Category: Real Estate Tips

Teen accepted to all 8 Ivy League schools makes her choice

Real Estate Tips

(CNN)A Long Island teen who received acceptance letters from all eight Ivy League schools has decided where she’ll attend college in the fall.

Drum roll, please.
Surrounded by her classmates donning their own college choice T-shirts, Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna approached the podium and unzipped the black jacket she was wearing to reveal a crimson T-shirt revealing her decision: Harvard.
Uwamanzu-Nna said getting into all 12 schools she applied to has been an “exciting and surreal experience,” but making the final decision was not easy.
Uwamanzu-Nna said she approached the choice with an “open mind” but when it came down to selecting her school, Harvard’s “dedication to excellence .. in all students” stood out.
Uwamanzu-Nna, who is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, said the school’s “strong Nigerian presence” was also attractive.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of an exciting spring for Uwamanzu-Nna, who recently attended the White House Science Fair, where she got to meet President Obama.
She was also named her school’s valedictorian and was a finalist at the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search for her research on cement that could help prevent underwater oil rigs from rupturing.


“I stand before you exuberant, but also humbled by my recent accomplishments,” Uwamanzu-Nna said.
Uwamanzu-Nna is the second Elmont Memorial High School student in two years to gain acceptance at all eight Ivy League schools.
The class of 2015’s Harold Ekeh chose to attend Yale.
Elmont Principal Kevin Dougherty said hardworking students and families, a supportive community and administrations past and present deserve the credit for the school’s accomplishments.
They put their “blood, sweat and tears into making sure Elmont is successful and these kids reach their fullest potential.”
Uwamanzu-Nna echoed her principal’s sentiments, thanking God, her parents and the entire Elmont community for cultivating her into the young woman she has become.
“Words cannot accurately capture my feelings of gratitude,” she said.

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Afrinvest Makes New Appointments

Real Estate Tips

Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, has announced the appointment of Elkin Pianim as a Director of the firm while Michael Chu’di Ejekam has been named a Director for its broker-dealer subsidiary, Afrinvest Securities Limited (ASL).

A Ghanaian national, Pianim’s appointment, the firm stated, further reflects the pan-African outlook of Afrinvest, which also has Ms. Fatumata Soukouna, a Liberian national on the board of ASL and Dr. Fidelis Nde-Che, a Cameroonian, as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Pianim has over 25 years experience in the financial services sector, and has worked on several landmark projects across the United States, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe and Ghana. He is currently Founder and Partner at Serengeti Capital Partners Limited – an Accra-Headquartered financial services group engaged in consultancy and asset management – and his areas of expertise include consumer goods, natural resources, media and technology.

Also, Ejekam, has a proven track record of full cycle retail investment and development including site origination, equity investment, planning approvals, development management, tenant leasing, asset management and exit of the largest retail malls in Nigeria, Ghana, and the broader West African market.

As Director of Real Estate for West Africa at Actis – a $7.5bn private equity firm, which is the most active retail developer in Sub Saharan Africa – Ejekam originated over $700m in retail projects. These include the $130m Jabi Lake Mall Abuja project; $100m Ikeja City Mall Lagos project; Heritage Place, Nigeria’s first green certified commercial building; and the Accra Mall.

Ejekam also has significant experience in international real estate with a United States private real estate investment and development firm with interests in $2bn of real estate assets. He was previously a Wall Street Investment Banker at Merrill lynch in New York, and participated in $3bn of acquisition, LBO financings, IPO and leverage loans. See Original Posting Here.

Mark Zuckerberg walked through Lagos to his meeting with Andela

Real Estate Tips

Mark Zuckerberg on his way to meet with the startup Andela.

Image: twitter/Christine Magee

Mark Zuckerberg came to Lagos, Nigeria in part to meet with Andela, a startup he’s backing.

But he got a sense of the city from more than the tech workers he met with. On the way to his meeting, Zuckerberg walked the streets of Yaba, a neighborhood in Lagos.

Surrounded by cars in Yaba’s busy streets, Zuckerberg made his way to Andela, a startup that recruits tech talent across Africa. Andela has offices in Lagos, Nairobi, New York and San Francisco.

when Mark Zuckerberg drops by your office in Lagos, Nigeria for a quick chat

A photo posted by @cmageee on Aug 31, 2016 at 1:06am PDT

He told Andela employees in Lagos that he came to their city because it was where “the future is going to get built.”

Andela has raised $41 million for its mission to provide tech companies with talent in Africa that otherwise might not be matched. The company gets 30,000 applicants and has an acceptance rate of 0.6 percent for the positions it matches with tech companies. Its technical leadership fellows go through a six-month vetting process.

