This is a true life story of “from grass to grace”, I felt it is the best article to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary because our leader have not worked up to our expectations but we must not fold our hands and wait for them for our survival. I hope you get motivated by the achievements of Mr Charles Nwabueze Ezugwu. Here goes the interview….
Sir kindly introduce yourself to the readers.
Shadow Beads…My name is Ezugwu Nwabueze Charles,I am the C.E.O of SHADOW BEADS COMPANY NIGERIA
LTD. I am from Nkpunator Nkpologu (NSUKKA AXIS) in Enugu State of Nigeria. I am married with 3 kids and we all live in Lagos State.
My shop is at lnternational trade fair market Lagos…Shop 43 and 44 Ecowas plaza by Gl bus stop progressive market trade fair complex Lagos..
2, Briefly tell us about your childhood and academic background.
SB.. Well about my childhood,I left my Parents while I was 8 years to stay with some people as a result of my Father’s irresponsibility towards my mum and us ( the kids) as a result of another woman coming into his life. I had my Primary studies at Mbaneme Memorial Primary school at Uke in Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra State.I got admision into Secondary school but my foster grandfather that adopted me died before I got into the Secondary School. Luckily for me, his children took over and sponsored my schooling.I finished my secondary at Nnobi High School also in Idemili L.G.A. (Anambra State). I joined the movie Industry at Onitsha (Anambra State). I later joined the Company of a costumier by name (LADY KETH) where I learnt how to costume,development of stories,screen play and acting. In 2004, I left the movie Industry after costuming my last job,which was the popular AKANCHAWA BY PRINCESS NJIDEKA OKEKE.I came to Lagos in 2005 to continue with my Academics. I launched my first book tittled BETTER THAN GOLD AND SILVER the year I was to graduate from the school as an automobile Engineer.(THE FIRST UNDERGRADUATE TO LAUNCH A BOOK IN THAT SCHOOL).
3,So what is your occupation?
Shadow Beads..My main occupation is beads making,I started developing love for beads even while I was still in school,I continued with beads after graduation because I told myself I Will never work under anybody again in my life,I have answered enough sir and ma to people.I started the bead business with #4700 in an uncompleted building without chair nor tables but I was very determined because I had the support of God and only one person in the whole world in the person of my girl friend who is now my lovely wife.l started with making households things like,flower vases, wall clock, cake stand, soap dish, table mat, fruit plate and tray,Tables, kitchen organiser. From there, I met a beader called Vibration beads and we started exchanging ideas on necklaces,untill I was inspired one day to make a video on how to make beads, which sold like pure water. That was what gave birth to my numerous instructive videos and magazines on bead making which are still the best in Africa. So on my own, I started developing myself on making Royal crowns. My clients say that I remain the best in the business. . ..
4, I must confess that I am marveled at how talented you are, I know you do other things, please tell the readers all that you produce, it is better to hear from the horses mouth.
SB… Hmmm,I am also a makeup artist,I use beads to do all kinds of neck piece, footwears,beaded blouses/ beaded wrappers/skirts for traditional marriage and home items such as,beaded center table for your living room,beaded plates and tray for fruits and native cola,beaded air refreshner container,soup dish..I make cap and royal crown for royalties.(kings and queens)
I also tie gele,do auto gele and facinator...
5, How did you get the inspiration to go into bead/gele making and being a make up artist?
SB…Well,I will say that first of all,frustration pushed me into it and again before I rounded off from school,my beading started in March 2010 with #4,700 in an uncompleted building. Hunger and hardship were the first things that inspired me to look for something doing and I thought of something that I love but shouldn’t be Men’s business so that I can get fast response…that was how I started beads without receiving training from any body but as times went on,I started exchanging ideas with professional beaders and developing those ideas.....
6, Where did you learn to tie gele?
SB..I learnt it from people that were very good at them. I knew I will do well in skills becase my father was a skillful and very creative man..
7, When did you officially register your company and why the name “Shadow beads”?
SB..I officially registered my company “Shadow beads” in 2012 and chose that name because I wanted a striking name.
8, I guess some people are suprised that men like you are amongst the best make up artists, gele and bead designers… Was it difficult for you gain customers when you started your business?
SB…It was never difficult because women dont like doing business with their fellow women,they always say women get wahala and as a man,so many women believe they can easily bring you to accept their own condition in doing business with you,so it was easy for me to gather them around me and again I make sure I give them the best..
9, Please Sir we would like to know some of the African elites that wear your products…
SB….Hmmmm,the list is endless and some of the kings wouldnt want people to know that I am the creator of their crowns and other regaliars but I will still mention but few,(1)Ada Emebiam (the wife of the present Governor of Ondo state (2)HRH Igwe chidi Ezekwugo the King of Uga Kingdom.(3) The king of the whole Igbos in Ghana. ( EZE NDI IGBO 1 NA GHANA).
(4)Elemo of Aran Land. 5 Chief Engineer Ignacio Campo (the Eziafakaego 1 of Awka Kingdom). (6) Her Excellency, Chief Princess Mrs Nwanne Campo (The Osodieme of Awka Kingdom) etc infact they are many oooh..
10, Sir kindly tell us how your products became very popular that most royalties choose you to produce their crowns and beads?
SB…Firstly is the grace of God and again when you satisfy one customer,it is a road that will lead to over 20 customers to you and you know,big man meet big man.
11, I learnt you work hand in hand with the government to empower the Nigerian graduates through the NYSC programmes? Can you tell us more about this project, when and how you started collaborating with the government?
SB….Yes, I am one of the strong partners of NYSC in Lagos State whereby the Government sends youth coppers to my company for training and empowernment so that they would be able to do somethings after they had left school,the things we teach them includes,beads making,makeup,gele tying,auto gele, Ankara bag and shoe making etc..
12, How do you feel being your own boss?
SB….I feel so good that I am my own boss,it makes me have time for my family.
13, Nigeria celebrates it’s 58th independence anniversary today being 1st of October 2018, as an influencer that runs empowerment programmes, what’s your advice to the Nigerian youths? Many are still jobless even after acquiring many degrees from the Universities, should they wait till the government/companies produce jobs for them?
SB….. Well,the only thing I keep on telling the youths is that when you wait, you waste. No government is looking at your face again in Nigeria. Creating job oportunity has become a thing of the past. You can work something out by learning a skill.
14, Would you like to give vote of thanks to anyone?
SB….Well,there is no man without background, I will not forget to say a big thank you to my parents,my success is made possible by God. My gratutude also goes to the families that brought me up, the Family of Godfrey Obizoba Ilonzo, the family of Eliezer ,Onwanibe family, my numerous clients and to all my fans.