BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA
Ayo Olayinka is the CEO of Bold Idea, a media/entertainment company, with emphasis on radio, television and social assignments that specializes on event management, adult/ children’s parties, carnivals and coverage of special occasions. With an experienced crew made up of radio producers, television directors and camera operators, the company has consistently organized successful events especially children events.
In this chat with Esther Onyegbula, Olayinka from Ekiti State shares how she has been able to nurture and build her passion into a lucrative event management company, business experience in the budding industry, child abuse, as well as how organized play helps mental development of children.
I started doing this unofficially about 15 years ago; organizing events, and gradually I began to assemble some relevant entertainment equipment. I started first with cartoon characters and when I saw that the response was good, and people were asking for our services, I added to the equipment. I went full-time after I resigned from my job as Manager, Programmes at NTA, Ibadan.
The inspiration to have an entertainment company that specializes on children events was kindled by my desire to always want see children have fun. While working in NTA, I was in charged of children’s programs and I realized that I enjoyed working with them. During my presentation I researched different ways to make them have a nice time. The smiles on their faces encouraged me, as I knew that they were satisfied with my services. With every event organized, I have improved and grown to be more efficient in the various services provided.
What services do you provide and what makes them unique?
Our services range from event consultancy, event management, to rental services. The services that we bring are good and second to none. The children’s entertainment section boasts of the best quality cartoon characters, Bouncing castle, Train rides, ice-cream and pop corn pavilion and access to popular local artistes and performers for appearances at our functions. We always ensure that all our facilities are in perfect condition, and considering the fact that we are working with children safety come first. We’re committed to giving clean and hygienic services.
How important is organized play to the development of children?
Play is very important and it helps the development of a child, in the sense that after a hard day’s work in class, it helps build their mental capacity. When they play, they interact with their mates, and they learn one or two new things. So, play too, is educational because children are exposed to things which awakens their minds and help them acquire new skills and cognitive skills.
How affordable are these services knowing that some children will never be able to participate because of their humble background, which is no fault of theirs?
Well our services are very affordable, because we know that everything is not about money, the services we render are the most important. That is why; most times we bend the rules to accommodate the needs of our clients depending on their needs.
In this line of business what has helped your company grow?
Safety is key, as much as you want the children to have fun; the safety of each child is paramount to me. I can’t afford any child under my watch to get hurt. This includes having equipments and castles that are firmly erected and can stand the wear and tear.
Punctuality is very important in this line of business, using traffic jam as an excuse is lame because it is expected that you work ahead of time, irrespective of the size or facility the client requires. Also maintaining a very clean and hygienic facility, making sure that each of the cartoon characters and castles are presentable and attractive are also vital. Working with people who are receptive and kid’s friendly is very necessary, as the easily key into the vision of providing maximum excitement and fun at each event.
Do you think we have laws that protect child’s rights in this country?
Well we have the laws, but the problem is that they are not being enforced. As parents we are guilty in the sense that we abuse some of these rights. And because of our societal makeup, children who are abused don’t have the courage to report such abuses to appropriate authorities. And even when they do report, do they get the right child support to backup their claims? Unfortunately it is just a few cases that are actually reported by neighbours who feel that something terrible is happening to a particular child.
Apart from that most children would not want to report because they are scared, which is why most times people who perpetuate these abuses get away with it.
Don’t you think that poverty is a contributory factor to some of these abuses like child labour?
To some extent, yes poverty contributes to some of these abuses especially child labour, but when you look at most of the families that produce these children you will find out that there are about seven or more children born into a family with little or no tangible source of income. I believe that it is high time people get more involved in family planning and reduce the number of children they can have to the number of children they can adequately cater for. Everybody knows that in Nigeria it is increasingly becoming difficult to cater for a large family.
What is the future?
The future is very bright, in the sense that as children grow into teenagers other children are being born and a whole new generation is coming up, so it is actually a huge market.