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February 21, 2011

Egor Efiok's Interview with Zen Magazine

Tell us how you started the firm E4 PR?
I started my business informally in June 2009, when I started promoting my friend and make-up artist, Princess Amayo. Then in October 2009, I started promoting Nollywood actress and actor, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Fred Amata; and before i knew it, more people started coming over to me, so I formally started full swing in January 2010. Right now, I have eleven stars under my management.

What type of clientèle do you attract to your company brand?
Basically, anything showbiz related. As you can see, I have diverse artists under my management: Actors, Actresses, Make-Up Artists, Models, Designers, etc.

Does your company consider new talent and what criteria must the person possess?
Of course we consider new talent! I am afterall a star maker and a star promoter. That is what actually excites me most to be honest. To be able to look at someone that I believe in and make their dreams come true is my utmost fulfillment. Think Princess Amayo and you'd get my drift. When i started promoting her, I knew that everyone would see what I see...one of the best make-up artists in the world. Princess was already known here in the UK before I decided to introduce her to the Nigerian market. Within three months of promoting Princess and due to my tireless campaigns, she won two trophies for Best Make-Up Artist (NYAA and BEFFTA) and last October won one for ELOY. So as you can see, the public will listen and support you when they see true stardom. I am like a proud "mum" whenever i talk about Princess Amayo because I can see how my investment in her talent paid off. My Multi Award Winning Make-Up Artist with three trophies to her name! Yee-ah!

Nia Joy Yetunde Adesanya is another E4 PR discovery that I really believe will go far in her career. Nia has the most beautiful, natural dark skin ever and is so beautiful and talented. She studied Performing Arts and is a budding actress and successful model. Nia has modelled for Sleek, has been on the front cover of Pride Magazine, Black Beauty and more. She has also done catwalk shows for Adebayo Jones and Kosibah Creations and was the regular model on the Adebayo Jones show on Ben TV. Nia was also in a theatre production at The Young Vic. Coupled with all these, this lovely beauty is also in the process of owning her own magazine. At this very moment, Nia is on set about to be the face of MTN. You wouldn't believe that it is less than two weeks that I sent her for the audition and she was instantly chosen. Another model of mine, Nikky, has also been chosen with her baby to be in the ad. So right now, i'm a very happy bunny and proud "momma"!

As you already know, Igoni Archibong is E4 PR's very latest discovery. With Igoni, I will simply say, "There is something about Igoni". When you meet him, you'd catch my drift. He's a natural born star and what makes him more appealing is that it's just so effortless. He doesn't have to force it, he just has that natural appeal. Even before I profiled him publicly, I sent him on an audition without thinking too much of it and the director liked him immediately and cast him in his forth coming movie. It was the shock of that instant acceptance that galvanized me into doing this emergency photoshoot to put him out there to introduce him to the public before everything else is unveiled. The greatest thing I love about Igoni is his passion, hard work and dedication. I am a workaholic; people always ask me where I get my energy from; but I can comfortably say that Igoni is one client of mine whose passion matches mine. He spent almost the whole of December 2010 and part of January 2011 rehearsing his script and doing vigorous acting and singing lessons. I accompanied him most of the time and the director was very impressed and me, a proud "momma" as usual! You can find Igoni's photos and profile on his fan page on Facebook, E4 PR's fan page, E4 PR's blog, Linda Ikeji's blog, and on other blogs, Search YouTube or Google Igoni Archibong.

What matters to you most as a PR executive “The client OR the Market”?
The client. Having said that, the client has to be marketable in order for you to take them on. If not, you will be wasting both your time and theirs. You have to see something in them that will actually give you the buzz to start promoting them. Then comes the hope for market. All my stars will attest to this...that I have always put their careers ahead of anything else.

How would you describe the kind of service your company brings to the market?
Fresh and new innovative ideas. Isn't this how you noticed me? *wink*

How important is promotion for an artist in the industry?
I am happy you asked this question because a lot of artists don't realise how important PR is. It is very easy to think that because you are very famous, you don't need promotion. Wrong! A lot of new talents are being discovered everyday and nobody is indispensable, so it is very easy to be forgotten if you are lax with promotion or if you are not under a management. It is only in Nigeria that i see stars negotiating jobs for themselves, hence leaving themselves open to exploit. Can you go and talk to Beyonce direct if you need her services? Of course not! You'd have to go through her management to book her. Once a client realises that you are under a management, they would treat you with more respect. You can't be slinging words with an annoying or uncooperative client. As a star, maintain your dignity and leave the dirty work to your management. Apart from being my friend and sister, the reason why i really love Kate Henshaw-Nuttall is that she is very passionate about her career and is Westernised in her thinking. She is one of the longest serving actresses in Nigeria and has remained consistent for almost two decades. One of the reasons is that she does not joke with her PR. She has always been under a management, has a website and is still competing healthily with the newer actresses, while a lot of her colleagues from way back have been long forgotten. She is an Award Winning Actress and is always on the cover of the best magazines. So others should learn from her to be consistent with their promotions and stay in the spotlight.

