Omojuwa "Nigerian Women are My Greatest Supporters"

Back in the office, there had been some ambivalence about the decision to interview Twitter personality, Omojuwa.

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It's 3:15pm and my colleague and I have been waiting for Omojuwa for an upwards of one hour...in blazing Lagos sun, I should add. Having arrived late for the interview with him, he had gone in for another meeting hence the long wait.

Back in the office, there had been some ambivalence about the decision to interview Twitter personality, Omojuwa.

“What exactly has he done to merit an interview anyways?” a few colleagues had asked in complete indifference.

After one hour and fifteen minutes of sitting in a hot car and haven taken off as many items of clothes as I could manage without putting up a strip show, I found myself beginning to wonder the same thing and then I remind myself that we came late.

This is the price you pay for showing up late for an interview with a time stickler like Omojuwa.

Finally he shows up, apologetic..and enroute another meeting! Now what? I wonder in exasperation. After few minutes of debating, it is decided that we all ride together to his next appointment and so we conduct the interview along the ever bustling Lagos roads.

play (Naija247news)

 

“I love Lagos” he quips.

“Lagos is the spirit of Nigeria. It defines our enterprising spirit and ability to conquer. It also defines today that Nigeria can be better because I knew Lagos when it was the dirtiest city in the world and I see Lagos today and its actually much cleaner than some places in Rio, Brazil and even some places in New York. I can tell you because I saw this first hand so Lagos is the representation of what can be done in Nigeria and the people in Lagos are the representation of Nigeria”

This selfless love of country and can-do spirit is the first thing that hits you with Omojuwa. He is unashamedly patriotic and a firm believer of a better tomorrow for Nigeria. He says as much when we ask him to describe himself.

Omojuwa is a young Nigerian who believes in proving people wrong about Nigeria and who believes in showing that there is another side to Nigeria, not just the bad side that people know. I'm desperate to show the world that there is a good side to Nigeria.”

play Zahra Buhari and JJ Omojuwa (Vivia Gist)
 

And when you're not out playing image maker for Nigeria and its youth, what do you do for fun?

“I like to meet people and I like my old friends. I like to form new relationships too. I like the world, I like to see it and explore it. Most importantly I like making things happen especially things that have not been done before. My relative success; I say relative because what people see as my success in Nigeria is nothing elsewhere and I think nothing has been done but my relative success has been driven by women. Nigerian women are my greatest supporters and so whenever I get the chance to hang out I make sure that I'm hanging with them gisting and having fun.

Hold on!!

Did you say hang out with women?!

Omojuwa aka Mr I'm-So-Patriotic-And-Serious-Minded-I-Sneeze-Green-White-Green actually hangs out with women?

Our curiosity is piqued and we want to know just what kind of women appeal to him.

Are you a boobs, booty or legs man? 

“I don't discriminate” he says amidst general laughter.

“I was brought up not to discriminate but you know the more the abilities, the better. Even when you're seeking jobs the more abilities you have, the better for you. But my ideal woman is intelligent. More than anything else she has to be intelligent then she also has to be beautiful. I'm not going to lie about that” he says with a laugh.

play Japheth Omojuwa, Kemi Lala Akindoju and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (360nobs)

“But asides hanging with women, I like to travel, meet new people and the beauty of me having fun is when I hang out I'm actually doing my work because I have a lot of fun on the internet. The internet is the biggest thing after God because it basically takes out the borders, politics, tribes, tongues and it makes a lot of things possible so I have a lot of fun on the internet and thankfully its also where I make a lot of my money.”

So what are the most memorable places you've been to?

