YOUTHS DIGEST – Emmanuel Ekpo Idim is the content creator for Ekpo.com.ng, a fashion start-up which he co-founded in 2015. He is also the creative director for Summer BBQ fest event, Abuja’s top summer party. He holds a B. Sc Degree in International Relations from Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.
In this interview with Youths Digest, the young entrepreneur speaks on the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Nigeria among other sundry issues relating to Summer BBQ fest and Ekpo fashion. Segun Adeyemi was there to anchor the interview. Excerpts:
YD: So what is Ekpo all about?
Ekpo is my middle name so i named my brand after it. Ekpo is a lifestyle and fashion company, digital Magazine. We report fashion trends mostly based on Nigeria’s lifestyle, culture, youth culture, travel, and all that. We write about that and also promote local contents.
YD: What’s the business model of Ekpo?
We have a shop online which is called ‘shop Ekpo’, a retail outlet with made-in-Nigeria stocks only.
YD: Why made-in-Nigeria products only?
This is because we want to push the made-in-Nigeria market out there. Our brand is mostly centered on Nigeria lifestyle, trying to push the Nigerian culture to the world.
YD: How many youth have Ekpo fashion start-up engaged?
I can say we are up to five, but the team is expanding this year because we are going into the events for 2018. After separating from our partners, we are looking forward to expanding fully this year. But we have different writers, content creators, contributors. So I believe with all that, we will make amazing contents with the team. So before the year runs out, we should be able to have at least 10 people to work with as a team. But for now, we are just 5. However, for the Summer BBQ fest, we get an average crowd of at least 3,000 people coming for the event on the day.
YD: How many events have you organized so far?
So far i have organized two events. i will be organizing the third one this year (2018).
YD: What’s the interval for the event?
It happens once every year. In July precisely.
YD: Do you have other partners in BBQ fest?
I used to, but we are not together anymore.
YD: Would you like to tell us about what happened between you and your partners?
Yes. Since I’m on the creative side, I create and do other creative jobs like a freelancer. So I created a job with my partner who also happens to be my friend under a certain gadget brand. Then we did the first one which brought in a lot of money and was shared accordingly. After that, they started sidelining me, like a hostile takeover. They went on to create other ones with the name of the event I gave to them.
YD: Do you feel money is an issue among Nigerian youths?
It’s just greed. Like my partners, they didn’t expect that they were going to get such huge amount of money because they are not even a lifestyle company like an event company. So what are they doing with events?
YD: Do you think Nigerian youths are greedy?
No they are not. It’s just that everybody wants to make it fast. There’s nothing wrong in making it fast but you have to work hard for what you want.
YD: Do you think the social media has really helped you in the long start- up?
Yes, it has. Of course, for every start- up it is all about social media.
YD: Can you tell us how you usually plan your day?
Before the work day, I already planned my day, so all I do is to wake up, and work on my plan for the day. Even though it’s not always easy to achieve all the plans.
YD: What do you have to say about ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Campaign?
Yes, it’s going to give the Nigerian youths the opportunity. That’s if those at the helm of affair would allow the youth the aspire to political office.
YD: What advice do you have for youth aspiring for public office?
Nigerian youth have come of age. They are everywhere excelling in sports, entertainment, entrepreneurship, education and even politics. Even though their impact is yet to be felt as regards at their election or appointment in to public offices. Is either our leaders will allow our youth to grow and participate in politics or the youth should monster courage with their population to bulldoze their way all through to this electoral offices to be able to make the desired change that Nigerians and the country deserve. I know the youth can make it.