Extraordinary Women: Celebrating Tokunbo ‘Tornado’ Nasamu.

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There are some people you come into contact with and you can tell almost instantly that this person is definitely going places.

They have so much energy and fire in them that’s enough to light up the world.

Everywhere they go they shine, add colour to the place, lift the mood, inspire and they shed a whole new shade of bright on your life’s perspective.

They bring smiles to faces, give hope a new meaning and they add zing to your ting.

Every business venture they take up is embarked upon with enviable zeal.

They get things done.

Their contagious passion for life is real.

They usually go by these qualifiers – ‘The life of the party’, ‘The fire starter,’ ‘The fire brand.’ ‘The hot tamale.’

Do you know such a person?

I do.

Her name is Tokunbo Nasamu.

Tokunbo Nasamu is a tornado of inspiration, love, joy, congeniality, intelligence and fun.

Watch out! Here she comes…

Once she crosses your path, your outlook on life will be disrupted in a positive way.

It’s no surprise that she’s the brain behind emery green. blooms. has life. the new event company that’s taking the world by the storm.

Tokunbo Nasamu is a lady who brings ideas to life for a living.  She is a Creative Conceptualizer, Strategist and an events business manager.

Tokunbo is also a media and marketing communications professional with over ten years of experience in the advertising and media industry.

 

NEKITA:         Who are you?

TOKUNBO:      First and foremost I am a happy person. I am an inspirational firebrand spreading joy and hope across the world against desperation and against all odds.

I am a mother, a wife, a sister, and a friend.

I am a person you want to know.

I am forged by the hand of God and my will is to do him proud.

 

NEKITA:          Describe yourself in two words.

TOKUNBO:      Easy going, lively.

 

NEKITA:           What’s your best quality?

TOKUNBO:       Congeniality. I’m friendly and super down to earth.

 

NEKITA:         What’s your worst quality?

TOKUNBO:      Being a ‘busy bee’. It renders me unable to give enough time to different people who might require my attention, even though I wish I could.

 

NEKITA:      What do you do, and what do you hope to be doing in the next 5 years?

TOKUNBO:          I am currently the CEO of ‘Emory Green’ I am glad to announce that I make people happy for a living. I am an international events/show organiser and planner. Within the next 5 years I hope to have an office in at least 5 countries all over the world and to also expand my services to several other city capitals in the USA. I love to travel and that should be fun…albeit a lot of hard work. I like to look on the bright side of life, so I look at the rewards and the fun part of what I do. That’s how I draw inspiration and keep going.

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NEKITA:         How did your career take off?

TOKUNBO:      I’m going to start at the very beginning which is when I started my career in media and advertising because without my years of broad and varied advertising and media experience I could never have garnered the kind of quality experience I have gained in these two fields. These industries helped me sharpen my skills that were there but innate. I couldn’t have launched an event company of my own otherwise.

I have worked with some of the best hands in the business and I learned a lot from them – for instance, Media Reach and also with – Mr.Tunji Olugbodi of Verdant Zeal.

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I owe a lot to him and the company. At VZ I learnt the importance of how to balance work and play and to never underestimate the value of teamwork, co-operation, and recuperating, relaxing from work with fun, lively activities. Every other Friday we were going somewhere. I really enjoyed working there. I worked there till my visa almost expired.  It was great to work in a vibrant office environment where we all could take a good healthy pause, travel, and then get back unto the intense work band wagon with renewed gusto and zeal.

I learned to create classified brand strategy documents, and to make outstanding world class presentations to big time clients such as Interswitch, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Nigeria, Glo, Vanguard and many other industry giants (amongst other tasks). We were bold and competent enough to take on the heads of the corporate Nigerian world.  It all prepared me for what was to come.

My husband worked and lived in the United states while I was working in Nigeria but of course I knew I would have to just him eventually.

Leaving my well paid work and life in Nigeria wasn’t easy but I knew that it was the best for my husband and I.

In America I learned to adapt to the life quickly enough even though things weren’t easy for us initially.

