Edak Nkpubre Chionuma, is the Founder and Creative Director of MIN EVENTS which has churned out events like the Made In Naija Fair, Pop Up Market. These events take place in various parts of Nigeria, and also include educational workshops for enterpreneurs.
In this interview with Urban Woman, she talks about her businesses MIN EVENTS, the Made In Naija Fair and the inspiration behind her business.
UW: You started the Made In Naija Fair. What was the motivation behind it?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: Yes I did. I started the Made In Naija Movement because I am a proud Nigerian who got tired of the negative talk about my beloved country and decided to do something to change the perception of Nigeria to the rest of the world and more importantly, ourselves. So creating a platform to promote Nigerian entrepreneurs and brands was my own way of contributing to this great nation.
UW: What is your vision with Made In Naija Fair and how have you been able to achieve it thus far?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: The Made In Naija Fair is just one platform which brings enterpreneurs from their corners to showcase their beautiful and creative brands. We intend to show the world we are beautiful, creative and hardworking. So far, we have empowered many youths across the nation, we are on the right track by promoting sourcing of raw material within Nigeria, thus promoting enterpreneurship.
UW: People have this belief that the average day in a CEO’s life is about jet skiing and taking pictures in work settings, what is your take on that and what is your average day like?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: Yes, that is the idea a lot of people have but we work day in, day out. There is no clocking out. There is a constant drive to work hard else, my dreams of changing the perception of this country goes down the drain. I haven’t had a holiday for some years now. I would love to go jet skiing, but I know this isn’t the time for that. The time for all that will come.
UW: The business climate in Nigeria is not exactly favourable and many businesses collapse even before they have had the chance to blossom, how have you been able to weather the storm this far?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: I have come this far through the strength of God and a super supportive family. I have been blessed with a great support system. Sometimes I want to give up or sell the company but I take a step and another and another and I see myself here.
UW: Do you encountered women who aspire to attain your height of success in your industry?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: I have met wonderful ladies, infact they inspire me. I encourage them to find what they love and they should do it even if everything around isn’t encouraging, just keep moving forward.
UW: What is your opinion on patriarchy and feminism?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: I am a strong believer of equal rights for both men and women. As a feminist I believe that if I do the same job in a workplace as a man, I should be paid equally. Feminism isn’t about replacing men with women, to me it is giving me the same respect you give a man. We are all human, and that is all that matters.
UW: What are the challenges you face on a daily basis in running your business?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: Daily, I face a variety of challenges, but I have learned to welcome those challenges because it’s an opportunity to learn. I knew going into this industry wasn’t going to be easy. Challenges like securing sponsorships, representing reputable brands, etc are things I work together with my team. There is no room for excuses.
UW: Have you had any bad encounters dealing with people?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: I have had a lot of bad encounters. I try to be a time conscious person so it annoys me endlessly when people disrespect you by wasting your time, like we all know, time is money.
UW: What do you do for fun?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: My idea of fun is travelling, meeting new people and learning about their cultures. I haven’t been to all the states in Nigeria and that is part of my own personal journey. But these days just watching funny TV shows is my fun hightlight.
UW: How has social media driven sales in your business so far?
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: Social media is a great platform not just for businesses but also for enlightenment. I have met people from the other side of the world by just clicking a button. Social media is a tool to educate yourself about what is really going on in the world instead of relying on some biased news platforms.
UW: What is your advice to entrepreneurs looking to start a business in your industry
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: To enterpreneurs wanting to start their own business, my advice is love what you do and, money shouldn’t be your only motivation or else during the tough times where income is low (trust me, there will be tough times), you will quit.
UW: What do you think is the number one quality that other women need to embrace in order to be successful which is lacking in most of them right now.
Edak Nkpubre Chionuma: We need to be ourselves. Be Yourself. There is only one you. You are the special ingredient to your Business. Don’t give up on what you believe in