Ngozi Nwanji

AFROTECH STAFF

Ngozi Nwanji

Ngozi Nwanji is a Nigerian-American journalist, writer, and content creator from and based in Silver Spring, Maryland with a passion for storytelling, media representation, and music. Along with writing for AfroTech, she's the founder of her own entertainment website, Z's P.O.V — a platform for underrated music and Black creatives.

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Founder Aisha Bowe Went From Failing Community College Courses To Securing A $947M Government Contract For Her Company STEMBoard

Aisha Bowe is an inspiration for Black women who aspire to work in the space industry. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, Bowe is a former rocket scientist for NASA and received the National Society of Black Engineers award for Outstanding Technical Contribution. However, before earning accolades, the aerospace engineer struggled to find her footing in her academic journey. In an interview with the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast, Bowe recalled not doing well during her time at community college. “I bombed the first semester,” Bowe told hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings. “I think I’m going to be a business student and study economics.” Ultimately, struggling in community college led her to pursue a dream that she thought was once unachievable — becoming a rocket scientist. So, she transitioned into aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan, although people around her didn’t understand why she was pursuing the career. “They literally thought that I had lost it,” she said....

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 17, 2024

Doctors Suggest That A Proposed Bill To Ban DEI At Medical Schools Could Affect Progress For The Black Maternal Health Crisis

The implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at medical schools is currently in danger. In March 2024, Congressman Greg Murphy (R-NC) introduced the Embracing anti-Discrimination, Unbiased Curricula, and Advancing Truth in Education (EDUCATE) Act. The proposed bill aims to prohibit race-based mandates at medical schools and accrediting institutions, per a news release. In addition, it would stop federal funding to medical schools that “discriminate” against races and ethnicities, have DEI offices, and “force” students and school faculty to assimilate to particular beliefs. “American medical schools are the best in the world and no place for discrimination,” Murphy shared in a statement. “The EDUCATE Act compels medical schools and accrediting agencies to uphold colorblind admissions processes and prohibits the coercion of students who hold certain political opinions. Diversity strengthens medicine, but not if it’s achieved through exclusionary practices. Medicine is...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 17, 2024

Founder Amira Rasool's The Folklore Raises $3.4M To Continue Its Movement Of Helping Brands Gain More Economic Opportunities

In less than five years, The Folklore has set itself on a path of consistent evolution. Launched in 2018, founder Amira Rasool created her company as an e-commerce retailer to help African fashion designers gain more economic opportunities . Now, in addition to Africa and the diaspora, The Folklore is catering to more marginalized communities and pivoted to a B2B wholesale platform that’s expanded its services. Moreover, new and existing investors have joined in for its expansion. According to a press release shared with AFROTECH™, The Folklore has raised $3.4 million in a seed funding round, bringing its total amount raised to $6.2 million. As previously shared by AFROTECH™, in 2022, the company raised $1.7 million in a pre-seed funding round — making Rasool one of the youngest Black women to raise over $1 million in a pre-seed round for a fashion and lifestyle brand. The Folklore’s seed round was led by early-stage VC firm Benchstrength, the press release discloses. Fellow...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 17, 2024

This E-Mobility Company Opened Ghana's First EV Assembly Plant To Contribute To Creating A More Sustainable Africa

Ghana is stepping up to the plate to be a part of Africa’s electric vehicle (EV) movement. Wahu Mobility seems up for the challenge as it has opened Ghana’s first EV assembly plant that has the capacity to build about 200 e-bikes per month, CNN reports. The e-mobility brand was founded to create a more sustainable last-mile delivery option.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Valerie Labi (@valerielabi) “It really kind of struck me that I didn’t want the mobility to be fulfilled by petrol motorbikes,” Wahu Mobility Co-Founder and CEO Valerie Labi told CNN. “By 2030, there will be 30 million delivery riders across Africa and it just made me think, as a continent, we are more conscious around becoming sustainable and moving to net zero.” Labi added, “And transport was just a huge opportunity to make a difference in that way.” According to the outlet, Wahu Mobility’s e-bikes take around four hours to charge. Labi also noted that the e-bikes were designed to suit Ghana’s...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 16, 2024

Tyler Perry Didn't Successfully Secure Ownership Of BET — But He's Inked An Extensive New Deal With The Media Group

In April 2023, Tyler Perry shared his interest in bidding to purchase a majority stake in BET Media Group from Paramount. As BET is the home of his shows such as “Sistas” and “House of Payne,” there was potential alignment. In addition, the media mogul hoped for the network to become Black-owned once again. However, the aspiration came to an end shortly after. By August 2023, Paramount announced that it had ended its initial plan to sell its majority stake in BET Media Group stating that “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet,” as previously shared by AFROTECH™. With the change in plans, Perry, along with other reported bidders including Byron Allen, did not gain ownership of BET. As AFROTECH™ previously told you, Perry was reportedly among the offers that ranged from $2 billion to $3 billion, but the bidding process didn’t pan out as he had hoped. “I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons,” Perry shared at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit,...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 16, 2024

