Sunday, 24 August 2014

The MUDI exclusive Part 2: Why I Drive a Car that is older than Nigeria + Dirty things people say about me because of Success


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MUDI leads the GDA to his antique 504 L 1957 edition car bought as antique from France
 If you were lucky to read our world exclusive yesterday about Africa’s busiest Fashion icon, Mudiaga Enajemo aka MUDI on his story of success, expansion and friendship with the high and mighty, you must have been lucky to learn one or two things from the icon who is the only Nigerian Fashion Designer with four outlets in four cities in South, West and East Africa.
Today we are not only completing the last part of the very incisive interview, we equally brought you the unique and never seen-on-any-blog before pictures of MUDI’s world class classics; an antique Mercedes Benz 1957 edition model and a 1971 model 504 L Peugeot car he purchased from Germany and France respectively. Although MUDI refused to tell us what it cost him to get the two expensive antique but every one that has an idea knows classics dont come cheap. Take a sit and sip away your best brandy as you read the final part of the MUDI exclusive on your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog asabeafrika. EnJoY!
“Because some people are not doing well because they do same thing the same way every time; to start with, they are not creative. Some are not even innovative, they just dub designs from magazines, they copy and yet they expect the same results with MUDI. They are not even inventive and they see you who put so much time and efforts and they starts saying different things. And most times because they are not doing well, to comfort themselves, they say ‘oh, that guy is doing something else, that guy is using something, just to comfort themselves”
The chat with MUDI by GDA
I went broke each time I open an outlet outside Nigeria
For the first time MUDI equally revealed to us how each time after he did his expansion project which many thought came cheap, he often faces cash crunch, hear him speak “Let me tell you one secret today and I have not told anybody this; you know when I opened my first shop outside Nigeria in Accra, I took a risk, I withdrew all the money I had in my account, I changed it into dollars and moved into the country. When I came back I was broke. The same thing in Kenya, when I opened Kenya outlet I was broke. Each time I open any outlet outside Nigeria, I go broke because I have to take all I have in my account to open a shop across the boarder; so, no godfather, no capital, no structure except God the father”; so where does MUDI draw confidence and faith? “I think it has to do with faith; and like I tell people anything you do you must first of all have the passion, you must have the drive and discipline, that is what will keep oiling your will during hard times. I never say never to any condition I can control”.
The GDA in a rare pose on the wheel of MUDI's car that is older than Nigeria
Why I don’t read inspirational books
 If you think this question will make your guest, MUDI draw a smile and reel out names of the brand of books that gives him edge above others, you are soon disappointed as you discover you are in town with an odd guest of no book era “No, no, no.  I don’t believe in reading books” MUDI starts with a stern outlook; he speaks further “Ten ways to be successful” it is not my philosophy, I don’t believe in all those things.  If you check those things you discover that it fails more people than it elevates them. Take for instance and check people who read books, they have read all the books but they are stagnant. It is not about what you are reading, it is about what you put in. it is only in Nigeria people say they network. They are networking, what are you working? You have nothing on ground, you are doing nothing and you say you are networking. You must have something doing before you network. You must come with substance before you start networking. It is not about fantasy and fallacy. It is not about bragging, it is about originality. Originality of purpose; originality of ideas and sincerity of purpose as well; you must come to the table with something not emptiness and you say you are networking”.
The GDA with a private staff stands besides MUDI's antique 504 L 1957 edition car
The Story of my Two old School Cars
From his book reading dilemma we moved to real reason for our meeting with MUDI; why does MUDI drives Old School cars which are largely taken for antiques? “These cars only remind me of the good old days of my country” Mudi began with a lean smile on his cheek “I think it is a part of history; heritage! Let me put it that way. They remind me of the good olden days and the kind of simplicity that was applicable to life then. My father once sat us down to tell us a story of how he wanted to buy a Peugeot car at a time and he couldn’t buy a Peugeot brand, so he had to buy a Lada. I think he bought it then for N1600 (One thousand six hundred naira). In those days a Volkswagen car was going for N3200 and I think a 504 car was on the high side. So, to me, it is art. It is beyond just driving a car. It is inspiring and at the same time, it is a lifestyle.  To live a quality life is not about having a billion naira in your account; you can live your quality life with the small money in your hand. It is what you put in trying to give life a meaning that matters”.
