Cover Stories, Interviews

Akeem Sodehinde admits failing health, shuts Movida: ‘I’ve only one kidney, I’m taking it easy’

Akeem Shodeinde is the boss of Movida Club in Victoria Island, Lagos. The club was shut down on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly he explained reasons behind the closure.

akeemshodeinde2We heard you have shut down the club, Movida?

Yes, the club was shut down last week to enable me attend to my health and take care of my family. I’m closing the club for health reason, to re-brand/restructure and give my life to Christ.

There is an insinuation that you are closing down for debt reason?

No, debt has always been part of business anywhere in the whole world. People owe you or you owe people but the good aspect of it is to accept the fact that you have a debt. I also want to thank my very good friends and brothers that really stood by me. I have so much love for them and I pray long life for them and thank them for all the good things they have done for me and I promise I will never disappoint them, in Jesus name.

Don’t you think you’ll be disappointing those who you mentioned as you want to pull out of the business?

Really, it’s not about what people think but what I feel. Actually, for now, I don’t care about what people think whether I pull out or not. It’s about my health. My life comes first. Without good health, you don’t have a business. Not because you want to try and please anybody then you should go and kill yourself.

They are sleeping in their houses and I’m standing under the heat and shouting. So nobody can tell me what to do. God comes first, then my life follows. And tomorrow if God says I should not do night club again so shall it be in Jesus (Amen). I will go back to Bible school and say the Lord’s prayers. Nobody in this world is bigger than God, I thank him for keeping me alive. I don’t care about money or riches. Money is something that will come and go, but the power of God is bigger than everything. I have been doing night club business for 18 to 20 year, and I have not heard a gunshot and I have not been robbed.

Are you planning to come out with new ideas come next year?

The most interesting part of night club business is the surprises, it’s always sweet when you give them something they didn’t expect or believe. For now, I can say something, God can say no. So what I will say is, they should expect the unexpected. The first thing I need God to do for me is to give me long life, so that I can build a church and tell Him thank you. No matter how small the church may be, I will tell Him thank you for keeping me alive for the past two to three years of this unfaithful moment of my life. God has a reason for my living and I shall prove it in Jesus name. And if it doesn’t happen, I will go to Bible school and give my life to Christ. I thank God for His mercies. Even a man that has no Akeemkobo, has a family. A man that pushes truck has a family. If I even sell pure water, I thank God. I will not impress anybody, I will not be a robber or a criminal to impress the whole world. All my staff are wonderful. They have all tried in supporting me. My landlord, my friend, Chief Dumo Briggs, Prince Segun Aremu Oniru, my brother, Dele Sodeinde, my cousin, Toyin – they have been supportive for the past 10 years and my family that prayed for me during my sickness, I say thank you all and God bless you.

I don’t want to impress anybody, I just want to thank Almighty God. Rushing in my life caused a lot of problems. To be successful takes a longer time, there is difference between love and hate. People think making money is the first thing, the patient dog eats the fattest bone. I have gone down three times and have come back three times. God that kept my life has a reason. I will not because of people kill myself. I opened Movida just to prove that I didn’t close it down because am broke or because they chased me out. I closed it down because it’s affecting my health and I don’t have brothers who can manage it. They are professionals in their own chosen career. Actually, after two or three years of running a night club, one is supposed to re-brand or restructure. And I have been running mine for five years and more. I thank my customers and everybody who believed I would come back and I’m back but I will take time to relax, take care of my health for now. Then after the election next year, I will re-open. For now, I am resting because of my health. Nobody knows tomorrow. If God says I’m coming back so shall it be. But I need medical check-up and balance my health because I only have one daughter and I want her to see me on her wedding day and say daddy I’m happy for you. I want to thank my landlord also who has been there for me and everyone who I didn’t remember. Time will not permit me to mention their names for their love and support. I am coming back next year after the elections because we don’t know what the country will be like. For now, I am going on holiday to relax and I thank everyone who was there for me during my illness. I really appreciate everyone of you. I pray to God that the wedding luck should come before the end of next year, and I will take my time and pray to God give to me the right person as a wife and if God says it will be my baby mama so shall it be, in Jesus name.

After the doctor’s warning, why did you choose to still smoke and drink?

That is an illumination, I pretend I do something extra- ordinary to the whole world but I didn’t do it. Meanwhile, in my house or anywhere, I don’t drink but when I get to the club by 12:30am I just take pure champagnes. Many people now think I drink because if I don’t do that it will affect the business. When I put water or Coke before me and costumers see me drink it, they will also go for such because they may believe that is what they sell here and I’ve seen a club shut down because of this.

But to be honest, smoking is an addiction. I can’t lie to God because if I lie I’m just deceiving myself not anybody. But I have been praying to God to stop me which I believe I will stop soon. And the habit of drinking and smoking is the more reason I need to shut the club because it’s really affecting my kidney which is not good for my health at all. I am shutting down the club because of my health, and when am fully okay, I will re-open.

akeemshodeindeAt this period that you want to relax and shut down the club, how will you pay your bills?

No discerning businessman will put two eggs in one basket. There are some little things one can feed on. I still have what I can live on. And mind you, my expenses will not be like before. I will still live well and pay my bills. I have things that can still keep me alive. If I remember that there are people who sell akara and tuwo to survive, I believe I will survive because I can’t go beg for shoes or clothes. I am not too greedy, neither am I desperate. God’s time is the best. Starvation is never my problem. You know what, people went through a lot in the Bible like Lazarus and Abraham, and they shared testimonies so who am I? First, let me take care of my health and after that I will think of what to do.

People see you as the first in the clubbing business who has been fulfilled. How true is this?

I used to see myself as leader in the business because I never lost any battle in the business and I always make things happen. But after my sickness, within one year and seven months, things have really changed. And I realized I have a lot of work to do. One thing I don’t do is looking at other people’s business. Because when you do that, you have taken one percent of your business to that person which makes his/her own 101percent, while your own is left with 99 percent. You do business and it will get to a stage you have to surrender for the young ones to grow. I am aging and I have to rest and train some young ones, but before then I’m going to prove my last point that I have reason for leaving when I reopen next year.

akeemshodeinYou sound more religious. Are you really looking forward to being born again?

Our God is awesome. In 2009 before opening Movida when I was running Insomnia with Lolu and Joseph Yobo, I made a promise to God that I will never gamble again and if I did, He should strike me dead or punish me. God gave me N77 million to open Movida and I made so much money there, and I never paid tithe to God. But I was giving money to everybody around me like beggars, girlfriends. But God that gave me life, I didn’t give him one naira. And today, I have gone through a lot which I and people believe will lead to my death, but He still kept me alive with one kidney which means He still love me after making covenant with him not to go back to gambling and I still went back. But I’ve now realized that life itself is a gamble, whatever you do in life is a gamble. So I’ll never make any covenant never to gamble but I will gamble anything but never gamble to kill or wreck myself. I will build a church for Almighty God before the age of 50, give it to somebody and thank God for keeping me alive. Also, if the club business is not really in me anymore I will go to Bible school and praise the Lord. I have seen what God has done in my life in different ways. I have kidney problem and diabetes but I’m still eating garri, rice and so on and am still living. I don’t know what He keeps me for. If the Lord says I am going to serve Him let it be done. I will do anything to praise His name because I am a very prayerful man who had seen that God has the ultimate power. I know God is the most powerful and He will always be with me and my family, in Jesus name.

-FEMI OYEWALE

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