geohill (09084821413) (09084821411)
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 6
LEADERS & MANAGERS
TASTEMAKERS & ENTERTAINERS
Gbenga Adeyinka Laf Up Kiekie Aramanda
Oba Saliu Adetunji Asiwaju Olumide Osunsina Jide Alade Makanjuola Ojewumi Damola Aare Otunba Ayodele Ogundele
Ayo Orunmuyi Don T Adedamola Layade & Adewale Agbaje Big Bolaji Femi Odewole Patrick Nnaemeka Nweze
STRAIGHT OUTTA IBADAN
Simi Drey Aramide Lucas Ried Dremo Tomiwa Sage
Exquisito YNorth Phizzle Ajibola Splash Overalls Tunde Onilude Folusho
DID YOU KNOW?
EDITOR IN CHIEF ADETUNJI ILORI, AYOTOMIWA SIJUADE MANAGING EDITOR TEMITOPE EFUWAPE COPY EDITOR DEMI LEWIS CREATIVE DIRECTOR/PHOTO EDITOR DESIGN & LAYOUT
DEMILADE OJEWUNMI, JIDEONU AWULONU
WRITERS TEMITOPE EFUWAPE , DEMI LEWIS, TANITOLUWA SONEYE ABAYOMI MALIK ALLI, QUDUS YUSUF, OYINKANSOLA SADIQ-MABEKO MARKETING AND ADVERTISEMENT
ALLEN AKINBOBOLA, MUYIDEEN SHITTU, DAMILOLA OLAMITEJU
SEYI BALOGUN, ANGEL MBUKANMA, OLAMIDE LADITAN, ROY MEDIA, TOBI OLAJOLO TOBI ODERINDE, ANEIKAN WILLIAMS , TOLU MOSES, AYO ADEAGBO, GREETINGS TOMMY, PIXELS, ILLUSZIONS PHOTOGRAPHY, SOJI ONI, STUDIOS INNOVANTE, LABADE ADEDAYO, OSBALT PHOTOGRAPHY, RACHEL OLA, LOLADE KOLEOSHO, MOTOLAMAKEOVERS
OLUWATOBI LAFINHAN, BOLU AJIBOWO
OWOPETU, TOMIWA AKIN-ONIGBINDE, YOSOLA DAVIES, ONA OMOVEFE AKPOGHENE, TOLANI ALLI. MEDIA PARTNERS
COVER PAGE (LEFT TO RIGHT) GBENGA ADEYINKA , ARAMANDA, PHOTOGRAPHY KUNMI OWOPETU LOCATION CAPITAL INN HOTEL
LAF UP, KIEKIE.
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PEOPLE’S EDITION 8
Welcome to the much anticipated People’s Edition of IBCITY INFO. For four editions, we have focused our attention on businesses, attractions, places, lifestyle and events happening in the city. However, we decided it was time to shine the light on some of those individuals that have contributed to the development of the city. From real estate moguls to entrepreneurs and entertainers, we bring a closer look into the lives of those who have added tremendous value to this great city; those who continue to contribute to Ibadan’s long legacy of pacesetting. At this point, we hope our readers understand that those featured in this edition are only a few names from a long list of those revolutionizing the city of Ibadan but sadly not everyone could be featured due to various constraints. This people’s edition is only the beginning, and we hope to feature more of these people as time goes on. That being said, we say a huge “Thank You!” to those who have been of enormous support to us as we head in this new direction. We remain grateful to our readers for subscribing and being a part of the IBCITY INFO community. God bless you all. Enjoy.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 10
GBENGA ADEYINKA Gbenga Adeyinka, the man of the people, was born in Lagos grew up in Ibadan and is currently one of the biggest names in Nigerian comedy. With his very successful Laffmattaz show, he keeps crusading for comedians because the passion for the art of making people laugh cannot die, neither can it be taken for granted. Tell us a little bit about your background and your evolution in comedy I was born in Lagos, but at a very important stage in my life I came to Ibadan. I came for ‘A’ levels at the International School in Ibadan and that kind of forged my interest in comedy because all the while I was home, I watched the greats like Baba Sala and Baba Miro. For a long time though, I didn’t know I was going to do comedy anyway. I got back to Lagos, went to UNILAG to study English and luckily, I was in a theater troop called Theater 15 and all I got to do were comic roles. Upon graduation I was posted to Makurdi, Benue State and in camp I had a show; we had some youth corpers who were musicians; I just came and anchored and told jokes and all that. Getting back to Lagos I realized that the comedy industry was growing. Eventually I bumped into Akin Akindele and years later I bumped into Ali Baba, got a big event from him and the rest, like they say, is history. Why did you decide to do Laffmattaz and what moved you to extend the show to Ibadan? I had done Laffmattaz in Lagos, I’d done about three editions but I told myself, you know what, after you’re dead and gone what would you be remembered for? So I sat down and said, let’s do a tour of the southwest. Let’s do what they call ‘banking the unbanked in banking’. Let’s take premium comedy to where it’s ordinarily not available. Let’s replicate a Lagos in Ibadan, let’s do it in Oshogbo, let’s do it in Abeokuta, and let’s do it in Ijebu, etc. There was a year I said I was not going to come back to Ibadan because somebody went online and was just mouthing off, funny enough the guy is now………(incomplete). It’s an attempt to build a name, and an attempt to build new comedy icons and not just in Lagos. What will be different about your show this time? The ambiance is going to be mad; the pre-show in itself is a show. Let me give you something that might happen. There is going to be a money booth, people will go in and pick up paper equivalents of the Naira. There is a VVIP lounge, where you get VVIP experience even before the show. I also have a surprise that will happen; one of my role models is going to make a cameo and I’m over excited about the show. What do you want people to know about comedy and your passion for your work as a comedian? I‘m not being tribalistic when I say this but I would love to see a lot more Yoruba comedians do well. I anchored an event in Lagos yesterday, Oduaga was the chairman and he said, “Dis tin whey dem dey do na Warri e start” and I said, “Your Excellency, I’m sorry o! It didn’t start in Warri o; Baba Sala is not a Warri man! We went back and forth on it. The misconception is that comedy is not Yoruba and that’s a lie. What is your vision after Laffmataz? You’ve conquered comedy. So what are you conquering next? There’s still so much to be done. You’ve heard of brilaFM the sports radio? They use comedy to push it. We’ve not done an original comedy film in Nigeria by comedians - not by actors and actresses. We don’t have comedy radio, we don’t have comedy TV, and everybody uses comedy to push things. Maybe that’s what I might be thinking about. I know you’re a Lagosian but we’re just going to claim you as an Ibadan man at heart. I’m assuming you like amala, so what’s your favorite amala joint when youvisit? • For the sake of all you ‘toosh’ people, I like Skye Lolo.
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 11
PEOPLE’S EDITION 13
A stand-up comedian, an event compere, a theatre enthusiast and a dynamite on and off stage, Segun Ogundipe aka Lafup is a thorough professional in every sense of the word. He is a theatre arts alumnus from the University of Ibadan. He is the organizer for LafUp Live, the annual rib cracking comedy event that takes place every December in Ibadan. The multi-talented comedian in this interview talks about himself and what the funny business means to him. Of all the routes you could have taken, why stand up comedy? I have always been interested in things that are ‘happy’ and funny. I love comedy because it’s the one place where I feel most comfortable even when I’m naked. I’ve tried dance, I’ve tried music but stand up comedy was the only thing that really set me up. It was what sold me to the entire university of Ibadan and outside the shores of the country. What was the ﬁrst event you handled? First time I tried my hand at being an MC was in 1999. My sister and I are both December born so we decided to throw a birthday party on Boxing Day since both our parents were not around. I was very excited mostly because I had this pair of FUBU shoes I’ve been wanting to show off but the only problem was the MC we got didn’t look the part. I mean he was wearing slippers which basically turned me off and everyone from our street was there. So I said no, you can’t wear slippers, I’m wearing FUBU. I asked for the microphone and that was it. How did that turn out? Retrospectively speaking, I said some very boring jokes that day. People didn’t laugh and if they did, they probably did because I had home advantage. Funny thing was that someone from the next street who heard what I did later approached me and asked me to anchor his event so maybe it wasn’t that bad. What would you say you have done right in your career that has gotten you to where you are today? Firstly, I believe a 100% in the grace of God and that everything is preordained. My drive has always been my passion to deliver and my willingness to go all the way, so much that I have spent a lot of my own money just to make sure things go as they should. Even when things aren’t looking up, I keep pushing. Who is your biggest inspiration when you come up with your material? My mum. Growing up, she told me a lot of funny stories that I incorporated into my jokes early on in my career. When I got into comedy, I realized that you must have an original source where you dig from, a place that is originally you and for me, that place is my mum. Before the advent of social media, you were the protagonist for the ‘Ibadan Jokes’ genre of comedy that is today a mainstay in Nigerian comedy. What inspired you towards that direction? Getting into this line of work, I realized that the only way to break through was to do things nobody else was doing. I noticed back then that most people were doing Warri jokes even though most were not from there. I love Ibadan and I consider myself very much an Ibadan boy which was why I decided to explore that area and it turned out to be a resounding hit. What is the place of comedy in our society today compared to when you started? Comedy affects every strata of our life. From stand up comedy to sketches or skits, comedy has become the only surviving platform for theatre lovers in 21st century Nigeria. There is so much hurt in the world right now, so much terrorism that some people always want to lighter part of it. Brands also recognize this so much they leverage on comedy to promote sales and products which is one of the reasons why there are many comedian brand ambassadors in the country right now. Do you think comedians and artists in the entertainment industry are using their voice in the right way? It is unfortunate that the country no longer has true artists like the Wole Soyinkas and the Fela Anikulapos. George Carlin said that it is the job of the comedian to see where the line is drawn and then deliberately cross it. Comedians have always been lucky as we can subtly address controversial issues without any backlash and that is what we need to keep doing. Favourite book? If there was ever any book that has helped me shape my life it’ll be The Principle of Power & Vision by Myles Monroe.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 14
Kiekie is a non-stop workaholic, whose work ethic and drive for excellence has given her a competitive advantage in the industry. Her outspoken nature as well as her dedication to her craft has led a successful fashion label, teaching school and a TV personality. How did the name Kiekie come about? Kiekie is my pet name from my parents. My mum would write Bukkie from Bukunmi on my notes when I went to school. One day my grandma just said Bukiekie and that’s how the name stuck. When I ventured into Television and I needed a screen name, I chose to go with Kiekie because the name has a place in my heart. What is your educational background? I studied Mass Communications at Bowen University before proceeding to London School of Business and Finance for my Masters in Internet and Digital Marketing. How did you get into the world of fashion? Right before the end of my Masters degree program in London, I started getting bored with a lot of things. At a point, I just said to myself “Why not go to fashion school?” since I had already established my fashion label, Accost collection before heading to the UK. So I went to the London College of Fashion, made some enquiries and resumed right around the time I started writing my dissertation. On getting back to Nigeria, I didn’t just want to be a designer, I wanted to come back and teach people proper sewing techniques, proper fashion illustration, embellishment methods and much more which was why I opened Accost Fashion School. How did you get into hosting; tell us about your journey? I have always had this ﬂair for talking and meeting people. During my university days, I used to host our departmental awards as well as other school events. This coupled with my interest in talk shows like Wendy Williams and Ellen was what made me launch Kiekie TV. It is a platform for entertainment, but streamlined to just music and fashion. I started with a program called “Celebrities and Style” where I interviewed A-list artistes like Ice Prince, Jimmy Jatt, Vector, Mercy Aigbe etc. I actually shot a whole season and presented it to a big TV station in Lagos but they declined to pick it up, saying it wasn’t shot to standard. Two months later I saw this idea being aired on the same station. I went back and shot another season that included more celebrities and beauty personalities but like the previous time, the TV station I pitched my idea to only stole the concept. At that point I decided to speak to Gbenga Adeyinka who is like a father in the industry. It was through him that I met the owner of Goldmyne TV, Otunba Sesan Rufai. He was impressed with my portfolio and that was how I started producing and presenting Style Street on ONTV and ONMAXX . Soon after that, I got called on to also produce and present a show on Silverbird TV called Videwheels, a music programme. Along the line, I added another programme from ONtv, Nollywood Fashion and Style on African screen Produced by Kunle Awonusi. What is currently in the works for you? I just launched a YouTube channel called Style Connect. The channel currently features a segment called STYLE IT YOURSELF, generally know as DIY videos where I give out style tips. Another thing I love is music. I even play the drums and guitar. I have always wanted a platform where I can show my love for music which is why I launched a project last year called the 90’s meets Millennium where we had legends like Dele Ojo, Salawu Abeni, Toye Ajagun and younger artists like, Reminisce, May, Mo’blow and fabulous pizzy in attendance. What was the inspiration for 90’s meets Millennium? The inspiration came from my being well connected to my roots. I am a typical Ibadan girl. Usually when I speak Yoruba, people are always surprised which in turn surprises me. These days when I listen to music I feel our artists are getting disconnected from the roots except for few like Asa, Adekunle Gold. Do you know the highlight of 90’s meets Millennium last year was Salawu Abeni’s performance? I didn’t think it’s possible that Salawu Abeni would be singing and I would be dancing but everyone was dancing. I don’t want her music to go away and that is what the project is about. I don’t want Nigerians to lose that culture. That’s the beauty of our music, having different sounds. What advice would you give people who someday want to follow in your footsteps? People go through a lot of stress in their lives just because they aren’t asking God. It’s so easy, and I don’t know why people don’t practice it more. Just ask God, it’s so basic and the reason why people think it’s hard to get answers from God is because they are not neutral. They are expecting their own answers. When you ask God for something, expect His own answers. Learn to commit things to God hands and look within yourself. What do you desire to do? Be yourself and follow your own path, look within yourself.
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 15
PEOPLE’S EDITION 16
I HAVE THE BEST STITCHES IN THE WORLD
Aramanda in Yoruba language means ‘Magic’, which really is not a farfetched conclusion to what Araoluwa Popoola, CEO of Aramanda does anytime he wields the thread and needle. He is making a name for himself as one of the fashion designers to watch out for in this part of the country. The fast rising designer who also dabbles in event production and photography tells us how he weaves his magic. Given that you studied Microbiology, how did you end up in fashion? This started in 2007 while I was in Bowen University. When you are tall with a skinny frame like me, getting what fits you can often be a problem and most of the time you have to get things refitted by a tailor. This, coupled with the fact that I have a passion for fashion, was what inspired me to start my own label. How did you begin? I started by taking orders to Tinubu Square in Lagos to sew but after a stream of constant disappointments from the tailors, I had to get my own sewing equipment and employ my own tailors. In the beginning I didn’t mind what the customers were paying me even if it was 10 kobo, I just wanted to be seen and heard. I wanted everyone to know me on the basis of quality first. I went everywhere - Lagos, Akure, the east, the north as long as I could cover the cost of logistics.
Which aspect of photography are you into? I prefer to do more of events, weddings especially because there are a lot of exciting moments to capture. What is your favourite piece of attire? Personally I love modern trads. Most of the time, you’ll find me in tunics. What do you think is the biggest trait you have that has worked for you? Perseverance. That should be the biggest trait every business man should have. Don’t ever take no for an answer and don’t ever back off. Take for example, I was on Ali Baba’s case for a year before I finally got to sew him something. You have to be able to say No to No.
You organize parties on the side too, how did that come about and how many have you done so far? I love going to parties and that takes a chunk of my money. As What are the biggest challenges you face on the job? a business man, I got to thinking, why not throw parties and let Delivery…when you outsource jobs and your tailors fail to people have fun with me. We have organized three so far. There deliver because they’ve taken a huge chunk of jobs elsewhere. was one at Old Town Hotel, one at the mall and one at Housing. That is one of the most frustrating aspects in this line of work. Long term plans for Aramanda as a brand? What makes Aramanda so different from other labels? For fashion, I do convenience tailoring right now and I intend I have the best stitch in the world! I got into this business so to have outlets in Ibadan Lagos, Abuja, UK, Abu Dhabi, the that I can be the best in the world. I buy books on tailoring from United States and so on. Convenience tailoring simply means Italy and the U.K so that I can become better so trust me when you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to get your I say that I have the best stitch in the world. clothes sewn. You don’t even have to order online. We come to you, you get a feel of the fabric, we take your measurements, What does fashion mean to you as an individual? specifications and we deliver right to your doorstep. Simplicity! Fashion for me has to be simple. If you could go back and talk to your younger self what would Which kind of fashion do you specialize in? you say? I do everything a needle and thread can make but I would I would tell him he didn’t do wrong, because every path I have consider traditional pieces and suits my strongest areas. walked has given me a lesson to hold on to. If you are saying you want to go back to right some things then you shouldn’t What inspired you to go into photography? be where you are right now. Photography for me started last year. My passion isn’t just for fashion but for anything that demands creativity and in How did you make your ﬁrst sale? my opinion photography is all about being creative. I usually My very first sale was my dad even though back then he didn’t take my fashion pieces to the studio to shoot all the time so I believe in it. thought to myself, why not learn it all together?
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PEOPLE’S EDITION 22
FACTS ABOUT OBA SALIU
Forty-six days after the demise of Oba Samuel Odulana, his successor, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji was crowned the 41st Olubadan amidst huge merriment and fanfare. His coronation as Ibadan’s next monarch is widely regarded as a progressive step for the ancient city. The new Olubadan is seen by many as an honourable man with a clear vision that will restore the dignity and aspiration of the people of Ibadan in their transition from a dissident warrior people to the promise of Intellectual beacon that the city is evolving into. In lieu of this, here are few facts about the latest Olubadan you may or may not know:
1. He was born on August 26, 1928 in Popoyemoja, Ibadan as the eldest of his father’s 17 children.
He attended IMG Grammar School in Oke-Ado for his secondary education and then the Chicago College of Performing Arts to study Marketing Strategies between 1974 and 1976.
3. He was introduced to the music business in 1957 by Badejo Okusanya, the first Nigerian to have a record label.
Before veering into music marketing, he was a trained tailor specialising in traditional and English attires. He had four sewing machines in his store in Lagos, which was no mean feat back then.
He owns three of the biggest music marketing companies in the Fuji Music Industry and to his credit, he discovered the highly successful Fuji music maestro, Wasiu Ayinde.
6. He emerged as Mogaji (the head of the family) in 1976, and he
became the Jagun Balogun (the first line on the Balogun rung) in 1978.
The system that made Chief Saliu Adetunji king is not hereditary, but rather a graduated system in which descendants of certain households graduates through 21 stages before being crowned.
8. He was presented his staff of office by the State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi making him the first Olubadan of Ibadan to receive the staff from an indigene of Ibadan.
