Kolade Oludare Success is the CEO of Succex Multimedia Limited. In this interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, the cinematographer and Abuja based entertainment promoter, urges youths to come out to serve the nation while speaking on other sundry issues.
What has been happening with Succex Multimedia?
Thank God we have come this far. We came into existence in 2017. If you do your calculations, it’s about 11 years now. We have gone through some challenges to other success stories. Because you know how it is as a young man in Nigeria, venturing into business, everybody thinks capital is the major challenge in business but there are other factors also involved. The ability to be able to go out there to compete favourably with others within the industry and have an edge also is a challenge. But to the glory of God, even if the economy is somewhat Topsy turvy, it is like a game of football, when you are able to read the weakness of your opponent, you can ride on that to have a goal. God has been helping us, innovations have always been our keyword to beat the tide. God has been faithful to us because Succex Multimedia today is an household name in the Entertainment industry. We give God the glory.
I realise your contributions to the growth of Abuja entertainment can not be over emphasised. You just started off a project for Abuja entertainment fun seekers called Comedy Lounge, what’s the concept all about?
You know me very well that I am passionate about the youth. I always want them to be engaged in something that would improve their livelihood. There is nothing that irritates me than seeing young men and women jobless roaming the streets while they could be engaged in one thing or the other. Many people don’t look at the prospect that abounds in talented young Nigerians, the ones that haven’t been discovered. There are lots of them everywhere. Abuja comedy lounge came up because I believe I could be able to provide a platform for young talents to showcase what they have got. I have been able to power big music and comedy shows, made money business wise. So, I said to myself that it was time to give back to the industry that has opened many doors for me.
So, I decided to groom young ones, encourage them with a platform to grow. To my surprise, so many comedians within and outside the FCT, showed great interest. I get calls from Kaduna, Nassarawa, Lafiya, Niger, Lokoja and others. They showed great interest in being on stage with other known faces. We thank God that every week, we are there. We host few upcoming talents, despite the fact that we also feature some other superstars. It is a moral booster for these youths. The platform has opened doors for them. Now, they have realised that it takes just determination to make it in life. So, Abuja Comedy Lounge is not just there to entertain people, it has also been a plus to the socioeconomic development of the FCT. Before now, many people have said nothing is happening in Abuja but today, we have Wednesdays for Karaoke, Fridays for Abuja comedy Lounge and other activities. Abuja now is a place to be and relax and work.
Your job involves grooming artistes and working to make Abuja-based entertainers well known, but it seems that Abuja artistes are not given preference when it comes to events. How can this jinx be broken?
This is the whole idea about Abuja artistes. Abuja artistes themselves are not helping themselves; an average Abuja artiste is so lazy, only very few work hard.
Really? Please explain more…
If you are working with an Abuja artiste, just know that the man or lady is not very hardworking. On the long run, I still don’t blame them. As an artiste, you have been doing everything possible to blow but everywhere you go to, you get discouraged because it seems like everything is tied around Lagos and if you look at it, Abuja is supposed to be controlling anything that is entertainment in this country, this is the centre, the arrow head where every decision is being made. People need to rise up against this. Not just the artiste, everybody needs to rise up to this including the government. I am not expecting the government to give money to artistes; but there must be structures that encourage artistes’ promotion. Enough is enough of telling us you are promoting entertainment on the pages of newspapers and you are attaching big money to it, let there be a structure, like a Nigerian entertainment council whereby an average artiste, who has the required talent, can walk in there and ask for assistance without politics coming into play.
I remember when you clamoured for the #NotTooYoungToRun bill with some other personalities in the last dispensation, you were among those that fought for its passage. Now that the President has signed it into law, what do you think young people should do with the platform?
It is a welcome development to the Nigerian youths. I am not 30 nor 35 years, but it has given us a face, a sense of belonging. Even if I’m 40 years, and I want to contest, some cabal would just look at me and say, this small boy go and sit down, what do you know about politics? But the idea of having the not too young to run bill signed by Mr President has given us a green card to aspire in whatever position we feel like contributing. Before now, if they see my posters, they would want to know who’s that small boy, but now, they would just appreciate and encourage your bold steps. At least come 2019, we are going to have what I call the new generation sets of politicians.
Because these are sets of politicians that are not corrupt, they have travelled overseas and seen the development and how things are done and wish to replicate such in their own country, young men and women who don’t see political thuggery as tools of winning elections but see governance as a means of contributing and serving the people. So, when these things are factored into one’s vision, it becomes a reality. What we are preaching is that Nigerians should accept the new crop of politicians who are ready to take us away from the shackles of misgovernance, and keep us on the top of the world like the UAE and others. It’s not that our elders haven’t tried, only that they have gotten it so wrong because they thought it would always be like this. Until we start seeing political parties as a means of taken us to a particular destination of peace and progress, we would continue to wallow in abject poverty. These are the ways the new generation politicians are thinking which I am part of. We want a situation whereby a public office holder would have a proper public office so that every kobo you get is pasted on the notice board for people to see how they generate and spend taxpayers’ money. It would boost transparency and your constituents would also advice on the best ways to spend the money on the most important developmental project needed.
Are you saying you want to vie for a position?
Yes, I am. The bill signed by the president has encouraged me to do so. And I believe I would get the nod from my people. I am going for my state house assembly. I need to go close to my people, to be a member of my state house of assembly. I want to first of all deal with the immediate challenges of my people, before I now come to the federal. Before now, people like us, who have the fame, the structure were always looking for the bigger offices not because we wanted to serve but due to the fact that we thought we could get more money and influence from it. We should know that the biggest investment and affluence one can have are the people whose lives you have changed. How many people can come out to say you have changed their lives?…it matters a lot. As a representative of my people, I will not be there to award contracts but to make beneficial laws that would be of importance to my people. My political mentor, Governor Kashim Shettima has groomed me and enlightened me a lot. New generation politicians like myself don’t care about political party differences, tribe or religion, PDP, APC or SDP, Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo, all what matters is when we see good leaders, we emulate them. I personally admire and emulate the Governor of Borno State based on his achievements despite the crisis of Boko Haram that rocked his tenure as a governor with his legacy projects.
What would be your honest advice to young Nigerians who aspire to serve on this platform?
I want every youth to come online, what I mean is they should wake up. Stop saying you don’t want to have anything to do with politics. The disadvantage of leaving governance for the few is that they would mortgage your future and there is nothing you can do about it. You can pick a ticket from a political party. Support anyone you feel could do well, you mustn’t contest. I am surprised when some youths see posters of some aspirants and they say, ‘see this one too want to come “chop” his own.’ That thought must change. If you see a young man aspiring for a political position, you should appreciate that person because it takes a lot of guts to face the lions because most of these people are from the underworld.
It is also believed that some celebrities who have had the opportunity to get into elective positions haven’t done anything tangible for their constituents…
Yes, you know why? Many people get into office for two reasons, while some is because they are famous, others is because they want to also get the popularity. No vision, no progressive programmes on what they want to achieve during their tenure. I will not mention names but when you said this, few people came to mind. They joined the likes of “agbada wearing politicians” forgetting the mandate, the reason they were elected, which is to move their people from underdevelopment to development. That is why you see that after many stay for eight-years and they leave office, no impact on the people, and sometimes, things even get worse.
It is better to know what people do before electing them into office because a man that has no job and seeks for political office, would only want to feed himself and cronies before thinking of the people. To be honest, we all know that entertainers, movie makers are hard working but their income doesn’t come regularly. If you are not a good businessman, you can’t be a good politician. It takes a good businessman to be a good politician.