‘A serious-minded student should not be carried away by theories’
University of Benin student, Emmanuel Oluwasayomi Ahmadu, popularly known as Mr Voiceover, is a multi-talented artiste, who is skilled in acting, writing, social media and technology. In this interview with FLORENCE UTOR, he spoke on his career and aspirations.
How did you come about the name Mr. Voiceover?
The name came when I was in my 200-level in the university. I had played with several names that would suit my act, but the name Mr Voiceover dropped in my mind; that was it. I had earlier considered ‘Jingles,’ but it was limited to a particular genre since I do varied genres of voice-over works. But now, the name ‘Mr Voiceover’ has spread wide to the extent that many people don’t even remember my real name; it has got me an award.
What’s the ide behind your brand?
The brand is basically about voice services; it’s not like the usual thing you see out there. I have carved a niche for myself in the industry; both for TV and radio, making me an international voice-over artiste that even foreign companies and individuals call upon for projects. I have done jingles for public and political announcement, corporate projects, cartoons/animations, caller tunes, documentaries, promos, on-hold messages, ring tune/ message tune customised, auto-attendant messages, e-learning projects, podcasts, IVR-Interactive voice response, phone prompt, audio book, video game and others.
Are you working on any project currently?
More recently, I have designed and am working on unveiling a social media application that will unite Nigeria students with their counterparts across the globe. Thus, I solicit the support of eminent and well-meaning Nigerians, brands, organisations, government agencies, as this innovative idea will undoubtedly bring massive development to the socio educational sector of the country.
Where do you draw inspiration?
The inspirations to do what I’m doing now actually came from friends, people and neighbours, who listened to my recorded works and encouraged me to do more. My mentor, St Mosco, who’s currently the official comedian to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, after listening to all my demos, encouraged me to start recording jingles and adverts. I printed complimentary cards started reaching out to churches, radio and TV stations, hotels, banks, small-scale businesses and several business organisations as a freelance advert agent, with my demos on CD.
How did you get your break?
I once booked a session to record an advert for a church in a studio and to my surprise, the studio owner was amazed at my level of professionalism and had to call me to record a job for him, which eventually got sponsored on one of the largest TV network in Africa (NTA) and on several radio stations across Nigeria in 2013. The encouragement I got from that job spurred me to study Mass Communication in the university. While in school, I connected with actor Segun Arinze, voice-over artiste, Ben Ogbeimo, who is also a voice coach, and music director at MTN Project Fame. The lists of people I have worked with that have inspired me are endless.
How are you coping with academics and your jobs?
The stress of managing and balancing my academics and other interest is enormous, but I apply principles of time management; prioritization of schedules and activities and the prudent use of the social media to reach organisations to advertise myself. I discovered that school teaches the ideal, while the society teaches reality. A serious minded student should not be carried away by theories; you need look inward and think of the innovative and problem-solving ideas.
What’s your advise to other students?
It is important for a serious student to make him/herself relevant to the society while in school through whatever talent they’ve got so as to prevent them from roaming the street for employment after leaving the four walls of the school. Students need to think outside the box, have passion, persistence, and focus for whatever they like do.
They need to develop their talents, meet people in the areas of their profession or interest, and above all, have a mentor, who will guide them when they need it.
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