I decided to get busy and start using my skills and experience to invest in a business that could contribute to the society around me and even my home.

I set up a meeting with an executive at MTN Nigeria and I sold them an idea that I had for an annual event that could boost their company’s CSR activities.

To my utmost joy they bought into the idea and Emory Green was born! So was the first ever MTN Rhythm of love Valentine show that featured in multiple states across Nigeria.

Since then I have managed and executed two MTN Valentine yearly shows and one for PZ’s Olympic milk brand. The show was named ‘Olympic moments.’

Coming back to Atlanta USA I continued with this business and now I execute world class events for Africans, Nigerians, and Americans in Atlanta and beyond.

My next show will be coming up in the awesome South of France by the end of the year. Yes, Emory Green is spreading it’s colourful wings! The upcoming France theme is ‘Cultural fusion ‘ and you had better be there! It’s going to be great. LOL.

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NEKITA:         Was it difficult to take your idea to Atlanta, USA – a country and state which must have been a whole new terrain for you?

TOKUNBO:      It wasn’t difficult at all

“because when you have a flair or gift for something, you just have it and it shows and this obvious flair encourages people to invest time and money in you.”

That said, it wasn’t easy either because I had to force myself to start going out more, interacting, socialising, and even partying! in order to meet more people, sell my business ideas, gain clients and sponsors. My husband, family, friends and the Nigerian/African community around me have also been extremely supportive.

“I had the determination and positivity and that also helps.”

After my first show was successful and lots of people attended, word of mouth spread and an increasing number of people were interested in attending my subsequent events.

Despite all the challenges I faced in planning events God still showed. I always came out tops, successful and unfazed.

 

 

NEKITA:         What’s unique about your concepts and events that separates you from the rest?

TOKUNBO:      I do things differently and I make sure I always bring a touch of ‘unique ‘African-ness’ into my event activities. I make sure my guests are happy, I’m hands on and I make sure there’s never a dull moment… If I divulge any more of my business secrets to you I’ll have to kill you. LOL.

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NEKITA:         What has been your major career milestone?

TOKUNBO:       My major milestone was bagging the MTN job recommendation. That was my breakthrough.

 

NEKITA:          When you started off your media career in Nigeria did it ever occur to you that one day you might own your own concepts and events business?

TOKUNBO:       I have always had a penchant for communication. It’s one of my strongest qualities. I always harboured a secret desire for any business that involved event planning and a lot of physical and social activity. I believe I transitioned smoothly into this line of business. It was destined to happen.

“In one of the offices I worked in I was given the award of ‘Miss congeniality.’ “

So it became increasingly obvious to me that I had this innate gift that I needed to bring to light and shine on the world. You could say that it was my destiny.

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NEKITA:         What word of advice do you have for others who look up to you and would also like to break into the corporate world of creative concepts enterprise, strategy and events?

TOKUNBO:      I want to tell people to believe in themselves and in their ideas. You never know unless you go. Go! Go! Go! Move. Do something. Try. Make an effort. Be bold and don’t be easily discouraged. You never know where your little efforts may take you. Do not be intimidated by big names and big business executives. They are human beings made of flesh and blood like you and I.

Be good to others, don’t be greedy or selfish. Don’t try to steal other’s shine. There is enough room for everybody. Do what you love. Be prepared to work.

 

 

NEKITA:      What has been the most trying obstacle that you’ve overcome in life, and how did you overcome this?

TOKUNBO:          Living apart from my husband was tough. I was in Nigeria for several years after our marriage and he was in America. That was the make or break point of our relationship.

Nevertheless that period strengthened me despite a few bosses and people trying to take advantage of the fact that my husband was not around. I stayed true to myself.

I reverted my focus and all my energy towards my career even more and I thank the good Lord that this dedication focus helped focus me into the person I am today. Every day was a step closer to being together with him – my husband.

 

NEKITA:         Which female inspires you the most?

