Yes Boss: Peter Lentini on Brand, Fashion, and Entrepreneurship
Peter Lentini Efezokhae is the Founder and Creative Director of Ankara Festival Los Angeles (AFLA), created in 2010 with the intention to create a social landscape for cultural pride in the U.S., increase the visibility of African culture and foster entrepreneurship through fashion, arts, music, dance, and food. He began the initiative while managing Naija Entertainment, a company he launched in 2004 that has been a staple in the party scene in Los Angeles and across the nation for over 10 years providing Afrobeat DJ services, event production for corporate, wedding and private events and producing music concerts featuring world-renowned African artists.
Through his years of service to the African community in Los Angeles, Lentini has proven himself a staunch advocate for entrepreneurship, cultural pride and volunteerism. He has helped create jobs and various business opportunities, promoted African cultural preservation and forged a framework to effectively build partnerships through a powerful and sustaining network of influential individuals.
He has taken an active role in improving the lives of underprivileged communities through various charitable work such as feeding the homeless every year with PATH in Los Angeles and donating a percentage of AFLA ticket sales to benefit a non-profit organization dedicated to health issues, poverty alleviation, disease eradication, education, and research. Aligned with his commitment of benevolence, Lentini travels around the world through the TOMS “One-for-One” initiative giving shoes to children in need. The program also gives the gift of sight by providing free access to medical treatment, sight-saving surgery and prescription glasses to people living in disadvantaged areas.
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Peter Lentini was already a hustler in the entertainment industry from a young age as an event promoter, organizing street carnivals and concerts. As a little boy, he struggled as he balanced focusing on his studies and supporting his siblings raised by a single mother by peddling in the busy streets of Lagos selling water and snacks. As such, he has become the epitome of the American Dream since his move to the US in 2000 as an immigrant creating his own success through hard work and determination. With his commitment to be a positive social impact to everyone he encounters, Peter Lentini has been an inspiration and a mentor to a diverse youth group hoping to follow in his footsteps as he accomplishes various achievements never forgetting his humble beginnings.
On his thirst for education, Peter Lentini has made it his mission to continuously learn from his personal experiences and challenges that has shaped his spiritual growth. He also set himself as an outlier with a plethora of degrees from various Universities including an Ordinary National Degree (OND) in Mass Communication from Ibadan Polytechnic, Nigeria; a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; an Associates Degree in International Studies from Mission College, a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from San Jose State University; and a Masters of Arts in International Relations from California State University, Northridge. During his studies in the Bay Area, Lentini successfully produced African Student Union Cultural Shows and other events.
Peter Lentini has received numerous awards and distinctions including profiles by the Life and Times Magazine as a Youth Leadership Award recipient, Outstanding Work Award from TOMS and was also featured in the YES BOSS Campaign as an Influential and Inspiring Entrepreneur.
As a thought leader in his industry, Peter Lentini has been invited numerous times to speak at corporate meetings such as the Global Sales Conference for TOMS and at prestigious universities including Yale and Stanford University addressing students, professors, and marketing executives.
With his love, passion, and pride for his culture and his dedication in raising two young sons, Peter Lentini is inspired to purposely and intentionally create possibilities of empowering and supporting a thriving community in Los Angeles that can celebrate its astounding diversity through exposure to the African heritage and legacy.
What does it mean to live a Designed Life?: For me, Living a designed life is all about loving what you do, and deriving joy in doing it. Living a life with a purpose, touching and changing lives with what you do and most importantly putting family first in all you do.
Favorite Quote: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
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