Sunday 27 October 2013

Style is elegance — Alex Amosu

"Alexander Amosu is a pacesetter a Nigerian British to be proud of. He has broken Guinness World Records book for creating the world most expensive suit. Earlier this year, he also created world most expensive champagne, read his interview with Punch below."

His investment in luxury goods for the rich has earned him a place in the Guinness World Records book for creating the world most expensive suit. Earlier this year, he also created world most expensive champagne which went for N1.8m dollars. These are great feats for a Black British.
Obviously, Alexander Amosu, who is based in London, is driven by a force which can only be explained by him.
 “I think it has to do with wanting to achieve more than I have done,” he began. At age 38, he is worth millions of dollars and makes his money by personalising bespoke suits and mobile phones with very expensive diamonds.
“With me, there is never a satisfaction to success and I am always thinking about how to make it better. As a matter of fact, I haven’t achieved 10 percent of my ability. It is my mind doing the work and I am driving myself the more.”
The first person to start urban ringtones in Europe at age 24, he says the idea cropped up as a result of playing around with the then new Nokia 3210. He composed a ringtone, sent to his brother and it became an instant hit with his brother’s classmates, 21 of whom came knocking at his door. By age 25, he made his first million. At 26, he published ICON, a magazine and at 28, he floated his first television show called the Rich & Famous.
According to Amosu, a childhood experience gingered him to hardwork and a thirst for huge success. Born of Nigerian parents, he admits having a humble background.
“My parents were not wealthy,” he reminisces. “I was born in London, taken to Nigeria when I was three years and returned to London when I was six years. We did not have the best start in life but I wanted to get the best for myself. We grew up in downtown London, slept on the floor and it was difficult. I started school and the atmosphere was not friendly either. To my peers, I was an African boy with thick African accent, I could not fit in and many things were not accessible to my brother and I. I wanted to fit in to that class and knew I needed to change my clothes, shoes and all that those famous kids were wearing.
“At 12 years, I became a newspaper boy and made 60 pounds from paper rounds. From this, I was able to buy for myself, a pair of Nike trainers. Amazingly, my peers, who never spoke to me in school, when they saw my shoes, admired it and started talking to me! I just realised what I had to do to be noticed and respected. It was a lesson to me and I never looked back since then.”
Did he make up his mind to be rich? His response was in the negative. “I made up my mind to work hard and get whatever ingredients I need to be successful. I have always believed that nobody should work to be rich but everyone should work for what gives them pride and enjoyment. When you do this, riches and fame will come,” he says.
Not denying parental influence in his life, he does not hesitate to talk about his parents: “My mother’s name is Nike Kamson-Amosu and my father is Laolu Amosu; they are from Ibadan, Oyo State. They live in England. They had had me and my younger brother in London when they came to study.
“Dad had a huge influence on me and both of them always drummed it into me that I should work hard. My great-grandfather was an entrepreneur and made singlet in Ikorodu, Lagos. Even my father had to do three jobs to keep a roof over our heads. That molded me and I was determined to work, so that they would not work again. My mother was a very hardworking woman and made an impact in my life too.”
A luxury designer, who is well known for his diamond encrusted cell phones, suit and champagne, not a few want to know how he delved into this unique business.
Punctuating his statements with hearty laughs, he says the idea of luxury goods sprang up during the era of financial crisis in Britain. “It came after I sold my ringtone business around 2004. I was thinking about what business I would do next and in my research, I discovered that despite the financial crunch, only luxury goods still kept the peak in terms of sales- Gucci, Louboutin, Louis Vuitton etc. The rich could afford to buy luxury goods while the poor got poorer. So, I decided to launch my luxury brand and I started with a mobile phone-a 2G iPhone, which I launched in Selfridges. It sold for 20,000 pounds. The launch was on Wednesday and by Friday, it was sold out!”
He didn’t stop at designing phones for the rich and famous, he forged ahead and embraced bespoke suits. The world most expensive suit, which he made, was priced at 70,000 pounds. It featured nine 18 carat gold and diamond buttons coupled with expensive fabrics from rare animals- vicuna and qiviuk.
According to him, the suit was ordered by an undisclosed buyer who wanted to attend a party in Central London. Denying being elitist in his approach, Amosu believes, “Luxury brands are not for everyone. My intention was not to mass produce. Why do I produce one product for one million customers when I can produce one product, sell to an individual and make the same amount of money that I would have made from a million customers? Every product I make is about creating something that nobody else can get because some people want the ultimate in luxury. They want it unique and they come to me and say, ‘make something special.”
Not done yet on that, Amosu says, “Money is not the issue because my clients don’t talk about money. All they want is something nobody else has in the world. Though I have made a one-off piece for an individual, there was a great demand for the suit and I made cheaper suits for others which sold for 20,000 pounds. On the champagne, we decided it will come in ranges. The one with the real diamond is 1.8m dollars but there was mass request for the cheaper champagne and it went for N65, oo0 (with faux diamond). We launched the champagne on the basis that we wanted to get some customers.”
If you think these are vanity, he disagrees. “I don’t think so. Everybody-whether poor or rich- at some point in life, wants to celebrate hardwork, achievements and all sorts. That you buy luxury goods does not mean you are necessarily pushing it in people’s faces; you are out to enjoy yourself once. That’s not vanity. You want the best for yourself and it is motivating you to work harder.  In our day-to-day life, there is something that motivates you to achieve more, which could be a car, house, accessory etc,” he explains.
Admitting he has Nigerian clients, he plans to invest in the country’s economy very soon. “I want to create jobs by bringing luxury brands-champagne, shoes, jewellery etc to Nigeria and also encourage some youth and mentor them,” he says.
As a luxury good entrepreneur, does he wear his products? He chuckles and responds: “Yes, I do, from time to time and on special occasions. I enjoy what I do and it will be wrong for me not to wear or use my products.”
His definition of style is simple: “Style is when someone looks at you and says, ‘that person looks nice, elegant, sophisticated, mature. It is when you enter into a room and stand out. I am not into tackiness. I hate people looking tacky. You have to look stylish,” he says.
Married to Tayo, a Nigerian, they have two children. Is there time for leisure especially with hectic schedules like his? He replies, “Yes. My weekdays are busy but I try to make sure that Saturday and Sunday are meant for family fun and I focus on my wife and children. To be successful in business, you have to learn how to strike a balance.”
He concludes by advising youth. “Nothing free gets to anybody. You have to be mentally capable of knowing that even if the situation is contrary, nothing can stop you if you are determined,” he says.


