Damilare Kuku Covers I Must Talk Magazine’s Latest Edition.



1. Who is Damilare Kuku?

I'm a girl who believes in using art as a way to express how I feel everyday. There's no background story. I don't really discuss my private life as much, but I did go to OAU for my first degree, I did my masters in UNILAG and that's about it. I'm yet to do my PhD because I haven't gotten around to it, it's becoming like a thing now I need to eventually finish doing this PhD.

2. Your new book NEARLY ALL THE MEN IN LAGOS ARE MAD has been making waves both online and offline and has attained international recognition, how does that make you feel?

I feel good that it has been doing all of this and for me it's about the fact that God has been instrumental in the success of this book. I don't think it has really anything to do with me as much as I just wrote it, but God has been instrumental in the success of it and also bringing people along the way that have made it really successful, because people tell people about the book, if you tweet about it and all of that. Sometimes I come online and I see how far the book is going, and I'm just like God is good and I'm forever grateful for everyone who contributed to the success of this book.

3. Tell us a bit about the book?

It's a book about the relationship between men and women and what they've gone through, a book about relationships and human relationships and how we need to learn to be kind.

4. The book feels quite personal, did you write it based on personal experience and did you have someone or some persons in mind when you wrote the book?

No it's not personal I promise you, there's none of that story that I can say oh it happened to me, no. But do I know the people? Of course I do, and did I write it with some people in mind? I did and I have said that I wrote it with a couple of people in mind. I dedicated the whole book to my mum, so yes it's a personal story to me because every piece of art I would put out there in terms of books would forever be personal to me, but I don't know if I would ever write about my own story in a fictional work. 

5. The title is not just creative, but also very captivating and highly daring, why that title?

I just finished praying one afternoon in my apartment in Yaba and the inspiration came that why not do a project called NEARLY ALL THE MEN IN LAGOS ARE MAD and I stuck with it and 3 years later it's a book.

6. What was the inspiration behind writing the book, and why did you feel like you needed to write a book about the men in Lagos in particular?

There wasn't any inspiration, what I mean there wasn't any inspiration is, I wanted to talk about human relationships and just how I feel a lot of us have lost empathy for one another which is why we do the things we do to each other in relationships, whether it's friendship, whether it's relationship and that's really where I was hoping I would take the book, so that's basically what it is. So that's the inspiration and why did I feel I needed to write a book about Lagos men? It’s because Lagos is the heart of Nigeria. I mean it might not be the capital but it's the heart of Nigeria. When I say nearly all the men in Lagos are mad I don't think people should take it literally and say Lagos men, I meant just bad behavior that we see in men generally all over the world, but I can't really speak of men in Germany because I live in Lagos.

Get the book: Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad: Call/Text: 08033071019

7. From being an actor to becoming a writer, why that transition and what was the journey like?

I'm still very much an actor, I have a film that came out on 18th of March, and I have a couple of projects coming out this year so I'm still an actor. There's no transition, I'm just now a writer as well, so writer/actor. The journey is still the same, but for writing it's a bit more personal because it's my words, with acting, there are alot of people involved, there's the director, the script and so on, but with writing you’re putting the creation down first before it goes into become something bigger than you.

8. How long have you nurtured the idea of "I want to write”?

I've always wanted to write, I think the first time I met Chimamanda Adichie who wrote half of a yellow sun, I asked her how long did it take you to write your first book and she said all of her life up till the moment the book was published. I used to write Poems when I was a child. I would sit and just write poems and just scribble poems if I'm upset, if I'm happy I'd write poems. I've always loved poetry by the way, poetry is the one art I absolutely love. I think everything can be expressed in poetry. So yea, I've always wanted to write.

9. When did you pick up that pen and paper and say to yourself "I want to write a book”? And what was your drive?

God is my drive o, God is my strength the bible says the Lord is my strength and I'm not joking because if I rely on myself hmmm let's just leave it there. 

 10. #NATMILAM being your first book, what were the challenges you faced?

NATMILAM is my first fiction, my first literary work but it's not my first book and what were the challenges I faced? I mean like every normal thing in life, sometimes you know you feel uninspired, you feel inspired, it's...I don't know so I always feel like most people want to know what my process is as a writer, and I keep saying to people just wait let me release my 3rd book and then ask me this same question and I promise you I would have like a whole thing where I will tell you what I faced and how by God's grace I overcame it, but like I said I rely heavily on God, I'm a very needy child of God and I don't hide it because I need Him every day of my life.

