One of the the best publicist, image maker, event coordinator of repute & U.N. Peace Ambassador, Cornell Udofia paid a courtesy visit to event and style consultant per excellence – Ndidi Obioha CEO of Enthyst to present his new stars in Entertainment industry to the company.We however, took time out to have a chat with her.
When you talk about event conceptualization, planning, packaging, implementing, coordinating and interior entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the name Ndidi Obioha comes to mind with a rush! She is very articulate, stylish and passionate in everything she does. The level of professionalism she applies in her jobs are of world standards According to her, she was taken by surprise with the number of Cornell Entertainment delegates that visited her. She said the only time she gets such amount of visit is usually when she is having a vendor meeting. One of the major things she does is event consultation. This includes event conceptualization, planning, packaging, implementing and coordinating. She also tries to create platforms for upcoming artist or whoever in the entertainment industry.
One thing that actually slows people’s progress is not having the right platform. She advised upcoming ones to always pay attention to details in whatever they do. One thing she keeps emphasis on is passion. Let passion drive you, don’t get into music or entertainment because of money else you will not stand the test of time and you will get frustrated. She also added that it’s very important you venture into business with passion because it keeps you focused and determined. Also, in whatever you do, learn to do it well. Be as professional as possible with proper presentation. For those into music, you catch people’s attention based on your look. When you look tacky nobody looks at you. Even if it takes 8years for you to be discovered you will keep going because the passion is there to drive you. You can read her response to some of our conversation with her below
Your company happens to be one of the best in event coordination and management, how did you discover your passion for this.
I have always believed in turning hobby into money making thing, that’s where passion comes in. I have always loved to host people even before I got into events. While I was still in the banking industry, every December my friends look forward to come into my house and we do have Boxing Day barbeque. Any opportunity to host people I will jump at it. I remembered when I left banking industry and I thought of what to do, the first that came to my mind was hair. Then I opened a salon because I have a crazy passion for hair. I just loved to see people with good hair style. I always believe in filling a gap in every industry I find myself. You will always see where something is missing, identify and fill it. I remembered back then when I have to move from my place at Yaba to Island or Ikeja just to get my hair done. There were actually salons in Yaba but not of good standards. So I decided to open the kind of salon where people will feel very comfortable – this gave birth to Hair Craft (My hair salon). Hair Craft became the official hair salon for MBGN (Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria) in less than four months. We took over from Bobby and became the official hair salon for 3years. While this was going on, we also became the hair stylist for wedding planner magazine. Wedding planner magazine happens to be the bridal bible back then. Looking at the magazine back then, I usually see the brides with lovely dresses with classic accessories but the hair did not just look right. Then I reached out to them and we got started. This brought us to the bride. I was able to communicate with the bride, knowing the accessories and dresses they will wear then I consult with them and make sure all matches each other.
You have won a couple of awards both locally and internationally. How do you feel about this awards?
Award only makes you determine to do better. With award, you realize that people are looking. It’s just the fact that people are watching and they appreciate what you do out there. This makes you to keep putting your very best in everything you do. Am glad that people are able to see the difference and they appreciate by rewarding me with awards.
You been a very stylish person, what is style for you?
Style to me is been able to wear an outfit and it does not take you away from who you are. Style makes you to be seen first before your outfit. This means you are not going away from your personality. You see people wear an outfit and the outfit swallows them. Style for me is comfort, elegant and classic. This three words defines style for me. Classic makes it timeless, elegant makes it standout and comfort gives you confidence. Style for me is a way of bringing out your personality.
Tell us some of the events you have done and their challenges.
In recent time I have to use APC, we did APC National convention where Buhari became the flag bearer for APC at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and there was challenges. We had just two weeks to put everything together. An event that we were to have almost ten thousand (10,000) delegates. An event that was to determine the future of the party where we had to make sure we had a free and fair election to the very end. I found myself in the mist of about 35 men. The beautiful thing about it was that i worked with people who truly wanted a professional service of a professional. Some people invite professionals to come on board but they don’t really give you the light of day to do what you really want. Everything you saw live at the primary election was our concept. We were able to implement every single thing as regards electoral process. Based on previous processes, it has always taken 3 – 4days to complete the electoral process. But based on our concept, the whole process took less than 2days. The kick off I get from every event I do is the thank you. It’d not just about the money. The satisfaction I see in the face of my clients gives me joy. The fact that my clients will recommend me over and over again gives me joy more than any money I get from the event. I do some people’s event and I use my money, its not about the money. It’s my passion.
You been a very busy person, how do you combine your passion, job, church and family.
Still talking about the government that you helped to put things in place during the APC primary election, the president, Muhammadu Buhari has been fighting corruption in the system, what’s your take on that?
I am very positive about that. It’s just a matter of time. I think Nigerians should give him some time. As you know that Rome was not built in a day. This will not end in one day but he is putting the right things in place and I see in another 2years we will be smiling. I never thought this will happen in our time. Am glad to see change taking place in my generation. I know that at the end of the day the suffering will end to a very large extent. It’s not going to be totally wiped off. We are feeling the pains now but the truth is that until will get rid of this leaders, this corrupt people we would remain on the same spot. Since Buhari took over, he has not even touched power sector and electricity supply has improved. Just the fear of him has practically improved some sectors. It’s like the fear of Buhari has become the beginning of wisdom for some people.
