Duke of the Month: Celebrating Black Excellence

Black males are unwavering in their resolve to leave an enduring legacy of accomplishment in all spheres of human effort. The resiliency of a Black man resides in his ability to shatter stereotypes, rewrite history, and alter narratives in order to leave exemplary legacies for the millennial generation and other generations to follow.

Due to this, the current issue of Duke International Magazine honors two outstanding Black individuals who have elevated African glory in the fields of business and marketing. They have been able to develop their abilities in this field for many years with great success, serving as role models for future generations.

Yinka Odeajo: The President, Ireland African Music Awards (IAMA) and Executive Director of Custodian Global Consult

Man’s ability to become indisputably relevant to his immediate environment is his actual advantage. However, a man’s success is not inexpensive! It is dependent on the fundamental principle of perseverance.

Success is not something that is offered à la carte; rather, it is a buffet that you must scrounge for, which makes you realize that you must be consistent in your habits and cultivate concepts that would support your lofty goals and life’s work.

However, Odeajo has served as the Executive Director of Ireland, West African Business & Economic Council (IWABEC), a leading organization for ethical development and pro-trade that is situated in Dublin, Ireland, thanks to its leadership abilities in trade and investment. In this role, he takes pride in the significant accomplishments he has made, both in Nigeria and Ireland, as he played a key role in a series of successful property & investment trade fairs and partnerships for development, as well as the introduction of investment opportunities into various Nigerian states.

Odeajo serves as the President of the Ireland African Music Awards (IAMA) Academy, shattering preconceptions and advancing African music in the European island nation of Ireland. This ceremony honors African musicians who have made significant contributions to the development of music in the nation with a heavy Irish influence.

He is an experienced journalist and cites his position as publisher of Bold & Beautiful, Ireland as evidence of his significant influence in the Irish music industry.

The Igbajo native also holds the position of Executive Director of Custodian Global Consult, a company that offers services including media relations, investor relations, public relations, and event management.

Odeajo continues to defy the odds in the Diaspora to put Africa on the map of the world’s success, remaining the epitome of Black brilliance.

Read also: Sadio Man Wins CAF award

Sadio Mane: An Uncommon African football, great philanthropist

In Bambali, Sédhiou, Senegal, on April 10, 1992, Sadio Mané was born. He represents both the Senegal national team and Bundesliga club Bayern Munich as a forward.

He is a Senegalese professional football player. He is renowned for his finishing, dribbling, and speed. He is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time and among the best players in the world.

Despite his imam father forbade him from playing the sport as a child, he pursued a career in football; unfortunately, his father passed away when he was just seven years old.

At the age of 15, he left his hometown to pursue his dream of playing football in Dakar. Since that time, his family has been encouraging him to reach his full potential.

He observes Islam and occasionally is observed performing du’a prior to each game.

Mané started his professional career at the age of 19 with Ligue 2 club Metz, but left after just one season to join Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for a fee of €4 million. In the 2013–14 season, Red Bull Salzburg won the domestic league and cup double. Later same summer, Mané moved to Southampton of England for a then-club-record cost of £11.8 million.

In a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa in 2015, he there established a new Premier League record for the quickest hat-trick, scoring all three goals in 176 seconds.

In 2016, for a rumored £34 million transfer price, Mané joined Liverpool, a fellow Premier League team. In 2018 and 2019, he was instrumental in the team’s back-to-back appearances in the UEFA Champions League Final, which they eventually won.

The Premier League Golden Boot went to him because he concluded the 2018–19 season tied for the league’s best goal scorer. The 2019–20 Premier League title won by Mané later assisted Liverpool in ending a 30-year league title drought.

He became the third African to reach the milestone by scoring his 100th Premier League goal in October 2021. In the Best FIFA Men’s Player rankings, Mané placed fifth in 2019 and fourth in 2020. He placed fourth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or competition.

In 91 appearances for Senegal since his debut in 2012, Mané has scored 33 goals for his country at the international level. He is currently third all-time in appearances and goals for his country.

In addition to the 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, he represented Senegal at the 2012 Olympic Games. Mané led Senegal to a runner-up position in the 2019 tournament, and a year later, he was voted African Footballer of the Year.

Senegal won their first Africa Cup of Nations championship in 2021 when Mané scored the winning penalty kick in the shootout and was also named Player of the Tournament. In their second-ever appearance at the FIFA World Cup, Mané also represented his country there.

In 2019, Mané gave £250,000 ($319,103, €284,813) to help build a school in his hometown of Bambali, Senegal. He gave £500,000 ($684,932, €561,987) to help build a hospital in Bambali in 2021.

The absence of health care in Mané’s hometown has been a significant factor in his life since his father passed away when he was a young boy. “I remember my sister was also born at home because there is no hospital in our village. It was a really, really sad situation for everyone. I wanted to build one to give people hope,” told the Guardian in 2020.

The player served as the hospital’s guest of honor when it opened its doors in June 2021.

When the pandemic struck, he gave the Senegal government £41,000 Mané gave the national committee against Covid in Senegal £41,000 at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. His agent said he had done it “spontaneously when he saw the evolution of the situation”. £250,000 was given to build a new secondary school.

Mané donated £250,000 to build a school in Bambali in the spring of 2019, as Liverpool finished their triumphant Champions League season.

At a ceremony, Mané’s uncle read a speech from the player: “Education is very important. This is what will enable you to have a good career.”

He gave 300 Liverpool shirts to residents of his hometown. If there are any Everton supporters in Bambali, they are undoubtedly questioning whether they made the right choice.

Mané provided 300 Liverpool shirts so that residents of his town may wear them at the 2018 Champions League final. Real Madrid defeated Liverpool, but fans who wore the shirts had reason to rejoice when Liverpool won the trophy the next year.

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