Author Archives: Joshua

#CeleWeekly Episode 4: “I Made ₦150K Last Month” Tutoring Becomes a Real Business with Young Female Graduate, Biola Adekunle

 

From Oyo, she came to Adamawa state in the year 2013 as a member of the national youth service corps (NYSC) but decided to stay back to explore new opportunities and businesses. Making around ₦150,000 monthly, now she’s living comfortably, expanding rapidly and have great plans for creating new academic ventures, uplifting education and women empowerment.

Welcome to the #CeleWeekly series once again…great people are featured here…dream chasers, time changers and selfless humanitarians.

Africa is a great place to explore almost everything. Africa is everything we got, and all we need to create the change we want to see. CeleWeekly series is my way of giving back to the streets; to showcase how young people with African nativity can do great things with their zeal, talents and acumen.

Biola Adekunle will tell us more about starting a business that don’t really look like business to many people.


Other episodes:

#CeleWeekly Episode 1: Miss Yola Opens Up On Being a Plus-Size Model, Talks High School and Future Plans

#CeleWeekly Episode Two: Martino Talks Best Music Moment, Influences, Unity Among Artists and More (Audio Inclusive)

#CeleWeekly Episode 3: MustyWhite – About Yola Carnival, New Music and Challenges Faced


Staying back after your service…did you plan this before coming to the North or you just discovered a treasure and decided you have to stay?

Actually, the North is a scary place for any Southerner who has never been here, especially a lady. We heard stories about horrible experiences and exaggerated statements about NYSC members being exposed to violence and hardship, which will scare anybody. The plan was to come, finish serving and just leave. There was no plan whatsoever to stay, but along the way things just changed. I don’t know of other states but people in Adamawa are very kind. They accept strangers as their friends and provide you with all support you need especially when they recognize you as a youth corps member. So, even after my service I decided I could stay and explore everything for a few months before I will finally leave.

Everything?

Yes, everything. From business, ways of life and even job opportunities. Because the most important thing after graduating is serving and then securing a good job. By the time a finished my service I was ready to start a new life in Adamawa if I could get a job.

Wow, your plan to stay wasn’t just about business, am I right?

You are right.

So, in the midst of other work or business options, how did you settle for tutoring jobs, since its more like freelancing?

I was posted to teach during my service just like many youth members, but I was able to start tutoring secondary school students in the evening and in the weekends for free. At that time, the aim was to help them become better in physics. Since I graduated from the faculty of pure science, other subjects such as chemistry and mathematics are also my specialty, so I started to combine them altogether. I didn’t charge students for the evening lessons during my service as a result of the time limits and the inconsistency of the whole thing. The parents did actually commend my efforts and the students begin to perform better.

So, I guess that was the motivation behind starting a tutoring job?

After I finish my service, I contemplated between staying back and leaving immediately, then I realize I could explore some job opportunities or even get the school to offer me a permanent job. That didn’t happen actually, so I decided to try to convince the parents of the students I’ve been tutoring that I’m starting anew, although it will cost them N3000 in a month. Considering the value I’m offering, 3k is too cheap for 3 subjects. Most of them agreed and by then I had about 7 serious students. That 3k times 7 was 21k, even higher that the NYSC Allawee I used to get.

How did you scale up? Like, how did it turn to 150k monthly?

It’s not 150k monthly. Averagely you can say 150k, considering my last month earnings. If I do my calculation well, the previous month was lower but things are getting better. Students began to increase in number; by the end of 2014 I had roughly about 20 students. Since I’m not operating a school, the numbers will keep fluctuating. Most of the students were ss2 and ss3 students, trying to graduate with good grades. As of now, I have around 27 to 30 consistent students, most of them ss2. But the main expansion is when I started home tutoring some particular students singly. The parents will demand that I teach them a specific subject like maths and we negotiate the price.

What is the price range?

The price ranges from 5 to 10k, sometimes even more. In this year I haven’t tutor a student singularly for less than 10k, I think that was my New Year resolution.  To sum up both the group tutoring and the home tutoring, I made 150k last month, roughly.

I’m an entrepreneur myself and I know how time affects income vs. productivity. With all these, how do you deal with time management?

Hmmm, time is very important to me. I usually weight the, money I make based on time and energy spent. Since I don’t have anything to do in the morning or afternoon, I use that time to rest, do other things I suppose to be doing in the evening, before the time for the lessons.

How about Saturdays?

