Happy new month guys. Today is the first of my new interview series, “Young Entrepreneurs Speak with Ellie”. This series covers in-depth interviews with fascinating guests, majorly young entrepreneurs. The aim of this series is to encourage ideas among people of the society especially youths. On this first interview session, we have a young, cute, sweet and intelligent girl. She’s a student of the University of Lagos,Nigeria. And she also has a part time career in photography. Below is Ola’s story in her own words.
FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR AGREEING TO THIS INTERVIEW PROPOSAL. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF .
I’m Ajayi Olaoluwa Olushola. Friends call me Ola for short. I’m currently studying Political Science at the University of Lagos. I’m an introverted novel freak,and the first child of a family of six. I love doing and planning things backstage. Not exactly a girly girl(laughs). What else, I love photography. And when I’m not doing that, you could find me playing scrabble.
HMMM, I GUESS WE HAVE SOME THINGS IN COMMON, I ALSO ENJOY READING NOVELS. WHAT SORT OF NOVELS DO YOU READ,DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE AUTHOR OR A PARTICULAR GENRE YOU READ OFTEN?
I read romance and adventure novels. My favourite authors are Stephanie Laurens, Diana Palmer and Debbie Macomber.
THESE ARE ALL FOREIGN AUTHORS,SEEMS LIKE YOU AREN’T INTO NIGERIAN LITERATURE?
Oh, of course not. I have some of my favourites from Nigeria as well. I love Chimamanda Adichie, Tunde Leye and Chinua Achebe(May his soul rest in peace, amen).
YOU LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY, WHAT DRIVES YOUR PASSION FOR THAT?
My passion for photography stems from two things. They’re happiness and the drive to create beautiful things. As a child, I loved beautiful drawings and paintings. But as all I could do successfully was draw an orange and sometimes a shapeless looking basket,(laughs), I concluded that if I couldn’t make any beautiful drawing, I’ll just create my own happiness by taking beautiful pictures – with a camera.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR LIGHT BULB MOMENT?
I was 18 when I decided to learn photography and take it as a lifetime career.
ARE YOU THE ONLY ONE MANAGING THE BUSINESS OR YOU HAVE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH?
I have people I work with. Besides, I’m still learning.
YEAH SURE, EVEN THE PROFESSIONALS STILL LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY. ANY ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR, IF SO, PLEASE GIVE US DETAILS.
Achievements? Just one so far, two works of mine were displayed during an exhibition.
WHEN AND WHERE DID THIS EXHIBITION TAKE PLACE?
The exhibition was during my graduation at the Photography Skill Academy.
DO YOUR PICTURES TELL A STORY, IS THERE A MESSAGE YOU TRY TO SEND THROUGH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS?
Of course, every picture tells a story. Photography is an art. And telling stories is an art. So yes, they do. For instance, I took this picture when I was facing some problems. I was perturbed and quite disturbed. I wanted silence, I wanted healing, I wanted to find light at the end of the so called tunnel. Eventually, I discovered that there’s always a reason for everything. In every problem, there’s a blessing, an opportunity.
WOW, THAT’S NICE, I LOVE THE INTERPRETATION, I MEAN LOOKING AT THE PICTURE, I CAN ALMOST FEEL THE SERENITY THAT COMES WITH IT.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET JOBS AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR NON-WORK TIME?
Once in a while. As I said earlier, I’m still learning. In my free hours, I study(mostly school related subjects).
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO COMBINE BOTH SCHOOL AND WORK?
To be honest, it’s pretty stressful juggling both. But I try to create balance between school and photography.
YOU ARE A POLITICAL SCIENCE STUDENT, ARE YOU POLITICALLY ACTIVE?
No I’m not.
As stated earlier, I prefer doing things or making things work backstage. Besides, being really politically active in school is quite stressful for an introvert. Again, right now ,I have a lot of things going, so there’s hardly any time to engage in political activities.
ALRIGHT THEN. EXCLUDING YOU, WHICH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY?
I admire Kelechi Amadi Obi, Tobbinator, Leke Adenuga (QF), TY Bello, Bayo Omoboriowo as well as some foreign photographers. These people are good. They inspire me a lot with their work.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WORKING WITH ANY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU MENTIONED, MAYBE SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE?
Yes o. In Jesus name, yes. (Laughs).
DO YOU HAVE A BRAND, IF SO, WHAT’S YOUR BRAND’S NAME?
I use SJ meaning Sholajay. A name I coined from my real names.
WHERE WILL YOU BE AFTER 25 YEARS?
In 25 years time, by the grace of God, I’ll be happily married to a man I love , as a photojournalist and an entrepreneur. And of course, I’ll have my kids by my side.
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I can’t exactly call myself an entrepreneur right now. I feel I still have a lot of learning to do. So I don’t think I deserve the title just yet.
ARE THERE ANY BOOKS THAT MOTIVATE YOU TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Yes, there are quite a few I’ve read. E.g books written by Pastor Sam Adeyemi.
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS NEEDED TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT WHAT YOU DO?
Three things needed for me to be successful? Um, perseverance, discipline and although I can be lazy sometimes, hardwork.
WHAT SORT OF CAMERA DO YOU USE FOR YOUR WORK?
Right now, I use a Canon 40D. I’m praying and working for a better one though.
AMEN TO THAT. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN THEIR CHOSEN FIELD?
I’ll advise them to be diligent, disciplined and persistent in anything they choose to do.
SOME YOUTHS HAVE PUT OUT THE EXCUSE OF NOT BEING ABLE TO START UP A BUSINESS OR TRADE DUE TO ONE REASON OR THE OTHER, SUCH AS FINANCIAL STATUS, FAMILY PROBLEMS ETC. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR SUCH YOUTHS?
We all know how tough it is for youths to make it out there. There’s a lot of competition. But the only way one stands a chance of making out there is by doing something that makes you stand out. So try to be different. They should also try networking, it helps a lot.
ONE LAST QUESTION, DO YOU LIKE MY BLOG, WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yeah, I like your blog o Ellie. It’s just different(in a positive way) and interestingly informative. May God continue to enlarge your coast.
(SMILES) AMEN. THANK YOU FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS. MY READERS AND I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
You are welcome.
So that’s it guys, if you’d like to see more of Ola’s work, or want to connect with her, you can do so by following her on IG: @iamsholajay.
If you have any questions or anything at all you’d like to say to Ola, feel free to drop those in the comment box.