Nike Fagbule is a PR guru and a music consultant who has worked with top entertainers in the industry. In 2010, she was nominated in the creative professional of the year category at The Future Awards. In this interview with Legit.ng, she shares her experiences and challenges.
Tell us more about yourself?
My name is Nike Fagbule, I was born and bred in Satellite Town, Lagos, I Studied Mass Communications and served in Lagos, started up my career at BlackHouse Media, left to start Zebra Stripes Networks in 2012. That is basically everything there is to know about me.
What challenges did you face when you founded Zebra Stripes Networks?
Actually, I had a lot of challenges. Firstly, it was new territory for me. It was really difficult. Of course I knew how to lead a team and everything publicity related with my experience at my last job, but at the beginning, I had to learn to be a CEO, team leader, accountant, account officer, admin person, HR person and everything else in one. Now, professionals have filled these spaces.
Secondly, I had problems with getting really good people for the job. Most young people are not ready to work. They come in with a mentality that it is all fun and games because our core clients are entertainers until they realize that PR is PR. There is really no difference: corporate or entertainers, clients expect a standard they should get. From strategy to execution, all the way to evaluation.
Thirdly, I won’t call this is a challenge, but I had issues getting used to paying bills and extra responsibility an entrepreneur faces. Before now, I never used to worry about utility bills, fuel, taxes and staff salary, but now that’s part of my job description.
How does it make you feel being one of top outstanding female entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry?
To start with, I am an entrepreneur, being female wasn’t my decision. But I feel proud of what I have managed to achieve thus far. With the help of God and a great team at Zebra Stripes Networks. We are definitely going to get ahead.
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It is believed that people in the PR scene are always busy, how do you spend your free time?
If you have been doing this job long enough, you tend to understand the stress of multiple deadlines; emails and other drills. Sometimes, I wake up at 2am worrying about an important meeting, a pitch or a KPI we are supposed to meet at work. At the end of it all, I have learnt to cope with stress by managing my time and having at least 50% control of my schedule.
I am not really a social person, so I spend a lot of my sleep time watching American TV series. I tweet about them a lot and some times a lot of people call me TV Junkie or TV addict, but that is the only legit way I know how to unwind. So between 11pm- 1am, I watch TV shows, I wake up at 4am, I pray, then I continue to watch TV shows till 6am Then I work out between 6:30 am – 7.30am. That’s pretty much my whole free time gone. Asides that, there are times I randomly just hang out and have drinks with my friends.
How do you meet your clients?
Different ways, after I manage an account well, or someone sees what my agency has done for a client, I get calls to manage their account. I have had people write to me and or call me to say, "can you do what you did with “Skales” for me?", or "I saw what you did with this movie, I am releasing a movie, let's work?", I always explain to them that no two clients are the same, that is one way that I meet clients.
There is also the occasional pitching to clients, where one is expected to prepare a plan and present to a team showing them how they can move forward. If they key into your plan for their company, we go ahead, if not they go with another agency. But mostly, we get clients through a lot of word of mouth referrals. A lot of satisfied clients always recommend potential clients.
Who are the popular clients you have worked with?
During my time at BHM, I worked with Nigerian Idol, MTV BASE, EME, Hennessy Artistry to mention a few. At ZSN, I have worked with Pepsi, Baseline Entertainment, Palmchat, Tecno Mobile, The Audrey Silva Company, Nse Ikpe Etim, Female Food Heroes, Creative Focus etc in Publicity and or Digital marketing capacities.
Who else do you wish to work with?
In Nigeria, I shouldn’t be calling out names as they are probably contracted to other agencies. But I will definitely love to do something with SHONDALAND.
How did you become such a top shot in the PR industry in Nigeria?
Hmm, top shot! Well everything I have managed to achieve has been through hard work and perseverance. Like I said you cannot depend on people, sometimes you just have to trust yourself and believe some things are achievable with little or no help. So I trusted God, had the 'right' people around me and worked my way to the top.
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How did you feel when you didn't win the Future awards in 2011?
To be very honest, I feel when you are nominated for an award, it means that the organizers or whoever nominated you feels you deserve to win. So I didn’t feel bad, the winner definitely deserved to win.
What is the secret to your success?
I know this may sound cliché, but I only believe in three things: God, Grace and Hard Work. I have a theory: you look at a lot of people and wonder how they got to where they are. The people closest to them will tell you that this guy or that girl is a hard-worker, but you can't really reach full potentials if you don’t believe in a supreme being. You need the grace of that Supreme Being to continue to move ahead. So I owe my success to God, but the holy book also says that he who does not work, let him not eat. It also says that I will have mercy on who I want to have mercy on.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I am looking to start a chain of media related businesses. The process has started. Before the end of the year, we are launching a new project: Notabene. Five years seems like a really long time, but the truth is that time just runs. So I am doing all I can to put things into place for that.
Name your best three cartoon characters?
Batman, The Flash and Cat Woman. As you can see, I am a DC Comics person.
What is your favorite food?
I am big on fitness and healthy living and eating right now. I take mostly food that have vegetables and are good vitamin source. Before this phase I was and still am a fan of Amala and spaghetti, but not sure I have a best food.
What is the day you will never forget?
Every day is memorable for me.