David Lanre Messan: Academic Visitor at the James Currey Society of the African Studies Center, Oxford University

David Lanre Messan becomes a James Currey Society Scholar

Lagos, Nigeria, 2022-Apr-05 — /EPR Network/ — David Lanre Messan, popularly known as DLM, a man of many titles and accomplishments, was recently selected as an academic visitor to the James Currey Society. He can best be described as a Nigerian serial entrepreneur, idea strategist, and startup builder, among other titles.

He was recently selected as an academic visitor to the James Currey Society in cooperation with the University of Oxford’s African Studies Center. We’ll look at this in more detail later in this piece but for now, let’s have a quick look at DLM and some of his professional achievements.

In the course of his career so far, DLM has worn many hats which could perhaps be one of the many reasons he is internationally recognized. Originally an idea strategist, he evolved over time, consolidating his expertise in various business spheres, such as startup building, angel investing, business growth, fundraising, and public speaking.

DLM’s drive for impact and success has been burning since his youth and this led him to make his first million at just 23 years old through his Infinite Impact Company and Green Yaggy. He is a graduate of the Lagos State Polytechnic where he studied Mass Communication. He also studied Disruptive Strategy at Harvard Business School, entrepreneurship and innovation in Scalabl, and earned a Diploma in Marketing Strategy from Nexford University.

Green Yaggy, a project under Infinite Impact, was founded in 2007 to help democratize the process of accessing technology opportunities and starting a business. With the business, DLM directly impacted the lives of over 250 youths and over 5000 indirectly, earning him a seat at the African Business Leaders Forum (ABLF) 101 Young African Leaders in 2007. Around this time, he also won the LEAP Africa Top 10 Youth Leadership Award and made other impressive achievements, including

Internationally, DLM serves as a community organizer for Harvard Business School Online. The school has published on its official website, an article on some of his works, recognizing his expertise as a strategist.
His other international achievements include serving as a Scalabl Global Ambassador for Africa and International Partner and Senator for Nigeria with the World Business Angels Investors Forum. In 2011, David was selected as a pioneer global shaper of the World Economic Forum (WEF), where he served for five years and went on to become the community’s curator in Lagos and a member of the WEF on collaborations.
Through FirstFounders Inc, his most recent venture, he’s helping companies operating with traditional business models to take advantage of technology and establish a digital footprint. FirstFounders is also one of the fast-rising venture studios in Africa and is committed to building out the ideas of tech startups into investable MVPs.

David Lanre Messan believes that being a small part of a big thing is often more rewarding than being a big part of a small thing.

The James Currey Society was founded by Dr. Onyeka Nwelue. Dr. Onyeka, a Nigerian writer, publisher, and filmmaker, is a member of The Oxford Union Society, a debating society in the city of Oxford, England, whose membership is drawn primarily from the University of Oxford. Through workshops, conferences, and residencies, the society, a nonprofit organization, is committed to studying the works done by James Currey.

James Currey is arguably the most influential person in the global recognition of African writers and literature. From 1967, he worked with Chinua Achebe on the African Writers’ Series (AWS). These books were instrumental in broadening the reach of African literature after the Second World War. He also played a big part in bringing Caribbean literature to a global audience.

AWS has been on for five years already and had published a total of 30 books before James came on board. But at the time he was leaving AWS, a total of 270 books had been published. A feat he was very much responsible for. Beyond studying the works of the literary icon, the society has other noble objectives.

• Our vision is for the James Currey Society/Abibiman Publishing to attain the status of being conducive cultural and intellectual atmospheres in which both diaspora and continental African literary communities can meet to learn and exchange stories and literary experiences.

•  A better understanding of the cultural similarities between peoples of African descent will be achieved through workshops, residencies, conferences, publishing, and institution of prizes.

• By constantly bringing together creatives involved in every facet of the writing and publishing industry a better understanding of the demands and expectations of the publishing industry on creatives will be achieved, and this will prove instrumental in starting off and sustaining a dynamic and thriving literary atmosphere within the African communities.

• Through the events and activities of the James Currey Society and Abibiman Publishing, scholars and literary creatives are brought into contact with the foundational work done by James Currey in establishing African writing in the consciousness of the global audience.

DLM has always had a passion for arts and storytelling and that is why he dabbled into music at some point in his career. Being the forward thinker he is, he’s found a way to unite his passion for arts and storytelling with his passion for business and entrepreneurship.

Now a James Currey Society scholar, DLM intends to learn about deep-rooted African writing methodologies. This knowledge will then be applied in telling authentic Africa-centric entrepreneurship stories. Chronicling the rich everyday life of African entrepreneurs, he hopes to tell stories that explain the journey of founding a company as an African in Africa. Stories we don’t get to read about very often.
About FirstFounders

 FirstFounders Inc. is a venture studio committed to building the technology of early stage startup ideas into investable Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) while positioning them for growth. We are building a startup ecosystem where early stage founders with value-driven tech startup ideas will be continuously provided the platform to thrive and scale their project ideas with access to technical support, go-to-market strategies, product design, access to funding, mentorship and an ever supporting community of experts and founders.

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