So far, Andela has matched candidates with companies including Microsoft and IBM.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic venture, led Andela’s Series B round of funding, which raised $24 million in June. Andela was the recipient of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s first lead investment round.

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How heroic doctor stopped the spread of Ebola in Nigeria

Real Estate Tips

(CNN)As she lay on the hospital bed, weak and coughing, Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh wished her son a happy birthday over the phone.

She asked him about his birthday presents and insisted his dad buy him a cake, after all, what’s a birthday without cake?
Not long after that call she was dead.
This is just one of the scenes in the Nigerian drama film “93 days” that portrays Adadevoh’s caring and motherly nature, even during her dying moments.
It was this care and heroism that helped prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa’s most populous country in 2014.
“93 Days”, which premiered in Lagos Tuesday, is one of the eight Nigerian films selected for the Toronto International Film Festival. It tells the true life story of Adadevoh, played by veteran Nigerian actress Bimbo Akintola, and the medical team at First Consultant Medical Center whose quick actions saved countless lives
Adadevoh led the team who oversaw the treatment of Patrick Sawyer, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in Nigeria. She stopped Sawyer from leaving the hospital to board a flight to Calabar in southern Nigeria.
Adadevoh also provided staff with relevant information about the virus, procured protective gear and quickly contacted relevant officials.
Eight people in Nigeria, including Adadevoh, later died.


The film sold out at a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival and has struck a chord with Nigerians for showing how quickly and effectively the virus was contained.
“It shed a good light on Nigeria to the world,” said Edewor Ajueshi, who watched the film at the Lagos premiere. “It was a world crisis at a point … and we were able to contain it … it’s a good thing to put it out there so the world can understand that we are also good for some other things too.”
There was some controversy surrounding the film when a letter, claiming to be from the family of the late doctor, was released saying that the filmmakers did not have the family’s consent or backing.
The producers issued a statement saying that the film is not a biopic of the late doctor, but a story that “celebrates many heroes of the fight against Ebola.”


The portrayal of heroism, selflessness and sacrifice in the film is creating a buzz among Nigerians who often complain that their country is portrayed in a negative light.
“What is spread outside [is] that Nigerians are really selfish,” said Taiye Opatewa, who also watched the film. “She [Adadevoh] is just the epitome of a typical Nigerian woman who would want to do all she can for her younger ones… “
“The picture of Nigeria outside is really, really bad…but this film shows the light that comes out.”

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Nigerian Students Sue Alabama College for Treating Them Like Animals

Real Estate Tips

Alabama State University got millions to educate and house exchange students who say they were charged more and given less.”>

Godsgift Moses, Promise Owei, Thankgod Harold, Success Jumbo, Savior Samuel, and 30 more Nigerian students came to America hoping it would be the promised land.

Its only fitting that Opportunity is here is the motto of Alabama State University, listed as one of Americas 100 Historic Black Colleges and Universities, and where they got full scholarships from a Nigerian government fund for four years of education. Instead of getting opportunity, they say the school took their countrys millions and used the money to discriminate against them.

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, 41 Nigerian nationalsmany of whom are now Alabama State University alumniallege the school overcharged them for books and meals, enrolled them in classes they never took, and more, all because they were black foreigners.

They called us cash cows, said Jimmy Iwezu, an ASU alum who claims the university intentionally mismanaged millions from a scholarship fund set up by the Nigerian government that was paid in advance for every exchange student. Im a black man and Im proud to be black, but I felt discriminated against.

The 37-year-old social work grad cites the schools self-proclaimed autonomy to do whatever it wished with the seven-figure sum Nigeria prepaid back in 2013 for some 41 students to go to the school.

Attorney Julian McPhillips, who brought the lawsuit to court for the second timethe first attempt, back in April, accused the school of breaching its contract with Nigeria and was dismissedsuggests ASU violated Title VI civil rights.

The students allege they were shorted their deserved monies by ASU because of their Nigerian national origin, according to the lawsuit.

McPhillips contends ASU hammered the students with exorbitant billing and they werent being treated like other students when the school allegedly inflated the costs of staples like books and room and board, and repurposed the funds to pay for the schools bond issues and to help front costs for a new stadium, and, ironically, a center for civil rights awareness.

The school acted in a really disingenuous and self-serving way, McPhillips told The Daily Beast.

While most college students are permitted to bargain shop for textbooks wherever they wish or dine at different establishments beyond the school cafeterias, the Nigerian nationals at ASU, according to the federal complaint, were boxed in.

