WITH HENRY OJELU
Lawal Demola is a pharmacist by training but a digital media wizkid by interest. Since his switch in profession, the enthusiastic young man has leveraged new media to build a reputation for himself in the entertainment, lifestyle, business and corporate industry circle.
Back in 2014, he successfully use digital media, in collaboration with international social media marketing agencies based in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, to create awareness for the Tiwa Savage brand, which led to her well deserved emergence as MTV’s “Best Female Act’ in 2016.
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He also played the role of Lead Digital Strategist for the ‘Access Mavin Concert’ while working for Mavin Records. In 20017, he founded his Digital Media Agency, which has now metamorphosed into an online driven public relations agency.
With multiple accolades to his name, Demola is currently the Lead Digital Strategist for one of Nigeria’s leading PR Agencies in Nigeria, BukiHQ. In this interview, he shares his experience in the digital media business and how he has successfully carved a niche for himself.
How was growing up like for you?
Education was a major challenge for me because I come from a family that was not financially buoyant enough to send four children to the university at once. It was a major challenge but God knows how to perfect his work. I managed to overcome those immediate difficulties and used it as added motivation for the achievement of my goals.
Who would you say have had the most influence in your life and career?
Without hesitation, my mother is my number one influencer. She was the right support system I needed to start as a child. By divine grace, I have also had the support of Mavin Honcho, Don Jazzy and Bizzle Osikoya, at my grooming stage in media and public relations. I also have a long list of other wonderful people who noticed my potential early and encouraged me.
What are some of the projects you have embarked on?
I recently launched a logistics company, Athen Delivery, which started with a goal of providing jobs for many young people. I’m also involved with the management of my online driven PR agency, Athen Media Credente. I also worked on the recently released “The Enemy I Know” movie, which hit cinemas sometime in October. I was one of those who worked on Burnaboy African Giant album. There were also many other major concerts, I nurtured to wrap up what has been an amazing 2019.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in the industry?
I would not like to refer to anything as a challenge because I see each one as a hurdle that must be crossed. The only problem that might arise is that every situation is unique, so you find yourself constantly figuring out new ways to solve new issues which I think is quite helpful in my growing career. Challenges don’t stop but as you grow in business, you become more confident in your approach to solving issues.
What would you say is the toughest decision you have ever made?
One of the toughest decisions I have ever made was leaving my medical and pharmaceutical line to focus on a career in media and public relations; a completely opposite side many would say. It was a huge decision for me but I was sure it was something I loved to do. I knew I would face challenges but I was ready for the journey. I still look forward to investing in the pharmaceutical industry in the future, which would be my way of showing that I didn’t completely abandon it.
What is your definition of success?
Success for me is waking up every day and getting better at what you love doing while being rewarded enough for doing it. It is the achievement of set goals and the satisfaction that comes from seeing that your effort wasn’t a waste. Sometimes, I don’t get how much I think I’m worth at the time, but the love for my job will not allow me put in less effort. When it is not financially beneficial it might be beneficial to my career.
You also run a non-governmental organisation. What is the inspiration behind it?
The name of my Non Governmental Organisation is BAM Foundation, that is; ‘Be A Messiah Foundation’. It is a one stop community to sow seed in the life of every child that needs support to achieve their educational goals. The NGO is focused on making education accessible in our society. It’s a growing community and we hope to get more support as time goes on, in order to achieve our aim of spreading out wings and touching as many lives as we can. We definitely cannot do it all but I dare say we will try our every best.
What are your guiding principles?
They are quite simplistic in every sense; I have an idea of what I want, though sometimes things don’t always pan out exactly the way you think. But a few positive signs here and there are always a push to keep charging forward. Honesty in delivery is one thing I’m passionate about. I only propose what I know I ‘m capable of and when clients want the extraordinary, I make sure to provide that as much as possible. Every impossible request is sometimes an opportunity for you to attain a new limit that you never knew you could.
Where do you think is the missing gap between the youths and leadership in Nigeria?
As sorry as I am to say this, I think a lot of young people like me are not inspired. Even those that are, usually are inspired by the wrong things or people. A lot of us hardly pay attention to what is beneficial to our future. We’re just a generation of “now thinkers” and until we focus on the relevant things, it will be relatively impossible to align ourselves enough to actually become leaders. True leadership cannot be handed to you. Most of the time, you have to take it. You have to control both sides of it and understand balance. This is something most of my generation know nothing about and are not passionate about learning.
What do you think government can do differently to solve some of the challenges facing the country?
We hear a lot of bad things about those in government, but have you realized that the people we expect to bring about change actually end up doing worse when they get to the top? You can’t keep blaming people for their behavior if you also haven’t tried to do better yourself. So, until we decided to change, one person at a time, that is when we’ll have the boldness and moral right to demand what is ours from the government. The change is expected from each person from the bottom to the top. If the foundation is shaky then the edifice will not stand. The change is in you and me.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for the remarkable impact I made on every single person I met. To leave a testimony on the lips of each human being I come in contact with. I believe more in building relationships than building riches because at every point in time a relationship of some sought is built and it is your duty to make it beneficial.
Your advice for youths and entrepreneurs
Focus! As simple as that word seems, it is lacking in a lot of us because it is quite difficult in practice. In the world today there are a lot of things taking your eyes off the goal and so it takes personal effort to actually take control of your life and the consequences of your actions. Let go of all distractions and focus on the important things.