What has been the most difficult area as a PR Exec?
The most difficult area is that it involves round the clock work and this is quite draining. My social life is almost non-existent, especially when i am in the UK. A lot of people don't realise that i do majority of what they see all alone coupled with full time motherhood. I have no PA and only have a nanny in Nigeria. Because i am a perfectionist, i find it hard to keep a PA. I find myself having to go over work that i have asked them to do and then end up doing it by myself anyway; or having to chase people about to do stuff that they are supposed to do to meet deadlines; and then ending up dropping them at the first few signs of unseriousness because the truth is, if i depend on such people, my business would not prosper. So, i'd rather do it myself and watch God reward my hard work as He has always done. I need at least three PAs for the amount of crazy work that i do and i believe that God will lead the right people to my fussy self soon. LOL! Having said that though, i thoroughly enjoy what i do and this is why it has worked out so well. I can comfortably say that i have found my niche.

What are your long term plans for E4 PR?
To be consistent in what i do always and strive to be the best. I was recently informed that i have been nominated in three categories for the forthcoming M&M awards. I was pleasantly surprised, but most of all, pleased to know that my work does speak for itself.

Apart from PR, I can’t help but notice you are a very fashionable person. Who are some of your favorite African designers?
You are right about that and that is another thing that makes my PR techniques unique. The photoshoots that i do with my stars is another way of showcasing my fashion sense. All the concepts are mine. I just look at my stars and say stuff like, "I want to turn you into a Rock Chic" or "I want to make you an Arabian Princess"...etc. Then i tell Princess Amayo what i want her to do with each person; and as you know, Princess will expertly bring my themes to life with her superb skills. I believe also that revamping my stars' images through dramatic and fashionable photoshoots like these help keep them in the public eye and make them more commercially appealing. For the more famous stars, it keeps them in the spotlight and for the newer ones, it keeps the public eager and excited about what is to come from them. Like with my HOT new TALENTED star, Actor and Model, Igoni Archibong, his photoshoot concept is: He lived large on crime, got arrested, lost all his money, escaped from prison, got on a boat and fled! When you look at it, you would get a hang of it and see how he skillfully brings all the themes to life. 

I recently also did a Goth inspired photoshoot with Lola Maja, another very talented Make-Up Artist that i love and respect. In fact, Princess Amayo and Lola Maja are the only Make-Up Artists that i feel very comfortable working with, as we have similar wacky mindsets and fashion sense. Where other Make-Up Artists won't dare to go cos they think it's "alien" to our Nigerian society, Lola would shout at me, "Let's go there" and would inculcate her own wacky sense and talent into my shoots. You need to see her work to understand what i mean. You can find some on my page on Facebook and on my website. As for Princess, i call her my other twin cos she just completes my sentences once i open my mouth to explain what i want! I'll be saying "Ruff Ryder look" and she'd say "Fishnet tights"...you know, stuff like that. I would love to do some seriously wacky shoots with Charly Boy Oputa and Denrele Edun using Princess and Lola. Denrele is actually up for it, but is always busy whenever i'm in Nigeria. I will soon catch him! If you think they are wacky and unusual, you wait till you see what i have cooked up in my head! Just let me get my hands on them and you'd see what VAMPIRE ART is! If they are reading this, in my best Dracula voice, i say to them, "I'M COMING FOR YOU"! Hehehe...

Oops, I got so carried away that i almost forgot about your second question! LOL! My favourite African Designers are Adebayo Jones, Caz Longe, Yemi Osunkoya and E4 PR's latest discovery, Oge Linda Okonkwo.

Any advice for aspiring females yearning to be entrepreneurs someday?
My answer to this question is a famous quote and although it may sound cliche, believe me, it inspires me all the time and gives me the zest to carry on, especially when i'm feeling lethargic and overwhelmed with work. It goes thus: "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don't. And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it; if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it would be easy. They just promised that it would be worth it."

Source: Zen Magazine (Zen Publications Limited).


Anonymous said...

Testing comments.

Sisi Yemmie said...

im not testing the comments!!! Ok, I think I have found someone to shadow in the PR industry. I just finished my masters and was looking to go into PR....you have provided me with a valuable insight!

9jaFOODie said...

Nice BLOG!

Egor Efiok said...

@ Sisi Yemmie ™ and 9jaFOODie.

Thanks for the comments.

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