Get the book: Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad: Call/Text: 08033071019

11. Who do you look up to in your field as a writer?

Alot of African writers inspire me, I love African writers and I think they are such powerful storytellers, I can't pick one person but off the top of my head the two people that come to my head every single time when I want to talk about people that inspire me, well not two, I have a couple of people I have Sade Adeniran who wrote Imagine this, Lola Shoneyi who wrote Secret lives of Baba Segi's Wives, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chimeka Garricks and a couple of other people, they are just so many, I'm a big fan of a lot of works so I can't list everything but yea a lot. 

12.  What is your favourite book of all time?

The bible is my favourite book, the bible tells amazing stories that's literally how I got into storytelling because I used to read the bible, imagine I was in all those periods and everything that happened in the bible.

13.  Should we be expecting more books from you?

Yes you should definitely be expecting a lot from me, I don't know if it's just books, but expect a lot of art from me, I can't say which form it would always come in but yes, there would always be art coming from me.

14.  You've been an actress since 2013, from your first hit movie Kakadu the musical to the outcast, Chatroom, Ewa, Africa's magic hotel majestic, Ebony's Life Castle and Castle and lots more, how has been your experience so far in the Nigeria movie industry?

For me I'm very involved in Nollywood as an artist, I'm detached from every other thing and I think that's really what helps me, because I'm so involved only in the aspect of creating art and getting to know amazing people on and off set, every other thing and also maybe the business of it. I look at Nollywood as art as opposed to looking at it as you know some sort of cult or whatever and I love art.

15. The Nollywood industry gets saturated on a daily basis with talented rising stars, what do you do to stay relevant?

 I don't do anything to stay relevant, I just stay true to myself and I think if you stay true to yourself unapologetically, and you continue to be a kind person and you are good and you continue to work smart, there would always be a space for you in every industry, the competition is only in your head, you are your own biggest competition not other people.

 16.  Would you say it's easier or harder to get into Nollywood for the newbies who really have passion for acting and would love to express their talent or pursue it as a full time career? In addition, what are the things you think they need to know before going all in?

For me I don't really know, there's no luck book, everybody's journey is different, I can't tell you this is what you need to do to get into Nollywood, but I can say to you again if you stay true to yourself, you trust God, you work smart, you talk to people, you are kind, there's always going to be space for you, so that's it. The things they need to know going in, I can't speak too much about that for now, eventually I will because I do think that there should be a book or something that tells actors what to expect when they are coming into Nollywood it's just the right thing to do. 

17.    When you are not working what do you do?

I relax o, I like travelling, chilling, experiencing life, I'm a very life oriented person which is I like to see life from every angle so I like travelling, I like to explore, yea that's what I do when I'm not working.

18.   Should we be expecting an international movie feature?

I don't know if it should be an international feature, Nollywood is international so yea always expect something from me.

19.   Do you have any plans to produce your own movie or maybe a short film?

To produce my own film, yea of course there are many plans in the works and each would come to pass when it comes to pass.

20.   Is there anything you'd love to say to younger or upcoming creatives generally, or maybe those in your field, in the area of writing and acting respectively?

Just write and just do your art. That's my advice to anyone coming up, write and do your art.

21.   Is there anything we don't know about you that you'd like to tell us?

You are asking someone who is very private to tell you more about themselves, Please leave me o!

22.   Any last words for us?

Thank you so much for thinking of me for this, I'm really grateful, I'm super excited to see what it looks like and thank you for supporting me, I am constantly amazed at how much of a family I now have online, especially because of this book, so thank you again.

 Thanks for your time.

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Get the book: Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad: Call/Text: 08033071019

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Credits

Cover star: @damilarekuku

EIC: @anthonynnamdio

Editor: @brella_artistry

Photography: @damilarekuku (Instagram page)

Designer: @anthonynnamdio

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“Ceo Masterpiece” Onyedikachi Iyeh Covers I Must Talk Magazine’s Latest Edition.



1. May we know you?

I am Onyedikachi Iyeh , from Imo state, a BSc. holder in Computer science from the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). I am also a professional dance artiste and a Visual Illusionist.

2. When did you start dancing and how long have you been into it professionally.

I was not always into dancing at first, when I was much younger I first had a flare for gymnastics and martial arts, as I loved watching many Chinese movies. I found dance in 2005, after I watched the popular dance film “you got served”, and since it had a lot of similarities with gymnastics and martial arts it wasn’t so difficult for me to get used to dance. I went for a lot of competitions and performances ever since; Maltina dance all, Malta Guinness street dance, Amstel Malta, Dance 234, etc. I never went to a dance a school, as I have always been a self-taught person in every way, however, I have had the privilege of working with a lot of dance academies and performed alongside top artists in the entertainment industry.