The lawsuit claims they were not allowed by ASU to spend this money, but instead the money was credited towards certain expenses the students incurred, or towards other expenses ASU incurred that were unrelated to the students.

The school compelled us to buy books from the book store and eat only at the cafeteria, Iwezu said. I tried to make them understand, Hey, we dont want to live in the dorms anymore, and we dont want to eat our entire meals at the dorms.

He said greed trumped reason.

They want our money, he said, adding that the surcharge to live on campus was raised specifically for him and his Nigerian counterparts. They make us pay $3,000 [a semester] to live in the dorms, and that is more than a mortgage on homes in this area.

Enough is enough.

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Back in 2013, Dr. David Iyegha, a geography professor at ASU for almost three decades, made a pilgrimage to Lagos, serving as the schools ambassador to recruit fellow Nigerians with a mandate to attract its best and brightest to relocate to Montgomery, Alabama, for their higher education.

I went to Nigeria with one other faculty member and recruited these students to be sponsored by the Nigerian federal government, Iyegha told The Daily Beast.

Today he is withered in regret.

I feel very, very bad because I was the one who was instrumental in bringing these students to the campus, he said.

Iyegha, whose son is currently on a Ph.D. track at ASU, feels like he let down so many promising prospects.

[Nigeria] paid for everything, including their books, and all of the money is supposed to be given to the students so they can buy this or that.

But the college refused to release any of that money at all for the past three years.

While the money was prepaid and guaranteed by the Nigerian government, that didnt grant the school carte blanche on how it was supposed to be spent, he said.

I asked them, Why are you treating these kids like this? Why are you depriving them? and after talking to them at length, they told me they spent all the money and there is no money left.

An ASU spokesman told The Daily Beast that since its pending litigation against our university, Alabama State University has no comment.

Meanwhile, the retired 67-year-old academic says he is stunned the school he faithfully served and recruited for shorted these Nigerian nationals.

Iyegha said Nigeria allocated approximately $30,000-$35,000 annually for each student to attend fall, spring, and summer semesters. Those funds would also go toward books, room and board, and incidentals.

Nigeria paid in full the entire cost for the 2014-15 year, but ASU hoarded the money instead of depositing any excess sponsorship monies into the students accounts, the lawsuit claims.

The students were suspicious of the allegedly questionable accounting practices and decided to raise cain with their consulate.

In a May 2015 letter addressed to ASUs president Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, a special adviser to the former president Goodluck Jonathan named Kingsley Kuku blasted the college for its discriminatory practices and for breaching its fiduciary duties.

The dignitary empaneled a delegation to head to Montgomery to deal with the financial fracas and demanded that all credit balances for tuition be carried over for each student and be used as initial deposit for the next semester fees and that ASU refund each student for all other line items.

After months of inaction, the students attorney McPhillips shot back in November, demanding ASU quit the stonewall or continuing silence and instead treat them justly from an economic perspective and refund portions of tuition, books, room and board, especially for the summer semesters of 2015 and 2016, and all personal expenses not used.

He pointed to Nigerian student Success Jumbo, who had married and was living off-campus and deserved a refund because his government paid for nearly two years of dormitory expenses on his behalf, even though he has not needed said expense.

In a terse response two months later, Kenneth Thomas, ASUs general counsel, wrote back stating that the oral agreement between Nigeria and ASU supersedes McPhillipss clients claims. There is no financial agreement between the University and the individual Nigerian students, Thomas wrote.

That meant the Nigerians gripes were frivolous and that if there were any refunds to be had, they would inure to the Nigerian Government and not to the individual students.

Thus, the schools counsel wrote, Alabama State University denies your claim.

While the legal process was underway, the Nigerian students refused to be treated like naive foreigners.

They started to school themselves and enterprisingly even traded notes with other students at neighboring schools like Troy State and Alabama University.

We looked at what happens with other students when they are given refunds and compared it to our student accounts, Kehinde Batife told The Daily Beast. We would see a refund, but before we could do anything about it, the refund was taken out.

The now 28-year-old criminal justice graduate says he was charged for summer school he never attended, after he had already graduated.

They had me as if I was going to school this summer, the puzzled graduate said. I asked them, I graduated in May, so where is the scholarship money my government gives to you?

And when he called the administration out, he says school administrators quickly denounced him.

They tell me, Youre a resident of the scholarship. So they think they can do whatever they want with the money [Nigeria] gives them Im not going to let them treat us like animals.