I don’t care if Jonathan has started putting this things in place. He has actually started putting things in place but there was no implementation. It’s one thing to put things in place and another thing is to implement it. The equipments has always been there for us to have steady power supply, but there was no impact because of the corrupt individuals that want to continue selling their diesel and generators. I just pray that president Buhari successfully prosecute all those that have done so much harm in bringing down the economy of this country. If you do not punish people, the ones coming behind will never learn. The sooner justice is done the better. I have actually heard people saying they don’t want government appointment. Can you imagine Nigerians saying that. It’s because they know there is no more room to eat and…. They are not even interested.
After Buhari won the primary for his party, I knew APC will take over because during the primary election, they made sure everything was transparent. Some of those delegates could have easily manipulated the primary election, but the committee I worked with wanted a true free and fair election. Because I was fully involved during the primary election, I could see people that wanted change in this country including the delegates. That was when I knew Nigeria was ready for that change. Nigeria is not Nigeria of yesterday. People have become more vocal. Thank God for social media when we use it the right way. Because of social media, there is a lot more transparency because everybody is watching. Whatever you do, before you know it somebody has taken video and uploaded. This has made people to be more careful in what they do and how they do it. There is so much room for change. Am so positive about it. Thou it will take time but will surely come. I just want everybody to be patient remembering that Rome was not built in a day. When we are patient and remembering that our children will benefit from this – it will keep us going.
You are a very successful leader in your business, what makes a good leader?
When it comes to my industry, leadership has to do with been very detail in whatever you do and been very professional. Detail in the sense that you are willing to pay attention. Learn to put your best foot forward realizing that every event you do is an opportunity to market you to a whole new set of people. Whatever you do, learn to do it well. Leadership by example – learn to carry people along. As a leader you work with a team, you will never work in isolation. Lead by example and set target that even you as a leader can achieve before you think about who is doing it with you. Be professional, lead by example and carry people along in whatever you do.
Still on personal level, you have won some important local and international awards, can you tell us some of these awards.
I have won awards for my style. City People gave me award as the most stylish company of the year. encomiun gave me award as the most stylish woman in her 40s, wedding planner gave me award as the wedding planning company of the year. I also won some awards in Ghana as the event planning company of the year. Am suppose to receive an award this September from Nigeria media merit award. There are actually several awards I have received that I can’t remember right now.
We know you as a very close friend to one of the hottest actress in Nigeria, Genevieve Nnaji. Can you tell us something about her.
Why should I tell you about about my friend. Well, she is an amazing person, she is like a sister to me. We have come a long way. She is actually working on a whole lot of amazing things that are unfolding very soon. That’s the bit I can tell you.
What about Mama Bakasi? Tell us what you don’t know about her.
I can’t because I keep my clients and friends information confidential. You don’t just talk about them. People see what they see and do what they do. Mama Bakasi is like a mother figure to me.
What advice do you give to the younger ones that are looking up to you
I just beg of them that whatever they decide to do in life, they should find someone to pick as a mentor. When you have somebody that can influence you positively, you go out of your way to make sure you don’t disappoint that person. In doing that you are also not disappointing yourself. It’s very important that every young aspiring person tries to get a mentor. Its also very important that whatever they want to do in life most be passion driven.
Remain focused and always pray. Let money never be your determining or driving factor. That’s one way to go down the frustration lane. At the same time, we know one road does not lead to the market, but in doing that ensure you do not chew more than you can handle.
As an interior entrepreneur, I make sure that everything I do are interwoven. Some times you need to decide what your motivating factors are. Every young person should set objectives. That is your mission in what you are trying to achieve. this are the things that urge you and continue to push you forward. Then put God first in what ever you come up with, take it to Him in prayer. If He is for it, He will pave the way for you. You will just see things working out. That’s how you will know that God’s hand it’s in it.
The members of Cornell Entertainment that were represented at the meeting with Ndidi Obioha includes Ambassador Cornell Udofia, Mrs. Bolajoko Ogunwale (Exotic Smooth), Mr. Lekan Ogunwale (Ultrasight Consulting), Tina Newman (Artist), Don Leo (artist), ABG (artist), Naris P. (Artist), Akpan (crew member), Sirmlex (artist), Missy Joe (artist) and Michael ( eventnews.com.ng ).
Ndidi Obioha’s top niche company – Enthyst limited happens to be an event planning and management company based in Lagos. They are highly professional company which specializes in corporate and social events. With years of experience, they have been able to distinguished themselves through uniqueness and creativity to become one of the industry leaders. You can contact Enthyst Limited for your event needs.
Address: 200A, Isale-Eko Street, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Tel: 08155555837, 08173016027, 07045706701, 08098119632, 07083826552
See photos from the interview
L-R: ABG, Ndidi Obioha, Tina Newman and Amb. Cornell having a photo section after the interview
Ndidi Obioha during the interview section
Ndidi Obioha with some members of Cornell Entertainment Crew
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Congratulations to Ndidi Obioha for her achievements so far
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