Our young enterpreneur for this month is Adesona Abdulkareem of A-qube footprints. An upcoming unisex footwear brand proudly made in Nigeria. Young Enterpreneur is a platform we celebrate and promote upcoming enterpreneurs in various fields. Please introduce yourself? My name is Adesona Abdulkareem, a graduate … Continue reading YOUNG ENTERPRENEUR: CEO A-qube footprints
Meet the next great saxophonist in Nigeria. His name is Gbaja Olaoluwa Samuel but fondly known as Ola-sax(The SAX-LORD). A 19 year old student with a unique talent of playing instruments. He is a professional with the drum, the piano and now “the saxophone”. Apart from playing instruments, he is also sings. During his pursuit for excellence, he encountered a lot of discouragements but none kept him down. Today, he is worthy of celebration.
Interview by: Ibiere pa-briggs
What was your first song ever sung?
The way you love me by Ola-sax
When did you first start singing?
Six years ago at church. Being a pastor’s son, I was in the choir.
Is your family in support of this?
Yes they are. Though it took time to convince them
What genre of music do you sing?
Gospel and jazz
What’s the first five songs on your playlist?
Femi kuti “africa”, B.J-Sax “Yaya”, Yemi-Sax, Kunle Ajayi, Mike Aremu
A celebrity you would love to feature with?
Do you compose your songs yourself?
Yes, but sometimes I play popular tunes at social gatherings and for entertainment too.
Tell us about your first performance?
Wow! It was a great day. I was so scared I even went off-key but I covered up with dance skills and other special-skills I had. After the show I was given 500naira. I was so discouraged but my brother encouraged me and said one day I’d be the one to pay people. And I have been working towards that dream for sometime now. it’s beginning to manifest
What messages do your often pass across with your songs?
That God is the best person to praise and stick with because he has too much benefits than you using your talent for any other purpose. He recently provided a Brazilian White-Gold sax for me without spending a kobo or travelling to brazil.
Favourite musicians home and abroad?
Bee-jay sax, Mike-aremu, Kunle Ajayi, Yemi sax among others.
Favourite song of all time?
YAYA by Bee-jay sax
When I used to practice, people would always complain about the noise. One day a neighbour came to my house, said am a disaster and I should give my Saxophone to a beggar on the road to beg for alms that I can never make a living/name out of it.
Why did you choose music? What inspires you to sing?
Because I discovered that I was so good with instruments. I was the first and only drummer in my church before others join. I also play the keyboard and finally my saxophone is what I major in right now. I just know God put this values in me and I must project them .
My inspiration comes from the holy spirit.
Make a wish
I wish Gospel artistes in Nigeria were respected and given the same rating with secular artistes. Because our Industry is growing and we are actually doing great things not only in this country but outside too.
Tell us about your aspirations in life and the legacy you want to be known for?
I would love to be the greatest saxophonist in my time and be a living and gone Legend. I Want to be a minister of the gospel, doing great things for Him and have lots of awards to His glory.
From the Representeens team, we wish you a successful journey to greatness.
In case you missed it: click to read
INTERVIEW: Osieka Osinimu Alao. The man with the extraordinary power of the ink
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You know an in born writer when you meet one. At 13, Osieka Osinimu Alao, discovered he was gifted with the power of the ink and at 21 has three published poetry volumes, two unpublished plays and many prose manuscripts. Despite the poor reading culture among Nigerians, he has chosen to break the norm and soar higher. He is a young writer with an edge.
Interview by: Damilola Ososanya
My name is Osieka Osinimu Alao. I was born on the 12th of December, 1992 to Professor Johnson Sunday Alao and Mrs Serah Asabi Alao in Jebba, Kwara State. I am the second of two children. My elder sister, Idumaese, is a final year Linguistics student of Nassarawa State University. I am currently a 200Level English student of the Redeemer’s University. I am a young writer with three published poetry volumes which are Epidocyle (2011), Apocyle (2012), and the recently released Blood and Ink (2013). In addition to studying and writing, I sing and rap, draw and paint, I also act and I really love theatre and film making.
What was the first piece you ever wrote?
The first piece I ever wrote was a poem inspired by sadness and loneliness. I can’t exactly remember the title but the content was sullen.
What is your favorite genre?
I can’t really say which genre is my favourite for now, but poetry seems to be the genre many people link to me.
When did you discover you had a passion for writing?
