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The social media has been abuzz for the last week with discussions and reactions about Ezra Olubi co-founder and CTO of Paystack, and his ‘unique’ dress style. While his fashion style comes as no news, the trigger to these conversations can be traced to the National Honors he just received, which seeks to recognize his contributions to tech in Nigeria.

One of his Linkedin recommendations from Kris Tola, describes Ezra as “a vibrant and self-determined young man who gave his everything for programming”, and added that he “has finally matured into one of the best programmers in the country today.”

Before looking at the conversations, let us consider the achievements that make Olubi one of the young tech minds Nigeria can boast about.

Birth and early years

Ezra Olubi was born on November 12th, 1986, in Ibadan, Oyo state. As a young boy schooling in Ibadan, he had dreams of becoming a Pilot, but life seemed to have a different path mapped out for Ezra. Describing key experiences that shaped his life, Ezra recounted in an interview how he first encountered programming.

“The first one was when a family friend moved into our house so that he could be closer to school, and then he came in with his computer and that was like my first introduction to computers and then that was how I got into programming in secondary school.”

He began appreciating the power of computers (when compared to other gadgets) and how you could get them to do whatever you wanted through programming. This completely distracted him from his earlier career thoughts of becoming a Pilot.


Olubi would later bag a Computer Science degree from Babcock University in 2006. As a student of Babcock University, he participated in the annual Software Exhibition 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and he would later say in an interview that it was in one of such competitions, he met and became friends with Shola Akinlade. In their final year, they worked together on the project they exhibited and this laid the foundation for their future partnership.

From a tech career to founding Paystack 

His first job out of school was IT Administrator at Business Management Consultants Ltd where he supported a custom-built sales performance reconciliation and rewards software, but he did not stay long there. His LinkedIn profile shows that he worked for about 6 months as Web Applications Developer at North Ocean Logistics & Solutions Ltd, where he created the now-defunct


He moved to Softcom Imagio Limited Nigeria where he worked as the Head Developer, and Web/Applications Developer, creating,, and other products. He was also the Head of Product Development and among other things, created, a unified payment system that hopes to reduce the barrier of entry for prospective eCommerce players in Nigeria and eventually the rest of Africa. His dissatisfaction with the limits of Eyowo products would later form part of the inspiration for building Paystack.

Olubi was the Chief Technology Officer at Jobberman Nigeria for about 7 months, from December 2012 to June 2013. He led scaling efforts for Jobberman in moving from the initial server stack to a cloud-based architecture that could reliably handle transaction loads of tens of millions of transactions daily.


Olubi volunteered as a Facilitator of, the Women Entrepreneurship Program at the Co-creation Hub Nigeria at some point. He worked also as Chief Technology Officer at Delivery Science Inc, Yaba, Lagos from 2014 to 2015, leading and managing the team responsible for the development and management of all client-facing applications (web and mobile), internal applications, etc, and taking decisions to ensure business continuity and staff development.

He has been Director of Magic Alexander Haring Consulting Ltd from May 2012 till date, researching technical trends and offering technical advice to businesses; coordinating requirements gathering for, building, and supervising teams for custom software development tasks.

Founding Paystack

After leaving school, Ezra freelanced as a developer for some time, and it was at this time he met the co-founders of Softcom, where he would later work. While working at Softcom, he developed the product Eyowo but had certain limitations.

“We were looking for an easy way of like integrating and accepting payments on your website without going to other interfaces and all of that. The plan was to build it into something like Stripe but this was not possible for them at the time. Because I mean Softcom was a company that was doing a lot more things than just that product and I guess it was difficult to communicate the resources. I left for Jobberman afterward, but the thought remained. So, when Shola came to me with the Paystack idea, I jumped on it,” he recounts in his interview.


The duo worked on Paystack and grew it to become one of the most popular online payment platforms used to complete several e-commerce sites. Paystack basically provides an online gateway that makes it easy for merchants to accept credit and debit card payments online from customers.

He still serves as CTO of Paystack since October 2015 and he describes what he does at Paystack thus “Hard at work saving the Nigerian payment space”


It was the first Nigerian business to be admitted into the Y Combinator program, and PayStack received $120,000 in funding and raised a total $11.7 million from five rounds between 2016 and 2018. Later in 2020, Stripe bought Paystack for $200 million. While there is no official figure of Olubi’s Net Worth, most of the information being bandied around are speculations based on the worth of his business.

The ‘controversial’ Ezra Olubi style

Describing his style in an Interview, Olubi says; “I’ll say androgynous instead because that’s what has been more of a recurring thing in my head with regards to like how I just like to carry myself and blow the lines to gender boundaries”.

Lennox Mall

He admits that he is used to getting all the weird reactions when people first meet him, but over time, they come to accept that he is just being ‘Ezra’.

“I guess I’ve always been like this as far back as my secondary school time. I remember my dad actually made a comment and he was the first person that made me know the word – effeminate. I checked it in the dictionary, and I embraced it. And then, when I actively start looking into like fashion choices, dressing, and all of that, I saw more women, yeah but it was fine. But it meant I didn’t have a lot of guys I could draw inspiration from but well the women were there anyway, so why not. And usually when I like to walk, into like, a store like to like get clothes and all of that usually find myself in the main section for things like jackets or sweaters”.


Beyond his choice of clothes, Olubi’s preference for applying lipstick and painting his nails also attracts a lot of attention. His relationship status and love affairs (if any) are kept away from the prying eyes of the public, and we can see that the only thing this achieves is to fuel the speculations about his sexuality.

Awards & recognitions. 

He has been nominated for some awards over the years. He won two consecutive awards as Programmer of the year at Babcock University.


At the 2022 National Honors event conducted on October 11, Ezra Olubi got the OON award (Order Of The Niger), which he received from President Muhammadu Buhari.


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