On March 1, 1980, late Nigerian industrialist and philantropist, MKO Abiola, commissioned Concord Press Nigeria Limited which later became one of Nigeria's biggest media houses up until its offices were sealed off in 1994, about a year after his death.
Before Concord Newspaper became a shadow of its old self, it was housed on a large expanse of land along the Murtala International Airport road in Lagos, Nigeria. These days, the Concord Newspaper building is an innovation and collaborative space named Vibranium Valley, new home to the Venture Garden Group (VGG).
Established in 2011, VGG is a holding company for fintech entities that provide innovative, data-driven, end-to-end technology platforms. The Vibranium Valley space, designed by Spacefinish, was inspired by a merger between the African culture and technology advancement synonymous to Silicon Valley. The end result is a Black Panther adaptation, hence the name.
Come with us as we take a pictorial tour of the 2600 square-metre Vibranium Valley campus, with the help of Subulola Jiboye, our tour guide.
At the waiting area, you get a view of the Operations Command Centre still under construction. We'll see a temporary one later in the tour.
A map of the tech campus that Vibranium Valley would be in the nearest future
This wall has all the names of the startups under the VGG portfolio
Faces depicting black excellence; Nelson Mandela, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Maya Angelou and others
The office spaces
The Venture Garden Group has three main focuses; data, technology solutions and investments.
"These platforms deploy solutions for different sectors in Nigeria; power, aviation, education, social programmes and finance. So all these our solutions are sitting on these platforms," Subulola tells us.
Different teams work on different solutions; from Aviatech, Edutech, Powertech, to the marketing, business and engineering teams. Before now, the VGG team was spread through three locations across Lagos.
Asides the designated spaces for each team, Vibranium Valley has beautifully and creatively crafted workspaces to encourage flexibility in the work place.
These steps double as workspaces
More workspaces, mostly made with containers
Yes, this is a truck
Behind the truck is the café
The themed meeting rooms
Members of the various teams book a space on the calendar to hold their meetings here.
"In their days, they both stood for liberation, black excellence and activism. The 'Kuti' name itself means 'never die'. So this room signifies the culture of never giving up," says Subulola.
This room represents the colour and hustle that Lagos is known for. It's a depiction of the present. Peep the 3D danfo.
This room represents the future with its flying vehicles and futuristic building designs.
The white room
"It's sort of a white board, you can come here with your team and brainstorm. You can write on it and clean it off and begin again on a clean slate. There are different walls so different teams can use it at the same time".
The backend team works from here
They work on hosting, network and infrastructure. Their workspace is secluded from the rest, for obvious reasons.
We bet you saw this coming. Wakanda in Vibranium Valley is a room dedicated to high priority brainstorming sessions. Nobody leaves Wakanda without a solution.
Isheri is where VGG meets Concord Press. The first VGG office was situated at the Isheri area of Lagos, hence the name of the conference room. It has a wallpaper of the National Concord featuring both old and futuristic headlines about VGG. As well as all the names of its past and present staff members.
The temporary Operations Command Centre
This is where the data generated by the various teams at VGG are monitored. Emmanuel Caster monitors all the data here.
On one side of the lounge is the TV area which has a foosball table. And on the other side is the cafeteria.
What's a Vibranuim Valley without a Vibranium wall?
Faces of VGG
And so we come to the end of a very interesting tour. Vibranium Valley's most captivating appeals are its rich backstories and creative ambience.