TOKUNBO:     My mother. I remember growing up, she was a nurse. If someone’s child wasn’t well at night they would bring the kid over even at 2am and she welcomed them all with open arms. She took care of everyone. She was a mum to everyone.

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NEKITA:           How has your mother’s selfless and motherly personality affected you as an individual?

TOKUNBO:       My mother’s personality has been passed down to me in a way. I always want to solve others peoples problem by myself and I feel that if I don’t I might not be able to live it down.

 

NEKITA:          What is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt in life?

TOKUNBO:       Don’t depend on any one for anything.

 

NEKITA:            What has been your biggest accomplishment in life?

TOKUNBO:         I’ve had several major accomplishments in life and I wouldn’t want to exclude any of them – I’d say they are my family – my husband, my kids, my life, my successful business and my very supportive nuclear family.

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NEKITA:         Tell us a bit about the man behind the Extraordinary Woman that you are.

TOKUNBO:      Wow! My darling husband. He is my love, my super man, my hero. He is my backbone. Even when he is silent or absent I can hear him cheering me on. He has been there for me. He is my everything.

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NEKITA:            So how do you juggle a career and taking care of a happy home?

TOKUNBO:        It works out just fine because my husband is quite hands on at home. We both believe in team work. We make it work together. My hubby helps with the home and kids. I also make sure I make time for family time. During my family time I take no calls, I stay home and we enjoy hearty barbecues, watch movies and other cosy family activities

 

NEKITA:      What is unique about you?

TOKUNBO:         Once again, that would be my ‘Congeniality.’ My ability to socialise and make friends.

 

NEKITA:      Tell us a secret about yourself that no other person knows.

TOKUNBO:           I’m afraid of animals.

NEKITA:         Tell us in two sentences what you think of sex, love and marriage.

TOKUNBO:      Marriage is a beautiful thing if you’re with the right person.

A healthy marriage is not about how long you’ve been together, it’s also not about rushing in. Some marriages of 20 years have failed, some have worked and some recent marriages are working out even better.

Personally I feel that marrying some older works better for me…. but that’s just me.

As for love – trust me when I say – There is real love out there. Love is something that can’t be explained. You just have to experience it. Every woman knows deep down inside if she is loved.

About Sex! When you’re cooking and you don’t put in any spice – it’s just bland. That’s exactly what sex is like to a marriage. It’s the spice.

 

NEKITA:      Everyone has a sense of fashion and personal style. What’s yours?

TOKUNBO:         Sass meets class is what I’d like to call it. I’m changeable and can go from one look to the next from day to day. But I like to always remain sassy and classy.

 

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NEKITA:         Which movie has inspired you the most?

TOKUNBO:      War room.

 

NEKITA:         Which popular personality inspires you the most?

TOKUNBO:      “Michelle Obama. every body has their own flaws but she carries herself so well.

 

NEKITA:           So we pulled out this old photo of you and some daring girls back in your office days. Can you tell us a little bit about this photo? Don’t be shy…

IMG_5881TOKUNBO:      Lol. OMG That’s an old photo of me and my home girls (partners in crime)way back at Verdant Zeal where I used to work. I remember it was Valentine’s day and at the office we chose to celebrate Val’s by having a one week colourful countdown to Valentine’s day. This photo was taken on the D – day. The theme was ‘KISS – Keep it short and sexy’ with a touch of red. It was a fantastic day. We had a party at the end of the work day and other agencies came over to join us. We even rolled out a red carpet. Good memories. As I told you earlier – the Vz – Verdant Zeal work environment was quite dynamic, innovative and well balanced. We were all driven and inspired to work hard. Other offices can learn a thing or two from this.

NEKITA:            What’s your life slogan?

TOKKUNBO:      “Every man is an island….but underneath it all we are all a part of island chains.”

“Collaborate. Together we can make things work better.”

Team work is very important in life. We should all be able to help each other and uplift each other.

 

NEKITA:         If you had the power to change the world in one way, what would you do?

TOKUNBO:     “I  would change Nigeria and take it back to its lost glory.”

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