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Why I Have Been Visiting Abuja Frequently-Akeem Sodeinde





Akeem Sodeinde, is the brain behind Movida Night club.  Though currently recuperating from a kidney surgery he spoke with our REPORTER on life after the operation, business and more.

You went through hell while you were ill, are you still scared of death?

There is nobody on earth who is not scared of death. Even death itself is scared of death. When you have done my kind of business for 17 years and still live without going out with security men and God has kept you for a reason then you should realise that if your hands are clean no weapon fashion against you shall prosper. They call me fearless; the word fearless is about the spirit in you and God himself. Nobody is untouchable.

How does getting a new lease of life feel?

I have a reason for living and I have to fulfill it. Great men and people that I have read about start from somewhere so I am working on a legacy that would see my children saying that their daddy is self made without any criminal record and that is my target for this year and something is coming up soon too.

What has life been like after the surgery?

First of all; I will say thank God for giving me life, mercy and granting me another chance. No amount of money or sacrifice could have kept me alive but for the mercies of God. It is not easy, but there is a saying that whatever gives you three square meals a day you should thank God for it. Business has not been easy because years back we were few in the industry, but now we are more. It is more interesting now because the challenges are always there. When you don’t have challenges in life you don’t have a valuable future. In everything in life you should always expect the unexpected and I have prepared for such.

Before information about your condition became public knowledge a lot of unpalatable things were attributed to your illness, how did you feel then?

Word in the street was very bad when I was sick. Word in the street was that I had HIV and I did money ritual, but there is a saying that a clear conscience fears no accusation. Part of what kept me going was the fact that I had God in me and no weapon fashioned against me shall prosper. Every great man has a story behind him, but the basic thing is that you don’t have to listen to what the world say because you have to make yourself happy. There is nothing you do in this world that is one sided; there will always be the good and the bad side, but as long as the good is above the bad side then we thank God for his mercies. When I first came back, it wasn’t an easy start, but it made me go closer to God. I have had God in me since 2004, I was born a Muslim, but I found God in 2004. I have never done anything fetish, criminal or fraudulent, but the normal thing which is known with me is that I have a gambling habit which I do because of boredom. I am a night person and before the sickness I used to go out to drink, play around because my business is all about women, men and interaction, but now I can’t do all those things. The fact that I stayed at home for like a year and six months without doing anything I had to start to work myself up because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. I don’t gamble to kill myself and you need to know that life itself is gambling. Everything thing you do in life is gambling, but as long as you do it with moderation then, there is no problem. There is an adage that a young gambler dies an old beggar and whenever I remember that saying I realise my mistakes. Too many things are always in my head and I like surprises because the best way to give the world a good surprise is when they think it is all finished you give them the strongest part of you.

Are you working on overcoming this bad habits of yours?

I can overcome anything and that is why I am called fearless. There is actually nothing to be done right now. I have tried everything and at a time I though the only thing which could help was going out to see movies in the cinema. Right now, I think I have enough movies in the house that I have watched my brains out. Gambling is something I do to catch fun, but not enough to ruin me or damage my career. Everything that has a begging must have an ending someday. I don’t know how but I know it will end someday because it is not something I intend to do forever. People gamble for one naira others for one million, it all depends on what you are worth. Life itself is a gamble but I will not do it to kill myself.

While you were away a lot of new night clubs like Quilox came up, how do you hope to manage this competition?

First of all, the title “The General” means a lot. It is not “The General” by the worth of money or by government. The title is about being good in your own field. Those who gave me the title know my capabilities. One thing I always tell people is that when you take one percent out of your 100 to look at another man’s business then you have ended up giving him one 101 while you have 99. Every time you look at someone’s business to look at your own problem and forget yours you add more percentage to him and you have more problem. What you do is to try and rebrand or re-strategise. Change is inevitable and I must tell you that Quilox is a wonderful night club; I go there when my club is not open, I have four nights and he has four or five nights. He is a friend and he has been there for me. Before he had a club he used to come to my club, he is a wonderful friend that I have a lot of love and respect for and vice versa. His club has a good location because one very important thing in the business is safety. Some clubs are located inside and people still come there, but he is located on the road. However, one thing which I know is that if you rate all the clubs in Nigeria, mine will still be top three. We are the first in Lagos, but one thing which I like is to always be number one because it gives you an edge not because you are better but it makes you know you are a good fighter. I tell my friends and some of my boys that if I don’t own a club I would probably go to Quilox because it is probably one of the safest and cleanest. The population of Nigeria is much and if you look at what one person is doing other places will not sell. Even me as Movida, I am still too small. From the axis of Ikoyi to Ajah we have 43 night clubs. When Movida was done we had only six. It was something I did when I came back; it is a channel running which is important for the business.

There were speculation about you before Movida came up, some even said you were broke, was it true?

I set up Movida to prove to the world that I was not chased out of the old property or that I closed shop because I could not continue. The truth is that I closed shop because of my health, that is, however, not my dream; my dream is about to happen and it will happen in Jesus name because I am a fighter.

What is this dream?

It is called surprise and if you release your surprise it is no more a dream. A dream is something you imagine in yourself and you give it out as a surprise and then people will wonder how did he do it? Is this guy human or a genius?

Is it in the line of nightclubbing?

It is and will always be. It is my passion.

Does your frequent trip to Abuja anything to do with this dream of yours? 

I just told you something about surprises. If I tell you what it is all about then it won’t be a surprise again. However, I will tell you one thing and that is, even I myself don’t know what I am doing in Abuja, but I know that something is about to happen and I will always make sure that the customers get value for their money. I don’t want to answer the title “The General” anymore. I want to be known as the Field Marshal. Field Marshal is the biggest challenge I want to face because in any business when the new guys come the old men will want to relax. I am still young, I still have some years to build my empire, I have made my mistakes and I think God used my sickness to correct them.

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