May we know you?
My name is Ganiyu Owoyemi Ojutiku. I am a Lagosian, I was born and raised on the Island, I went to Command, Command Children School, Bonny Camp, Victoria Island. I went to Methodist Boys High School in Victoria Island, and later went to Lagos State Polytechnic, where I did my Diploma. That’s a little about my background.
So how did you end up doing house painting and 3D graphics?
Wow! Painting has always been my hobby. Right from secondary school, I liked painting. Back then in Methodist Boys High School, I was one of the best students in Fine Arts in the 2002/2003 set because I loved art. So, I didn’t just venture into painting. I’ve been doing painting from childhood, just that it wasn’t professional painting at the time. Then, it was just domestic painting at school and at home. When I grew up, I then developed the habit of being more creative about it. It has been a part of me right from childhood.
Why did you decide to do painting as a profession, why did you not settle for a white-collar job?
Well, I actually decided to do painting because I love painting. Creativity is what I love doing most. I’ve once done a white-collar job. And you know, everything you do in life has to do with what you are passionate about, what you love doing. It’s not about the money at times, it’s about what you love doing. That’s why I prefer painting, I love painting.
Did you have any form of support, loan or grant when you started out?
Yeah! I actually had support when I wanted to start professional painting, like when I wanted to venture into full time painting. I was supported by Brothers Across Nigeria, the Alpha Galleon chapter in Lagos. I am a member of the association and they organized an empowerment program which was tailored at training members on professional painting. That was the support I had towards professionalism, it also informed me towards wallpaper and 3D graphics.
What is the greatest support you have faced since you started out as a painter and designer?
One of the challenges I had was at a time I went to do a job at Lekki and I was given just two days to do a work of four days. And I had to work extra fast. And by working extra fast, you mustn’t lose touch with professionalism. You have to still be the same you that you are. That are one of the challenges. Like, when you are given a task to do and you do it and you meet up with the target even though the time is short. So, that’s one of the challenges.
Have you met with troublesome clients, how do you manage and cope with them?
Yeah! (chuckles) I’ve actually met with many (emphasizes many) troublesome clients. One of the troublesome clients I went to work for was at Sango (Otta). He was just like, too aggressive, the way and manner he talks… Well, part of our business ethics is for you to be calm and cool while dealing with clients. So, I’ve met many troublesome customers. But I have coped with them because personally, I know I don’t get angry. Personally, I’m a very patient human being. And once you have that nature, it would be easy for you to manage people. I’ve come to realize that one of the ways to be a better person is for you to understand human behavior and to know how to manage people. So, I don’t get angry, I manage my clients.
Your brand name is YemiKash Kreative. Why did you choose to settle for that as your business name?
The brand name Yemikash Kreative. Well, one of my names is Owoyemi, and my dad happens to be called Mr Kash. My elder brother who is a musician is popularly known as Kash 11. So that Kash is like a family name. My dad uses it, but the full name is ‘Kasimawo’. So, I chose Yemi Kash (the short form of ‘Kasimawo’) and merged it together. The creativity is something I always do, because being creative is what I do. Because sometimes, I go to people’s house and they go like “I don’t know how to paint this place, I don’t know the kind of design to do”. Then I just go like “let’s do it this way or this way”, even without holding a chat or picture of a previous work. I’ll just come up with something creative and give ideas on different options of designs and colours. Once you’re creative, it makes your work different from others. Because if you’re a painter and you’re not creative, the loophole would surely be felt. Imagine using cream colour in a place where you ought to use white, your work wouldn’t be as good looking as it ought to be. So, that’s how I derived the name YemiKash Kreative, it’s my name and my family name.
We observe that your customer base is quite large. How did you manage to grow so much?
First, I made sure to put so much to publicity. Once you do publicity for your work, it helps you grow your customer base quick. Social media is a very effective tool, because most people nowadays use social media. So, its very easy to reach your potential clients via social media. That’s basically how I’ve grown my customer base. I’ve sold myself through various online means.
Do you have a passion for painting and doing designs, or do you just do it as a means of survival?
Well, like I said earlier, I love painting. I have passion for it. I don’t just do painting for survival, I do painting because of my passion for it. At times I just call my parents and I’ll be like; “hey dad! Should I come and paint your place this weekend”? And he’ll be like “but you just painted it few months ago, why painting all the time”? Then I’ll tell him I just want to change the look of his parlour. Even my house, I do paint it about three times in a year. Whenever I decide to do the painting, I just give it a whole new look. So, I don’t just do it for survival, I do it for the love of it.
Do you have plans to expand your business and become a big brand, or you’re just doing it for the main time?
I have larger plans to expand my business because in the world, painting is something that has been in existence from time. So, it’s something that is a continuous business that you can venture into. There’s no generation that would decide to stop painting or decide to stop anything that has to creativity and designs. Definitely, I would expand the reach of my brand over time.
What’s the difference between the person of Mr. Yemi and the CEO of YemiKash Kreatives? Do these two roles demand different sides of you?
Well, I would say Yemi’s personality is not different from the CEO of YemiKash’s personality. Because the same Yemi is the CEO of YemiKash Kreatives in terms of personality. This is because I’m a gentle person, I don’t get angry, I don’t socialize that much and I’m a cool-headed person who believes in getting things done quick. So, my personality is not different when it comes to business and my personal life. It’s just the same me whether in business or my personal life.
It’s obvious that your work takes time, how do you switch between your personal life and work?
My work, though it takes time, but due to the passion I have for it, doesn’t seem to me like it takes my time. It just seems to me as leisure. That’s the way I see it, so it doesn’t take so much of my time. I don’t mix business with pleasure. The times I don’t have any work are the times I use to sort out other things in my personal life.
Does your wife complain that you give more time and attention to your job than you give to her?
No! my wife doesn’t complain. She doesn’t complain about my job because I give much of my time to her whenever I’m at home. I help her with every domestic activity when I’m at home, so whenever I’m going to work, she doesn’t complain. She just prays for me and she doesn’t complain. No! she doesn’t.
What is your deepest regret?
Actually, I don’t have any deepest regret. Because anything that happens, I always believe it’s just a lesson and it’s just a way to prepare you for the journey ahead. And I always believe it’s God’s doing, because God knows the best. So, I don’t have any regret for anything that happens. All I just have to do is to thank God that I’m still alive and I can still move ahead.
Do you follow or like politics?
Politics? No! No!! No!!! I don’t do politics. I don’t like politics. I’m a good Nigerian citizen and vote when the time comes, but I just cast my vote and go. I don’t do politics. I don’t like politics.
Is painting and 3D a lucrative business?
Well, painting and 3D is a lucrative business and is a good business that I would love to always do. Because, once you have the right channel and the right people to market your services to, you’d definitely make money. Most especially 3D, it’s a very lucrative business.
Would you advise young, unemployed graduates to venture into your line of business?
Painting is good, I can advise young unemployed graduates to venture into it. Because painting is a kind of business that has stood the test of time. Painting is forever. Painting is everywhere. So, it is a business that if you start, you would always make a profit every year. Though it’s seasonal, but you can always be on top of your game.
Can you give out your phone number, for people who would probably want to hire your services or come and learn from you?
Yeah sure! My phone number is always on my banner. 07088783633. That’s my phone number. You can always reach me, Monday to Sunday, anytime. I’m always available. Thank you.