It always brings joy and satisfaction to see a young Nigerian legitimately hustling, making it and etching out a name for himself or herself. When it comes to the Nigerian digital media industry, it is not difficult to spot this handsome gentleman hustling with the strength and agility of a lion. Even in the midst of tigers, a lion can not be hidden and so is the case of this young boss. He is no other than the CEO of VL Magazine Africa, Mr. Theo Olele a.k.a El Lion.
Below is the interview…..
Good day Mr. Olele. It is nice to have you here today. May we know a little about you?
Thank you. I am Theo Olele, publisher of Africa’s leading digital magazine; VL Magazine Africa. I hail from Edo state, born into a family of 4 boys and am the second child. I am also a talent manager to various top Nollywood stars.
That’s nice. We have heard quite about your brand VL Magazine Africa. Can you tell us more about it?
VL Magazine Africa is Africa’s leading digital magazine that promotes beautiful women all over Africa. The word VL was gotten from the word Vergeria Lounge meaning everything coming together as one. Inspired by a roman poet.
The magazine started in august 1st 2013 and in over 4 years we have had some of the biggest stars all over Africa on our magazine cover.
Great. You’ve indeed etched a space for the brand in the digital echelon. What is your driving force?
What drives me is the fact that I want to be bigger and better than I am. I feel I haven’t done enough yet. So I would say my determination to succeed is what drives me.
True. One’s true competition is oneself. So, Mr. Olele, you’ve worked with several top notch celebrities in the various editions of the magazine. How do you pull the strings for that?
I meet them and make interest known to them that I want them on my cover. I have never been told no before. They always want to work with the mag. Most times this celebrities are the ones that send me emails making their intentions about being on the cover.
You must really be a goal getter. One who sets his mind on something and always achieve it. That’s great.
Everyone knows that most celebrities are usually hard nuts to crack business-wise. How do you cope with them as regards your organization’s schedule?
My magazine is a monthly magazine so I make sure we shoot like a month before the issue for that month comes out. When some celebs doesn’t meet our schedule we move on to another because we have so many options.
Okay. Mr Olele, you first started out with the creation of an entertainment platform Muzik Africa. Hope we are right?
Yes, you are very correct.
So is the platform still on?
No. I gave it up for VL.
Any reason why?
I needed to give it full focus and both are online platforms so I couldn’t do the two of them. I had to give up Muzik Africa because the tendency for me to make money with VL was higher then Muzik Africa.
Okay. You have hosted several TV shows and projects. Can you enlighten us about them?
I have hosted shows on different tv stations but am starting my own show next year. I was supposed to start it this year but something happen to I had to shift it till next year. The name of the show is called Just Say It. It’s a show where I interview celebrities from all over Africa we will make them Just Say It.
It’s already a big start for next year. Can you tell us about the managerial role you play in the Nollywood industry?
I manage their career and business activity in general. I get them endorsements, roles, gigs etc.
How many people exactly?
I currently manage only Paschaline Alex for now.
But I have managed Booby Michaels, Bobby Obodo, Kevin Pam, Bonney Bassy, Mike Godson and several others.
Alright. Speaking about projects, what prompted your brand’s venture into the pageantry world with the Face of VL Africa event?
I started the Face of VL because because of the desire I have to help and promote beautiful Nigerian women. Turning them from upcomers to mega super stars.
That’s cool. There were quite some controversies surrounding last year’s edition of the pageant. Can you throw a little light on it?
That was the first edition (2015). It’s in the past now and I don’t want to talk About it.
All I can say about it is that I woke up one morning and I saw a statement that they said I made and I never made such statements. Never believe everything you see on social media.
Alright. So Mr. Olele we’ve have talked quite enough about business. First of all congratulations are in order as we heard about the marriage of your sister. So can you tell us a bit more about your family?
Thank you. I have a very large family. I was raised by a single mother as I lost my dad when I was very young. We are 4 in number.
That’s quite touching. Are you the last child?
No. I am the second child.
Oh! Okay. As you know time waits for no man and with your achievements so far and more to come, you can pass for a very eligible bachelor. So are we hearing any wedding bells soon or are you still single and searching?
(laughs) I am not in any relationship for now. I am still searching.
You’ll definitely find. This is where we draw the curtain today. So on a final note, Mr. Olele, what advice to you have for up and coming entrepreneurs especially in the media industry?
I want to thank everyone for their love and support. My advice is to them is to keep working, never give up and pray always. That is what has taken me to the place that I am today.
Thank you, Mr. Olele. It was nice having you and we do wish you a Merry Christmas in advance and a better 2018. Do have a nice day.
Thanks a lot. You too.