Why we started ‘City Info Africa’- Young CEO
Regardless of the current state of economic recession in Nigeria, it is no secret that in recent developments, the entertainment and arts industry has been one of the major pace setters rolling in the big bucks for the country’s economy. The younger generation is not slowing down on its roller costa ride towards breaking barriers and limitations set by international standard of entertainment.
The “Giant of Africa” has proved to be the central hub of creativity and fast rising globe changers. One of them is a young CEO/Creative Director, Tonye Ekine
An Artist and a Brand Publicist, over the years he has developed skills and experience as a creative director and Project Manager working with teams on several engagements including; Creating Media Campaign Plans for Private Multinational Companies, Branding of Initiatives and Programs for the Government and Private Sector, Rebranding Companies and Various Organizations, Content creator for Websites, Still & Motion Graphics.
Tonye has been involved in providing unique ideas, publicity and marketing campaigns consultation to several Small and Medium Enterprises in different industries (Professional Services, Media & Entertainment ICT and health ) in Nigeria.
He currently holds strategic leadership positions in some companies; He is the assistant editor of IBCITY info (a city guide magazine) a creative consultant with Indie View Lagos ( an outdoor cinema initiative event consisting of screenings of independent films produced by African filmmakers ), and also a creative consultant to Cook and Steam ( A real-estate company with two major estates in Abuja )
Hi, who is Tonye Ekine?
In one word I am an artist.
Care to expatiate
lol brieﬂy I loved drawing all my life, i used to scribble as a young child, drawing Johnny Bravo, Bugs Bunny and a bunch of cartoon characters with my primary school lesson classmates.
At the time my friend Biyi used to bring comic books which we would swap and argue about who draws a better cartoon character. what intrigued me most about drawing was bringing an idea to life. You just think about it and create it.
I believe that is what fascinated me the most about everything I guess. So my art journey began, following through into secondary school and in Jss3 I decided I wanted to be a ﬁne artist then followed that dream into university.
I specialized in graphic design and painting. Did a lot of internship at advertising agencies 141 and the likes and the rest is history….. I guess everything led me to where I am currently
And what/where might that be?
I am the project director of Abuja city info a company powered by city info Africa. which funny enough embodies the same thing that took me into arts, creating what I conceive in my mind and bring that outward
what is City info Africa?
it’s a company that is made up of a bunch of creatives who come together to rebrand and change the phase of each city in nigeria and Africa at large. We primarily provide information to residents and tourist that make them aware of the resources they have around them. the problem most of us have is access to information.
you go to a new state and because you have no family or are new to the vicinity you do not know where to go eat, relax, hangout or have a nice time to experience the city.
as a result most people either stay at home or ask for referrals via word of mouth or go to the internet looking for information that might brighten their day.
Overseas you get to Heathrow and you have a map that you can pick at the airport that gives you directions on how to move around and go to places in the city.
So we thought why not provide a city guide in our state back home that gives people access to information so once you come in contact with our magazine or map you have abundant information about the city and peculiarities about the city that makes your stay and work interesting with whatever budget you have
So as long as you have our magazine you are in good hands to be clear you provide city guides for each state you go to which includes a magazine and map. Yeah that’s pretty much it….
Pictured with Abuja based media magnate and socialite Eddie Madaki
How do you get your information?
we have qualiﬁed writers and researchers who go round and inquire about things in diﬀerent areas from food, to security. some even volunteer to provide information because they have had both good and bad experiences which they will like to share to members of the public.
Wow, How long have you been doing this?
This whole dream started from two individuals Tunji Ilori and Tomiwa Sijuade who over 3years ago came up with the idea to create a city guide for the city of Ibadan.
then they were chasing clients to believe in their idea with black and white paper …. those days * reminiscing*, fast track to present day.
we have successfully done over 5publications of the magazine and we are launching in Abuja in the next 2weeks and 3 major cities in nigeria in the span of 4months.
so is it easier now than back then?
well yeah it sure is, however, we are still pushing limits to break barriers and make sure that as many people can aﬀord and have access to the city guide.
Our dream is we can provide information to everyone in each city and you will be able to pick it up from any entry point into or out of the city, whether by car, road, train air or water.
What’s a major barrier you faced in this project?
I will say its belief, from diﬀerent owners of business. Yes people like the idea, they fall involve with the product, the design, photography and interaction it creates it unique. but believing in the reach and where it gets to, I guess that has been a major barrier. Trying new things and taking risks I believe has been the major problem for most people.
However, the demography of our work force is between 19-34 so I believe that’s why we take risk with no hold back and are more adventurous in showing things in a more appealing way than what people are used to.
That’s why our product is dynamic and unique from photography to design and print. when you see our magazine you think it’s one of those foreign magazines.
Trust me I know, I saw IBCITY, (lol) So What should we look forward to in Abuja edition?
Kudos to our creative team headed by Kunmi, I am usually more particular about the exciting images we have acquired from various well known photographers in the city and also our in-house design team. Some exciting fun facts about Abuja.
Exciting features with the celebrities we have in Abuja and …… just expect something diﬀerent and visually appealing. believe me once you get a copy you will want to hold on to it.
And Abuja has a lot in store that we cannot wait to show case in subsequent editions.
Where can we pick up a copy?
The magazine would be at the airport, The business class lounges, on airlines, the top hotels in Abuja private lounges and public cafes in Abuja … Till then people can follow to get more information on our website and active social media handles @abjcityinfo on instagram and Facebook to see and not miss out on what we have in store.
You can also check issue slash IBCITY to checkout our past magazines for Ibadan to get a vivid picture of what we have in stock for Abuja and lastly check out the www.cityinfoafrica.com
Do I get a magazine and map?
I will personally deliver it to you *wink*
lastly where in Abuja is your favorite local bukka spot?