Founder of Making of Champions (MoC), Bambo Akani, will serve as a panellist at the Africa Business Conference at Havard Business School taking place in the US this Saturday, and will be sharing the stage with Dutch football legend, Edgar Davids and sports aficionado, Parth Jindal who owns Indian Football Club, Bengaluru FC.
Bambo Akani is an avid sports writer and photo-blogger, and will be speaking alongside the pair of Davids and Jindal on the topic, “Football in Africa: How can Africa build viable football (soccer) leagues?”
The former Investment Banker and Management Consultant made a dramatic career change in 2013 when he relocated to Nigeria to become a Sports Entrepreneur and launch MoC, borne out of his desire to see Nigeria return to prominence on the global stage in Track and Field and other sports.
This has culminated in the launch of the Nigeria’s 1st Athletics Reality TV Show, Top Sprinter, in February 2015, which has set in motion the setting up of the country’s first professional Track Club, in a bid to discover and train a new generation of athletes ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio and subsequent editions of the Games!
He has quickly become an internationally recognized Athletics Expert and is also the Executive Producer and Director of the feature-length documentary Making of Champions: “The History”, highlighting Nigeria’s decline at the Olympics, especially at the London 2012 Games, where the country did not win a single medal.
Though Athletics forms the core of MoC’s activities currently, Akani remains a devoted football fan and brings plenty of experience as a football enthusiast and filmmaker to the table. Having attended both the Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 World Cups as a fan, he shot the online short documentary series “The Road to Brazil” in Salvador da Bahia prior to the 2014 World Cup, to capture all the excitement and the inextricable links between Nigerian and Brazilian football, food and culture.
He grew up in Nigeria supporting his hometown club, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, and remembers fondly watching them win the Nigerian FA Cup in 1995 live from the currently defunct main bowl of the National Stadium in Surulere, to complete a league and cup double that year.
The following year was the one that Shooting Stars narrowly lost the African Champions’ Cup in the final to Zamalek of Egypt, and he longs for the day that his team and other Nigerian clubs will once again go toe-to-toe with Africa’s best, and maybe even the world’s best one day!
He holds an MEng and BA in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University in the UK and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management in the US.
Nicknamed “The Pitbull” by his former coach Louis van Gaal because of his marking ability and his aggressive tackling, former Dutch International defensive midfielder Edgar Davids wowed fans with his versatility and technical ability during his hey days. It’s no wonder he was listed by world football icon, Pelé, in the FIFA 100, which was his list of the world’s greatest living footballers.
Well known for his signature dreadlocks and protective goggles, the former star began his professional career with Dutch giants, Ajax Amsterdam, before plying and his trade and winning honours with some of the biggest clubs in the world including Inter, Juventus, Milan, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur amongst others.
He won the UEFA Champions League title with Ajax in 1995 and represented the Netherlands at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. A passionate supporter of Street Soccer, Davids and his team of Street Legends regularly embark on a tour of Europe and Africa to battle against the best local teams. Some of the African cities he has visited include Senegal, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa.
Parth Jindal is an Economic Analyst at the Jindal Steel Works (JSW) Group and CEO of Bengaluru FC, an Indian professional football club which plays in the I-League, India’s top-tier football league. It is the first ever club to have won the I-League in its debut season. He currently manages the company’s sports interests and is passionate about developing sports in India.
This led to the launch of a Sports Excellence Programme (SEP) under the auspices of the JSW Foundation in July last year. The programme is aimed at funding chosen Indian sports persons and helping them to excel in five disciplines for now namely Wrestling, Boxing, Judo, Swimming and Athletics, with 28 internationals already receiving support, 12 of whom were part of the Indian contingent to the 204 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
He holds Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Economics and Political Science from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, and is currently enrolled at the Harvard Business School for his MBA.
The panel will sit from 3.00pm- 4.15pm on Saturday, 28th of February. Click on the link below for the schedule of the conference: http://www.africabusinessconference.com/schedule/, while any other information regarding the meeting can be found at www.africabusinessconference.com.