Entertainment, Interviews

‘I feel fulfilled,’ says SOLA FAJOBI

SOLA Fajobi is in a joyous mood at the moment. God in His infinite mercies is turning around things in his favour. The boss of Digital Interactive Media has taken his business empire outside the shores of Nigeria, as he is launching Super Mom in Ghana tagged, Celebrity Mothers Edition.
In an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at his office, he told us why Super Mom is in Ghana and how the Ghana audience loved and accepted the show and much more…
What inspired Super Mom’s Ghana celebrity edition?
Super Mom, as you all know, has been very successful in Nigeria and it’s a common thing that we all have. We were also given birth to by a woman. That means Super Mom can be relevant anywhere in the world. We’re looking at the key areas of our strength. We have realized we can spread our wings. We have an office in Ghana, we have done some couple of things in Ghana. Aside that, our major sponsor which is P&G also wants Ghanaians to share in the experience of Super Mom. It was like we wanted to go to Ghana and they wanted us to go to Ghana. By next year, we are going to Kenya and after that we would know where next.
Why Celebrity Mother for a start in Ghana?
Here in Nigeria, we started with regular mothers. Last year we did celebrity edition and this year we did Heart of Gold. But in Ghana to launch Super Mom in grand style, we decided to debut with Celebrity Mother so that Ghanaians can immediately get into the groove and get to know the show on time. After this Celebrity Edition, we would then go back to regular mothers.
Who are the celebrities that are involved?
They are the celebrities that are very popular in Ghana. It is a Ghanaian show and we are doing celebrities that Ghanaians really love, celebrities that they grew up with. For example, Koffi Ajorlolo, Elikem of Big Brother, a lot of on-air personalities, musicians, etc. We actually approached the likes of Yvonne Nelson and Nadia Buari, they said their mothers won’t be available at the moment. We were able to get Majid Michel, but he couldn’t make it for the production. He was touring America and Canada and we needed to unveil the 20 celebrities. We were almost waiting for him but later we decided to forge ahead. We also had the likes of Juliet Ibrahim. She arrived Ghana the day of the unveiling and we had to go ahead without her.
What are the challenges in organizing the show?
The reality on ground is that, there is no challenge in Ghana that is not here in Nigeria. We have an office in Ghana and we have an existing business in Nigeria. We have Digital Interactive Media in Nigeria. We also have it in Ghana. It wasn’t necessarily a challenge. It’s just the same challenges we face in Nigeria, trying to convince the celebrities that we are celebrating their moms, challenge of sponsorship is our major problem. So, we need to look for sponsorship within Ghana and we have gotten some partners in Ghana to work with us and these are the basic challenges we are dealing with. And for the quality control perspective, we had to go with some crew members from Nigeria to support the crew in Ghana, so that it will turn out the biggest TV show in Ghana.
How capital intensive is Super Mom Ghana?
Just like the way it is in Nigeria, like I just explained to you, we are going to launch the major publicity campaign. We are going to record celebrities and record their moms wherever they are. We would be doing the drama element of the show. If I am showing on one TV station the cost is going to be lower than showing on four TV stations, definitely it’s going to be capital intensive.
So, what do you intend to achieve by taking it to Ghana?
I am not planning to achieve anything. It is a show that is relevant to everybody. Super Mom will definitely go places. It is here in Nigeria, and it is in Ghana now. It will be in Kenya next year and we will also identify other countries. It is not about achieving anything. If you look at Coca Cola, for example, it is a brand that is available in every country of the world. Not just for the money per se but the demand. The man that made Coca Cola died about a hundred years ago but the brand is still very much alive. We have a global vision at Digital Interactive Media. Most of our projects, we don’t do them just for Nigeria. We want to do projects that can stand the test of time, projects that can go places, projects that can outlive us, the owners of the brand. We are trying to build each of our projects into a brand. And if it is doing well in Nigeria, why should it be limited to Nigeria when you can share the experience in other countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone and the rest of the world.
Since Super Mom is spreading toward other African countries, do you see it going out of Africa?
Definitely, that is what I am saying, especially when you have sponsors that are multinationals. They are in well 100 countries that means the show delivered values in Nigeria that made them say let’s go to Ghana. If we deliver the same value again in Ghana, and the same in Kenya, in the future they can say let’s go to other countries. In DIM, we don’t do shows for just Nigerians, we do shows that can be accepted globally. We do original format. Like you are all aware, we do Next Movie Star. Right now in Africa, we are the owners of Next Movie Star. Everybody has tried to copy the format. They have never succeeded in getting it done. They have always left it for us to do. Once you have done an original format and you stick to it, you own it. When we started Super Mom, there was nothing like it anywhere in the world. We own the trademark globally. So, we can do it anywhere in the world, be it America, UK and Canada. The truth people must understand is, not a single soul is not born out of a woman in this world. Definitely, Super Mom is relevant to every single soul in this world, that is why it has the potential to go anywhere in the world.
Do you think Ghanaian audience will accept it?
They already loved and accepted it. Ghanaians respect and value their mothers. It’s matrilineal in Ghana, the mother owns the child. So, the show is already loved and accepted by them despite the fact it has not started. The promo is going on and Ghanaians are eagerly waiting for the amazing and emotional TV show.
How are you preparing for this year’s Next Movie Star?
Yes, we are working on it. Next Movie Star will start in two or three weeks. Audition is going on. It will kick off in Benin, Port Harcourt, Abuja and the final will be in Lagos.
What are the things you are putting in place that will make this year’s Next Movie Star different?
This year is Next Movie Star Africa. We are doing ten African countries. We are selecting housemates from these ten African countries. We are going to be showing 24 hours on TV. Third, the house is going to be different. We are putting a lot of touch of element into the house and bringing in a couple of fresh ideas into the content. Our audience can be rest assured it is going to be a wonderful fulfilled TV experience.
How do you feel seeing most of the housemates successful after each show?
Just like the father will feel when the child is successful. I am proud of them, I am happy that when we make promises that we are going to discover new faces for the industry, promote and nurture them, provide great content for viewers and advertisers, I am very excited that all our objectives are being met. First, we are discovering new faces for the industry and they are doing well. Everybody that has tried to do the show is not as successful as we have been.
Will the Ghana edition be broadcast in Nigeria?
No, it will broadcast only in Ghana. But we have our TV station on Startimes V Channel. We would share the experience with Nigerians on our TV station.
Ghana is not a terrain close to you, how do you intend to source your audience?
The audience has two functions which are quality of content, quality of the TV show and the quality of the TV stations we are using. We are using four of the top five in Ghana. This is going to be the biggest TV show ever in Ghana, so there is no fear.
How do you feel with this year’s success of Super Mom?
I feel fulfilled as a human being. When you are in an environment like Nigeria that people believe you can’t succeed except you are in government, where corruption is the order of the day and you come out on your own without any chairman or big man behind you, I feel fulfilled. I am grateful to God for depositing such beautiful ideas in me and the energy to drive them and the grace to achieve great result. I am eternally grateful to God. I feel fulfilled, humbled by the fact that everything that I touch turns to gold.

– AJOKE ONITOLO

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