• Monday, February 26, 2024
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Jimi Sadare: Maverick using music to drive the ‘Sapeur’ lifestyle in Nigeria

Jimi Sadare: Maverick using music to drive the ‘Sapeur’ lifestyle in Nigeria

Jimi Sadare of Effrakata Entertainment is different and distinctively so.

On some days he can be ordinarily dressed in the native Yoruba attire ‘buba & shokoto’ and on other days he is unrecognizable as he transforms like Cinderella into a high stylishly attired suave gentleman, looking dapper. One thing you cannot take away from him is his passion for what he loves and does; a stylish creative combination of fusing dance, fashion, francophone music, personal style, hospitality, travel, space design and more.

As creative director and CEO of Effrakata Entertainment & Francophone Lagos, he is on a mission to introduce people to discover their personal style. “No two people are similar, each has a distinct style, mark or signature and that is what we as a lifestyle company seek to do with our clients. In these days of mass customization and homogeneity, people still want to stand out, be distinct and show their uniqueness,” Jimi says.

“We are here to fill the gap and help groom the total being. We want to change how people can unwind; we want them to do it with real style.

“The francophone countries that border us here in Nigeria really know how to go about this starting with music, which is cultural and allowing it to permeate to other areas of their lives”.

Jimi, who is fondly called ‘Jimbo’ was delivered by Victoria Yakubu Gowon, the former first lady of Nigeria, in the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, in the swinging early 60s of post-independence Nigeria when Ghanaian-influenced highlife was the popular ‘feel good’ music of the day and life, according to him, was “easier and more stylish”.

His parents moved to Lagos, where his late father set up his private dental practice with clinics at the Federal Palace, Victoria Island and Apapa.

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He had his early primary education at Corona School Apapa then followed his late father’s footsteps by attending Igbobi College Lagos.

His school certificate saw him travel abroad as many of his peers did to study Banking at the City Banking College London.

He worked for the Poll tax Dept of the Brent Council and the North British Housing Association as a Finance officer before returning to Nigeria years later in 1991.

“I never really practised what I studied when I arrived in Lagos.

“Right from my days at Igbobi College, I was elected president of the Junior Literary & Debating Society, which leaned also towards the social side. My sense of style was evident then as I led to win many fashion parade shows, dancing and music quiz meets.

“In the UK while studying, I was attracted and worked for various top men’s clothiers like Principles and Next for Men where I gained a lot of fashion experience. All these were inherent in me and when I returned to Nigeria, I registered my first company, Sapphire Investments Ltd and commenced operations doing interiors, fashion/wardrobe consultants, interior designing, and construction and facility management.”

His wealth of experience in fashion merchandising, purchasing, shop floor and window display/dressing opened doors for him amongst his many clients in the fashion industry including Jacobs, My Fair Lady, Jini, Sage 32 Toyin, Dakova, Pitti, L’essence and many others.

He met Chris Iluobe of the “Men’s Affair” boutique fame, who had just commenced operations in 1992, walked up to him stating the loopholes he noticed in the new business, they got together and took men’s fashion to a whole new level, stocking the best designers from all over the world and catering for top Nigerian gentlemen in the ’90s.

In the same year his father passed on, ‘Jimbo’ took over their family’s 16-room, boutique hospitality business, renovated it to taste and has been running it for 25 years till date.

Tourism was later included through Effrakata Travels and Tours, which specialized in customized packaged land, air travel and tours to Francophone West African destinations like Cotonou, Togo, Senegal, Gambia, Cote D’Ivoire and a host of others.

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In the course of this, he met, married and bore two boys with his wife of 20 years, Latre, creative director of Mamani Couture, a foremost fashion designer of Togolese/Ghanaian descent.

The creative streak through art, fashion and culture sparked other interests and love for many things Francophone including music such as Makossa, Zouk, Salsa, Rhumba, Zoblazo, Soukouss, Mbalax, Hiplife, Ndombolo, Troubadour, Kizomba and much more.

Effrakata Entertainment was included in the stables of Sapphire Investment Limited as promoters of Francophone/World Music for live concerts and events within and outside Nigeria, exclusive club nights around the country, syndicated radio shows, artist collaborations and management, for the mature mind, lovers of feel-good music including diplomats and captains of industries.

He also attributes his natural love and eyes for detailed dressing and good music to his late father and grandfather, who in their times were very fashionable, sports and cultured men in society and among their peers.

“Style and creativity I believe are in my genes. As the eldest of five siblings, I find that style and creativity run in my family.

Ayoola, “Shaddie”, a younger brother of mine, is a foremost Jazz/music entrepreneur and promoter for the realization of a structured Nigeria cultural and creative sector.

The move to understand what he had was further reinforced when he encountered late award-winning Francophone musician Papa Wemba, who was the New School founder and originator of the Sape Movement in the 70s/80s and used his music to take Sape to another level.

La Sape is an abbreviation based on the phrase – Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, literally translated as “Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People”. It is derived from the French slang Sape, which means “attire”. It is a subculture centred on the cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo respectively.

“Jimbo” has gone further by taking La Sape and infusing it with his own style of dressing, which has more of a fluid classic and contemporary twist, which cuts across all ages.

Never too old to dress fluidly with style, he has birthed his own Sape consultancy sessions for dress and lifestyle lovers in Nigeria.

The Nigerian ‘Sapeur’ has an enviable collection of World and Francophone music, which has led to personal relationships with top world music artists like Koffi Olomide of DRC, Salif Keita of Mali, Richard Flash and Gangbe brass band of Benin, Felix Wazekwa, among others, drives his expanding creative business through music to cater for the discerning and tasteful individual who are connoisseurs of style and long for expression of a twist in their creative lifestyle through Effrakata lifestyle fashion and wardrobe consultants.

“Creativity in putting music, which drives the culture of matching clothes and accessories together, is very important. It is not only about spending lots of money on clothes, shoes and accessories but also the carriage and grooming is very important, which only comes from confidence within,” says ‘Jimbo’.

“As Papa Wemba, late Rhumba king said, ‘White people invented clothes, but we make an art of it’. Your style is there.”Effrakata helps you discover it,” he concludes.