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ORAN Celebrates Advertising Mogul And Patron, Steve Babaeko, As He Marks Another Glorious Birthday

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As Steve Babaeko, an exceptional media guru and brand colossus, CEO/Chief Creative Officer of full service and digital advertising agency, X3M Ideas, and president of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN adds another year, all executives and members of the Online Reporters Association of Nigeria, ORAN, rejoice with him and congratulate him for a very successful year of breaking barriers and upping the ante in the advertising world.

Respected for his uncanny ability to stretch the limits of creative possibilities beyond impossible frontiers, his brand new concept of the way the advertising industry now works is a master-stroke of brilliance which has greatly improved the industry as reflected in more informed consumer choices and uncommon methodology of digital illumination. His overflowing chest of both local and international awards also speak volumes about the content of the digital advertising gurus character.

As it is synonymous with all epics, the patron of ORAN, Steve Babaeko’s life bears testimony to the power of valour and bravery in the face of daunting challenges. According to a story he once told ORAN excos during a visit to his X3M Ideas Lagos office three years ago, Babaeko had gone against all the odds to come down to Lagos without any ties to the city except that the land of his destiny had beckoned and he cloaked himself. With his sheer talent and creative brilliance, within a short period of introducing his special gift to the Lagos advertising world, a legend was born.

In a special feature done on Babaeko in 2021 when the Advertising Mogul turned 50 years old, before building a name that has now become synonymous with Nigeria’s advertising industry, Steve Babaeko, born on June 1, 1971, spent his childhood with his family in Kabba, Kogi State, Owerri in Imo state and Kaduna state.

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Babaeko, which literally means Lagos lord was not his family name. It was the first name given to his grandfather by his great grandfather to honour a Lagos lawyer who won him a significant court case against the monarch of his village. The generation after, including Steve’s father, who served in the Nigerian Army, adopted the name as their last name.

According to him, his parents were not wealthy.

While his late father served in the Nigerian army, his mother was a trader who turned their small room into a beer depot. Steve had tough times growing up as the eldest among his parents’ six children.

“We all lived in a room,” he recalled in an interview with The Sun newspaper, “There was this little curtain dividing the room. So, there was a frontal part where we had chairs, my dad’s table with his stereo system and records, and a few things. Adjacent to the frontal part, we had the iron bed where my parents slept, and under the iron bed, there were mats. So, whenever we wanted to sleep, we would bring out the mats and sleep. It was tough. If you ate once a day, you were lucky. It was really tough growing up.”

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It was in 1981 that he got the first real glimpse of his family’s poverty status.

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“I was only 10 years old when I realised, for the first time in my life, that my family was acutely poor,” he told Forbes in 2019.

This reality helped him through the many rough patches he experienced and fueled his ambition, driving him to make the most of any opportunity.

It also fueled his determination to go to school amidst the adversity he faced from an uncle who believed his education at a government college was too expensive for the family. He asked Steve to drop out and register as an apprentice at a fridge repairer workshop.

But he was confident about proving his uncle wrong.

Despite the adversity, he bagged a degree in Theatre Arts from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Kaduna. After the mandatory national youth service, Steve recognised that for him to bring any of his dreams to fruition, he would have to move far away from home. In 1995, he packed his bag and moved to Lagos, where he would have to squat with a chef at Durban hotel, now Golden Tulip, for two years.

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“The moment I made up my mind that I wanted to be an advertising practitioner, I knew I had to come to Lagos because all the major advertising platforms are in Lagos,” he recalled, “Of course, the biggest fear was, would I even find a job? Lagos is notorious for breaking you if you are unlucky. I was apprehensive because I didnt want to fall on the side; I didnt want to be one of those people that Lagos ends up breaking. For those two years, Steve would stand before a mirror daily motivating himself. For me not to be successful in this town, then the beach must dry up.”

He saw in Lagos, the city where his dream would thrive, and the city enhanced his growth, fame and fortune.