9. He is social media savvy and he joined Facebook on January 17th, 2016
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PEOPLE’S EDITION 24
ASIWAJU OLUMIDE OSUNSINA
Megamound, a real estate company, started on a foundation of family legacy and has become one of the biggest companies in the Southwest under the leadership of Asiwaju Olumide Osunsina. Inspired by the love of Ibadan and passion for the business, it is clear to see that the core of this company goes beyond what it can get but rather, what it can give back to this city it loves so much. Meet the CEO of Megamound. How long has Megamound been in business and what is the vision? Megamound has been in business since 1996 and the vision is to continue to create a new lifestyle and to continue to be relevant in the real estate industry in Nigeria particularly in the southwest and of course we want to try and build a sustainable strong company.
money I will probably be building these hotels in Lagos but it’s more about the interest l have in the city. For me, when I’m in Ibadan it’s like I’m in the UK. It’s peaceful and nice; it has one of the best road networks in the country. Regarding the expectations of the new hotel, I will ask you to visit the hotel yourself. What I have done there is an expression of myself Tell us more about what you do and the impact that what you do and the way I want things to look like and how I live. Usually when you do things it’s about how you live. That is how I live and how I has on the Ibadan economy? We are a construction company and of course construction is the want people to live as well. It’s simple, classy, neat...nothing out of largest employer of labour in most economies. We have impacted the ordinary, nothing extravagant. the economy in Ibadan positively for obvious reasons; we are doing quite a number of projects here, like in Akobo, the two hotels and so We have been hearing rumours about the shopping centre in Bodija many more. We even buy virtually everything we use for our Lagos and the builder’s mart at Iwo Road both under construction are also projects here in Ibadan. We use Ibadan as our hub. Virtually all our Megamound projects. How true is that, sir? purchases are from Ibadan, electrical, timber, so we spend quite a lot It’s completely true. Like I said, it’s because of the love I have for this city that we are trying to do things, trying to revive and trying of money in this economy. to modernise this beautiful town. It’s my own little contribution. I Starting a business is never easy but staying in business is even will also commend the current administration. Governor Ajimobi has harder. How difﬁcult was it breaking into real estate in Ibadan and done amazingly well to encourage entrepreneurs because you really can’t do much when the government doesn’t allow it or the city is actually staying in business? First and foremost, one of the reasons we are here is because of the not clean because one needs a clean and decent environment to love we have for the city and not about the money itself. It’s more be able to invest. This administration has also done very well with about the fact that we chose to come here and do business and try security so we need to commend the government for the hard work to be positive as well as to contribute to the general economy of the that has made the city more receptive. state. I have always loved this city growing up and now I am happy I am able to contribute to her growth so it’s more of a passion for What makes Ibadan special to you and what makes Ibadan a me. It’s not very easy to get into business anywhere in the world; challenging place to have a business? Ibadan in particular is not known for businesses but I can assure Like I said earlier, Ibadan to me is like you are living in London; you there are opportunities and we are trying to explore all of these everything works. It’s a leisure city with a laissez fait kind of life. My opportunities and turn them into employment source for the youths. mum is from Ibadan and I have lots of friends from here. Ibadan is always a very welcoming city so all of this leads to more development Megamound is about to commission her second hotel in Ibadan, because the host community is also extremely important. CarltonGate Xclusive. What should we expect from this new hotel? Well the reason why we are in hospitality in Ibadan is foremost to We’re taking a poll about the best amala joint in Ibadan. What would upgrade hospitality in the state. I honestly believe this city is going you say is your favourite amala spot in the city? to make a lot of contribution to the national economy and the That’s a very tough question but I will be very honest about my south west economy in particular because my observation and answer. Iya Ope is my best amala joint. I have been eating amala small research has revealed that any Yoruba man that is relevant there for more than 20 years when she was by the charcoal shop in anywhere in the world has something to do with Ibadan - either they Mokola. I think she’s the best. have lived here or they schooled here or they are from here. The city has amazing historical values and that is why we felt we Back in 1957, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo should come here and build hospitality that meets international taught General Science and Religious knowledge at the standards. African Church Modern School. I will keep saying this, it’s not about money because if I want to make
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 25
PEOPLE’S EDITION 26
“My area is residential real estate, my passion is housing and for Nigeria particularly, I believe in the democratization of home ownership.”
PEOPLE’S EDITION 27
Jide Alade is a man who knows what his mission is as a businessman in Nigeria. He has a long-term perspective on housing in Nigeria and has been able to see beyond the grandiose nature of Lagos to focusing on tapping into the resources and opportunities that Ibadan has to offer. His grasp on the problem that housing is facing in the country makes him a true visionary. My ﬁrst question is, were you born and raised in Ibadan? I was born and raised in Ibadan. I grew up here; I went to Staff School, University of Ibadan. After Staff School, I left Ibadan for secondary school, University of Lagos, Youth Service Corps in Abuja then I went aboard. It was 5 years ago that I came back to Ibadan and started rediscovering my roots and I love it. Most people know real estate as the buying and selling of houses. Can you expatiate on what real estate is? Real estate has anything to do with the built environment, any type of space that people live in, do business in, recreate in, shop in, is real estate. Our focus is on housing. Tell us more about what you do and the impact it has on the Ibadan economy? My area is residential real estate, my passion is housing and for Nigeria particularly I believe in the democratization of home ownership. There are a lot of studies that tell us that the population of Nigeria is increasing rapidly and there is not enough housing, which is one big issue. Real estate is a driver of the economy, as you build you creates jobs, goods are bought and sold, and commerce is generated. What are some of the problems you’ve found with the real estate sector in Nigeria? A big issue we’ve been having in Nigeria is the ability to provide a payment methodology for people who are buying residential real estate and pay for it over time, that is, mortgage. That is a market that is still in its infancy. The percentage of mortgage outstanding to GDP in Nigeria is below 1%. A lot of advanced economies go much higher than that. So there’s very little mobility, people don’t move houses or change houses frequently which also affects the economy. Any plans to branch out of residential real estate into other real estate facets? At this time, the focus is residential and we might do something here or there in other sectors but not as a primary core of our business. There’s more than enough work to be done in the residential real estate space in Nigeria. Have you always known that real estate was the path you wanted to take? Growing up, I wanted to be a pilot but I didn’t have very good eyesight, apparently guys that wear glasses don’t make very good pilots. I was discouraged from taking that path. Very soon after, I discovered a love for the built environment, for making things, for designing so I got into architecture. I actually don’t actively practice architecture now; I’m more on the business side of things, business strategy, real estate development. After graduating from Unilag with a degree in architecture, I went to the United States and got my Masters in Real Estate Development and an MBA in Finance. I’m guessing there are no regrets for deciding to start your Real Estate Company in Ibadan? I don’t think I have regrets about starting in Ibadan. Obviously every business has issues; I won’t call them regrets I’ll say they are learning pains that one has experienced in Ibadan and one would probably have experienced anywhere else. Ibadan is giving us the opportunity to build a distinct brand.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 28
Born in Ibadan, Makanjuola Ojewumi had a very focused path at an early age. Now on the verge of unveiling the newest mall in Ibadan we all wait with anticipation at the magniﬁcence that is to be The Jericho Mall.
electricians, tilers, etc. But in this country we’re not developing those types of programmes. I can tell you now categorically with many of the structures that we do now, we have to outsource the things to Lagos mainly and you find that many of the people doing these jobs are not Nigerians; they are Togolese, Beninese and are very skilled workers too. Third in line is the lack of government support. To get What is your full name? approvals is tough and that’s when they are not demanding bribes. My name is Makanjuola Olabanji Ojewumi We say to the government create a mortgage environment but they haven’t done so. So these are a few of the many problems that I Can you tell us a bit about your educational background? I am a housing professional specifically an estate surveyor and have experienced in the housing sector. valuer. I got my degree at the University of Lagos in 1986 and then later a Masters in Housing at the University of Ibadan. I’m a member The construction of the famous Jericho Mall is on the way what of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, and can we expect from the new mall coming to Ibadan? What will set it apart from the current malls in the city? Institute of Ratings, Revenues and Valuation of the Uk. What we’ve done with Jericho mall is more of an American concept. It’s not as that in size but it’s as that in the layout. It’s on four ﬂoors It seems you have always known this was your path, is this true? I have known since 1979 that this was what I wanted to do. I was so and you find that the design is intriguing; it’s not the typical Nigerian passionate about it that I convinced my whole ‘A’ level class to go mall where all you see are two door corridors and that’s all the mall that there is. That is unfortunately the way malls were presented and study Estate Management. I was just fortunate. in Nigeria. Fine, it’s better than nothing. It’s also good, that and What has been one of the major problems you’ve faced in the the fact that most malls in Nigeria are grocery centered. Shoprite is a grocery store and most malls are grocery anchored; then the housing sector in Nigeria and speciﬁcally in Ibadan? Housing is a real problem both in the supply end and in the buyers cinemas but there are more to malls than that. But hopefully as end. It’s an uphill task trying to make housing a product and to go we grow, because we’re still small relative to others, we’re looking through the motion of building properties. There are several deficits forward to introducing a new concept to mall as is known in Nigeria. and one of the major ones is the financing deficit. There are no One of the things that we’re really looking forward to is that the mall structures for financing houses in this country; the banks have also is family centered. And so one of the themes you’ll experience is not helped. The money deposit banks don’t understand the product that once you enter the mall, you’ll have fun all the way. We’ll have and because the economy has allowed them to play in other game arcades, grocery stores, retail stores, cinemas etc. I promise sectors outside of the housing sector they are not bothered about you the Jericho Mall will be addictive. At the latest, the mall should participating in housing. One of the things that I have had to do is be up and running by the ending of October 2016. build capital incrementally over time and that takes a lot of discipline, denial and focus. Building a house over time to sell, talk less of an What makes Ibadan special? estate with 10 houses is an enormous task. In addition, the artisan I was born in Ibadan and I tried to leave this city, schooled everywhere culture has been lost to okada riding and more immediate rewards, else but somehow I found myself back here. I am closer to retirement based on the Nigerian system. You find in places like Ghana and Togo than ever after thirty years post graduation experience and work life people remaining in their apprenticeship programmes, plumbers, so for me Ibadan is home.
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 29
PEOPLE’S EDITION 30
ADEDAMOLA ARE IS THE SON THAT IS BLOWING FRESHNESS INTO HIS FATHER’S DREAMS Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre is one of Ibadan’s most prominent prestigious hotels and event centres that have been in the business of providing excellent comfort and ﬁrst class facilities for visitors and residents since 1988. Adedamola Are is the current CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Kakanfo Enterprises. He is also the youngest son of the hotel’s chairman, a driven man who would not settle for just an ordinary career path. Besides being entrenched in the philosophy that built and sustained the hotel for 28 years, his track record is nothing short of stellar. Before packing his bags and deciding to head home, Adedamola spent the better part of thirty years in the United States working for top tier names like Marriott and Hilton. He has managed over 30 hotels and resorts and in excess of 3900 rooms in the span of his hotel managerial career which is in no way a small feat. In this interview, he sheds light on his journey so far and how he is adjusting to life as a hotelier in Ibadan Going into Hospitality When I went to the United States, the original plan was to come back to Nigeria in 1987 and do my grad school back at the University of Ibadan but the quality of life back home at that point had begun to spiral out of control. So instead, after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Public Administration, I proceeded to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) for my post graduate degree in Hotel Administration. I spent two years working and schooling in Vegas. Marriott Hotels and working days Upon graduation, I got my first full time hotel job as Food and Beverage Manager with Marriott Hotel in Costa Mesa, California on December 31st1989. I worked there until 2005 and over that period I worked my way up to becoming the General Manager at every of the hotel’s four divisions namely Fairfield Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn and eventually Marriott Vacation Club International. At a point, I was given an opportunity to go to Colorado to run one of the ski resorts located there which was a big deal as I was the first non-white person to ever do that. It turned out to be a bittersweet kind of job - I was meeting A-list clients like Dick Cheney, Will Smith, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks but the work itself stipulated that I couldn’t be offsite for a certain period due to the kind of high profile characters I had to deal with. As a result of this stipulation, I missed my dad’s 70th birthday IN 2003. After Marriott, I joined Hilton for two years where I was made the East Coast Regional Director of Operations. Back in Marriott, I was only managing single properties but it was at Hilton that I started managing multiple properties. I had resorts I was overseeing in Orlando and Miami, Florida, Breckenridge, Colorado and New York city, New York at the same time. after that I worked for an outfit called Legacy Vacation Club which was my last job before I decided I was coming home. Homecoming and adjusting from the glitz and glamour In truth, I had been gone for almost 30 years which made my father
question if I would be able to readapt. Before joining the big leagues, I was privileged to work at smaller hotels and the experience I gained those years ago has made the transition an easy process for me. Also, the grand plan for Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre and myself is not to stop here. Our goal is to take the hotel away and beyond where it is presently. We want to grow and there are plans in place already that will manifest over the coming years. Kakanfo’s Longevity Different people go into business for various reasons; some are in it for money and for others, it’s the passion. For Kakanfo, the latter is true for us. We try not to only care for the business, we make sure to care for the clients as well. Also, seeing as we are a source of income for many, making sure the business survives becomes a social responsibility on our part. There is a succession in the philosophy that established this hotel and this guarantees that the guest will always be priority here at Kakanfo. For us, the hotel is more than the structure. It’s not the building that people are going to remember but the experience they had in terms of the quality of service. Hospitality industry in Ibadan It has been improving for two reasons; the internal change and the external change. The internal change is about the market; people are trying to do things the right way in Ibadan and the more people do things the right way, the more people come into Ibadan and the more sales we have. The external demand means when a customer from outside town comes around and expects to get the kind of services he has come to expect in other hotels (outside the city). Role Model(s) Steve Wynn is someone I look up to. He is a visionary in every sense of the word; after all, he did build the Bellagio, the Mirage and The Wynn. While I was at UNLV, he donated a grant that propelled our Hotel Program to number one in the country. He made it possible for a lot of people, including me to get a quality education. Writing ‘When life throws you lemons’ “When life throws you lemons” is a half autobiography I wrote based on my experiences in the United States. The experience I have garnered from working at some of the best hospitality groups in the world has been an invaluable asset to me both as a person and as a hotelier. Most exciting thing that happened on the job Denzel Washington shot ‘American Gangsta’ at The Hilton club on 6th avenue in New York, that was one of the hotels I managed. Also back then, my job required that I travelled a lot so here’s a fun fact for you; I have ﬂown more than two million miles on the job which is the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back twenty-two times. I am one of the few people on earth who will never be able to drive as many miles as I have ﬂown in this lifetime.
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PEOPLE’S EDITION 32
Otunba Ayodele Ogundele, Managing Director of Ibadan’s oldest private hotel, Davies Hotels, talks about the city, competition, being a chef and why new hotel owners may be hurting the industry. How did you venture into the hospitality business? I guess it was because of the inﬂuences I had at home. My mother was a caterer/hotelier and I started working with her from the age of ten. If I had my way then though, I would have either joined the military or been an aviator but my mother wanted me to take over her hotel and run it. Davies Hotel is the oldest privately owned hotel in Ibadan, how much of it haschanged over the years? The hotel was set up in 1974 and there have been tonnes of changes since then. My mum died 16 years ago and if she could see the hotel today, she would probably not be able to recognize it, that’s how much transformation the hotel has gone through. We even bought and remodeled a new building in 2007 to serve as an annex to the hotel. It’s called Asake and is located just a stone throw away from here. You have been in business for the better part of 42 years, how have you been able to stay in competition even after all these years? We have been able to stay in the race because we do our best to keep up with trends. We run the business side of the hotel with absolute integrity plus we put back nearly as much as the business has made over the years. We are continuously overhauling and maintaining and we have studied our customers’ likes and wants which is why they keep enjoying our services. What is the one thing that distinguishes Davies Hotel from other hotels in the city? Food! We have been known for simple, good food since we opened in 1974. One of our most famous delicacy is called the Dodo special. Lots of people have tried to copy the recipe but have failed miserably. Also, our pounded yam and amala are simply fabulous. We don’t try to pretend that we do everything; we play to our strength and specialize mostly in Nigerian food. Besides being the Managing Director, you are also an in-house chef, where did your interest in cooking stem from? I developed an interest in cooking when I was a little younger and this blossomed when I went to school in England. I’m not put off by
the idea that I am the MD, I love cooking and working with my staff. When they see me in the kitchen helping out, it motivates them a lot. Do you cook at home? (laughs...) All the time! In fact my wife loves it. I do about 60 percent of the cooking. From your perspective, would you say the hospitality business in Ibadan is growing or declining? It has been steadily improving over the years. We have more hotels and the present government has tried to put certain things in place (like the Agodi Gardens) to help improve the state of things. The growing number of hotels is a good thing but the problem however
lies with hotel owners most of who do not have an inkling on how to run a hotel properly and are in it solely for the purpose of making money. A hotel does not necessarily bring money every day, but you are definitely going to spend money every day maintaining your facilities. How do you relax in Ibadan? I go to the gym nearly every day and I love spending time with my family. Relaxation wise, I have a little beautiful country house in Ekiti where I go to spend two or three days and I am also building a hotel there and I am also building one in Oshogbo. Talking about amala, do you eat out? Yes! I know almost every buka in Ibadan Where is your favourite amala place in Ibadan? Mama Hadija at Ring Road. What is one thing that most people don’t know about you? Well I am a discreet person. I try to shy away from publicity as best as I can. What don’t you like about Ibadan? I don’t like how government policies here are fickle as you can see with the refuse collection.
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 33
PEOPLE’S EDITION 34
PLAYING 10 QUESTIONS WITH OYINDA IGE Oyindamola Ige a lawyer, business entrepreneur and theatre director has a passion for children and it is why she started the K-Center, a privately owned recreational center in Ibadan just for kids and deﬁnitely what inspires her as the director of the Alo Children’s Theatre. Oyinda is also an author, having written a biography on her late mother-in-law, Justice Atinuke Ige. She takes time out of her busy schedule to play a game of 10 questions with us… Tell us a little about yourself My name is Oyinda Ige. I am married with three boys. In the course of my lifetime, I have developed a passion for children and that has sort of jump started my creativity. It’s one of the reasons why I opened the K-Center which is a sports and cultural venue for children in Ibadan. I am also the director of the Alo Children’s Theatre. What is the K-Center all about? It was started as a recreational center strictly for children and youths but lately we see that adults are interested in some of our activities as well. It is an exclusive place for family that centers on fun, entertainment, development, sports and learning.
Tell us about your children’s theatre? It’s called the Alo Children’s Theatre under the Kulture Matrix group. It has been around since 2005 and basically, we do stage productions for the family that specifically target children as our audiences. What makes your theatre group such a special one? We make sure that all of our plays center around ongoing topical issues so as to better educate children on topical matters going on around them. A lot of times when news erupt, children are often left out of the loop and what we do with our plays is to try and bridge these gaps. Using a fun and entertaining medium such as stage plays is an effective way of getting across to children without boring them. What has been your most successful production till date? We had a play back then that ran for over 5 years called Akabi the Wicked Lion and Imoduye the Wise Tortoise. The play later had its own book adaptations and even its own cartoon which you can find on YouTube.
When and what was the idea behind opening the K-Center? The K-Center opened officially about two years ago. They say if something doesn’t make you angry, you won’t ever get creative. I opened the center because I was riled at the state of things in Ibadan. On getting to Ibadan, there was really no place that was safe and private within the city; a nice little haven exclusively for family where parents can drop their children off. This was why I Your interest in the girl child is what motivated you to organize a play for the abducted Chibok girls last year, when did you discover this decided to start the K-center. passion? Besides being a ministry that I have been gifted with, my interest in What is it about children that really piques your interest? I love children, I love being around them. I often tell people that the girl child came as a result of the way my father raised me. I was children are the most intelligent yet the most innocent of our the only girl in the family and growing up, my father made me feel species and thus they need to be handled in a special manner. I invincible, like there was nothing I dreamt of that I couldn’t achieve may be 44 years old but I feel to a large extent that I am still very and that went a long way into molding me into being the person I am much young at heart which is why I am able to successfully open today. This coupled with not having any daughters of my own makes me feel hard pressed into helping little girls out there to be the best a center such as this and connect with its clientele. version of themselves. In all your experience, what have you learnt over the years about What are your hopes and future plans for the K-Center? handling children? Children are looking for who they can trust; for those that keep I haven’t even begun to scratch the barrel. I wake up every day with their promises and who will show them the love they crave. Most about 50 ideas for the K-center but my sole aim remains to recreate children are born insular and it takes a certain skill and patience Disney in Africa with K-Center as the hub. As regards my future plans, to coax them out of their shells. They don’t always want to be I intend to follow up my career as an author. A few years ago, I wrote a talked to as they have many things inside of them just waiting for book about my mother-in-law which many people loved and I recently the right opportunity to find expression and you only need to be opened a blog that weighs in the issue of mothers-in-law. The blog willing to lend an ear to gain their trust. These days, parents are so is meant to be a platform that sparks debate about what is usually a universal and controversial topic. busy making ends meet that they don’t have time to listen.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 35
KUNLE OLANIRAN Kunle Olaniran comes from a very humble background. His story is one of hard work, talent and passion merging to create a man with a vision
Let’s start w i t h y o u r full name and your position here at Mauve21? My name is Kunle Olaniran and I am currently the Executive Manager here at Mauve21. What was life like before Mauve21? Before Mauve21, I was an event manager for over 8 years. I worked at Lead City University as the hall manager and event manager. I also did quite a lot of personal events planning and coordinating. It has been plus or minus over 10 years since I’ve been in this business. What is your Educational background? I started out with a National Diploma in Banking and Finance, and then proceeded to attain my Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) and Masters’ degrees in Economics. I have also attained some additional qualifications from completing some other management courses as part of my professional development. How did you get into event planning? Right from an early age, I always had very little tolerance for disorderliness. I love to put things in perspective and I was given an opportunity by my former boss run new Lead City University Conference Centre. Through this opportunity to serve given to me, I discovered my passion for planning. I quickly realised I loved and had a very strong affinity for the job, and no matter what time of day, I was always ready to deliver. So events planning happened to be something I fell into and ended up loving! And here I am today.
