Temple Management Company, a relatively new full-service creative talent and event management firm prides itself in its ability to operate on a global scale, ensuring that creative talents in Nigeria maintain sustainable competitive advantage over their foreign counterparts while it continually improve on African content and guarantee processes that are in line with international best practices. The firm’s Director, Legal and General Counsel, Mr. Deji Olomojobi, in this interview with Mary Ekah, tells how the company does it
What roles exactly do you play at the Temple Management Company?
I am the Director, Legal and General Counsel for the Temple Management Company and with that I am the lawyer for the firm and also for our clients. I qualified as a lawyer over 12 years ago. I cut my teeth as a lawyer in one of the best law firms in Nigeria and over the years, I have had the opportunity to practice in different areas to make me a well-rounded lawyer; this cut across business advisory, corporate commercial work and litigation. So I tend to provide legal services internally here to protect the firm from possible dispute and also take charge of the advisory role for the company and also the company’s clients like contract drafting, management of contracts and dispute management and resolution as well for the clients that we represent. We do these for both corporate and individual clients. We are a talent agency and management company and we are also into event management and this cut across managing talents across board – entertainment, media, art and corporate.
Talking about talents management, how exactly do you manage artistes?
We try to sign up talents, manage them and also provide agency agreements for them. My own role is to prepare the contract, engage them and bring them on board. So we provide the management services across the board, providing opportunities for them in terms of endorsement and international access whilst trying to bring them on board, my job still goes on so that right after getting them on board and signing them on a contract, we also advise them to get lawyers in case they need independent verifications and advice and even in addition to that, I also take them through the agreements, explaining to them step by step all the terms involved in the agreements until they have some comforts. We endeavour to draft a balance agreement here, so as not to draft onerous terms that will seem like we are trying to come from an undue advantage position and right after the signing, my job still goes on because part of the services we provide to them is legal advisory support in that they can walk in here any day and any time for legal advice from any aspect of the law that has been made and that they may which to seek clarifications on or advice and opinion.
How receptive have people with talents been to what you offer here?
For some of them, the trend has been to walk into transactions without protecting themselves. They walk into a transaction on a trust basis without having a contract drafting to spell out the terms and obligations of each party for the deal they are entering into. We have seen a couple of people like that who prior to now may be that has been the trend and it has worked for them. While for some, they seek legal advice but for some of the advice they get from some legal practitioners, it is not adequate and so they are not adequately covered and so you find a lot of loopholes here and there. But what we have tried to present here at Temple Management has been well received because they see it as part of education and they see the point in what we are trying to do and they are fully into it.
So what should an artiste look out for when going into any contract or deal?
The first thing they should be mindful of is that they should not go into it alone. Rather they should be secured and guided by a professional because really, what we try to do here in terms of talent is that we want to take away the burden of bothering yourself with any other thing than focusing on your creative aspect, so that any other thing outside creativity should be taken care of by professionals. So the first step is for them to be guided by a professional who will see them through all transactions and in that way they would be better informed and protected.
And how what has been the impact of your activities on artiste and the society at large?
What have been trying to do here at Temple Management is to change the game entirely in talent management and so far, it has been well received, so unlike the transactions they would have gone into before now without being protected by a well-drafted contract, we are changing all of that. So we try to ensure that every single thing is well documented and put in a contract form no matter how minute it may be, so that it is just a full protection for them. In providing advisory services, we also point out this to them; from my past experience, we get to see that a lot of creative people don’t even have their rights in certain intellectual property items protected. So those are part of the awareness that we are trying to bring about and to also see to the registration of those intellectual property items that we need to register on their behalf and we also educate them on breaches and all that. We have a network of firms that we works with, so for things that we cannot do internally, we have network of firms to fall back on. For those that come on board our platform, the legal services we offer here is an added service that they get at no other extra cost. We are involved in every step of the artiste’s progress and in that way we know when to come in at any given point for the artiste’s development and engagement.
What would be your advice to artistes and other corporate people who don’t deem it necessary to protect their intellectual property by getting professionals involved in their business deals?
There is a lot of money involved in intellectual property of individuals or corporate bodies, and this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously by the creatives and authorities concerned. When these things works, we have a lot of creatives and artistes that long after they have stopped recording or performing as artistes, still get big paid cheques. It may be difficult when it comes to piracy but everyone needs to come together and work towards, first of all, protecting your right as a status, before you now even want to fight piracy, which is a long process and another different angle but there are still many other angles that are very commercial like understanding how to track your copyright and your work; sometimes you have your works being played on a global platform, so you need to ensure that you are engaging with the right collecting society in Nigeria, which will also engage and build relationships with other collecting society globally so that there can be effective collection of royalties for all your copyrights works out there.
When was Temple Management established and how many artistes has it worked with so far?
The Temple Management Company Limited officially began operations in March 2016 and has since carried out management deals with top Nigerian talents including record labels like Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, Iyanya, renowned disc jockey DJ Jimmy Jatt, broadcaster, Funmi Iyanda, award-winning visual artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor, media personality Bunmi Davies, Tennis prodigy, Marylove Edwards and artist/jeweler Mode Aderinokun amongst others. Temple Management is a full-service creative talent and event management company incorporated in Nigeria and operating in the Entertainment, Sports, Media and Art sectors. Using a 360 approach to management, the company oversees the day-to-day business/affairs of creative talents and ensures that they maintain sustainable competitive advantage over the rest with a mission is to continually improve on African content, bridge the gulf between talents and their foreign counterparts, and guarantee that processes are in line with international best practices.
