See excerpts from his recent interview with Encomium.
Congratulations on your 30th birthday?
How does it feel clocking 30?
It feels good. First, I don’t ascribe any particular thing to turning 30. It is just another year. When I decided to think further, I thought that crossing another decade is what makes it interesting, the first 10, second 20 and 30 are all ideas of entering into a new decade and heading towards the big 40. I think that God has been gracious to me. I think that God has been very kind to put me on a very interesting programme from heaven. And so, I have lived a special 30 years. Because of that, sometimes I can’t even think too much about my age, or about myself or what I do because it is really much about God and what He wants to do with me. I see myself as some sort of vessel. I am at peace. If people ask me how it feels to be 30, I just give two fingers in the air, it means peace. I feel at peace in God.
Do you feel 30?
I have always felt older than my age since I was young. People don’t seem to accept my age, even on the internet, they will say, never he is not 30, it is a lie. It is football age, they say that every year. I think I feel like 36 in my head. I am grateful in all.
What is the significance of clocking 30?
It is really about starting a new decade. There are certain philosophies in my life that are independent of age. For example, people believe life begins at 40 but I believe life begins when it begins. You can make magic anytime you come. Any time you wake up is your morning. There are so many things that can make each day meaningful without waiting for a particular age.
You have achieved a lot at your age, what will you say is the secret of your success?
It is simply God and that is what it is. I woke up one morning when I was 14 I said, there has to be more to life than what I had at that time. I am from a very robust background, a silverspoon background, I woke up one morning and everything was gone. I was about five, six then or older. After about seven years of struggling, I woke up one morning and said, there must be more to life. I was in junior secondary school going to senior secondary school. I decided to take charge of my life. Do something for myself. I made important decisions when I was 15, 16 that helped change the course that I am taking today. All of that were done by the grace of God.
As a child, I loved to talk, learn, help people, and hear from other people. I grew up really fast because I was reading books. I also travelled around the world to see things that many of my mates had not seen. I was eating at the feet of older people, learning about their lives, their mistakes so that I wouldn’t fall into the same pitfall.
I was able to take decisions that took longer time because I had so much information and knowledge. God also led me to have the right people around me. I wasn’t a lazy child too. I wanted to work to earn what I own. There was a time I tried to be an actor, I did a lot of chores at home so that they could give me money and I used the money for auditions.
I never became a successful actor, I did well on stage, got awards but I never veered into television. 10 years after, I was on television in an Ebola movie. I was paid for a decent role that some celebrity actors get today. In three years, I have been receiving scripts and rejecting some.
There was a time I was looking for these scripts, I never got them. There was nothing I was interested in that I never went for. I did a lot of thankless jobs so that I could gain experience. I know the experience has paid off many years after. It was God that led me to where ever I went. I tell people what the fundamentals that make you a purposeful human being. When you find the fundamentals, pursue them and you will be happy.
At this stage, what more do you want from God?
I like this question, it is not about being religious or saying it as a cliché, it is my reality. It is a perfect question. At this point, I want God to open my eyes and give me a perfect partner. One can kill a thousand, two can kill 10 thousand. He has already given me a partner that we have killed thousand and millions together that is Chude, that is my business partner. Now I need a life partner.
In terms of career and other things, I have my life in His hands, He does things at His own pace and by God’s grace, it is usually faster than one thinks. I want to leave this world with the kind of legacy Mandela left behind. Not in words but I should be able to give that kind of legacy in the lives of other people. I don’t want my legacy to die with me; I want it in the lives of other people, that is my biggest cry to God. I want to leave this world empty.
Does that mean you are not engaged?
I have just answered. I am waiting for God to give me the perfect partner. There is a joke that when a man marries a bad wife, the devil just leaves the man’s house and parks his load that the man is already finished. It is a very delicate thing to do, a very important action to take, one that you have to do reasonably. I know God will lead me in the right place and connect me to the right partner as well. I am not in a hurry. I know that this year, I have been on edge. I put all my fears and hopes in God.
Will you say you are fulfilled at this age?
God keeps surprising me, what more fulfillment can I ask for. He has taken my hands and I keep praying to Him for grace never to leave Him.
Can you tell us the greatest challenge you faced while rising to the top?
As much as this would sound, God has given me the grace. I have never seen challenges as challenges. I see them as opportunities to conquer something and achieve something. If we look at the Future Awards of past years, they would only tell young people that every challenge is a stepping stone. You don’t see challenge and allow it stop you. You have to rise above it.
During my birthday, they played a video for me about my family. My sister was telling them that after we lost everything, she was always worried, about how I would survive because I was too comfortable. I had maids to myself, a driver to take me to school too and everything stopped suddenly. Funny enough, I went on. I was even telling them, don’t worry everything will be okay. I was raised with so much pampering; I had two maids to myself alone. My sister was really surprised when I didn’t react negatively. God has given me the grace to see good in it. That is the same attitude that my partner has. How do we break through the wall, how do we get to the next level.
Are there targets you have set for yourself that you want to achieve before 40?
There are things I wanted to do for myself before I clock 40 that God did before I was 30. That is why I always say my life is in God’s hands.
When did you make your first million?
Do I remember? Haha, I am sure my partner will remember, Chude will remember. I can’t remember, it should be in the 2000’s; it was not in the 90’s. I will find out.
What does success mean to you?
Success means impact. I believe that if you are doing well but not impacting life, it is empty. As you succeed, there must be testimonies of people you have helped, those that your life has turned around. Those that have stood on your shoulders to pluck their own mangoes. If you don’t have that, I am not sure that you are a successful person. That is success for me. Happiness with impact.
You are handsome and successful; do you sometimes get distracted by women?
I am human, even the more ugly man gets distracted by women. Every woman has a man and every man has a woman. I am human. Of course, there are females who give me attention and there are women I want their attention too, those I find interesting. I love, most especially good conversation, women who are passionate about their work. As a man, I think I have the responsibility to help women, be it my wife, mother, sister. Women are already facing all kinds of societal challenges that keep them down.
Any real man should be comfortable enough to help a woman. Not because you want to be with them but because you need to help them, ensure they are comfortable.
How do you find time to relax amidst your busy schedule?
My work and fun are together. I work and have fun together. Some of my meetings are in restaurants. I love good food, I love good places too. Sometimes, I have to go out with a client. Sometimes, I am out till 2 am because I have to bond with the client.
Many times in creating partnership, most partnerships are better done at informal places. It goes with some kind of fun. I barely create time for myself to have fun except I see movies once a while. While I travel also, I find time to go sky diving.
What words do have for youths out there who look up to you as role model?
I always say to them, the best day in the life of a man is when he finds his purpose. You need to find your purpose, seek knowledge, have the right counsel, sow so that you can reap, do thankless jobs too. You have to leave your home too. I left my home at 16. If you stay in a place and it is setting you back, leave. Olajumoke left wherever she was to come to Lagos before meeting TY Bello and her life changed. Don’t be afraid to move. The summary is, your life is in your hands, you have to get up and make the right decision. You owe it to yourself to succeed. You owe it to God and humanity too. You have to get up because the only person that can stop you is you.