The Advertising Journey

After settling in Lagos, he hunted for a job for two months before eventually landing his first advertising job with MC&A as a copywriter/radio-TV executive. He spent five years on the first job and moved to Prima Garnet Ogilvy, where he spent another five years before he was seconded to 141 Worldwide (now Nitro 121) as Creative Director for seven years.

At Prima Garnet Ogilvy, he met Yetunde Ayeni, one of Nigeria’s leading photographers, who became Mrs Babaeko in 2006 and mother of his three boys.

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What strikes me in him was his energy and friendliness – Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko

She was working for a photo studio at Opebi. She is a photographer and unarguably one of the best. They made a presentation on how they could partner with Prima Garnet.

“I was like this babe is incredibly beautiful, but beyond the beauty when I finally got to know her, I was like this woman is beautiful from the inside as well, and that was it,” Steve said as he recalled how he met Yetunde.

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When he decided to ask Yetunde to marry him, his creative skills came to play again in his romantic life as if he was handling an advertising campaign.

Yetunde grew up in Germany, where her mother came from, and Steve decided to take her to a place in Germany where she had lost a shoe years before they met.

“She had told me a story about a bridge where she lost a shoe. I took her there and said something stupid like this same place where you lost the shoe, I want it to be the same place where you would find a husband,” Steve said.

Photo: Google

For more than two decades, Steve has been actively involved in creating some of Africa’s most iconic advertising and marketing campaigns. Still fresh in memory is the Proudly Nigerian campaign for British American Tobacco, the Now You’re Talking campaign for Etisalat, and You Need A New Bank campaign for Diamond Bank, among many others.

Jenkins Alumona, a marketing communications expert and CEO of Strategic Outcomes Limited (SOL), revealed that what sells Steve easily is his understanding of all the pillars of advertising work.

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“I had no doubt he was going to do very well. He comes across to me as a leader, a natural-born leader.

“From the client service part to the strategy part to the creative part. When one person understands the three, the person stands out,” Alumona said.

The Birth of X3M Ideas

Alumona says when Steve left 141 Worldwide in 2012 to start X3M Ideas, some people wished him well, but many didnt.

“When you are leaving an agency, there would be those who do not wish for you to leave, both superiors and subordinates. Its not unusual.

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“Steve hadnt set out to start his advertising agency. Although he had floated X3M Music in 2008 while he was with 141 Worldwide, and regularly promoted music artistes, X3M Ideas came when Steve clocked 40 in 2011. He started in August 2012 with eight staff, after 17 years of exposure to the ins and outs of advertising.”

“I was only 10 years old when I realised, for the first time in my life, that my family was acutely poor”

“To be honest, it never crossed my mind that I was going to own an agency. It all happened circumstantially at best being unplanned or not dreamt about,” Steve said.

The seed money that started X3M Ideas was the fund Steve had kept to buy himself the latest model of Range Rover Sport when he clocked 40 in 2011, but Yetunde, his wife, convinced him it was not the right decision at that time.

“I told my wife, I know you are not happy with this decision, but I am going to pay tomorrow, and my wife told me something she had never said before. She said, ‘Steve, do you know you are being stupid?’ I was like, what do you mean? She said people who buy N8m worth of cars usually have N80m in their accounts. How much do you have? I guess I was a little upset at what she said, but I came to my senses and realised that she meant well,” he said.

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Yetunde said buying the car would have given him the feeling that he was already there, although he wasnt at the time.

“The car would have been a setback, but it (X3M Ideas) would have still happened, maybe at a later time,” she revealed.

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Between 2012 when he started X3M Ideas, and now, Steve has become one of Africas most admired advertising CEOs.

From the first take, it was obvious he would move from challenger to market leader, Adebisi Idowu, former Vice President, Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria (now 9Mobile), said.

Idowu gave the nod that landed X3M Ideas one of its first most significant accounts, Etisalat Nigeria, when it started in 2012.

“Steve approached me personally and told me he was setting up shop. Incidentally, some fifth columnist had told him that I was the only one between him and the brand transition to his agency,” Idowu said, “The discussion was for five minutes, and he had my full support. I also had the ears of the then CMO, who asked for my opinion that same week before sealing the deal. I had the power of influence, and I’m happy with the decision I made that night. The next day was the beginning of history.”