Sometimes I postpone Friday lessons to Saturdays since most of my Muslim students would be going to Mosque and after, they may need to rest.

Have you ever thought of increasing your price for the group tutoring?

Yes, I once thought of that. But I realize that some of the parents tend to be hesitant with N3000. Increasing the money will be a disaster. So I just focus on increasing the number of people, not the price.

That’s good thinking. Quality + tolerable price = increased profit.

Correct.

Now, what is your plan? I mean, do you plan to just keep expanding the group tutor or what?

My plan is to expand, because the expansion hasn’t been much, although I give glory to God for the consistency. The people I’ve started with have graduated and the ones I currently tutor are new. So, growth seems to be steady. I plan to invest more in this business by employing tutors, while I explore new businesses. Also, I want to build school.

What? Just like that?

Yes, based on my budget I need 5 million naira to make this happen and it will happen in a few years.

I believe you.

How many years are we talking about?

Two or three, once I am able to employ someone to tutor for the students, I will concentrate on expanding the number of subjects we treat and the price will depend on the subjects. I also have plans to create an association that will promote women empowerment and female child education. Things are better than the past, but I don’t think female child education is taken really seriously especially in the rural areas.

Would you accept a government work today?

No. I think government work is a limitation. If I have to work, that means it has to pay me better than I’m making, and it won’t consume my whole day. In business you have power over the money you make even if you have to deal with uncertainties.

What other potential business or businesses would you consider as a form of contribution to the society?

There are many businesses out there, but I will consider agriculture as the best option if you want to contribute to the society. Most people ignore agriculture but there is still money in the farm. Nigeria made billions from agriculture before the focus was shifted to oil. In order to grow the society, we need to get back to agriculture. We need to start exploring our forgotten treasure.

Thank you. What advice would you give to fresh graduates and other youths businesswise?

My advice for youths is, they should stop depending on the government. Yes, some people have to work for the government but you may not be among. If you have a passion, make a research on how you can turn that passion into business. The internet has helped me understand the essence of good business planning. Business is not just about buying and selling, it is a continuous process of relating with people and making sure you provide the expected quality. So, you need to know your passion, develop the right skills and start doing something.

This is very inspiring!

Thank you.

Is there anything you want to add, anything at all?

The only thing I want to add is, to the young people, your beginning is not the future. We all have to start somewhere and we have to start humble. What you do for money should be carried on your shoulder like a price. You should be proud of your position, work toward achieving better and make plans to pursue greatness.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate you for being on the #celeweekly series.

Thank you. You rock.

….

Stay tuned next Friday for another episode of the #CeleWeekly series. If you know someone doing great things in your community that deserves to be featured in this series, you can always use the “contact us” tab to let us know of this person.


Other episodes:

#CeleWeekly Episode 1: Miss Yola Opens Up On Being a Plus-Size Model, Talks High School and Future Plans

#CeleWeekly Episode Two: Martino Talks Best Music Moment, Influences, Unity Among Artists and More (Audio Inclusive)

#CeleWeekly Episode 3: MustyWhite – About Yola Carnival, New Music and Challenges Faced

#CeleWeekly Episode 3: MustyWhite – About Yola Carnival, New Music and Challenges Faced


Today I’m on the CeleWeekly with another young person from the music industry, MustyWhite. This is the #CeleWeekly series, featuring young zealous people every Friday for their contributions in the society, music, entrepreneurship, charity and the entertainment industry in general. MustyWhite has been singing for a while and recently released an unusual song which he named #Karyansu. We shall be talking about that and many more interesting details.


Other episodes of #CeleWeekly series:

#CeleWeek Episode 1: Miss Yola Opens Up On Being a Plus-Size Model, Talks High School and Future Plans

#CeleWeekly Episode Two: Martino Talks Best Music Moment, Influences, Unity Among Artists and More (Audio Inclusive)


[AUDIO VERSION: NOT AVAILABLE. THE FOLLOWING CONTENT WAS COPIED DIRECTLY FROM A CHAT PLATFORM]

 

Due to formality, can you tell us a little about your music background?

 

I will like to introduce myself. My name is Mustafa Damilola Bakare. Better known by Mustywhite. I started recording music at age of 15 and managed to release collaborative songs with the glorious 5. In a group I and couple of school friends and street ghetto friends formed.

My family love and support music. And music is in my blood since when I was a kid. Fela Kuti, Shina peter, I k dairo, King Sunny Ade and Oyeka. This legends inspire me because I love listening to their songs.

