skilled labour to fill our expanding team because of the lack of professional animation training schools made it difficult. Then, we decided to periodically organise an animation training programme known as the Smids apprenticeship programme, where we train and recruit trainees. For us to grow there is the need for a massive pool of talent, because animation is people-intensive, which is why we applaud the current administration’s drive to train several young people in animation skills,”

Tip for aspiring entrepreneurs: Don’t let anything be an obstacle to your progress. Always work towards those things which you’ve dreamt of, and you’ll eventually achieve it.

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