“this post is to be published on sept28, but because of the significance of that date to me, i am sure i will not be chanced to post it. in case you are wondering whats happening on sept 28 that same day some many years ago this greatness called Stephen was born as a gift to this world. yes that’s d summary, in other words that’s my birthday. if you are wishing me Hbd already, tnx all the same, the rest will happen on twitter; @akanmuste, facebook; akanmu stephen and other social media platforms. Enjoy the read…… (its a dedication and appreciation piece)”
These class of people are not just friends colleagues or folks that showed interest in and concern for me most especially my entrepreneurial pursuit so far. They have largely contributed to me being where I am in business and as a person at large. They individually had their unique contribution to the brand SRC and the Stephen persona. I wrote this at 12; 28am Nigerian time 9/8/13 after listening to one of my wisdom coaches when he made a striking point on the investors of your life. I had to ponder over it before kissing my pillow in a sweet journey to dreamland. I would not find sleep until I wrote this; so I sat up to put this little piece together to the people of my journey in the last 5yrs.
My 1st tnx and appreciation goes to someone special; a seed of whom I am. His decision to permit and support my venturing into entrepreneurship as a student has made me a better smartboy. At a point I almost named the outfit smartboy clothing…. Something that sha had to do with smart sha. He gave me the 1st fund I needed to produce my first set of elegance (src shirts) I initially asked for 2ok and he gave me 15k that I should add 5k from my pocket. See how far that approval and support has brought me! I can recall he cautioning that I should make sure my grades doesn’t drop, they later did by my volition and I have no regrets. He gave me the support to explore and pursue my entrepreneurial pursuits.
Next is my blooda, d dude whose twitter handles determine his nicknames per time. An incredible scholar as he once called himself, later smugybloke and now SRC-Demi. He was one person I just had to meet in that school; we had quite a lot in common personality and values wise. He soon became my school brother, little did I know that he would be working (in business) together in the nearest future. He is an excellent sales person, his excitement and obsession for marketing amazes me. He puts his effort and resources to join me in building a brand that will change the face of lifestyle in this country, perhaps this continent. He keyed into a phase of the #Nigeriandream. He is the brain behind our urban/casual outfits at SRC. he is at the heard of affairs at SRC, he is the ingredient of our success so far. I remember how he always made fun of my wild and crazy ideas.
The only efiko that calls me “my roles model *in Jennifer’s voice*” he has really helped my fashion side by exposing me to some relevant info and basics that I needed to know. From the day I caught him drawing some fashion sketches, after which he let me peruse his sketch pad and ever since I have been on my toes. He is one designer I can’t wait for. Did I forget to mention that he also supplied me with the latest fashion show pictures and designer collections. He indirectly inspired me to think global about my brand and business, after a brief chat with him about his love and interest in fashion. He was my first fashion critic he knew fashion better than I did, I used to present some sample designs and concepts to him to give his expert advice and opinion (aspa consultant). I salute you!! It was from him i got to know and understand fabric print types from prints, patterns, plain, polka dots etc
My number one business springboard and inspiration was Oluwatobi Soyombo. The ways he spoke about money, business, entrepreneurship investment in PG meetings ignited me to do something. He made sure we committed ourselves to start one form of business or the other on campus even when the school/system didn’t support student entrepreneurship. He was my fist consultant and coach. He helped me in starting early before I will have any opportunity to change my mind or listen to voices of doubt. He nurtured my idea till it became a reality; he invested time in feeding me with tips, wisdom, resourceful business material, strategy and lots more. We had a series of private coaching sessions even from his busy schedule; because he was one of the enviable student CEOs back then in school. His business knowledge was wide and vast; I did desire to know like hm. He played marketing roles for the business to his friends and room mates. He encouraged, advised, challenged and criticized when necessary. He still keeps tabs on the activities of the business. He is the brain behind http://www.socialmeep.com
Bowofade Elegde, lemme introduce you to my drafter, in school we were both game lovers and fans of NFS need for speed. I call him my drafter because I met him the period I was still battling with nfs underground on my psp. He was someone whose sense of style I admired from afar, I never had the opportunity of access because there was nothing to bring us together. Destiny sha happened….. he was willi’s roommate and we started talking after I whined him and he started to cut cap for me (back in my second year I was whining/flattery). I was an expert, smugy was a partner in that act too though in still they learning work where I dey. Ehen back to bobby jareh… I through whinning secured an opportunity to create a convo with him and as we rubbed minds I began to wish I had met him 4rm my 1oolevel days. We had a lot in common 4rm growing up to preferences etc most especially his passion for Nigeria. He introduced me to PG, encouraged me to value my ideas and let them materialize. At a point he was my mentor but he didn’t like the mentor tingy so I stock to calling him my drafter. Are you still asking what a drafter means? ok! In NFS a drafter is a helping driver who navigates in front of you through the best routes to your finish line. My drafter never related with me as a competition or threat. We had late night business meetings and discussions, he exposed me to branding, his network valuable friends(femi, osun b, tobi,) he fed me with resources from mp3s, videos, business documents, pdf, websites etc my personal development was priority to him. He introduced me to the first fashion show I showcased in. I sure have a lot to talk about him…. D night I snapped in his Man u jersey was d night we met.