One of Nigeria’s leading creative photographers, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, said when Steve left 141, he had no doubt he was going to do very well.

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“He comes across to me as a leader, a natural-born leader. Once you attain that leadership tree starting on your own, there’s no brainer in terms of how successful you can become,” Amadi-Obi once told Neusroom.

Seven years after X3M Ideas started, a PwC report in 2019 says Nigerias Advertising industry had grown to become a $450 million industry. At that time, Steves X3M Ideas had cemented its place in the top league of agencies accounting for a large chunk of the revenue.

Expansion and Growth

X3M Ideas, with branches in Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia, holds a big part in Nigeria’s $450 billion advertising industry and in the global creative world.

When the company started in 2012, Etisalat was one of its first and biggest clients. Steve had led the campaign for the launch of the telecom company in 2008 when he was at 141 Worldwide. In 2017, X3M Ideas resigned from the Etisalat account and added Nigerias second-largest telecom company, Globacom to its portfolio.

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Presently, X3M Ideas has Dangote, Multichoice, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO (Peak Milk) among many others in its portfolio.

To understand Steve fully and how he has been able to drive the growth of X3M, one needs to know how he does his work like someone who is going to get fired if he doesn’t do it, despite being the CEO.

To the legion of his fans who are primarily undergraduates and young professionals in the creative industry, Steve Babaeko is the representation of the personality they dream of becoming in the creative world.

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Society Why Sir Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu Remains An Epitome Of Grace At 88

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Born on October 24, 1935, into a humble family, Sir Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu CON, KJW, FISM is the Odole-Oodua, Balogun of Remoland and the founder of Premier Lotto, the company many now know as Baba Ijebu.

But this is not the most interesting thing about the man whose gaming company offers lotto services and betting in Nigeria and has become Nigeria’s most popular and oldest gaming company since it was registered in 2001.

Baba Ijebu as a name has become synonymous with betting in Nigeria, and like homonyms, Chief Kessington Adebutu’s moniker has many other meanings. To the millions of Nigerians who have benefitted from his generosity and goodness of heart, Adebutu is the man of courage who meets people at the point of their need without prejudice.

Long before philanthropy and humanitarian acts became ‘sexy’ and the PR go-to for every average millionaire, the revered industrialist and astute businessman had begun to cater for the less privileged, while also supporting indigent students and hospital patients who had no means to help themselves. He did this all through his Kessington Adebukola Adebutu Foundation.

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Today, by whatever yardstick you choose to measure, Baba Ijebu numbers among Nigeria’s leading philanthropists whose benevolence has spanned over decades. His path to philanthropy can be traced back to his days as a young student thirsty for knowledge.

From Ijero Baptist School, Apapa Road, Ebute-Meta in Lagos where he had his primary education, he was admitted into Baptist Academy, Lagos, for his secondary education in 1951. He eventually completed his secondary education at Remo Secondary School (ESS), Sagamu, Ogun state in 1955, topping his class in the School Leaving Certificate Examination.

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His brilliant educational background, no doubt, is a precursor to his love for education, and can be proven by his countless philanthropic gestures to scores of educational institutions and citadels of learnings across the country.
His principle that an educated and healthy soul can never be hungry was the drive behind the establishment of the foundation and he has maintained that drive since.

According to calculatable statistics, his charity foundation spends an average of N150 million monthly on humanitarian activities, and through this, his business continues to touch lives against odds.

As a true philanthropist, Sir Kessington Adebutu does not discriminate in his charitable deeds. He is kind-hearted, socially responsible and continually uses his wealth for human capital development.

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This generosity and enviable works earned him titles like ‘Babalaje of Lagos’, and the ‘Asoju Oba of Lagos’.
In October 2015, Chief Kessington Adebutu was decorated with a honorary title of Doctor of Business Administration by the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), for his invaluable contribution to the nation’s economy.

At 88, Baba Ijebu has shown no signs of stopping or resting on past laurels. This is probably why successive governments are constantly seeking his good graces in recognition of his matchless support to the populace.

