Uyi hosted a Zoom workshop with many of our weCreate sophomores on social entrepreneurship, in the hopes of giving back to SSM and helping our current students realize how they too can create change.
A first-generation Nigerian-American, Uyi founded a clothing company called NASO, “to create products that authentically marry his Western and African backgrounds while simultaneously empowering Africans.” While he designs the clothing in New York, everything is made 100% in Africa. He commits 7% of every purchase to build schools in rural villages across Africa, in the hope of providing children with the resources to achieve their dreams. It’s fitting that Uyi titled his company “Naso,” the Nigerian word for empowerment. Most recently, Uyi partnered with Banana Republic for a four-day pop-up shop in their Rockefeller Center location and was featured in The Colgate Maroon-News.
During the Zoom workshop, Uyi told the weCreate students about his journey with NASO, and the importance of a personal brand, having the passion to tell your story, and believing in what you’re doing. He also explained how he learned from his failures as well as his successes. “You’re always pitching, whether it’s a product or yourself,” he said. “Your first idea is never going to be perfect.” Uyi also told the students what he would tell his sophomore self at SSM: Read lots of books and take advantage of the resources in weCreate; try as many new things as you can.
The students had ample time to ask questions, especially about how they can begin to pursue their dreams of creating change at such a young age. “There’s no age restriction on making a difference,” Uyi said. “If you improve one person’s life, that’s making a difference.”