JOSEPHINE ATABOH EMMANUEL Event Complex Boss
When you talk about beauty and brain, the name Mrs. Josephine Ataboh easily comes to mind. Mrs Ataboh, who is into Real Estate and a former Senior Manager of Unilever Nigeria Plc is the Managing Director of Emmanuel Event Complex Limited (EECL).
The Emmanuel Event Complex, a top notch event centre in Lagos State which is strategically positioned at No 8, Balogun Road, Iju Ishaga is a large multipurpose conference; banquet and exhibition centre with a maximum floor space. It is often considered the event venue choice of affluent individuals, especially by those living in that area.
With state of the art facility and equipment, as the facility provides sufficient space to fit many exhibition stands, one is sure to have a wonderful time.
The Centre has facilities for various events such as weddings, conferences, seminars, concerts, training, product launches and all types of events. The Hall is also fully equipped with kitchenette, conference room, standby generators, tight security and ample parking space.. The colour scheme and style of the hall affords the event decorator the freedom to transform the venue however they please.
The Emmanuel Complex is also fully air-conditioned, its charm and ability to impress its audience make this centre one of the best in Lagos.
It is a great centre for national events from private meetings to press conferences and conventions. With skilled and highly dedicated team, adequate banquet tables and chairs, it has the capacity to please its audience and make them feel at home.
In an exclusive interview with TESSY MOORE, this hard working woman of substance , talked about her career, life, why she delved into hospitality sector and what makes Emmanuel Event Centre unique from every other event centers.
What actually motivated you to start an event center in Lagos?
I have had passion for this kind of business over the years. I guess it is linked to the fact that I love to host people and watch them enjoy my hospitality even in the house. So it came naturally when I left paid employment. Lagos is the ‘owambe’ capital of the world I dare say so I believe it was a perfect location to set this kind of business.
Why the name Emmanuel event concept limited?
I Would say it was Divine. I had 2 options in mind; Dominion and Emmanuel where the 2 names that came to my mind. But Dominion was already taken; Emmanuel was the next natural choice. It later dawned on me that my only son also bears Emmanuel.
What facilities do you have to make it a great event centre?
We have 350 capacity banquet sitting, 400 capacity theatres sitting, fully air conditioned, uninterrupted power supply and well furnished changing room and safe parking, amongst many others.
How long has your event centre been in existence and how expensive are your services?
We started two years ago which is still a thing of surprise to many because many people troop in here to hold their events. And we are very affordable in fact; ours is one of the most affordable when compared to our quality of services
What type of services do you render to your customers?
We are really into a lot of things. We are into hall rentals, catering, decorations, cakes, small chops, video coverage, drinks supply and chilling. We provide our customers with DJ and Live band; we do bridal hair and makeup. We host your Church programmes, weddings, AGMs, birthdays, anniversaries, seminars and workshops in fact, any occasion that makes people come together is our joy.
What are the challenges of running an event centre as big as yours?
The major challenge is power supply. With a business as big as ours and the kind of industry we belong to, constant electricity supply is needed. But thank God we have standard stand-by generators that can carry all our equipment making every event seamless and smooth without interruption. We are hoping to see a positive change of electric power in this new dispensation.
In what way would you say that your early background influenced the person that you are today?
I was raised by strict parents both of which were head teachers before retirement. So discipline was in sufficient supply. It was also a loving atmosphere with so many siblings to play with and learn from. 9 of us from same parents! : Both parents actually had very strong influence on me. My mother was very religious and made sure she instilled same into me and my siblings. My father loved academics and ensured he did everything to give all his 9 children university education.
I was a very unique child. Not very friendly in my young age but because I was a beautiful girl many people were fond of me. My mum and siblings always had to appeal to me ahead of time to smile at my ‘admirers’. But as I grew older I became friendlier and made quite some very good friends along the journey. I was very good in English language and won several prizes through my primary and secondary school days.
Your educational background?
I had my elementary education in Ubiaja and secondary school in Agbor, both in the then Bendel State. I got a BSc in Microbiology from University of Benin. Did my youth service in Port Harcourt. I have an MBA from Lagos state university and a post graduate certificate in Packaging Technology from Loughborough University, United Kingdom. I have attended quite a number of management and professional trainings locally and internationally.
How did you get to join Unilever?
Unilever was a place I always dreamt to work in, even while in school because of their numerous lovely household products. It was by sheer luck and providence that the dream eventually came true many years later. I was there for about 18years and left as a senior manager.
I really have fond memories of Uniliver because it was the only place I worked and I had quite a successful career with lots of local and international trainings and exposure.
Aside managing the event center, what else do you do?
I am also into Real Estate. I deal in properties. I am also into mentoring of young females with the ambition to see them grow into Leaders in their chosen fields.
What makes Emmanuel event complex unique from every other event centers?
Wow! Emmanuel event complex gives your event elegant and professional edge. It is equipped to host a wide range of events, from small meetings to large ones. H
ere, we ensure that your event goes off without a hitch and can accommodate many guests in elegant style. First and foremost as you would have noticed our facility is a very well designed *building* with all the accompanying comforts. we take our housekeeping so serious that even just after an event, within a maximum of 3 hours the place is clean enough for another event. I have driven past some venues day after event and see the whole place littered. you can’t have that in here. Also, I have this personal touch with all my clients. the fact that they have direct dealing with the owner of the business gives them that Confidence that they are getting the best deal for their money. These are just a few reasons why eecl should always be your first choice selecting your venue for that great event of yours.
Tell us about your family
I am a proud and happy mother of four young adults aged between 18 and 24. m a proud and happy mother of four young adults aged between 18 and 24. To the glory of God my two older daughters are already working while my ‘babies’ a set of twins are still in the university. We are a close knit family who believes so much in God’s faithfulness and put Him first in all we do.[Laughs]
How have you been coping over the years as a career woman and handling the home front?
I try to balance both worlds to ensure none suffers neglect. It is easier now that I am self employed. When I was in paid employment I always needed extra help from nannies and maids because the children were much younger but now we are all adults.
Now that you are a business woman, which would you say is best for young married women, is it to work for them or to pursue careers in white collar jobs?
I would just say they should follow their hearts. I believe that the first thing one must possess in deciding a career/business is passion. Once you are passionate about something, you are more able to weather the storm when things don’t immediately start yielding the desired results. But one thing is not negotiable. No woman should be idle. Every woman must have a means of livelihood irrespective of how wealthy her husband is.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
Generally seeing good results really boosts my energy. With regards to the business, I get very thrilled whenever I see the satisfaction on the faces of my clients after successfully hosting them. I have built a personal relationship with a number of them and I feel really good about this.
Are you a member of any social club and any chieftaincy title?
None for now because I needed to focus on building my business over the last year or two. But in the near future I will be open to join any group that gives me that platform to give back to the society.
You look very comfortable and robust, so when you pray, do you still pray for money?
Prayer is something we should never joke with without God what you think you have today can disappear in a jiffy. So, yes I pray for more money, business, family and everything else that can make life good for everyone.
What advice will you give to a woman about how to take care of her husband and marriage?
My advice to every woman is that she must first love herself. There is a saying in Law that you cannot give what you don’t have. If you love yourself then it is easier to love others. If you love yourself you will know what you should not allow yourself to be subjected to. Also, do not try to be a super woman. Take advantage of the support system which family and friends provide. Husband and wife should take care of each other as I do not believe it should be one sided.