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Anwuli Opene-Awogu: The Many Lessons Business Owners Can Glean from Òlòturé



Many people have probably watched Òlòturé and forgotten about the movie, but watching it again, I can’t help but be in awe of the several lessons business owners can glean from it.

Just like many of us know, Òlòturé is a relatable piece that tells the story of a young and naïve journalist who goes undercover to expose the ugly world of human trafficking. But there’s so much more to learn from Òlòturé. 

Let’s explore 7 lessons that will help business owners and brand professionals get off to a good start.

Documentation is Key

Whether you are running a one-man business or have staff, documenting every process is crucial to your business growth and sustainability. The dream of every business owner is to build a business that outlives them.

We see how Ehi, played by Sharon Ooja, consistently documented all her findings while she was undercover. This eventually made it easier for her colleague to step in, discover what she had been through, and attempt to send help when she was in danger. He was also able to find Sir Philips (the randy big man) played by Patrick Doyle with properly documented information. Document your business process, it will come in particularly useful.

Innovate or Die

No truer words have been said. This was evident in the case of Chuks, played by Ikechukwu Onunaku, and Madam Alero, played by Omoli Oboli. In one of the scenes, Alero told Chuks “you dey here dey form analog parole wen everybody don go full digital.” Be ready to grow with trends, evolve, and remain relevant no matter your line of business.

Brand Promise is Key

Are you one of those brands that promise one thing and fail to meet up to expectations? This movie teaches us that your word is your bond. “15 na 15 no matter what.” In her dealings to deliver young girls, Alero had promised 15 “babes” and it was imperative that she did whatever was necessary to replace the missing girl because it could cost her even her life. As a business owner, when you make a promise to your customers or stakeholders, go the extra mile to deliver. Brand promise is key.

Not Every Risk is Worth Taking

Are you following competition and trends or taking risks blindly? Not everything will work for you or your business. Recall that in this movie, a strict warning was given against the use of phones or any form of communication with the outside world but simply because Ehi was bold enough to break the rules and get away with it, her friend Linda, played by Omowunmi Dada thought she could get away with it too. Alas, she met her end – a death so brutal. Be sure you are taking calculated risks. It worked for them, it might not work for you.

Be Unashamed of Promoting your Business

In other words, “own it with your full chest.” In this movie, we saw how unapologetic and bold the social workers were about their craft. Their offerings were clear: they had the right appearance, attitude, and language to communicate what they were selling. Never ashamed. Some of them even went as far as pitching to potential clients on what they stood to gain if they were patronized. As a business owner, this is the kind of passion and zeal you put into promoting what you do. Let everyone be clear about your offerings. Own it! 

The Importance of Brand Positioning

Who wouldn’t want to be associated with a brand of class and prestige? Ehi is a perfect depiction of a brand well-positioned. Her carriage, charisma, charm, and attention to detail earned her the class of forza speciali, which basically means she had all the right features to be in high demand. How do consumers perceive you?  What steps are you taking to position your brand for high demand? 

Know When to Quit

Starting a business is great but knowing when to draw the line or quit is important. There is more to life than business, brands, or money. Ehi was clear about her why, she was smart and ambitious but the moment she was drugged and raped, one would have expected that she withdrew from the race, protect her sanity, and probably re-strategize, but she was blinded by her quest and we see how that played out. When a business is costing you more harm than good, please quit and live to fight another day. Wish we could say the same for Ehi. 

So which of these lessons is your favorite and why? 

Kudos to the entire cast and crew for such a beautiful project. 

Anwuli Opene-Awogu or "elladgenius" as she is fondly called is a Lawyer turned Marketing & Brand Communications Enthusiast. Currently, she is the head of Marketing at a leading startup in Africa. For fun she enjoys writing, playing lawn tennis and consulting for small businesses.

1 Comment

  1. Marion Idiaru

    March 9, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    Very insightful. I love how the scenes were used to perfectly buttress the lessons. Nice one


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