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Friday, March 2, 2018


...young at heart

How we started our departmental stores in Abuja, Owerri – Yusuf Tumi

Yusuf Abubakar Tumi is a 29-year-old graduate from the University of Newcastle in the UK and the General Manager, House of Freeda, a Nigerian departmental store. In this interview, he spoke of the unique mark the store is making in the Nigerian business sphere. By Hafsah Abubakar Matazu


ow did House of Freeda emerge? House of Freeda is a departmental store which was birthed from UL Clothing, a fashion brand. We’re aiming to be the Nigerian Harrods and John Lewis. A few years back it was a fashion house that retailed different brands and pushed the brands out so that they can be marketed. It’s been existing for 3 to 4 years with branches in Abuja and Owerri. What did it take you to start this store that has various brands under same roof? With the right idea and hard work, I think it just took the right set of hands to put it together. If you have a vision and you know what you want to achieve with a time frame, you just have to be consistent. So I’d say the recipe is hard work, consistency, team work and finances as well. What plans do you have for expansion? Presently, we have House of Freeda in Abuja and Owerri. But it depends on the number of young entrepreneurs that come to give us the zeal to expand further. So it all depends on the traffic we get. It’s just a matter of time. Are there international collaborations? Yes, there is. We have a retail store in Atlanta we’re working with closely to do brand placement. I would have mentioned the name but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. They buy in bulk from us so for your brand to reach that market, you need to be in stock with us which is why we’re

particular about working with only the most creative brands. They also deal with celebrities as well and with the African diaspora in the States. What’s the most rewarding part of all this? When you see little brands that came from next-to-nothing and now seeing them reach a height that they didn’t think possible, it’s rewarding. The most interesting part is also when people thank you for the opportunity. We harness creativity, watch that creativity grow and it later comes back to give us a tap on the back. Is this something you’ve always had a passion for? I started with Apparel Polo when I was schooling in Newcastle, UK. Growing up, we watched NTA before Spacetoon came and all that before we started watching football. So I went to school and saw w footballers driving flashy cars. With my idea, I reached ed out to a footballer and d I gave him my card and he called me. I met him in his huge house se and I could hardly believe ieve my eyes. He told me e that he liked my stuff and I’m doing really great reat and that he likes my y style and the way I dress. So he took some shoes, jackets ckets and all and I was amazed. ed. These I supplied watches hes to Chiek Tiote and d I was his designer er until his death th last year. I also so did the first st fashion show in n Newcastle which h

sold out and the support was overwhelming. I believe I was lucky. I made a lot of money and it motivated me to do my own thing since I was good at it. What’s your take on the Made -in-Nigeria campaign? The Made-in-Nigeria campaign is absolutely brilliant but I feel like it’s a bit lacking in terms of structure. Do we have what it takes for products made in Nigeria look premium outside Nigeria because that’s the aim. I’m in support of it all the way but to promote it, what I think needs to be done is to promote creative minds from all over the country. All I see are words circulated about the campaign on social media but nothing is actually being done about it. The manpower is also low, skill is low, the quality check is low which in turn makes products more expensive. Cost of production is high in Nigeria, lack of constant power supply, low labour are all contributing factors to why businesses here can’t thrive.

Rotary Club of Abuja inducts 300 peace ambassadors By Philip Shimnom Clement The Rotary Club of Abuja Metro has inducted about 300 youth various mainly students that across tertiary institutions in Abuja and environs as their Peace Ambassadors. The induction which was part of a workshop tagged “Positive peace workshop for students in tertiary institutions” was organized by the rotary club in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR). President of the club, Osi Imomoh identified youth as peace entrepreneurs and agents of nation building who have

been in the fore front of crisis resolution especially in the rural areas. “Although some youth in Nigeria have been used as agents of political mischief and violence, a larger percentage are becoming more conversant with the need to live in a peaceful and harmonious environment for smooth nation building,” he said Imomoh added that the Rotary foundation being the engine room of the club, have spent over $50 million on humanitarian acts and development training of which the peace and conflict workshop was part of. The Director, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution,

Prof. Oshita Oshita charged the newly inducted peace ambassadors to see the society as a place for peaceful coexistence. “Countries like Austria and France are governed by youth who have changed the narrative in governance, suggesting that youth can serve as veritable tools for nation building in Nigeria,” he added. One of the peace ambassadors, Joseph Bala said he was challenged and educated on the need to be of value to his society and the country at large and pledged to spread the gospel of peace and social co-existence in his institution and even beyond.

