Exquisite Magazine got the opportunity to interview Matse Uwatse, an award-winning On-Air personality and a top Nigerian Food Blogger, popularly known as MatseCooks
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BRAND
My name is Matse Uwatse. I am from Delta State, Nigeria. I am also the owner of the MatseCooks brand. I started with Wazobia FM, after a successful audition in Lagos 2007. My popularity increased due to my ingenuity in the broadcasting profession leading to my winning numerous awards like the Eloy Awards, The Future Awards, African voices award etc.
In 2011, I announced my departure from Wazobia FM and joined Nigeria Info. In September 2013, I left Nigeria Info, years later and quit being an on-air personality and I now run a food blog called Matse Cooks.
Matse Cooks provides insightful information to the world on food and drinks that are culturally significant to Africans. The positive reception of my food blog led me to launch my spice range, MatseCooks Seasonings. In 2016, I was listed as one of the 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria by YNaija, and in 2020, I was listed as one of the top 121 food bloggers in the world.
In 2021, I was honoured as a “Creator” in the 2021 edition of the Dine Diaspora 31 Days of Black Women in Food Initiative, which celebrates the achievements and advancements of black women worldwide in the food and beverage industry.
Matse has been a Tv Chef on Chefrican on Ebony Life Tv and in 2019 a celebrity chef in Big Brother Nigeria “Pepper Dem”.
MatseCooks started as a blog on WordPress and then it grew into a spice production and multi-media production company that has serviced numerous local and international companies.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS FIELD?
MatseCooks has been in existence since 2014. I decided to start MatseCooks after leaving the radio. After leaving radio, I decided to start something of my own and that was how MatseCooks was born.
TIPS ON HOW YOU STARTED?
MatseCooks started on WordPress and then I decided to host my site. Everything on the site was built from scratch by me. I had no help. Then I started to study photography and videography. Later I started creating recipes for MatseCooks’ spice production.
YOU ARE A FORCE TO RECKON WITH IN THE SOCIETY, HOW DID YOU GROW TO THIS LEVEL?
I worked hard. I really worked hard… I was following trends making sure that everything I produced was of optimum quality. While others were using phones for content creation, I was busy using DSLR cameras and making sure that everything I brought out there was of good quality and I tell you, that is one of the things that separates MatseCooks from many food blogs and brands. It is the quality and creativity I put into what I do. I don’t like to be ordinary.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Success doesn’t have one definition success means different things to different people. One man’s idea of success is different from another’s …but to me, I feel when you’ve reached a stage that you are happy with yourself… I mean genuinely happy with yourself and content with what you have achieved thus far, then you have achieved true success.
IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
If I have the chance to start my career all over again I think I will be more strategic in everything I did back then because strategy matters a lot in everything you do.
EVERY BUSINESS-MINDED SUCCESSFUL PERSON HAS A STORY, WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE?
In growing MatseCook, I faced a lot of challenges one of them being staff, you don’t always get the kind of people you want to work with you. It is a struggle getting good hands. So staffing was one of them and also funds I didn’t have enough money to get all the equipment and gadgets I needed but I still worked hard with whatever I had.
WHAT SETS YOU APART?
I believe what sets me apart from others is the quality of my work. I do not just work, I put everything into my job. I just want the best; beautiful photography, great videography…paying attention to details.
I put in a lot of professionalism and creativity which has also attracted a lot of international interest and opportunities for the MatseCooks brand.
I have been invited to share my knowledge across the globe. I believe this is what has set me apart from other brands my originality, creativity, hard work and passion for my craft.
YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO MANY, WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My inspiration comes from my mom she is a very hard-working and disciplined person. When I watch my mom and see all she has achieved, it actually encourages me to do more. So my source of inspiration is my mom.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
My biggest motivation is my daughter. I want to be an example to her just the way my mother has been an example to me. Also money, I want to make good money, I want to take care of my child, my family, and people in society. I want to make a lasting impact in the lives of many… If possible, leave behind a legacy, yes these are the things that motivate me.
IF YOU WERE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT YOURSELF WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
I would call the title of my book MATSE because it is a part of me; struggles, joys, successes, failures etc. It is a piece of me.
PLEASE KINDLY SHARE SOME OF YOUR SECRETS TO BECOMING SUCCESSFUL WITH EM.
Discipline is one of them. Why a lot of people are not successful is because they lack discipline. Once you learn to master yourself I believe a huge chunk of your struggles would have been handled.
Hard work... be ready to roll up your sleeves and work hard. Professionalism in whatever you do…don’t take your business lightly. Be accountable… keep tabs on everything that concerns your business. Lastly try as much as possible to have great interpersonal and communication skills because whatever you’re doing, you will be dealing with humans, so sharpen those skills…they can make or break you. These are a few of my business secrets.
WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE TO YOUTHS WITH THE ZEAL TO GROW?
To the young people out there I’ll say, start wherever you are now don’t wait…don’t procrastinate. Start with whatever you have. Don’t worry things will change and evolve. Doors will open, and the universe will put things in place for you. When you look back you will be so shocked at how far you have come.
Trust me, everything good will come as long as you’re ready to work for it.
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