“It has to be Abuja because of what it represents. It represents the unity of Nigeria. If I wasn't a Lagos boy I would have said Lagos because Lagos is the spirit of Nigeria.I also love Rio. It took me 14 hours to get there, 14 hours from Dubai minus the travel time from Nigeria so going there meant I had expectations to have fun and I did. I liked the beaches and the colours. There was no carnival and I still liked the things I saw. Then I love Dubai because Dubai is an example of a miracle. You see a desert 30 years ago and today it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Dubai tells you that it can be done and no matter how seemingly unresourceful and deserted a place can be, something big and extraordinary can come out of it. Ofcourse the conventional cities are there, you want to experience London and the diversity of culture and how they're able to mix up and make a city look beautiful. I also love DC and what it is able to represent as power. But the world is beautiful and it all depends on what side of the world you're looking at.”

play (Innovation-village)
 

Everyone has a story and we want to know Omojuwa's.

“My story is one of trying to prove people wrong. I've proved people wrong every step of the way and I'm going to keep doing that. The latest feat in me proving people wrong is when it was said that being relevant on Twitter means nothing. I'm not done proving people wrong about that. But the fact that I've had the privilege of speaking in 5 continents of the world essentially answers that question. There are 2 ways to it, you can either bring your relevance to Twitter like a normal celebrity who comes on Twitter and has a number of followers immediately; and I'm not just restricted to Twitter, I mean other social platforms too, and you can also carry that relevance, power and influence online to the 'real world'. But I'm not able to separate the 'real world' from online because I make real money online and I meet real people online so the 'real world' for me is the world in its entirety, whether using social media tools to connect to that world or using my legs or an airplane to connect to that world, the world in its entirety; the people and the tools are the real world so my story is seeing things differently and seeing possibilities where others can't, redefining reality.”

Going back a little, we want to know who was Omojuwa before Twitter?

Before Twitter, I used to organise motivational events. Every step of the way I've always been proactive. As a toddler I was a part of a drama group and in primary school I was deputy head boy inspite of the fact that I started later than my other classmates. As a student in Kings College, I also won laurels on the field and I played football for the school team.

At what point did you realise your level of influence?

It was not a sudden realisation, it was a generic growth. I think for me it was the article “Angry Nigerian Children Write President Jonathan”. I wrote this article on the 26th of December 2011 after the Madala bomb blast. I didn't write it in my name, I wrote it in the name of “Angry Nigerian Children” and I tried to imagine them thinking and ofcourse I spoke big words. But the article was all over the place. Unfortunately my name didn't go with it but my blog account went with it and some people were able to trace it to me. For me that was the beginning of that reality and of course my involvement in organising young people around the internet especially with 'Occupy Nigeria'. Then my ability to retain my influence and presence post 'Occupy Nigeria' was another thing.

What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

That I'm proud. It is a misconception because there are two sides to pride – I'm proud of my country, I'm proud of what young people have done but I'm not an arrogant person. I'm just a proud brand and they are two different things. Everybody that has met me at least agrees with that but those that haven't, unfortunately I can't help them.

So who is your celebrity crush?

I love Beyonce. If Jay Z hadn't married her, I think I'll probably have done that(general laughter). I like Toolz also because we have very good conversation. I like the way she talks.

Favourite movie

I'm not a movie person but I liked the movie 'Goal' because I like stories of people doing things nobody thought was possible. And that's my personal story. Before I knew I was going to be like this I was getting ready for this time. I read and followed stories of others who made it and practiced everything like how I would act in interviews and many things I've not even done. When you study history and follow the story of other people, have the same enthusiasm and develop your capacity and competence, its just natural that life supplies all the other things you need to fulfill your dreams. I also like biographical movies and I like to watch movies in cinemas.

And Music?

I love music. I'm a music person but I don't have a favourite song, it depends on how I feel at a certain time. Sometimes I just want to listen to KSA for instance, sometimes I want to understand how people with heartbreak feel so I listen to Adele for instance and sometimes I want to listen to music that makes me feel really good so maybe I could do Chris Brown and sometimes I just want to shake my head without thinking so I listen to Nigerian music. My music taste is eclectic.

Describe yourself in three words.

I'm proactive, iconoclastic and a trail blazer

Who is your favourite Twitter personality?

I like Pierce Morgan because he stands for Arsenal. I'm a proud Arsenal fan

On a final note, we want to know there's more to life than...

Just making money. You should give back

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