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‘I was making money in oil companies but not satisfied, so…’

After graduation, I worked in two oil companies namely Transocean and wwwide company, which were oil-servicing companies in Port Harcourt. Later on, I resigned, because…

After graduation, I worked in two oil companies namely Transocean and wwwide company, which were oil-servicing companies in Port Harcourt. Later on, I resigned, because right from my secondary school days, my passion has always been about entertainment. I have always wanted to be famous and known. I have always wanted to do something extraordinary.

I remember those days when I was in SS3; I would always flip through the pages of Ovation magazine and say to myself, “Wow, I want to own a magazine company and be fully into entertainment. The dream died off eventually, but after my Youth Service, that desire came back. I was actually making money in the oil companies where I worked, but wasn’t satisfied because I wasn’t practising what I really wanted to do and wasn’t getting the satisfaction I needed.

So I woke up one morning and resigned from the company. It wasn’t easy, because at that period, everybody including my family fought me since I was the breadwinner of the family. After I overcame the stress, I went back to journalism, went to do training with Excel magazine and gathered some experiences.

Why the celebrity picture type of magazine?        

It is the dream I have always had. I have always wanted to go into the picture part of the job, which is to celebrate people. Our slogan is celebrating excellence and humanity, so we thought about celebrating excellence and humanity in Nigeria. When I say excellence, I mean those who have excelled in Nigeria, and when we talk about humanity, we’re talking about the aspect of human life. That was what prompted us to celebrate people in the picture aspect of it.

How come the name Alpha Plus?

In 2006 when we virtually started, I went through a series of names and just sat down to think until the name Alpha flashed into my mind. When I told a friend of mine of the name, he suggested I add Plus. So I said to myself that for every magazine I have seen, there is always a meaning. Alpha means the beginning of a thing, and when you add plus, it means continuity of it.

That was the origin of the name Alpha Plus. Now, what we are trying to do is to go into something more superb and so we are now changing the name to Alpha Plus Mega Magazine. We are just trying to rebrand along with Nigeria.

Apart from the magazine business, do you have any other business you’re doing or trying to start up as well?

I manage artistes. I also manage models. I have an artist whose video has gone on air already, especially on AIT and Sound City. His name is ROY O and he is one of Abuja’s new discoveries. We are also event managers.

How far have you managed the challenges that have come along?

I can say my success depends on God and definitely challenges do come, but with God, one will definitely overcome everything. As you can see, everything is glooming around me. When I was working in the oil company, I could say I was successful, but I didn’t have satisfaction, but when I started Alpha Plus, it wasn’t really easy. I lost so many things then. It was tough and to say the truth, we started Alpha Plus magazine with N11,000.

It was from this same N11,000 that I went to Lagos to conduct interviews with Tariah Basorge Jr., Ini Edo and Sunny Neji to produce the first edition of the magazine. I had so much debt on me even after the first edition. I can remember a friend of mine then who gave me N80,000 and I was really shouting for joy.

It propelled us to where we are today and I am so grateful to God. Anytime I remember that friend of mine and tell him that God put him in the history of my life, he laughs. Today, I can’t say that I have attained that level, but when I look at the future, I see it is really so bright.

As someone from the Niger Delta, many would think you might have joined the militancy craze to make quick money. So how did you stay focused?

I can say that nobody wants war. We all want peace and I will always advise the Niger Delta youths because we can always embrace peace. There are better ways to resolve things instead of the fighting and killing, since in the end, we still regret it.

I once looked at myself and felt I could also tread that path, but I thought and said how long would I continue in such manner, because a lot of people have actually lost their lives along the way? I might not get all I want through what I am doing now, but I find satisfaction and encourage everybody to embrace peace and get something doing.

How many staff do you work with?

For now, I have three in Port Harcourt comprising my photographer and editor. I also have three in Lagos, two in Calabar and eight in Abuja.

How far have you gone?

Everyday, we keep breaking new grounds. Between now and April, I am going to be in the United Kingdom to cover an event while my staff will be going to Washington, DC., in the United States of America, also in April. Apple Electronics Media is inviting us to come and cover a seminar for them in Washington, so two of my staff will be going there in April. So as you can see, we are spreading and breaking new grounds.

Who is your mentor?

First of all, I look up to God. I remember those days when I used to admire Frank Nweke, Jr., who is the former Minister of Information. I also look up to people who have made it in the print media such as Nduka Obaigbena, who is the owner of Thisday newspaper and Dele Momodu of Ovation magazine.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy cooking, so I cook a lot. I enjoy reading as well as travelling.

Do you have any advice for the Niger Delta youth?  

My advice to them is that fight is not the answer. They should try and get something doing and the government will support. The saying goes that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. It might take time to get there, but it is just a matter of time.

I am a living example. I refused to go into violence and decided to come up with something. And gradually today, I am somewhere. Yes, we know the government has neglected the Niger Delta, but it is high time they stepped out and get involved in responsible activities.

Let’s go personal a bit. Are you married?

No. I am still single and searching.

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