Silent Strength in Action: An Exclusive Conversation with Chukwuanugo Osadebe of Blueafric Media
Blueafric Media’s Chief Creative Officer (CCO) and Director of Arts and Visuals, Chukwuanugo Osadebe, is referred to as a simple man. A man with few words but whose actions hold heavy intensity. We say that there is no room for doubt in that because the evidence that he is a representative of the “Silent Achievers Gang” is clearly visible in the weight that he and his co-founders are pulling, with Blueafric Media and its subsidiary, BlueprintAfric, not just in the media space, but also in renowned sectors like health, tech, entertainment, and real estate.
Although it may be common knowledge that the founders of the proficient full-service media organisation prefer to stay out of the spotlight, we can’t help but notice that Anugo Osadebe is more withdrawn to the backstage than the other co-founders. It is interesting to note that Anugo is a professional photographer and graphic designer who prefers to express himself through art and creativity. Besides managing Blueafric Media, he is also the Creative Director of his outstanding photography brand, Kefeller Studios. The brand has partnered with many prominent companies over the years, including MTN Foundation, Obi Jackson Foundation, Ethiopian Airlines, Hero Lager Beer, and GT Cares. He has also produced a good number of wedding documentaries and has worked with public figures like Rt. Hon. Dennis Nnandi Agbo (House of Representatives), Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu (Former Leader, Enugu State House of Assembly), and Chief Eugene Odo (Former Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly). A man of action indeed. But what happens when you approach a man of few words with a lot of questions?
Below, Anugo answers 10 questions on art, adventure, and ambition, amongst other things:
|10 Questions for Anugo Osadebe|
- Blueafric Media will be celebrating its 9 years in operation in 2023. What were the challenges you faced in the company’s years of infancy?
During the initial years of our business, we encountered various challenges, ranging from staffing to securing capital and establishing our infrastructure. Capital was a fundamental requirement to set up our office space, as our business was only based on ideas and skills then. Acquiring this capital was important because it helped us move from meeting clients in restaurants to having our own office. Once we got past this hard part, we expanded our team by training individuals interested in our vision. Another problem was encouraging businesses to embrace the digital space for growth, particularly in the Eastern region, where there was resistance to this notion. Overcoming this mindset and adapting to the local environment was demanding, but we persevered and gradually gained traction.
- Besides being Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Blueafric Media, you are also the Creative Director of your photography brand, Kefeller Studios. What’s that like?
Balancing the responsibilities of both Blueafric Media and Kefeller Studios has been exciting but tough. Handling both brands together has been a bit tricky, especially because, at first, we put Blueafric’s earnings back into the company, so we didn’t make instant profits. Kefeller Studios played a crucial role by acting as a financial support system for me and Blueafric Media while we were getting started. It basically kept us going and helped us grow during the bootstrap funding phase.
- How has Enugu influenced Blueafric Media, and how has Blueafric Media, in turn, influenced it?
Enugu has played a big role in shaping Blueafric Media’s journey. It wasn’t easy to build and succeed here, as the city has its own challenges. But these challenges pushed us to go beyond what we thought we could do. Enugu’s tough environment made us work three times harder to market and sell our ideas. This experience demonstrated our capacity for achievement even in tough situations. Over the years, we’ve nurtured local talents and empowered many Enugu residents through creative training programs. About 90% of our team members hail from Enugu or its surroundings. We’ve facilitated workshops covering graphics, photography, cinematography, and more, and have produced a good number of content creators and agency operators.
- What sectors and geographical areas is the company looking to dominate in the future?
Our strategic focus extends to agriculture, technology, and real estate sectors. Geographically, we aspire to establish a strong presence in Enugu, the Southeast region, Lagos, and Abuja; and have even broadened our reach to Nairobi, Accra, and other West and East African countries.
- If you were to choose a different career path, what would it be, and why?
I’d choose tech because it’s where things are headed. Tech is taking over in many areas, and I’m a big fan of it too. When I say tech, I mean not just software but also the physical stuff, like gadgets and machines. Just look at China – they’re making huge strides. In Nigeria, most companies are into software like apps and online tools, not so much hardware. But I think focusing on hardware is important because it can solve a lot of real-world problems. I’ve been into tech since I was a kid – computers, ICT, all that cool stuff. But as I grew up, my interest shifted from tech to advertising, right between secondary school and university.
- Rumour has it that you are a travel and adventure enthusiast. What is your favourite place on Earth?
I really love Africa! It’s not just because I’m African, but Africa has so much to offer and it’s really beautiful. I mean, the music, the culture, the people, the landscapes, the nature, and all those amazing animals. Africa is just full of incredible things to see. And, you know, especially the dances, the cultures, the sights – I’m really excited about all of that. I haven’t been to South Africa yet, but it’s definitely on my list. Their music is just so lovely, and I actually listen to it while working because it helps me focus.
- What’s the one thing in your life that you are so happy you did?
One thing I’m really happy I did is pursuing my dreams. I believed in my dream and the people around me. I’m also happy that I was open to collaborations and forming partnerships.
- Who is your hero?
I would say myself, my friends and family, and my co-workers. They’ve all been super helpful to me in lots of different ways.
- What do you think the world needs most right now?
I believe what’s really important in the world today is love and peace. We should all get along, break down barriers, and treat each other as one. I believe the world needs this, for us to make progress. It’s also important for Africa to realize that we’re one and that the boundaries we are setting between ourselves are unnecessary.
- If you could use one mantra for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“I move with Grace and embrace peace, love and humility.”
Rosemary Kasiobi Nwadike
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