He’s had it coming for a while and it is only a newcomer into town that will disagree…Frankly Emenike Okamigbo is the new king of night club operations.
If every other thing doesn’t count, a never before seen feat he has achieved tells a resounding story of his new status… five days a week for the past three years, he has provided non stop optimum leisure for fun lovers with his Club Papas at D’ place…no club has ever gone on such a prolong stretch of success, and to still say the beat goes on for Okamigbo and Club Papas makes nonsense of perceived limitations of the past operators.
The New King’s day to gist with societynowng.com was Tuesday October 20 2015.
And the venue was a private residence in Ajah Lagos state.
The club Papas boss obviously had a late Frank Okamigbo night when societynowng.com came calling early morning.
We agreed for mutual convenience, as early as possible fits the schedule for all.
He was dressed in sweat pants and a round neck top accompanied with Gucci slippers.
Offer for drinks was rejected – and he didn’t take any as well, too early in the day was the official excuse.
The time was just a couple of minutes to 9.00 a.m
As we settled down to gist, the first question that came at him was ” How does it feel to be regarded as King of the Night Clubs?”
He rested easy on the double seater he was seated on and responded with a calm smile ” I don’t known what to say about that..I have heard something near that a couple of time, the other day it was 2face (the musician:Innocent Idibia) that was saying you don (have) become king and we laughed it off..but seriously, all I can say is I don’t see my self as such. I am just myself, a guy in love with what he is doing and enjoying doing it” he stated.
He paused a bit like a mini meditation period and continued ”For the records, we have to acknowledge the efforts and contribution of our late brother, the one we called the general (Akeem Shodehinde) who I was priviledged to work with”
Akeem Shodehinde who passed on earlier in the year was larger than life on the club scene.
He brought drama and colour to the business.
He was master of effects and definition of commercial success.
His reign was unrivalled while he breathed.
Here is a link for background on his passage –
Akeem’s name brought back memories for all.
”What do you miss about him?” societynowng.com asked
He rattled off immediately ”Akeem was a fun loving guy..a guy who electrifies the enviroment whenever he was around, he understands the rudiments of the game, always ready to explain the rules of the game..we miss him greatly” he stated for emphasis.
”What do you miss about those old days” we asked
”Old days?” He asked back blankly
”Yeah, the days when the game had a collage of top players like Akeem Shodehinde, Ahmed Uhwubetine, Biola Adegoke and co in keen competition for the market…you were a part of it too” we elaborated
He paused slightly and responded ” The game is the game, it’s just the players changing. In that regard life is dynamic, constantly changing
”The game is evolving as new players come in”
He paused a bit again and started off with smile of recollection on his face ”Back then Akeem (Shodehinde), Ahmed (Uhwubetine), Biola (Adegoke), Louise (Priddy) and others, not forgetting the grand master himself, Mister K (Kamal Boustani) held it together on the (Victoria) Island and that is without taking away from the contribution of elder state man in the business Ken Calebs Olumese (Coliseum, Ikeja)
”They brought fame to the industry and opened it up to accommodate a lot of people, employment opportunities…hype men, bar men, club PRO (public relations officer in charge of clients canvassing), waiters, security, service people and others ..they created that with the allure they brought to the business
”The main difference now is you have a lot of younger people involved..the calibre of people that come out is changed” he disclosed
”When you say calibre..what exactly do you mean?” We sought clarification.
He provided his answer via analogy ” The other day, I met one of my old customers and we got talking and he said he doesn’t come out again because he doesn’t want to be seen competing for space with his son’s mates in the club”
”But one would have thought the game has evolved to the level of comfortably accommodating the pleasure of such ageing fun seeker?” Societynowng.com pointed out
An undecipherable knowing smile played on his face as he replied ” That depends on each establishment..but that actually happens to be one of my strengths. I am a bridge between the young and old, I try to introduce different concepts” he stated
And went on to provide better insight ” Without giving away too much trade secrets, let’s say at different times I get the D.J to play oldies both foreign and local..at times I play Afro juju shina peters” he said giving the last part a bit of melody to general laughter
”People still jiggle to that song in the club?” societynowng.com asked as the laughter quiet down.
”Yeah..you’ll be surprised..it’s a classic, ever green” he said with feeling
”Yeah..a monster hit, turned him (Sir Shina Peters) into a mega star” societynowng.com endorsed the night clubs king’s statement.
”Not heard Sir Shina Peters in club” societynowng.com observed
”Because you sef no dey come out again (you don’t come to the club again)’ he responded and added ‘It’s not just SSP, there is Fela, old Jay Z and musicals that bring back the euphoria of past years..you know how it was back then” he invoked memories of dance floor antics with his words.
”What are the present challenges facing the business” societynowng.com brought the discussion back to current affairs
”Things are bit better, especially these last few days but it can be improved on..constant light, security and the likes” he responded in brief.
”Who is your ideal fun lover” we threw at him
He smiled, readjusted himself and responded ” That person who is willing to let go off the stress after the day’s hard work..interact, network and contribute to the business by paying his bills…and attracts other clients who help to grow the business as well”
”Five days a week of hardwork, making people happy at the expense of sleep and leisure- how do you do it?” societynowng.com asked
Spreading his hands in a ‘I don’t know submission’, he responded ‘ I don’t have an answer to that..it is just God and the team and client..they all make me enjoy what I do’
‘;Your week start starts from Tuesday night..” Societynowng.com started
And the new king picked it up ” Tuesday Bunnies night, Fusion Wednesday, Weekend Starts Thursday, Posh Friday and Grove on Saturday..that’s basically it and thank God for social media tools to be able to coordinate things not like before when we take banners and flyers all over town” he divulged
”From K’s Val, Xtreme, Club Papas @ K’s and now Papas @ D’Place…which has been the most challenging period?”
A serious look took hold of his face as he replied ”the most challenging period was when K’s place was shut down for renovation’ he shook his head and continued ”having to wait for over 2years for things to kick off..those were trying period, before I later started some thing with my brother Deoye of the Sleek and here we are today”
”Your birthday is around the corner, October 31…how goes the celebration” societynowng.com enquired
His face was all lit up in joy as he exclaimed ”Yes ooo…” inflecting 2face’s tone and continued ‘the day is always a special. We will continue our tradition of celebrating with people of the other divide of the society, those we call destitutes in order to bring home the reality of their plight” he stated
And continued ”the day falls on a Saturday and my friend and brother D.J Jimmy Jatt has signalled commitment to be on the turntable for this year’s edition of Dance With The Destitutes (an events that sees the down trodden meet with celebrities and receive much needed gifts from them)..of course the arrangement is in concert with my birthday mate D.J Humility
”The venue remains Destitutes Home Oko Baba, Abeokuta street..Ebutte Metta, Lagos..Papas Charity Foundation is already putting arrangement in place to ensure we improve on previous editions”
Papas Charity Foundation on for over five years is Frank Okamigbo’s way of giving back to the society.
”So outside of the club business, what do you do?” Societynowng.com sought to know
A quiet smile and he responded ”the club is just one of the things Papas Group does, there is haulage..I have some trucks I give out for hire..and am also into property and there is Kranf Technology as well”
”You are an eligible bachelor, how soon do we get to meet Mrs Okamigbo?” We threw the final question at him
A small laugh and he responded ”all I can say is that, that is still work in progress”