Sunday, 24 January 2016

Exclusive chat with Prince Dele Agama of Xpress Africa

Xpress Africa blog and magazine is one of the 'it' places to visit, if you are looking for anything fashion. Xpress Africa is an attitude every fashion forward person should have. This attitude is led by Prince Dele Agama, who also  is the host of #talkwithPrince and Teen Vogue Africa. Prince is a final year student of medicine, Ebonyi State University. He garnered blogging experience blogging for Bellanaija and Stylevitae. And he guest presents fashion spots and fashion 360 at Silverbird television and EbonyLife television respectively. Prince is one of the few people who make me feel proud of being from Ebonyi state, lol. In this exclusive interview, Prince spoke about his course of study, and his journey into the media world. He's one of the many people getting degrees for their family, quite a sacrifice. I am sure you would be surprised to know that his family doesn't know he combines schooling with his work as a media person.   

Why blog, TV host and run a magazine as a medical student? : I am a blogger, a presenter and a creative director for my magazine because it's more like what I love doing. I love everything fashionable, I love everything arranged, I love everything cool. Medicine (laughs), as I tell everybody is basically for my parents. My dad wants me to be a medical doctor because he thinks that I am intelligent enough to take that on. But, on the long run, I feel like I am this extrovert. I am what most doctors are not. I prefer doing what I love doing,  even though my parents don't know about it. I do it on a background for now. My dad would kill me if he knows that I am a blogger, a tv person. That's it basically.   

Why would you practice what you didn't study? : Like I would always tell others, I don't really believe that you have to study a particular thing in the university before you can do well in it. It depends on your ability to bring out your passion for it. And I didn't just dabble into presenting or blogging. I blogged for BellaNaija and Stylevitae. Pretty much, I had to learn a whole lot about blogging and presenting. I went for a 2 month course in presenting and presently I'm still learning. I actually have a lot of experiences. I hope to also do a six months training in presenting when I am done with school. But, I think that it's not all about the educational background, there are so many educated people who are not really educated, I call them educated illiterates. It is about passion, what you have flare for and what you love doing. That's why I blog in stead of practice medicine, and I haven't said that I won't practice medicine. This is just me for now.   

What reaction do you get when people find out that you didn't study the media even when you work as a media person? : The feeling is like wow. (laughs). And I love it because it gives you this edge. You can actually be a medical student, a good one at that and still do you. So they just give you the wow, because it's new to them. They give you listening ear because you are good at what you do even though you didn't study it. I love the feeling.   

How is your productivity affected being that you practice what you didn't study? : Well, yes, my productivity is affected in a way, because  if I were a media student I would have the technical know how. Everything that I have done as a creative director is based on my passion and what I have seen others do. But, if I had the basic learning for presenting and blogging it would actually help my productivity. Nonetheless, I strongly believe that medicine and entertainment are two sides to a coin, so juggling the both is affecting my productivity. Being a medical student and an entertainer has its own flaws.   

At what point did you decide to make that leap into blogging, tv hosting and magazine production? :  I actually had the zeal to become a presenter from secondary school. Back then in secondary school, I hosted shows and danced. Entertainment has just been me, but you know that moment you are in a family of four and dad is like, 'I know you are going to do well in science and in a  particular profession',  and you wanting to make dad happy being the last child and dad's pet. So, I think it affected my choices even when I wrote WASSCE. Then again, back then in secondary school, art students were perceived to be dummies, so it affected my ego. Then I would be like, 'why should I be in the art class?' Nobody should blame me now, that was childish. I think I have the flare for presenting right from childhood but I think it just had to be now that I have that right to do what I would like to do.   

