Nigerians don’t take Body Exercise seriously – Adaramaja
What is Greenleaf all about?
The umbrella company is Green Tag limited; it has different units with different brand names. Our wellness business, which includes spa, gym, and saloon, bears green leaf. The other arm of the business, which is into leasing and logistics, is called “Green View”.
What triggered your vision for wellness business of gyming and spa?
Like every good business, you have to start doing something before you know that there are additional opportunities that can be explored. The business actually started with the saloon and spa because we have interest in people looking good, taking good care of themselves and also doing the necessary things that can make them healthy. As a Youngman, I am blessed with women all around. On a Sunday morning, my children had to make their hair and by the time they got to the saloon at about 7:30 am, they had to take number because there were a lot of people on ground. They were given the tally number of fifty (50) at that hour. So, that prompted me to know that a lot of people needed the service but the opportunity of providing the service or the number of people going into the business are not many, and the shock was that my children came back home 8:30pm after using the spar.
I looked around and thought of starting the business but fortunately, I had a place I can use in Obanikoro and I converted that and it yielded massive patronage within a year. We further enhanced our curiosity because we saw that there is a need for enhancement and professionalism in this particular area of business. At that point, we started looking for another place where there could be enough space, visibility and the ability to showcase what we have to a number of people around. We got a place where we are currently. This place is just about four to five months old but I can boldly say that the turnout in this place has given us more encouragement. Infact we are looking for expansion again because this place is getting smaller. So, there is a wellbeing in Nigeria, people want to take good care of their health but unfortunately, we don’t have professionals, we don’t have people who can give you targeted programs that can enable you achieve result.
What programmes have you put in place to enrich lives?
Green Leaf gym comprises of well-trained, well research instructors, dance crewmembers, therapist who are not just interested in general part of your body but we target specific part of your body to resolve issues that comes from it. We do targeted programmes like working on the cardio vascular, herbs, flat tummy etc. We have targeted programs towards that. We have an enhance aerobic sessions that we infuse dance steps into the sessions. It is not just dance aerobics like normal gym outfit, we have infused major Nigerian dance steps like atilogwu dance, Bata, kente dance into our aerobic sessions. We are not just interested in you bringing your money, but we are interested in you seeing result within the little reasonable time. Outside this, because of our interest of ensuring that you look good, we have different weight loss programmes that also support our gym department. During this weight loss programme, we do between four to eight sessions. By the time we are through with this, you would actually know that we had achieved result. I can confirm to you that we have several testimonies to that effect, the most exciting one was that a member lost 20kg in 6weeks.What happened was when she came the first day, she was so massive (fat). She took to all the instructions given and about 6 weeks, she lost 20kg and we have to tell her to slow down. While we are trying to solve personal problem, we were able to learn how to solve problems that is common to everyone around. As an average person, you see that when you render service, coins will also follow it. That is what I think that green leaf is enjoying in the last two years. Although green tag has been around for about eight to ten years, but this part of the business is actually receiving patronage because it is our baby branch, we are happy to see it grow into two branches within two years. I think it’s a good thing that green leaf has achieved.
Why do you think Nigerians do not enjoy exercising their body?
I think the challenge we have is that we are slow learners in Africa; we attribute our aliments, troubles to a witch or to someone who doesn’t want us to succeed. Not knowing that majority of this problem is caused by us. When people don’t take time to take care of themselves i.e. the kind of food they eat, activities they involve themselves in, you can begin to see growth in different part of your body, this will cause excessive stress on internal organ making those internal organs to over work themselves and at the end of the day you would just see the guy who they say he is good or doing very well die at early age, why? He has not taken time to work on his heart; he is always sitting down in the office. In fairness, if you compare what wellness was in the last 10 years, I think there has been some level of awareness in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole. In Nigeria before, we engage in inter-house sports, dance, schools usually organises sport programs, inter-school games and all of that. Most of these things are gradually fading off. Due to absence of these things, we see higher rate of mortality among young men, our values have changed we are running after money.
What is your general assessment of the wellness industry in Nigeria?
In the last 10 years, it was just common among the elites who have travelled abroad or who have economic power in accessing these services. I can actually say that it is gradually getting the acceptance of people now. I really want to say a very big thank you to the movie and music industry for their production and how it has enhanced the fitness service by making people to realise the importance. The awareness is gradually getting better but not as much as we would have seen in the music and movie industry. The reason why it is like that is because a lot of people do believe that it is unaffordable. I want to do a little mathematics. We know how much we spend in treating ailment like heart related issues like malaria, cancer and other health related issues. Compare that to what you spend in taking good care of yourself, I don’t think we would still say it is expensive when you occasionally go into the service available like hydro- therapy, steamer and you are participating in some programmes that can actually make your heart beat rates normal and that would remove excess fat. It is glaring to all that it is less expensive but, the challenge in that area is that a number of people believe it require a lot of funds to access.
I want to assure to you that it is not too expensive in comparison to what the medical bills state. The awareness is getting better and people are now more conscious than it used to be. There are lots of benefits derived from regular exercise, it enables you to multitask, coordinate, and your level of memory capacity increases.