Hello people!!! so we interviewed a young entrepreneur who is doing really well for herself and her achievements at a young age are mind blowing. Let’s take a quick peek into the entrepreneurial life of Miss Ibi Kontein, C.E.O SABI AFRICA. Just giving you heads-up that she tweaked this interview and flung out of the window “STRICT-professionalism”
1. Kindly make an introduction of yourself and what you do.
I’m Ibi Kontein. A 20 year old December born foodie. I’m in my final year at Babcock university, and I’m a kalabari babe that speaks Efik. What do I do? I do squats. Lol, ok serious now. I’m a writer, director, actor, producer, (true born thespian) on the side I’m an event planner, social media publicist, shoe designer, cobbler and arbitrator in the making.
2. What birthed this passion and how did you start off with it?
The passion for SABI stemmed from my love for theater. I joined a drama group in my school. I just knew there’s no where else I’d rather be than on stage. 2years in and I realized that others just have to see how pure of an entertainment theater is. I had zero clue on specifics, but I just knew I needed to bring theater tothe south. So I called a friend in the entertainment industry, and boom! Plans kicked off, I still didn’t’t have a name yet.
SABI is the pidgin term that translates into ‘to know’. Starting off was an excruciating and challenging task! and being a young female, some people want to take advantage of you , or think your opinions are less valid. I learnt to shock people with my actions and silence them with my results. The team started off with 9 people in total, but now it’s down to 5 because I realized not everyone will see your vision and even those that see it might still not understand it.
3.Who are your role models and how have they influenced you?
Bolanle Austen-Peters! Her works opened my mind to the endless possibilities in theater and seeing a woman successfully practicing her dream career enlightened me to the fact that although gender does make the job a bit more challenging, it’s not an obstacle. Viola Davis. Studying her acting techniques has opened a new dimension to grooming my acting skills, and for coaching my actors too.
4.What are the challenges you’ve experienced in your journey so far?
Dealing with misogynistic individuals. I end up working twice as hard to make sure they swallow their opinions and choke on them. Next is having to add Sabi to my school work and a ton of other jobs and involvements. I have painstakingly learnt time management and prioritization.
5.What has been your most humbling experience?
Royal Arts Academy.I used to think I was overly smart and talented when it came to theater. But going to RAA and seeing amazing talent, people with experience et al, it humbled me. Had to scrap out everything I knew or thought I knew, and learnt afresh!
6. What do you think is going to make you stand out with your vision?
Consistency, Creativity and Christ.
7. What are some sacrifices you have made to push your dream?
Sleep, sanity, personal time, comfort, social life, it’s an endless list.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Move SABI from just an annual event to a quarterly one. Producing stage plays and organizing art exhibitions not just in port-harcourt but in five prominent states in the southern region of Nigeria.
9. What lesson has been key in all these things?
Nobody will give you anything just because you’re smart or you deserve it. You have to TAKE it. Nobody owes you anything and entitlement mentality will take you nowhere.