3. We see you are also a VFX artist. Tell us about your journey into VFX and how long have you being a Visual effect professional?

Just like my love for martial arts and gymnastics led me to dance, so also my love to merging dance with more martial arts and stunts led me to vfx. I started adding some little effects to the videos I made for dance and shortly after that, I started having a flare for vfx and visual illusion. I’ve been into visual illusion for quite a long time, but I became really efficient in it during 2020 lock down. Then I had all the time to learn and self-teach myself everything I know now.

4. Unlike regular dance videos we see everywhere, you infused a lot of VFX into your own dance videos. How did you discover the idea, and why did you decide to use such a style and be consistent with it?

Well, I’ve always been a lover of “merging” all forms of arts and expression in order to tell my stories, hence the name “masterpiece” is about bringing different parts of skills, individual, uniqueness, into one umbrella.  More like different pieces coming together to form a MASTERPIECE, which was how the name was birthed.

5. When exactly and how did the name Masterpiece come to light?

It started first in secondary school when I was able to form a dance team of 5 guys that do 5 different styles of dance, and at that time “masterpiece” was the best name to give us, then I went to university and formed a team along with a friend Purpose Antonio, and named the team “masterpiece” as we were about merging dance and other creative skills together. Long story short, I had to carry on that dream and keep the name and lead the team as we took over Owerri as the best dance crew multiple times.

6. You radiate so much energy as a dancer, how do you ensure you stay strong and fit enough for performance?

EXERCISE! I cannot emphasize this enough as a performing artiste especially a dancer. Dancing for dancers is not really a form of exercise, as our bodies have been already used to dancing, so it is important that dancers take time to actually do proper exercises in order to stay fit and deliver always.

7. What are the most important traits a dancer should have?

Willingness to learn and evolve, discipline to stay consistent and knowing your self-worth as a dancer.

8. Your videos are indeed a masterpiece, how do you come up with such creative and unique ideas?

It’s easy, coming from the type of background I have and what brought me this far, I just keep finding ways to merge all the arts in my own way.

9. As a choreographer, before you develop a dance routine what do you determine/put into consideration?

The theme; what the performance is about, the song choice, and how you want to interpret it.

10. In making your videos you direct, perform and edit the videos all by yourself, how do you multitask and yet still produce amazing results?

At some point in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to be each of these, and during the pandemic, for me it was a time to bring all my skills into a Channel.

11. How long does it take you to make your videos?

It takes me an average of 5-7 days to create my type of videos.

12. Who is your mentor in the world of VFX and in dance respectively?

I’ve never really had a mentor. I’ve just been a good thief, I gather Information, both in and out of the dance and VFX world and I merge them in my way. I guess it’s safe to say I am my own mentor.

13. Do you hope to work /collaborate with international video/film makers sometime in future?

That’s not really my goal for now, as I might as well fall in love with another form of art. The video editing part for me is not to be a filmmaker, it is just to keep telling my stories in my own way. I believe collaborations would find me in the process.

14. What influences most of the creative illusion videos you make?

My life story, my history, the word “masterpiece”.

15. What is the hardest artistic part in making your videos?

They are all individually tasking. However, the most tasking would be the editing process due to the amount to time it takes to edit all the things I have scripted and shot.

16. Do dancers get enough credit? In addition, are they well paid here in Nigeria?

I used to be of the notion that they do not get enough credit, but then, I believe if dancers were to take responsibility of how they are being portrayed, there would probably be a give more credit.

17. How would you describe the advancement of technology having an impact in movie/video production?

A lot have changed, is changing, and will keep changing as long as there’s advancement in technology. The question would be how open to change will the video production in this part of the world be? I can tell you, some of the people in various media field are still very much stuck in their old ways. Only a few are warming up to the advancement of technology.

18. What do you do to stay up to date with industry technologies and software?

Keep researching, learning, unlearning and relearning. Stay hungry for knowledge and enlightenment.

19. Describe your favourite visual effect from a movie and why do you like it?

Hmm, I can’t really pick one, but I’ll say Matrix, they did a very good job at the time the movie was created. They really maximized their technology and went all out to improvise where necessary.

20. So far, what has been your most challenging visual effect design?

So far, I believe my most challenging in yet to come.

21. You pull up risky stunts at times in your routine, what's the secret, or how do you make sure you don't hurt yourself in the process?

There’s no guarantee to safety in my works, although I am cautious, and I mostly do things that I have practiced enough on. I guess it stems from the love of action scenario , martial arts, gymnastics etc.

