Monday, July 19, 2021

My vision is to equip and re-groom the mindset of young people to engage in skills development-- Prince Peter Okafor


His Royal Highness, Dr. Peter Okafor (Justice of Peace) is a Prince and an Honorary Doctorate of Chartered Institute of Management, Leadership & Training, USA. He is from Umuokwe of Okwe Royal Kingdom, in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria. He is the CEO of Madiba Media Group Limited, Royal Couture Boutique, Jabic Investments, Teens Tulk Foundation, etc. In this exclusive interview with TOPFLYERS MAGAZINE, HRH narrates his journey to stardom, current challenges and anticipated future.


Welcome aboard Royal Highness, Prince Peter

Could you tell us about yourself, Sir?

Thanks for having me around Topflyers. My name is Prince Peter Okafor. I am from Umuokwe in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria. I am from a royal family indeed. My father is late King, A.E.O Emeforonu of Okwe Royal Kingdom in Imo State; his burial ceremony is coming up this year by December so TOPFLYERS are cordially invited, (rest on peacefully Dad). Actually, I’m based in South Africa, and by profession I run some businesses in South Africa. I am the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Madiba Media Productions Limited now Madiba Media Group Ltd which is comprised of Madiba Media Film and Television Training Academy, Madiba Media Casting & Artist Managements, Madiba Media Records, Madiba Lodge and Shuttle Services and Madiba Media Private Security Services. I have been living in South Africa from 2002 till date. Unfortunately, I noticed that same challenge of regressive Economic Status of Africa as it is painted, which made me leave Nigeria for greener pastures was still very present at the new residential location I found myself, especially the challenges of youth dis-empowerment/unemployment and more. As a young man, if I had the opportunity to groom myself 'business-wise' in Nigeria without the challenges of politics and hardship, I wouldn't have travelled. So, I came to South Africa believing in better opportunities especially when we talk about  infrastructural development, business policies and status, equal opportunity and rights to practice what you believe in which seemed very difficult to do in Nigeria. However, I came to realize that all fingers are not equal, which is one of the reasons I left Nigeria. Like I initially stated, coming to South Africa, I still realized that we are faced with the same African problem where most youths are suffering and going through challenges due to their inability to reach their big heights, create establishments, feed, fit into the society etc. which thus makes them engage in different kind of habits like smoking dangerous substances, obsessive  drinking that results to unstable relationships, raping and all manner of social/moral vices coupled with one recent development which the world has embraced but not minding the havoc it does to the world and to the men---that is, empowering women without a structure and empowerment orientation.

Interviewer adds in: Really Sir. Are you trying to say empowering women shouldn't be embraced? This is actually the first time we are getting to hear a different view about empowering women. Please could you kindly help our readers understand what you mean.

Replies: (smiles) I am not saying that empowering women is bad. They are supposed to be cultured and empowered so they can assist their families where there is need. Giving the women the 'overall power' makes them believe that they have become the 'heads' of the house and that, I believe, spiritually and psychologically has done some damages on some men by demoralizing the spirit of the youths/men because it is a new system that is introduced by the government without educating the society how this new system will roll out or work in some families. This in a way, has challenged some men into fighting back, but literally fighting back in a wrong way by way of killing, raping and committing all sorts of atrocities. Although joblessness/unemployment is playing a big role in what we see today as the youth of this nation because what we see today is different from the freedom charter of South Africa and what President Nelson Mandela stood for.

Considering the challenges above, gave birth to my Foundation called "Teens Tulk Africa Foundation".  Teens Tulk Africa is a foundation that caters for education, skills development, charity support etc from young to old people. The vision of Teens Tulk Africa is to re-groom, reaffirm and reprogramme the mentality and vision of the youth. We want to redirect the mindset of the youth to learn differently by engaging in skills training development programmes especially for those who choose not to further their education after matriculating. We have over one thousand people that are been training for free for a period 12 months (1 year) in film and television productions.

When they graduate, they’re able to find jobs in the media and entertainment industry and it keeps them out of the street. We also have businesses in terms of Hotel and Shuttle Services. Our recent establishment, Jabic Investments Ltd produces Sanitary Towels, Toilet Rolls and general Hygienic useable, we’re looking forward manufacturing more materials that will create more employment and uplift the livelihood of the poor masses.

Moving on, what brought about the concept of 'Madiba' rather than your own name as the name of your media outlet?

(Laughs) Well, having Madiba as a business title was never my intention or plan. I simply went to the CIPC where businesses are registered in South Africa as required. To My surprise, all four names I submitted were already registered business names by other people. I had to do a rethink of another name immediately to avoid coming another day for the registration. As God would have it, the only name that flashed in my mind at that moment was Madiba Media Productions Limited, Lo and Behold, the name was free for registration so that was how the name came about and into effect.

Does Madiba Media Productions Ltd have provision for online courses for people who are not based in South Africa?

We have recently designed an online programme for our learners all over the world. As it stands now, we are looking at a hundred learners from Nigeria and we also have from other countries who are coming in to join us though because of 'Covid-19 threats', they cannot be able to travel down to SA. So, we designed an online programme for digital training which will help them continue their training by breaking the distance barrier Covid 19 has created.

How can people who want to apply access the website?

