Victor Asemota | Board Advisor, IBM HyperProtect Accelerator

Hey Tribe

Happy new month to you. It is the first of the ‘’ember” months, still enough time to work on your 2021 goals

Today we have something very short for you and it it is about mentorship. Mentorship is a key part of success in any area. This article is by Victor Asemota, a technology entrepreneur and investor who serves as a board member and advisor to leading fintech and investment firms across Africa. He is Africa Partner for Alta Global Ventures, the founder of SwiftaCorp, an advisory board member of IBM HyperProtect Accelerator and has many other roles he plays. Educated in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, he has been involved in a lot of pioneering efforts in African Information Technology and believes in the vision of harnessing the knowledge and experience of African professionals globally to make Africa the greatest technology force to contend with in the world.

I was watching an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank on Hulu and admiring Mark Cuban’s genius. A thought came into my head from a quote I had read before:

“Only the student can defeat the master”

Mark Cuban gets better and better with each investment he makes. He learns from each one and his contributions in the tank are legendary. He has become a “Master”. I follow him everywhere, even off Shark Tank, and consume his wisdom from far.

As I was thinking, it occurred to me that, “Mark Cuban is human” and I can be like him too and better. He is not a “feel good” superhero from a movie, he is a living role model to be emulated. For me to be better than him, I will have to beat him or surpass him. Maybe even become his adversary.

It made me realize what really scares a lot of African businessmen and why they don’t share. They are afraid that the student will become better than the Master. They are afraid of creating adversaries.

Creating better students than the Master is however a virtue in Martial Arts. The greatest satisfaction a Master can have is to finally be beaten by his own student. It means that he has succeeded in keeping the art alive and passing on knowledge to the next generation.

I also realized another reason why most African businessmen don’t share. They never had any Masters themselves. Those who had good Masters, pass on knowledge and become Masters themselves. It is what happens in the Igbo trader/artisan’s “Imu Ahia” model. It is what has created the greatest informal distribution network on Earth.

Those who had good Masters, pass on knowledge and become Masters themselves.

“He who is taught only by himself has a fool for a master”.

— Ben Jonson

That quote above is self-explanatory.


There you have it,

You need to be a true master to keep the art alive

I hope this has helped you.

What did you learn? Tell us with the “response’’ icon.

You can connect with Victor on Twitter and LinkedIn
You can read his articles on Medium

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