Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation (“Helios Fairfax”) (TSX:HFPC.U) announces that it has appointed Masai Ujiri as an independent director.
Ujiri grew up in Zaria, Nigeria, attended college in the United States, and became the first African general manager in professional sports in 2011, while with the Denver Nuggets. In 2013, he was named Executive of the Year. Under Ujiri’s leadership, in 2019 the Toronto Raptors became the first team outside the United States to win an NBA Championship.
In 2003, Ujiri co-founded Giants of Africa, an organization which uses sports as a tool to enrich the lives of youth on the continent. The organization’s ethos is “Dream Big,” and Giants now connects with youth – boys and girls – in more than 17 African countries and territories. The summer of 2018 marked 15 years of the organization, and that July, Ujiri and former U.S. President Barack Obama opened the Giants of Africa court at the Sauti Kuu Foundation Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre, in Alego, Kenya. More courts are scheduled to be unveiled across the continent this September. The summer of 2022 will see the inaugural Giants of Africa Festival bring together 200 youth from 11 African countries to Kigali, Rwanda for a week-long celebration of basketball, education, culture, and entertainment.
In addition to his work with Giants of Africa, Ujiri has served as a board member of Basketball Without Borders, and has travelled to African Union meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of the Canadian delegation. This year, Ujiri intends to take on new challenges, including advocating for equality and fair treatment for marginalized people in the justice system, and focusing on the issue of child soldiers and peace. In 2020, Ujiri launched thatshumanity.org, inspired by his experiences and the lessons learned from leaders like Nelson Mandela.
Helios Fairfax is an investment holding company whose investment objective is to achieve long term capital appreciation, while preserving capital, by investing in public and private equity securities and debt instruments in Africa and African businesses or other businesses with customers, suppliers or business primarily conducted in, or dependent on, Africa.