Runner up in the Strongest Man in Nigeria competition for 2009, David Agboifo spoke to Adewole Ajao about the demands of his profession
David Agboifo’s physique would be better suited for a shot in the recently-ended Olympic Games. With bulging biceps larger than a typical human thigh, it is still a bit hard to digest his disclosure of lifting 220kg to sustain his well-sculpted upper body. This physique has been his trump card while ascending the rungs of a profession that has taken him to virtually all realms of society in the name of offering protection to those who are in need of his services.
Built like a house, the first runner up in the 2009 Strongest Man in Nigeria competition still brandishes a copy of the THISDAY article that celebrated him and his colleagues that went head to head on the sands of a popular resorts years ago. Since then, he has also followed up with an appearance at a similar event in South Africa where he placed sixth.
“I would have won the competition with adequate training. That day I just came back from work and just went there,” he recalled with a swing of his large arms.
Work for him involves modelling and time in charge of security in a popular Lagos club. Having the biggest arms and shoulders in the country size-wise means his services are also in high demand during election campaigns. So far he has worked for notable politicians, including past and serving governors-the culmination of a remark that drew him to bodybuilding.
“I was working at Proflex and anytime I saw body builders, they would get me thinking. So there was a guy called Saheed who said I could make money if I went through with it and gradually he put me on line and I started from scratch,” he revealed. “I would have loved to be a basketball player. Along the line, there was a deal with foreigners wanting to take me abroad but it was not a good one.”
So far, he has also done notable adverts for Gulder and Daga. He juggles these demands with the management of his modest establishments in Lagos and other interests.
“Since I have been working, I wanted to experience owning a club so I started gradually and like it,” he said. “I started my security company in 2006 (David Mode). I have around 50 iron men working with me.”
It seems the normal thing to do for the so-called iron men who are notable around the country. Companies like K Square and Voltron have formalised the sight of these suit-clad muscle men at the entrances of venues during events. Their phlegmatic faces and intimidating figures are conspicuous. But things sometimes go wrong. Agboifo however insists that the training must kick in so events don’t go awry.
“That is training. You must be able to tell people how to behave and calm them down or damage an event
If they are area boys, even the event manager gives them something so that when another gang come, they dissuade them.”
Training five hours every day sounds crazy. This is normal for Agboifo who joins his remaining colleagues at a popular venue in Anthony Village, Lagos. Such proximity is the nearest the profession will come to having an association despite many of them around the country. According to him the current confluence for power builders has also taken the shine off the National Stadium due to its array of facilities that tests the best.
“This is my 12th year at the Olympiad gym and I also used to visit the stadium for leg press. But the equipment back there is no longer good. The stadium does not have equipment like before that is why everything there has dropped there.”
Things are looking up for him, but he is hoping the same happens to the power-building business since their American and European counterparts earn more. This has not reduced the enjoyment he derives from it though.
“Travelling to South Africa, there was a club owner who wanted me to be his door man. A similar thing happened in Kenya and Dublin. There is a lot of fun in this job and you meet a lot of people.”