by Kenny Ookil
In a time when most young people would rather seek security by clinging to a steady pay job, some others beg to differ and enjoy the high stakes and risk of business.
The entertainment industry has indeed metamorphosed into a gold mine and apparently is becoming one of the most relevant sectors in the economy today, with numerous stakeholders jostling to remain relevant or make their mark.
Iyare Efe Richard is an enterprising young man who is determined to conquer the world of business and also become a titan in the entertainment industry. Less than 25 years of age, Iyare is a fresh graduate of the University of Benin and C.E.O of Play Mode. Play Mode is made up of a magazine, event and management outfit. Iyare reveals to YNaija his passion for entertainment and business.
So could you briefly tell us about your family background?
My name is Iyare Efe Udeme Richard, but you can call me Iyare Playmode. I’m the first child from a family of 7 (Mum and Dad inclusive). I have a younger brother and three sisters. My Dad is an Air Force personnel and my mum is a teacher and Business woman.
Tell us a bit about your educational background
I attended Air force primary school 2, Ikeja. Then I progressed to Airforce Comprehensive school, Ibadan and later furthered my education by attending University of Benin where I obtained a degree in Mass communication.
What is PlayMode about?
Playmode is a company I started with a friend in 2009. Being a graduate of Mass Communication and a lover of art and the media, we decided to set up PlayMode which is a media platform comprising of a magazine (PlayMode magazine), an event organization and artiste management called Playmode entertainment.
What is the concept behind PlayMode magazine?
Playmode magazine is an entertainment magazine which first started as a blog site in 2009 before becoming a full-fledged magazine in 2010. We have published three issues of our magazine and our latest issue is currently on sale, it has 2face on the cover page and can be purchased in all newsstands across Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Delta and Port Harcourt. It can also be purchased from places like the Silver Bird galleria, City mall, The Hubs etc… all in Lagos. There are loads of magazine in Nigeria at the moment, the market is saturated so what makes your magazine different from others? Well Playmode is a magazine targeted at young people (the youths) and the young at heart, tailored to suit their interest in all fields of entertainment such as music, lifestyle, fashion entertainment news and sports. Now what makes us unique is that we have tailored our publication to suit the needs of the contemporary society at the same time setting the agenda and pace for society to follow. We also have a resilient team of staff comprising young people like myself who are dedicated to their duties in PlayMode. We are indeed the future voice of Nigeria just watch and see.
With the high cost of publishing in Nigeria, how have you coped and what has been your major setback?
Well, I would love to call them challenges rather than setbacks. Indeed it is very expensive to publish not just a magazine but any related print, be it a book, flyer, sticker etc. but I give credit to God who has seen us through and enabled us overcome such challenges. I also appreciate the effort of my resilient teammates most especially my Graphic designer;Elduwani, my Head of Marketing; Nosa Iyare, and Resource personnel; Hezy and Henry who have contributed to the success of the magazine. Challenges such as distribution and marketing have been persistent. But like the wise saying, Rome was not built in a day; with time all these challenges will be a thing of the past. I owe a huge part of my magazine’s success to my parents who are the backbone of my success.
The quality of your magazine is quite impressive, how do you generatefunds to print and how much is the magazine sold for?
PlayMode magazine goes for N400 and can be purchased in all the places I have mentioned earlier. As for generating funds, we rely on sponsors and advertisers. Since the magazine is still growing, we have not had sufficient adverts and sponsors, but we are hoping that with time, considering the quality and content, sponsors and adverts will be sufficient.
With PlayMode, what do you plan to achieve?
My vision is to build a formidable media conglomerate which will serve as a catalyst in the entertainment/media sector setting the pace for others to follow and becoming a strong force to reckon with.
Let’s deviate a little, tell us about your personal life; any girlfriends or fiancée?
I hardly have time for myself nowadays, not to talk of girls. I have a lot of lady friends and a few ex-girlfriends but for now, PlayMode is my heartthrob.
Who are your Mentors?
I have a lot of mentors not just in the media field but also from other fields of life and knowledge. Foremost, my parents are a strong inspiration for me, but then I am inspired by other personalities such as Ted Turner (a media titan in the United States), Richard Branson (Virgin owner), Sean Combs (Diddy), Ben Murray Bruce and whole lots more.
So when you are not working, what do you do?
I unwind by playing video games, watching movies and going out I guess. I am also a comic artiste; I love drawing a lot and reading comic books.
Thanks for your audience Mr. Iyare
Thanks for having me, am delighted.