Since joining the Mauve21 team how has the business expanded? Mauve21 is my baby; I started it from day-zero! There was a lot of trial, failure and quality maintenance in building the business name. Knowing that the foundation of our establishment needs to remain strong at all times has not been easy for the last 2 years. It has most certainly been worth the effort as we have faced a very challenging business environment and have managed to wade through so far. It helps if you’re a born problem solver, always prepared for the unknown. As a new establishment it has been a blessing being a part of the team. The staff is doing a fantastic job, my directors have been supportive, we have an enabling environment to work, an enabling environment to give your best. Personally, I don’t like to be micromanaged, I see this business as my business; so whatever the CEO wants to achieve I go above and beyond because I have the entire board’s support. It has been a triumph. Mauve21 is a multipurpose business, with the restaurant, event center, lounge, club, etc. How has it been managing all the various facets? I‘m not a solo manager, I have a great staff and good structure on ground making the work easier. I also like to delegate. So once I discover in my staff one who is able to perform a given task, I delegate the job. A lot of people love when you delegate work to them, because they want to perform to expectation and prove a point and once I discover that, I find who has the capacity, the ability and desire. Those that have a teachable spirit and who are proactive make the work easier. I therefore focus on getting the right people in the right position, which I have been able to do.
Mauve21 is your one stop event center. From visiting to book your event, to our reception, relaxation, lounge, to lodging - everything is set to accommodate you. I have a good team at hand; it boils down to coordination, detailed focus, and harnessing the strengths to achieve your own goals. Was the “one stop event center” always the goal for Mauve21 or did this evolve over time? I have a visionary board who thought of giving back to society. We’re all calling for a greater Nigeria and giving back has been a desire of the CEO. The aim was a one stop event center and in fact Mauve21 is still at about 60 percent of what we envision it becoming. At this stage I can’t say we’re going to stop because there are other avenues, which we are going to give a trial and make a huge impact particularly in Oyo State and Nigeria at large. Expansion is in the future beyond Ibadan. What is special about Ibadan? The working condition business wise and development wise is very obvious between Lagos and Ibadan. However Ibadan and Lagos have a symbiotic relationship. Whatever waves of economic moves or trends are in Lagos always finds its way to Ibadan. Ibadan is very receptive. But Ibadan is changing and the hope is for Ibadan to do better because there are a lot of investments and business opportunities which, with time, we’ll be able to say we’re getting there. What is your favourite amala spot? My wife’s cooking is number one. I don’t really have one, but Mama Sogi is one of the ones I’ve tried and enjoyed.
Mauve21 is my baby; I started it from day-zero
PEOPLE’S EDITION 37
MEET THE BRAIN BEHIND
IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE
Passion to Fashion… there is no other phrase that best describes Aderonke Olubanjo, wife, mother, CEO of (DGVstyles) and principal instructor at the Ibadancity Fashion College, the city’s premier sewing(Fashion) school. Inspired by entrepreneurship and fashion, Mrs Olubanjo stepped aside her career in journalism to launch DGVstyles in 2001, an initiative which will later pave the way for the fashion school where she has been lending her expertise in educating people on how to be a force to be reckoned with in the fast paced fashion industry, especially in todays society. Can we meet you? My name is Aderonke Olubanjo. I am a tailor although I studied Mass Communication and Journalism at the Polytechnic of Ibadan and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism respectively. I worked brieﬂy in media before eventually venturing into full time tailoring. When did tailoring fully start for you? I started sewing in 1999 even though I was still working as a journalist then. I left a year later and started DGV Styles in 2005.
Where did you learn to sew? I was taught by an Ivorian here in Ibadan but I also took few courses home and overseas. Knowledge is endless. And it should be passed on, reason why any new thing I learn, I bring it straight to class to teach my students because unlike most people, I don’t believe in hoarding knowledge. When was the idea of Ibadan Fashion College conceived? It started off in 2010 as DGV Fashion Academy, I had just gotten an outlet for DGVStyles inside D’Rovans Hotel. I expected patronage in the line of clothing, but more enquiries came on how they could also be a part of the building the fashion industry. we started getting calls from people who were interested in learning how to sew. Even
though I did not see myself as a teacher then, the calling called itself, and we started DGV Fashion Academy with six students. Over the years, we have trained well over 500 students, the structure grew and the name changed to Ibadancity Fashion college . How is the IBCFC structured? The school runs a proper college setting. I am the principal instructor and our curriculum covers theory, practical and entrepreneurial classes. Students are given tests, assignments and projects periodically. We make use of the CGPA system and you can either graduate with a distinction or upper/lower credit etc. Also, there are courses for starters, Masters’ classes, Diploma classes, Modular classes and so on. How would you describe doing business in Ibadan? Well, a lot of people tell me I’ll make more money if I leave Ibadan. However, I believe Ibadan is a great avenue for those who understand it. I have clients outside Ibadan so Ibadan has not restricted the growth of my business in any form. What are your future plans? We want to periodically have ‘give-back’ periods where we can sell clothes for as low as N500 - N2000. Also, there are plans to open a clothing store/e-commerce store that can offer affordable fashion at its best. I also hope to run big technical college in Ibadan/Oyo State where people can get empowered, and unemployment can be highly reduced What is your business mantra? I have just 2 hands, but with my 2 hands I can raise and help a million hands. So help me God. Passion is key in whatever you do. It is my main drive and what keeps me going.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 38
Martha’s Kitchen is one of Ibadan’s ﬁnest dining establishments, situated along Magazine Road in the Jericho area of the city. The restaurant which has been around for almost two decades is largely responsible for revolutionising the culinary standard you witness in Ibadan today. Mrs Adesola Ige, restaurateur and owner of Martha’s Kitchen explains the challenges and triumphs of running a successful restaurant in Ibadan, and states what has made Martha’s Kitchen so successful Martha’s Kitchen, we do outdoor catering for all occasions within How long have you been in this business? It started officially in 1999 and November 22nd, 2016 will be our and outside Ibadan. We cater for weddings, birthdays, naming and burial ceremonies, business luncheons, etc. for our teeming 17th year anniversary clients (individuals and corporate). We are into event planning and management. We also do kitchen and canteen set-up and Where did you get the idea to start Martha’s Kitchen? It was not an idea per se. Cooking and catering for me was a passion maintenance for industries; We overhaul kitchens and train chefs that transcended into business. While growing up, I found cooking too. It’s quite a bit that we do really, but all tied to catering in one as something interesting and quite frankly, I studied Computer way or another. Science and Mathematics but catering is what I have always loved and wanting to make a living out of it was an easy decision. The Do you still join your chefs in the kitchen? situation, however, presented itself in 1999, when my hubby and I Yes, I do. If I am at work, then the kitchen is where you’ll likely find were in between jobs at about the same time barely one year after me. marriage. Fortunately, he also had a similar dream. That made a What can you say about the catering business in Nigeria? tough start fun. It is quite tough, but we are getting better every day, the current state of the economy has even made people look inward and Does this mean that you never took any catering course? Well actually, I have taken some catering and management courses patronise a lot of local products. I remember some years ago the over the years. I have attended some catering training both in and only place where you would get vegetables were supermarkets, but we now patronise local farmers and do not depend much on outside the country. imported vegetables and peppers. It hasn’t been a smooth sail, but we are getting better. Who inspired your passion for cooking? Well, I was very fortunate for the kind of parents I have. I was already cooking at the age of 8. My dad was the one that inspired me; Do you eat at other eateries apart from your kitchen? he does the cooking at home every Sunday, and when I started Yes, I do PURPOSEFULLY, I do hang out with friends in other places. professionally he was one of my biggest supporters. He took me to You need to know what is happening in the industry and consistently different restaurants in Lagos and through that I became inherently benchmark your offerings with best practice, not only locally but also internationally inspired by him even though my mum is also a great cook. What have been the changes that you have observed in the catering business over time in Ibadan? There have been lots over time. Back in 1999, I could count the number of restaurants around, but now, there is practically one on every corner. Menus have evolved from ‘indigenous only’ to other Nigerian dishes and even intercontinental ones. The service too has improved a lot, so I can say that we aren’t doing badly. Bearing in mind the competitive market you are in, what makes Martha’s Kitchen so unique? Three things! Good quality food, great presentation and a spruced up environment. I do believe that everybody has a niche, and every brand is known for different things. We at Martha’s are known for the good food, and the clean environment our clients enjoy here on a daily basis.
What is your favourite amala spot in Ibadan? My favourite spot for amala is still Martha’s Kitchen because we make nice and traditional amala as well in a clean environment. What do you like about Ibadan? Ibadan is peaceful; everything is calm in the city, and I love that. What do you hate about Ibadan? Actually, I do not hate anything about Ibadan. Ibadan people are funloving and accommodating. The only thing that we could improve, maybe, should be the need to embrace global dynamics in work and business.
How do you relax? Most of the time I prefer to relax with my family because my job is very demanding, so the little time I have, I prefer to spend with them. How do you ensure quality and retain customers in your line of I also love to watch movies once in a while I do that with my friends. work? Quality is about maintaining the aim and vision of your business. It Tell us one thing about you that people don’t know is what motivates you into meeting the needs and demands of your I push my staff to optimal levels to get the best out of them so that our customers are happy and sometimes, I must admit, I drive them customers in all ramifications. Consistency is also important. too hard. Apart from being a restaurateur, what other things do you do? Virtually everything I do has something to do with catering. At
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 39
PEOPLE’S EDITION 40
LATITUDE: REDEFINING THE CAFÉ EXPERIENCE
Laidback, hip and casual. No three words better describe Latitude Cafe & Lounge. The lounge is located inside Ventura Mall at Samonda and it has a spacious terrace overlooking the front of the mall. When Oluwaseyi Olalekan, the 27 year old manager of Latitude Café and Lounge was asked what sets his enterprise aside from the plethora of competition that seem to be multiplying every second, he uttered those words not as a boastful advertisement for his establishment but rather the simple truth of what Latitude has evolved into. A place to have fun…. For those who understand the nightlife scene in Ibadan, these eleven words are about as simple enough to understand and believe. Ibadan is growing exponentially in every area, nightlife inclusive, and this means that every lounge, bar and beer parlour is being forced to reevaluate and define what makes them different from their counterparts. In its short eighteen months existence, Latitude has grown to be one of the choicest destinations in the city surpassing expectations from all quarters. The café is well known for an impeccable menu that contains mouthwatering delicacies, both local and intercontinental, its ever relaxed atmosphere which has continued to attract the hipsters and when the lounge switches to party mode, there usually is no stopping that party. For Oluwaseyi, this is what living a dream looks like. From his younger days back in Lagos, the young manager dreamt of running a nightlife spot with his brother who happens to be the proprietor of the popular joint. Before spending four years at Bowen University obtaining a degree in Banking and Finance, Oluwaseyi and his brother were already a team. “We had this thing going way back from when I was in secondary school called Audio Nigeria Multimedia. We would go out every Friday night and just cover events and host red carpets, so for us, the entertainment angle has always existed.” While Latitude has indeed come in leaps and bounds in its short stint, Oluwaseyi believes that the lounge has only begun to show the proverbial tip of the iceberg and there is much yet to be seen. He believes that in his brother, the lounge’s management is in good hands and when quizzed about rising competition, he likens it to the Nigerian educational sector, “What we are doing here cannot be compared elsewhere. Even among private universities, there are the ones that are okay and then there are the really good ones.” Another thing that has set Latitude apart has been their judicious use of publicity coupled with trend making abilities. Last year, the lounge gained intercontinental fame as the first lounge to use skateboards to wait on their customers. It is innovative publicity stunts such as this that has catapulted Latitude to the summit of the food chain in Ibadan and with more innovative plays, Latitude seems bound to stay winning.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 41
We don’t want you to think of Palms only when you think of Shoprite. For us we want to present an experience
PATRICK CHINEDU Patrick Chinedu’s wealth of experience has brought a tremendous uplift to the services of the Palms mall. As the current manager of the biggest shopping mall in Ibadan, Patrick’s conﬁdence in the Palms vision is electric and contagious. What ties you to Ibadan? I’m currently the center manager of Palms, the biggest shopping mall in Ibadan. That’s basically what brought me to Ibadan. And so far I’ve enjoyed the city Speaking of experience, what is your educational background? I have a first degree in Accounting from University of Nigeria. And a second degree in Financial Management from the University of Hull in the UK. So how does Palms compare to other malls across the country? We don’t want you to think of Palms only when you think of Shoprite. For us we want to present an experience. Come to Palms Shopping Mall when you think of hairdressing, you can walk into any of our shops if you want to dress up, you can use any of our shops to
acquire your accessories. There’s an entertainment center, there’s a playgroup where your kids can play. It’s not just about walking into Shoprite picking up your bread and going home. It’s a center where you can actually spend your whole day and not get bored. That’s what we are bringing to Ibadan. What are the plans to jazz up the mall even further this year? 2016 for us has started on a high. We were involved in one of the biggest comedy show Ibadan has ever seen, Laffmattaz. The family funfair during the long holiday is coming up and by the way during St. Valentine’s Day, Palms also put up their own show. We are also planning for part 2 of our annual Palms event “The Palms Experience” concert; we had one last year and it was massive. Admission is free. Last year we had Falz the bahdguy and a lot of Ibadan artists. The aim is for people to just come and have fun. Bishop Alexandre Babatunde Akinyele is the first indigene of Ibadan to obtain a University degree. He single-handedly championed the course of education in Ibadan and on the 31st of March 1913, he founded the Ibadan Grammar School.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 42
A story about how chance becomes an opportunity and opportunity only grows into something extraordinary with focus, self-sacriﬁce and faith. This is the story of Temitope Oluwagbenga Alonge Where did the passion for medicine come from? I was raised in Ajegunle, and I had my first contact with a medical doctor when I was ten years old. I went with my uncle to see a friend of his who was knocked down by a motorcycle at Ajiromi maternity centre. There was a gentleman who was being attended to by someone wearing a white overall. He was tending his wounds, and I was stunned. My uncle was wondering why I was quiet, and I said I was not used to people being nice to each other in Ajegunle. It was a dog eat dog world during the civil war era. All I knew were pistols, soldiers, and fighting. For me to see someone with a different approach to life surprised me. I asked my uncle for his name, but he told me his profession instead and said that he was a doctor. I assumed that his name was a doctor and told my uncle I’d like to be a doctor. And from that moment, I have never looked back How did you narrow your medical focus to orthopaedics and trauma? When I started residency training in 1987, I was being pencilled down for cardiothoracic surgery training. At the same time, an opportunity opened up in England it was either coincidental or preplanned by the British, whichever way it was called The Overseas Doctors Training Scheme. I left Nigeria as a senior registrar; I had two years to becoming a fellow of the West African College, but this was an avenue for me to go to England and train properly. My late mentor professor Dijimon Tefari came to pick me up at the airport, and when I got home, he asked me to go through the British medical journal adverts. I applied, and the first job interview I got was within 72 hours, and that was in orthopaedics and trauma. The first job I got was within ten days of arriving in England, and it was also in orthopaedics and trauma. I have found a lot of comfort in being able to manage trauma patients. Why did you decide to move back to Nigeria and come back to Ibadan after your training program? Some friends have asked me too, and I only have one specific answer. I thought I was going to be another orthopaedics surgeon without making any impact. And this is a background of my mentor in Nigeria professor Usain who was the former VC of LASU. When I graduated, he said, don’t be a doctor, you have to be The Doctor. When I became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburg in 1991, he said don’t be a surgeon you have to be The Surgeon. He kept hammering it into my ears from age 17 that I must do things that will make me stand out. So I asked myself, how am I going to stand out here? There are too many orthopaedic surgeons, and they don’t have the kind of injuries that we see in Nigeria. But more importantly, I did ask God because I’m a Christian. I know that someone created me and HE has a plan for me. We left England in 1995, at the time I was on my way to becoming a senior registrar consultant. I left a 2000 pounds after tax job and came back to Nigeria in November 1995 to a pay of 150 pounds. Within 18 months of moving back I was able to go back for a fellowship I otherwise would not have qualified for had I stayed back in England. The fellowship afforded me the opportunity to become the First
British Association for Surgery of the Knee (Johnson and Johnson knee fellow in history. Leaving all the pleasures in England was not a problem and coming back to face the hardship in Nigeria was equally not a problem because I had the backing of God. How did you become the Chief Medical Director of UCH? I did not think about being CMD. I was quite comfortable being an orthopaedic surgeon just doing my job and having a good time. I got appointed as the deputy CMAC in charge of special duties which came with a little bit of management responsibility. In going through some of those responsibilities, I began to think about being part of a proper impactful change because as at the time I came back in 1995 things in the medical field were really ugly. Six months before the exit of my predecessor I began to nurse the idea of becoming CMD. I started putting out all of these feelings of what the hospital should be like having seen it while I was growing up. As time went along, I became a little more convinced. The contest for the position went through 5 phases, and I came first, and I was appointed. It has been a story of God controlling what things you need to do. From coming back to Nigeria and having to use danfo to get around before my car arrived and then being appointed the Chief Medical Director. What has been the most impactful change that has happened in UCH under your leadership? I have the inspiration of walking under what I call the 3 B’S. The first B is to build people. When you have people, you develop them and provide them with what they need to be their best, push them to the limit in their chosen professions. The first thing I did when I took over was to try to build people by developing their skills, allowing them to go for training, courses, etc. The second B is to build systems. For 18 months I could not travel, I did not have anything to showcase because I hadn’t built people that were going to build the systems. Now we have operational systems that help govern the running of things. The third B was building the institution itself because if you build people that know what to do, they will build systems that work, which help build institutions that will last a lifetime. Those are the principles that I have operated upon. Also, my passion is to help the elderly people live a good life. We have the first purpose built a geriatric centre in the whole of Africa. Up to date, we have over 10,000 cases we’ve done. I go by this motto Rebirth of Excellence; I knew how good UCH was, and my focus is to see how we can bring it back. At the moment UCH is the most advanced teaching hospital in Nigeria. My aspiration is to make us once more the envy Africa. What makes Ibadan special to you? Ibadan has to many firsts, and I’d like to be a part of the success story. But beyond that, Ibadan has some magnet that attracts you, and when you get used to it, you do not want to go anywhere else. What is your favourite amala spot? Quite frankly I don’t eat amala in Ibadan, but I eat in Oyo. I go to prince Afonja’s house and every time I am there I have amala, ewedu and abula. But I think my friends like skye lolo.
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PEOPLE’S EDITION 44
A TOUCH OF
Ten years as a pioneer in event decoration has earned Favour Essang a place amongst Nigeria’s industry leaders and innovators. Dexterity Events, Favour’s ﬂagship brand has a long enviable list of clientele spanning across different sectors. Despite being a veteran of the event industry, Essang’s passion for planning still comes through in everything he does. In this exclusive interview, he sheds light on his journey and the events industry at large. What is Dexterity Plus all about? Dexterity Plus was borne out of the desire to raise the bar in the world of events decoration. We have been in business for over a decade and have lent our professional services to an enviable list of clients spanning different sectors. We specialize in creating stunning and unique decorations that will bring the event of your dreams to life.
What’s the most challenging aspect of working in the Owambe industry? The greatest of the challenges I have faced has to do with the human side of this business especially with staff. It takes a whole lot of work to inject your vision into other people and when you are not around, they may do things how they see fit and that can affect the image you are trying to build for yourself.
What was your primary motivation for going into event decorations? It all started in 2005 after finishing my secondary school education. I wasn’t one of those people that lay idling about. My mum was into decorations and so I offered to help her out. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I actually enjoyed doing event décor. After some time, my mum started sending me in her stead to handle decoration jobs and that only encouraged me more. Gradually, event décor turned into my passion and I decided I was going to do it as a full time job.
Which event do you prefer working on the most and why? Weddings! Because, it can get demanding especially in the creativity aspect. You have people that come in asking for a theme they saw somewhere on TV and you as a professional have to find a way of making it work. Unlike birthdays and other events, weddings put your brains to work and that for me is pretty exciting.
