Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Say Hello to our Guest of the Month: Godfrey Ogenyi

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet

...and that is exactly what Godfrey Ogenyi, a young entrepreneur, did with the creation of Imbue Magazine, the first Gospel  Music Magazine in Nigeria. In this interview the energetic and innovative entrepreneur shares his passion for Gospel music with us and how he has been able to harness this passion through print and electronic media.

Just to add a little "zing" to the interview, the following goodies have been attached just for YOUR delight:
  • Imbue Magazine - 5th Edition
  • Da Music Room - Pilot Episode
  • Da Music Room - Episode Three

Feel free to view and download these "goodies" (after the cut) and also don't forget to grab other editions of the Magazine, you will be glad you did :)

Brief description of yourself (background)
I was born on the 29th of May, 1984 in Keffi. I spent the first few years of my life in Keffi, moved to Jos and then later Abuja with my family. I am from Benue state. I Studied English and Literary Studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. I love God, music, travelling, my wife and family.
How did Imbue Magazine start?
Imbue started, first as a thought / a desire to do “something more” for the Gospel music industry. I felt gospel artists did not really have platforms where they could excel being “Gospel” and so, very easily, a lot of young upcoming artists fell out. 

Imbue came so as to give a louder voice to Gospel artists, a platform where people can truly be a positive influence in a world where nudity, vulgar words and emptiness sells and is craved after. Thus, the name; IMBUE. 

 The Imbue team was made up 10 people of which 7 were my friends/students in A.B.U. After putting heads together and rubbing great minds, on the 22nd of September, 2007, the first edition of Imbue was released.
What was it like at the take-off phase?
At the take- off stage, I had N15, 000 in my account, N5, 000 was used to register the company name. So, I was left with less than N10, 000 to survive in school, and still run the vision. 

I had a lot of encouragement from friends around, but had little access to Nigerian artists since covering them was expensive and it was difficult to get over the Internet. The cost of traveling to meet them, take photos and interviews was a lot, whereas, international artists could be contacted one day, and the next, there is an encouraging response.
How did you generate capital for the business?
Basically, the team members contributed to raise funds. When I was able to finally sell the idea to my family, I got a good chunk of fund from them. I can’t really say I had a very organized method of generating capital, but at each point when it was needed, God came through
Journey thus far?
It has been an exciting and educative journey. I must say that I have grown as an individual. The initial 10 member team is down to two. We might have reduced in number, but Imbue has grown to become even an employer of staff. Imbue extended its impact from the pages of magazines to the air waves through  Da Music Room and “Imbue’s Top Ten” airing on different stations across Nigeria and pod casts, with 27 episodes. So far, we have 6 printed editions of the magazine and 5 online editions. Looking back, I can say we have made a lot of progress. 


Where do you see your brand in five years?
I see Imbue as a multi-award winning company and acquiring a worldwide coverage. I see us being an award rewarding body with the Imbue Gospel Awards. I see Imbue building the confidence of more gospel artists and even giving them an edge over secular artists, promoting them to such an extent that they can’t be intimidated.

How do you cope with competition?
I would say competition is truly healthy, as it has spurred us to do better over the years. When we see others, we try to move ahead and “step up our game”. At the moment, I can say that Imbue is topping the charts. There are magazines, but few do what we do and have the quality (both in print and content) that Imbue does.
What's your driving force?
The vision and passion God put in me at the initial stage is what drives me. If He put it in me, I believe He knows I can handle it, I really would not want to let Him down, so I make sure to put in the “God kind of excellence”


What are your sources of inspiration?
God totally inspires me; great ideas come from Him and also from my friend and team member. Seeing nice productions and good quality stuff like Vibe Magazine, CCM Magazine, BET, Trace TV and of course, Imbue Magazine.
How do you relax after a hard day's work?
I come home, sit on a couch with my beautiful wife, eat her totally awesomely prepared meals, and maybe watch a movie or gist together until we fall asleep.
Who is your role model?
I think the only entrepreneur in the Gospel music industry that trips me is Kirk Franklin. I think he is hard working and has a lot to show for it like Sunday’s Best, owns two radio stations, a record label and produces Mary Mary, apart from his own brand, (mentioning few of his achievements). I respect him.

What is your perception about your industry as a whole?
It’s a growing industry with a lot of potential, but I think Nigerian Gospel artists need to step up, there’s a lot that can still be done, especially with content. We have a lot of work to do, but gradually, we will get “there”.

Advise to upcoming entrepreneurs especially those interested in your field? 
One of the most popular advices one would give is “Work hard”. I believe one should work hard, at the same time, make sure you have a passion for what you do, mix work with a little fun, enjoy every step. 

When it gets difficult or you feel discouraged (cause definitely, those times would come) keep your head up and know that your work would speak for you. It’s sad when I see people stagger in the faith. You see people start up as gospel and soon, face a few challenges or, on the other hand, are highly celebrated and then switch to secular. People should be rooted in the Word, stick to the faith you profess through thick and (or) thin. 

Be Inspired

The Goodies:
For more information, please contact Imbue Magazine via the following:

08036943403, 08057802749

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