The GDA after the Interview session with Africa's busiest Fashion maker, Mudiaga Clement Enajemo of MUDI AFRICA
Mudiaga Enajemo 'I dont believe in role models'
A 70 years old man repairs my antique cars for    
On how MUDI carry out mechanical works on his old schools cars since mechanic of nowadays might not be too familiar with the workings of such cars; the fashion icon replied “I have mechanics that handle those cars; I have a very old man almost in his early 70s that services my 504 L car for me. He is a Yoruba man that services my Peugeot antique.  So it makes it work for me”. MUDI spoke on feature that makes the 504 car unique to him “I think the color comes first; I cannot afford to miss the color; secondly the Air Conditioner works, it is intact. The cigarette lighter works, everything works. It is a perfect car. I bought it from France, so it is a perfect car”.
His second antique car
The Car that is older than Nigeria
My Mercedes Benz Car is older than Nigeria
 MUDI drops a bombshell when he says his Old school Mercedes Benz Car is a 1957 model; what that actually means is that the car is older than the country Nigeria which got her independence in 1960. He spoke further on the mystery of the car “I got that car from Germany through a friend of mine who said I should furnish him with my email details and when I sent it to him he forwarded the photograph to me. A white man who wanted to sell the car as an antique was approached. And we talked over it and the money was paid and the car was shipped down to Nigeria. The car was almost going into a museum as an antique but we made the purchase and today it amuses everyone that we can still be driving such a car in this age and season”.  MUDI confirmed with an air of accomplishment.
A throphy and an award from Kenyan Government for MUDI AFRICA
Mudiaga Clement Enajemo, CEO MUDI AFRICA..'I dont believe in motivational books'
Why Cost don’t matter for antiques
The moment you want MUDI to tell you the price he purchased the two antique cars, he suddenly becomes a lecturer of sort and he will lecture you for free “I don’t like mentioning money. It goes beyond money; you can’t quantify what gives you pleasure in terms of Pounds and Sterling. There are journalists who come here and ask me how much it costs me to build this structure and I tell them it is not in my culture to display wealth by revealing figures to justify accomplishments. We were not raised that way to talk about money that way. By doing that you might send a wrong signal, it is either you are trying to flaunt wealth or you are pompous; that is not me. Don’t forget these cars are antiques and they don’t come cheap but the value for acquisition is primarily laid on the door of passion.  It is a passion to have them. Antiques are classics. Anything classic doesn’t come cheap”.  On how he feels anytime he drives those cars, he simply says “I feel happy, I feel happy because it simply means that I am expressing myself. Above all, over time if you check my history right from when I was growing up most of my friends knows that this guy is different. Anything he does always comes with a difference. I like expressing myself in a very different way”.
A side-view of the MUDI's antique automobile.
MUDI's antique Mercedes Benz Car from Germany
Sorry, no dream car for MUDI
 Does MUDI still have a dream car in mind apart from the ones in his garage at the moment? “No, I don’t have such a passion. I can’t say I have a particular car I can say is my dream car.” Not even a Rolls Royce? This blog asked “No, it is not in my immediate index of needs. If God blesses me to buy, fine, I don’t have any thing against driving a Rolls Royce but I just take life the way it is. I believe in contentment. Anything you have, you have to be contented, if you have a slippers polish it well and manage it well. And let me say this for you to have the spirit of contentment you must have self confidence. You must do away with inferiority complex, you must have self confidence. That is the hallmark of success”.
MUDI beside the eye-popping old-skool Mercedes Benz Car
Some Local Awards for the Fashion icon
No role model for MUDI
On the issue of role model again, you find out that your guest is odd. Hear him “I have people that inspire me but to be honest with you it is difficult for me to say I have role models these days. There are some people I treated as role model years back but today they have disappointed me. You see them and you say they are your role model but when you see events come and you see their ways of life and things begin to open up and you feel ‘oh, this guy that I call a role model has changed’.  So, that is the reason I don’t have a role model, it is difficult for me to say I have a role model”.