To me it’s all fun, but I understand not everyone would be willing to go that far, I guess that’s why I get to do them Myself.

22. If you get the chance to work in project in Nollywood, what would you do differently?

Hmm, well, as I said, Nollywood is not really the goal for me; I am trying to build my own industry. If I am to work on a Nollywood project, I guess I would first give a long seminar to our directors and producers on how far technology has advanced and how they should really be more open minded… the story is long.

23. What would you love to tell or say to young or upcoming creatives in your field?

Keep showing up! Don’t do it for the Gram! Try to have fun along the way!

Nobody really cares about you, so don’t let other people’s opinions of you or your work stop you from creating what you love.

24. Is there anything we don't know about you that you'd love to tell us?

Hmm, I guess there are a few things; I draw and sing, but not professionally, maybe sometimes in the future I would find a way to merge that too.

25. Any word(s) for us at imusttalk?

Don’t stop showing up!!! Great work on your journey so far, I can’t wait to see you at the very top.

Thanks for your time.

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Credits

Cover star: @ceo_masterpiece

EIC: @anthonynnamdi

Editor: @brella_artistry

Photography: @monography.x

Designer: @anthonynnamdio

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10 Highly Profitable Soft Skills To Earn A Passive Or Active Income.

Owo ni Koko! Yes, money is very important and getting it the right way is importanter. Therefore, our post today would be discussing legit and skillful ways to make money and be successful with or without a degree. Through some skills, in which most can be learnt within 3-6 months, the returns are usually impressive. So, these skills can be practiced with your main job as a side hustle (passive income) or as your main job itself (active income).

Actually, do you know that an increasing number of graduates have abandoned their certificates for soft skill jobs and they do not regret their decision? In fact, they are trying to get other people to see the light. Well, we are here to tell you the most profitable skills where you can make a passive or active income. In no particular order, they are

1)         Haircutting: For a guy, part of looking fresh has to do with your hairstyle. And learning how to cut hair is very easy. All you have to do is to meet with someone who cuts hair, let him take you under his wings and tutor you. Then you get a good location and open up your store. Voila! This business can be highly profitable as long as you have the right skills and can keep your customers coming back.

2)         Fashion designing: The ladies and men always have to dress nicely to every occasion so fashion designing is a business that would certainly thrive well. Like haircutting, get a good teacher and after your training pick a nice location and watch your income grow. You may be interested in knitting or bead making- those are also very profitable.

3)         Web designing: This can be learnt under 3 to 12 months from a certified training school, and you get a certificate at the end. If you become very good at this skill, it can open a lot of doors for you than you ever expected.

4)         Catering: A lot of events require food to be served and if you have the passion for cooking and putting taste buds on fire, then catering at events may just be for you.

5)         Graphic designing: Like web designing, this can be learnt from a training school and is very lucrative in the long run and especially if you are very proficient.

6)         Makeup services: Just like fashion designing, make up services are required at almost every event. A typical bride wants her highlights to be seen from 50km away and she would be willing to pay good money to anyone who helps her achieve that.

7)       Photography: Memories are always needed in all celebrations and photography can never go out of style. Couple with videography and you would make a sizeable amount from every occasion you cover.

8)         Hairdressing: Back to the ladies, glamming up is always vital and your hair is one of the focal points at all times. Hairdressing can make sure you pimp other ladies up and make cool cash in the process. Whether it’s by making natural hair, fixing or even creating wigs; hairdressing can be very profitable.

9)    Phone repairing: Everyone has a phone now o. Whether its Nokia 3310 or the unreleased iPhone, we all have phones and use them for so many things that it feels like our boyfriend/girlfriend. So, having an issue with your phone is always traumatic. Imagine repairing phones for the population in any area of the country. This is a viable business plan because there would always be customers. Also, you can diversify and learn more about other devices e.g. laptops so you can make more money.

1    Freelancing: This is my personal favourite because it makes working from home very possible. With freelancing sites e.g. Fiverr, you can work when you are free and you would find a community where a lot of products and services are exchanged. You may even earn in dollars and work for foreigners in the comfort of your bed. How about that?

Overall, you should realize that these jobs may not bring plenty of profit initially but certainly would with long practice and focus. Also, you should only go for what you want and can foresee yourself enjoying to prevent being sad in the long run. So, there is no excuse for not making that money or doing anything illegal. Pick up at least one of these skills, focus on it or add it to your main job and watch yourself flourish!!

(c) I Must Talk | Rukayat Audu 

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Would You Be Proud If I Googled You?



