Singer cum beauty entrepreneur, Annjay Chioma is one success story, and she's currently building her career into becoming a major player in Nollywood. Chioma is one person that understands her onions. She shares with Tosin Clegg her success story, life as a female artiste, her businesses and more
What life as a musician means to me
Life as a musician cum beauty entrepreneur has been quite challenging, I must say. So far, I have produced a lot of songs and still doing more. I'm not going to quit music, I'll keep it flowing because of the passion I have for it. My fans would hear from me soon. I always find a way to strike a balance between my two worlds- music and business. My typical day starts from home, to office then off to different business meetings. Sometimes, I wish 24 hours is not enough for a day, it should be extended to like 30 hours or more.
Inspiration for the things I do
God and myself. My hard work inspires me a lot. Looking back to where I'm coming from inspires me to forge ahead and never be a failure.
Challenges on the job
So far, it's been good and challenging, but thank God for everything. These days, music or modelling can't pay all the bills. That's one of the major reasons I do other businesses on the side. On the business aspect, my major challenge is bad roads, because we do more high demand supplies across the 36 states of Nigeria. Then, dollar exchange rates; custom duties is another big issue the government should look into. I just try not to let them weigh me down. I have a vision and mission that keep me up tight. If it gets so tough, I present it to God on bended knees.
Music career slow but steady
I'm not done with music yet, but I'm taking my time to do things right. I'm not in a rush to release unpleasant songs. My fans should expect more cool sounds and good music from me, so I'm yet to experience that banging turning point. For my business, my turning point would be when my Abuja outlet was opened for business. I derive maximum satisfaction in providing quality products for all fashion lovers home and abroad. That's why I decided to extend my brands and services to my Abuja fans. We are growing daily, so most definitely, the need for more branches would arise. So, we are looking at Port-Harcourt, Asaba and the likes.
Dishonesty and pride doesn't pay
I can't deal with anyone that portrays any bit of these attitudes. Even the Bible says, pride goes before a downfall. I went into the business because I like it and it is part of my profession as a singer and a model. I started this business before I went into journalism, but not as big as it is now. Annjay products are international now. We have our clients all over the world. The truth is that journalism prepared me for everything I am today. So, at a point, I could no longer combine both because my hands were full, I stopped working as a journalist and ventured into full time business. Many people recognised me as a journalist in the industry, but my passion for journalism is still intact if you ask me.
I'm proud to be a Nigerian entertainer
I'm proud to be a Nigerian entertainer. We are going global; from Beyonce featuring our artistes in her album, to other countless international collaboration. Burna Boy just got Grammy nomination. We are getting there. I love the vibe. It is very impressing.
Changes I would like to see in the entertainment sector
It is so sad that majority of Nigerians love wacky songs, but with good beats. They don't care what the musician is singing, as long as it's a danceable beat. So, if you're doing good songs, Nigerians wouldn't look your way, unless you join the trend to sing unpleasant and moral deficient lyrics. However, we need more ever green songs like that of Tuface Idibia, Sound Sultan, Onyeka Onwenu and the likes.
My definition of style and accessing Nigerian designers
Although, I haven't worked with any Nigerian designer before, but that doesn't mean we're not going to work together in the future. I like Lanre Da Silva, Zizi Cardow and Mai Atafo. I have international designers whom I wear their clothes, shoes, bags and perfume and haven't met them personally before.
Items that I treasure most in my wardrobe
My high heels, jeans trousers, wristwatch, and sunglasses. I like skinny dresses, skinny jeans pants and sneakers, shorts and shirt. I always want to look very smart and simple despite being on the slim side. I drink water every morning; eat a lot of fruits to keep my skin radiant and beautiful.
I also exercise regularly to keep fit. I also love listening to cool music and reading some motivational books.
People I admire and role models
For simplicity and humility, I like Shan George, Kate Henshaw a lot. I also love the boldness of Tonto Dikeh, they are not my role models but I just admire them. But my advice to young people would be that you should be you. You have all it takes to excel. Don't be bamboozled by what you see on social media, not all that glitters is gold.