What is your plan for your medicine certificate? : (laughs). Plan for my certificate, (takes a deep breath). Well, if I graduate, I would definitely have to pursue my career, I would get all the basic requirements, go for my housemanship, do all the necessary things that needs to be done. I think that's just it, I would package my certificate and give it to my dad (laughs), cos I know I can't just... it's not just me. Or even if I would be a medical doctor, I know there's a segment on my blog that has to do with health. I would improvise, using what I have  learned as a medical student and bring it to my presenting world. That means I can be presenting health shows, I can be presenting health matter. But, I  must be a presenter, that's what I have always dreamt of, that's the only thing that can make me happy even if I know that I may not be so rich as a presenter. I said even if, that doesn't mean that I won't be rich. But, even if it turns out that I won't be rich as a presenter, I think I still would want to do it.   

What other things didn't you study that you may want to go into? :  Uhmmmm...nothing really, Uhmmmm... Apart from me owning a magazine and pretty much blogging and doing the presenting thing, I think there's nothing else. But I think life is a moving train. You don't really know where your real real talent comes from. I am actually having a thing for acting and directing movies cos I love things perfect. I think when I become a celebrity, people may want to feature me in movies.   

Do you have any plans to go obtain a degree in media studies or mass communication? : Yes, and that's why I love life now. I don't really need to go back to the university to get a degree, I'm actually planning to go to a presenting school that would last for say six months. It would boost my confidence. It would take time, it would take a lot of sacrifice. But, anything that is worth doing is worth doing well.   

What is your view about people practicing what they didn't study? :  My view is simple, we live in a world where medicine, law and all the professional courses are what gets you the money. In the actual sense, entertainers who know what they are doing makes more money that the professionals would never make. Take for instance, Olamide, see Linda Ikeji, she's a blogger, she didn't study blogging, but she's made a lot of money that most doctors haven't dreamt of. Then, Noble Igwe, he's just a fashion person and he's rich enough to carter for his family. It's not all about the money, it's not about seeing people make it in a particular field. If you really think you want to do it and you are ready to pay the price, do it, it's not about what you study. Education doesn't really end, university's just a platform for you to learn a whole lot of things, that's why it's called, 'mahadum' (know it all) in the Igbo language. It's not about knowing a particular course, it's about knowing everything.   

What would you say about parents influencing what their children study? : I think parents should stop trying to push their children to do a particular thing. Frankly, most parents don't know their children as much as they think they do. I feel parents should give their children the liberty to do what they want to do, if the child has all it takes to get better doing that. Nigeria parents should learn how to support their children all the way long and not wait till their children succeeds in a particular field before they give their support.   

About Xpress Africa blog and magazine : Xpress Africa is an entity of its' own. Xpress Africa was born on October 12, 2014. I got the name in a funny way. I was walking down the road and I saw the name 'Xpression' from a hair shop, so I googled the name, but it was already taken. I wanted to conquer Nigeria and Africa, cos I love dreaming big, so I settled for Xpress Africa. I loved it and told some of my friends who found the name cool. Xpress Africa is a digital and online magazine and a blog that deals on fashion, events, lifestyle, and beauty (dress tips, how to gym, make-up). Xpress Africa magazine has covered a whole lot of people : Amanda Ebeye, actress; Benson Okonkwo, actor; Tunde Okewale, Forbes under 35 most influential; Martin Fayomi, CEO Nigeria Entertainment Awards; Shey Shay, music artiste. Xpress Africa has had over 17 award nominations and have won about 8 of them. We have won Best Teen Blog in Ghana Music and Media Awards (2015), Best Teen Magazine, Glascow Awards (2014),  fast rising entertainment blog in NEA(2014), won next rated magazine in Tush Awards (2014).   

What projects do you plan to work on? : Start Xpress Africa tv, we would be releasing Teen Vogue Africa, which is basically a platform to celebrate teens, teenagers trying to do something with their lives. Teen Vogue Africa is meant to celebrate just teens and maybe a few other persons who are teen at heart. We would be talking about teen stars from all over the world. 

Face of Xpress Africa 2016 is here and open to you if you have poise, elegance, determined spirit and is stylish and between the ages of 18-33, grab this chance, click link for more...