I started writing when I was thirteen years old, or rather, that was when I discovered I was gifted with the power of the ink. Ever since this feat was revealed to my senses, I have always wanted people to read my works hence the yearning to be published on a grand scale. Everybody’s life cannot take the same turn; some start early while others maybe later. I am blessed to have kicked off at a very young age; I am just twenty one years old with three masterpieces of poetry, two unpublished plays and many prose manuscripts. Every individual has the genius instinct in them waiting to be whetted to full capacity. My writing prowess was brought to light by sullenness. I remember vividly I was in JSS3 then and on that fateful day I was saddened by almost everything around me; the food, friends, boarding school and bullying, freedomlessness, and all sorts. So I sat in the classroom shrouded in loneliness, most of my folks were out for sporting activities but I wasn’t motivated to do anything cheerful. I felt bitter in my soul, somehow that prompted me to write something down about how I felt, and then later, I discovered that it took the appealing shape of a poem or so I thought. Today many people find it hard reconciling my writing with my age; they feel probably that the quality of my work ought to be from an older mind. I am gifted and that’s the grace that abounds.
Where do you get most of your ideas?
My writing though materialised by persistence, drive, and hard work has spiritual foundations. I was created by a super-mortal force, one I can’t directly control except partly through supplications from a purified being. I discovered the voice when I was thirteen but definitely it had been like a seed implanted within, that moment of discovery was only the moment of fruition. The way the poems are birthed is a function of genius instincts. The more the genius instincts are probed the more delivery will be actualized. I can typically write anywhere anytime as long as the muse God captures my consciousness. I share Plato’s notion that artistic creation seems to be rooted in a kind of inspired madness, what I would like to tag as ‘Divine Madness’. To me, creative writing is the super-normal process, that is, the ingenious ability of consciously probing the subconscious by vigorous thinking, some sort of mind exploration indebted to the physical world, in order to bring into reality the existence of a new idea whose style stimulated by self in society and society in self ought to be different in makeup and piloted in the direction of an original bearing. I don’t wait for things to inspire me, I can seek inspiration from anything; material or immaterial, seen or unseen. It is in seeking that one is able to offer inspiration. For example, researchers often times go about looking for that next clue. Same with some writers too who can travel far distances just to cook up that next masterpiece. My three collections on closer examination resonate with that sole voice drawn from a powerful and resilient spirit.
What is your favourite place for thinking?
I love quiet places where there are walls. Most times, I feel I can read things from walls; I seem to see writings only visible to me. I love walking around naked in my room often. I like tapping ideas from crowded places, streets, loud music, travelling and unconventional circumstances. Even my own life inspires me; every move and mistake.
Who is your favourite author?
My favourite author is Wole Soyinka.
What do you think makes good writing?
I as an individual love taking new bearings; being permanently fixed almost to a state of conventional slavery does not magnet my fancy. In as much as my three collections are characteristically similar, each collection has its own distinct style and structure which are uniquely stringed by threads of floweriness, creativeness, newness, orderliness and fearlessness. Those are the tenets of good writing. I always like to perceive tastes differently hence my thirst for newness; something refreshing to the heart, to the senses and wholly to the soul. I am not afraid of seeking new forms and flows in writing. When I write I only put one thing into consideration, that is, my expression and not the acceptance. When one puts acceptance first, one limits the bounds of one’s expression. Considering acceptance won’t make one go the distance, one has to focus on the expression, because it is the quality of expression that determines one’s ascension. One must not wait for the world to accept one, one must make the world accept one; what matters most is self-acceptance.
What made you fall in love with writing?
I am in love with writing because the Goddess of writing is too sensual, sugary, and spiritual to be ignored. She always gives me an experience to behold, real or surreal.
How do you beat out your writers block?
I have never experienced writer’s block. I am immersed in a flowing stream of words and ideas that every minute I could conjure up a piece. It might not be developed at that time, but definitely I would be able to scribble down something that can be cooked properly.
Challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
There will always be one bump or the other from time to time; mortality is not a bed of perfection. Africans, particularly Nigerians, don’t like reading, be it whatever type, style or makeup of literature. Hence, the urge to buy books at any given time is usually at the zero level. Quite a number of quality books enter the market every now and then, but most people don’t even spare a little amount to acquire one or two books. Most of us are not adventurous when it comes to intellectual matters as regards literacy. Most people don’t want to task their intellectual selves, and that is why we are still pathetically underachieved. Nobody wants to invest in the publishing and promotion of books; only a few maybe, rare I must admit. People don’t want to buy books and read; why? Nonchalance and laziness are the answers. I am blessed to have parents who have supported me so far. Truthfully speaking, I have not realised much from my works. The penetration rate of my works has been really slow due to the climate in the nation. There are no efficient publicity outlets and bookshops are even afraid of investing in one’s works because they fear a scenario of unrealisable funds. Where are the constant bookfares? Where are the sponsors? Where is that student that is supposed to buy this or that book? Where are the so called mega publishing houses? Where are the books reading campaigns? Where are the government officials that are supposed to look into literacy and book circulation? What are the literary associations doing to better the horizon? Another issue much overlooked is the fact that authors, be they poets, novelists or playwrights, are celebrities like their other counterparts in the music and movie industry. They need to enjoy those little benefits too. For instance, corporate companies like Globacom and Peak Milk will rather have musicians, actors and sportsmen as their ambassadors but will rarely have writers on their lists and ironically these companies claim to be supportive of education in the country. Most of these companies will often times invest in singing and sporting talent hunts but rarely will they organise literary ones. Some of these companies are trying but they can definitely do more; they have more than enough funds for this worthwhile course.
Where do you see your works in five years?
In the next five years, I want to be a world class citizen whose universally acclaimed works will be passport into any nation. I want my works to be studied in schools and universities around the world. Every day, I pray to continually be happy and fulfilled, for that is where satisfaction lies. I want to use my blood to ink the slates of history.
Memorable experiences you’ve had as a writer?
Getting my poems published by AuthorHouse UK was a memorable feat in 2011. I was featured on NTA AM Express sometime ago. I was a guest writer at Abuja Writer’s Forum last year. My works have been used in some schools, Writers’ Associations, and creative writing competitions.
Damilola Ososanya is a representative from Redeemers University.
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The sky is definitely the stepping stone for Aimanoshi Dania, the brain behind manoshia clothing. The Edo-born young lady is from a christian background. A proud daughter of Engr David Dania and Mrs Alice Dania and the first born in three girls.
Aimanoshi has proven herself to be a strong willed enterpreneur. She is successfully running her fashion house and also a student of the University of Lagos. The. 20-year old creative director of Manoshia, expresses her in-depth love for fashion and art. In. Everything she does, modesty is her key word which makes her stand out from the rest.
Interview by Ellen Affah
How did you discover your love for fashion
Well I had been drawing since I was 2 and had the passion for art which grew into my obsession for fashion. I loved being different. I like colours, love prints, love patterns and love designing clothes for different body types. My fashion designing trade in the year 2009. My mum says when I was younger if she wore me a dress similar to my sisters I would either look for my hair ruffles or hair accessories and attach them to the dress just to look different.
What do you find challenging when it comes to your work
What I find challenging some times is electricity and how much I spend on fuel its necessary to have light when your dealing with a product like clothing.
How do you finance your clothing line considering the fact that you are a student
I work extremely hard. I sell my sketches to make some quick cash to put into my business. Fashion entails risks and investments. I Invest some of my pocket money into the business instead on spending it on junk or credit. I sacrifice so that the business is up and running
How do you satisfy your clients
I satisfy my clients with my services. I make it is as stress free as possible the only thing I consider as stress for them is trying on the clothes and making sure it fits. I meet the clients, derive styles that fit their various body types be it a pear shape,apple shape, inverted triangles, round or even hour glass figures etc along side their personalities and insecurities. I make my clients feel really good in their own skin. I design clothes for full figured ladies and also the spidery long legged ladies. I have no flare seggregation.
Your choice of study and do you intend on going into fashion fully after school
I am a student of the university of lagos. A creative art student and a visual major. Fashion is art, art is my genesis. It is in my very gene. Fine art is very much related to fashion based on different levels I.e aesthetic values, appreciation, utilisation etc.
How well do people respond when they know you are a young fashion designer
Well depends on what they are looking for. At first I may get under estimated because am just 20 and young but I always prove them wrong with my designs, fabric choices and finishing the total delivery. Recently, one client I made a dress for introduced quite a number of people that am presently making clothes for which has boosted my confidence and zeal.
What is art to you
Art to me is life. Its a life style, a trend, it is a means of communication, it helps us honour and celebrate our cultures and tradition so does fashion.
Define your style
My style if I may say is distinct because I have art as my background. I love to be comfortable but in a stylish way. My main goal is to have a lot of fun while approaching fashion or styling in general but the first rule of clothing is to cover nakedness which seems to be forgotten this days by several designers. I love daring sexy outfits but still in a modest way.
Projects working on
Am working on a new shop getting a bigger space more crew members probably a sewing training for people that want to learn, collaboration with a wedding planner to make her clients outfits or bridal party, and finally Manoshia ready to wear on a large scale.