Word of Faith - Whatever You Bind On Earth

Whatever You Bind On Earth

Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven is one of the misquoted scriptures in the Bible. In fighting the “devil”, this is one of the scriptures used by the present day church. We bind and loose with the utmost intention of binding the devil and loosing material things upon ourselves so that life can be bearable, from the human perspective. Unknown to us in the church, it is an exercise in futility, vanity, emptiness and indeed a fallacy.
Matthew 18:18 is one of the two places in the bible where we see this statement; so when most Christians pray the ‘binding and loosing’ prayer, they are indeed referring to these portions of the scripture irrespective of the situation being prayed about. An analogy is when one has a headache and uses the wrong medication to heal or cure the headache. By using the wrong medication, there is no guarantee of recovery. To recover, one would have to apply or use the correct medication in direct proportion to the ailment. The same is true for today’s Christian in the application of God’s Word.
We read and twist God’s Word to soothe ourselves. We pick up scriptures and pray over such scriptures with the intention of forcing the hand of God to do what we want Him to do and not what He has purposed for us. We pick scriptures and begin to apply it wrongly to our daily situations and circumstances having or projecting an idea that the scriptures are there to be picked whenever we have problems. This should not be the case; as we have been invited to walk with God in relationship not to use God to solve our daily problems.
Read through the bible and you’ll discover that the man made application of scripture that happens today in the body of Christ was never an issue. The Israelites moved when the pillar of cloud moved in the morning and at night, moved from one place to another when the pillar of fire moved. They stayed in the same place when the pillar stopped. Today, it is different in that we use God by picking scriptures especially the ones that looks like a promise (not knowing the content and in what context the scripture is being used) and off we go to apply it.
The Church today should recognize that Satan has disguised himself as an angel of light with the intention of leading the saints to worship God with their intellect – a Jesus other than the Lord. Satan’s intention is for the saints to receive a spirit other than the Holy Spirit and by this, he propagates a gospel other than the Gospel of the living God. Most Christians today follow God because someone somewhere has promised a relief from their various problems and guarantees prosperity. This is a wrong reason to walk or relate with God. The devil has translated the doctrines of God into mere thoughts and imposes them upon the Christian mind. By this every Christian has come to have an opinion, whether it’s scriptural or not.
Let us look at what this part of scripture projects:
Basically, we must admit that the context of this portion of scripture has nothing to do with the devil and anyone attacking us. Rather, it deals intrinsically with the relationship between two Christians. How do I know this? Jesus gave an advise for when there is a misunderstanding between two brothers. He gave us advance information that we will hurt ourselves, we would offend ourselves and there would be fights between us. Knowing this, it is important as Christians to know how to deal with issues amongst us.
The first thing we need to know when someone hurts us is to know that there is an offender, there is the offended and of course there is an offence committed. The person Jesus puts the spotlight on is the person offended; Jesus’ idea is for the offended party to go and notify the offender and this has to be between both parties. However, it is the contrary for some Christians, as their first port of call is Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, whilst some go to friends and some to parents. If your first port of call is not the person that has offended you, YOU ARE ALREADY IN THE WRONG, although the offender was wrong by hurting you.
Jesus says and contemplates that the offender might not listen; but if the offender listens, Jesus said you have made a friend. In case the offender does not listen; Jesus then advices for the offended to take one or two people (again not Facebook or Twitter) with him so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest as the offended tries (again) to talk with his brother who is the offender. There is also contemplation in case the offender sees the witnesses, he might decide to listen. If the offender listens, then problem is solved. What then happens if he does not listen and refuses to obey? Jesus advised that the Church should be informed. By this, there might also be a possibility that the offender might listen when he is confronted with the offence by the church. If he listens, then we have gained our brother so that he can repent from the offence committed.
Now what happens if the brother refuses to listen to the Church? Jesus then concluded and said the offender should be treated as a heathen and a publican.
The word heathen is a word used by the Jews in distinguishing themselves from other nations or people. They had no religious intercourse with such people. They complained bitterly whenever they saw Jesus talking to anyone who wasn’t a Jew. Jesus once said that he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel when a Samaritan woman went to him for help. Heathens were also called Gentiles. He also said that the offended should be treated as a publican. Publicans were apostate Jews, they were men of abandoned character and the Jews had no dealings or interaction with them.
Jesus said that the offender should be treated as a non-member of the Church; that the Church should cease to have religious interaction with the offender. They should refuse to acknowledge him as a brother. He should be regarded as obstinate, self-willed and guilty. This does not mean we should cease to show kindness to him, and aid him in affliction or trial; for this is required towards all men. The picture painted here by Jesus is to for us to disown him as a Christian brother and treat him as other people who are not connected to the church.
Jesus ended by saying that whatever we do in the aspect of discipline in the Church shall be approved by God, or bound in heaven. The power of admitting and excluding in the church, the power of organizing and establishing in the church was committed to the Apostles then. Therefore, if there was an agreement to excommunicate the obstinate offender, God in heaven will approve of whatever they agreed to do. (Matthew 18:19 – 20)
Where is the devil in this portion of scripture? When we know the truth, it will indeed set us free.
“Religious deceivers are the worst of vermin, and I fear they are as plentiful as rats in an old wheat stack”– C H Spurgeon
Be Refreshed
PST Kunle Surakatu
Bond Servant of the Holy Spirit
Teacher | Pastor | Author

