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‘Club girls tempt me to divorce my wife’ - Ken-Calebs Olumese

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blackpearl

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Ken-Calebs Olumese is the self-styled Guv’nor of Niteshift Coliseum, a popular upscale events centre and nightclub in Lagos. In this interview with ‘NONYE IWUAGWU and RUTH DUMKWU, he talks about the hazards of his job and why he would not abandon it for a million-dollar job elsewhere. Niteshift Coliseum is 20 years old. What would you say is the secret of its enduring success?

I don’t know why other businesses have gone under but I know why mine remains afloat. I am dedicated to my job. I love my job and try to do it right. I believe that if you do any business the right way, it will not fail. I don’t know if there is any other nightclub in this country that has a resource team like mine. The members of the team are drawn from all walks of life. We all come together to interact and to share ideas just for the growth of entertainment. Such a team can never fail.

If you weren’t a nightclub owner, what else could you have been?

I would have been another nightclub owner. This is the only thing I love to do; nothing else.

Most people think your club is meant for highly-placed people…

That is a fact. This is a high profile club. There are newspapers that sell for N20 and there are others that sell for N100 and above. So, this club is a high profile club. It is not meant for everybody. You have to grow to be a member of this club. Even in the church, do you sit where pastors are seated? This club is not meant for every Dick and Harry. You have to earn your membership. You have to deserve to come to the club. There are so many things other clubs do that we don’t do, so you have to conform to our rules. Having money does not guarantee admission.

Really?

Yes. If we think you don’t deserve to be a member, you can’t be one, whether you have money or not. It is an exclusive club.

What is the essence of the Grand House Reception you always give to high profile individuals in the country?

It is not everyday that you have an opportunity to see a governor, a senator or even the president of a country. At the Grand House Reception, we give the ordinary man the opportunity to understand how our leaders reason and what their worldview is. It is an interactive session. We ask them serious questions in a relaxed atmosphere.

We hear that some of the people you invite to the GHR actually lobby for it…

It is the resource team that can answer that question. I am only a member of the resource team. I don’t even draw the list. Before anybody is invited, there is a strong debate on whether to approve it or not. I have brought some names and the idea was shut down.

I cannot take a decision on my own. We have criteria for deciding on who to host.

But there is no person we have brought in here who does not merit it.

Would you support any of your children to go into nightclub business?

I never told my father I was going to own a nightclub. Anybody who wants to get into any profession is free to do so. I would give him or her my full support.

Did you have it in mind that you would go into this kind of business when you were young?


I have always thought of running a nightclub since I was a baby.

Why?


Why did you choose to be a journalist? Is it not because you love the job? What else do you want me to do? I love my job. I cannot be carrying briefcase and going to offices looking for contracts. They will tell me the minister is busy while I will be at the reception reading newspapers and waiting for him. No, I cannot do that. This is my only job.

That means you really rocked life when you were younger.

Oh yes. I did. It is the passion I have for it that made me come up with this. It has always been my ambition to run a good entertainment outfits.

Have you faced challenges so far?

Oh yes. There are ups and downs in every business. Every business is challenging.

If you were offered a $100m job and it entails you leave your nightclub, would you take it?


If I am offered a hundred million dollars to quit what I am doing now and a bottle of Remmy Martins and a packet of cigarette are added to it, I will take the drink and the cigarette and return the money. I cannot do any other thing.

You can’t do any other thing or you wouldn’t want to do any other thing?

I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough to do any other thing. This is the only thing I know and it is always good to stick to what you know or stick to what you think you can do.

How do you see this club in the next couple of years?

It is going to be innovative. It is going to grow. With time, new ideas will come up. Twenty years ago, we didn’t have this kind of facility.

How has your interaction with bigwigs affected your lifestyle?

I should be asking you this question. We have been together for some hours, so you should know if my lifestyle has changed. Why should I change? What can make me change? If I decide to do any other job, I think I will be successful. Anything I touch turns to gold.

So why don’t you try another line of business and make it turn to gold?

I don’t need to look for what to turn to gold. I am happy with the gold I have got. This is a goldmine. Entertainment is a goldmine.

Are there hazards that come with the job?

Every job has its own hazards. Remember this place got burnt once. Do you know the amount of electricity that goes into this business? There could be a spark or something.

Then again, there are hazards of women tempting you to divorce your wife.

And you have not fallen into their temptations?

Was Jesus Christ not tempted? When Satan told Him to turn stone into bread, what did He tell him? He told him to go away.

So you tell the women to go away when they tempt you?

Yes. That was not why I set up the club. I cannot be distracted.

And your wife does not mind the fact that you are always exposed to women?

Don’t you have a boyfriend? Are you not sitting beside me? Will your boyfriend be angry seeing you sit beside me when he knows you are doing your job? It is the job I do that puts bread and butter on her table. Are you aware that all her children are Masters’ degree holders? How did that come about? It is with the money from this place.

If your husband is giving you bread and butter, will you tell him to stop doing his work because of women?

Are you fulfilled?

I don’t think anybody is fulfilled in life. But I think I am on the road to eventual fulfillment. You can never achieve all your goals. I am not regretting anything.

You enjoy smoking…

I also drink. These are the raw materials for my job. Why should I encourage anybody to come and buy my cigarette and drinks if I don’t smoke and drink?

What of women?

If women are a part of making my business to grow, is there anything wrong with that? If you come to a club and see only women, won’t you turn back? If a man comes into my club and sees only fellow men, won’t he run away? I don’t mind women at all.

The Punch: ?Club girls tempt me to divorce my wife?
 

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