Mr Isaac Utere is one man I respect so much having known him for almost a decade. He’s a man of many colors and the part I love most about him is how he’s been a father to almost every child that comes in contact with him.
In my Naira Diary Session with him today, we talk about parenting, what it means to be the most valuable granddaddy, Entertainment Advancement Awards, family, his music project, plans for 2021 and more.
Good day Mr Isaac Utere. Let’s get to know you first. So, who is Mr Isaac Utere?
Mr Isaac Utere is a man, he’s a father, and like I always add, he’s a grandfather.
Mr Isaac Utere is married with six children and one grandson. He is the foremost creative person. I can go on and on, it does not stop.
What business are you into and what value do you bring?
I’m a creative person. I started as a signage person, making signages. In those days we used to call it commercial art, a long time ago. But I have been able to evolve with time. Where I am right now, I am known as someone who is a stage designer, I am known as a printer, a painter and I have allowed my creative power to spread. I use my creativity to express myself and I make money from it.
How did you discover your talent?
I think I’m just a blessed person. Because from a very young age I knew what I was doing and I didn’t spend time trying to be something else. I spent a lot of time with different masters as an apprentice from graphics design to photography to videography, lithography and other aspects of graphics expression.
Right from when I was young, I knew I was an artist. We used to call ourselves artists. And i was wise enough to identify those who were better than me and served under them.
How did you learn the skills and business?
Like i said, I spent a lot of time with masters. But I’m a self-taught person and what I learned from them is not what I’m practising now. I taught myself stage design and construction, I taught myself furniture making and I have delved more into woodwork.
I could just see something and I feel like I can do it, I will try it manually then get the tools and equipment, practice and get it done. You can see my workshops. I get the tools and practice it. Sometimes I check YouTube.
I make a lot of mistakes while learning and you can see the injury in my hand right now.
What is responsible for your success so far?
Fear. Fear of poverty, fear of being given a bad name. I fear to be accused wrongly. I don’t eat people’s money, I just deliver my job.I don’t want anything that will bring negativity to me.
I come from a limited background in terms of money and education and I fear going back there. That makes me work hard.
They call you the Most Valuable Grand Daddy( MVGD). How did the name come about and what does it mean to be the most valuable granddaddy?
I gave myself that name to inspire other parents. My sons are fantastic creative people. They are handsome and they are hardworking.
I have seen the disconnection between children and parents. A lot of parents do not understand their children especially what they want to do, so they force children to do things for their glory forgetting that anyone can be successful in anything.
Anything a child wants to do is good as long as it’s not negative.
“I believe that children are more creative, more powerful, they are more knowledgeable and they are everything we wanted to be”.
I have never had issues with my children. Any child that comes around me must succeed. So I branded myself the Most Valuable Grand Daddy.
I’m sure most people who know you but can’t have a conversation with you would be wondering how you trained all your children to be creatively unique and independent right from teenage age. And now you have one of the most talented families in Nigeria. How did you achieve this?
I want to correct one thing. You don’t train children, God has already trained them. Just allow them to express what God has put in them while you guide and support them.
The problem is that we don’t allow children to express what God has put in them.
You can see my son Edie Isaac playing all the musical instruments as a jazz artist. When did I teach him all of that?
My son LeriQ has become a top music producer in the world. I did not teach him anything like that.
I have a Son who is using social media very well. His name is Newton. He’s been on TV doing adverts for brands like Lipton. I only gave him support.
My third son Rave who won Maltina Dance All in 2007 and made us have our first 10 million. When did I teach him how to dance?
Whatever a child wants to do, you give him the right environment, support him and help him.
Whether your child wants to be a carpenter, vulcanizer, lawyer, dancer, they are all good, but what support are you giving them?
You see these children playing beautiful football, when did the parents train them?
“You don’t train children, God has already trained them. Just allow them to express what God has put in them while you guide and support them”.
