The present economic realities in Nigeria today has shown that securing a good job after graduation is like going to the moon. And for the few who gets employed eventually, they are underpaid. In view of this, a number of students have embraced self-reliance as a way out of this economic quagmire, becoming entrepreneurs in their own right. In this edition of Ibadankiniso Studentprenuer, we feature an amazing lady of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic who runs an ushering agency known as BDU&E (Bella Diva Usherette and Events). Enjoy!
Ibadankiniso: Kindly introduce youself
Gbadebo Olanbo: I’m Gbadebo Olanbo, I Hail from Kwara state, but I’m currently schooling in Abeokuta at Moshood Abiola polytechnic , HND1
Ibadankiniso: Apart from schooling, what else do you do?
Gbadebo Olanbo: I have an Ushering agency BDU&E (Bella Diva Usherette and Events) it’s an upcoming Ushering agency
Ibadankiniso: What inspired you into ushering business?
Gbadebo Olanbo: The truth of the matter is that Nigeria is not encouraging. The only way to make it in Nigeria is to have connections. In the past, we were told that education is the key but it’s unfortunate that our governments and leaders have misplaced the padlock making the key useless. For those who are connected, their future is secured. But for those of who don’t have anybody, we have to think of a way out. In other words, the fear of poverty propelled me to prepare ahead for my future. Besides, fashion and travelling also inspired me a lot. I love Fashion and I love visiting new places and meeting new people. Those are my inspirations
Ibadankiniso: How long have you been in this business and at what time did you go into it professionally?
Gbadebo Olanbo: I have been into it since 2011 professionally, working for different agencies and firms but I started getting my own jobs early last year which made me standardize my services and establish my agency
Ibadankiniso: How do you operate and how many ushers do you have?
Gbadebo Olanbo: At the moment we have 10
, who are always on standby. But whenever, we need more hands, we also have girls we use. We have enough Ushers. As for our operation, its simple; we just get briefs from our clients and we discharge our duties effectively
Ibadankiniso: How do you charge?
Gbadebo Olanbo: It depends on the event and the venue. If we are moving as far as Port Harcourt, we may charge for transport and accommodation. But on the average, we take an average of 10-15k per usher since we are starter and it’s negotiable
Ibadankiniso: Any major break since you started?
Gbadebo Olanbo: So far, we are looking forward to God for big events. However, we are not in haste. I strongly believe in the saying that God’s time is the best
Ibadankiniso: Is BDU&E (Bella Diva Usherette and Events) a partnership or just your agency?
Gbadebo Olanbo: It’s a sole proprietorship enterprise. Though I network whenever necessary
Ibadankiniso: What are the challenges you face in the business?
Gbadebo Olanbo: The only challenge I face in the business right now is that customers only focus on the fact that the agency isn’t a big one, hence they feel we can’t give them quality service, which is wrong
Ibadankiniso: What are your long term goals?
Gbadebo Olanbo: My long term goal is to grow the agency into a big event planning company that would be known nationally and globally. I see myself rendering services for the United Nations
Ibadankiniso: What’s your take on the impression that girls ushering at parties are “call girls”?
Gbadebo Olanbo: My take on that is just so simple, “it depends on the agency’ we can’t overlook d fact that it happens. Some agencies offer ushering/call girls. The only thing is that they should not tag all agencies the same. Some actually don’t do that, for example BDU&E. In every organization or industry, they would definitely be people whose actions will be dinting the image of the profession generally. We have quack doctors dinting the image of the medical profession likewise lawyers and what have you. So, its not peculiar to ushering agencies
Ibadankiniso: Who are your mentors?
Gbadebo Olanbo: My mentors are all those event firms that are doing very well. Bellanaija, Fube, zaphairre and that list go on and on
Ibadankiniso: Thank you for your time
Gbadebo Olanbo: The pleasure is mine. Thumps up ibadankiniso for having me