No matter how hard we try, we can’t run away from the change that is coming. It was all well until the pandemic shifted things closer and the changes that would have come in 10 years, appeared in 9 months bringing with it some panic and reality shock that we may not be that skilled and/or prepared for the digital age.

A lecturer once gave this advice to me and my course mates at University, “Build your digital footprint.” That simple quote carries a lot of heavy weight as I am constantly asking myself how organizations/individuals will be more confident in hiring me if they Googled me.

As a Human Resources professional, I learned during my guest lectures with senior executives in global companies like GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) and Siemens that a lot of hiring managers look at a potential candidate’s online presence before sending an offer letter or rejecting ones application.

Gone are the days where the only qualification you need to get a good role is your first class degree.

This is not to dampen the effects of a good first class as it attracts a lot of competition your way,

However, it may not be enough in our current economic and digital climate. We need more than being the best students in class… We need to show how good we are outside our classrooms because it’s not about you anymore but about the relationships you have with people. This is where having an online presence comes in.

Organizations are looking for more humans and less robots [even though we need more digital skills to move them forward. There are lots of conferences and seminars [online and onsite] going on about improving the culture of organizations. Many companies are investing lots of finance on equipping their teams with soft skills (e.g. teamwork, speaking, listening etc.) that you may think is innate and common.

Having a social media presence whether you are on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok and many more shows us as humans.

To cut the long story short, we need to prove we are humans capable of living harmoniously with other humans. This could be a very confusing and annoying thing because you would think that having flesh and blood is enough for one to know we exist.

It’s not! At least, not anymore.

Although gaining profit is still one of the top organizational goals, leaders are finding a more sustainable way to make their workers enjoy work. You are allowed to laugh but browse at least ten job vacancies and you will read about how so and so organization is a fun place to work.

Thanks to research from psychologists, human resources and work coaches, we are getting more educated on why breaking your backs may not necessarily translate to being productive at work.

It’s all about balance and finding smarter ways to work and it all begins with developing your digital footprint and showing that, ‘Hey! I may be a really good programmer but I don’t spend my whole day in my mom’s basement. See, I also go to the gym which shows how I take my health seriously.

Over here, I am hanging out with my friends on Christmas day… Oh! What about the time I travelled to my hometown to visit family and even joined the community youth group to help raise funds for the children who are recovering from drug use.”

It’s not too late to use social media to your advantage. As you grow, you need to remember to have fun because whether you like it or not, you will get Googled and the only way to be proud about your online presence is by getting to work and controlling the narrative yourself.


(c) I Must Talk | Linda Ezenwammadu | IG: o.gelinda

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Achieving A Healthy Skin.

5 SIMPLE LIFESTYLE TO ACHIEVE A CLEAR AND HEALTHY SKIN

Beauty is not just all about wearing makeup or putting on fancy clothes, taking care of your body from inside out gives a better outlook of your body, especially your skin.

We all want to have that radiant and flawless skin, the good news is you don't have to break the bank by buying expensive creams, practicing a healthy lifestyle can help you have a glowing skin, this is because the outlook of our skin is a reflection of our lifestyle.

Some simple healthy lifestyle you can practice to make a dull skin glow are ;

  • Healthy diet
  • Proper sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stop smoking
  • Keep stress in check

HEALTHY DIET

A glowing skin starts with eating right, what you eat is as important as the product you apply on your skin. It is important to include fruits and vegetables in your diet as they play a huge role in improving your skin health from the inside.

PROPER SLEEP

Research has shown that a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night has a significant impact on skin functions. Poor sleeping habit can cause dark circles around the eyes, increases sign of premature skin aging and decrease the ability of the skin to repair itself at night from harsh environmental impact like dust, sun exposure.

STAY HYDRATED

70% of the body is made up of water, hence it is important to keep the body hydrated in order to help the skin perform at it's best. A skin that is not hydrated adequately often becomes dry and flaky, for that smooth, soft and healthy looking skin it is necessary to drink a lot of water to keep the body hydrated.

STOP SMOKING

Smoking results to premature aging/wrinkling of the skin, this is because smoking narrows the blood

vessels found in the outer layer of the skin which decreases the blood flow and deprive the skin of

nutrient and oxygen it needs to remain healthy. If you smoke? Then quit in order to improve the health

of your skin.

KEEP STRESS IN CHECK

High level of stress has a negative impact on the skin, it is therefore important to keep your level of

stress in check. Some skin problems associated with stress are itchy skin, acne, scaly skin, hand rashes,

profuse sweating etc. Reducing your level of stress can lead to a clearer skin. You can try stress

reduction techniques like yoga or meditation.


(c) I Must Talk | Gabriella Okenyi


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