Interview by Visual Collaborative
October 2019 4 min read
Nere Teriba is the first ever and youngest woman to refine gold in the West African country of Nigeria. She presently serves as the Vice President of Kian Smith Trade & Co. As a feature in our Supernova interview series, Teriba an evident patron of the arts discusses her engineering background, perspectives about her industry and her company’s alignment with sustainable-economic development goals.
(VC) You have a background in electrical and computer engineering studying at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon. Today in your country, you are recognized as a figure building its first Gold Refinery. Did this happen organically or it was always part of the plan?
(Nere) It was always in our plans to develop the gold value chain here and see Nigeria/West Africa become a gold market center. But it happened organically in terms of timing (we didn’t think it would happen this soon).
(VC) Does your current work or observations on climate change align with any Sustainable Development Goals?
(Nere) We are committed to responsible mining and sourcing. Working with UNIDO inline with mercury-free use in gold extraction, conserving water & safely using other chemicals in the extraction process. We also have several sustainability initiatives towards zero to minimal waste from mining and processing. Overall, our strategic SDG of focus are SDGS 1-4,6,8,12 & 16:
No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Clean Water & Sanitation. Decent Work & Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption & Production, Peace & Justice and Strong Institutions.
This is to align with prevailing issues across our mining communities and also conform with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan.
This is a journey every human soul knows. Like the alchemy of the soul- the gold that comes from the perfection of all things- there will be several layers and levels of transformation
(VC) Your sector deals with the extraction of numerous rich materials such as gold, it is sort of a “Visual Collaborative” process coupled with divergent thinking, do you have any relationship with the creative/art industry?
(Nere) We actually do. We did an art soiree in june as part of Gold West Africa, an initiative to promoting the development of the gold value chain across West Africa. West Africa’s veins are gold. The art soiree was our first installation in the “The Gold Rush: A Visual Journey & Alchemy I”. It featured 3D paintings of artisanal gold and a photographic journey of gold. The journey of gold: Sweat, suffering, risk, and reward. Collaboration, service, loss, courage, and perseverance. The trials and crushing. Paths through water and fire, then fire and water to eventually come out into a wealthy place. This is a journey every human soul knows. Like the alchemy of the soul- the gold that comes from the perfection of all things- there will be several layers and levels of transformation. We are taking the journey of gold through gold as lifestyle, gold as traveling Object d’art. From Ouagadougou to Kano to Lagos and the world.
Exhibited art piece of Gold courtesy Kian Smith
(VC) As a woman in leadership on Africa continent with a background as yours, what do you tell other aspiring young women or entrepreneurs about navigating the patriarch realities of the business world?
(Nere) The journey of gold and the alchemy of the soul faces its path. Everyone is fully equipped for their journey within and without. To skills, dreams and determination, add being a voice for those without one, champion others, serve others, do good, keep doing good until you’re a stubborn do-gooder justice type. Then you’ll suddenly find yourself having a place with anyone.
Gold specimens exhibited by Kian Smith
(VC) What does self-awareness mean to you and how does it mold the service and work you do?
(Nere) Being a keen and objective observer of my thoughts, emotions, and actions. Self-awareness has its merits when well balanced with truth. But I’ve found that the self is a better servant than a master. If I allowed self-awareness to serve me, I would be living a very different safe and comfortable life.
(VC) At this stage of your professional career and accomplishments, If you could collaborate with any brand or public figure in business who would it be and why?
(Nere) Hands down –Jewelers, Designers, Artists, Models, everyone in the creative space. To bring the awakening of gold as part of life that’s easily accessible to everyone. A golden age that’s here and available despite the earth pangs. I am a creative soul.
(VC) Acknowledged as a rising pioneer in your sector, What can the world expect for Nere Teriba within the next few years?
(Nere) Expect to see me doing my part to bring back dignity and life to Africa.