Terrence Howard Claims His Photo Was Used For The 'Empire' Logo Without His Permission, Says It's 'Worth $100M At Least'

Following the premiere of “Empire” on Fox, the show took off instantly. Starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” broke TV records off the bat in its first season, which was released in 2015. At the time, the ratings for the musical drama series’ first five episodes increased consecutively — making it the first series to do so since 1991 — per The Washington Post. Running from 2015 to 2020, “Empire” was everywhere and its logo, which includes Howard, was too. However, the veteran actor says he didn’t officially sign off on it. During a sit-down interview on “Straight Talk with Daphne Phaneē,” Howard claimed that the logo Fox used is a still shot of him from his Oscar-nominated role in “Hustle and Flow.” “They took that [photo], flipped it, and put it on everything. Made a trademark of it, sold it around the world — didn’t ask my permission.” He continued, “That image is worth $100 million at least for how much money that they made from it.” In addition, Howard shared...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 15, 2024

Tuskegee University Receives An Anonymous $20M Donation That Will Go Toward STEM Programs And Endowed Scholarships

This Tuskegee, AL-based Historically Black College and University (HBCU) has received a whopping donation. According to a news release, an anonymous donor has donated $20 million to Tuskegee University, which is going toward developing STEM programs and applied research. “This gift will allow us to invest in our students, faculty, programs and infrastructure, enabling us to enhance our academic reputation, enrich the student experience, and continue our work to reach milestones within our strategic plan,” Tuskegee University President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris shared in a statement. “It will provide additional resources for us to implement vital initiatives, further securing the campus, and foster a more dynamic community.” She continued, “We are grateful for this extraordinary act of philanthropy, which will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on our university and its community. This contribution is a testament to our collective efforts and the enduring trust inspired by the Tuskegee...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 15, 2024

Te’Lario Watkins II, A 16-Year-Old Nonprofit Founder Who Wants To Use Tech To Combat Food Insecurity, Gets A ‘Shark Tank’ Invite From Daymond John

A young Black entrepreneur’s tireless work to combat food insecurity is paying off. At age seven, Te’Lario Watkins II launched his business, Tiger Mushroom Farms in central Ohio, according to its website. “The idea of Tiger Mushroom Farms began after I planted cat grass and basil seeds at my 1st Cub Scout meeting,” Watkins wrote. “I enjoyed watering MY plants and was eager to see their growth each day.” He continued, “I began to wonder what else could I grow in Ohio in the wintertime. I remember reading a book about mushrooms. I told my parents and asked them about growing mushrooms. My parents bought me a mushroom kit…and the rest is history.” Nearly nine years after launching Tiger Mushroom Farms and selling his mushrooms at local farmers markets in Columbus, OH, the 16-year-old also has his own nonprofit, according to ABC News. The Garden Club Project’s mission is to eliminate food deserts and motivate children to make healthier food choices. ABC News reports that Watkins has...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 15, 2024

New Orleans High School Student Naya Ellis Designed A Stroke-Detecting Watch

At just age 14, a New Orleans, LA, native has created an innovation for the medical field. When Naya Ellis was 7 years old, she supported her mother who was battling breast cancer, The74 reports. Merging her passion for helping others and for science, she went on to design WingItt, a stroke-detecting watch for adults. The outlet details that WingItt works to detect nerve impulses and heartbeats to identify strokes apart from the physically visible signs. After learning that the medical condition greatly affects people who are 55 and over, Ellis created the device with that age group in mind. What’s more, she aims for WingItt to be more on the affordable end in comparison to other smartwatches currently on the market. “I want to do something I’m interested in, that will also change the world,” Ellis said. The John F. Kennedy High School student’s inspiration for the invention came while attending STEM NOLA’s STEM Saturday. In a last-minute decision, she switched from creating a watch...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 12, 2024

Elaine Welteroth Founds Birth Fund With Serena Williams' Backing To Pay Costs For Midwifery Care For Families

Journalist and TV host Elaine Welteroth and tennis-champion-turned-entrepreneur Serena Williams have joined forces to address the alarming maternal mortality crisis in the United States. In April 2024, a Time op-ed from the two mother powerhouses was released in alignment with Black Maternal Health Week. Williams has been open about her first childbirth in 2017 being life-threatening and causing her to undergo four surgeries afterward. Moreover, Welteroth has shared her own experience of feeling unsafe with doctors after becoming pregnant in 2021 — leading her in the direction of midwifery care, which she described as “the best decision I ever made,” per a previous Time piece. Now, the two are taking a step further than just raising awareness. According to the latest Time article, Welteroth has founded Birth Fund, a coalition that works to support families in the U.S. who can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs of midwifery care. The mission behind Birth Fund initially started in...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 12, 2024