What would you say is the secret to your success? Any time I’m asked this, I tell people that it’s just depends on what How did you handle being a man in such a gender sensitive line of you envision for yourself. If you are determined enough, you will find out what works for you as I have. You must also do it consistently work? I discovered that when you hear people say stuff, you just need to and tirelessly. I spend more time working on events than in my own ignore these things. Move on and be focused on your vision because house and that is what happens when you are passionate about something. people will always say what they want whether you like it or not.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 45
The Curator of the Heritage Museum, Babajide Famuyiwa who is an alumnus of The University of Ibadan opened up on what it means to be one of the few custodians of the Yoruba culture.
Growing up and educational background I attended Ijebu-Ijesha Grammar School in Osun State, before I got admission into the University of Ibadan to study Yoruba and Religious Studies. I also got my Masters in African Beliefs and Archeology at the same university. On being a custodian of the Yoruba culture Being a museum curator involves keeping in touch with artifacts. I also get to plan exhibitions and educate people generally. Charity begins at home they say, if we treasure what’s left of our culture now, future generation can understand where they come from and get inspired from this. For example, we used batik and ankara on our walls, this is our way of saying you don’t have to paint the entire wall; you can keep things a bit traditional by using indigenous designs. On keeping our culture alive We are bound to change with time, the fact that our forefathers
were sleeping on mats does not mean we should as well, but we can redefine the usage. We should not only imbibe the culture that is being passed down by the older generation, we should also add our own to it. We have more youths coming in than adults as they are more curious about the past and what it looked like. Some of the traditional carved gourds are being turned into gifts for people to keep in their homes, while some artefacts like the amu (traditional water storage for homes) are being decorated and kept as exhibits. The thrills of the job I love when people ask questions about things they haven’t seen. I also had the opportunity of meeting Hubert Ogunde in Jos before he died when he came to premier his film “Mr Johnson” in 1990. I also enjoy going for radio programs and discussing some of the items in our collection and their significance to our history. Four-time Grammy award winner, Helen Sade Adu was born in Ibadan. Her father, Bisi Adu, is a Nigerian, and her mother, Anne Hayes, is British. Sade has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has six multi-platinum albums to her name.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 46 sound, impactful, training and development courses. We also offer team development workshops. Do you know that ‘team’ stands for Together Everybody Achieves More? So you see, teamwork really does make the dream work. We are heavily into human capacity development. Consultancy: We offer all round consultancy, and are accredited as a Business Development Service Provider for the Bank of Industry. We assist SME’s with business advice, bankable Business Plans/ Feasibility Studies, and other general support. Access to finance is one of the barriers to the development of SME businesses. So we help them get well packaged to make them attractive to the banks. Beyond helping Businesses access funds, our business advisory desk provides support in the area of setting up a Corporate Governance structure within their organisation, execute Process Engineering, Design of Marketing Plans, Sales Strategies etc. Human Resource Outsourcing: We provide and manage staff for organizations. Part of this responsibility includes but is not limited to managing their payroll, remittances, employee relations, training, background verification etc. We manage all that on behalf of the organization so that they can focus on what they have set out to do. We are experts when it comes to Human Capital Management. How long has EZ37 Solutions been in business? EZ37 Solutions was established in July 2009.
What has it been like balancing work and life obligations as a woman in a position of power? Running a business and balancing it with other non-work related commitments can be an arduous task, however it’s really a case of scheduling priorities so that neither the business nor the family suffer. I believe more in quality than just quantity so I may not spend as much time as I would particularly want to, during the week with my family and friends. However when I am home in the evenings and at weekends, I try to create quality time for other areas of my life outside of work. The key word for me is quality. You can have a little bit of time together and make that time special.
What has been the economic beneﬁt of your business in Ibadan? We have a viable business in Oyo State that has gone a long way in terms of adding value to the economy of the State. Research has documented that 70% of SME’s fail in their first three years of operations in Nigeria. We have contributed to Ibadan by way of our Business Support and Human Resource Services. We are pleased that this business has been able to provide professional advice and has helped several SME’s restructure, reorganize and follow What is your full name and what do you do? My name is Mrs. Adaora Ayoade. I am the CEO of EZ37 Solutions best practices. We’ve also provided competent staff to several Limited. We are a Human Resources and Management Consultancy businesses as well as client specific learning and development interventions, which helped boost productivity. With the right people Organisation. Our head office is here in Ibadan. in the right roles, productivity increases and organizations are able to perform better. This of course leads to increase in revenue and Please what is your educational background? I was educated in Europe and Nigeria. My first degree is in business growth. Microbiology from the University of Ibadan and my Post graduate qualifications in Management are from The University of Greenwich Why was Ibadan your choice of place to establish this business? in the UK and The Business School Netherlands. I am also qualified Ibadan because it is home for me. My family are here, so naturally in Human Resource Management and have maintained a career in I would start from home. Having said that though, we do have a lot of links outside Ibadan. For us, Ibadan is like a base and of course Human Capital Development for many years. there is so much sanity here, so we can choose to work from here or outside of Ibadan and still come back home to the sanity of this city. What exactly does EZ37 Solutions do? Clear to hear her passion for Human Capacity Building. Mrs. Ayoade has built a business with a foundation of service and quality. Her drive for excellence as it relates to jobs, organizational structuring and human resource management has led her to make a difference not just in Ibadan but also beyond. She is highly selfdriven and family oriented.
We have four main areas of focus: Recruitment: we provide organizations with quality staff. We pay particular attention to getting our clients’ requirements right and ensure the investment in the recruitment process is reaped back by having top performing employees. Training and Development: At EZ37 Solutions Limited, we practice the concept of lifelong learning. We believe a significant amount of development can take place at the workplace via mentorship, coaching, etc. When you speak with people at the top of their profession, they always speak about those who mentored and coached them along the way. We are very skilled at delivering
What makes Ibadan so special to you? I like Ibadan for the serenity, for the authenticity of the people, and because there is a lot of potential for growth and development. I also believe this is a fantastic place to take advantage of the opportunities that are coming up each and every day. Fun fact, what is your favorite amala joint in Ibadan? Mama Ope; I like their speed of service and the consistency of their food. I also enjoy the taste of their food.
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MRS. TAIWO OWOEYE Mrs. Taiwo Owoeye is a very principled woman of passion and vision. Her humility and strive for perfection has made her various businesses in partnership with her husband the very example of success at its ﬁnest. Both educationists, their love for children and books has led them to have two of the ﬁnest educational institutions in the country, in addition to a very successful printing and publishing business that has been around for over twenty years.
What is your name? My name is Mrs. Taiwo Tolulope Owoeye. What is your educational background? My primary education was at Mary Hill Convent School here in Ibadan. I went to Queens School Ibadan for my ‘O’ levels, the International School, University of Ibadan for a year of ‘A’ levels, the University of Ife for my 1st degree and the University of Ibadan for a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.
are interested in the child’s spiritual development and also teach soft skills that are needed for children to be self-confident. We also let our children engage in a variety of sports as we believe that education extends beyond the classroom.
What sets Lead City apart? We pride ourselves in being a child-friendly school. Our admission process includes a written exam and an oral interview. Experience has shown that our current students refer their friends to us and even our alumni visit regularly because they know we care. We see the students as our own children. We don’t label them, and we find a What motivated your love for education? My husband. He loves education and loves interacting with students. way to get to them. Our students know that we genuinely care. That He founded both the secondary school and the university. While I sets us apart. was working at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), he asked me to help him to manage the secondary school and the Can you tell us a little more about your publishing and printing printing press, so I resigned and joined him. I know the kind of school company? I want my child to attend and having attended good schools myself, Our publishing and printing company is called College Press. We do I decided Lead City High School had to be a school I could be proud jobs for anyone who requires our services. of. I don’t cut corners when it comes to work and I’m celebrated wherever I work, I put in my best to build a school that I can identify How long has the printing press been running? with, that I can be proud of and that I can trust my children to attend. It is older than the school; my husband founded it while he was a In a nutshell, Lead City High is my husband’s vision. I just helping him university lecturer. At that time, books published in Nigeria were not easily available overseas, so he founded College Press to help to to manage it. bridge this gap. The Press is about 20 years old and even though I Was it difﬁcult leaving your job to start this new venture with your did not work with him initially, I knew I was going to join him at some point. husband? To be honest, I do prefer the publishing and printing part, in fact at the moment, I am consulting for IITA. But like I said, whatever I do, I For people who want to go into education what would be your do well and I do love children and realize that God has put their lives advice to them? in our hands. Having a school is an awesome responsibility. As a You must have an interest in what you’re doing and love what you Christian I believe that one day, God will ask me about those lives do. This will be a great help when you have challenges. You should that were in my charge. Again it is good to know that you’re molding also be committed and give it your all. Education is capital intensive lives. At Lead City High we believe in molding the whole child. We and is not an area you venture into lightly as lives are involved.
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EKINE R E V E R E N D
Reverend Elekima Ekine is the presiding pastor of Christ Chapel International Ibadan - a church located at Ashi. He has been a resident of the city for twenty-ﬁve years having moved back here in the early 90s to open up his ministry. In this interview, he talks about how he fell in love with the city, his life, the church, nation and other sundry issues.
E L E K I M A
government will stop making empty promises it can’t keep. Even the British took fifty years before they could eradicate the IRA..
What do you make of the country’s current economic state and the president’s effort in tackling issues? The average human being is very impatient. You bring someone new on the scene and they want you to turn things around immediately without knowing how bad the rot is. Things get worse before they Please introduce yourself My name is Elekima Ekine from Rivers State. I pastor the Christ get better so maybe what we are experiencing may yet be a good Chapel International founded by Rev. Dr. Tunde Joda. I’ve been thing. a resident of Ibadan for 25 years. I’ve been married for almost 27 years. I have three sons. My wife is a lecturer at Tai Solarin University A lot of people have a lot to say on this present generation. What is your own say on the topic? of Education. There’s the bad and there’s the good. The only problem is if the bad starts outweighing the good. There is a thin line between these two How did you come to be in Ibadan? I was posted here to start the Ibadan branch of our church. I’ve and that line has gotten thinner and thinner over time. You start always passed through Ibadan but never stayed so June 1991 was hearing people say that wrong is relative. For the good part, selfdevelopment is getting better; people are getting more creative, my first opportunity of staying and living in Ibadan. innovative and independent. Young people who ordinarily will still be dependent on their parents are no longer sitting back and waiting for What was your early impression about the city? When I first came, I wanted to run back… (laughs). Ibadan was…if I things to come to them. may use the word ‘dry’ but interestingly, not quite long after, I fell in love with the city; the serenity, calmness and the fact that you could If you were to give just one advice to this generation, what would decide to go to a place and get there on time. All these factors just that be? made me become attached to Ibadan now. The city may have lost Don’t maintain the status quo. Keep pushing boundaries. some of its serenity but it’s still okay for me. Did your culinary tastes change after settling down here in Ibadan? What is your say on the current state of insurgency in the country? Not as much since I’ve been eating amala before coming here. The importance of us sticking together in such times cannot be Maybe I added gbegiri and abula to it. overemphasized. Insurgency is the evil of our time and it is not just peculiar to our nation, it is all over the world. As Christians, it’s time Speaking of which, which of the amala joints is your favourite? for us to come together, to prepare and strengthen our belief to a Difficult question… Iya Ope today, because instead of queuing, they point where even death cannot question our faith. I only hope the come and serve you.
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The country will get worse before it gets better
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“This is a paper that was established in 1949 and at that time we were yet to dream of Nigerian independence. This paper has remained on the newspaper stands for the last 66 years and still counting. For us it’s a big responsibility managing this kind of institution.”
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DIXON EDWARD Dixon Edward, a man whose profession encourages him to ﬁnd out anything newsworthy is ironically a very private man. His power lies in his deep love and understanding of Nigeria and its people. Through his knack for exposing issues, he crusaded for the Nigerian people, ﬁghting for justice, liberty and peace. What is your educational background? I had all my education in the South West although I’m not from the here; I’m from Delta State. I’ve been in Ibadan all my life; I was born here, went to primary and then a private secondary school in Oyo. I then proceeded for my HSCE in Ogbomosho Grammar School before returning to the University of Ibadan where I studied Classics for my first degree and Managerial Psychology for my Masters. I am a Fellow of the International Center for Foreign Journalist in the U.S, a member of the Guild of Editors and a member of the LUJ.Centre for Foreign Journalist in the U.S, a member of the Guild of Editors and a member of the LUJ. What was the journey like leading to your position as MDof Tribune? I started my journalism career at Tribune in 1989 or thereabout. I worked as a reporter on the politics desk. In March 1993, I had to move on to The Punch newspaper. I was also on the politics desk in the thick of the crusading for the validation of June 12. One thing that is a bit instructive about my going to The Punch was that it was not on my radar. I was invited one afternoon and the rest became history. I joined The Punch that year in 1993 and was with them for a couple of years. At that time, The Punch was not known to be in the category of major newspapers before March 1993 but they had this challenge to give a new direction to the paper to report serious journalism as the paper was just known at the time for writing on entertainment and the Page 3 Girl. When we got there, there was a repackaging of the newspaper at the thick of the revolution that took place in The Punch. As a matter of fact, our set gave a new definition to whatever you have in The Punch today. We pioneered that and we did the crusading for 17 months. It would interest Nigerians to know that we did the crusading during the IBB era and June 12 and within 17 months The Punch was closed down twice and proscribed twice. The Punch crusading was under the editorship of Mr. Abolawole and was very intense. Yet, during that time I overheard some Nigerians on the bus talking about how, despite our crusading, it was good that the Federal Government had closed us down, that we were writing trash! I sat back in the bus and wondered that if we had been killed in the course of the crusading was this what people would be saying? Right at that point, I felt disenchanted and disappointed. So I left The Punch newspaper and ventured into the world of business because I felt that Nigerians were not receptive to the crusading that we were doing back then because it seemed a thankless job. But somehow because of my ﬂare for journalism, I found my way back to The Nigerian Tribune. Upon my return, I was appointed the Group Politics Editor and after four years, I became an Editor of an arm of the Tribune. After another four years, I became the Editor of the Nigerian Tribune then after another 4 years, I became the Managing Director. In September 2016, I’ll be four years as the MD. How have your experiences shaped the governing of Tribune as MD? The truth of the matter is that when I came back, it was from
the background of the crusading. There is something about Tribune; you’d find that of the three editors they have at The Punch, two of them were ex staff of the Nigerian Tribune newspaper. Upon taking over as the MD, we came with a 4point agenda. We’ve been able to so far achieve three of the four. We’ve been able to cut down on staff from 800 when we came in to less than 400 including contract workers. We’ve repackaged the newspaper by giving a new editorial direction to the paper. And finally, we’ve incorporated technology to the paper; we’ve gotten a new machine that has helped us to be competitive. The fourth aspect concentrates on the marketing of the newspaper, which requires a lot of effort especially with the current economical problems. By the grace of God, we keep getting better and the truth of the matter is that Tribune has a better and bigger pedigree when it comes to crusading for the masses because of the ownership of the paper. The owner of the paper dedicated his life to crusading for the masses, Awolowo’s life, politics; everything about him was dedicated to improving the life of the masses. So there is no paper that is better placed than the Nigerian Tribune newspaper. It is instructive to say that Tribune is the only nationally known institution when it comes to the media because Tribune predates the independence of this country and it is a national institution to that extent. This is a paper that was established in 1949 and at that time we were yet to dream of the Nigerian independence. This paper has remained on the newspaper stands for the last 66 years and still counting. For us it is a big responsibility managing this kind of institution. It goes without saying that The Tribune is not just any type of newspaper. How is the newspaper planning to engage the Nigerian youth and getting them to read the newspaper? Our focus now is connecting with the younger generation at different levels, giving them expert opinions on history, politics and the economy. All the problems of this country in the last 20 years were issues that Obafemi Awolowo talked about and proffered solutions to but the young people today don’t know. If they do not know, it is our duty as a newspaper to bring this information to them. We regard this as important. We intend to do this through the youthful passions such as music, sports, and entrepreneurship and in doing this we hope to be able to pull them. Once we can, we know they will go beyond entertainment and sports to read other aspects in the newspaper. It’s such a huge job and we trust that by God’s grace we should be able to achieve it. These are the tasks we’ve set for the youth, to bring them out and put them where they ought to be and make them people that can intelligently engage our leaders. We don’t want a society that continues to allow frivolous people to run the country. We need our youths to be able to ask the right questions, and have a national movement that can handle issues. This is what, at the the Nigerian Tribune, we are elected to do. Award winning actor, Hugo Weaving known for his role as agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy was born on April 4, 1960 at the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan.
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Yinka Adeleke is the owner of Face2Face Print Shop located inside Providence Court near Mokola central business district. He is an artist, entrepreneur, pastor and visionary whose passion for innovation and excellence is responsible for the establishment of the ﬁrst Direct Imaging printing press in the city of Ibadan. How did you get into graphics and printing? As an individual, I always had an interest in art which was what led me to graphics designing and printing in the first place. During my days at the university, I was the one in charge of all the print jobs in my fellowship which was how I got interested. I had a guy who used to design for me but one day he couldn’t make the appointment so I had no choice but to design the job myself and that was how it started.
success is mine as well.
Do you think the current economic situation is favorable for startups in the country? Despite the struggling economy, some people are thriving very well in their business. I believe that once you can provide excellent goods and services to the people, you will always be in the market. As an artist, what is the latest project on your plate? At the moment I am working on an NGO project to enlighten secondary school students about the effects of climate change. What do you love about Ibadan? There is less stress in Ibadan and Ibadan is comfortable. More so Ibadan is still virgin in terms of innovation and ideas.
How old is Face2Face? Face2Face in Ibadan was fully registered in 2006 but I didn’t have an office back then. I remember that I started without any capital. I What do you hate about Ibadan? usually got jobs through phone calls, and when people call to ask for Ibadan people want quality products but they are not ready to pay my office, I would fix an appointment at a nearby eatery instead. I did for them. that until 2008 when I eventually got my first office space in Bodija. Where is your favourite Amala spot in Ibadan? Ose Olohun Food Canteen (Skye Lol) What gave you the idea for starting a direct imaging press? In 2010, I became upset with the level of printing in Ibadan. It was around the time Direct Imaging printing was gathering momentum How do you relax in the city? and so after consulting with a few people, I decided to start the first Even though I love to stay with my family, I do visit the cinema at Ventura (Samonda), direct image printing press in Ibadan. Which artist inspires you the most? What is your philosophy in business? I try to offer excellent services at the cheapest price possible. I Carlos Pacheco! I love the way he captures his characters and tells always want my customers to succeed because I believe that their his story.
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Mrs Bunmi Oluwadara sheds light and truth to the saying, “What a man can do, a woman can do better.” Her tenacity and drive has made her venture into the challenging transportation sector in Nigeria. The question really is what can’t this woman do? Mrs Bunmi Oluwadara gives women faith, that they can have the family they always dreamed of and a successful career. Can you tell us a little about your educational background? I studied Business Administration at the University of Lagos and I hold an MBA from Imperial College Business School, London. I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants(ACMA) and a Fellow Association of Certified Chartered Accountants(FCCA). You own a bus company called “Alakowe” which is making waves. Why did you decide to start a transportation business? I ventured into the business because of the need to contribute to the level of comfort experienced by travellers. People travel everyday and they certainly want maximum comfort and avoid the challenges that come with the conventional mode of travelling. So for me, I felt that if there can be a better and obviously more convenient way to travel, why not? That’s what gave birth to Alakowe Bus. What services does Alakowe render that differentiates it from other transportation services in the area? Our all new online booking is certainly one of the main differentiating factors. You don’t have to come all the way to our office before you can book your trip, all you need do is log on to our website www. alakowebus.com and follow the simple booking steps and your seat is reserved. This is coupled with the fact that we have fixed departure times and our rates are the same all through the year. That is the height of comfort if you ask me. Also, we have on-board entertainment via our DVD player. Apart from that, safety of lives is very important so our drivers have a speed limit that they adhere to and we get to monitor them through our car-tracking device. Alakowe Bus also provides light refreshment while on the bus and our staffs are polite, well composed individuals. Customers are treated with the respect that they deserve.We take pride in the fact that our buses are brand new, fully air-conditioned and very comfortable seats so much that people of high calibre in society have boarded and enjoyed our services. One of them is Mavin Crew’s Reekado Banks. Tell us more about the impact Alakowe has on the Ibadan economy? Alakowe Bus has certainly made a huge impact on Ibadan’s economy because we are a company that pays tax thus helping the state generate revenue and we have also provided employment opportunities for individuals who now have a source of income. What are some of the problems you’ve found with thetransportation sector in Nigeria, speciﬁcally Ibadan? Well I would rather call them challenges. And first on my list would be the state of our roads. Nigerian roads are not traveller-friendly at all and this poses a lot of hazards to the lives of people. The roads are also tough on our buses, which increases the cost of running them. A topical challenge is certainly petrol scarcity. We made a promise to our customers to keep our prices fixed. In the current situation of no petrol in the country, keeping that promise has been
most difficult so we have had to consolidate our trips which in turn made our customers unhappy. We hope they understand and keep coming back. Is Alakowe zoned into Ibadan or you’ve branched out already or perhaps you even have plans to branch out outside Ibadan? Presently, Alakowe Bus has branches in Ibadan and in Lagos. Our buses currently travel Ibadan and Lagos on a daily basis and we run charter services to destinations within the South West. Our vision is to become the transport company of choice for all travellers in South West Nigeria. Are there any regrets for deciding to start your own transportation business in Ibadan? There are challenges, but there are no regrets. Ibadan needs the service that Alakowe provides. How have you been able to balance the expectations of work, and life outside of work with your busy schedule? Well, when you live with the consciousness that work is work and it is part of life, you simply do what you have to do. In regards to juggling all these things, I must admit it is tough but the truth is that when you commit your ways into God’s hands, you just find out that things fall in place without so much stress. I also try to prioritize and do the urgent things first, this helps me to avoid being under pressure all the time. Also, I am passionate about what I do so for me, it is not so much of work but a way to dissipate my energy into doing what I enjoy. What makes Ibadan special to you? Ibadan is special to me in every way because it is my hometown and it serves as home to beautiful monumental sights. Of course, I love the brown roofs. It is a very unique signature for the town. When I think of Ibadan, I think of amala and the trappings that come with it We’re taking a poll about the best amala joint in Ibadan. What would you say is your favourite amala spot in the city? As much as I love amala I can’t say I know because I get it delivered to me!