A celebrity you would love to dress
I’ll say waje I feel she is beautiful but a few stylist dress her the same way in bulky clothes that do nothing for her beautiful curves
My advise for teens will be if you love something fight for it. Don’t give up to make anyone happy but your self. Its your life. You will live and eventually die alone, don’t waist your time pleasing people. Do things that make you feel happy and proud of your self. Career wise what comes to you naturally should be your focus for looking for a line of occupation.
-Aimanoshi dania 07065702485.
-email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
-follow me on twitter @manoshiaa
-facebook aimanoshi dania
From Representeens team, we wish you success as Manoshia journeys to become an household name
1. Gifted hands at work. Marietta agathe schulze, a teen artist talks about her passion for art.
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Beautiful Oluwatomilola Oluwakemi Ojo is an entertainer/presenter. She is popularly known as tomi ojo. In this interview with her, she talks about her love for entertaining and goes down memory lane to her teenage years. Her funny, loving and exciting personality glows so bright and extends to people around her. She is truly born to entertain. Tomi ojo loves what she does and she is very fulfilled.
Tell us about your educational background
I attended chrisland primary school, did my js1 to jss 2 second term in Grait High School. And finished up in Home Science Association secondary school. I attended University of Lagos, Akoka. Studied creative arts, theatre to be precise and served in Ogun State, Ota in particular.
Training? Formal and informal
Well I guess its both formal and informal, because I studied theatre arts in school, and the stage is quiet different from the camera. I learnt somethings about camera on my first shoot like you don’t shout on camera because you have a microphone on and you don’t over do expressions because there is a camera taking everyone’s closeup
How it all started
It started from school-stage and then a friend of mine, dede ogheneovo, took me to genesis. I went through an audition and was called back for a second audition and that was it. I got a major role.
Describe your typical day?
Very simple day. If am not on set,then am just chilling..that’s it.
As an entertainer/presenter, what do you do?
Well I entertain I guess*laughs*
Challenges of the industry?
As an upcoming entertainer/presenter, it is very challenging. But I know God in his infinite mercies has been very good to me.
Projects currently working on?
So wrong so wright, footprint, kilanta, hanging out a live programme on nta every monday’s..and some other things I can’t talk about yet.
Why you love what you do?
Its very fulfilling.
Embarrassing experience you’ve had
Well for now, none.
What was it like growing up?
Growing up was really fun. It was a full house. I played games like ludo, ten ten, suwe, boju boju o, mummy and daddy, catcher, animal place and things, change your style *laughs*
Best memory as a teen?
That was when I was in ss1. The first time I collected prizes in three different subjects. It felt really good.
Silly thing you did as a teen?
Stealing meat in the pot. yeah! *laughs*
Myth/superstitions you grew up with but laugh at it when u remember?
Alot o. Don’t share egg; Don’t put your hand in the rain, thunder will strike; Don’t carry *baff of water on your head, you will be short; Don’t eat at an entrance, you will never be satisfied…crazy! *laugh*
Name one challenge you faced as a teen that most teens face now and possible solutions
Not knowing my actual future ambition…well,try to figure out what you really love doing.
Believe in God. That is the most important thing and every other thing can follow.
*Baff -a big plastic bucket
Join Tomi Ojo live every monday on HANGING OUT on NTA 2 Lagos…
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From Representeens team, we wish you greater achievements. We hope to see you more on our tv screens, representing Nigeria well.
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“What adults can do, teens can do, and even better.” This is true for Marietta Agathe Schulze, a diploma student in the University of Lagos. She is an aspiring artist who started drawing as early as five years old and following her passion has led her to the great path of success. Even without formal training other than in secondary school, her works are amazing and professional. It would make you wonder if truly it was done by a teenager. Certainly, following where your passion lies makes you excel and celebrated.
Interview by: Ellen Affah
How did you discover your passion for arts and at what age?
I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, but I truly realised I loved art in my junior secondary school years.
How do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration could come to me at anytime, anywhere and usually it sources from my emotions at that time.
Tell us about your first drawing?
Ha! I’m guessing you mean first drawing ever, and I must say, those stick, fork-fingered figures of my family were pretty good coming from a 5 year old 🙂
Is there any artist you relate to(role-model)?
This might sound a little arrogant, although I love the works of Victor Van Gore, I pretty much believe in and rely on my own art.
Do you draw as a career or hobby?
I wouldn’t call it a hobby. It is more like a passion. I guess its sort of a part time career, since I occasionally do portraits for people and get paid.
How long have you been drawing?
Like I said, I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember but I began doing proper drawings in JS1.
What is the best thing about being an artist?
Its the ability to express your emotions and tell the world who you are through your work.
