Interviews, People

Wale Adenuga Jnr explains how he runs WAP


Wale Adenuga Jnr is the Managing Director of Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP). He has been coordinating the affairs of the company since he was appointed the MD five years ago by his father, Wale Adenuga (MFR).

ENCOMIUM Weekly visited him in his Ajao Estate, Lagos office on Sunday, January 31, 2016, where he granted us an interview on the challenges of running the company considering his age and the people that work with him.

He also spoke on other issues affecting the business and more.


How have you been coping as the Managing Director of Wale Adenuga Productions?

I have been coping well. I have been exposed to the business right from my growing up days and when I was ripe to start managing some aspects of the business, I went through a thorough training by studying the way every department in the company operates, from the security to the receptionist.

I had to spend time to digest the rudiments of every department and when it was time to start managing the business, it was not easy but it was manageable. I was up to the task and by God’s grace, it has been a wonderful experience.

What are the challenges as the Managing Director of Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP)?

First, dealing with human beings is very tough. Yes, it is very challenging and our environment is very different from other parts of the world. We play by very unusual peculiar rules. Moreover, Nigerian economy makes it challenging. There is a saying that if it is not difficult then it is not worth it. So, the more challenging, the more you learn which makes you a better person but, with God by our side and with the little experience we have gathered, we will be able to tackle those challenges.

At what age did you become the Managing Director of Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP)?

Before I was 30.

What particular age?

I particularly cannot remember because it was not a celebration. It was a natural progression. Though I am not saying it came easy, I worked my way up and when I was ready, I knew I was ready and when I was ready, our chairman knew I was ready. So, by God’s grace, I have been coping with the managerial function.

What are the new things you have introduced into the business since five years you became the MD of WAP?

Basically, I have been working with time. Whatever that is in vogue right now, we make sure we input them in our products and management of the business. Luckily, we have a training school and I am opportuned to frequently interact with people in the film school, Pefti Film Institute.

So, we try to know what people want and follow the trend in the entertainment world. I will not take credit for what and where we are now. So, kudos to WAP team. We are all in it together.

Will you say you are fulfilled managing your father’s business?

Yes, I will say I am fulfilled because I am doing what I have always loved. I was not planning to be a pilot and I got a call to manage the business. This is what I have always been interested in personally. I love movies. I love entertainment. I read soft-sell magazines.

Point of correction, I am not the only one managing the business. I have my brother, my sister, who is managing the film institute but all in all, we are managing everything together and now that I am doing the business side of it, it is fun and I am enjoying my work.

As a handsome young man, don’t you encounter temptations from female artistes?

Not really, I have not had that kind of situation. Whenever I meet female artiste, myself and my team will assess her. We have production manager, production accountant and a recording crew. We all assess all the artistes together.

If they are good at their job, they will get a phone call and if they are not, we will keep them in view in-case they step up their game, vis-a-vis acting but the beauty of our job is that it is not a one man thing where one can use veto power or position to influence decisions. So, everything we do here is based on merit.

The business is over 40 years, how will you describe your stay in the company?

I grew up in entertainment. When I was a baby, our office was in same compound with our residence. Our chairman is a hardworking man and at every point in time we are always surrounded by the elements of the business.

WAP is 40 and since I have known our chairman, he is someone that leaves the house as early as 6.30am. Even the WAP motto says We are nothing but pencil in the hand of the Creator. So, when you see all the hard work, he has put in, you will know that he was not setting up a business that will last for a week but a business that will last for generations. So, 40 years is just the beginning of the journey.

Your daddy is a very hardworking man and a pacesetter, do you intend to surpass his record?

This is the prayer of parents that their kids surpass them. It will be of no ambition if I say no but we can only do our best.

Let’s take a peep into your private life, are you married or single?

My private life is private. Everything I say is about the brand. So, my private and personal life do not matter, it will not determine if our next production will be interesting.

Who writes stories for production?

We have a writing team, Lucy Ayorinde is one of major writers. She has been with us since the days of Oh father, Oh daughter. We have Namson Yusuf, we have other writers and they work with Lucy Ayorinde. We understand our audience, we understand the regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and also understand our target audience.

The writers also understand these people but we still have to fine tune what they write to the taste of our audience. Our stories come from anywhere but still all stories are from God.

Do your writers have a particular theme that they base their stories on?

It depends, it can be anything. Like Super Story, the title means a story that is unusual, a wild story. The story can be based on the message you are trying to pass across but no matter what, we make sure it is entertaining and must include the information we want to pass across.

How is your relationship with your father, is it a chairman and MD relationship or father and son?

During official hours, it is chairman and MD but we are very close. My training is not based on the relationship but every single thing you get, you work for it.

What are you working on presently?

We are presently in collaboration with Purple. We are working on a movie which touches areas of gender equality and women empowerment. The story is entitled The Other Side. It is presently on air. It started running last week Thursday on NTA, AIT and WAP TV. The story is about a man whose wife is richer than him and he started getting envious and insecure.

With bad advice from his friends, he started beating his wife. The story features top artistes from the north like Sunny Danja and Buhama Sadiau. We also went to the eastern part to get Amaechi Muonagor and some other talents.

How is your relationship with your siblings, do you use veto power on them being the eldest?

No, there is no veto power. I’m not in a superior position. We are a team. We all have our responsibilities. We are still very much brother and sister. We play with each other as much as possible and when its time to get serious, we do.


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