Two ‘weird’ startups you don’t know exist

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[Entrepreneurship]–Entrepreneurs never cease to amaze us. When you least expect it, they come up with that brilliant idea of mystifying the same Garri Ijebu we take every day and before you know it, they put our own humble Garri Ijebu in the gallery of cornflakes and other proud staple foods.

Since entrepreneurs have decided to invade our privacy with their ‘almighty’ innovations, we have also decided to play along. We pretend we can’t pound yam again, of course, thanks to Poundo Yam. Chin chin are now being celebrated in fancy colourful packages that for a moment, we can’t even recognise our crunchy partners again in their new glories. Even Mr. Pineapple have not escaped this aggressive onslaught from entrepreneurs, they captured it and turn it to some chips called pineapple chips.

But we didn’t see something coming:

Drum rolls, enters

MR. EKPA… Nigeria’s groundnut king!

Mr. Ekpa comes in two fashionable packing of Frosted and Salted Groundnuts. We know groundnuts are an excellent source of protein, Vitamin E, Niacin, Maganese and many other nutrients but what we didn’t expect is someone changing their statuses and dignifying their nutty presence in some amazing packs. When I saw Mr. Ekpa, I had to ask myself again, “are these groundnuts not related to what Iya Grace sells in bottles, knotted nylons and packs?”

In the bid to be unstoppable, Mr. Ekpa went a step further to claim his presence online – And when I checked his “About”, this is what I saw: When Mr Ekpa, the groundnut was a really young boy, his mother told him he would grow to be really tasty if he ate his vitamins and minerals. Today he is the tastiest groundnut in the whole world. A rare gem from the hinterlands of Nigeria!
Wow! Mr. Ekpa is really amazing, isn’t it? Well, before he hijacks our local groundnuts away from us as Power Oil and Mamadour has done with oil, Iya Grace will still be here to save the day (Garri and chilled water) with hers.

Master Chowberry may not be as dramatic as Mr. Ekpa…

But, it’s really a great startup too.

Master Chowberry was designed by Oscar Ekponimo, who when he was young used to be so hungry that he would stare at the kitchen cupboards in his home in Calabar, Nigeria, wishing they would magically fill with food. His father had stopped working after a partial stroke, and his mother earned so little as a nurse that he and his siblings ate just one substantial meal every two days. “My mom used to remind us that the hunger was not forever,” he said in an interview with Time. “That always kept me going.”

Mr. Oscar finally developed an app called Master Chowberry, which connects grocery stores and supermarkets with NGOs and charities to put wasted or leftover food to use.

As packaged food items near the end of their shelf life, the app initiates discounts that grow larger the longer the products remain unsold. Local aid groups and other selected nonprofits are alerted about these discounts and also when supermarkets are giving food away for free. Food that would otherwise have gone in the trash is instead distributed to orphanages and needy families.

While Mr. Ekpa is trying to sell our 20 naira grounds for 50 naira with his packaging, thanks to Master Chowberry, we can now buy Kellogg’s cornflakes for 350 naira!

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