Parents should allow their children to express themselves. They shouldn’t let children fear them. They should not make their children hide what they want to do. Even if you don’t understand what they are doing just support them and give them time.
Take my son Newton for example. He was pressing phone every day and I didn’t understand what he was doing but today look at where it has taken him to. That time he will say “Daddy my phone is bad, Daddy I need data”. I will provide data for him. Today, He’s doing well, he sends me money and I’m grateful.
Wow! This a parental class especially for us intending parents.
What advice do you have for parents and intending parents with regards to training their kids and supporting their career or business?
Most times the road is not always clear but because you people are communicating well, you will figure it out as you journey together.
How is your typical day like?
My day is packed. And I’m not working, I’m expressing myself, I’m having fun. I work from daybreak to daybreak even when I’m sleeping, I’m working.Yesterday I was recording a song, I’m releasing it soon.
There is enough time to do things but we spend so much of our time doing things to impress people without doing things we need to do.
we spend so much time in church, imagine all the hours we spend in church, imagine the time we spend attending events everyday.
What challenges did you face when you were starting and how did you overcome them?
I used to think that not going to school was a challenge but I was wrong. It was a blessing. If I went to school I would have been under a lecturer who would teach me the small thing he knows and I wouldn’t know what I know and do today.
I don’t see challenge. What we see as challenges are not challenges, they are shapers.
What motivates you?
I know so much and I want to share with a lot of people. So the urge to help people motivates me. God motivates me.
Let’s talk about the Entertainment Advancement Awards
For years I have wanted to do this but maybe it wasn’t the right time but I think now is the right time.
There a lot of people who have come and gone and nobody is celebrating them. So I thought we need to create a platform to honour ourselves.
After you have gotten everything in life the next thing you want is an honour.
How can the public or anyone reading this right now be a part of the awards?
First of all, come to my office. You can reach me online. Last week we had a volunteers meeting and we need more. We will also need the public to nominate and vote people for the awards.
When is the awards?
We are looking at March ending but I might do it in April.
What should people expect from the award?
When you hear that Mr Isaac Utere is doing a show you should know it’s going to be the biggest.
We are giving 100 awards and it’s going to be the biggest.We are going to do the biggest red carpet, the biggest stage and the best performances possible.
I want the loudest news that Nigerians have ever heard about an award. If we don’t do big things here, what is done outside will swallow us, so we are making it the loudest.
Expect nothing but the best.
You have been part of the success stories of some successful creatives from this part of the world. I could remember how you gave youngsters like Dandizzy and Kolaboy platforms and consciously promote them.
I remember a rap competition at Airforce Garden, Port Harcourt some years ago and how you gave lots of young people a platform to express themselves.
Today, they are among the biggest artists from the South-South/ Southeast.
How do you feel seeing them top charts and shut down shows?
Yea, I’m glad you remember that. That was king Of The Mic. In my house, my children bring their friends to the house starting with LeriQ who had his friends like M Kaze, Burna Boy, Maxi, Soti. Edie Isaac has his own set of friends too. When they come around, you are their father. When they see how open you are with your children, they just key in. And I’m committed to developing young people.
You see what I did for Dandizzy during his WAVE concert, only a father could have done that.
Right now I’m focusing more on developing the girl child. I have four girls who are learning from me and they are doing great. After the awards, some of the volunteers will be retained and trained to be self employed.
Your first son, LeriQ, is obviously one of the biggest music producers in the world at the moment. He singlehandedly produced Burna Boy’s first album and also produced some of the best songs on his Grammy-nominated albums. He’s also done amazing production for artists all around the world.
How do you react to his success stories and how does it make you feel?
I feel very happy. It helps me to remain young and happy because I don’t have problems.
My children sponsor most of my events and send me money. I feel very happy.
How can potential clients contact you for business?
I’m very open. You can reach out to me online or visit my office.
Share your social media handle?
Follow me on social media @Isaac Utere
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