In late 2005, Mrs. Doris Akpovwa, a trained Petroleum Geoscientist and mother of three, got an idea to establish a specialised publication that will focus on the youths, particularly kids and teenagers. TEEKY Magazine was born. Ten years later, the magazine has become successful, attracting readers across the country. In the process, she has also created a TEEKY Mascot which performs at Teeky organised Events and children parties. Tomorrow at The TEEKY Arena and Events Place in Lekki, Lagos, she will be marking the 10th anniversary of the publication as well as the unveiling of a new TEEKY magazine logo Adedayo Adejobi
You are a Petroleum Geophysicist trained at the renowned Imperial College in London and not a journalist. Where did the idea come from to start a children magazine?
I am a mother with three kids and I am generally passionate about children. The youths as they often say, are the leaders of tomorrow. Today, many of these potential leaders of tomorrow are drifting. And so, for a long time, even when I was in paid employment, I kept thinking about how I can positively affect the lives of Nigerian kids. One day, while waiting at the lounge at Heathrow Airport for my connecting flight to Norway, I got the inspiration from God. I felt the best way to do it was to establish a specialised magazine that will cater to their interest. An interactive magazine that is both educational and fun, promoting excellence, creativity and high moral character in children. I discussed the idea with my husband, who is a journalist, and he thought it was a good idea. That’s how we started.
Where were you working at the time?
I was working with STATOIL, a major oil company. After 20 years with STATOIL and 25 years in the oil industry, I thought it was time to quit and do something else. But TEEKY Magazine was already established before I quit the oil industry about two years ago. We had very competent people running it. I have just come in to reinforce what our very hardworking staff have been doing.
What prepared you for the new role?
I did a lot of studying, reading and researching about children and what they like. At the beginning, we put a team together to conceptualise the idea and come up with a mock design of the publication and its contents. But I must admit that it wasn’t easy. A lot of hard work went into it.
What does TEEKY stand for?
TEEKY is an acronym for Teach, Entertain, Empower, Kids to Yield. TEEKY Magazine is just one of our two publications. We also publish TEEKYRAZZI magazine, a photo-spread publication that celebrates brilliance and excellence. It features graduations, prom pictures, sporting prowess, etc. Magazines publication is just one of the things we do. Over the years, TEEKY has become youths and family- friendly “edu-tainment” brand, providing positive engagement platforms and learning opportunities for youngsters. We have a TEEKY Mascot, which over the years have become very popular particularly in nursery and primary schools in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kaduna and at children parties where it entertains. We also have TEEKY Hobby Craft store, TEEKY Entertainment as well as a TEEKY Arena and Events Centre.
Tell us about the TEEKY Mascot
We decided to create a TEEKY Mascot as part of our brand because kids like to identify with them. Many children tend to identify with foreign mascots like Barney, Dora the Explora and so on. But ours is a Nigerian original mascot with a smiling, friendly face. Kids love it. We have plans to make a children TV movie with it as well. Our aim is to make TEEKY a global brand that will be as recognisable as Disney’s Mickey Mouse. I know it’s a lot of work, but it’s achievable and we will get there with a lot of commitment, perseverance and God’s blessing.
What has been your staying power?
First, God almighty. Our products. Our innovations. We have tried not to remain static. Our staff: most of them have imbibed the vision and are running with it. God has been very faithful. He guided is through all the teething problems. We also have a TEEKY Fan Club. Every summer holidays, we arrange for our club members to travel to several destinations for summer camps. Over the years, we have travelled to Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Portugal, to mention just s few places. The kids come with their parents sometimes and we have a lot of fun engaging in activities such as archery, canoeing, swimming, mountain hiking, kayaking, sports, arts & craft, role playing, basic language lessons, cultural exchanges, visiting amusement parks, etc.
You mentioned several European cities. Are there plans for the TEEKY Fan Club members to travel to African countries?
Oh Yes. We have actually been to Ghana once but we are looking at arranging trips to Kenya, Gambia and South Africa as well. We are in the planning stage right now for Kenya and Ghana this year. We will keep you posted. We are also looking inwards so we have concluded plans to go to Ibadan next month.
Does TEEKY have any local or foreign partners?
We are affiliated to some key camps in Europe. We are also working with them to set up camp in Nigeria so that Nigerian’s in diaspora and foreigners can have the same kind of experience we have when we take the TEEKY fan club members for international trips. Currently in Nigeria, we play a key support role to Groomed To Win Youths Foundation (GTWYF), an NGO that is established to groom and equip youths with the right tools and values for success and we also partner with Bethesda Child Support Agency by providing entrepreneurial learning opportunities to high school leavers.
What distinguishes you from your competitors?
Our depth and knowledge of the business. Besides, ours is a total edutainment package.
What is happening this weekend?
Total celebration of the TEEKY brand and our achievements in the last 10 years. The event is being organised to thank all the customers, clients and friends who have supported TEEKY since conception. It is also an opportunity for TEEKY to showcase what is new in store and what clients can expect from us.
What can guests expect?
Lots of goodies, exciting activities for children and adults. There will be a tour of TEEKY Arena and a red carpet on arrival. Ige Kachi from ‘Find Your Voice With Ige’ will be performing with a talented young girl. Fantastic raffle prizes are up for grabs including a getaway for a family of four to a posh location in Lagos for two nights. Other prizes include a fridge, a ladies luxury bag and lots more. There will also be awards for our leading clients.