Name: Jacquelyn Esho
Name of Company: Motherland Events
“Africa is the best untold secret.” This is the opening quote that greets you when you enter the website of Motherland Events.
22-year-old Jacquelyn Esho is the creator and founder of Motherland Events. After earning her degree in Interior Design from the University of Arts London, she made the big decision to move back to Nigeria to focus on her startup, Motherland Events.
Motherland Events is a Nigerian Travel and Tourism business, which specialises in the conceptualisation and delivery of vacations to Lagos and various other tourist attractions in Nigeria and Africa
Motherland Events prides itself on creating distinctive and memorable experiences.
Travel and Tourism in Nigeria: Nigeria’s Tourism Industry is Growing
Terser – Can you describe Motherland Events, the idea and concept as if I knew nothing about it or the market?
JACQUELYN – We at Motherland Events specialise in the development of travel and tourism in Nigeria; we focus on the conceptualisation and delivery of exclusive tours to the motherland by creating distinctive and memorable packages that respond to the nature and culture promoting the positives of the nation. The idea is to change people’s perception of Nigeria and Africa as a whole through tourism.
Terser – What influenced you to take the step to move back to Nigeria and how has your journey been so far?
JACQUELYN – I have always loved Nigeria because it is home. After my graduation it became clear that it was time to move back.
I realised that I would have more opportunities in Nigeria than in the UK, especially with the type of company I was trying to run. Moving to Nigeria would also give me the inspiration I needed to start up. So far it has been a scary but exciting journey, but everything comes with a lesson and I have learnt to embrace the good and the bad in Nigeria and to understand that with time things will improve.
Terser – Do you believe that African governments should support tourism activities?
JACQUELYN – I do believe that the government should play a major role in tourism. It is a sector in Nigeria that has huge potential, but is lacking, although I have to give recognition as there are various tourist attractions and states like Tinapa, Calabar which have seen major have seen significant investment to create impressive tourist attractions in Nigeria.
Tourism in Nigeria is not as fast paced or developed as other countries but it is picking up gradually.
Terser – How can Africa use tourism to brand the continent; what potential does the continent posses?
JACQUELYN – Africa to me is the most beautiful continent in the world, and in my opinion we as Africans fail to see the beauty in our countries. This makes it hard to promote Africa because we tend to dwell on the negatives which perpetuates the negative image that Africa has been labelled with.
There are many beautiful and renowned tourist attractions in Africa, untouched sands and beaches, we at motherland events aim to attract people to visit those places, by highlighting and celebrating the positives. The media plays an important role in what people see, so it is important to positively present Africa at all times.
Terser – How is Motherland Events uniquely contributing to that effort?
JACQUELYN – Motherland events creates exclusive entertainment travel packages, which meet the needs of each and every customer.
We often recommend that customers travel in groups as it adds to the whole experience. To support this, we carry out in depth research about every location. This is what enables us to tailor the package to the tastes and needs of each traveller.
Terser – What influence has the business boom in Lagos had on your startup?
Starting a business in Lagos can be very hard, but what I can say is that now is a great time to start.
Nigeria is starting to receive the global recognition it deserves and people all over the world are starting to see the potential business opportunities in Nigeria.
The current optimistic mood is helping me majorly as more people are now interested in travelling to Nigeria and seeing the tourist attractions in Nigeria.
Terser – What are some of the challenges that you have faced and how did you overcome them?
JACQUELYN – Most of the challenges we have encountered have been beneficial and served as lessons, so we take note and learn for the future.
When putting on events it can be difficult to keep to time in Lagos because of the traffic. Because of this we have had occasions when things haven’t quite gone to plan, so have had to be innovative and adaptable to achieve our goals and ensure our events are still successful.
Terser – What impacts or changes do you hope you can create on the continent through your initiatives?
JACQUELYN – I hope to change people’s perception and opinions of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. I aim to promote the good things about my country and continent, and hopefully make a contribution to tourism development in Nigeria.
JACQUELYN – I eventually have plans to organise tours from various other countries.
The London to Lagos Christmas Edition takes place from the 22nd to 29th December 2015. It is a fantastic two Night trip to Calabar for the yearly festive carnival, upon return to Lagos we have a special Christmas dinner taking place in Lekki followed by a secret Santa beach party to end off the week with a festive spirit. Full details are on our website, www.motherlandevents.com.
Terser – How does it feel to be an accomplished young African entrepreneur and what lesions have you learnt so far?
I never thought at 22 I would own my own company, office and have my own staff. I am very proud of myself, I am very determined and love what I do, It feels great to know I am making a difference in my country and all my hard work is not in vain.
So far I have learnt that one of the ways to successfully stay in business is to keep creating, thinking, changing and learning new ideas and concepts this will allow you to stay relevant and competitive in your chosen market.
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