Babangida: Prince of Minna Clocks 75 The former military president of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida celebrated his 75th birthday anniversary on August 17, 2016.Though, not in showy way, his numerous fans across the nation have continued to felicitate with the ex-General for his valuable contributions towards the peace, unity and growth of the nation, writes Peter Uzoho Call him any name you like. Describe him in anyway suitable for you, but truth be told, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida popularly known as IBB, remains a behemoth that can never be missing in the history book of the Nigerian state.
Every year, IBB is celebrated by his numerous fans and associates as he marks his annual birthday celebrations. On 17 August, 2016, he marked his 75th birthday, though, in no showy way. To celebrate the invaluable elder statesman, eminent personalities poured in their congratulatory messages as they wished him well. President Muhammadu Buhari who visited him in Minna, a day before his birthday, to felicitate with him, said “There is hardly any major episode in Nigeria’s short history where your name and contribution does not feature.”
The former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar described Babangida as ‘Nigeria’s one and only Military President.’ “You re-engineered the country’s political economy like no other Nigerian leader”. At 75, you have achieved all there is to achieve. Let’s give thanks to Allah for this great abundance of life and grace,” Abdulsalami noted.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has this to say, “I have personally followed your career in the military spanning three decades and I particularly felicitate with you and your family on this auspicious occasion of your 75th birthday anniversary.
“My prayer is that the remaining years of your life be spent in relative comfort and satisfaction,” Obasanjo added.
For Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, he said ”At 75, you continue to symbolise statesmanship, patriotism, professionalism and courage which are some of the excellent leadership virtues that have guided you throughout your active public service life.”
“As you celebrate your 75th birthday, may Allah grant you excellent health, courage and many more years of selfless service to our fatherland and humanity,” Bello noted.
Interestingly, the birthday celebrant, Babangida used the occasion to refute the negative label people give to him, saying “I’m not the evil genius that a lot of people think I am. I have an excellent background and by my training, I am trained to love people. I was bound to be misconstrued and people will take it like that, but I consider it as opinions as long as I am not what you think I am, I feel satisfied.” Babangida was the Chief of Army Staff and a member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) under the administration of Major General Muhammadu Buhari and would later overthrow Buhari’s regime on 27 August 1985, in a bloodless military coup that relied on mid-level officers that Babangida strategically positioned over the years.
He has a number of points which stand in his favour as credits for piloting the affairs of the most populous black nation in the world, for eight uninterrupted years. Even as a military ruler, he was able to give people from all parts of the country, a sense of belonging in the affairs of the nation. Although, he is from the North, he has his friends, allies and supporters from the East, South and Western parts of the country. Being a Muslim military head of state, he welcomed and tolerated Christians and had his fans among them. No wonder today, IBB still has Nigerians who strongly believe in him and would rather remain loyal to him having been convinced of the real worth of their man.
Instead of holding on to power after the annulment of June 12,1993 presidential election, Babangida displayed a rare sense of understanding and acceptance of the will of the people, and resigned. Even when he had all the military apparatuses at his disposal, which could make him defy the wish of the people, he never allowed all that to get into his head to ruin him and the nation. To him, the peace and unity of the nation was far more than his position as the military head. Born on 17 August, 1941, in Minna, Niger State, to his parents, Muhammad and Aisha Babangida, from Gwari ethnic group, Babangida attended the Provincial Secondary School, Bida from 1957 to 1962.
He later joined the Nigerian Army, on 10 December 1962, when he attended the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) in Kaduna. Babangida received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a regular combatant officer in the Royal Nigerian Army, a month before it became the Nigerian Army, with the personal army number N/438 from the Indian Military Academy, on 26 September 1963. He was among the first batch of Nigerian graduates from the NMTC who attended the Indian Military Academy from April to September 1963. Babangida furthered his armory training from January 1966 until April 1966 by enrolling in Course 38 of the Young Officers’ Course in the United Kingdom where he received a four-month course in Saladin and gunnery.
From August 1972 to June 1973, he took the Advanced Armored Officers’ course at Armored School. He attended the Senior Officers’ Course, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jali, from January 1977 until July 1977, and the Senior International Defense Management Course, Naval Postgraduate School, U.S., in 1980.
He was heavily involved in quelling the Nigerian coup of 1976, when he was to ‘liberate’ a radio station from one of the coup plotters, Col Buka Suka Dimka, his close friend, to prevent him making further announcements over the air waves. Although he did prevent further broadcasts, Col Dimka managed to escape.
Before his retirement from the military, Babangida attained the following ranks: Second Lieutenant 1963, Lieutenant 1966, Captain 1968, Major 1970, Lieutenant Colonel 1970, Colonel 1973, Brigadier 1979, Major-General 1983, and General 1987.Babangida also served as a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1 August 1975 to October 1979.
Owing to his bravery, gallantry and excellence in military service, he was honoured with the following awards: Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR);Defence Service Medal (DSM);The National Service Medal (NSM);The Royal Service Medal (RSM);The Forces Services Star (FSS);General Service Medal (GSM);and the Knight Grand Cross of the Bath (GCB),which was conferred on him in May,1989,by Queen Elizabeth 11 of Britain.
Even as he is ageing, Babangida’s influence and weight in the affairs of the nation has not diminished by any means. During elections, the road to his abode witnesses human traffic occasioned by politicians intending to contest for the position of the President. In such occasions, he plays the role of a typical father, who accommodates all his children and assures all of his unflinching support, not minding who is from the North, East, West or South.