The Nigerian film industry boasts of very good creative directors. Odaro Igbako is not just one of them; she stands outstandingly tall in their midst and has become a household name in the industry and among its teeming patrons. She therefore hardly needs any introduction. But who really is this maverick of a lady who breezes so easefully through an industry hitherto dominated by males? What makes her tick? What exactly constitutes this brainy beauty? What birthed her dream to be a film director? What galvanizes her into action? Exactly who is Odaro Igbako and what explains her success so far? What does the future hold for her in her mind’s eye? Pleasures Magazine leaves nothing to guess. We cornered her the other day and the result was this insightful interview which unearths the simple personality in this glamorous professional. Follow along as we produce the illuminating excerpts of our conversation.
Who is Odaro Igbako?
Odaro Nuvie Igbako (ONI) I am Odaro Nuvie Igbako, and I am very passionate about filmmaking, I love to watch tutorials on you tube, I like to imagine things and I love to make films
Tell us more about your childhood- where did you grow up, and what were your favorite moments growing up?
I was born in Lagos and grew up in Abuja, so that makes me an Abuja girl. Right from my childhood, I had always loved to organize things, when we had parties, and delegated duties, I’d always been a planner from a very long time and less of an academic.
When I was little, I had this little business called Amily shopping center. I had this little kiosk in front of the house where I sold biscuits, and other petty things, I would buy from the ‘mallams’ and sell it in the house, to family members and visitors. The kiosk was formerly occupied by my dad’s chickens and turkeys, and when they all died, I took over the kiosk and ran my business from there
So yea, I’ve always been business oriented since I was a kid.
What about your educational background?
For secondary school education, I attended Premiere Academy. I obtained my undergraduate degree from the Covenant university where I studied mass communication. I went on to further my education at master degree level in the Middlesex university where I studied film and television production.
What aspect of your background has been most helpful to your experience as an entrepreneur that should resonate with the average African youth?
Aside from the fact that I’ve always been business oriented, I graduated from the Covenant University with a 2-2 and everyone kept saying it would be difficult to get a job with such result. Yet I just promised myself that I would never present that CV to anyone to be judged.
Let’s talk about your company: what really motivated and inspired you to start Nuvie Films Productions and what is the firm all about?
I think my passion for film-making derives from my desire to have a platform to express my creativity and my idea of what motion picture should be like.
And at my firm, we make promotional videos for clients, basically we connect companies to customers, we project their idea and tell their story through our videos.
What were the challenges you faced as a beginner? How did you overcome them?
One of the challenges was not owning my equipment. I had to hire practically everything, and sometimes the people I hired from had their own projects so these equipment were not available, also the fact that I could do the job but was not having enough content on my portfolio was a major challenge for me.
And I think I got lucky, I got a little start up fund from my parents, I took up extra work to be able to save for my equipment and got extra help from people who believed in what I was doing
What drives you as a young African entrepreneur; success, money?
It would have to be success. Success drives me because, more than making money, being able to satisfy a client and knowing that through my videos they are able to meet their organizational goals, brings a lot of satisfaction to me, and I think success brings money.
As a young Creative Director, what drives your imagination and creativity and business decisions?
As a creative person, I am very observant so I think my surrounding drives my creativity, coming from Nigeria, a very diverse place, with different people and cultures, and I also model my business after people before me.
How do you find good employees? That seems to be quite difficult these days. Or?
Basically, there are a lot of referrals in the film-making business, and there are also passionate ones who just keep reaching out.
To your credit, you make running a films production enterprise look easy. How challenging has the media industry been for you?
I’m a positive person, I don’t have records of any challenges.
Tell us a major lesson you learnt while starting your career.
Confidence. Whatever it is that you are doing, just be confident about it. People can see when you are not confident and that is not attractive. And as a beginner, put money aside and focus on improving your craft; money would come shortly.
Has it ever made a difference that you are a woman, a young African woman for that matter? Or was that completely irrelevant for the development of your company?
I think being an African woman and doing film has been very positive for me because, people have more trust while working with me and they have been more receptive.
What has been your biggest success, and how are you trying to improve that?
ONI: My biggest success would be working with over 30 brands and businesses in 2018, creating TV and social media contents for these brands.
Let’s talk about Africa. How crucial is the role of today’s young African in the development of the continent?
I think that everywhere in the world, the days of your youth are the days you can make the most impact; we have fresh ideas and we are more energetic and unlike any other generation, we have easy access to the information we need to make impact. Now, you don’t need any formal structure to be inclined, so I think we are equipped to be the change we need
3 personalities that inspire you…
My parents; they showed me on a daily basis what hard work and persistence could do for me, so it’s not difficult for me to think that nothing is impossible
Mrs Viola Ogbunude: She’s a woman who has built a business that translates to the whole of Africa and it’s so inspiring to know she’s a Nigerian.
Kemi Adetiba; She’s constantly telling the Nigerian story in a way that thrills the audience
Is it really so important for young people, especially women who want to start businesses to have role models?
I feel role models and mentors are necessary because there would be days when you are down and discouraged and it is important that you are able to relate with the fact that such situations are normal.
What is your advice for young girls, African women and individuals who are out there? How will you encourage them to greatness?
Everybody has a star in them, everybody has their own gift that makes them outstanding, just discover yourself and be consistent with what you are good at and with time it will blossom
What would you say to young entrepreneurs looking out to start a business?
I would say they should get up and stop dreaming, take baby steps till you can run. But most importantly, keep moving.
Let’s talk fashion. Who are your favorite designers, locally and international?
All my favorite designers are Nigerians Kathy Anthony, Tubo and Sarah Jacobs
Bags or Shoes?
When you are not working?
Watching documentaries Netflix
What are you most grateful for?
I’m most grateful for my family and the staffs at Nuvie films
How may you be contacted?
You may reach me on my Instagram DM Nuvie films production and my mail email@example.com
Finally, what’s your personal goal?
My personal goal is to be the best at what I do.
I hope to have children’s contents on television soon.