Sanyaolu: A Story Of Untiring Conviction

09 Mar 2013

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Enterprising, Street Savvy And Vivacious, Ruth Sanyaolu Owns An Upscale Events Management Company, 360eventee. She Gained Admission To Study Computer Science In Obafemi Awolowo University And From That Point On, She Watched Her Life Grow Through Much Awe-Inspiring Transformation. Shaped By Accidents And A Few Absolutes, She Kept A Date With Fate And Events Management Became Her Fortress. She Shared Her Success Story With Lanre Odukoya

Life deals everyone a hard blow and we are not allowed to blame our failures on parents, friends, acquaintances and the society. Ruth Sanyaolu’s parents had wanted her in school like every other young woman to study a course that makes them proud upon graduation. Against her will, she heeded her parents by securing admission to study Computer Science at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Osun State.

“I’ve had to follow my parents, wish to study computer science, which was not only prestigious by in vogue at that point in time. But in my 100-level, I realised that my attention always drifted away from class whenever a lecturer was around. I hardly ever concentrated. I would start day-dreaming about being somewhere knitting something like beads, cooking and preparing for some kind of celebration. And for a few months, it haunted me daily. So, as I had no such guts to face my mom to tell this story and my dad was already late, I procured the Polytechnic JAMB form and applied for Catering and Hotel Management without my mom’s consent.”

She got admission to Yaba College of Technology to study what she wanted, but brought a fresh trouble her way. Contending with her very caring, but strong-willed mother became a daunting task. Few months, she successfully got some aunts who have her mom’s ears to talk her into supporting her new passion and that marked the first defining moment of Sanyaolu’s life. Wildly adventurous, she would desire the mastery of one thing today and another tomorrow. “I love to know different things at different times. I’m a Jehovah’s Witness and we don’t celebrate Christmas and most of these festivities around. But we make weddings interesting. And I loved to be a flower girl when I was much younger. I love weddings so much and I love to be part of it. Somehow I learned how to mix cocktail drinks from my mom. So, I started by making cocktail drinks for guests at weddings.”

And all seemed like a bed of roses as she was in school getting a few jobs here and there on weekends. Suddenly, there came a turning point, her earliest disappointment that was to later turn to cascading blessings. Her fiancée with whom she’d been together for nearly a decade walked away almost without a tenable excuse. “I couldn’t believe it. He meant everything to me. He bought me books, he encouraged me to read vastly and be self-sustaining, I loved and respected him. In fact, he was the one who asked me to go for the three months all practical training for events management when he stumbled on the advert online.

“We were surfing the internet together when we saw that T-SOULE was going to have a training session for intending events managers. After my NYSC service year, since we already broke up and I’d cried enough, instead of brooding all over the place, I decided to vent that anger against failure. All the passion and commitment I made to my former friend was transferred to my new passion, Events Management with the floating of 360Eventee. “After serving with Sheraton Hotels, Lagos for a year as an intern, from the kitchen to restaurant and to the bar, and later worked with Nike Lake, Enugu Resorts, Enugu she honed her culinary skills and made her a dyed in the wool kind of cook.

The strangely creative lady now has a high net worth client base from just a referral from a couple of friends who saw her works on facebook. “I don’t like to mention names, but I’ve been managing events of all kinds for prominent people across the country and it all started working from just a referral I got from facebook. For me, every client, rich or average class is important and I’ve never put money first. I love to see clients satisfied first of all. There was a client who flew in from France and by the time he saw the venue they’ve paid for, he was very unhappy and requested a refund which the management declined. I made him realise that refund in such cases rarely happen. And on the wedding day, the man saw the venue and so much joy welled up in him. He couldn’t believe the transformation. After the reception, he called to thank me specially and has referred many clients to me. This is how it works.”

On how she arrived at her company’s name, 360Eventee? “Most of my friends call me jack of all trades as far as events are concerned. I make beads, I cook, I make finger foods, cocktail drinks and I’m very good at decor. In fact, I’m always happy when I see that most of the things I manufactured by hands are becoming features in other people’s works. I don’t like to rent, I buy or manufacture my props. So, my friends said since I’m into all aspects of events planning and management, why not go 360 degrees with the business name?”
Sanyaolu confesses that the events management business is rewarding and vast enough to be included in schools’ curriculum. She remarked that someone’s life touched hers and now she’s empowering and affecting others too.

“My dream is to affect lives with my gifted hands. I simply want people to learn and know how to do stuffs aside what we were taught in the school. I want to be on the lips of everyone who desires the best events across Africa. And it’s amazing how far the brand has come in just a few years.”

Tags: Life and Style, Life, Ruth Sanyaolu

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