Hollywood Hair Bar Founder Tiffany Rose Dean Says Her Business Has Generated Over $45M To Date — 'I Did Most Of It Without Even A Credit Card'

Hollywood Hair Bar Founder and CEO Tiffany Rose Dean hopes her story inspires Black woman entrepreneurs to chase their dreams on their terms. According to Hollywood Hair Bar’s website, the former celebrity fashion stylist created the haircare company to help people grow their hair with products made from natural ingredients. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hollywood Hair Bar (@hollywoodhairbar) During Dean’s appearance on the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast, hosted by Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings, she recalled studying online marketing from 2008 to 2018 before officially launching her business. The entrepreneur also shared that she put in the work to get traffic to Hollywood Hair Bar’s website and ensured advertisements on the social media platform Facebook had all the data necessary to reach the target audience. After collaborating with a marketing agency, Dean says she saw more revenue come in. She claims on the podcast that the company went from making $50,000 a month...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 12, 2024

Actress A.J. Johnson Says She Earned More By Selling Her Rights To A 'House Party' Scene Than She Did For The Movie

When debating legendary movie dance scenes, the comedy/romance “House Party,” directed and written by Reginald Hudlin, is most likely a part of the discussion. The dance scene from the ’90s classic features the Hip-Hop group Kid’ n Play, comprised of Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin , actress Tisha Campbell, and actress and choreographer A.J. Johnson. This scene focuses on an iconic dance-off that fans replicate to this day. While “House Party” has created a long-lasting impact for over three decades, it’s been revealed that the pay at the time for the cast’s contribution may not have been what one would expect. In an interview with sports journalist Jemele Hill on her YouTube channel “Jemelle Hill Is Unbothered,” Johnson, who choreographed for the “House Party” dance scene, claimed that she was paid $4,000 for her role as Sharane after filming for up to two months. “We all made four grand,” Johnson told Hill. Johnson also shared how she and Play, Christopher Martin, made...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 11, 2024

Stanford Researchers Found 'Significant Disparities' When Asking AI Chatbots For Advice Using Names 'Associated With Black Women'

One of the major flaws of artificial intelligence (AI) is that it can reinforce racial bias. As CNN reported, the technology is based on data fed by humans, which can mean the data can be racist and biased. “Remember: AI is just software that learns by example,” Reid Blackman, author of the book, “Ethical Machines,” told CNN. “So if you give it examples that contain or reflect certain kinds of biases or discriminatory attitudes … you’re going to get outputs that resemble that.” The impact of its racial bias continues to disproportionately affect the Black community , including when it comes to resume screening. “And many employers now use AI-driven tools to interview and screen job seekers, many of which pose enormous risks for discrimination against people with disabilities and other protected groups,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote in a 2021 report on how AI can worsen racial and economic inequities. Now, a recent research paper has shown another area where AI...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 11, 2024

Bookstore Owner Ymani Wince Launches A Free Book Vending Machine For Students In St. Louis, MO

Knowledge is power, but being able to access it can be an uphill battle for disadvantaged communities. PBS NewsHour reports on Instagram that St. Louis, MO, is a “book desert,” and the likelihood of retaining a significant number of books in a community is low. However, a determined Black woman business owner has stepped in to enact the change she wants to see. According to the outlet, Ymani Wince launched Onyx, a free book vending machine, at the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, located on the north side of St. Louis. Wince also owns The Noir Bookshop, which provides Black and people of color (POC) literature.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by PBS NewsHour (@newshour) “I started thinking about what were ways that I could get books in the community, and I instantly thought of vending machines,” Wince told PBS NewsHour. “The concept of reading is good, having literacy is good, and I think access to information is a human right, no matter what you look like.” This...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 11, 2024

Zendaya, Who Now Has An Estimated Net Worth Of $22M, Opens Up About Becoming The 'Breadwinner Of My Family Very Early'

Zendaya has been building her net worth since she was a child. However, being a child star comes with its fair share of challenges, like taking care of your family financially. In 2010, Zendaya starred in Disney Channel’s TV series “Shake It Up” as Rocky Blue. After three seasons, the breakout role led Zendaya to stay within the Disney Channel franchise in TV shows and films such as “K.C. Undercover,” “Frenemies,” and “Zapped.” Building her work resume early on resulted in Zendaya co-starring in the film “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” based on Marvel Comics, and landing the leading role in HBO nextwork’s teen drama series “Euphoria,” for which she won two Emmys and one Golden Globe for her portrayal of Rue Bennett. While Zendaya has risen in stardom since her Disney Channel days, she is now beginning to further reflect on how her time as a child star impacted her. During her May 2024 cover story interview with Vogue, the 27-year-old shared how having the most income in her household at a...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 10, 2024