Our website is www.madibamedia.co.za. The electronic learning (e-learning) platform will officially be completed and launched this month and that is when people will be able to access it our e-learning portal.

Interviewer adds: That's a great one Sir! So everyone #Anticipate

You are an honorary doctorate degree holder plus other accolades from your engagements and involvements in changing lives as your interest, do you mind telling us why you choose media and communication instead of continuing with what has profited you in your generous journey of life?

Interesting! You know in life, sometimes, "man proposes and God disposes". Right from my childhood, I have had interest in sewing clothes. I was a fashion designer when I was in Nigeria I had, at age 21 established my creative fashion home called Udee International Tailors Ltd. My fashion business took me very far. In 1999 I travelled to Hong Kong exhibition, in 2002, I was actually travelling to Paris - France to exhibit my clothing brand as well and as God may want it, I found myself in South Africa. Again, while I was still in Nigeria I was also engaged in a television programme called 'Kiddies rendezvous' on NTA Channel 6. That is where my interest in media started but at a time I was focused more on my fashion brand to groom it. Later, when I  came to South Africa, it became a land of the unknown where one has to look for a way to survive. The truth is, there are many opportunities but one has to find them by oneself, by God's grace, I found myself in the same business I was doing which was fashion. I established a boutique called "Royal Couture". We supplied clothes to celebrities everyday and that took me back to what I was doing before which is 'Kiddies Rendezvous' so I decided to study by doing a media course, and after my graduation I was employed as a casual cast coordinator at Urban Brew, the producer of "Yo TV", an educational children TV playroom. From there, I saw the gap and more challenges in the youth that media houses were not addressing - the issue of skills development, orientation and integration into the new dawn of the new South Africa, by avoiding racial challenges, work related matters and new age livelihood, what to expect and what not to accept from the public, government and the society at large – the major focus was on academic Education but not in skills development. I am not against education but I am against education without job and that is where I picked up the interest of registering my own Media house and I promised myself that I will help the youth and expose the weak-link that has gunged the continuous growth and better life for all, and I am very thankful to God for giving me that ability to fulfil my promise and we will continue doing so. Like I said earlier, we have groomed over a thousand youth for free and many of them have jobs now and doing well too. We don’t groom people without making sure that they are gainfully employed.

Every business is set up to make profit but considering the number of people your medium (Madiba Media Academy) has groomed, what then is your profit?

Well, “man shall not live by bread alone but by ever word that procedeth out of his mouth”, the Bible said. As an established production company, we do have other resourceful avenues that generate income; we produce contents for TV’s, cover private and public general events, photography/videography etc. Those activities generate income to cater for the support we give. It is however sad that, the local agencies in South Africa is only taking 20% of contents produced by non-indigenous citizens. So due to this challenge, we only sell contents now to international channels. Consequently, generating revenues from these channels is what is helping us assist our trainees for free.

What would you say are the challenges of Madiba Media Productions Limited?

We have one general problem which is Pan-Africanism. Pan-Africa is something South Africa is finding very difficult to embrace and deal with. For instance, getting budget/funding from any institution for productions is very difficult to all but especially if you are a non-indigenous “born” citizen, it becomes more difficult. If we are given a leverage like every other person, we will perform better; that is why we are unable to produce contents adequately especially for local channels. All these are so because priority is placed on indigenes of South Africa. So far, these are the setbacks we are facing here in South Africa and we wish our own government can rescue such situation by supporting us in our businesses here in diaspora.

Interviewer adds in: Hmmm. that's expository. We (TOPFLYERS MAGAZINE INTERNATIONAL) would like to use this as an appeal to government in all states/countries. I believe we are all first humans before culture comes to play. In as much as we need to promote and protect our particular cultural heritage (which is a welcome development), it's still important to give others privilege too and ease tax rates for non-indegenes. That would probably easily lead to cultural transmission and break language barrier which will foster unity at large directly or indirectly.

Replies: Thanks for that contribution


If you had some magical powers, what would you use it to do for Madiba Media Production Limited?

(Laughs) If I had some magical powers, I would love to use it to change the mindset of African leaders; I will use it to transform the mindset of African Youth to see a better Africa. I will use to unite Africa as one to have a United States of Africa.

There is a saying that African youth are lazy, do you think if African youth are given the opportunity to lead, they will lead more than the elders?

The elders have done their own part, they have paved ways, fought the war and liberated us, now I think they are supposed to take the back seat and be in the advisory part by leading the youth.  So personally, I advise the elders to take the back seat for the youths to lead, many of them have the creative, political and academic potentials and abilities to restructure, renew and restore the hopes of Africa, so yes, the youth will do better with the help of the elders, because grooming the youth is growing the economy and the nation itself.

Interviewer: Okay, once again, thank you, Your Highness (Dr.) Sir Prince Peter Okafor. We really had an amazing exclusive moment with you Sir. Your experience which you shared with us is indeed an eye opener to us and others out there. We've come to the concluding part of this exclusive interview only available on www.topflyersmagazines.com

To our readers, make sure to let us know how this interview was helpful and follow our social media pages @topflyers_magazine_intl on Facebook and Instagram . Also ensure to follow the social media pages of Madiba Media Productions for notifications of opportunities to come.






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