#YNaijaFridayInterview – @Audu Makori says: “Everyone is investing in the entertainment industry for all the wrong reasons”

Audu Maikori

by ‘Ifreke Inyang [@Ifreke]

Audu Maikori is CEO/Chairman of top record label, Chocolate City.

But that’s only half of the story – a lawyer for many years, he very recently was appointed into the committee that will monitor subsidy savings on behalf of the federal government.

In our weekly Friday live Twitter interview series, Joachim Mac-Ebong anchored a trip into Audu’s mind. Full text below.

@YNaija: Goodmorning @Audu, and thank you for agreeing to take part in this #YNaijaInterview. ‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu As CEO of Chocolate City, will you say you have kept a relatively low profile so far? #YNaijaInterview ‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija well first off it wasn’t supposed to be just a label, it was supposed to be a full range entertainment company. #YNaijaInterview‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija well first off it wasn’t supposed to be just a label, it was supposed to be a full range entertainment company. #YNaijaInterview‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija so it was borne out of the need to develop and harness talents we met during the days of GAP guild of ratites and poets in Abuja. #YNaijaInterview‪​‪‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija through gap it became apparent that talent was abundant, skill was lacking Audi mean in all the facets of the creative industry #YNaijaInterview ‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu is the Guild of Artistes and Poets which you founded still active? #YNaijaInterview ‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija we went on a hiatus for strategic reasons, to redefine the objectives for which it was originally set up for we will be back shortly‪​‪ #YNaijaInterview

@YNaija: @Audu what have been your main challenges in building the Chocolate City brand and making it successful? #YNaijaInterview ‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija it’s similar to most businesses, finance, getting the right skills, changing perceptions and most important monetizing the brand‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijaInterview when we started entertainment business was less than glamorous people scoffed at the idea of artiste management ‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijaInterview but now everyone is investing in the entertainment industry for all the wrong reasons mostly, they want the fame ‪​‪

@Audu: #YNaijaInterview the fortune but don’t want to build the structures to support it long term. Banks still don’t value our business right. ‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu you said earlier that Choc City was not meant to be just a label. What are some of your plans for expansion? #YNaijaInterview‪​‪

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview we have already done so by creating a group of companies, chocolate city movies, cc music @choccitymusic and chocolate city media. The CC Group is parent company to those subsidiaries

 

@YNaija: @Audu and more specifically, is the arrival of Hakeem Bello-Osagie as Chairman part of that expansion plan? #YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview well not him personally we have been quite inclusive in our model generally but we focus on partners with a passion and skills for the business and not money..

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview for instance @KATUNG_ADUWAK is a director @ Cc movies he has the skills and has been part of the company since 2007.@MI_Abaga has been with us since 2006 and he is currently a director on @choccitymusic so Mr Osagie’s coming on board was because we share a passion of creating excellence in entertainment and that was foremost the second thing was his vast experience in a variety of sectors.‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu do you think the lyrical content side of Nigerian music is improving? #YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview I think depending on the genre it is. But sometimes people over think music, music is creative expression and its about how you want to do that. Take jazz no lyrics there but you feel it if it connects with you. However, if we want to make timeless music, we must weave words craftily to ingrain themselves in our hearts..That’s what makes a classic song..The emotion, the delivery, the lyrics and the production.

@YNaija: @Audu so based on that, would you say much of the music coming out of Nigeria right now is timeless? #YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview I would say not quite.. but then, again you never know. It takes only an Obama singing Ara before it becomes a timeless song or someone sampling it to make the original valuable again.‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu there is a photo of you going toe-to-toe with an armed policeman at a protest in 2010. How did you get to that point? ‪​‪

@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijaInterview it was a moment for every Nigeria where we had no president to lead the biggest African nation.  We said no, we needed to hear from our representatives, who shunned us for over 3hrs.So the people broke through the National Assembly barricades, I just happened to be the first one to burst through and when I was challenged I didn’t back down because my nature when I truly believe in something I never back down.. Never. ‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu how did you get on the SURE-P committee? Do you think it can make an impact? #YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija The appointment like most things in my life was God’s doing. I simply received a call sometime ago that a person was needed on some committee to represent Nigerian youth and the person had recommended me. Of course it was a difficult choice but the character of this person convinced me that it would be worth the try at least and at worst I could resign if I didn’t feel it was achieving its objective or if I couldn’t properly contribute.‪​‪​ #YNaijaInterview

@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview as to making an impact I will say that I met with the committee members most of them are very established private sector members who have been successful in their own businesses. They are expected to handle their tasks as private sector not as government. I don’t see a 79 year old Christopher Kolade trying to embezzle money after a long and successful career. Him heading that committee along with Gen. Kontagora is an assurance that we will achieve our best potentials there. But for me Nigerians are watching and there is a need to prove that we can do it and do it well.‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu what specific contribution would you like to make to the SURE programme, if you could? #YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview there’s quite a bit but my background is in infrastructure transactions- I have worked in restructuring of the railways, ports, mass transit and even power as a legal advisor on a national level, so those skills and experience will be brought to bear in this assignment. Job creation is uttermost but my focus will be education and training for young people to give them life skills not just a university degree which nowadays is almost worthless.‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu in what previous job(s) did you get this experience?#YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview I started my career with Chief Afe Babalola SAN for 3 years, Legal Advisor Leading company of Nigeria (a subsidiary of Bank of Industry), Company Secretary /legal advisor AMML (a subsidiary of Abuja investment company), the CPCS Transcom Canada.‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu what drives you to succeed in your endeavours?#YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija I have always been driven by the need to make a positive change where I can.its never been about money just the opportunity to add value because when you do, money always comes. I have always said if you are alive without making a difference then it makes no difference that you are alive. Our time is finite on this Earth we must life it to the fullest we can. ‪​‪

@YNaija: @Audu and on that note, we would like to thank you very much for your time. #YNaijaInterview

‪​‪​@Audu: @YNaija #YNaijainterview the pleasure and privilege is all mine I apologise because it took time to respond to some questions the network in my area was poor. God bless our youth and our advocates because they keep us mindful of the need to be the best we can and they don’t respect persons. I have during the interview received some invaluable comments that have made me rethink certain things for the better. Please keep it up


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