Entrepreneurs.ng will be telling the entrepreneurial story of Kevin Chukwuebuka Ezeokoli popularly known as Kevin Eze or ‘xclusive_pikin’. Kevin Eze is a Nigerian entrepreneur, African food-tech magnate, and brand strategist. He is the founder and CEO of African Food Network, one of the biggest African food online recipe directory. He also co-founded Beta Socials, a top digital marketing firm.
As our custom when we discover rare talents, we reach out to them to tell their stories. Entrepreneurship is a lonely and challenging journey. Knowing that people are making leaps is a great motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Fasten your seat belt as we take a ride with Kevin Eze of African Food Network
Background Of Kevin Eze
“I was born in Zaki-Biam, Benue State on the 3rd of January 1994 and raised in Lagos alongside my siblings.
I attended Nigerian Navy Secondary School Ojo and had my university education at the Federal University of Technology Owerri where I graduated with a B.Tech in project management.
Currently, I have a diploma in Strategic Management from the International Business Management Institute in Berlin. I’m also looking forward to pursuing my master’s degree.
My passion for computers and technology started quite early as I was building websites before the age of 16. At the age of 16 also, I was an ardent contributor to tech forums.
It was around the same time that I built NaijaXclusive with my partner. NaijaXclusive went viral and was among the biggest entertainment website in 2013. In 2015, we shut down NaijaXclusive to focus on other business interests.
Afterward, in 2017, I launched the African Food Network and Beta Socials”.
Which Member Of Your Family Do You Think Has Been The Biggest Influence In Your Career Choice?
“Well, I’ll say, my mum, because she is business savvy and I learned a lot from her while growing up”.
Why Your Chosen Industry?
“I’ve always been a lover of food and tech from my childhood years and been looking forward to creating a brand that stands out and put Africa on the global radar”.
Do You Have Any Mentor?
“Yes, quite a number of them… I grew up reading a lot of content from renowned entrepreneurs. But, my career has been impacted by Vusi Thembakwayo’s speeches. Also, Jason Njoku and Mark Essien are among the people I look up to”.
Tell Us About African Food Network
“African Food Network has been running for two years now, though the idea was conceived way back in 2010. My vision is to create a global brand that portrays Africa to the world.
African food network was created to fill in the information gap of African food online and also fix the poorly publicized image of African cuisine to the world.
Africa is a great continent, but unfortunately due to the ‘colonial brainwashing’ we got during the slave trade era, we believe everything the white brings to us is intrinsically superior to our native customs and cuisine, it’s time we change that mindset by becoming proud of our local delicacies and showcase them properly to the world. You never can tell, that could be one of our biggest export, that’s why African Food Network was created to redefine the world’s view about African Cuisine, Chefs and Traditional Cooks.
African food network started off as just a mere website with less than 50 recipes. Now, it has turned to a powerhouse with over 500 recipes sourced from different authors. The company is growing in full strength with over 300 thousand online fans on social media and an app in the process. We are flexing our muscles as a hub for African recipes”.
African Food Network In 5 Years And The Role You Intend To Play
“African Food Network is more than a brand or business for me. It’s a movement and as long as Africa continues to exist, the brand would grow alongside it.
In 5 years’ time, it should have marked its name in the sands of time as a go-to platform for African cuisines”.
Tell Us How You Leveraged Technology In Your Business
“The world is going global and infotech has always been a catalyst to its growth. With the use of our app and website, every African food is within your fingertips”.
Biggest Challenge In Running African Food Network
“People not believing in the dream was a major challenge because I had to do a lot to try to convince people to join me in making this dream a reality”.
How Have You Been Able To Sustain Your Business In Terms Of Financing?
“I have a digital agency on the side which gives me good financial backing. Even though it’s not enough, I have to make do with what I have for now”.
How Do You Give Back To Society? Any CSR Projects?
“Yes. We have a feed the poor project that we do once every month in poor communities. The project helps in feeding selected poor communities monthly”.
Other Business Interest Asides African Food Network
“I run a digital marketing agency – Beta Socials and I’m a shareholder in one of India’s growing PR Company, Cal Corporation”.
Advice For Someone Starting A Business In Your Field
“Persistence and patience are everything you need. As long as you don’t give up, your success is closer than you think. Time and money are interchangeable variables in this life, learn to master how to use both”.
What Is Your Greatest Achievement So Far?
“When I was running my entertainment blogging, I was nominated for U-30 Achievers Awards in the year 2013. Also, I was nominated for Best Gospel PR in 2019”.
When all is said and done, what is the most memorable thing you have done that you want to be carved on your tombstone?
“That I Put African food on the global map”.
Romantic Relationship Status.
Kevin Eze is currently single and has a keen interest in sports. He supports Arsenal Football Club and hopes to be a shareholder with the Football Club someday.