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VENTURE CAPITALIST, AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THE WIDELY ACCLAIMED FAMILY MOVIE “COUPLE OF DAYS” Nollywood in Cinema deserves a pat on the back largely due to the success of ﬁlms like “COUPLE OF DAYS”. Shot in Ibadan by industry rookies, COUPLE OF DAYS is one of Nigeria’s top 20 grossing movies – a laudable feat for ﬁrst time duo of movie Director Tolu Awobiyi and Executive Producer Ayo Orunmuyi. Ayo Orunmuyi is an electrical engineer cum venture capitalist with a vision to transform how things are done in day to day life by leveraging his vast professional experience in the manufacturing industry. He discusses his journey into Nollywood, shooting COUPLE OF DAYS in Ibadan, and what to expect in the future. Please tell us about yourself My official names are Ayotunde Kehinde Orunmuyi. I am an identical twin and a native of Ijebu-jesa (Osun state). I graduated from the department of Electrical Engineering, University of Ilorin in 2003 and have worked with Procter & Gamble since 2004, just after completing my NYSC posting in Nassarawa State. I am a Venture Capitalist – I support other people’s great ideas. I have been resident in Ibadan for about 12 years. How did you get into venture capitalism? Venture capitalism was born out of a desire to create something significant out of little successes. I want to make my expertise count for others around me and the larger society. My first significant experience as a venture capitalist began with pro-bono consulting for a friend who was starting his private business. Some of his investors decided to pull out and when he turned to me for advice, I offered to buy-out their stake. Since that time, I have actively taken advantage of other opportunities in real estate, NGO’s and recently, Nollywood. How did you get on board the COUPLE OF DAYS project? The director and scriptwriter, Tolu Awobiyi is a good friend. Before venturing into full time filmmaking he was a “banker”. I found his stage works and short videos rather intriguing and liked that he paid attention to “the details”. As usual, I began to offer pro bono advice. Amongst his several works, the script of COUPLE OF DAYS particularly caught my attention and I encouraged him to make it his directorial debut. We pooled our resources together, invested into owning production equipment, and the rest as they say is history. What was the idea behind using Ibadan as the movie’s location? More than 90% of movies in the industry are shot in Lagos. As newcomers, it was important that we differentiated ourselves from the rest. Apart from carefully selecting our cast, we wanted our viewers to see something that was different yet fresh and fascinating. The recent changes and development in Ibadan presented the perfect opportunity to actualize this vision. Virtually everyone who saw the trailer could not believe that the movie was shot in Ibadan. What were your goals going into ﬁlmmaking? My professional background and experiences have exposed me to some of the best practices and approaches to executing projects and solving complex problems. My belief is that the principles that govern efficient and effective execution and problem solving are universal. My goal was to demonstrate this in the COUPLE OF DAYS project. The movie project was executed according to the cost, quality and schedule targets that we had set from the onset.
Behind the scenes on the set of “Couple of Days”
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What did you learn during the course of production? I now know that movie production is ‘hard work’. Our society tends to think that the movie industry is for “unserious” people. I can tell you that it is not. COUPLE OF DAYS is also proof that the creative industry obeys the principles of project management. COUPLE OF DAYS was nominated for best cinematography at the AMVCA; did you think at inception that it was going to be that successful? Yes we did. We knew how many views would give us ‘break-even’, and planned to exceed this from the onset. Our initial projection was ambitious but at the same time, quite logic based - we wanted 52,000 people to see the movie in Cinemas, which was statistically modest but would have made COUPLE OF DAYS the fifth highest grossing movie ever. At the same time, we were clear that we would not exceed our budgets. As time progressed, we adjusted our expectations to around 20,000 views as we saw that this was what our publicity budget could achieve. The movie grossed about 22, 000 views in cinemas – better than ‘break-even’ and double the
prediction of the “experts”. The potential of Nollywood is simply put – gargantuan – if we are celebrating 22,000 views in a country of over 160 million people. What does the future hold now? The current economic realities would make any Venture Capitalist cautious. We have started working on the sequel to the movie (COUPLE OF DAYS later) and are looking for sponsors/investors who believe in the message of the movie and in the potentials of the Nollywood industry. Other projects in the pipeline include another movie to be shot in SW Nigeria sometime in July, and an interesting documentary project. What do you do in your spare time? I like to stay at home. I enjoy spending time with my wife, children, brothers and nephews. From time to time, I get invited to speak at youth/empowerment themed events. I also enjoy listening to music and reading articles online. I am the Chairman of our residents’ association and actively mentor several younger people.
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I AM MORE THAN WHAT YOU HEAR - DON-T
Rewind a few years back and the name Don-Tee was on the lips (and in the ears) of every radio head in and around the city. Born Tony Rowland Awobode in Zaria, Don Tee started his career at Premier FM spending one year there, three years at BCOS (broadcasting corporation of Oyo State) as a broadcaster before joining the Splash FM revolution of the early 2000s. In the space of eight years, he would evolve from being just another voice on the airwaves to a name that was almost synonymous with radio in Ibadan. Now independent, he takes us through his voyage in broadcasting; why he quit radio to start his own company, making a difference in the city and his love for power bikes. How did you get into broadcasting? It was through an old classmate of mine from Loyola College, Ibadan. He was a freelancer at Premier FM and he invited me over to the studio because he knew I was quite vocal (and eloquent) back in school. I was playing around with the mic, doing an air check and next thing I knew, people were coming into the studio asking, “Who was that?” and, “Who did that?” I thought I had gotten him into trouble. I must have made an impression though because I got a job offer instead. What made you quit radio? Ten years in the industry and I decided it was time to go independent. I was at a point where I wanted to do more than just talk on radio. One of my visions remains to employ my colleagues and I can only do that if I become an entrepreneur. I have trained many OAPs (On Air Personalities) and mentor many others. Which programme was your favourite from your time as an OAP? The Drive Time Show at Splash FM brought in a lot of popularity, award and endorsements but my favourite is a night shift program called Diary Sessions on Splash FM. People would call in to tell me about the issues going on in their personal lives and I would try to give them the best counsel. It was a deep experience for me and remains till date the only programme I did with my soul. Do plan on returning to being an OAP again someday? No, that is in the past now. I know I enjoyed a bit of popularity back then which is probably why you think I might miss it but I’m in a position where I can actually cook and create things on a bigger platform now. Tell us about the company you started and what you do? The name of my company is Rock TOF Services and Entertainment Limited. We are into media practices, advertising, events management, media consultancy, concept development and so on. I am an associate of Advertising. Your love of power bikes is a well-known fact. How did you get into power biking? I have been riding bicycles and motorcycles since my younger days in Zaria so I think my love for power bikes was something that was inevitable. I didn’t just ride these bicycles, I used to stunt with them as well. I bought my first bike in 2005; it was a 1000cc Kawasaki ZX10. I have owned many bikes over the years. I rode that thing
everywhere, Abuja, Makurdi, Calabar, Port Harcourt…and I still do. You are part of the city’s power biking society, what is your role in this community? Currently I belong to a riding club named Pilleum riding club, I was the Vice President at one point, I’m a board of trustees. Some people believe that bikers are merely adrenaline junkies that don’t impact the society in anyway. How do you feel about this? We may be thrill seekers but that assumption is wrong. Every year,
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we have a national biking convention and part of the highlight is charity. When you buy your bikes for very ridiculous prices, you should also find a way to support charity. We are an association of different people from different professional backgrounds coming together because of one thing, which is our passion for biking. We have doctors, engineers, students, military personnel and so on in our association.
How would you describe yourself? Crazy, sexy, cool. Don’t let my wife hear o! Another thing you’re quite famous for is your sunshades collection.
What will you say are the attributes that have gotten you this far? My voice. It was the first thing that got me into radio. For me there was no interview or anything. Just the voice.
Which is your favourite amala restaurant in the city? I always eat amala and Skye Lolo has the best for now. I’ve eaten amala everywhere in Ibadan. I know the town very well.
How many do you have now? I always lose them or give them out so they’re always in constant rotation but as at the last count, I have around 40 of them.
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DAMOUCHE AND AGBAJE: TWO MEN, ONE VISION Different people have different visions for their cities. Some want to create jobs while some want to improve the standard of living. For two friends, Adedamola “Damouche” Layade and Adewale Agbaje, the mission is quite simple. They want to re-establish Ibadan and restore its glory days in entertainment using their vast knowledge in the world of entertainment.
Why the interest in Ibadan? We have practically lived all our lives here and so for us, there is a whiff of sentiment involved, you can even call it a bias. Our interest stemmed from what the city used to be which was the glory and the pride of the South-West. What we dream of is creating situations where we can restore the golden days.
Given what you are known for around the city, one might be tempted to call you event planners What we are is a whole lot more than that. We have a company called Hams Universal Consulting that deals with project management, event consultancy, brand consultancy even business development (for more info, visit www.hucnigeria.com). There are four of us who started the company – two are based in Lagos while we both are here in Ibadan. Our business model involves promoting different enterprises in South-West Nigeria but our own primary focus is Ibadan.
What has been the major hindrance to the mission? The problem with the city is that its reputation as a ‘retirement home’ precedes it. Despite having an enabling population and being an emerging market, brands sponsorship for events happening in the city do not support these figures. Things such as this limit the profit margin here but obviously overhead is low compared to other places around so that makes up for the gap.
Which known projects have you guys handled in the past? We were on the team that handled Rauf Aregbesola’s digital marketing and branding campaign/inauguration; we were project managers for ‘Chilling with Ajimobi’, a round table forum that held last year; we handled the last edition of Laffmattaz. We organize our own events. Last year, we had Groove at the Park and Grill at the Park that held at Agodi Gardens. Also, we have been running the Ibadan Music Industry Night with Rolake Bello for about three years.
What do you make of Ibadan as an entertainment hub? As a nation, we have gotten certain things wrong. Success is now measured financially. So in a situation where you don’t monetize success, then there will be no reason to leave here. Part of our long term goals is creating a situation where shows are sold out and an artist can actually sell over a million cds or legal downloads. The government needs to step up for the entertainment industry here as is the case in eastern states.
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BOLAJI Bolaji Adedotun Olanrewaju, popularly known as Big B, is an award winning gospel singer and radio talk show personality living in Ibadan. In this exclusive, he opens up about his career and settling down in the city among other issues. Who is Big B? I’m Bolaji Adedotun Olanrewaju. My oriki is Alani, so you can call me Alan at some point… (laughs). Some people call me Big B, I don’t know why. I’m from Osun State, but I was born and bred here in Ibadan. I’m the last of four children. I schooled in Ibadan, Osogbo, Ilorin and United Kingdom. Going into gospel music Music started for me at an early age. Before I gave my life to Christ, I was into the Run DMCs and the DMXs but I found my calling and my gospel music career started fully in Oshogbo with a group called J’apha. Radio Talk Show It’s called “Turn It Up with Big B” and it started six years ago. There is this wrong assumption that everybody goes to church on Sunday which is not quite true. The programme airs every Sunday from 8-10 am. We try and lift spirits through messages, interviews, talks, comedy and anything that can edify people’s soul and prepare them for a blessed week. Settling down in Ibadan Ibadan for me is fantastic! I love the city. Even when I travelled to the United Kingdom, it never felt like I left. I settled back here in 2000 and roughly sixteen years of my adult life was spent here. There was a period I moved to Lagos for three months but it wasn’t really the same. Ibadan for me is home. If you could, what would you love to change about Ibadan? Well, it has to be the cleaning culture; both the people and the government. How do you relax in Ibadan? I go to Café Crystallis to relax. I also love movies, but I hardly go to the cinema because too many people see me and then I won’t really enjoy the movie. Likewise, I love hanging out with my kids. Where’s your favourite amala spot in Ibadan? Skyelolo and Iya Hadija around Adeoyo Road. What do you love most about Ibadan? It’s very peaceful and it’s sort of easy to get to anywhere in Nigeria from Ibadan. It is a good place to be if you know what you’re doing.
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Femi Odewole is a guitarist, musician and leader of a popular highlife group, The Guitar Band. While studying Chemical Engineering at the Ladoke Akintola University, Femi had the opportunity to play for popular names like Jimi Solanke, Gbenga Adenuga and from that point on, he never looked back. Even though he releases singles from time to time, most recent being Unlimited Ariya, Femi Odewole prioritizes his crooning efforts on his juju/highlife band. In this interview he describes his brand of music, why he wants to fuse modern music with the old and why music bands in Nigeria do not get as much recognition as they deserve. When did you develop an interest in music? Music for me started since my childhood when I grew up listening to the likes of Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade. Even though I enjoyed other artistes as Coolio, Kool and the Gang, Mark Morrison and such, it was highlife and juju that really sparked my interest. Later on, I would go to the department of music in Obafemi Awolowo University to play and also learn from the students there. Truth is at that point, I never knew that I would one day have a band of my own. What made you start your own band? I was 21 when I decided to form my band. Before then, I was playing for the legendary Jimi Solanke and later, Gbenga Adenuga. Before forming the band, I decided that I wanted to do things differently so I started rehearsing different old English songs and playing them with African beats. Afterwards I recruited people in my age group with the same vision and told them what I was trying to do. It was not easy in the beginning but things smoothened out eventually. What makes your music different? What makes me different is that I try to mix both new generation music and classic ones together. I also consider myself a versatile musician. At a recent function for MTN, I noticed there were lots of foreigners so I ended up playing songs by the likes of Frank Sinatra and co. What is your genre of music called? I call it Crossover music. It is a blend of different genres ranging from R&B to reggae but still borders on highlife and juju. This means I focus more on live performance but I do release singles from time to time. I however consider myself a contemporary highlife musician rather than a juju artiste. Which instruments do you play? Professionally, I play both the lead and bass guitar but I am also quite proficient on the drums and keyboard. Which kind of events do you play at? I love weddings so I do a lot of that but I’m also into corporate events
for companies, birthday parties, burials and so on. If it is an owambe, you will surely find us there…(laughs) What’s your take on the highlife/juju band culture in Nigeria? Bands in Nigeria tend to survive largely on referrals since they don’t have the commercial appeal of artistes on TV. When it comes to contemporary highlife, I can say we are not many in Ibadan and the few that are around don’t get the recognition they deserve. You are also an indie artiste too right? Yes. I have been writing personal songs for a while now. My first single was titled Africa and the most recent is Unlimited Ariya which is a fusion of Calypso and highlife. I release singles because I also enjoy doing that. Which do you enjoy most between playing with your band and studio time? I prefer live performances most as they are much more fun for me. What habit do you have that has brought to where you are today? Consistency! I don’t care if there is money, I love to work. What do you like best about Ibadan? I love the fact that the cost of living in Ibadan is not much, with little amount, one could be comfortable to an extent. Which is your favourite Amala place in Ibadan? I like amala a lot and my favorite place is Skye lolo (beside Sky Bank). I drive from Oluyole to the place almost every time. How do you relax in Ibadan? Most of the time I relax with my family but sometimes I go out with my family to the cinema or Chinese restaurant.
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I HAVE FACED BEING PHYSICALLY CHALENGED SQUARELY, AND I’VE OVERCOME IT
PATRICK NNAEMEKA NWEZE
If you are a visitor to Cocoa Mall Ibadan, Paddy Art Gallery is not something you will easily miss. Whether you understand the intricacies of art or not, the very detailed and exquisite art works on display will surely catch your attention. The gallery owner, Patrick Nnaemeka Nweze, shares his passion for arts, his dream for the future and how he was able to turn his physically challenged status into enviable strength.
something I always try to let them understand that I can do it.
How did you ﬁnd the strength to do all this? Let me tell you a secret; if you are blind for instance, you will tend to dwell more on the inside than the outside, you go back inside yourself. In that state of mind, you become conscious of all things within you. Because sometimes, we are distracted by the things we see. The same thing applies to someone like me. When you are challenged, you do more thinking because you draw strength when Inception of the Gallery I started drawing at the age of 8. By the time I was done with my you meditate. secondary school education, it was obvious where my passion lay. I started the gallery in September 2013 after relocating here Uniqueness of The Gallery from Abuja where I had a similar gallery. There were times I used One of the unique traits of the gallery is the diversity of the students. to freelance and I would go from offices to shops trying to get Art is a talent, irrespective of age or social status. Even if you are an business. I used to have some sample drawings and when people old person and you have the passion, we will develop you. People look at me, even if they don’t want to do it before, they usually come around, fall in love with what we do and eventually want to be a part of it. That is why you see a nun training here, there are change their minds. master’s degree holders, and there are youth corps members as well as secondary school students. What challenges have you faced in your career? Obviously, the greatest challenge I’ve faced is being physically challenged. When I finished primary school, a classmate asked me if Paddy Art Gallery in the next ﬁve years I was sure that I could go to secondary school. The person could not I see Paddy Art Gallery all over the world in the next five years. imagine me going to secondary school because of the distance I Artists, who have trained in this gallery, will be in different parts of had to trek from my house to school and back every day. When I got the world, doing the same thing Paddy is doing here, impacting lives into the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, another and training the younger generation. classmate asked me if I was sure I could cope? I didn’t answer him as well, but when the first semester result came out, I was top of my Greatest Reward/Achievement class and until I left that department, I had the best result. There’s My greatest reward is self-satisfaction and fulfillment. You feel this misconception in our society and people tend to look down on satisfied that you can make money yourself. people who are physically challenged. When people think I can’t do
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I AM A REAL PROPHET - WOLI AROLE
Bayegun Oluwatoyin, popularly known as Woli Arole, is one of the comedians on the rise in this part of the country. His choice of comedy however is what sets him apart from his counterparts - Arole connects and touches lives with his brand comedy which is usually in a prophetic guise. The graduate of Psychology from the Obafemi Awolowo University is keen on taking his brand worldwide and hopes to keep sharing fun and happiness with people everywhere. How did you make the shift from psychology to comedy? Tell us one thing about you that no one else knows? There was really no shift. Psychology is what I studied, and comedy is an I am a real prophet. I see real visions and I give real prophecies. It is not a inborn gift. For me, both just complement the other. joking thing (laughs…). It is a gift and I have people who can testify to this. That is the reason why my jokes are not the regular kind. Tell us what the Arole brand is all about? My brand is that of happiness, fun and laughter. Basically, I’m a comedian How do you combine your love for comedy and the ministerial calling? but Í am also an actor. All I do is share happiness and fun with people. I Well, that is why I created Woli Arole to enable that fusion. As I’m doing the started six years ago, but the Woli Arole part of the brand started only comedy part, I’m also using the opportunity to preach unity, a good life and last year. different messages that cut across all religion. Would you call winning Alibaba’s Spontaneity Competition the turning point for you? Even though I won the second season of Alibaba’s Spontaneity Competition, I wouldn’t say that was my breakthrough. That would be back when I was in Obafemi Awolowo University when I held a show at the Amphitheatre. The show was such a hit that its news got carried to the outside world. What Alibaba’s show did for me was just a bit of showcase to the outside world that there is someone called Arole. How has the reception been for you and the comedy? It has been incredible. The acceptance has been global. We plan to start performing outside Nigeria as we have started receiving invitations from different countries.