Batife, who is hoping to afford law school to one day, remains irate about ASUs alleged underhanded tactics.

Ive been here three years and Im a super intelligent person, he said. Im not nosy, but I ask questions, and this school thought we dont know anything and they could do whatever they want to us.

I cannot forget about this and Im ready to fight the school, even if it means 10 years from now Im still fighting to get justice.

The fight isnt about riches either.

A victory for Iwezu would be for ASU to pay restitution that can then bankroll future Nigerian students higher education in the U.S.

I want justice to prevail, and the remaining money should go to [Nigerias] Treasury and make a better life for other Nigerians.

Editors Note: The story has been updated to reflect that ASU a Historical Black College and University (HBCU).

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Antique Firehouse Is Reborn As Quaint San Francisco Home

Real Estate Tips

I think just about everybody likes a house with a cool backstory.

After all, here in America, the absolute oldest house youre likely to find is maybe 350 years old. That means that you can easily trace the story of just about any home in the country.

Take, for example, this awesome Sears houseit may be 100 years old now, but we can still trace the whole history!

Of course, sometimes its even cooler to see a modern home that has been repurposed from a past as a more utilitarian building, like a public library or high school.

These government-owned buildings get sold into the private sector quite often, especially when zoning and regulations change.

Its really wonderful to see the beautiful and unique ways that people transform these nostalgic old buildings. One of our favorite themes? Antique firehouses converted into comfortable, cozy homes!

If thats the kind of backstory that catches your interest, then youre going to love the history behind 117 Broad Street in San Francisco.

Read on below to learn more about this unique home!


This is the exterior of Engine Co. 33, on Broad Street in San Francisco.

Built in 1896, the beautiful blue structurecalls to mind the Victorian details of its construction.

In a city known for its colorful Victorian homes, known as the “Painted Ladies,” this cool structure still stands out from the crowd.

At first glance, this house looks like an ordinary Victorian townhouse, with the surprising detail of a jaunty tower off to one side.

Up closer, you notice the antique signage, identifying the building as Engine Co. 33.

This cool structure also still includes its original garage door, and an antique fire engine that was previously used for tours.

Inside the building, the second floor looks like a hip downtown loft.

With a big open plan layout, bright white walls, and lots of cool vintage touches, like an old Radio Flyer and a few vintage arcade machines, it could be mistaken for an artist’s cool studio.

This big open floor sits right above the garage.

From another angle, this space becomes even clearer.

While it serves as a dining and living area for the residents, manyof the vintage items displayed in the room are firefighting memorabilia.

You’ll notice a row of firefighters helmets lined up against the wall.

Also on top floor of the building is a big, open bedroom, lavishly furnished with all sorts of cool vintage and contemporary pieces.

The walls are done over in shiplap, and this space shares the open-plan, loft look of theliving space.

This room also has the added benefit of a skylight.

Downstairs, this cool old building still retains the original garage where two trucks would have been parked in the past.

Before the building was sold in 2010, it was still home to one antique firetruck.

The previous owners ran a firehouse tour business, and maintained the truck and the memorabilia in the garage as a museum of the building’s 80-year history as a working firehouse from 1896 to 1974.

Naturally, the building also features a classic brass fireman’s pole.

These poles were set up so that sleeping firefighters could quickly catapult from the second floor to the garage in the event of an emergency.

This one has been preserved beautifully, with a hexagonal chute that still functions perfectly.

The old firehouse was purchased in 2010 after a year on the market for $875,000.

Now, with the San Francisco economy booming and the neighborhood improving, this cool property is valued at over $1 million, with the potential for even more value with a few renovations.

If we ever find ourselves in the Bay Area, you can bet we’ll make a pit stop to visit this awesome house!

If you love the idea of living in a converted firehouse, make sure toSHARE this real estate gem with fans of Victorian architecture, firefighters, and the Bay Area!

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016: What is architecture actually for?

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(CNN)The most prestigious architectural exhibition in the world takes place every two years in a semi-abandoned shipyard and its adjoining garden. This shabby-chic affair is the Venice Architecture Biennale; a colossal exhibition comprised of one major installation by a significant architect, as well as a multitude of smaller shows put on by individual countries (known as the national pavilions).


To do this, the Biennale selects an architect to curate the exhibition, and asks them to set an overall theme for the national pavilions. In the past, the nature of this theme has varied enormously. The Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima opted for the straightforward observation “people meet in architecture,” while Briton David Chipperfield sought a general “common ground.” Most recently, Rem Koolhaas chose the rather precise historical theme of “absorbing modernity, 1914-2014.”

