Adaora Mbelu-Dania is a creative industrialist with a passion for creating and innovating. She believes that every individual has something valuable to add to this world, and thus, she started Ahdora.com; a community to share inspiration and help build dreams. She is one of AWLO’s extraordinary voices and we get to explore this great and innovative mind.
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Adaora is a young creator, born into a multiracial family background, to a Nigerian father and a Sri Lankan mother. Adaora however, considers herself a world citizen. Born in Colombo, Srilanka, and raised in Lagos, Adaora’s journey in creativity and leadership started as a child, when she represented her primary school at the Lagos State Debate competition in the early 90’s and often appeared on the then popular children’s TV program “Speak Out” and “Children’s Variety”. Adaora was also vice president of the music club and health prefect of her primary school, where she coordinated the music band, and represented the school at various music competitions. At age 9, she wrote her first book, when she was 16, she represented Nigeria at the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC and New York, joining about 350 outstanding scholars from various countries to attend the program; at 19, she was working at CITI group in the United States, and by the time she was 29, she was already running a million dollar enterprise – A2 Creative.
HER EARLY BEGINNING
Adaora Mbelu started her career as a credit risk analyst at Citigroup, USA, before moving back to Nigeria in 2008. At 23 years old, Adaora was the Corporate Communications manager for OSMI, and managed the company’s marketing communications for the 2010 World Cup. She then became the Assistant Project Manager for Nigerian Idol, and Project Manager for the Television show, Nigeria’s Got Talent where she was responsible for managing all aspects of the show – business and production. Since then Adaora has worked on projects across various industries, either as a Project Manager, Media Manager, or Content Director/Developer. Some of these projects include: Copa Lagos, X Factor Nigeria, The United Nations World Tourism Organization conference, Nigeria Centenary Awards 2014, Presidential Democracy Day event with former President Goodluck Jonathan, and International Conference on Peace and Security (with 28 World Leaders in attendance).
Adaora is currently Head of Innovation at A2 Creative – a Trellis Company that specializes in brand development,, marketing and creative strategy through the use of innovative strategy and experiential marketing.
She has worked as content director for the United Nations World Tourism Conference, Nigeria Centenary Awards, and International Conference On Peace & Security which had 28 world leaders in attendance.
Adaora was also project manager – business and production – for TV shows Nigerian Idol and Nigeria’s Got Talent. She was also the Corporate Communications Manager for OSMI during the 2010 World Cup where she managed all communications on the broadcast rights for Nigeria.
She also led the ideation and brand development team that launched Guinness Africa Special into the Nigerian market. She was also involved in the planning and research for the launch of Ebony Life TV.
Adaora was the President of the African Students Association, and Vice President of the International Students union while studying Economics and Entrepreneurship at Northern Kentucky University.
Adaora operates a blog where she shares career and life insights as well as lessons learned in her entrepreneurial journey.
AWARDS AND HONOREES
In 2011 she was named ‘Promising Young Entrepreneur’ in the MTV/MTN Meets Project.
She was also named in the ‘Top 30 Under 30’ list by FAB Magazine.
At the 2012 The Future Awards Africa, Adaora was nominated in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category. She was nominated again in the “Media Enterprise” Category at the same award show in 2016.
Nominated Outstanding Freshman at NKU, Outstanding Sophomore at NKU, Outstanding Junior at NKU
Member of National Scholars Honor Society, USA
Entrepreneurship Institute Honors Committee, USA
Represented Nigeria at The Global Young Leaders Conference New York, USA
Citigroup Excellence Award
First Black Recipient of “The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship” Scholarship by The Castellini Foundation
In 2017, Adaora was mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “11 Africans that are changing the business landscape in Africa.”
She is the founder of Socially Africa, a platform working to build a generation of leaders and problem solvers that transcends entrepreneurship and professional success.
She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Adaora Mbelu-Dania.