Being a Lawyer in Nigeria is one thing but turning your passion into work is a double profit no one can deny.
This week’s Woman Who Inspires is Omolola Oyedele (LolaWithTheDuffleBag) who has managed to turn her love for music and creativity into a career.
Lola, who is fondly known as ‘LolaWithTheDuffleBag’ is an Entertainment and Media Lawyer that caters to the needs of her clients worldwide. She is a Partner at Technolawgical Partners, a boutique law firm that focuses on Social Innovations, Technology & Cyberspace, Intellectual Property, Startups & Creative contents and CSR in Africa.
She founded Duffle Bag Cafe in 2019 with the vision to provide legal advice and knowledge to people who need it. Before becoming an entertainment lawyer, she used to be in a rap group, then became a road manager, and a show host.
In her leisure time, LolaWithTheDuffleBag enjoys watching cartoons, football, playing games, making music and having drinks with friends.
EM’s Gold Gerry had a quick Q & A session with this inspiring woman who consistently uses
her platform to assist artists in entertainment and creatives in general.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
EM: Hi Lola, thank you for getting on a call with me, could you tell us about your journey and how you got started.
Lola: To be honest I didn’t have any other thing to do and I don’t see myself doing any other thing. I have always been in the entertainment space, from drama to hosting shows, I rapped and had a group. I just knew if I needed to do anything with Law and satisfy my parents mostly and myself at the end of the day, it was going to be entertainment law.
The good thing was that in entertainment law, I now had the upper hand unlike just being an artist. I could be an authority and not always be the person in front of the mirror. As much as I liked the entertainment, I also wanted to be the bad guy playing the boss, I wanted to be among the people that made the laws or the people that made everything work. So here we are 10 years later and I still enjoy it.
EM: I first found out about you through LolaTheDuffleBag and I thought it was an interesting name, do you mind telling us how you got the name?
Lola: I always laugh when people ask me that because it’s funny that I can’t place it. I have very interesting friends that think I’m really cool and they say that I carry myself like wealth, coupled with the fact that I love bags a lot. Bags being my favourite accessory, my friends coined the name LolaWithTheDuffleBag for me.
EM: TheDuffleBagCafe is now one of your business, we would like to know more about it
Lola: Well, The DuffleBagCafe podcast was founded in 2019. I got the idea when I was out for drinks with a friend and I find myself having discussions with people who know little or less of things I think are basic knowledge. TheDuffleBagCafe is my way of providing legal advice or aid to people who need it, especially aspiring veterans and professionals in the music business.
A lot of people blame their lack of legal support on high cost, so DuffleBagCafe gives you advice and guidance for little or no fee. If you come to me as Omolola Oyedele, you will be billed but not TheDuffleBag.
EM: How does it feel to be a young woman in entertainment?
Lola: It is exciting but then I realise that there aren’t a lot of women in my sector and
entertainment in general and that makes it difficult. I love working with women and seeing them in high positions, so whenever I get the chance to work with someone, I’m eager for it to be a woman.
EM: What other challenges (if any) have you had to overcome during your journey so far?
Lola: Legislations and people. You could change a lot of things about the industry but people’s mindset is the hardest and it is funny because you could learn and unlearn a lot of things but people choose not to. Dealing with people’s bias about my appearance is a struggle. I do not like to wear makeup or wear skirts and dresses but I have had some people tell me that they want to be represented by someone that dresses like a woman and I would never understand that.
EM: So you work with a lot of artists and we see the drama around artists and record labels, how do you think the gap between artists and labels could be bridged?
Lola: If you’re going to sign an artist, I think it’s wickedness not to tell the artist to get a lawyer, especially when it was a lawyer that drafted the deal. It is also a 50/50 thing for me because even people that have been in the industry fall short of this and a lot of people make that error, so I suggest you do your due diligence. Make sure to get an entertainment/media lawyer to go over your contract before signing. Whatever deal you are going into getting the right lawyer. I wouldn’t take on a family law case because it isn’t my speciality.
EM: So what has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
Lola: It has been a lot but if I had to pick, it’ll be getting DaGrin’s his letter of administration,
that was a high moment for my team and I. And overall being recognised in the industry.
EM: That’s great! Tell us what’s next for The Duffle Bag And Podcast
Lola: We have been on hold majorly because of the pandemic, so we are working to return next month(September) with some much-needed changes.
Omolola Oyedele (LolaWithTheDuffleBag) can be reached on either of her social media pages on Twitter and Instagram through the handle @L3galtool.
You can also check out her page on Technolawgical Partners’ website here.