Interview with Rhoda Obi-Adigwe, co-founder of AnthonyRhodes

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Rhoda Obi-Adigwe, a graduate of law from Igbinedion University and the Lagos law school is one of the co-founders of AnthonyRhodes, a company on a mission to provide clients with the best products, services, techniques and tactics specifically crafted to meet their needs in a sustainable and impactful way. Although she originally studied Law, she has tactically carved herself a niche in the Legal-Tech space and is making a name for her company in that area.

Why did you start AnthonyRhodes?

We understood that the Nigerian business industry is unique and temperamental in nature, consisting of frequently evolving rules, demands, requirements and various contractual obligations, demands and supply. My partner and I thought that since we had experience in these areas we would set up services, which would equip our clients with the solutions they need to implement practical and impactful goals.

What services are offered at AnthonyRhodes?

Our company offers services in a few areas- data analysis, financial services, software development, oil and gas, real estate and knowledge sharing. And we also use our knowledge in these areas to provide free services where there is a demand e.g. Ask Mariah – a platform where gender based violence can be logged and immediate advice given.

AnthonyRhodes has implemented quite a few projects; one that stood out is WeMora, an online legal platform. Can you tell us about it?

WeMora is a platform created to help bridge the gap faced by Nigerians in need of legal services. The platform’s goal is to provide families, individuals and businesses with the legal documents and services they need to protect their businesses, families and interests.

We designed the platform to provide information on issues affecting Nigerians and sought to reduce the cost to end users to expand access, especially when expensive legal fees, or lack of legal access prevented people from solving their most pressing justice needs such as Testacy and inheritance issues, child custody, divorce, domestic violence and sexual assault. The Wemora platform caters to clients who need expertise on e.g. wills, Trusts, PreNup, PostNup, Name change and Power of attorney etc.

We have given hundreds of Nigerians in need of this service access to justice and our hard work paid off when we won the Hague Institute for Innovation of law from the Dutch ministry and the Middle East and Africa Innovation Award. Since then we have held several free seminars where we could sensitize the public on the needs for family and individual access to justice.

Speaking of domestic violence and sexual assault, tell us about your project with the Lagos State government and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social development (FMWASD)?

So far we have been to 5 states in Nigeria to spread the need to combat Gender Based Violence (GBV). We are working alongside the Office of the Vice president, the Lagos State (Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team) and the FMWASD to fight against GBV. We created a platform called Ask Mariah where survivors and witnesses, care givers, teachers and anyone with a concern can go to answer a few questions to know whether their object of concern is going through any form of Violence. Immediately, the filler will get recommendation and suggestions for next steps with medical assistance where necessary and the likes. Ask Mariah platform had over 5,000 hits in its first month of activity online. Offline, Ask Mariah is working with Agencies, NGO’s and Volunteers to educate, empower and encourage survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Survivors can get recommendations and information on medical services and the appropriate way to report the incident, depending on the nature of the crime. The platform also caters to people who want to report violence they have witnessed or find unjust. The information is shared with the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response (DSVR) team for necessary action. And Legal action is taken where and when needed.

Any notable projects or partnerships with companies in the private sector?

We have provided data analysis services to the Inyang Otu Foundation. The foundation has provided meals to over 5 million in Africa. We collect the data of the children and their parents alongside their medical needs and share with the Foundation so they can have a more focused approach.

We have a free annual seminar on Family and individual justice needs which holds in Lagos yearly.

We have partnered with Life Builders in Abuja to provide children from GBV homes with free education.

We also provide GBV survivors with vocational skills training so they can stay economically viable once they have escaped their situation.

What’s your vision for the company in the next five years?

We would want AnthonyRhodes to become a house-hold name, know for its use of technology to aid people and for its impact on the general society.

For the Ask Mariah project, we hope to have positive maximum impact on the lives of Nigerians who are going through any form of Gender based violence.

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