You will either step forward into growth or you will step back. - Abraham Maslow

Youth urged to grow their communities By Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad Youth have been called on to assist governments in developing their communities to ease the hardships of the people. A youth activist, Abdulhamid Dankyarko made this call recently in Gombe metropolis after he donated two boreholes to his community in Herwa-Gana Primary school and Jeka-Fari all in the metropolis. He said, “Though we are living outside Gombe State, our root is here. We have to do everything possible to empower and develop the area for the benefits of those behind us and for others to emulate the gesture. I call on the beneficiaries to handle the pump with utmost care.” Dankyarko said he spent N370,000 to construct each of the pumps, making a total of N740,000. He said the project will be benefit the masses particularly women and children who suffer most from the inadequate potable water facilities in various parts of the country.

UTME is a placement test, not achievement — official By Bamas Victoria @Bamas Victoria An official of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Shuaibu Afolabi Salisu has said the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is not an achievement test, but a placement test. Speaking during the education summit organized by BudgIT Nigeria in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation, he said that an achievement test like the O-levels requires a consistent form of continuous examinations not just for a day. Salisu added that a number of people don’t understand the role of JAMB consequently the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, (UTME) and the issue of cut-off marks. He said JAMB was established about 40 years ago by the then existing 13 universities to avoid admission crisscross hence “JAMB is more of a clearing house, a facilitator, and coordinator. It carries out admission processes in conjunction with institutions.” Speaking on the issue on why less than half of the candidates get admitted, Afolabi said “Some of the statistics bandied are not correct. Some candidates in SS2 write the exam to become familiar, before the unification; others obtained two forms for Direct Entry (DE) and UTME and is counted twice,” he explained. He added that some applied for the exam to be mercenaries. The Lead partner of BudgIT Nigeria, Oluseun Onigbinde said the education summit ensured a conversation on proper and adequate financing in the areas of public education in Nigeria and also to have contextual discussion around corruption which has to do with sex for marks and embezzlement of funds. Onigbinde added that there is a need for deep budget review so that conversation can shift from allocations to how it benefits the people. He added that the conversation will be moved forward by meeting with the education minister as well as writing a memo for the national assembly.

DAILY TRUST, Friday, March 2, 2018


Youth provoke thoughts on making Nigeria better By Hussaini Garba Mohammed Last weekend in Abeokuta, Ogun state, young individuals of the African Students For Liberty (ASFL) gathered to sharpen their minds on their stakes and responsibilities as the new generation that will soon be at the heart of economic and other structures of the Nigerian society. At the forum which had over 40 youth from various tertiary institutions, the consensus was that the sustenance of the rule of law is pivotal in establishing a good leadership believed to be lacking in our country, Nigeria. The SFL is a pro-liberty organization with its headquarters based in Washington DC, aimed at promoting social, economic and political freedoms of individuals. Charging the libertarians, Barrister Banke Oloba, a human rights activist and lecturer at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, said ignorance of the fundamental human rights and the duties of the government is what has often deprived citizens of their rights. She said, “You can be a good threat to what the government does if you know what the law says because you possess a greater energy than the old ones at the helm of affairs now.”

She admonished youth to be patriotic and in complacent in their aspirations as they are the yardstick for national development in all spheres. The African Programmes Associates for the organization, Oluwafemi Ogunjobi, said the core duties in governance are taken with levity and focused on policymaking. He however stressed that youth ought to take advantage of the wide coverage of new media to fathom and criticize government’s policies until the baseless ones are ridded off. To Bashorun Olufemi, a resource person from Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), drug has been in constant misuse and abuse in Nigeria especially among youths and women. He stated that drug abuse is both inimical to both the person involved and the government. In his reaction, Gerry Uzor, an undergraduate student of Law in Nnamdi Azikwe University, partly blamed the abuse of drugs among students on the school curricula which does not provide solution to the menace. “It is true our colleagues misuse drugs on campuses but I have realized that this is even quite common with students in professional disciplines with no exception to the health sciences where the solutions should be emanating,” he said.

Wizkid to debut at Coachella Festival in California By Simon Echewofun Sunday @SimonEchewofun Nigerian music sensation Ayo Balogun, aka Wizkid, will make his debut at popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival popular known as Coachella in Indio, California. Coachella is one of the largest, most famous, and most profitable music festivals in the United States and all over the world. The 2017 edition of the festival was attended by 250,000 people and grossed $114.6 million. Wizkid who is one of Nigeria’s biggest exports, confirmed his participation when he tweeted on Tuesday, “We are taking the African culture to Coachella BTW and I am bringing out everybody”. The artiste will be performing along-side international acts such as The Weekend, Beyoncé, and Eminem. Others are Black Coffee, Jorja Smith, Migos, Cardi B, Jidenna, Tyler the Creator. Meanwhile, ‘Daddy Yo’, Wizkid’s 2017 hit song is part of the soundtrack for British-Nigerian actor John Boyega’s new film, ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’. ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’, is an upcoming American science fiction and action film set for release on March 23. The film is co-produced by Boyega, written and directed by Steven DeKnight in his feature film directorial debut, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.

