Currently enjoying accolades with the success story of his newest venture Movida Night Club (located on Idowu Taylor street Victoria Island,Lagos), the big fella who just bounced back from a dip in form that nearly grounded him permanently gave his most insightful interview ever in this chat with www.societynowng.com.
Que: How is the New Year treating you?
Ans: we thank God, we started the new year on a good note and I thank God for what the lord has done for me and my business. Everyday is full of challenges, we are still struggling but we thank God for his mercies. God has been good to me and thank God.
Que: And, I learnt you also thanked the customers with a recent special prize giving night?
Ans: Yes, but normally every club should plan towards giving back to the customer. If you take one hundred percent from them you should at least give back twenty five percent. That is why the management of Movida decided to appreciate clients that have stood by us. The prize is actually in the gesture not necessarily in what we actually gave out.
Que: This concept and others that separate you from competitors what brings them about?
Ans: well I’ll just say it is God’s gift. I believe this is what I am destiny to do (running Night Club). And God has been good to me in this regard. Practically I believe when the management is good the business will be good, then two when the service is good the customers will keep coming back, and three You don’t put sentiment in business and four you learn from others, I go to other night clubs and try to understand what is in vogue and also do research on how to improve on my findings before implementing them. And finally there is the challenge of not wanting to be a failure after what I lost and went through. I want to prove to the society that with the second chance God has given, it is not even second it is the third. I want to prove that with the third chance God has given me I will not fail again by his grace.
Que: Your night club has this ambience of the perfect fun place for the quality crowd, how are you able to sustain this, keep away the ‘unwantables’ even with their money without ruffling feathers?
Ans: The major thing is that people look at the night club as just the building and the interior, the inside. What they don’t know is that a lot of things go on, on the outside behind the scene to achieve all the effects they see on the inside. There are the people on the streets that are trying to eke a living and for a night club owner, it is very important that you take care of those people before you take care of the ‘super powers’ that come to enjoy- because if the clients are not happy they won’t come back. And if the street is not happy those people will not be comfortable to come back.
And there is no way you won’t offend people when trying to have your way, because out of every hundred people there will be a twenty that will be enemies. The main thing is to try and reduce the number to five by mutual understanding. And achieving all this boils down to mutual respect.
Que, Those that have worked with you and still work with you all agree your work rate is very high, that you hardly sleep and strangely rarely fall ill. But to the outside world you appear to be doing your thing effortlessly- how do you manage to get away with this without breaking down?
Ans, What most people that know me in passing fail to understand is that you don’t judge a book by it cover. Internally I go through a lot of pains, physically, spiritually and mentally. But I have come to realise one thing, my mother died for me to live and take care of my younger ones. And I don’t want to be a failure, I want to be a success story. A man’s effort determines his fortune. To achieve your goal you have to work hard. That is what I preach to all those that have worked with me and are still working with me. I want to be an extremely comfortable man and to achieve that I believe I have to work hard, even harder than I do. Then there is the added factor of having a name to protect and sustain.
Que, In the days of Extreme, Reloaded, and Insomnia you were like a in your face celebrity but after you bounced back from your dip in form with Movida, many people claimed you are now low profile, that something has changed about Mr Shodehinde- do you agree with this assertion?
Ans, well, after my ordeal I got to realise I am a nobody and I will be nobody until I become and remain an achiever. People judge you with what they see. And the more you exhibit yourself for them to see, the more they want to see you and x ray you. There are many rich and comfortable people in this society people don’t know and do not trouble at all. Then you ask yourself, do you really need to impress anybody? I try to live a simple lifestyle now because I am not getting younger; I am looking forward to a more quiet future. The world of a celebrity is very tough, you are trying to live up to the expectations of others and if anything goes wrong you are in trouble. It is better to live a quiet life, which is what I am trying to do now.
Que, Is there anything that happened to you during your ordeal that you probable find hard to forgive now?
Ans, Forgiveness is a thing of the heart. And if you really look at it, who are my not to forgive when God forgives me my sin? But there are some things you don’t forget, because it makes you stronger and wiser. Anybody can forgive anything, forgetting is another thing. If you really look at it, why won’t I forgive? Nobody did anything to me, all that happened was a result of my mistakes, so I have accepted my fate and I hold no grudge against anybody. And I thank those people that believed in me and helped me back to my feet.
Que, Who are those people, that stood by you and bailed you out?
Ans, People like Aremo Segun Oniru, Chief Nobert, Ugo Osofia, Dumo LuluBriggs and others that i still cherish very much in my heart.
