You may think you know him, but I doubt until you read through this interview. Frank currently runs the hottest club in Nigeria, “The Place” at Lekki Phase 1. The niteclub play host to myriad of showbiz celebs and top socialites almost on a daily basis.
An exclusive interview with Franklin Emenike Okamigbo, CEO PAPAS Entertainment; whose hands are also in other pies besides showbiz such as Oil &Gas and Properties started out as an undergraduate. The Philosophy graduate from the University of Lagos is a compassionate social networker and a UN Youth Ambassador for Peace. In this exclusive interview by our editor Sunday Obembe, Frank Papas as he’s fondly called bears it all on his upbringing which formed his success story.
How did showbiz and nite clubbing business started?
It started way back after secondary school, while I was waiting for my student visa to study in the United States of America. I had the opportunity to work with my aunt who owns a Mega Movies where I was then the Supervisor. That experience opened me up to the entertainment world. I didn’t get the visa; though I worked hard to write the exams, but I took solace in the fact that man proposes but God knows best. I wrote JAMB and got admission into the University of Lagos to study Philosophy. It was in my first year 2nd semester that one of my friends Malik asked me to follow him to go pick up a cheque for a modeling job he did; I never knew one could make money by being who you are. When we got there I saw a lot of young people; not knowing they are casting for a modeling job, a lady worked in, as soon as she saw me she said this is the person I am looking for, I was so surprised because I didn’t come for casting. I quickly played along and that was how I got the job; it was a calendar for Nigerian Breweries. That was how I started modeling while in school.
Then while I got to year three 1st semester I pioneered a group with my clique of friends then, some were models like myself, students entrepreneurs, designers, basically it was a group of intelligent dudes. We founded a club which was called PAPAS ‘Prestigious Acclaimed Personality and Associates’, we organized events, parties, charities distributions and all that, students looked up to us. I later meet with someone at an event we organized, who introduced me to Mr. Kamal Bustani, the chairman of K’s Place who later became my boss and I started running the club from my year 3. In a nutshell that’s my intro into showbiz.
What were the initial challenges you faced starting up?
To be honest, I am a shy kind of guy, but I love to mingle, people like to be around me and I like to be around them. The challenge was that I was in school and I had to do what I like to do, and to God be the glory I was able to manage the academics and my managing a club, at the end I graduated and here I am today.
Can you share with us some of your memorable moments in UNILAG?
There are whole lots of memorable moments, the one I mentioned; the way I started modeling, the way people want to associate with you because of the good things you are doing in school and your social life and when I graduated. Those are some of my highpoints in UNILAG I can remember.
Been a handsome stylish dude and a model while on campus, how did you handle the female folks?
Being the only son of a family of five, I am used to the female and I understand them so much, so I see them as a part of me. I don’t take advantage and I try to make them comfortable around me by being friendly with them. If I don’t treat them the way they should be treated I wouldn’t had them to patronize me.
Can you tell us some of the high profile jobs you did as a model?
The first one was for the Nigerian Breweries (calendar and billboards), MTN (calendar and billboards)s, I also did Honeywell and was the Face of Maggi for a longtime. But I will say it’s the MTN job that really brought me to limelight.
Aside nite clubbing business, what other pies do you have your hands in?
|FRANK AND P-SQUARE|
By the special grace of God my ability to relate with people of different background and profession has given me the opportunity get into a lot of things which I am comfortable with. I have been able to network with other people that are not into entertainment; I get to know whatsoever they are doing. I have a Papas Properties company, and an Oil and Gas firm too which I use to broker deal and all of that when there is an opportunity, which is just making use of the contacts I have.
You run an NGO, can you tell us about it?
Papas International Foundation started as far back as when I was in the university when we formed PAPAS, the PIF is the real compassionate me that want to give back to the society not for the gain of the publicity, because I have been doing it way back, which has to do with the way I was brought up; the philosophy of live and lets live, also the one that says be your brother’s keeper. Basically I work with motherless baby homes, Red Cross and old people’s home as well on my birthday and special days. I see it as a time to put smile the faces of some other people. I visit them and also get other people along, so it’s just a way to help my fellow human being, for me that gives a lot of joy to be able to contribute in my own way and to be opportune to have what I can share with other people.
How would you describe your growing up relating it with who you are today?
Growing up from a disciplined background with my uncle in Imo state, because I lost my father when I was less than 2 years; we were taught to be focus in life, disciplined and to always appreciate people around us. And another major focus then was education because my uncle was the Principal educational of the whole Imo state in those days. And from that background I couldn’t go wrong. I really appreciate such upbringing. The truth is the traditional, social and moral values already instilled in me, keeps me going because I always remember where I am coming from, I started reading Ibo bible while I was like four, because you have to read during family devotions; so that takes me to the fact that if youths are given proper moral values and they adhere to them we won’t have the societal problems we are battling in the country today.
|FRANK, DAVIDO AND TIMAYA|
Who are your role models?
I have Ben Bruce, in the area of entertainment he also ran a club before he became what he is today. Nduka of Thisday who tried to set up some other publications before Thisday eventually started. In the political arena, the likes of selfless leaders who went into politics not because of what they want to gain but because of what they want to do for the masses, such as Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Micheal Opara. They all thought about the people first before themselves, I see them as genuine leaders. So these are the kind of people I look up to.
Many young people nowadays believe they can’t make it without involving in various shady deals like fraud and internet scam. What’s your take on that?
|FRANK, JULIUS AGWU AND GUESTS|
That still takes us back to the values I mentioned earlier. The word contentment means a lot because if you are not contented with what you have; you then try to do other dirty things to meet up. Let me be more philosophical, there is something in you, there is something in me, there is something in everybody, and all you need is to bring out what is in you. If you take your time it will actually come out, it might take time, but it will definitely show up. Still on contentment, looking at another person who lives in a mansion and owns fleet of cars won’t help at all, all one need is to work hard and don’t limit yourself and always be grateful to God for the little you have as the blessings of God override any other thing. Youth should look inward and pray for God to show you that gift you have for you to manifest and you take it up. Also find time to discover what you are passionate about; once you discover it, it becomes a source of livelihood where you will be making money from what you are passionate about. And something we all need to understand is that there are kings, servants, slaves and the likes meaning not everybody will be king. It has to be enhancing yourself in which ever profession you choose, so they should be focus, persevere, educated and prayerful.
|FRANK AND IYANYA|
|FRANK AND D'BANJ|
If anyone has the passion for clubbing business and the likes, I will use my own story as an example; I didn’t just started it one day, somebody noticed that I was organizing events here and there and the way I carry people along in all that I do, so he feels that if I am given an opportunity I would perform better. So it’s not something that starts in one day you have to build it. It actually starts from where your passion really lies, then you start working towards it, and then you need to pray because it’s never up to man.
What is your Philosophy about life?
My philosophy of life is simple; the purpose of life is a life of purpose.
PLS, DROP YOUR COMMENTS.