As an artist what are your basic challenges?
I sometimes have trouble expressing emotions through art because am not a very good imaginative artist i.e. I Have problems drawing my imaginations.
That has to be my “Mother and Child” drawing done in ink using the pointilism shading technique.
If not art, what would it be?
It would be either Marine Biology or Zoology since I love biology and nature as a whole. Actually, I was a science student in secondary school and I was even going to study Dentistry in the university course I thought I would have no future in art. But my undeniable lack of flair for Chemistry Physics and Further Maths punched me in the right direction.
How do you juggle drawing and school activities?
Its not so hard since I draw for the bulk of my marks in school but I’ve had to stop selling portraits for a while in order to focus on school work.
How often do you make these artworks and are they just drawings?
I don’t do portraits very often except I want to sell. I do drawings and a little bit of craft but like I said I’m an artist in training and I came to school to learn painting.
Aside drawing, what do you do?
I love to sing. I’ll probably be a musician in my next life 🙂 For a while I wanted to learn to play about 5 instruments and be in an orchestra. That dream is still somewhere on the side. Next to fine arts is my love for music.
Are your parents in full support of what you are doing considering the fact that most parents don’t like their kids going into courses like arts?
My mum was the one who wanted me to study dentistry because she believed art wouldn’t bring in money but after I explained how I wouldn’t be able to cope with a science course she understood and now she is in full support. My dad always encouraged me to do what I love.
Fondest memory of your growing years
The week during which I and my cousin would go out every day after the rain with the excuse that we were going to get provisions for the house, while our real mission was picking snails along the road.
Describe your personality?
I’m friendly and outgoing at first meeting but as you get to know me, you realise how reserved and complicated I really am.
What people don’t know about you?
People have no idea who Max is. That is my second personality.
I plan on opening an art gallery, selling my works and doing expeditions until hopefully, I become a world famous artist.
Advice to teens
If you are currently a science student in secondary school and you have a passion for the arts and find yourself not doing too good in your science courses…run away! You are NOT a science student. Trust me.
From the Representeens team, we wish you the best and greater achievements.
Hope you enjoyed the interview.
Did you miss our first interview? Check here
Anyim Ifeoma princess, A scholar of the University of Ilorin
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Have a wonderful week
She is Maryam Adebola but quite a large number of people call her M’ADE. A fashion designer along side Human Resource Management Practitioner. She is also a social worker and socio-entrepreneur.
My first encounter with Maryam said alot about her personality; friendly, matured, optimistic and well spoken. First impression they say, lasts longer and I remember that day like it was yesterday. Despite her very busy schedule, she found time to grace our interview.
Maryam started at an early of 19 while still in the university and now, she’s making Nigeria proud. In this interview, she spoke about her start up, challenges and her future plans. She also didn’t leave without an advice for upcoming designers. A role model in the making. She is truly MADE.
When and how did you start fashion designing?
I started as a student, well then as the business of clothing back in 2010 and fully into designing and creation of arts and clothes in 2012. I merely started as a challenged young lady who needed put her self into test of ideas, which by God’s grace is becoming an household name today.
Your first experience in the industry?
I would say having to do a fashion show in a student – mentor event and being able to represent my brand
Tell me more about M’ADE and what inspires you?
Hmm, M’ADE is a brand name which means – a put together ingredient or an assured success. Which is why we are diverse. Talking about inspiration, I am inspired by life- Life is very challenging, it’s full of options and ideas, when I’m in a situation I get creative about it and these reflects in my designs, lifestyle, attitude and of course welfarism.
Highest and lowest point in your career?
The highest point in my career is yet to come and I’ve never had a low point, I’m very optimistic, and hard working, everyday seems to be a step higher for me.
In 3years from now, where do u see M’ADE?
That’s like asking my short term plan, well, we hope to be on major runways and every stores in Nigeria and major fashion -loving countries representing Nigeria and Africa at large.
Describe your personality
What was growing up like to you. Silly, crazy and awesome things you did(memories)?
yes, a lot of memories. Have always been these three things; silly, crazy and awesome.
Role models and why?
I do have role models for different aspect of my life and why? It’s cause they serve 100% purpose of a role model.
Teens of now and then, any difference?
Definitely, the world is evolving, this automatically affects human behaviour and response factor.
To upcoming designers?
If this is what you really want to do, you need focus, hard work, insight, training and mentor ship, don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t.
Currently working on?
Getting to a better delivery level, satisfying our clients and giving the best.
From representeens team, Thank you for your time. More strength and creativity to make Nigeria proud in the fashion industry.
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