Will you someday own your Church or Ministry? I am already in one; comedy for me is a ministry. When people hear my jokes they get healed, my perception of comedy is different. What do you like most about Ibadan? Ibadan is indigenous. It has a connection to my roots. It is a fantastic, quiet, serene and peaceful place to be. There is a lot serenity has to do with creativity and productivity. What don’t you like? It isn’t really exposed but there is a lot of exposure coming in already. Where is your favorite amala joint? Any Iyadunni location in Ibadan. There is one along the expressway, one at Challenge, one at Aleshinloye. You should know I’m an Iyadunni fan. In fact I should be an ambassador.
“My brand is that of happiness, fun and laughter. Basically, I’m a comedian but I am also an actor.”
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Popularly known as Moreklue, Ademola Ajibola is the CEO of MoreKlue Group, a media and events company based in Ibadan. Ademola is the brain behind the annual Moreklue All Youth Awards (MAYA) and Pacesetters Awards. He is also a movie producer, a TV content developer and a passionate son of the soil. Here, he talks about his company, drives, challenges and aspirations. Introduction My name is Ademola Ajibola and I am the CEO of Moreklue Group. I am a magazine publisher, a movie producer and a TV content writer. I also organize two prestigious awards you may know of; the Moreklue All Youths Awards (MAYA) and the Pacesetters Awards. I had my primary school education at St Catherine School Jericho, and then at Ibadan Boys High School before going to bag a degree in Economics at the Osun State University. How did you get involved in media? I have always had an interest in media and entertainment. Before gaining admission into the University, I was involved in writing stories and participating in movies production because I wanted to be an actor but in 2006, I had the opportunity of running a couple of promotions for Gabriel Afolayan which certain people liked. After that, I started freelancing my media services to people and I continued with this even through my University days. Why did you choose to create these awards? Both awards were created to celebrate those that are breaking grounds in their chosen career fields. Moreklue All Youth Awards (MAYA) is strictly meant for the youths while Pacesetter’s Award was designed specifically to celebrate Oyo State indigenes/residents who are putting the State on the map through their actions and their profession. Do you subscribe to the thinking that Ibadan is generally not a viable destination for business? Personally, I believe so much in the Ibadan project. There is a reason why certain brands choose to launch their products here. If you can get people in Ibadan to subscribe to what you do, you can get anyone a n y w h e re i n
Nigeria to buy your product. However the buying power here is very low but I think that will get better over time especially with the advent of malls in the city. Some people believe that movies produced in Nigeria are of low quality, why is this so? The general problem boils down to brand support. How many companies can set aside funds to help produce a movie? Most prefer to jump on projects that are already “cooked” and until there exists a kind of embrace between brands and industry, then there will always be questions over the quality. It will amaze you to know that a lot of superstars in the Yorùbá movie industry receive below thirty thousand naira for a shoot, so how do you expect the best from such people? Many think the State government can do more in pushing tourism in the city? More? They have done nothing! Take the Splash FM Integrity Marathon, that is the first marathon of its kind in Africa and 8 years after, the government is yet to get on that train. The first time Lagos did theirs, they had their government’s support. These are the questions we have to ask ourselves and until our government participates and partners with various brands in the city, the changes we crave for won’t come quickly. How do you unwind in Ibadan? I love to watch movies so I tend to visit the cinemas a lot. What do you love about Ibadan? Ibadan is a city of many firsts and that is one thing I absolutely love about it. Another thing is the tranquility. You can’t get that anywhere else. Where is your favourite amala spot in Ibadan? Amala Iya Hadija at Iyana Adeoyo.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 70
DEMO PUMPIN: IBADAN’S NEW SKIT KING
Egbeleke Ademola Owolabi, popularly known as Demo-pumpin, is a rising social media sensation, online publicist and comic based in Ibadan. Popularly known for his short skits on Instagram, the University of Ibadan alumnus and Tecno Mobile ambassador took some time out to talk on the man behind the camera and the things that make him tick. How did you get into the business of online publicity? I have always been the clown of the house… (laughs). For as long as I can remember, I make everyone laugh without trying too hard. During my undergraduate days, I decided get serious with this funny business and my first stint at this was to anchor my department’s dinner in 200 level. It turned out to be a roaring success and I started getting invitations for other programmes after that. Along the line, I decided to take my craft to the social media and that was how it all began. How long have you been doing this? I started out in 2010 and this makes it my 6th year in the industry. If I’m to be honest, four out of those six years, were spent goofing around. I was just finding fun in what I was doing. How were you able to make the transition from the University to the outside world? It was all about meeting the right people and going to the right places at the right time. Back in school, I was a very sociable person and this helped me meet lots of people who have contributed to where I am today. How important has the social media been to building your brand? Its impact has been enormous. It helped bridge networking gaps and I have met lots of people I never would have dreamt of meeting in decades. What makes you different from your peers? Number one is my attention to details. I also try as much as possible not to be vulgar in my skits and this reason in particular was why I was able to land an endorsement with Tecno Mobile. Describe Ibadan people in one word? Fantastic and contented! Those are two words, I know (laughs) One thing about you most people don’t know? I’m a very accomplished swimmer. I could actually have gone pro. Which is your favorite amala spot in Ibadan? Skye lolo. What is that one thing that you like about Ibadan? I think the language and the peace that abounds in Ibadan. There is no pressure everything is calm. How do you relax in Ibadan? I watch movies a lot and also listen to music. I believe in Made in Nigeria music which is why 70% of the music I listen to is Nigerian. Tell us one thing about you that people don’t know. I can be very shy, a lot of people don’t believe given my line of work.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 71
The Xpandables is a dance duo that consists of Ogunbakin Oluwafemi Michael and Onaifo Opeyemi, two Lead City University graduates quickly capturing the attention of the Nigerian entertainment industry with their energetic choreography. Hello, can we meet you? Speedope: I am Onaifo Opeyemi, a Mass Communication graduate of Lead City University. I’m from Edo State and I’m one half of The Xpandables. FemiGinger: I’m Ogunbakin Oluwafemi Michael, an Economics graduate of Lead City University. I’m from Ondo State and I am the other half of The Xpandables.
How did you guys meet? Speedope: Actually Femi and I met in 2003 when we danced together for the Xplicit dance group. Then we got separated for a year after we went for our National Youth Service. But in 2014 we got back together and decided to form what is now known as The Xpandables. You guys have been appearing in a lot of music videos lately, how does that make you feel? It’s a great feeling and it’s all thanks to the social media, Instagram especially. We post dance videos every week and that was how we started gaining recognition. We have known Olamide for a long time but we lost touch with each other. He finally contacted us through Instagram by reposting one of our dance videos. Since then, we’ve
been in videos like his ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Oya Dab’. We have also appeared in two of Skales’ videos as well as others. There are so many music video dancers and choreographers in the industry today, how do you want to be remembered from the rest? FemiGinger: Even though many of us these days are graduates and well learned, dancers are still being profiled by the society as “jobless” or “unserious”. We are trying to destroy this stereotype and we hope to change this mentality through our dance. Hopefully we have started making some progress. Where do you get your inspiration from? We glean our creative inspiration from what we see around us. Also, our family is the passion that drives us. What’s your take on the entertainment industry in Ibadan? The industry has been making giant strides lately. We have lots of artistes that are doing well and making us proud but we all still need to come together to support one another whether you are a choreographer, singer or a producer. On October, 1959, the Western Nigerian Television, (now Nigerian Television Authority Ibadan) became the first television station to be established in Africa. Anike Agbaje Williams is the first woman ever to appear on the station.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 72
IN PURSUIT OF
The Ibadan born ﬁlmmaker is slowly building himself an impressive portfolio ﬁlled with works like Bodhisattva and most recently, a three part series titled Sex. Known among his peers as Mr. Tunez Filmmaker, Tunez’s work is intriguing. We approached the talented young and spoke on his life, ambitions and where he thinks the entertainment industry in Ibadan is heading.
When did you discover your passion for ﬁlmmaking? Filmmaking for me started right from secondary school. My friends and I would write and create stage dramas, then we would beef them up with sound tracks strategically, put suspense filled queues just to keep our audience glued to their seats. However, I started professionally after taking a short film course in 2014. What do you make of Ibadan as a prime location for the movie industry? Quite frankly, Ibadan is a growing industry especially when it comes to filmmaking. We have lots of filmmakers with potentials but of course, there is still the need to work harder. Entertainment in Ibadan is something that is bound to become a very lucrative venture. In what ways has the city impacted your ﬁlmmaking career? Ibadan is my home always and she has done a whole lot for me. My photography days started here; this is where I built my range of clients and where I chose to establish my brand. I shot my first music video here as well. Ibadan has been nothing but good to me.
talent and ability to interpret the role they audition for. For now, I am more interested in developing new talents since I cannot afford A-list artistes right now. Any current/future projects in the works? I just completed a 4 web series titled SEX (secret, enthrall and xenomania). Also, I’m working on a feature film with some stakeholders in the film industry and work on it has already started. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years? Wow! That’s a big question. I see a big filmmaker breaking barriers and building bridges between Nollywood, Hollywood and other great film industries with the sole aim of promoting entertainment, world peace and other humanitarian needs. How do you relax in Ibadan? I relax by talking, gisting and hanging out with friends and family. Do you like amala? Yes I do. With agemawo and fish. Do you plan to ever premier your movies in cinema’s located here in Ibadan? I would love to, however I have no plans yet.
What are some of the things people don’t know about you? Well, I own a shoe brand called Tunez Shoes, I do voice over for adverts and jingles, I released an album with friends in 2007 and What problems are usually associated with ﬁlmmaking? Well, making movies is a capital intensive venture and the basic also, I am a teacher (lecturer) and a public speaker. obstacle all filmmakers face is funding. Whether it’s a two-minute video or an hour film, it all requires good equipment, a capable crew What do you love most about Ibadan? and good editing. Funds affects all things from pre-production to The serene environment...the fact that the cost of living is very low. post production and most of the other problems can be addressed It’s a very comfortable place to be. when money is available. As a director, what are the things you look out for during casting? I tend to look for personality, their command of English, ﬂexibility,
PEOPLE’S EDITION 73
D J S E X C Y Oluwafemi Ayogbesan better known around town as DJ Sexcy, is one of Ibadan’s nightlife oldest faces having started his career as a DJ since 2002. Staying true to his art, Femi has always let his music do the talking for him and more than 14 years his music has spoken volumes while he’s manned the turntables. The tables have however turned as he breaks the silence and opens up on how far he has come and how much farther he has to go…
try to keep myself grounded because I know that I’m not where I want to be yet. The market in Ibadan has evolved from those days. Social life has improved greatly, and this has helped the business.
There are more DJs now than there were when you started, do you see this as competition? Well everybody has his style. I have my ways of doing things, and that distinguishes me from others. I also have a reputable standard which I have built, and that can match up with the standard anywhere Kindly tell us a little about yourself My name is Oluwafemi Ayogbesan but they call me DJ Sexcy. I am in the world. Competition and challenges to me are normal. an event person; I am a DJ and play at events, I also do lighting, event management and mixing of CDs for clients. I finished from Being a DJ from Ibadan how is the reception outside the city? I have a good relationship with others in my line of work. I am a Polytechnic of Ibadan, and I am a professional DJ. member of the DJ Association of Nigeria, and once you are good at your work, you will be well received and respected. When did you start as a profession DJ? I was already a DJ back in 2000, but I didn’t start doing this professionally until around 2002/2003. I love entertainment from Can you tell us which event you consider being the biggest you the onset, especially music. I started with hosting social functions have handled in your career? I think I rock the majority of the big shows in Ibadan; Laffmatazz, that my department organised back at the Polytechnic of Ibadan. Havana Festival, LafUp Comedy Show, Palms experience and I have also been the official DJ for Beat FM, NYSC Orientation Camp Why did you choose to be a DJ in a time when it wasn’t as respected Concert for the past four years. I have also played in some of the big clubs in Ibadan and worked with so many A-list artists in Nigeria. as it is today? I believe passion is important in everything one does. I fell in love with music and entertainment right from my childhood so it was not Do you help upcoming artists through your work? I don’t charge them, and I can point out a lot of the artists that have difficult going into the profession. had an impact on their music career. Artists just have to be humble You are acknowledged around the city as Ibadan’s premier DJ, how and sing good music. have you evolved and what had changed from when you started in 2002? Well, I make sure that my passion for the job doesn’t dwindle. I also
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 74
When the option of radio came along for Wale, he seized the opportunity with no expectation of getting the job. An extrovert by nature, Wale was offered the job, and change came in the form of radio and getting relocated to Ibadan in 2013. Not only has he taken over as a radio personality on The Beat but his talents extend beyond radio. Currently the go-to hype man for events, Wale Ozolua has taken over event hosting with his electric personality. His goal since moving to Ibadan city is to put Ibadan on the map. His selďŹ‚ess outlook is done to give Ibadan a voice and help Ibadan stand toe to toe with every other city when it comes to the entertainment industry. Through the fame and hype that being an on-air personality brings, Wale can stay grounded and focused on family and learn from past mistakes.
PRINCE TEMILADE ADEWUYI
Prince, contrary to popular belief, is an introvert by nature despite his heavy involvement in the entertainment industry. His move to Ibadan happened 5 years ago from Maiduguri. He started planning parties and events about 4 years ago, a year after relocating. His popularity in the world of entertainment took dedication, vision and prayers. Currently the host of the famous pool and grill cookout held twice a month, he continues to dominate the event-planning scene in Ibadan. Despite the fame that comes with living in the public eye Prince has managed to stay level headed and focused on his craft.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 75
Meet Joseph Alfred Abdallah and Sorple Sheed Cecil, the creative duo behind the name, Blake Arts.
What is Blake Arts all about? J: It’s going so well, we have started developing plans and projects. We do anything and everything art. We consider everywhere our canvas. We design shirts, make portraits, caricatures, graffiti and Can you talk about them? much more. J: We have plans to do something for Ibadan. Nobody actually knows what the city will look like with graffiti. We plan to select areas When did you start? in Ibadan and make graffiti that has to do with the African culture Joe: Officially, Blake Arts started when we met in 2012 although I which will invoke memories even for coming generations. have been doing stuff on my own before then. After I met Sorple, I realized he was the only artist I could work with because he Who are those on your clientele list? possessed the same drive that I had. S: We have done some things for Lead City University, Babcock University, Filmhouse Cinema, CBC Building in Lagos, Absolut Vodka, How has it been thus far and has art been everything you imagined? and Chivas Regal. We also did caricatures for almost every guest at Sorple: It’s been awesome. Ibadan appreciates art in a totally Audu Maikori’s birthday. different way. They like it when it involves them.
People know him as Roy but his full name is Oluwadurotimi Olaolu Adegboyega Ige. He moved to Ibadan in 2008 when he finished at the Federal University of Technology Mina. Roy’s inﬂuence on the entertainment industry especially in Ibadan started the moment he took the low paying print media job at Tribune upon his move to Ibadan. His timing couldn’t have been more perfect as he came at a time when Ibadan needed voices to speak up for them. He currently heads the daily entertainment desk at Tribune, which has only increased his inﬂuence in entertainment. He is passionate about Ibadan, and I believe that soon Ibadan will be a hub for entertainment. What grounds Roy is his supportive wife and family. He said, “I feel this life is too short and the only things that are with you till the end is family.”
PEOPLE’S EDITION 76
BEHIND THE WHEELS OF STEEL: A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH
Popoola Gafar Olatunbosun, best known around these parts as DJ Gavpop is the resident DJ for Splash 105.5 FM. He was recently crowned the best in Nigeria at last year’s Nigeria Broadcasters Merit Award (NBMA) in the process becoming the ﬁrst DJ from Ibadan to earn such an accolade. Gavop’s tenacity and exploits from behind the wheels of steel recently helped him become the ofﬁcial DJ for the Ooni of Ife. He reminisces on his journey so far. Unknown to most, you studied Banking and Finance in the state polytechnic. How come you found yourself in this line of work? I have a passion for music and considering the fact that I didn’t have a good voice to pursue a singing career was what made me decide to become a DJ. I started professionally fourteen years ago and even though it has its ups and down, the whole journey has been a fulfilling experience How have you been able to evolve over time in the business? I was not forced into the profession, and so I have been passionate about this from the word go. Over these fourteen years, I have been able to improve my skills, equipment and also all round packaging. How do conditions today compare to when you started out? Things were a bit dull, and social life was not up to the par its on today. Back then to get a CD bag was even a difficult task but now
everything has changed even from the tech standpoint. We now have lots of software that makes our work easier. What will you call the biggest highlight of your career? I have handled so many great shows inside and outside Ibadan, but the biggest point will be when I won the best DJ in Nigeria at the last NBMA (Nigeria Broadcasters Merit Award). I have been nominated three times and to be the first DJ from Ibadan to do that was just immense for me. Also, it might be worth it to mention that I have been conferred as the official DJ for the Ooni of Ife, something that is of great pride to me. What do you do on the side? I have a DJ school in Ibadan where I teach those that are interested in being a DJ.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 77
T U N D E Y
Meet Akintoroye Tunde (aka TundeyGTS), Gberatinrin Studios’ front man and one of the most versatile artistes in the music industry today. Tundey ﬁrst exploded onto the scene in 2011 after collaborating with Gberatinrin Studios on the Virus mixtape. One year later he was signed to the label and he released his ﬁrst single titled Na e (audio and video), followed by Dundu and the remix which featured Reminisce. In this Interview, Tundey bares his mind on his love for music, entertainment in Ibadan and his personal life. Can we meet you? My name is Tunde Akin Akintoroye and my stage name is Tundey Fatundey. I have a hit single called Igboro which earned me the alias, Igboro Aye (laughs). I grew up in Ondo State where I had my primary and secondary school education before gained admission to study Chemistry at the Obafemi Awolowo University. I got signed to Gberatinrin Studios in 2012 and a year later I dropped my first single titled, Na e. Was there ever a time when you considered quitting music? Yes! There was a time I had to move to Lagos to look for other jobs, but my love for music turned out to be stronger than I realized at that time. Do you feel music artists in Ibadan are unfairly stereotyped? Yes, I do. It’s quite bafﬂing that artistes based here still don’t command the respect they deserve and that is despite the fact that we have produced big names like Olu Maintain, Skuki, Sean Tizzle among others. It pisses me off when people listen to good music and they are surprised that the artiste is from Ibadan. Do you think the government is doing enough to support artists based in Ibadan? Yes and no. They are trying their best but let’s be frank, more can always be done. Not so long ago, there was a round table function with the Governor where they allowed city based artists to perform but we can’t keep having political functions and only artists from outside the city are allowed to play. You’ve been around the Ibadan entertainment scene longer than most, what still needs to be done? There is a disparity in our entertainment scene that needs to stop. A lot of people in the industry rarely support one another and we often forget that united we stand and divided, we fall. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? So much. If I had known, I would rather have studied Music as a course than Chemistry and sometimes I am a music producer too, I want to do more in terms of music. But make no mistake, I love what I do. What do you love about Ibadan? I love the ambiance of Ibadan and then its brown roofs. The people of Ibadan also support their own and I love that, the commercial and entertainment is growing as well. How do you relax in the city? I love watching movies and animations. I also like meditating and reading. Where is your favourite amala joint in Ibadan? Inastrait at Mokola. Tell us something that most people do not know about you. I make a mean barbecue. Unknown to most, I am also quite the jovial person most of all, most don’t know I’m a happily married man.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 78
The passing of ex-Green Eagles midﬁelder, Mudasiru Babatunde Lawal on July 6, 1991 at 37 years of age was a great tragedy that was mourned with genuine feeling throughout the footballing continent, yet that sentiment was strongest in the city of Ibadan. After all, Muda Lawal was more than arguably the Shooting Stars of Ibadan’s greatest player. He deﬁned an era, and catapulted club and country into world consciousness with his creativity, skill and demeanour. He still holds the record of ﬁve consecutive appearances at the African Cup of Nations and who could forget his all-conquering season in 1976 when he helped the Shooting Stars of Ibadan to the African Cup Winners Cup - the ﬁrst Nigerian team to do so. In 2003, his contribution to the game earned him a posthumous award for football development on the continent from the Confederation of African Football (CAF). In this exclusive feature, Bolanle Muda-Lawal, daughter of the late Nigerian football legend opens up on what her father was like while she was growing up and what it meant being the child of one of the greatest footballer to have donned the blue of the Shooting Stars … Bolanle Muda Lawal didn’t understand what all the fuss about her father was, even after his death. As a child, she admits that it was confusing to understand the fame which surrounded him which is quite understandable given the way her father tried to raise her and her siblings. While alive, Muda was well known in and outside football as a down to earth guy and one that was tremendously humble. Asked if this transferred to the home front, Bolanle reminisces… “Despite all the fame, my dad was a typical Yoruba man; very principled but equally loving at the same time. I remember that despite having a privileged upbringing, we still couldn’t behave anyhow and a lot of that was thanks to him.” Bolanle, who grew up in Ibadan, her father’s old hunting ground (she had her primary education at the famed Nickdel, and then later graduated from St. Louis) knows the weight her last name carries. Asked how she copes with the pressure of being the daughter of a legend, she says it has become a normal part of the routine. “These days, some people know, others don’t. I just try not to let it dictate the way I relate to others or the way they talk to me.” This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Muda-Lawal. Bolanle feels indifferent about the extent of the NFF’s contribution to the remembrance of her father and doesn’t know if anything special has been proposed just yet. “I remember the former Commissioner of Sports in Oyo State, Dapo Lam Adesina was the only one that did a thing or two. There is nothing much happening right now although we had a special occasion in Abuja during the 20th year remembrance so something may yet happen. We have been hearing that the government might do something this year but nothing is concrete so far.” A close look at the woman she has grown into it is evident that Bolanle Muda-Lawal cuts the figure of one who has been toughened by years of trying to eclipse the shadow of her father in favour of making her own name in her chosen field. Besides being a successful model, Bolanle owns BML Couture, a thriving fashion label she started some years back. On if her father’s name often opened doors for her she says, “In my line of business, I don’t think I have to go through someone to get things done, so I am trying to build my career and also build my own.” Bolanle has four other siblings that Muda gave birth to before passing away. When asked if any of her siblings inherited the silky soccer skills of their father Bolanle laughs and says, “Believe it or not, I am actually more into basketball than football. My brother was going to follow dad’s footsteps but there was a lot of pressure on several fronts and now he is into fashion as well.”