YOUTHVILLE Academy to launch Script2Screen TV show By Bamas Victoria @BamasVictoria


n Abuja-based film maker, High Definition Film (HDF) Academy is set to launch a film-making reality TV show called Script2Screen Africa. The Founder, Bright Wonder in a statement, said the reality TV show which is themed ‘Film as a catalyst for revolution’, is focused on raising a new breed of filmmakers who understand that film making is a business that has the capacity to create social impact in a society. He said Script2Screen Africa seeks to explore this social impact “Through training, mentorship, and by supporting the vision of these trailblazers that will shape thought provoking short and feature films that will pioneer positive revolution in Nigeria, and across the continent of

Africa.” Bright explained that in 2017 auditions were held across Nigeria where 60 people were selected who will undergo intensive film making training as well as get mentored by notable names in the industry. Script2screen which was a training programme of the academy for several years has rebranded as Script2Screen Africa: Focus Nigeria “So, expect future editions of Script2Screen Africa; Focus Ghana, Focus South Africa, Focus Kenya,” said Bright. The project would last from

March 24 to April 21, 2018 and will be aired on several local TV stations, the founder noted. Bright who has produced movies like ‘Broken’, ‘Remarkable’, ‘Diary of Triplets’, said preparations are underway for a new movie, ‘If I Am President!’

Russia 2018: Artistes compose song to cheer Eagles to victory In an effort to cheer Super Eagles to victory in the forthcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia, some artistes have composed a song in the team’s honour. The spokesman for the artistes, Temitayo Otun, said on Tuesday that the song entitled ‘The Champions’, was sponsored by the Nigeria Football Federation, Nigerian Supporters Club and a radio sports analyst, Effiong Nyong. Otun, popularly known as “Dilo’’ spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

“The aim is for Super Eagles to know that Nigerians are behind them and that they should go and make the country proud.” We need to encourage them; they are representing our country. “All Nigerians need to encourage the team in one way or another; we need to pray for them; they are going for a battle on the field of football,’’ he said. The artiste told NAN that “The Champion’’ would be enjoyable to the Eagles and their fans,’’ he said. He hoped that the song would encourage the team to do their

best in the world cup and be the champions. He listed the other artistes involved in composing the song as Kasual, Tomzy, Jerry Jesu, FBI and Pupa Sunny. He said the composers would do a video clip of the song soon. Music producer, Cobhams Asuqo and music star, Innocent Idibia (2face) had produced ‘Power of Naija’ in 2015 for Super Eagles. Austino Milado did ‘Super Eagles Carry Go’ in 2009 for the national team while a few others had done similar thing for the team.

FG pledges support as para-powerlifting clinches 4 medals By Simon Echewofun Sunday @SimonEchewofun The Federal Government said it is investing more in para-sports to ensure their athletes continue to make Nigeria proud. This is just as the para-Powerlifting Federation clinched 4 medals in Dubai last week. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung said this during the inauguration of the boards of seven federations last Tuesday after the members were elected on February 15 at the

Abuja National Stadium. He said, “Government will continue to invest in para-sports. This is because if para-sports will only remain the sports that will continue to make Nigeria proud, then it is worthy for Nigeria to invest in them.” Challenging the new Presidents of the Federations comprising para-athletes, swimmers, sitting volleyball, powerlifting, wheelchair basketball, amputee football, and para-soccer to show love and compassion to the paraathletes, he inspired them saying: “Nobody should say there is ability in disability as it is w r o n g because I believe t h a t ever yone h a s potentials and we express o u r talents in different w a y s ,” Dalung inspired tthem.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Olusade Adesola charged the inaugurated boards to place the interest of the athletes above self and parochial interests. “Try to work with your members and try to promote inclusion by meeting quarterly,” he told the presidents whose tenure is for four years. President of the ParaPowerlifting Federation, Queen Uboh, said the Federation clinched four medals at the Fazza Dubai 2018 Para Powerlifting World Cup, Dubai recently. As a nurse, she assured of using the best means to promote development of the sport as the president. Citing funding as a challenge, she said the team will work harder to raise funds and sponsorship for the Federation to produce good athletes. “We came back from Dubai with four gold medals and two World Records; we will ensure that we have a sports academy across the six geopolitical zones to promote para-powerlifting. We are also planning a seminar across the 36 states and the FCT because we hope to produce a power lifter in every state and we will keep bringing back the gold medals to Nigeria,” Queen explained.

If you cannot do great things, do small things in great ways – Napoleon Hill