Oluwatosin Ajibade, better known by his stage name Mr Eazi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is the pioneer of Banku music, a fusion sound he describes as a mixture of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian chord progressions and patterns.
Information we are currently gathering indicates that Mr. Eazi has become a staunch advocate of agriculture as meaningful employment for youth in Africa, which has the world’s youngest population with more than 400 million people between 15 and 35 years.
Reports has it that Mr Eazi was inspired to take up farming after meeting a woman. She told him how a machine that made coconut oil changed her life: freeing up her children to go to school, feeding the waste to her pigs and making trinkets out of bark to sell.
“That kind of woke me up,” he said, recalling the trip, which was part of his 2019 collaboration with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development to encourage young Africans to take up farming.
“My closest to knowing anything about agriculture was when Mum goes to the market and say the price of tomatoes or rice has increased. What really struck me was not how her kids go to school … how many businesses actually have 360 (degrees) value chain? For me, that was the kicker,” he said, snapping his fingers for emphasis.
With support from a local lawmaker in Nzema East, Mr. Eazi has hired a manager to kick off the project, which will train youth in the area on coconut farming and coconut oil production, before moving into other agriculture schemes.
“It’s a beautiful community. There’s a lot of land for farming. There’s also the ocean for fishing. There’s gold. The next constituency has some oil exploration. On paper it’s meant to be a rich community but it’s very poor,” he said.