Meet Onajite Oluwafunke Odiete who is an Author, Moderator, Legal Executive, Intellectual Property Specialist, Entrepreneur, Educator, and Film & TV Business Executive, experienced in content, licensing acquisition, and distribution of Film and TV programming for the exploitation of rights by various on-demand and pay-tv platforms.
Exquisite Magazine had the opportunity to meet this phenomenal lady, so read up!
EM- PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, which is at the forefront of the entertainment industry in Africa.
I pursued my undergraduate degree in Law at the University of Lagos and I am currently completing my Master’s program in the same field.
I began my professional journey in the film industry as a production assistant in stage plays, and 2019, I volunteered at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), where I had the opportunity to work with the content team, moderated Q&A sessions, managed each screen during the festival, and watched films.
After being called to the Nigerian Bar, I gained extensive experience serving a wide range of clients in the film and entertainment industry from independent producers to actors.
In this role, I negotiated contracts and advised clients on legal and business matters related to distribution and intellectual property. In recent years, I have transitioned to a career in the film business and distribution, where I help to secure licensing for independent films, secure a clean title and coordinate distribution efforts for the acquisition of projects.
In my free time, I attend film festivals and watch films to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the industry.
Additionally, I am passionate about promoting women’s participation in society and have served on several boards, committees, and organizations that empower, inspire, and nurture women to be the best they can be.
Underneath my legal background is an innate passion for content creation. I co-founded Primoris Digital Agency, a social media management agency, where I use my passion for digital media to help businesses and individuals build and manage their online presence.
EM- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS FIELD?
I am proud of the work I have done in the film industry, particularly in helping to bring diverse voices and stories to the screen & working behind the scenes.
I have over three years of experience in the Film Industry. I started as a blogger and social media manager for Legally Plugged before I got a job working in content acquisition at Premium Box Office TV.
In my role, I would watch movies and determine which ones would be suitable for television based on the movie quality and what the audience wants.
EM- WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INTO THIS FIELD?
My fascination with the creative and business aspects of the film industry began in my school, NYSC and church dramas, which ignited my passion for storytelling.
This, coupled with my background in Law, led me to develop a strong interest in the business side of the industry.
As a fun fact, I was the Head of the Department for the Creative unit in my church which allowed me to exercise my creative muscles while also supporting others.
I believe that it’s important to have a strong creative foundation to excel in the film business and distribution, and I’m proud to say that I am a creative myself! * winks*
EM- YOU ARE A FORCE TO RECKON WITH WITHIN THE SOCIETY, HOW DID YOU GROW TO THIS LEVEL?
Thank you for the compliment. I attribute my growth and success to a combination of factors.
Firstly, I am very passionate about what I do and always strive to learn and improve myself. Secondly, I have been fortunate to have had some great colleagues along the way who have shared their knowledge and helped me grow in my career.
I also believe in the power of networking and building meaningful relationships. In the film industry, it is important to collaborate with others, share ideas and resources, and support each other.
Finally, I have always been willing to take risks and pursue opportunities that align with my values and goals, even if they are outside of my comfort zone.
This has allowed me to explore different areas of the industry and gain new skills and experiences.
EM: HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
When defining success, I think it’s important to consider both personal and professional achievements.
For me, success is about reaching my goals and fulfilling my potential. This includes achieving financial stability, building a fulfilling career, and contributing to my community and society at large.
At the same time, success is also about personal growth, self-actualization, and finding happiness in all ramifications of my life. Ultimately, I believe success is a journey, not a destination, and it’s important to continually strive towards growth, & self-improvement.
EM: IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
If I had a chance to do things differently, I would say that I would have invested more money into the development of the film industry and my personal growth.
While I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far, I believe that there is always room for improvement and growth. Looking back, I would have appreciated the process more and taken more risks.
However, I am a firm believer that every experience, good or bad, has helped shape me into the person I am today, and I am grateful for that.
EM- EVERY BUSINESS-MINDED SUCCESSFUL PERSON HAS A STORY, WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE?
Absolutely!!! Every business-minded person has a story, and mine is no different.
My journey has been a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, and moments of self-discovery.
I faced rejection after rejection while applying for jobs in the film industry, which forced me to develop skills in copywriting, social media management, storytelling, and networking to make ends meet.
As I tried to break into the film industry, I struggled with self-doubt and a constant search for my true passions.
From navigating the competitive landscape of the film industry to managing the daily operations of my various ventures, there have been many obstacles along the way.
Some of the biggest challenges I have faced include financial limitations, managing team dynamics, and staying on top of industry trends and changes.
I even had to sacrifice my work-life balance, pouring every ounce of energy and dedication into my goals.
However, I have learned that each challenge presents an opportunity for growth and learning, and I have worked hard to turn these obstacles into stepping stones towards success.
Through persistence, resilience, and a willingness to learn and adapt, I have been able to overcome these challenges and achieve my goals. And now, as I look back on my journey, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.
EM- WHAT SETS YOU APART?
I believe that what sets me apart and has enabled me to become a force to reckon with is my dedication to learning and my willingness to take on new challenges.
I am always seeking out new opportunities to expand my knowledge and experience in the industry, and I am constantly pushing myself to be the best I can be.
EM- YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO MANY, WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I draw my inspiration from a variety of sources & for various reasons. I love reading stories of women & men who have overcome adversity and achieved great success, particularly in the entertainment industry.
Mo Abudu, CEO of Ebony Life.
Joy Odiete, CEO of Blue Pictures.
Kemi Lala Aderoju, Head of Creative at Amazon.
Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content at Multichoice,
Ladun Awobokun who started in distribution & rose to be selected as the General Manager of FilmOne
Ifeoma Idowu a lawyer & who is the current Launch Manager at Netflix
Isioma Idigbe, Entertainment Lawyer at Punuka, is a legal powerhouse.
Arese Ugwu, Author and Producer of “The Smart Money Woman”
Rita Anwara, Head of Legal and Operations at Anthill.
Chioma Onyewa, Lawyer, CEO of Art Dey and Raconteur Production,
Charles Okpaleke, CEO of Play Network.
Uche Okocha, Executive Director at Trino Motion Pictures.
EM- WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Ultimately, my goal is to use my legal and business expertise to help build a more sustainable and equitable film industry that reflects the diversity and complexity of our world. I believe that film has the power to inspire, educate, and unite people from all backgrounds, and I am excited to be a part of that mission.
EM- IF YOU WERE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT YOURSELF WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
From Law to Lights: My Journey in Film Business and Distribution
EM- PLEASE KINDLY SHARE SOME OF YOUR SECRETS TO BECOMING SUCCESSFUL WITH EM
As a young professional, I may not yet consider myself to be successful, but I am actively working towards achieving my goals. For me, success is not just about reaching a certain destination but is also about the journey and the growth and learning that occurs along the way. Here are a few tips that I believe can help anyone on their journey towards success:
Firstly, I believe it’s essential to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This involves setting realistic goals and creating a plan of action to achieve them. For me, this has meant identifying my passions and interests and pursuing opportunities that align with them.
Secondly, I believe that building strong relationships and a supportive network can be crucial factors in achieving success. Whether it’s through networking events or building connections with colleagues, mentors, and other professionals, having a supportive network can provide valuable advice, guidance, and opportunities.
EM- WHAT ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE TO YOUTHS WITH THE ZEAL TO GROW?
Be passionate and build a network of contacts, and never stop growing.
EM- PLEASE SHARE THE CONTACT DETAILS YOU WISH TO BE MADE PUBLIC
I can be reached via email & my social media handles.
Twitter : onajiteodiete
LinkedIn: Onajite Oluwafunke Odiete