Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ferdy Ladi Adimefe. I am a creative entrepreneur and in the last five years, I have spent time building an ecosystem of companies within the media, entertainment and technology space. Imaginarium Creative is a creative technology company powering an incubation to develop viable product that can solve Africa’s 21st century problem and create jobs. In addition, there are magic carpet studios (one of Africa’s fast growing innovation storytelling company focused on animation and games) and IDA (a digital design agency focused on building modern brands and helping brands connect to the biggest spending market segment). I also seat on the board of Slum to School, the Electoral College and The Tribe Assembly.
Tell us about your career path, and how you became a successful entrepreneur.
I started my career in advertising as a copy writer. It was a discovery phase for me, but I realized that there were numerous possibilities. I was attracted to strategy, and followed that path. It was at this time I heard about the School of Media and Communication, so I enrolled. For me, it was not just about a degree, it was really about expanding my understanding of the world, and how I saw it. I really gained a lot from my master’s program. After the program, I worked as a communications executive and left as the brand and communications manager after five years Following this stint, I began my entrepreneurial journey. It has been an interesting adventure ever since.
What does a typical day look like for you as CEO of Imaginarium Global Creative?
A typical day for me is a quest. I work with some of Africa’s brightest minds and talented people. We see every day as an opportunity to create stories or products. We are developmental as a company and that for me is its own reward. We experience growth in every way. There is an endless possibility unfolding at every moment. It can get unpredictable, but every adventure or misadventure is a discovery. I can go from a product launch to a story review session to developing a campaign for brand
Your first book was about campus living and values among youths. What are your advice to students living on campus and the values they should imbibe?
I think we can easily get fixated on the fact that campus is about obtaining a degree, but it is more than that. It entails practising how to live in the real world.It is about expanding your thinking, revisiting your biases and allowing yourself to venture into unchartered territories of interest and knowledge. It involves learning to become a global mind and a global citizen. It is also includes learning to innovate, solve problems and contribute in every way. Upon imbibing these things, you can then add the degree.
How does your work influence the youths in Nigeria? Do you have any youth initiatives going on?
Across the sphere I play (either the corporate or the faith-based movement), I lead people within the median age of 22 or 25. I believe every young person needs to learn how to think and not just what to think. My work is about consciousness, propagating awareness and inviting people to discover within them a worthiness and potential that are essential for creativity to thrive.
Tell us about your family life?
I am married to a very lovely woman, Lily, who is also an alumna here. We have three boys and that’s hopefully the wrap. Our home is fun and play. We are also confronting the challenges of two working class parents trying to raise three kids, navigating traffic and juggling ways to keep a beautiful and balanced life. You know, this is an on-going conversation. However, my family is my escape from the world, I am glad to have it that way.
How do you keep up with your work and family life?
Being intentional. Things can easily creep up on my schedule or demand more of your time. Making my decision about life and then allowing work to revolve around that.
How has your schooling in SMC influenced your career and family life?
It was impactful. It expanded my options, and in fact, my decision to become an entrepreneur was born out of that. I majored in media enterprise. I developed a deeper sense of self-awareness that allowed me see my innate sense of restlessness as a gift. It was not about staying within a segment, but finding ways to create and use different tools, moving from skill to thinking strategically did a huge leap for me.
What are the qualities you seek in young people and prospective employees?
A sense of curiosity and adventure is important, because without that you will not let creativity take you places. People who have embraced their sense of freedom can try, discover, innovate, and facilitate the growth of others. Character and discipline are important. Without them, the creative spirit will never birth, leading to ‘still born’ projects. I also like a mind that embraces possibilities.
What three books would we find on your bookshelf at home?
The alchemist was a magical one. The black boy by Richard Wright. The bible for me sounds trite, but I think it is one of the best metaphysical resources out there, with a right lens of interpretation one will uncover ancient principles for life.