News

April 20, 2024

Our 10 years of youth empowerment have been impactful – Twins Concept

Our 10 years of youth empowerment have been impactful – Twins Concept

Joseph and Emmanuel Etim are twins and they are popularly known as Starguys twins. 10 years ago they established Twin Image Concepts for the purpose of youth development and empowerment. In this interview, they went down memory lane and shared their challenges and achievements in the past 10 years.

Excerpts:

How has been your experience in 10 years of youth empowerment and development?

Tens years of operating in the entertainment space has not been easy, as there were ups and down, but we thank God that we are here today. And without mincing word, we have raised some top celebrities in 10 years of impactful youth empowerment. We have made a lot of celebrities in the music and movie industries and some of the winners are already abroad doing well, fending for themselves and helping their families. It has been 10 years of solid result and achievement. Even though it has not been an easy journey, especially in the area of sponsorship, but in all, we have recorded a lot of success. Today, there is a lot of difference from when we started. Interestingly, some of them who received help and they are doing well both in Nigeria and abroad, do call to appreciate and sometimes send us birthday gifts.

However, during these 10 years of uninterrupted teaching, training and empowering youths, we have given out more than 30 cars to winners. The good news is that many of them who are on our platform are doing well in the entertainment industry and in the corporate world. One of our winners in one of our projects is a Personal Assistant to a state governor. A lot of them are doing well, and this gives us joy. Some of them that helped to travel abroad are successful. I have one Tiago in UK, he is the CEO of Ultra App, Ocy, the CEO of Ocy Tec, Kola balogun, MD/CEO Royalty travels and tour, Oyinkansola. owns a business in Germany and Jeteri bella Founder Kamalebeauty Product (international brand) is one of my winners in one of our events. The popular Pelumi Olawumi a.k.a abikeshuga is still on my platform. Some of them in return sponsor our events and some host us in their states. One of them hosted us in Calabar and others in different places.

How did you develop the passion at the onset?

When we started 10 years ago, a lot of things were happening in the movie industry, which was seen as an industry of prostitution. But driven by our, we came up with an idea to get a camp or organise a gathering where we could turn it into an empowerment programme to teach, train and empower youths on the real essence of the entertainment industry. So it was like a retreat for models where we could engage celebrities to teach and empower them. Before then, what we saw was a case where top agents were extorting, using and molesting them sexually which was very rampant. So, the idea of camping was to gather the youths at a retreat where they could be taught what the industry is really all about. That was how the concept came about like a retreat for models. But in all, we were driven by the passion to help youths become self-reliant and reduce unemployment rate in the country.

What were the challenges you encountered?

During this period, we spent a lot, invested our money and spent time to make sure each programme succeeded. Sometimes when we didn’t have sponsors, we would sell our property to sponsor it to keep it going since it is an event that produces winners and prizes must be given to them. So, the project involve a lot. We have given out cars to winners. For instance, when we went to greet Joy Oyakhilome, the winner of Season 4 early January, she was still using the car we gave her six years ago/. There is another winner who resides in Surulere, till date we still see her using the car. That was five years ago. These things give me joy. Ossy, another winner that we helped during his marriage is doing well in his business and many others who came to seek advice. So we are encouraged seeing these people we helped doing well, not minding the challenges of sponsorship and others.

You have spent 10 years organising youth programmes ranging from fashion, Reality TV Show and others, what was your motivation?

Our motivation is the positive response we receive from contestants which has been awesome. It gives joy where after six or seven years, people you helped, who passed through your platform call you to appreciate you for helping them grow to the top of their career. It also gives me joy when some of our winners secure ambassadorial appointments in some of the big brands in town. For instance, one of my winners, Queen Hellen was an ambassador to Sickle Cell Engineer. During the Sickle Cell World Day, she was invited to present a speech. It gives me joy seeing people we helped doing well in the society, and they also extend this empowerment process to other people in the society. This is also a big motivation to us, and putting smiles on people’s faces motivates us to do more.

Tell us your happiest moment in these 10 years

One of my happiest moments was when some of our winners hosted us. In fact, there was one who came to my house and invited me to her wedding which I attended. Another winner hosted us in Warri and I was very happy. She has a very booming business in Warri. When people you empowered are doing well, it makes one happy.

Did you encounter any ugly situation dealing with youths?

Our style of empowerment comes in form of competition. One of the challenges in our experience of empowering our youths was when some of them didn’t make it to the finals and they would start saying negative things and sometimes using abusive language, accusing the organisers, and you would notice that they were not happy. But they forgot that not everybody would win at the end of the competition.

Notwithstanding, we have given out more than 30 cars in all our events. We have different events that we do. So far, we have taken six people overseas, we took two of them to Dubai, another to Kenya and Kigali and eight of our contestants to Ghana with all expenses paid by us.