PEOPLE’S EDITION 79
I T O U C H E Meet Itunnu Olowolaju, a ﬁne artist, African fashion enthusiast and rebel, in the best sense of the word. In a generation that is getting increasingly westernized, Itunnu wants to restore the pride of African fashion. His passion for what he does – reviving local textile traditions, championing high quality craftsmanship and making sure decency stays in our fashion – is quite frankly infectious. Here we spoke to the young man on what drives him on… Does your interest in Fine Arts inﬂuence your fashion designs? Yes, absolutely. I developed a passion for African fashion after I got admitted into the Obafemi Awolowo University to study Fine Arts. I started my designs with prints like adire, batik, ankara and at a point, I even went as far as using clay/bamboo for my buttons. Looking back now, all this only helped shape my interest in indigenous fashion. How were the early days as an entrepreneur? Despite my initial fears, it turned out that quite a lot of people liked what I was trying to do. I remember when some foreign exchange students came around. They were visiting the Osun-Oshogbo groove and they wanted to look as African as possible so they asked me to style them. I must have done a good job because on getting back from the groove, each of these 25 students ordered for 5 more attires each. That was huge money for me back then and it
further encouraged me to delve into African arts and fashion. Why the interest in indigenous African fashion? I want to use my brand of fashion to preach the African culture and integrity in fashion. It’s no secret that our generation has become far too western and we are abandoning our own traditions. I-Touche Clothing is just a way of merging these two worlds without losing the consciousness of our own origin or our morals. You will never find any of my designs that promote indecent exposure of the body. Where do you get your inspiration from? For me creativity is something spiritual so mine definitely comes from God. Even the first idea ever for fashion comes from the Bible when Adam and Eve had to clothe themselves. The name I- Touche? The word I- Touche came from the inspiration of God, might sound a bit spiritual now but I recognise God in everything I say or do. The I in I-Touche represents ‘I am’ so I took the I and added it to the touch of God and since eight years now, I carry the brand name I- Touche. Its been God so far. Do you have any future plans? I have a lot of plans for the fashion industry and I hope to one day start my own textile company.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 80
SEUN NATURAL Seun Natural, one of the newest talents in the music industry, has always had a passion for the arts. From drumming in church, to singing, composing and dancing, he has always known that he was creative and would ﬁnd no other path in life but that which led him to using his creative talents.
Where did your love for music come from? I started at the church as a drummer boy. I was in the children’s choir in my dad’s church; I’d focus on dance. One day I thought to myself I can do music. So I started by writing, I wrote a song and performed with the choir. However professionally music started with ’Explicit’, the dance group I was in. From being a dancer I diversified and it is my opinion that I’m better doing music than I ever was as a dancer. How did the name Seun Natural come about? I used to be called honey boy, at that time I was in a dance group called ’Explicit’. Anytime we were doing morning or night devotion, I would lead in the music department. So I’d just sing, I’d do the Fuji, the hip-hop, the RnB; I’d combine it all. And my boss at the time called me and said, “What is honey about you? You don’t know you’re natural; just be Seun Natural.” Have you always known you were creative? I’ve always known I’m creative. The Bible says, “Your talents will make room for you. I’ll make you sit with kings.” That has been my motto since I was little. I act, I sing, I write and I dance. The talent is the talent. Were your parents supportive? Mr. and Mrs. Ojeyinka big shout out to them! I come from a very supportive family. I’m blessed. Any new music we should look out for? Yes, I have one going on presently “Higher” which is really enjoying massive air play. I have a lot of projects on ground that we’re working on so watch out for them.
䰀䤀嘀䔀⸀ 䰀伀嘀䔀⸀ 倀䰀䄀夀
⼀⼀吀愀渀琀愀氀椀稀攀爀猀 䈀甀椀氀搀椀渀最Ⰰ 䴀漀欀漀氀愀 刀漀甀渀搀 愀戀漀甀琀Ⰰ 䤀戀愀搀愀渀⸀ ⼀⼀ 倀愀氀洀猀 䴀愀氀氀Ⰰ 䤀戀愀搀愀渀
27TH MAY, 2016
倀攀爀昀甀洀攀 PERFUME 匀栀漀瀀 䤀䈀䄀䐀䄀一
刀攀栀漀戀漀琀栀 倀氀愀稀愀Ⰰ 䈀攀猀椀搀攀 䄀渀挀攀 䈀甀椀氀搀椀渀最Ⰰ 䨀攀爀椀挀栀漀Ⰰ 䤀戀愀搀愀渀 眀眀眀⸀琀栀攀瀀攀爀昀甀洀攀猀栀漀瀀椀戀⸀挀漀洀 ⬀㈀㌀㐀 㠀 ㈀ 㔀㔀㠀 ㈀㈀㘀㘀
瀀攀爀昀甀洀攀猀栀漀瀀ⴀ䤀䈀 琀栀攀瀀攀爀昀甀洀攀猀栀漀瀀椀戀 瀀攀爀昀甀洀攀猀栀漀瀀椀戀愀搀愀渀
PEOPLE’S EDITION 90
When Simi Adejumo aka Simidrey decided to move back to Nigeria from the UK after completing her degrees in Broadcasting, Journalism and Communications at Glyndwr University, she had a mission in mind, to dominate the Nigerian entertainment industry. Simi drey’s story is one of vision mixed with clarity and good timing. Tell us, what inspired your love for television and media entertainment? Initially I was on track to studying psychology, but after I sent in my application I realized I didn’t think I had the patience to deal with people’s problems for the rest of my life. I mean I have my own problems (she laughs with all genuineness). Many complain about not getting jobs upon returning to Nigeria. What was moving back like for you? I came back in November and I started registering for my NYSC. My plan was to do NYSC and if I could find a job within that year I’d stay and if not I’d go back. But before I actually officially started NYSC my mum heard an advert on cool FM about their TV station looking for presenters. So I went with my CV and I was like, please hire me! And I got the job. It was absolutely terrifying, I didn’t think I was ready for it but at the end of the day all I needed to do was put on a smile and say the first thing that came to my head hoping it made sense. I was with them for almost 2 years. Now I’ve started working with Spice TV and have a show “Bargain Hunters” airing at the moment. What connects you to Ibadan? Ibadan is my home away from home. My dad is from Ibadan, and I’ve always seen myself relating to Ibadan. Every time I came to Nigeria I would stay in Ibadan and I did my high school in Ibadan. I went to ISI for 3 years so Ibadan is more of home to me than Lagos even though I now work in Lagos. Even though I grew up In London, Ibadan still feels like home to me. I love how everything is so chilled, how there’s no traffic, I love that I can get from one end of Ibadan to the other in 30 minutes. And I think I love the mentality behind the people. Everyone is friendlier; I think in Lagos everyone has more of a sort of façade, that front. What is in the works for you moving forward with your career? I model as well, so I’ve been doing a few modeling jobs. I’ve modeled for GTB and other companies, now I’ve started dabbling into acting so I’ve just finished doing a production with Ebony Life TV “The Governor” and that should be out soon. When that comes out that will be my first debut as an actress in Nigeria. I’m so excited. How have you evolved as a presenter in comparison to when you were “fresh off the boat?” I think I’m definitely more confident; I definitely have a specific style of presenting whereas at first I was still trying to find my feet. Now I know how to read a script and still make it my own. I just want to achieve more success in all the fields I do; I want to start my own business as well which I won’t talk about now but by the end of the year I want to have set up and started running it. But yeah, I just want to be better. What would you advice up and coming presenters and aspiring ones? If media is your dream, I would advise you to get as much experience as you can in university. University is the best period to make the most of yourself and to get your CV up and running. I would say keep yourself grounded; your true friends will always remain your true friends but along the line you might find some people changing, but keep being strong, keep doing what you do and keep doing your best.
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 91
PEOPLE’S EDITION 92
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW
IBADAN - ARAMIDE
If you did not know, contemporary afro-soul/jazz singer, Aramide Sarumoh is not your typical artiste. It took less than ﬁve minutes with this amazing songstress to realise that she is an embodiment of talent, beauty and brains. Can you introduce yourself? I am Aramide Sarumoh, I am a soul/jazz artiste. I play the guitar as well as the saxophone. Most people don’t know this but I am actually from Ibadan. How did you come about your passion for music? I grew up in a music oriented family and that is where I developed my love for music. I have been writing songs since my high school days so music has always been part of me for a long time now. What can you say about the state of entertainment in Ibadan? Ibadan is definitely coming up. There are more artistes coming out of the city and making it out there. Also, Ibadan is playing host more frequently to different entertainment shows and events and the best part of it is the improved response from the people. For example, Gbenga Adeyinka’s Laffmattaz had an impressive turnout and that is certainly a positive thing. How would you describe your kind of music? I love soul and jazz music; I think they suit my kind of person. I like to tell stories and Afro-soul affords me the opportunity to do so. How does it feel to know you have fans in Ibadan? It is fantastic. It is a nice feeling hearing people sing along to my songs. What’s your favourite meal when you come into town? …(laughs) Amala of course!
PEOPLE’S EDITION 93
FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC
Lucas Ried, a creative music video director and alumnus of the University of Ibadan.
You have made a name for yourself directing mega-hit videos for top celebrities. How did this journey start and what inspired it? My ﬂare for music was noticeable to everyone. I would rush to watch the videos of my favourite songs and picture what my videos would look like if I produced the music videos. So, after university, I went for a motion picture course in South Africa. What are your ties to Ibadan? I was born in Ibadan, went to school in Ibadan, and I am from Ibadan. How challenging was it penetrating the industry and now that you are in it how hard is it to stay at the top of your game? The industry is very competitive. I started as an editor to Tosin Igho and Patrick Elis. I edited videos such as Wiz kid’s show you the money, Iyanya’s kukere, Praiz’ mercy and much more. Working with them only made me come out stronger and enabled my dream to become a reality. What are some of the challenges directing videos has in Nigeria and how do you work around some of those problems ensuring you produce something you can stand behind creatively and industry standard wise? Challenges only make you stronger and better. Location scouting, managing people and time in production are critical and a few times it hasn’t been an easy task, but it has only helped me to see things
in different perspective, that has helped enhance my work.
Are you currently working on anything new and could you share some of your upcoming projects with us? I recently shot Sexy Steel’s video for his upcoming singles. I also have a video I directed for PSA productions a Banky W company and a lot of other jobs coming out soon. So keep a look out. What is your trajectory for your career in the next ﬁve years? Where do you see yourself? I see myself running a very big production house, creating music, music videos, and entertainment generally for the enjoinment of people. I also see myself as a household name in motion pictures globally. What is your favourite Amala spot whenever you’re in town? We’re taking a poll, and we’d love to know your choice of restaurant. Skye bank Bodija does it What makes Ibadan special to you? The roofs, the landmass, the people are unique, that’s what makes Ibadan special. As a response to non-admission of Christian girls to a girls mission school in Ibadan, Alhaja Humoani Alaga, a textile trader single handedly established Isabatudeen Girls’ Grammar School Ibadan in 1964.
PEOPLE’S EDITION 94
For 22 year old Ibadan-born afro hip-hop sensation, Aboriomoh Raymond Femi Abeke (otherwise known as Dremo), 2016 has been one hell of a year. He is co-signed to APPE Music Ent. (APG) and Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), his latest single “Fela” is enjoying massive airplay on radio. We caught up with charismatic Dremo as he talks us through exclusive events pertaining to his life and music career. Who is Dremo? My real name is Aboriomoh Raymond Femi Abeke. I am a 22 year old music artiste co-signed to APPE Music Ent. (APG) and Davido Music Worldwide (DMW). I was born and bred here in Ibadan. I went to Richmab for my elementary school, then George and Duke for my Secondary Education. Currently, I’m presently in the National Open University studying English Language. How did music start for you? Professionally, music started for me in 2013 when I got signed to A.P.P.E music which is an acronym for Absolute Passion Powers Everything. However, I first got interested in music through my cousin. He used to play me songs from DMX and co. then one day, he asked me to write a song. I managed to come up with something even though I was sure that what I wrote was whack but it was the moment I started writing songs. Your dad is a pastor. Is he supportive of your music? He is really cool with it and he has supported me since day one. How difficult was it breaking into the Nigerian music industry? At first, I thought it was going to be something difficult until God intervened. I’ve been doing music professionally for 3 years now. I slept in the studio for over one and a half years trying to get my sound right. Back then, nobody wants to call you for shows if you weren’t popular enough. When I got to Lagos last year, my first major connection was Davido. He heard my songs and liked what he heard and now I’m signed to his team. For the number one artist in Africa to listen to your song, be impressed and then sign you on; that is a major boost for your career. Normal Levelz announced you to the world. What is the story behind the song? I was on my way to church one Sunday when the car I was in broke down and so I had to resort to taking a bike. After church service, I went to the studio and met my producer making a new beat. I got into the ﬂow of things and started incorporating things that had happened earlier in the day into the lyrics. After that I made the hook to the song before dropping my verse. Ichaba (my label mate and featured guest on the track) heard the track and decided to drop some bars on it too and that was how we came about that single.
What made you shoot the visuals to the song here in Ibadan…? (Cuts in).... we didn’t want to shoot the video anywhere else but Ibadan. We had to look for a perfect location and we decided that the Trans Amusement park and Pleasure Summit Hotel will be the perfect fit. At the end of the day, one has to be a king in the village first before talking hold of a nation. How is your relationship with your other APPE Gang label mates, Flo and Ichaba? Our bond is very strong. From my publicists to my manager, we are all like one big family. Which do you like better? Stage performances or studio recordings? That’s a difficult one. Studio recordings has to do with creating the songs from scratch while for live performances, you already have the song. I prefer studio recordings because of the creative process involved. You are quite the lively performer, where do you get your stage energy from? It is God! I have the strength in me and I love to turn up, which is why they call me Oluwababanlaturnup(…laughs). What’s the biggest stage you’ve performed? That will be MTV”s All White party. Is there anything you do apart from music? Music is my life. That is my hustle and it’s what pays my bills. In the future, I hope to own a clothing line but that is later down the line. Tell us about your latest single ‘Fela’. The song is a tribute to the legend and it was inspired by a picture of Fela Anikulapo Kuti that I had seen earlier. We were at Davido’s house and I was playing about with his laptop. Before I knew it, I had downloaded the beat and recorded the song right there. What are some of the things people don’t know about you? I love watching cartoons and I sleep with my eyes open.
PEOPLEâ€™S EDITION 95
I SLEPT IN THE STUDIO FOR A YEAR
PEOPLE’S EDITION 96
You may recognize Adetomiwa Kukoyi from his stint on MNET’s comedy sitcom, The Johnsons or perhaps you attended one of the many events he has anchored, but make no mistake, acting and hosting events is just scratching the surface when it comes to this young man. The University of Ibadan Theatre Arts graduate is also a writer, model and performer. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started. I am Adetomiwa Kukoyi, a great grandson of the Egbo Family in Ijebu Ode in Ogun State. I am an actor, comedian and TV host. I am also an apprentice writer. I have short stories on www.ijebuboy.wordpress.com. My career kicked off professionally while at the University of Ibadan where I studied Theatre Arts. I got into the University of Ibadan in 2006 and quickly showed my interest in comedy. I remember one of the guys who took us through our orientation said, “If you love comedy, follow Lafup” which I did and it was from him I learnt most of the tricks of the industry. My first professional corporate event was anchoring the official launch of Tara Orekelewa Ibadan outlet. That was also through Lafup. How have you built such an excellent reputation in your line of work? By exceeding my expectations and that of the client’s and also by reinventing your art. Ensuring that no two events are anchored the same way. I don’t think there’s a client I’ve worked for only once. If you didn’t go into entertainment, what would you have been (in life)? I think I would have been either in the military, advertising or in foreign affairs. I still think there is a large probability I’ll end up in the third later in life. How have you been able to juggle being an actor, MC and comedian at the same time? I’ve always found this question to be tricky. It is hard to choose one art form over another. From spoken words to acting, writing, painting, dancing and then comedy, these are all art expressions I’ve learnt over the years and can express myself in. Put me on stage with a canvas, a mic, a set of drums and I guarantee you’ll get the worth for your money. Gun to your head, if you were asked to forfeit one of them for the others, which would it be? Ha! The gun would have to pop. Kuku kill me… What do you think is the entertainment industry’s biggest problem? Regulations and support. Have you seen the way Nigerians treat artistes and creative people generally? They claim to love them but never really let them be artistes. Secondly, everybody seems to just dabble into the industry without proper knowledge of what they want. Piracy too, do you know there are people who have invested millions into a movie in this country and never made a dime off it? Don’t even get me started on artiste’s welfare. Nollywood is the biggest film industry in the world and we don’t even have a movie village. There are no laws to jail people who tamper with our works, yet a typical movie location employs about 200 people. Describe yourself in one word. Amazing!