Reporting from the frontlines

At @labiennale, the British Pavilion imagines new new models for domestic life in response to the UK housing crisis. Portable bubbles, communal closets… Is this how we’ll live in the future?

A video posted by CNN Style (@cnnstyle) on Jun 1, 2016 at 9:09am PDT

For 2016, the Chilean architect (and recent Pritzker Prize laureate) Alejandro Aravena has challenged the world of architecture to “report from the front” — calling on each country to define its own “frontline of architecture.” While this might seem less constricting than Koolhaas, in fact Aravena has tried to change the entire definition of architecture. In his curatorial statement, he focused on the global forces promoting individual gain over collective prosperity, and lay down a challenge for architects to “look at reality” and to “imagine different and alternative solutions.”
Aravena has asked the national curators to look at the biggest challenges facing their countries, and then to form a plan for how they might be able to help. The nature of these issues could potentially vary enormously, from food security to mass migration, or from illiteracy to social wealth polarization.
What makes this unlike previous approaches is that these are not intrinsically architectural subjects. In fact, architects really struggle to address these types of conditions with anything near the scale required.
Rather, Aravena is subtly pivoting the entire subject of the Biennale from a study of architecture in society to the humanitarian role of the architect as a social figure. At the same time, he is dissolving the ideal of a universal condition for architecture and arguing that an accurate worldview assessment can only stem from precise regionalism. The militant and activist overtones of the brief recall the old protest slogan “think global, act local.”

Britain in crisis


As far as we are aware, it is also the first exhibition on architecture to be curated through time in the home. Each of these five models addresses a different facet of our “frontline” crisis of living, from how to prevent speculation and exploitation in real estate markets to how sharing can be a form of luxury and not a compromise.
Each model has been developed in an intensely pragmatic and totalizing way, by harnessing the expertise of diverse advisers and collaborators ranging from developers and financial institutions to engineers, architects, artists, fashion designers, photographers and filmmakers.
Not only has Home Economics produced a wealth of research, artistic and cultural output, some of its collaborations may result in new kinds of built work. This focus on reality, and dedication to sincerely improving the lot for the British, is extremely important if we are to seriously address how we might live in the future.
Jack Self is a Curator and the Artistic Director of Home Economics, the British Pavilion exhibition for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, which runs from 28 May — 27 November. The exhibition has been curated by Jack Self, Shumi Bose and Finn Williams, and was commissioned by the British Council.

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Australia’s best buildings of 2016 will make you want to move in

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University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, winner in the Best Sustainable Development – New Buildings category.

Image: property council of australia

If you’re sick of your crusty old office, here are some of Australia’s best new buildings so you can start daydreaming.

On Friday, theProperty Council’s 2016 Innovation and Excellence Awardshonoured sensational developments across the country. From shopping malls to hotels, the best of Australian architecture was on display.

Taking out the top prize of Australian Development of the Year was the revamp of Sydney’s 50 Martin Place. It’s a heritage building in a Beaux-Arts architectural style, originallycompleted in 1928 as the home of the Commonwealth Bank.

50 Martin Place, Australian Development of the Year.

Image: property council of australia

Renovated in 2014, it now serves as the global headquarters for Macquarie Bank, which acquired the building in 2012.

It’s not the building’s first award, winningthe Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecturefrom theAustralian Institute of Architectsin November. Even its glass lifts wonElevator World Project of the Year.

“50 Martin Place is a landmark example of how retrofitting can transform tired old offices into highly-connected, high-performance workplaces without compromising character, charm or contemporary standards of sustainability,” Ken Morrison, Property Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, said in a statement.

50 Martin Place also took out the awards in the categories ofBest Office Development and Best Sustainable Development Existing Buildings. Tell your bosses to pay a visit.

The building joins previous Australian Development of the Year winners, Sydney’sOne Shelley Streetand8 Chifley, Melbourne’sANZ CentreandFairfax Media House, and Perth’sBrookfield Place.

Othercategoryaward winners this year include a range of buildings, such as a shopping centre, universitiesand affordable housing developments. You’d be wishing you could move in.

Best Public Building: Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, University of Technology, Sydney

Image: property council of australia

Best Tourism and Leisure Development: Ibis Hotel Adelaide

Image: property council of australia

Best Shopping Centre Development: Macquarie Centre, Sydney

Image: property council of australia

Best Sustainable Development – New Buildings: University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute

Image: property council of australia

Best Mixed Use Development: East Village, Sydney

Image: property council of australia

Best Affordable Housing Development: One on Aberdeen, Perth

Image: property council of australia

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