Mr Personality, best dressed and multiple award winning Femi Ajayi is one person that talks about me in a way that increases my esteem and value. He introduces me to greatness, you need to be present when Femi is introducing me to any of his friends or network contact, while he is speaking I would wonder if he was talking about this same me. He is one fellow that is never short of the best words to paint my portrait and equally sow into my thinking. He is deep!! I hardly visit him, chat or discuss without a notepad in my hands. His sense of style was a factor of attraction even before I was privilege to meet him in person. He Is stylish, he is one person whose gift of access am grateful for, his words ignite my hope, potential and dreams. I have countless received counsel, ideas, resources, enjoyed consult, he adds (pours) into me at every encounter. He believes so much in SRC, he was also the first client to purchase our most expensive outfit back then. His investment in my life is un-quantifiable. He is in the class of his own as an orator *you should here him speak!! badt guy*
Obalola is a senior production staff of our production unit, he practically adopted me. He was and still remains an instrument of Gods favor upon me. My meeting him was divinely scheduled, darzoll. Our relationship soon metamorphosed from business to personal, I became famo to him. He took me into his family as his brother, introduced me to everyone and gave me shelter any time I needed it. My first night in his house was a memorable experience. He treated me as royalty; he introduced me to people and places. He invested time and conversation in me. As a sartorialist he has a unique cut that gives a special touch to his work. Broad!!! I salute.
Fagbote Temitayo (vagboo) was my fan club nigga, he was the go stevo !! Guy. You can do it, you are the boss, na you nah!! You are the chairman etc he used to envy me GP wise, he soon became a helper to my academics I wonder what my result wudda been if I didn’t have a reading partner like him. He at a point became a strong pillar and support for dying minute group study, crash reading, revision, till day break jacking, lecture stabbing etc he was for missed lectures *not like he was one serious guy oo, in fact he motivated me to engage in truancy* but he was a smart guy we both mastered the secret of academic success… we had a lot of academic adventures even from PD days, I knew almost all his reading hide outs, we were academic night crawlers #lamp #nescafetea #photocopiednotes #jottings. He is a client too, I remember him trying to establish some contacts for me in Aba market, and introduce me to some industry people bla bla bla… we had steady conversations on the business my welfare etc he is one guy that reminds me of me when he says ‘na u na’
Subomi Awoliyi was this dude that was all out to support what this course mate was doing. He just wanted to be associated with something that was working. He was the first investor the business had when I was still riding ridding solo he was ready to pour all his extra cash into it. He saw passion he believed in me/brand. He follows up for update and progress report. He will tell me if he had more money he would make sure my plans come to fruition. Our relationship grow stronger, he became a source a major player in the matters that concern us. They make their available for us to test, play, use learn and risk it. all join….
A clawn I did not meet too late, I wish we had started working before now. Sunmi wanted to take our brand to another level, he believed we could be better than where we were. He upgraded our standard with his photography and network. We are fam now. He has contributed immensely to the brand beyond money can pay for. He sees us as his buddy doing business. He inspired me so much I wanted to write an article using him as a case study back in school before we even met
My uncle of life, uncle Afo is one business mentor that has stood by me through every stage of the business. He gives expert advice and suggestions on how to tackle my challenges. He always assured me that with consistency and diligence ama make it as long as God is with me. We spend time to talk and trash out business ideas or moves that are on my mind. I still remember all those talks about visiting Tony Tigana and going to the island to shop for fabrics.
Ebilakun Femi is another bro that really helped my business side, Steve watsup, what’s happening with SRC what are you working on? Do you know you need to do this? Do you know that ? Have you heard this? Have you read this? Have you watched this? He was my resource person for business and entrepreneurial materials, books, personal development, capacity building and motivation. He continued where Soyombo stopped. I made it a duty to sped time with him everyday, his goals inspired and helped me to lift the bar on my goals too. He was eager to make sure SRC was in the oil rich city of the country PH city.
Fund friends; quite a number o f people wanted to share in this dream and project. They made their money available. They supported, I remember Esanjumi Willi alias Iyomere, he was so ready to use his allowance to take the business to the next level when he saw some sets o f stunning designs from my first set o f work. He blew the shell o my silence by exposing my business and design skill to whoever he believes has to know. His anxiety didn’t end there he went further to do some marketing too, became available as model and later played important roles in the business. I can still remember one of those visits to the island for fabric shopping. I also remember a couple o f friends whose cash we used as working capital to make both pro fit and loss, some even as investment in the business to receive some form o f returns but we didn’t meet up to some promises. But more importantly I am grateful f or the lessons learnt on the job, they are priceless. I am really grateful for you guys. I cant mention you all, Jwanshack Dakwal, kashima Bahago, Essein, Toborro etc (you guys financed it, you made it happen)
I am thankful for a few inspiration like, Ezekiel, Mr. segun, tuned oladele (tunapeezil, osmos), Damilola Taiwo (dammy tee), Fola Tella (flo-b). matthew room 50guys.
i beleive you know that any God given dream will require God to achieve it
Will I forget the one whose knew me even before the foundation of the earth, he who has my name written on the pal of his hands? He who inspired my style, designs, sketches and very wild vision dimension vision that at a point in my life I was with my physical eyes seeing beyond d physical in matters relating to fashion. He made my head an airstrip for business ideas and innovations, that one person who made sure every src piece spoke 4itself and comes back with testimony, referral and contract ovvers. One in every 5shirts produced leads and contracts. Even the simplest of designs had people talking about them, complements src. There was always something awesome to say about an SRC piece. God has brought us this far, I think business, more opportunities everywhere. Gave me dreams of designs, vision trance etc fashion show, and direction for where we are heading to. I remember sharing about SRC in purpose group, it was just like pitching my own version ov ‘I have a dream’ made popular MLK. the swag, employee class etc
remain blessed, yours in greatness stephen aka #nigeriandream ( stevie, musty-j)