An Over-view of his Lagos office
Mudiaga Clement Enajemo, CEO MUDI AFRICA..'I don't believe in motivational books'
What every entrepreneur should know
For emerging fashion entrepreneurs MUDI has both a warning and an advice for them “If you check, people call me everyday from all across borders, they call me for advice, and I tell them if you are coming into the business as a designer, I first of all ask you, do you have the passion. If you say you have the passion, ok, do you have the drive? If you have the passion and the drive then how discipline are you? Because the passion will keep you going even when there is no money and the drive is to take you to another level. Discipline is key because at 7am I am here. I have some of my contemporaries, they get to office around 10-11a.m, 12 noon, they delegate from home. And even today if I am driving a flashy car, it is out envy they will say Mudi is doing something else and that is why he can afford the car but that is not the truth. It is what you put in that you will get. If I get to the office at 7am and you get to your office at 10am we can’t be on the same level. Except God is partial it is as simple as that. It is what you put in you get.  If you are a designer and I am a designer, I get to the office 7am and you get to the office around 10-11am; by 4pm you close you go to network, I close with my boys, I work hard with my boys up to 11pm. I have outlets outside the shores, no matter how small amount of money that comes out of my Ghana market, Kenya market and South African market, it is a plus to me. You sell within Nigeria, I sell outside Nigeria. We can’t be on the same level, it is as simple. It is a simple case”.
MUDI AFRICA Lagos office interior
MUDI's favorite antique car
Worst thing they ever said about me
Asabeafrika asked MUDI to tell us one of the worst things people ever said about him that got to his ears. MUDI drew his breath and replied with an air of sadness written over his face “You see, people say things. They look at my office and say all sorts of things but I have paid my dues. Twenty two years of doing one thing and people say I do it well and I enjoy doing it, if I am not successful after twenty two years that means something is wrong. If after twenty two years I don’t have my own structure like this, that mean something is wrong, it is as simple as that. Because some people are not doing well because they do same thing the same way every time; to start with, they are not creative. Some are not even innovative, they just dub designs from magazines, they copy and yet they expect the same results with MUDI. They are not even inventive and they see you who put so much time and efforts and they starts saying different things. And most times because they are not doing well, to comfort themselves, they say ‘oh, that guy is doing something else, that guy is using something, just to comfort themselves. It is as simple as that. They say all sorts of things my ears are full because I have heard a lot of things about myself. I have heard quite a lot of things about my self but I will always remember what John Fashanu told me, he said “MUDI, your eyes should be on the ball”, my eyes is on the ball. So, all these things are normal things in a society where there is so much backbiting, envy and double standard” On the worst thing ever said about MUDI;  
“They said I am into money laundering, that I launder money for politicians. It is so sad! (Mood changes), some said I am into nineteen (419) some said I am into drugs, just to comfort themselves. It is painful, very, very painful but you must remain focused. Because certainly there is so much envy and beef. Your eyes must be constantly on the ball, it is what you put in you will get. I have spent twenty two years and you have just spent only five years, you can’t be on the same level with me. It is not possible. And most of them attach so much to glamour, to hype, no structure, no scruple.  They believe that hype will sell them; I don’t believe in hype. Hype is good but first of all, good job first. Good job sells you better, it is what you put in you get. The former Ghanaian president John Kuffor told me something. He said “Mudi, what you have done is great, you have done well. You came into this country as a Nigerian and you opened an outlet here, it takes high level of risk”. He said we all have twenty four hours but it is how you manage your twenty four hours that matters”.  “When I wanted to buy this property, I was not prepared to buy a house. Not that I asked an agent to go and get a land for me. I wasn’t prepared to buy a land talk less of building a house, it is just God.  It is God because I didn’t even know I was going to buy a house it is just God’s blessing”
A chanced photo shot with one of MUDI's Business Development Executives
Do Women chase MUDI?
I would not want to use the word “chase”, it is “admire”. Normal people admire you even men admire men, women admire women. It is a normal thing once you are doing what will attract people to you. So, one of the reasons I said discipline is key is what you have just raised. Discipline is an all-inclusive thing, your way of life, how you treat people and even your food regime. I don’t eat after 6 ‘o clock. It is all part of discipline to keep shape.  So, discipline is a broad thing and it is the only thing that can keep you off the tag of controversy. I am married, I am not a saint. I won’t tell you I am a perfect human being. People get attracted to you. It is normal to have friends but you must be disciplined. You must know when the handshake is going beyond the elbow. If the handshake goes beyond the elbow and didn’t stop at the wrist, then discipline is missing. I am happily married and I treat female admirers with great respect”.
Mudi's antique Benz Car
MUDI talks to the GDA

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