“Welcome to my world, where anybody with a good number of social media following suddenly think they are now a PR person. Most people don’t understand the science of corporate communication and marketing and that’s what we do at iBlend. With the advent of new media, many with some thousands of followers now brand themselves as PR but the active term for that is new media influencers”.
“These people (social media influencers) can actually influence people through what they post and share”.
That was Eddie’s opener when we sat down with him to talk about the man and brand Eddie Madaki. Eddie is that guy most people believe holds the key to Abuja. That guy who has the solution to the complex place called Abuja and that’s why many go to him when they need to penetrate Abuja.
“Culture is a very strong deciding factor. If you don’t understand the culture of Abuja before doing anything, you’re bound to fail. This is where companies like ours come in. You need people that have an understanding of the land, the cultures and the strategies that work. The way you do stuffs in Lagos is not the same way you do business in Abuja. The campaigns we run in Lagos is not the kind of campaigns we run in Abuja”.
“When you’re staging a show in Lagos, you can easily do bill boards and flyers and the place will be filled but that won’t work in Abuja. Abuja people are much more knowledgeable. The culture of Abuja is a mix of professionals. For Abuja to turn up for you they need to see the value that you offer. You can’t wash Abuja people with noise and all that. You need to give them substance and value. Some people come into Abuja and think they can just have bill boards everywhere and it will fly. Abuja has a very strong sense of ownership. It’s not about spending a lot of money. There are some people that just need to endorse and key into what you do and it will fly”.
The Black Hulk as Eddie loves to call himself is not the kind of person or subject you treat in a day and that why we’ve decided to split this in depth profile of Eddie into three parts and for his shoot, we took him to his favorite place, Laguru Gym. Please come with us on this three day journey to unravel the man and brand Eddie Madaki and we promise you it’s going to be a very fun one. Today Eddie talks about growing up, his talent, family, first shot at fame, Hebrew Boys, MI Abaga, Katung, University days, Black Collar Entertainment, Gulder Ultimate search and more.
“Am from Benue, Idoma. My father is a law practitioner though he was in the military and also director of socials so this whole art and creative thing runs in the family. In my family we always follow the professional and socials sides of us and that’s why our dad allowed us to explore our creative sides. Though an architect but my true calling has always been communication and interacting”.
“While growing up between the age of nine and twelve we were in a gospel group called the Hebrew Boys and we used to tour with the likes of Panam Pecey Paul, Dr Uma Okpai and the rest. The band was made up of four of us; myself, Andy, Joshua and Caleb. That was our first taste of fame. We used to be excited touring with those big names then. After primary school we disbanded and went to the boarding house. Our parent didn’t allow us go out too much so we got busy by engaging in stuffs that developed us. We read a lot of books and explored the computer and since I draw very well, I ended up doing architecture”.
Eddie at this stage became a bit philosophical:
“There is this saying that if you’re passionate about something which is latent to you, it will find a way of coming back to you. While in the university, myself, Katung, Wale Akinjobi and Victor Udeh, we started a company called Black Collar Entertainment and we used to host events in school”.
Eddie then went on to tell us why Black Collar Entertainment was set up.
“In Africa, because most people that have a talent for something end up studying what they are not passionate about; like say a brilliant writer studying medicine. They end up miserable so Black Collar was mainly about creating an outlet back then in Jos where professionals can live out their passion. It was really big for us then because we brought brands like GLO, MTN and the likes to support our shows, modeling, award nights and the rest”.
“Towards the end of our school days we now put together a Black Collar project which featured the best artist out of Jos that year. One of the biggest artist that year was MI. He had a song pull it back and crowd mentality and that was before he got signed to Chocolate City. So we were all friends and a tight knit creative community”.
Graduation and Gulder Ultimate Search
“After graduation from the university of Jos in 2006, because I was always the rough one with taekwondo skills, Andy signed me up for Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS 3) which was won by Hector, though I was one of the last men standing. Coincidentally all the ultimate men have been light skin. After GUS3 while still in Lagos I modeled and did a lot of TV stuffs. I got back to Abuja and did some TV series for BBC called ‘Wetin Dey’. It was an international star studded cast that had Ali Nuhu, Abubarka Sadiq and many others like the AMBO winner”.
Shoot location : Laguru GYM
Photographer : Ejike Manny