E - Report! Photos from the 1st 3eActuaries International Pro - Am Golf tournament in Ecuatorial Guinea, 18th - 20th Oct 2013

Friday 18th October 2013 to Sunday 20th October 2013 the 1st 3eActuaries International Pro-AM Golf tournament took place at Sofitel Sipopo Hotel and Golf Course in Ecuatorial Guinea. The tournament saw some of the best professional golf players globally teaming up with amateur golfers competing for the prices. The top price was the tournament's trophy with a cash price of 4k Euro. The tournament was won by Nigeria's no 1 professional golf player Andrew Uche Odoh out playing other professional golfers like  Swiss Jean Damien Yvet, Britain's Matthew Rice and 16 others. The event was a success and Ecuatorial G is a beautiful place.

The competitors and delegates were hosted by the President of Ecuatorial Guinea,  S.E Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at his Palace. Find below pictures from the 3 day event.

                  Britains Matthew Rice arriving at Sofitel Hotel with Italy's Mario Tadini

                 The welcome reception

                  Italy's Mario Tadini with one of the Referees

                   Transport Services Limited staffs, TSL is one of the sponsors of the event

                   Olawale Opayinka Chairman 3eActuaries the official sponsor and brain behind the tournament

                     Bernard Lebreton the Director of Sofitel Golf Course

                 Olakunle Opayinka (Middle) Team

               Lanre Opayinka, Oladapo Opayinka CEO, Tunde Opayinka (Team

                                                Mr and Mrs Oladapo Opayinka with one of the players and wife

                 Temitope Opayinka with Ade Akinlaja

               The top 2 Nigerian Golfers, Willy Gift and Andrew Odoh with Mayowa of 3eActuaries (middle)

       covering the reception at the Presidents Palace Ecuatorial Guinea

                President Teodoro Obiang N Mbasogo  addressing his guest

                Presidential entourage

                The Nigerian professional Andrew Odoh sponsored by Transport Services Limited Nigeria

                 Team 3eActuaries comprising of Swiss Jean Damien Yvet, Olawale Opayinka and others

                 Swiss Jean Damien Yvet at hole 7.

                Natasha Beckley (Miss Sierra Leone 2011) Ade Akinlaja

                Don Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima Minister for Sport Ecuatorial Guinea  

                Sylvian Chauvet General Manager Malabo Sipopo Le Golf

                Olawale Opayinka CEO 3eActuaries commences the presenting of trophies and shields to the                                                 various winners.

                Nigeria's Andrew Odoh wins the tournament with 72 par. (pots every ball at every hole without                                             missing a shot)

                       The score board. Person with the lowest mark wins and that is Golf.

We look forward to next years event taking place on the 18th and 19th October 2014 at the same venue.

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