“Ayo ni t’omOlorun Stanzaaaa” is a line from one of the popular songs of legendary miliki juju king, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi which juju music lovers can easily connect with.
Alot of people are very farmiliar with that line in that Obey’s song and the name, AYO AINA STANZA but they dont know much about the person that bears the name.
In this rare interview, the man behind the brand, AYO STANZA, who is the Managing Director of STANZA EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENTS, and someone that can be said to have seen it all in showbiz, took OSUN CITIZEN’S Executive Editor, Dotun Olanibi through his childhood days, growing up, education, what showbiz is all about, the challenges and many more.
Enjoy reading…
Kindly tell us about yourself; your growing up, family and educational background?
My name is Ayo Aina mostly known as Ayo Stanza, I’m happily married and a father of four. I am the fourth child of six on my mothers side and the fifth of nine on my fathers side.
My late father is from ijebu-odogbolu and my late mother is from Ake Abeokuta, Ogun state.
I was born in the very early sixties raised in Ebute Metta West but brought up in the East.
For my primary education, I went to Agoijaye Methodist Primary School (Apapa Road). I actually went to a few  schools due to continuous relocation before finishing at Government College Ojo (now known as as Lagos State University-LASU).
I then worked for a few years at the Ministry of Communication in Lagos before enrolling myself into the Federal Technical College (Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State). This is where I received my diploma in Art and Interior Design before receiving my diploma in Event and Entertainment Management from the University of Plymouth, UK.

At what point did you relocate to the United Kingdom and why?

I decided to relocate to the UK to further my education and for international exposure.

Let’s talk about artiste promotion, when did you start it?

I have always had an interest in the entertainment business for as long as I remember. However, from the tender age of fifteen (about 40 years ago) is when I started to express my interest in it to my family and friends.

I would rave about it all the time, practically every day, continuously dreaming about organising events, helping people showcase their talent, creating entertainment etc.

My mother worked as an hotelier so this gave me the opportunity to put a few events together especially during the festive period. This began in Ebuta metta before relocating to Festac Town in 1977. Festac Town was so beautiful and had such a loving, warm community vibe that it pushed me even further to want to create entertainment for all the locals. From the 1st avenue to the 7th, practically everyone knew one another and everyone would come together to celebrate, it was always full of positive vibes. It showed me how entertainment can really bring people together.

Between then and now, a lot would have happened, can you say artiste promotion is a good business?

Although promotion is an excellent business to work in, you have to be prepared for everything it  can throw at you and be truly dedicated. Just like any other industry it has its ups and downs. If a promoter is lucky he or she will work with very humble and loyal artistes and if you are extremely lucky you’ll have great support behind you through your partner, family and friends.

What are the challenges you have encountered as an artiste promoter and how have you been able to overcome them?

There are various challenges that you will face as a promoter. An artiste has to be thought of as a product which you as a promoter are always trying to sell. Production, marketing, selling and most importantly profit, are all aspects that you have to think of.
Another issue you have to think about is the demographic you’re appealing to, the geographic area you’re going to try and set up events in and how suitable they will be due to religion, age ranges, lifestyle and the general social class mainly residing there.
Adequate planning must be made, such as if you’re low on budget, instead of not going forward with the event, try and think of other ways to get the funding you need such  as sponsorship.
Also today in this day and age with modern technology and the importance of social media, extra care and attention has to be evident when planning as every mistake will be captured. However, of course there is the upside as your event can spread over social media; instagram, twitter, facebook, Snapchat etc.

Just making sure everything is advertised as much as possible using different forms. As well as the modern ways also using radio, posters, emails, billboards, flyers etc.


Can you tell us some of the notable artistes you’ve worked with over the years?

I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with many talented artistes, majority of them being very well known based in either Nigeria, London or for some, both. I’ve genuinely lost count but I can comfortably say I have worked with nearly all famous Nigerian musicians directly (or indirectly).

Why did you choose artiste promotion as your business?

Everything I’ve ever been interested in career wise has been within the arts, it is such a broad industry that there are many things that can be explored within it. I feel like I was born into entertainment, although I have dabbled in other sectors such as art, design, videography and acting, I’ve connected with promotion the most and it gives me genuine joy to help people achieve their dreams and create entertainment for so many people.

As a Nigerian based abroad who is into artiste promotion, what advice do you have for artistes?

Very simple. Be humble, hardworking and prayerful. Take your time, patience is a virtue so do not jump the gun however, never give up.

If you are destined to be a successful artiste, your hard work will surely pave the way for you. If you can imagine it happening, it can 100% become a reality

What are your hobbies?

Of course music and film. I’m also a big fan of sports- football, boxing, wrestling?you name it!
Another passion of mine is drawing and painting. I’m also very interested in agriculture.

How do you see life?

None of us are going to live forever so just enjoy it while it lasts, live in the moment.

Just do your best and leave the rest.


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