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CAKES & CONFECTIONERIES Exquisito’s journey started at the tender age of ten while I’d say all my clients. For kids your creative button has to just come watching her mother bake in the kitchen. She went to realize her up. And for people getting married, no two brides are the same. I get baking dreams and took Ibadan by storm with her creativity in strength from all of them. baking and various confectionery. What’s your advice for people venturing into the creative world? For them, I would say, ‘easy does it’. You can’t force people to like Let’s start with your full name. you, you must let them accept your brand, let them have confidence My name is Adeola Layade, born and raised in Ibadan. in what you do and that takes time. People want to know if you’re capable of performing and while they are studying you, they check Educational background I studied Psychology at the University of Ado Ekiti. I went to Slattery your persistence, they check your passion. If you don’t have a Patissier & Chocolatiers, Manchester in the UK, which is a cake passion for what you are doing, people will know. Just take things school. I did a lot of private courses under people like Tombi Peck. easy and put in your best. Passion isn’t money driven but money comes along because you put in your best. My main specialization back then was to be a chocolatier. How was it penetrating the system as a new business owner initially? When I started I never worked for anyone in Nigeria. Getting to Nigeria, I started my business from scratch, so I had to learn the hard way. I went to business school as well, plus my psychology background I knew that I had to study my environment. My branding Your background is in Psychology, but you knew you loved baking. was to serve the average man. I was in the middle. Later I served Why didn’t you just go ahead and do that since you already knew the one on top, because the percentage of the people on top is far less than the middle class. Most people need to understand that what you wanted to do? I studied psychology because as at the time I was in university most although we want to serve the rich, we need to know the people in parents were not as receptive to other forms of work outside the our environment and serve them first. professional careers. Even though I had the support of my parents, they would still want bragging rights to be able to say my daughter Any plans to expand beyond Ibadan? went to university and studied this. I think it was a good thing too We serve people outside Ibadan but we’re mobile, we go to Lagos because psychology helps me understand people, my environment, and Osun State at the moment. However we pick where we deliver; the logistics have to make sense. how to deal with my customers. How did this beautiful cake business come about? It started as a hobby. When I was about ten years old, my mum used to bake and I took interest. After secondary school I learned as an apprentice at Emon novelty cakes in Total Garden, Ibadan. Then after university I left the country to learn further.
What makes Ibadan special to you? Ibadan is very unique for me; most people don’t know there are a lot of opportunities in Ibadan. People feel it’s hard to make it in Ibadan Where does your inspiration come from when designing your and that makes it special. Ibadan people know what they want. They don’t just take any trash. They look at your consistency over time. cakes? I get my inspiration from studying people. I like artwork, In Lagos anything can sell, but Ibadan tells you this is what we want fabrics, anything around me that is artistic, I get my and this is how we want it. Most business owners don’t understand inspiration from. I’m always online, I Google a lot, that but for me I have come to understand what Ibadan wants. keep informed on the latest trends and get strength The people that succeed here have learned to understand the from other things and put it together to make my uniqueness and pattern of doing business here. As a part of Ibadan I give Ibadan what Ibadan wants and in return they encourage and business better. patronize me. Who do you enjoy baking for the most?
How long has it been since your business started? Over 7 years.
THE MAN CALLED
CEO of Y-North wears, Mr Bamiro Babalola Oluwaseun who initially started the business against all odds, at the moment has over 25 branches all over Nigeria and he remains one of the biggest advocates for Made in Nigeria products today. The young entrepreneur whose goal is to be self employed talks to us on how he started and other sundry matters… What’s your full name and how did you come to start this collection? My name is Bamiro Babalola Oluwaseun. I didn’t learn any shoemaking. I studied Computer Science at the Lagos State Polytechnic. Back in 2010 my girlfriend got me a pair of slippers as a gift and some of my friends who saw the footwear fell in love with it. So I decided to strike a deal with the shoemaker and that was how I started selling. Back then in order for the shoes to seem more fashionable, he would put foreign stickers on them until I challenged him. I decided to name the brand Y-North and that was how it begun. When did you start Y-North? What have been your challenges and how have you been able to overcome them? We launched Y-North in September 2010. When we started then, we had a lot of challenges most especially when it comes to dealing with the ‘made in naija’ mentality. Our products were good but when the name was not generic, it was hard to convince Nigerians. How has Ibadan been business-wise? Unlike some other places in Nigeria, growing a business in Ibadan is easier and also cheaper. The community here is friendly which has allowed us to grow into other states. We now have 25 branches all over Nigeria in places such as Ogbomosho, Akure, Abeokuta, Oyo, etc. What has been your best experience running Y-North? It has helped me meet a lot of people and I’ve also been able to advice the younger generation which actually motivates me because if you’re not doing well, nobody will call you and it’s something I’m very proud of. What is your advice to the next generation? Focus. They should focus because it is very important and after attaining some of their goals, marriage is also very important as it helps them focus on their goals and achievements. I got married early because I learnt in entrepreneurship that getting married helps you stay aligned to you objectives. Chief Theophilus Adediran Oni was the owner of T.A Oni and Sons, the first indigenous construction company in Nigeria. His philanthropy back in his days was a well-documented fact. Upon his death his residence was willed to the state government, to be used as a Paediatric Hospital. The hospital which is still at Ring-Road is known as T.A Oni Memorial Children Hospital.
P H I Z Z L E Fela aka Phizzle is from Ibadan and a man full of many talents. His climb to fame started about seven years ago and he’s been on a non-stop move to dominating Nigeria with his music.
called EyeCandy Media, a brand and consultancy company. My company is freelance based and is tailored to specific projects making it easy to evolve as a brand. Design is my natural talent.
Tell us a bit about your educational background. I hold a BS in Computer Technology and an MS in Information Systems Management.
What do you do as a graphics designer? The thing about design as it differs from music is that it requires a lot of talking with clients trying to bring out someone else’s vision and idea for their own company unlike in music which is centered on my own ideas and my own music.
You’re a man of many talents, what else apart from music do you do? I run a graphics and design company and I newly launched a fashion and lifestyle brand called OYL Signature. We recently debuted a jewelry line from the brand. Tell us about OYL Signature. What OYL Signature does is combine different pieces of tasteful work of different artists and puts them together. How did you get into Graphics Design? Graphics Design is more of a passion; I started it at the age of 16 and was able to turn it into a profitable business. I especially like designing logos, so over the past seven years I started a company
How does music tie into your other business ventures? Music still holds up a large and important place in my life. It takes up a lot of other aspects of my other passions and talents. I get to design my cover arts; I get to conceptualize my music, styling, production and these are almost everything that Icandy does. So I’m also a client of my company. Chief Salami Agbaje was one of Ibadan’s early successful indigenous entrepreneurs and richest citizens in his time. He was the first Ibadan man to ride a car in 1915 and the first to build a two-storey building, with cement.
The African Kids and Teens Fashion Week is a platform that showcases the best of African fashion for kids and teenagers. It is an avenue where all fashion stakeholders (designers, textile manufacturers and brands with products that concerns children) meet to discuss possibilities. According to Ajibola, the face behind the event, the African fashion industry for kids and teenagers in Africa has been widely underestimated and thus underutilized in spite of its ability in boosting economic activities and also creating jobs. He tells us more about why he started this event and what to expect from the fashion industry at large.
first day I told someone about hosting this event, I was introduced to a fashion designer who is an expert in the area of African fashion for children.
Why did you start African Kids and Teens Fashion Week? Our vision is to use fashion as a tool to improve the Nigerian economy. We want to see fashion brands at home and overseas with African clothes in their stores. My hope personally is to one day walk into stores in other continents and see African clothes for kids on display.
So are you of the opinion that the fashion industry can contribute to our economy? I see no reason why not. Till today, countries like England are heavily reliant on their fashion industry to generate cash inﬂow for their economy. I see no reason why we cannot as a country adopt the same approach. In my opinion, African fashion can become one of our biggest sources of revenue if given the opportunity.
What made you decide to host AKTFW here in Ibadan seeing that most people would rather do something like this in Lagos? Besides the obvious endless business opportunities in Ibadan, I love this city. I am very much a son of the soil. My dad is from Kudeti here in Ibadan and so I wanted to put the city on the map in my own way. When I wanted to start this show and we had to choose a location, I figured, ‘Why not bring international here? Why not bring Africa to Ibadan?’ What made you decide to focus on fashion for children? Unlike adults, children are very impressionable. Catch them young they say and if we can imbibe the younger generation with the mentality of wearing African fashion now, hopefully they’ll grow up appreciating it as adults and passing it down to their own children. What problems did you encounter at the beginning? Like most start-ups in Nigeria, funding was and remains one of our biggest obstacles. Most organizations would rather support a business with roots than one in its maiden edition and the case was more or less the same with us. It was quite difficult in the beginning but after we held the first edition, things began easing up. What is your relationship with the Bank of Industry? The fashion industry presently contributes roughly 0.47% to our GDP which amounts to billions of Naira but in the opinion of many, this is not enough. The industry has the capacity to do better and the Federal Government thinks so too which is why it released a billion Naira fashion fund to the Bank of Industry for those working in the fashion industry. An individual, business or designer can actually access up to 30M naira and it is BOI’s responsibility to enlighten people about this opportunity and to facilitate the funding process. Was it difﬁcult recruiting fashion designers? Not as difficult as one may think. For our last event, we had so many fashion designers that volunteered their services to us. In fact, the
Do you think the average Nigeria parent will be able to afford the clothes you showcase? Absolutely! We make sure these clothes are made in an elegant way but not in an overly sophisticated manner. An average dress for a kid will cost around N2,000 which is cheaper than what you find in most children boutiques of today.
Don’t you think the Nigerian mentality of ‘Homemade products are inferior to imported ones’ won’t affect such aspirations? Unfortunately that is still a monster we need to slay. This is where the media comes in as it is the best tool we have of circumventing this psychology. We are hopeful of getting a couple of indigenous A-list celebrity on board as ambassadors and hopefully this will push the African brand while debunking such fallacies in the process. Do you think Nigeria designers are well equipped for such projects? Yes I do. The drawback remains to increase our productivity. The market possibilities for this are endless and when this actually comes through, the designer will have to be able to meet up with the demand. While I hope the designers will be able to meet the demand when the time comes I also hope that the quality of work will meet up with the demand How do you intend to make these wears available commercially? Technology has made things easier these days. Our plan is to use e-commerce channels such Konga, Jumia and so on as distribution channels. There are also independent stores that are interested in getting on board. In addition to that, we are speaking to the Nigeria Export Promotion Council in order to facilitate exportation. The Nigerian fashion industry has made progress on the international scene lately but what else do you think the industry needs? What we need to do when it comes to our industry is standardization. The Chinese, Europeans and Americans all have different measurements that works for their children’s body structure. Same way we also need such standardization of fittings for our children especially those between the ages of 3 and 5.
OVERALLS Overalls is a Nigerian based fashion brand that is redeﬁning the footwear industry. Founded by four friends, the brand is known for stylish bespoke shoes at affordable prices. Yerima is one of the original founders and here he talks about what sets their brand aside and how they are circumventing the ‘Nigerian made’ cliché. What kind of shoes do Overalls make? We make custom bespoke shoes. Our main goal is to bridge the gap between the international market and the African one which is why we deal in high-end quality fabrics, soles and shoes at affordable prices. What makes Overalls so different from the rest? I think the problem with Nigerians is that we don’t reinvent the wheel enough. At Overalls, we always try to bring out something fresh without forgetting to add the Nigerian ﬂavour. I have noticed that whenever we release a new pair of shoe, we have others doing the same thing which only serves to remind us that we are heading in the right direction. Nigerians usually don’t trust ‘Made in Nigeria’ as opposed to generic names. How did you cope with this? What most people don’t realize is that every big name started out
small. We even had people advising us to imitate popular brands so that we can sell better but we learnt instead how these shoes were made. When we started out, we concentrated three quarters of our efforts on publicity. We paid for ads in Ovation, Complete Fashion amongst others and it us took almost three years before our brand started getting recognised. Now we have customers in China, Canada, Kenya and other places. How do you deal with competition? Because we don’t have copyright laws, certain things are much harder to deal with. Anybody can just steal your ideas like that (snaps fingers). We had cases of corporate espionage where people steal our workers with the promise of better pay only so that they can get to our ideas. At a point we had to move our factory because of infringement – there were people coming into our workshop to snoop around. Things like that are always going to happen but it’s just that if you’re consistent in what you do, you’ll thrive regardless. So far, how is doing business in Ibadan different from other places for you? It has been different. People in Lagos buy based on what is in vogue whereas those in Ibadan tend to buy more based on referrals but I have actually met more people in Ibadan who pay without bargaining than in Lagos.
Many young people across Nigeria are beginning to ignore the lure of white collar jobs in favour of setting up their own businesses. One of them is Onilude Babatunde, CEO of Onilu Prime, a one stop gadget house with branches in Ibadan. In this interview, the budding entrepreneur shares his story.
What is your educational background like? I had my primary and secondary school education here in Ibadan at Omolara Primary School and The International School, Ibadan respectively. Then I spent a year and half at University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) before attending Obafemi Awolowo University. I just rounded up my Masters in Engineering Management at the University of Ibadan. Where did you get the idea for starting Onilu Prime? I started in 2006 during my sophomore year at the university. Back then, I was solely into the repairs of gadgets before I later moved into sales (of laptops and phones). It was the positive response that I received back then from customers that motivated me to starting Onilu Prime. Given that youths in Nigeria are in a rush to get a white collar jobs, what was the driving force behind setting up your own business? Money (…laughs). I have this special lifestyle I’ve dreamt of living since I was a kid and I realized that working for someone isn’t the right way of getting there. While growing up, I was told that if you love to eat something, then you must be ready to prepare it yourself. Which other business ventures do you own? We have an arm called Onilu Consulting which handles consultancy
services for start-up businesses. We have consulted for over 30 start-ups in Nigeria. Asides this, there is Onilu Media which handles media jobs ranging from photography to graphic designing. From your point of view, has Ibadan been receptive enough for your business? It has been okay so far. We started from being an online store to having two actual ones and there are already plans of opening two more before the year closes out. Ibadan people have money which makes it a fertile ground for business. You only need to give them a good reason why they should spend their money. If you could start all over, what would you have done differently? So many things…I used to bake very well sometime ago and believe it or not, I am quite the cook. I tell people that my amala is the best in the world! (soft and succulent). So personally I think I would have done well in catering. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. I told you, I’m an excellent cook. How do you relax in the City? You’ll most likely find me at any of the cinemas. I also lounge at the Latitude Café. Where is Favourite amala Spot in the City? (Excitedly switches to Yoruba)…Ah Skye lolo ni o! Also known as OseOlohun Food Canteen beside Skye Bank.
Folusho, a University of Uyo graduate, started his business about four years ago. His journey began as one of survival. It was that financial frustration that led him to what is now the best decision he has made so far. His inspiration stems from the fact that he loves what he does. He sees each client as an extension of himself and focuses on hairstyles that help their beauty beam the brightest, thus the name of his salon. Folusho’s motto is: Good hair is always the best revenge. His primary focus is dominating Ibadan’s hair world.
KELLAS MAKEUP A self-taught makeup artist Kofoworola Fagbemi aka Kellasmakeup started her business three years ago. Coming from a supportive family, becoming a makeup artist wasn’t a challenging transition after finishing university. Her client base is a mixture of older and younger women, specifically new brides. Currently with an office in Ibadan, she plans on expanding her brand to Lagos and setting up shop there too. With her mind on taking over the makeup industry, her advice to aspiring makeup artists is not to sell yourself short just because you’re trying to pave a way for your business. Don’t under price yourself because at the end of the day if you do what you do well, people will still call you. Study your environment. Ibadan is different from Lagos. Ibadan people are not patient; they do not attach too much value to things and need more convincing for why they should choose you. Relating to your clients is vital. Package yourself. Be prudent and don’t get carried away.
They say some are born to do a specific thing, but Lolade had makeup thrust upon her. It was her curiosity about gélé tying that opened the professional doors of makeup and one might say that her craftsmanship only gets better with time. A final year student, majoring in philosophy, she says now she couldn’t think of anything else she would rather be doing. Her goal is to make her clients feel glamorous at the end of her session with them. Her inspiration comes from her mentor Mrs Kunbi Fashakin because as a new business owner she was self taught and battled with some insecurities related to that at the beginning of her journey. Thanks to her mentor who was able to give her constructive criticism she was able to gain confidence in her work and style. Her advice to up and coming makeup artists is to always strive to be on a level that sets your work apart. Be very tolerant of your clients because they all have different personalities and you need to be able to work with anyone. Ololade is a testament to the fact that age is nothing but a number. Look out for this rising young star.
Atinuke Ogunshola now Mrs Atinuke Hassan is popularly known by the name Tinurella. She studied statistics, before embarking on her journey as a makeup artist. She’s been a makeup artist for the past four years, but her love for makeup dates all the way back to her service year. For that reason, she decided to do it part time while she was doing her youth corps. The big deciding factor for her on whether to pursue makeup full time was after a chat with a particular makeup artist who was honest enough to tell her how much she was making. The figures mentioned in the conversation encouraged Tinurella to take that leap of faith and start her own business. With such positive feedback and an ever-expanding clientele, Tinurella’s focus is mostly bridal makeup. However, she is still sought after by on-air personalities and for other events other than weddings. Although she started off in Lagos, Ibadan has not been a setback to her business. She believes it depends on how you handle your business. She says you can still make good money in Ibadan. As long as you’re good at what you do, people will always come. Her goal as a makeup artist is to enhance her clients’ beauty. It’s no wonder that people keep coming back.
A trio from Bloomberg Professional, a popular business and lifestyle blog wrote an article about the growing demand for luxury goods in Africa. According to them, as the expansion of wealth stretches to our Black Colony, the already untapped demand of the luxury market will soar higher, creating a large market channel ready to be exploited by those with a keen business acumen. Kolawole Ayodeji is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and the mind behind Fseven Apparels, a just conceived top-of-the-line clothing house that delivers luxury fashion items anywhere in Nigeria. According to Ayodeji, F Seven Apparels was birthed from Jersey House, a sporting goods shop he started coincidentally seven years ago. “I started this business with Jersey House in 2009 when I was in U.I. I used to get people original football jerseys and would customise names on them for those who were interested.” In its bid to increase publicity, F Seven Apparels has been using social media as a marketing vehicle to push awareness for the rebranded business. (Instagram: fsevenapparels). Ayodeji reckons that the authenticity that photo-based social media platforms like Instagram generates between customers and himself has been integral to business. He believes their fast and dependable delivery service is one of the major things that set them apart from others in this line of business, the others being their credibility and standards. Delivery within Ibadan and Lagos is free, so also, they are always ready to deliver anywhere in Nigeria, from Abuja all the way to Port-Harcourt. As someone who has been part and parcel of Ibadan for almost a decade, Ayodeji only hope is that more people will start realising the potentials that lay untapped in Ibadan. To him, when it boils down to just business, Ibadan has a strength in numbers that is impossible to ignore.
Tolani Alli a university of Michigan graduate, started her photo journalism journey in 2010. For someone whose job has her following and interacting with some of the most powerful and inﬂuential people in the country. Her story is non short of inspiring. A cancer survivor and a visionary she not only fought for her life and won, she fought for her dreams and is living it. As the personal photographer of the present governor of Oyo state, her craftsmanship and inﬂuence in the photography world only continues to grow. With mentors like Kobe Bryant, it is clear to see that Tolani is no average woman. Her goal is to dominate her field. Her humility and work ethic make greatness inevitable but her skills as a photographer only show that this young star has only just begun her journey to greatness.
6 PEOPLE’S EDITION 115
Beautiful and intelligent are the right words to describe Adebisi Adeniji, one of the rising event planners in Nigeria and CEO of Elposh Events. She lets us into her world and shares with us her journey so far in the world of event management. Background My name is Adebisi Adeniji, a graduate of Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. I run Elposh Events, an event coordinating & planning firm which I created three years ago while in school. I started the business mainly to be self-sufficient and hopefully so that I could provide employment opportunities for others in the future. Why event planning? It’s the perfect fit for me. Most people don’t like the stress that comes with events, but it is something I enjoy doing. I like to think of myself as solutions provider and event planning is a way all parties involved get what they want. Earliest experience in event planning Back in school, I was a campus journalist for The Nation newspaper. Every year, we would organize a dinner party and I got to be part of the planning process. The experience I gained back then helped open my eyes to the practice of the events industry. Problems/challenges of being a young entrepreneur I started Elposh when I was still fairly new to Ibadan. I didn’t know anyone, so I had to take my networking skills up a couple of notches. Thankfully, having an educational background in a course that deals with human relations and marketing helped level the playing field. The importance of the social media It’s been amazing for me. The bulk of the jobs I’ve worked on came from the social media which is why I tend to do a lot of online publicity. Favorite event? Weddings! Apart from the fact that weddings are beautiful ceremonies, being able to help two people start out their life and dreams together is something that is hugely satisfying for me. Muda Lawal is the only player in the history of African Cup of Nations to have opened scoring and closed the score chart in an edition of the African Cup of Nations, a feat he performed in 1980, scoring the first of the tournament’s 33 goals against Tanzania and the last goal against Algeria.
Published on Aug 3, 2016
From real estate moguls to entrepreneurs and entertainers, we bring a closer look into the lives of those who have added tremendous value to...