Architect, Activist, Public Policy Expert

Location: Anifowoshe, Ikeja Profession: ARCHITECT Read More Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) University of Nottingham, Read More

GRV IN THE MEDIA


GRV aka “The Hopeful Nigerian”

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has lived in Anifowoshe for thirty years, currently 34years old, he trained at university of Nottingham(2001-2004) to get his undergraduate degree in Architecture and then after working in England proceeded for his masters at Masachussetts institute of technology (MIT, 2005- 2008).

He returned back to Anifowoshe immediately after his studies in 2009 with an aim to solve the housing problem in Nigeria through the use of innovative and accessible materials, to create affordable housing in Nigeria.

A firm believer in social welfare, equity and justice, GRV aka “the hopeful Nigerian” is about to conclude his third degree at the University of Lagos with a Masters in Research and Public Policy. He is a practicing architect, social activist and avid writer; known for his stand against GMO’s in Nigeria and his campaign to bring back “history” as a subject to Nigerian schools. He is happily married to Dr.Ifeyinwa Aniebo

GRV cares about IKEJA; do you?

Early Life


Born to Olawale and Nkechi Rhodes-Vivour on the 8th of March 1983, Ikeja has been home to me for over thirty years. My father's philosophy that play should break all social stratifications allowed me build a deep well of empathy quite early in life.

Today I have childhood friends that are bankers, Okada riders, computer village traders, software developers. Some live in nice apartments others in ‘face me i face you’. Apart from growing up in Ikeja, the common thread we share as do most Nigerians is the conviction against “Government for self as opposed to the public good”.

Education


After successfully completing my A-Levels in Chemistry, Biology and Math, I went on to pursue a degree in Architecture. In Architecture, I saw a potential tool to solve problems, This was further amplified because at the time I lived in the heart of Paris and was acquainted with the work of Baron Hausmann who turned Paris from an unplanned ghetto in to the urban marvel it is today, I wanted the same for Lagos.

This journey took me to the University of Nottingham where their focus on sustainability and alternative energy ( having lived with NEPA for so long, an alternative/ solution to NO light was very attractive), After working for a year in England, I started my three year masters program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) In Boston, during which we worked with the State government and NGOs on the rebuilding of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, we also worked with the Chinese government in relation to the Beijing Olympics.

My thesis at M.I.T was titled ‘formalizing the informal’. It’s focus was the creation of a network of recycling centres with an aim to create a value chain of waste to wealth in Nigeria and minimize the way we waste-waste. It was very well received and I was awarded a distinction.

I am currently wrapping up a master's program (Masters in Research and Public Policy) at the political science department, University Of Lagos.

Professional Life


Shortly after graduation, I relocated back to Nigeria with an make an impact on the affordable housing market through the use of innovative easily accessible construction methods and materials, the aim was to create affordable luxury. With our partners we worked on container-tecture as a means of not only up-cycling but reducing the cost of construction by over 45% whilst significantly reducing the time required for construction as well. Working with UNILAG, we developed an affordable student accommodation. Since then I have been involved in a number of large scale projects and Urban planning projects.

Activism


My involvement in the Anti-GMO struggle arose because the public needed to be educated about the consequences of allowing GMO’s in to our country. These negative consequences have bearings on health, economy, food sovereignty and exports. We seek to educate, agitate and litigate, in the hope that the excesses of our current political elite be curbed before they completely sell Nigeria’s capacity for food sovereignty to the highest bidder ushering in the new wave of neo-colonization that accompanies GMO technology.

Consumption of GMO foods are linked to negative health effects such as cancer etc, which is one of the reasons they are banned in most of Europe and parts of Asia. I believe that a nation should make sustainable decisions that ensure its natural biological systems endure and remain diverse and productive. My advocacy has pushed for sustainability in relation to governance and decision making that encourages the betterment and independence of our Agricultural systems with an emphasis on ensuring food security and sovereignty on the long term, whilst learning from mistakes of the past.

Recommendations

My Blog

History;The Future Of Nigeria

In early September, it was with a heavy heart I signed a petition made by Omei Bongos Ikwue  on change.org to ‘Keep the study of History in Nigerian schools’ . Apparently, the Nigerian government decided to remove history from school curriculum’s for reasons such as- ‘there are neither jobs for graduates of history’, nor ‘sufficient […]