Ade A. Olufeko

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Ade Olufeko
Born Adeolu Abayomi Olufeko
(1980-01-23) January 23, 1980 (age 38)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality Nigerian American
Education St. Gregory's College, Lagos
Known for Humanities and innovation
Notable work Visual Collaborative
Philosophers Legacy (Heirloom)

Ade Olufeko (/aːˈdeɪ aʊ:loʊ'feh.kuh/; born January 23, 1980)[a] is a technologist, designer and entrepreneur. His research and curatorial work focuses on the narratives of creatives who bring awareness to regional and global issues. He is the creator of Visual Collaborative, a festival platform that collaborates with multidisciplinary creatives and communities.

In 2017, Vanguard highlighted Olufeko's activities in the creative ecosystem, citing his advocacy of women entrepreneurs, in connection with IWD.[1] Another theme in his work is the topic of technology as it engages with the Sub-Sahara and its diaspora.[2][3]


Olufeko is of Ijebu descent. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Nigerian parents.[4] He grew up on the mainland city of Surulere, Lagos in Nigeria, receiving his primary education at Unilag staff school and later St. Gregory's College in Obalende for his secondary education.[5] In the mid 90s he moved back to Minneapolis, and for a period was a resident of the historic Stevens Square.[4] He studied computer science and multimedia at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul.[6]


Technology and strategy

Olufeko began his career during the dot-com era as a technologist, working in motion graphics, internet infrastructure and hardware for companies such as Ameritech and 3M's Imation.[b] Olufeko's focus developed into digital strategy and interactive software support, consulting for companies in the creative commerce and finance industries such as Atlantic Records, PayPal, Adobe Systems and Bank of America; to American celebrities such as Amel Larrieux, Ladybug Mecca and other noteworthy New York natives.[c] [4]

In 2016, he worked as a management consultant for IBM's Interactive Experience service line.[7]

Curatorial work

In 2007, Olufeko founded Visual Collaborative, a seasonal traveling exposition.[4][3] The festival platform is based in the United States and intersects Olufeko’s vocational interests in diverse media, creativity and technology, subsequent to his converged work he relocated to New York City, working for media conglomerate Warner Music Group.[4] In 2015, Olufeko returned to serve as the curator of the platform, further showcasing the work of diverse artists and multidisciplinary creatives.[6][8]

Public lectures

Olufeko imparting to PhDs and postdocs at American Chemical Society in DC. c.2015

Olufeko’s lectures engage technology with contemporary issues such as governance, situational ethics, security and culture.[8] In 2018, he accepted an invitation from Georgetown University and gave a series of talks on the relationship of the african value chain and cognitive design.[9]

From 2011-2017, Olufeko gave lectures internationally speaking at; Oxford University, Harvard Business School, Carnegie Mellon and Lagos Business School.[10][7][11] In 2017, Olufeko spoke at TEDxIkeja on Visual Metaphors and its collaborations.[12] He has also appeared on shows like TVC news and Voice Of America, the latter described Olufeko as an expert who advances the cause of humanities in the creative economy.[13][14] According to Business Day, his presentations have been on innovation, multidisciplinary design and collaborations.[3] In 2016, he was invited to join other thought leaders at Covenant University discussing technology and governance in Nigeria.[15] In 2011, Olufeko spoke alongside Voza Rivers in Harlem, on a panel about the cultural exchange between the United States and the African continent, a forum put together by the New York African Chorus Ensemble and the Harlem Arts Alliance.[16]

For his fieldwork and as founder of Visual Collaborative he was invited to speak at World Economic Forum initiative; Global Shapers, discussing disruptive Innovation: Succeeding With The Unconventional.[17]

In 2017, his observations of the Nigerian technology ecosystem were described by Incubate Africa as an "eye-opener".[18] The same year, African Music Law said that Olufeko’s interview on prominent Victoria Island radio station Smooth 98.1 FM, "demystified unaddressed African complexes in social interactions". [19]


Self-taught as a digital painter, Olufeko's creative process as a vocation evolved over a decade. Inspired by the convergence of design and technology, 3D geometry and fractals are consistent elements in his exhibited work. It explores Afrofuturism, experimental Chaos theory and African Counterculture.[5]

In 2012, Olufeko teaming up with anti-oppression artist Ben Jones, collaborated with first amendment lawyer Marvin Ammori, classic pianist Berenika, Internet freedom activist Sascha Meinrath and D.C poet Jonathan B. Tucker, in a popup exhibition showcasing new art work and music in Washington D.C.[20]

