Meet Pelumi Adedapo a product of FUTA, who changed his story during ASUU strike
In 2011, precisely in December, ASUU went on strike to force the government in power at that time to implement certain things. Students were sent home for up to six months. During that time, we had students who were jobless, others tried to do something with their hands. One of such students was Pelumi Adedapo, a graduate of Mining Engineering from the prestigious Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) and a photographer by profession.
YC caught up with him one evening, and we were able to have a chat with him for our rising star segment.
Please introduce yourself to us
My name is Pelumi Adedapo, the lead photographer at Pellz Photography. We’re a team of passionate creatives who tell real-life stories by visual representation. We’ve worked on several projects over the years, ranging from events, fashion portraits, beauty, lifestyle and documentary photography.
How was it like growing up?
I grew up in a church environment (a seminary precisely) you can call me a church boy. I was exposed to photography early enough due to the relationship I had with seminary students who had practiced photography before coming into ministry.
How did you find yourself in entrepreneurship/ photography?
I’ve always been a curious person who tries to explain and understand everything in order to tell a complete story. Over time I found out that words sometimes are not enough, so photography is my own way of explaining what I have learnt about happenings around me.
How and when did you start?
I started in 2012 while still in 200 level, during a 6-month long ASUU nationwide strike. I decided to learn something to help me add value to myself as a person and that was it.
Did you go through any challenges starting your business?
Yes, I went through a lot of them. At first, it was the trust challenge, getting people to trust you to handle their “big” events was an issue while starting up. Then the mentality factor, photography has never really been a glamorous endeavor, so you had to put up with a lot of insults and embarrassment in order to grow and become better. Also, funding never comes easy; purchasing quality equipment, software, attending photography classes. They don’t come cheap at all, if you aren’t very passionate about photography, you might be discouraged along the line.
You currently run a photography business, how have you been able to cope with everything?
First and foremost, I have enjoyed loads of favor from God. Then I have always surrounded myself with positive minded people who inspire me and encourage me whenever times get difficult. I’ve also learnt to grow in stages. I didn’t get it all in one day, I learnt to start with what I have coupled with the right mindset and relentless push to always try to outdo myself. I have been able to grow to where I am today.
How have you been able to stand out in your business?
I always give my best to everything I do, doing things in a way that is different from what people are used to. That has helped me build a unique portfolio
Tell us about the challenges you faced and how you were able to surmount them
I’ve faced lots of challenges in my life, and really, I believe that’s what happens when you’re taking bold steps in life. In all my challenges I always have it in mind that It won’t last forever. It’ll only get better. So basically, I just face whatever challenge lies in front of me with an optimistic mind and most times, I am able to overcome. You make mistakes sometimes, but even that doesn’t stop me from getting up and moving forward.
What is your opinion about young people delving into entrepreneurship without any prior knowledge of doing business
I think a mistake that most of us creatives make is that we spend so much time investing on our craft, we forget to develop the business side of it, in the end, lots of people miss the way and fail eventually. I think it’s very important that we young people develop the business side of our craft as well as the skill set.
Do you think the educational background really helped your business?
Yes, certainly. I took some business management, law, emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication courses while in school and that has helped me massively to manage my business effectively
What is your advice to young Nigerians in telling their stories?
I’d advice young Nigerians to never hesitate to tell their story whenever such opportunity arises. Don’t think “oh, my story is not motivational”, your story might just be what someone out there needs to hear to get him started or to lift him from that pit he’s currently in. Let’s tell the world our story to inspire, to inform and to educate.
What do you think the future holds for Young Nigerians. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel for us?
The future is very bright for young Nigerians provided we’re ready to take necessary actions to make that promise come to reality. Young Nigerians need to focus on personal development, arming themselves with the right knowledge, skills, information, and orientation for the future. We have that fire inside of us, we just have to fuel it. It’s time for action rather than just words.
Your advice for young Nigerians and books you would recommend they read
Get yourself adequately prepared for tomorrow, we’re running out of time and tomorrow is almost upon us. The books I will recommend are, 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey, An enemy Called average and Think Big by Ben Carson.
Every Monday morning, YC brings you an interview with a rising star who’s doing awesome things. We’ll be talking to founders, career professionals and much more, so be sure to get the best from us.