 

We recently had the Yola carnival event which I happen to be among the key sponsors. Yola carnival was where the first Miss Yola was crowned, as a result made the event more significant this year compared to the past years. Can you talk a little bit about the event?

 

First of all Yola carnival is the biggest event in Adamawa which was discovered in the year 2013 with the aid of the many people out there the event stands to be a living soul.it all started like a play because many obstacles had being sustained regarding the progress of the event but I bless God and also my mum through her prayers obstacles happened to be knocked down in the years 2013.2014 and also 2016 progress was pushed and the most funniest aspect of that scenario is that those people that had unknown dispute and envy towards the event are the ones showing much interest to the event. And that’s what I always prayed for because when there are obstacles your problem are left undefined. So this year’s carnival happened to be an amazing thing to me due to the fact that many support was rendered. You know Adamawa entertainment industry was very low in the previous years but as the new platform of government takes over of which my unending commend and regards goes to our present governor in person of his excellence Governor Jibrilla Bindow, Adamawa culture and tourism, Miss Tourism, Stubbornboizrecord and also my team Sparkboiz. Adamawa is state of great integrity and good personalities but what baffles me a lot is when our cultural heritage is being taken for granted due to the white men’s ways and life practice. So Yola carnival serve as a reminder to our outdated culture and to our own life practice.

 

That’s great. Do you think the carnival will revolutionize the perception of music or art in the state at all, on the basis of value?

 

Yea most definitely because as far as the event goes on, much progress in the initial state of music and art will be attain in less time. All we need is support and when I said support I aint talking about that of capital am talking some other intentions that you wish to render the support. You know art and music goes hand in hand because the word art itself it originated from the gene of the entertainment we all drive pleasure from. And also unity moves the train to the safe station I guess you know what I mean bro. 

 

Sure.

You talked about challenges; what are the common challenges being faced when organizing such event?

 

There are a lot challenges which was attained but I will made mention of few because of our time factor. I guess the main stepped stone of the barrier was that of capital and like have told earlier things was hard in the previous years because of the lack of governmental support in the capital aspect. Carnival is an of the not for a specific local government area in the state and what I want you to understand is that government should provide the helping hand financially to the organizers to get things in order. And secondly, the lack of unity among we all individually in the state because if I should make exceptions things might not move according to our plan. We should learn to show some love by appreciating our own progress as the progress itself starts a single a day. You know the reason behind my proclamation towards this is because there are a lot dudes out there that might say a lot irrelevant things just in order to tarnish the reputation of the event as progress comes in. So it’s very obvious that we cannot sleep in the same bed because we dream different and that’s one of the claims that define our differences. I’ve got a lot to say on this topic but nevertheless I gats reserve some comment to be untold. As they are very confidential.

 

Okay, let’s drift to your music in particular. If I may ask, among your songs, what’s the song you’ve written that came out of nowhere? 

 

Am a kind of artist that do music to inspire people. And my music is all about passing a message. I have many songs. But I will like to choose this song that I drop last week #karyansu. 

 

It’s a nice song. By the way what was the message you intend to “pass” with Karyansu?

 

Karyansu simply mean lies people tell about people on some things that never happened. No matter how carefully you choose. Your word they will always end up being twisted by others. Gossip is just a tool to distract people.

 

Do you have any favorite artist from the north? 

 

Yeah bro am a singer.  Don’t be surprised if I say BOC and Classic. Those niggas are good. They are my favorite artist. For now.

 

Alright.

Traditionally, we ask featured individuals 2 to 3 random personal questions just pick their brains. Since we still have time, let’s get it.

 

What was the best advice ever given to you?

 

I have lot of best advice from many important people that I will never forget in my life but I will like to take my mum’s advice as the best advice ever. She said. “Son always remember where you are coming from everywhere you go and always give God the glory no matter what happens.”

 

Do you consider yourself an arithmetic or theory guy?

 

Nawa for you j d y. Let me go for theory.

 

I see that coming…

 What advice would you give someone just starting up in the music industry? 

 

My advice to young artist out there; Huna no how the stuff they be. The game isn’t easy at all. My advice is in fact part of your early years should be a geared toward hunting for opportunities to perform for free opportunities that just let you get your art out there to larger audience base you see no one will tell you the truth about their career. Beginning but the fact is they all went through a lot. Of them stuff only base on imagination when time are hard as a young. Musicians sleep in the studio and make music out of that hunger and pain and frustration. Believe me bro one day you will advise those young artists coming. Am not saying am at the top but am very sure very soon we will get there finally.

