Audu Maikori is head honcho at Chocolate City, musical home to M.I, Ice Prince, Nosa, Pryse and Victoria Kimani.
A lawyer by profession the businessman and music promoter is an alumnus of the University of Jos.
In this chat with sabinews.com, Audu lays it all out saying success is predicated on working hard, learning all you can and staying focused.
Give us your full names?
Audu Adamu Maikori
What area of entertainment are you involved in?
Music promotion, talent management, brand activations, event management and consultancy, entertainment legal advisory, content production etc
How long have you been doing this?
About 8 years now.
How did you get into the business? Were you trained formally for it?
No, I wasn’t. I started out in University making posters for shows and concerts, then got involved in event promotion for Chocolate City with my friends. After Law School we started GAP (Guild of Artistes and Poets) a not-for-profit arts society with my business partner Paul Okeugo.
GAP brought me into interaction with creative people and I started off giving them free legal advisory services. Chocolate City was later registered in 2003 to set up a proper entertainment platform as compared to the ones I had encountered in the course of my experience in the entertainment world.
Advice a young man/woman trying to get into this business?
You should be ready for hard work, learn all you can, stay focused and remain steadfast in your goals because it is a high risk, often-thankless job with lots of ups and downs.
How would you rate your business – sector/annual turnover /sphere of influence?
I would say we have done quite well in terms of turnover we are a multimillion dollar concern. In terms of influence it’s hard to say with finality but I would say we have influenced the perception and viability of entertainment as a real business and not just an expensive past time for uneducated people. We have taken the Nigerian brand globally and this is just the beginning.
What is your USP; what do you think you are doing differently from others?
We have always wanted to be global but operate locally and over the years have our own identity. At Chocolate City we let creative people give vent to their creative aspirations ,we do not stifle or try to force them along a pre-determined path, our job is to create the environment where their talents can be nurtured and enhanced
What would you have done better if you have to do this all over again?
I would have taken a project management course at the beginning it would have made things a bit easier.
Give us 3 challenges you have faced/currently face?
Human resources i.e the right team, finance and time management.
What motivates/inspires you?
I am inspired by the possibility of bringing positive change by my personal endeavours in whatever field I am opportune to operate in.
Who are your mentors/role models?
Richard Branson, Adamu Maikori -My father, Warren Buffet and Ben Bruce.
Do you abide by a guiding principle or you go on a hunch/gut?
I just do it.
You are seen as an icon to youths, what advice do you have for them?
My advice is we all have a stake in this country and if individually we put in our best I am sure that we will have that country of our dreams in the next 15 years…so note Nigeria needs you!
Where do you see the creative economy 5 years from now?
Blooming, creating jobs, adding value and reinforcing our belief in Nigeria
Complete this in one sentence: “I believe in Nigeria because…”
It is real, no pretence, no exaggerations, it is what it is.