Selected exhibitions


  • In 2003, Olufeko received the IBM Gerstner award in Global Business Services.[1][e]
  • NABF (Nigerian American Business Forum) Young entrepreneur achievement Award 2018.[9]


  1. ^ Simply known as Adé, Pronounced (/ɑːˈd/; ah-DAY Yoruba: Adé Olúfẹ́kọ́ pronounced [Adé Olúfẹ́kọ́].
  2. ^ In the early aughts, his interactive design work was showcased by adjuncts in selected courses by British training organization Learndirect.[6]
  3. ^ Following the Bravebird album and its subsequent release Morning, Olufeko contributed digital design and advisory work to Larrieux's record label.
  4. ^ On January 17th 2013, several digital paintings by Olufeko were showcased and leveraged at a fundraiser which Somaly Mam was guest of honor, this took place at the Hudson Terrace in New York City. The evening brought together influencers and celebrities featuring composers such as Chloe Flower supporting the Somaly Mam Foundation.[24]
  5. ^ For customer excellence and countermeasure teamwork during the Blaster Worm epidemic. [3]


  1. ^ a b Ibiwoye Dotun (March 28, 2017). "The future is considerably female— Ade Olufeko". Vanguard Nigeria. Retrieved May 28, 2017. 
  2. ^ Ezeanya-Esiobu, Chika. "Ade Olufeko and the resurrection of Cheik Anta Diop". Pambazuka News. Retrieved 15 Oct 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Techpreneur One on One with Ade Olufeko". Business Day. August 22, 2016. Retrieved Nov 18, 2017.  (Subscription required.)
  4. ^ a b c d e T, Y (March 2012). "Behind the Technology: Super Cool Nerd!". Made Magazine. Vol. 20. Lagos. 
  5. ^ a b "Abayomi Olufeko" (PDF). No. 37. Newwebpick ‘Design for Designers’. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c "Ade Olufeko 2013 Speaker Profile". Social Media Week. Retrieved 14 Oct 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "LBS Africa Business Conference ABC Rolls Out Africa We See Campaign". YNaija. January 27, 2016. Retrieved Oct 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Accomplished visual artist Ade Olufeko weighs in on his work and The Africas -". The Africas. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b AsuquoE (Feb 5, 2018). "Polymath Ade Olufeko receives Young entrepreneur achievement Award at NABF in Florida, and speaks at Georgetown University in D.C." Talk Media Africa. Retrieved Feb 15, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Digital Media and Entertainment". HBS African Business Conference. March 1, 2014. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Ade Olufeko to impart on the digital ecosystem at Oxford University". YNaija. May 19, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2018. 
  12. ^ Onwuaso, Ugo (13 October 2017). "TEDxIkeja: Adeti, Inlaks CEO Shows How to Achieve Financial Inclusion in Nigeria". Communication Week. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  13. ^ tvcnews (March 22, 2017). "Victims of Ransomware attack should pay required ransom - Olufeko". TVC news. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 
  14. ^ Makori, Vincent (host) (18 December 2015). "Information Technology Entrepreneur, Ade Abayomi Olufeko". Africa 54. 11:40 minutes in. Voice Of America (VOA). 
  15. ^ "Experts to Discuss E-government at Covenant University's Conference". Covenant University. June 2, 2017. Retrieved 14 Oct 2017. 
  16. ^ "Dialogue: Africa Meets North America In Harlem". November 3, 2011. Archived from the original on Feb 2018. Retrieved Feb 15, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Meet The Leader Series". September 2017. Archived from the original on Sep 2017. Retrieved Jan 3, 2018. 
  18. ^ "The Buzzwords Startups and the Brain-Drain Game by the Millenial Techies". Incubate Africa. Sep 17, 2017. Retrieved Oct 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Technologist Ade Abayomi Olufeko: "There is no (tech) ecosystem in Nigeria, there are just societies and clubs"". Africa Music Law. Sep 12, 2017. Retrieved Oct 15, 2017. 
  20. ^ Kristy Samone (September 28, 2012). "Pop Up Art Exhibition". Archived from the original on Feb 2018. Retrieved Feb 15, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Visual Collaborative Art Exhibition, Miami 2008!". Ladybrille. April 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 
  22. ^ "Local artist finds alternative way to break into the art scene". Knot Move. September 13, 2011. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  23. ^ "United for Kids Foundation (UKF) Ambassadors Ball". MP Master Plan events. December 18, 2011. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2017. 
  24. ^ a b "Brave is Beautiful at the Hudson Terrace in NYC". January 17, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017. 
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