 

Okay, thank you.

Anything you want to add? 

 

Believe me brother one day you will advise those young artist coming and Am not saying a am the top but big sure day my mind that I will get there finally. It’s all about time. If God campaign for you even devil will vote for you.

 

Thanks for your time.


Other episodes of #CeleWeekly series:

#CeleWeek Episode 1: Miss Yola Opens Up On Being a Plus-Size Model, Talks High School and Future Plans

 

#CeleWeekly Episode Two: Martino Talks Best Music Moment, Influences, Unity Among Artists and More (Audio Inclusive)

See you next Friday.

#CeleWeekly Episode Two: Martino Talks Best Music Moment, Influences, Unity Among Artists and More (Audio Inclusive)

Welcome to the second episode of the #CeleWeekly series where we future young people doing great things every Friday. Today we have the renowned singer, rapper and…today also a motivational speaker, Martino Elcasino.

Martino has been in the game for some time and you can bet, his music delivery is always dope to the core. The download links to the best of his songs will be provided on our next post, which will be live over the weekend.

[DOWNLOAD AUDIO VERSION]

Apparently, you don’t need much introduction. But can you tell us a little about your music background?

First of all I think it’s inappropriate to start doing this without telling you who I am even though you know me. I am martin Sanda Simon aka Martino Elcasino aka Tino. Talking about my music background, music has been something that I grew up to see in my house. Like, my Pops, my Mom, everybody loves music, I started by loving Michael Jackson actually. Started as a dancer in secondary school, along the line I felt the need to express myself.  Obviously because of what I’ve seen in the ghetto I felt the need to be a rapper. I started listening to a lot of Tupac, Biggy Smalls, Bone Thugs, Big Pong and the rest of them. That’s how the whole game started.

Among these people you mentioned, who is your influence? Your best influence?

Well, if you listen to my kind of music you will get to understand that I’m somebody that taps from a lot of sources.  I don’t have one specific person because I listen to all sort of music, like our Northern music here such as, Dan Maraya, Mamman Shatta, Ali Makaho, mixed with all the Western music. I don’t have one certain person but if I have an idol so to say, like number 1, he ain’t gonna  be a rapper firsts of all; let me just give it up for Michael Jackson for triggering the whole music thing from day one.

What was your best music moment? Like, when you felt so alive and glad that you are in the industry?

My best music moment was during my second to the last show, during the recent campaign against violence and extremism, when I flew in the hands of my people and they held me up high, you know. Am happy, very happy. It was electric.

You’ve spent some time in Lagos, Is there any difference in the way artists are being perceived compared to Yola or the North as a whole?

Yea, it took 2 and a half years, I could’ve been back from Lagos way sooner but I took my time to stay and learn, and I studied the difference. To God be the glory, Yola people are beginning to respect the game. But I think indigenous artists in Adamawa state are not well respected, there skills and talents. Yola people are just getting used to the thing.  There in Lagos they take artist very seriously. An artist is like an egg. They take good care of artists and spend a lot of money on them. I think since the Idris Abdulkareem vs. 50 cent incident, Lagos and some major cities in Nigeria have started taking proper care of artists and I think in Yola too it’s growing.

Can you talk about the energetic track, “Mu Buge?” What’s the inspiration?

The inspiration behind Mu Buge is first of all the problems being faced by youths in general. I sat down and saw all the adversities that stop youths from being what they want to be. I was like, let’s hit it down. All the drugs and the fake things that take youths out of the line, especially those in the music industry. For instance, when people meet a musician, they give him drugs, alcohol or women. I’m not saying we shouldn’t go for pleasure, but I’m trying to tell people, let’s not go for just the pleasure. Let’s do it in such a way that we can actually accomplish our aims. Let’s hit down the adversities.  Mu Buge, you know what it means, like let’s hit it down.

In your music, you like using proverbs. I can confidently say you create your own proverbs. In “Mu Buge”, you said “holy water no be sobo”, what’s the interpretation of that?

You know, am a kind of person that read a lot. I read whatsoever I see. So, I speak sometimes in parables and proverbs. I’m trying to tell the adversaries that am as tough as that. I’m not that weakling that the adversaries thought I am. Am really really strong, “holy water no be sobo.” I can stand as strong as whatever against the adversaries.

What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your musicality?