Sir Kessigngton Adebutu is also the epitome of grace, he is the model of a man who has achieved excellence through the sweat of his brow. He has been named great because of his defiance against all forms of evil, staying true to his vision to offer assistance to every needy person he can, even in the midst of despair and harsh economic realities.

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Not one to surrender, it is no wonder that at this 88th birthday, people of influence all over the world have chosen to celebrate him massively.
Fear they say makes a man stingy, but courageous is the one who gives and keeps on giving despite the odds. Baba Ijebu has stood for decades as a symbol of the true spirit of the Ijebus of Ogun State, and it is the hope of many that his legacy lives on forever.

Source: societyreporters.com

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Woman who slept with 300 men in one year loses ‘corporate’ job

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A 26-year-old Australian woman, Annie Knight, has reportedly lost her corporate job after her work discovered her secret OnlyFans account.

According to DailyMail, she shared her experience on SBS’ Insight on Tuesday, saying she was shocked she was dismissed from a corporate role.

Knight, who claims to be in the top 0.4 per cent of creators on OnlyFans, said she did have apprehensions when she first ventured into the platform but didn’t think she would lose her job.

“Yes, that was definitely my number one concern when I first started my account. And the last thing I wanted to do was to get fired if someone found my OnlyFans,” she shared.

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Unfortunately for Knight, these fears materialised a few years down the line.

“I had just started a new job. I was on day five, and I actually went home sick that day, and I received an email saying termination of contract,” she explained.

The email contained screenshots from her OnlyFans account, along with three reasons for her dismissal.

The reasons cited included allegations she falsely claimed having a side business, did not seek the company’s permission to run this side venture and shared ‘online pornographic images’ of herself with ‘crude language’.

The company said they deemed it unacceptable.

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Asked if she contested this decision, Knight responded, ‘I did, only because by day five I hated the job so much that I wasn’t going to fight the ruling. But I was definitely very upset and very angry at the decision.’

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The former marketing manager started her OnlyFans in September 2020, in a bid to save money to buy a house but had never expected it to become so lucrative so quickly.

Within a month Annabelle made thousands, and continued to use it for the next 18 months as a side project to her full-time job, averaging $1,794-a-month.

She now makes around $969 a day sharing saucy photos of herself online.

“I am pleased to [have been fired] an extent, I’m a lot happier now and have a lot more freedom,’ Annabelle told Jam Press.

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“I’m earning a considerable amount more now than I was at the other job.’

Earlier this year, Annie appeared on The Kyle and Jackie O Show to discuss her X-rated antics, and boasted of sleeping with 300 men and women in the span of a single year.

“I’m down to try anything,’ she said, confirming she does ‘pretty much everything’ on her OnlyFans account.

Annie confessed to bedding five different people in one day, explaining she finds men on dating apps and also has a roster of ‘regulars’ she romps with.

“I feel empowered afterwards,’ she said. ‘Sex makes me feel good. It’s meant to make you feel good.”

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The beauty went on to tell a story about sleeping with an incredibly well-endowed man ‘who was quite girthy’.

Taking things even further, Annie boasted about having sex ‘under a restaurant table’ while out on a date.

‘We’d finished dinner and were up to dessert,’ she said cheekily.

She also said sometimes when she’s out in public she ‘can’t wait’ to have sex and will have to drag a lover to the bathroom to take care of things.

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‘Late Alaafin’s Estranged Wife Flirts’ With Portable Amidst Dating Rumours

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Queen Damilola, the estranged wife of the late Alaafin of Oyo, has fuelled more dating talks with Nigerian singer, Portable.

media reports that this comes amidst rumours that Dami, who was banned from returning to the palace after the death of Oba Adeyemi, is in a romantic relationship with the ‘Zazoo’ crooner.

Although the duo have been silent about the speculations but a check on their Instagram pages shows how they both expressed love to each other at different times in the comment section.

Portable and the Alaafin’s ‘runaway wife’ also referred to each other as king and queen alongside a series of love emojis.

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