Some of you may have seen or read interviews on Xqwizit ushers and the unique services they provide. But we want you the meet the brain and beauty behind this unique business- Joke Adegun. We had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing the CEO of “Xqwizit Ushers” early this year despite her hectic work schedule. Not only is the former banker turned business woman highly motivated, articulate, intelligent, beautiful but also very humble. We hope her story will motivate and encourage other young people thinking about starting or already own a business. Our favorite quote on the Xqwizit website “where some think ‘within the box’ and some even think ‘outside the box’, We believe there is no box!”
Joke: My name is Joke Adegun. I was born on the 25th of July, the third child in a family of four children. I did my elementary schooling at Essence Int’l School, Kaduna proceeded to FGC Ogbomosho for my secondary education and graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University in 2002. I was in the banking industry for about 5 years; working in 3 different Banks. I left banking finally in Sept 2010 to build Xqwizit Ushers which I had started a few months before.
GistExpress: What motivated you to start Xqwizit Ushers since you were working in the banking sector?
Joke: I was motivated to start Xqwizit Ushers majorly from the need to have something to fall back on if anything happened with my current banking job at the time. I had been thinking of several business ideas but none of them seemed to be things that suited my personality. And then I prayed about it and the idea came to me in my sleep (I know this sounds kind of funny, but seriously that’s what happened). The idea seemed appealing and the more I thought about it, the more I kept building on it and it started getting me very excited. So I started to write down the ideas as they came to me and started to build a business plan. My sister’s wedding was coming up and we (my sister and I) decided to make it our first event and that was the birth of Xqwizit ushers.
GistExpress: what services does your business offer?
Joke: At Xqwizit Ushers we offer courteous, beautiful and professional ushers at events- hosts and hostesses. Hosts, because we also offer male ushers. Our ushers undergo several levels of training from time to time which range from communication and etiquettes, health and safety, branding and a host of other related topics so that they have an all-round knowledge of what is expected of them and beyond. Our ushers also have wireless head pieces with which they communicate between themselves and other service providers to ensure that they don’t have to leave the guests unattended to. Xqwizit ushers come in categories of premium, gold and platinum which all have different features that can suit the event and the client’s budget.
GistExpress: What challenges did you face in starting the business?
Joke: The Major challenge we’ve faced as a new business is pricing. Because the ushering industry is not a full-fledged one that stands on its own; it usually comes under Events Mgt and so a lot of people have not come to appreciate why they have to pay a certain amount just to get ‘girls to look pretty’ at their events. We therefore initially had to do some events for free and some at ridiculous prices because we were confident that once they saw that we are not just a bunch of girls coming to look pretty at their event, we can actually take the event to a whole new level, then they would be willing to pay good money for those services.
But I believe it’s usually like that with most new businesses until you’re able to prove yourself and stand the test of time. I must say however that the responses we’ve been getting after our events have been quite impressive and encouraging and we believe that by Gods grace, we will surmount every challenge we face.
GistExpress: Where do you see yourself and business in 5 years?
Joke: Five years from today, by Gods grace, Xqwizit Ushers would have become a household name. We are already achieving that. We want to be the go-to company when it comes to ushering services. We are going to extend our frontiers beyond Lagos and the South-east to have branch offices in at least all the major regions of Nigeria. We are already working on this in Abuja.
We indeed want to take Xqwizit Ushers beyond the shores of this country. We’re looking at having at least 1000 of the best ushers in our data base. We’re also looking to introduce a wider range of unique and innovative outfits for our ushers and also evolve technologically. We’re looking to have a very interactive and functional website where you can make bookings for your events, pick the type of ushers you want, the outfits and other features, get a confirmation immediately and make payment without having to leave the comfort of your homes or offices.
I’m not a ‘normal’ thinker, I’ve always loved to go the way no one else wants to go so you can be assured that with Xqwizit, we’re going to be getting a lot of ‘weird’, unique and interesting concepts. Very importantly, I like to have fun, so we’re going to be bringing a lot of fun ideas. The idea is to change the way we party in Nigeria especially, take away the regular, boring same old things and bring in some personality, innovation and most importantly fun into events so that no two parties are alike and no event worth its salt would be complete without Xqwizit Ushers.
GistExpress: You are an inspiration to other young people, what advice do you have for them?
Joke: Well, my advice to young people aspiring to be entrepreneurs is firstly to seek Gods counsel for their lives. After that has been established, I’d say ‘Just do it’; start! There’s no perfect time except Gods time. Nigeria is very fertile; there are a lot of things that young people can do. Think outside the box, we don’t have to all follow the same path. The idea may seem weird, people may think you’re making a mistake like they thought and still think with me, but I tell you, if you believe in your dream, go for it! You can never achieve greatness if you do not dare to do something different. A lot of people believe that they have to wait to build a certain amount of capital, the truth is you may never get that amount, so just start with what you have, start small, and it is that little seed in your hand that God will multiply. I’d however admit that it takes a lot of courage especially if you’re going to leave paid employment to do it and I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be smooth all the way but with determination and the grace of God, you’ll make it.
Gistexpress: How can we contact your business and get more information?
Joke: For now Xqwizit Ushers is operating from Lekki phase 1. All contact details are available on our website www.xqwizitevents.com. You can also join us on facebook – firstname.lastname@example.org and send us a mail either directly or from our website. Other contact details like telephone numbers can be gotten from the website. You can also see pictures of our ushers and some of the outfits we have. We just launched a new range of outfits which will be updated on the website soon so watch out!