Am naturally a teacher. I’ve been a private teacher for so long, taking people classes; teaching them how to read and write and I’ve been earning a little bit of something. When I have a little money, I do a little bit of business. Anything I see, I buy and I sell.

That’s really good.

Let’s say hypothetically, how would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do?

There are many ways actually. I can go as deep as anything you know, I can even do hypnosis. I can hypnotize you to do what I want. But basically music is my strongest weapon, so I try to most times arrange what I say in rhymes so that people will get to listen to it and do what I want them to do.

You as a person, are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

I’m done being a hunter right now. I’ve been hunting since, now am trying to gather.

Do you believe in plan B’s or do you prefer burning all bridges? Just sticking to one thing?

There are situations where you have to just stick to what you have to do. But it’s always good to have a backup plan, and even a backup plan for a backup plan, in case it goes bad.

I like that. So, what would you do for the entertainment industry if you were the governor of this state?

If I’m the governor of Adamawa state, first of all the entertainment industry needs to come together; they need to team-up, you understand me? So when they team up and face me, then I’ll know what to do. I’ll definitely take part of the state’s budget for the entertainment industry. I’ll make sure to watch how things are being run but I will definitely cut part of the budget to empower youths in the entertainment industry because any town without entertainment is not yet a town.

That’s a good thought.

How thankful are you for your fans and supporters?

Words cannot express how happy I am with my fans, most of all my Jimeta boys, they made Martino. Honestly, all around the north whenever people see me they be like, “Tino, hearing about you is more than just seeing you.”  And that means my fans have been communicating, trying to send my message out to the world. So, I am really happy and I feel blessed, without them there is no me.

Having said all that, if you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career? Would you do anything differently?

Not even in the afterlife. You see, am a man of a lot of talents and I know it but I choose music and I love music. Basically if you take a look at me physically, I’m a man with more brains than muscles. So, I feel it’s better for me to use the brain. Basically the brain is sharper. So, I will choose music again and again and again and again.

Awesome

So, what advice would you give to upcoming artists?

First of all I will like to advice the upcoming artists to differentiate between real life and music video; celebrity life, etc. because talking from this perspective, take for example my area, Adamawa state. I’ve seen a lot of young boys seeing what Wizkid and Davido do online and they try to copy it. Beef doesn’t pay, most especially when the industry is still a baby. Right now I think we need to put our heads together. What we really need is unity and I advise each and every artist to read because music is very vast. Like for me, I read everything I see; the Bible, Koran, the Thora, just everything I see. They need to read and study. And they should shun violence. Like beef, you don’t know the beginning or the end. For instance, what happened between Tupac and Biggie; record labels made a lot of money on them and they are dead. I’d advise the artists on first of all, unity and studies, they need to read.

Lastly, what is your best success quote?

My best quote about success… “Progress is a slow process” that’s my best quote. Because you need patience and Dan Maman Patience, you know. I’ve got to tell you even though you start today and tomorrow you see millions; you need to keep going on and on. And I’ll like to tell my younger ones, my mates and everyone out there, progress is a slow process. So, they should just keep their heads in the game and keep pursuing what matters until they get it.

Wow…Is there anything you want to add?

The only thing I want to add; I want to tell young artists especially those in Adamawa State that they are really good. If I have the chance to choose a certain number out of them, it would be very hard because I would like to take all of them along. But then I’d like to advise them on one thing; unity that I talked about, and studies. They should really go deep down, they should forget about watching music videos. Go and read! Flip through the pages of your books. Read about celebrities, about how they end. Sometimes I do sit down to read about dead celebrities and I see how some people we see as stars dying miserably. So I want them to study beyond just the singing part of music.

Alright. Thank you Martino Elcasino for your time and for being part of the #CeleWeekly series.

Thanks JDY, you my man.

Thank you.


Anticipate the next #CeleWeekly Episode where anything can happen. [Previous Episode]

PS: This series is all about showcasing the great doings of young people which include entrepreneurs, artists, models etc. If you feel someone deserves to be featured due to their courage and hard work in business and art, you can contact us to let us know more about this person.

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#CeleWeekly Episode 1: Miss Yola Opens Up On Being a Plus-Size Model, Talks High School and Future Plans

You are welcome to the first episode of the #CeleWeekly series, a weekly post where we feature young artists, models and entrepreneurs for their greatness, zeal and breakthroughs. Today we have the recently crowned Miss Yola, Ladidi Ishaku Bameri. She is known for her energetic spirit and the boss-like personality, which ultimately makes her standout and easily recognized.