“Shame can move you in unexpected directions. For me, it was forward and upwards. I was 24, and one day in church, my mum put maybe N500 in my hands. I did not like the feeling of helplessness and never wanted that to happen to me again. Living from hand to mouth in South Africa for four years without a kobo to my name brought me to decide that it was time to turn my life around. So I moved to Nigeria. I was unclear what I would do to turn my life around, but it was time to move, and I took that blind bold step.
So there I was, 24, and in Nigeria. I worked a few years and took a sabbatical which paved the way for Ladda and Money Africa, two ideas that came to life from posting short clips on Instagram about financial literacy. The ideas grew from random posts on Instagram, and I realized the need to create a community where people could learn about money and invest. So I started Money Africa, and after that, Ladda also became a reality.”
Fighting The Odds To Bring Financial Literacy To Thousands
In 2019, Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics put the number of citizens living below the poverty line at almost 83 million people, a whopping 40% of the country’s population. Working to help more Nigerians escape the harsh realities of living on N137,430 ($381.75) per year drove Tosin to grow Money Africa into an ed-tech solution that now offers financial lessons on topics ranging from Mutual funds to Agritech. According to her, building these products took a lot of looking at what she was doing right, how to make more revenue, and how to create products people would be willing to use.
When it comes to facing challenges, she says,
“Mindset is very credible, so you have to focus on the positives. I do not deny the existence of problems, but for the sake of my mental health and growth, I choose to focus on what’s working and how to make it better.’’
Tosin’s advice to women interested in breaking the bias and entering into the tech space is to
“pick a person who looks like you and is more relatable. When you realize that there’s always someone like you doing something close to what you are doing, you will realize that your dreams are doable too.”
On how she manages to thrive in what many consider a male-dominated industry,Tosin says,
“I am not focusing on what the guys are doing; they’re not my competition.”