People, Parties & Places

Nigerian celebrities who turned their hobbies and skills into money-making ventures

Written by Ade

More people are turning their pastimes and hobbies into more pleasurable ventures as well as making money from these pastimes and fun activities

Ade Ishola

 To many people, hobbies are pastimes they engage in to make them unwind and pass the time away from their main work or occupations.  These are activities you engage in your spare time just to unwind or have fun with.

However, in some cases because of the skills or time being devoted to these hobbies they might grow big to occupy more time as well as fetch in more income to individuals.

Many people all over the world, especially in Nigeria are now making their hobbies their main occupations and making good incomes from them to pay the bills.

These are some of these Nigerian celebrities that are smiling to the bank from income made from other things they didn’t learn in school or from their main professional callings.

  • Kelechi Amadi-Obi: Law And The Arts

 He achieved fame more as a photographer cum painter although he trained as a Legal Practitioner. Kelechi Amadi-Obi is an award-winning photographer, who has made much money and fame from his works of Arts with his beautiful creative photographs of personal, fashion, location, and brand objects and events.

Kelechi’s passion for Creative Arts, which started as a creative pastime, got more attraction from him when he started earning money as a Law undergraduate from his drawings and portraits.

Even though he was a qualified Lawyer, Kelecki has in the past few decades lived more on his earnings from his painting and photography ventures. And he is proud of this transformation because he feels he is having fun and satisfying the reason for his being.

“The process of creating the work or making the craft is my joy, so whether people were paying me or not, I was engaged in an activity that I thoroughly enjoyed. Hardship is not a deterrent because the job itself has its own satisfaction. I am encouraged because the work I am doing impresses even me,” he said in an interview.

Kelechi, who is a Publisher of a style magazine, is highly sought-after for celebrity photoshoots and portraits as well as corporate brand photoshoots and events. Some of his works have been featured in exhibitions within and outside Nigeria in the US, UK, Germany, and Belgium.

Kelechi Amadi-Obi (courtesy The Guardian)
  • Sidney Onoriode Esiri (Dr Sid): Dentistry, Music and e-games

The son of van acclaimed advertising practitioner and actor, Sidney drew fame as a musician. Better known as Dr Sid, he is an award-winning singer and songwriter, who just practised his trained profession: Dentistry, just for a few years after graduation.

He has made name and money from his passion and musical skills for the past twenty years –first as an undergraduate and then as a graduate dentist, paying music.

During his undergraduate days at the University of Ibadan, studying Dentistry and Dental Surgery, he was actively involved in entertainment taking part in competitions and concerts. He was a choreographer and a backup dancer for the Trybesmen while in school.

Upon graduation, he had a brief stint in the UK working with Nigerian musicians before doing his Houseman ship and NYSC

Dr Sid quit practising as a dentist after just three years of practice and concentrated fully on his music career. He went on to produce hits and win awards as a singer.

He has also featured in some Nollywood productions as an actor.

About two years ago, he made a dramatic turn when he announced that he intends to make a large percentage of his income from E-Sport and games. He said this decision was borne from his passion for E-Sport and games.

“I believe whatever you do, you must be passionate about it if not, it is going to feel like work. I am passionate about gaming so I say fine, E-Sport doesn’t exist in Nigeria, let’s build an ecosystem, meet up with stakeholders in the industry, we came together, formed an association, E-Sport Nigeria.

“I’m the Vice President, I have an E-Sport team and an E-Sport company called ‘Citizen Gaming’. I’ve signed 30 players across the world playing different games. The infrastructure (cheaper data and better network service) doesn’t exist, but we going to push on and create a viable ecosystem.

“We are going to create a value proposition for people to come to invest in E-Sport and Gaming, that’s what I’m doing right now,” he said in an interview.

Dr Sid
  • Princess Olufunmi Adepiti: Law and Catering

She trained in the university to be a Lawyer. And she graduated and was called to the Nigerian Bar. But today, Funmi Adepiti, is gradually making a name for herself as the CEO of Tasty Corridors, the business that sells the tasty Ewa Aganyin online.

The young lady is finding fulfilment in catering, far from her trained profession. The idea for this business started when she was much younger and lived with Togolese, who were known for their local delicacy, Ewa Aganyin, as neighbours, and her learning to make the delicacy.

After a futile search for work after NYSC, she started Tasty Corridor to satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians that long for well-prepared local delicacies.

She started on Instagram using her page and an influencer to promote her brand and her Ewa-aganyin, which are well packed in a box and sealed with films to ensure that they were spill-proof.

 Now, she is a Level II UK Certified Food Safety Handler with in-depth knowledge of the technical know-how in food processing and handling and deep knowledge of social media marketing.

“When I started my business on Instagram, I was clueless on how things work on Instagram, how to project my brand, how to create content that aligns with the values of my customers, and how to target my customers. I had to undergo webinars and training. I paid for product photography training so that I can take pictures with props and proper lighting just to present my food in a better light,” she said in an interview.

Funmi Adepeti (courtesy Tasty Corridors)
  • Adeyinka Osobu, Merchandising and furniture

Yinka Osobu, the CEO of CMC Interiors, has come a long way from the young Nigerian who started out in trading, after returning to Nigeria from in the United States after a sojourn of about 25 years working and schooling.

She started CMC Interiors as adjourn of her Chicago Merchandising Company, more as a hobby and her love for interior design. But years later, the company is now a leading manufacturer of home, hotel and office furniture in West Africa.

With a factory in Arepo, Ogun State and a branch at Lekki to showcase the amazing creations of CMC Interiors, Yinka, who had a Master of Science (MSc) in Social Work from Loyola University, Chicago, USA has shown that a hobby can be grown into a profitable and sustained business.

 “I turned a hobby into a small business and looking back I think it was the positive reinforcement from family, friends and customers that sort of encouraged me. My production was meeting my basic financial needs. Finally, the jobs kept rolling in. With the above 3 things, I decided to apply myself and decided I will take all necessary steps to be good at what I was doing. I then adopted the motto that if it wasn’t good enough for me it wasn’t good for anyone,” Osobu said of the journey of CMC Interiors.

Yinka OIsobu (the profiles

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