Que, Those things you can’t forget, which do you consider the most painful?
Ans, There is no most painful, there are many but one thing I can’t ever forget was when a friend gave me five thousand naira in public. A guy that I have given well over half a million and told me to use the money to go and take care of myself. He did that to right in front of a whole lot of people. It was very painful, I went home and cried and I begged God to please give me one last chance. And I thank God for where I am today.
Que, Did you contemplate suicide, running out of town at any point in time?
Ans, Yes, many times. I owed the society well over sixty four million naira. I lost well over three hundred million naira. and I am still owing them- not banks, private individuals that trusted me and gave me money. You know how it is when you owe people money. The plan was to run away from this town but something kept on keeping me back, that I can still make it and kept struggling and to God be the glory today.
Que, When some look at your pedigree, the successes at Extreme, Reloaded .. and now Movida they subscribe to the opinion that you know your trade, that you are a master of your game, do you see yourself as such?
Ans, Nobody in the club business can ever claim to be a master of the game. It is only the public to an extent that can come close to that, and even with the public opinion is always divided. So, nobody can ever lay claim to being the master of the game. I can’t even say I am the best but that I try to be the best. I learn every day , there are people I look up to. What I try to do is to merge the the old and new tastes together. Whatever people say about me I appreciate it, but for me the best is yet to come.
Que, You are probable the most reported night club owner, can you recollect the most painful thing ever written about you?
Ans, I can’t recollect. You know people have written different things about me, but one thing I know is that not all of them are the truth…and I understand what the job entails, depending on sources who give outright fabrication or those that just write stories all in the name of selling papers.
Que, What about the best story ever written about you?
Ans, (after a long pause) I can’t recollect any.
Que, The only blot in your stringed of successes in shut down fun place, Insomnia- what comes to your mind every time you see it rotting away as it is?
Ans, Insomnia was a force meant for three targeted audiences, and there were three partners. But there were too much show of strength, everybody was trying to show who was on top. So it caused a lot of things and I lost interest and wasn’t giving my best again. Because it got to a stage it wasn’t about the money we were making or the business- it was about who was number one and that made me leave. Insomnia was doing very well but at a point there were too many side talks, too many back biting and I had to let it go. And later others let it go to and I started this to prove I still got what it takes, and the result is evident for all to see.
Que, You come across as one who take pains with what he wears- is that a function of your job or your person?
Ans, The entertainment world has got to do with style, people look at what you do and copy from you.
It is all about taste and style and that is what the night club industry is all about. I am a natural fashion freak; I seek the best because I want to be identified with offering the best.
Que, Let look at Mr Shodehinde and marriage, what is happening in that corner?
Ans, That is one thing I don’t really want to talk about again. The last time I went public with it, the stories that came after it were not really too good. Now I want to play on the element of surprise and keeping things low profile. Let the world wait and see what Mr Shodehinde is coming up with as regards marriage in the nearest future.
Que, your former protégé, Mr Okamigbo claims you can’t just afford not to like General- that is what he calls you-, Raymond your manager maintains he can’t work with another person, another person that left you when you were down, Famoo says he would love to work with you again, why do these people say these things about you?
Ans, Well, I don’t know. All I can say is that I try to impact all I have learnt on them and to make them to realise that life is not a bed of roses. The world you see is not as it is. You are either an achiever or a failure.. and it is better to be an achiever. And I urge them to work towards that. aside this I believe in the philosophy of sharing, anything that I have I try to make everybody happy with it.
And I try to let them realise it is better they start working on being independent the day they start working with me because someday you will leave me and it will all boil down to you and your God.
The world we live in is a revolving circle; nothing is static, so everyman should have a plan and how to achieve it in order to enjoy a better tomorrow.
Que, Keen followers of career expect you’ll crown it with a magnificent personal building that is club amongst other things- Do you have any such plan?
Ans, I always say one thing, surprise is the best weapon to impress people. Talk is cheap, it is better to act and let people judge you by what you have done and not what you say. Let us just pray for long life, good health and prosperity. Whatever is coming up soon, I don’t know yet but I pray for something better than what I have now.
Que, Easter is around the corner and Movida is almost One, any special package in the offing?
Ans, Well, we are working on something that will be unrivalled. We are currently renovating Movida Restaurant and conducting extensive repackaging of the staff and services. We should re open on March 28. Presently we are giving out free vouchers for food at the place when it reopens to clients at the night club. Aside the Movida Voucher, we are also giving out free voucher for hair care at Nekter place, inside bon voyage in Victoria Island Lagos. The details for the anniversary celebration will be released later.