Hi everyone,Meet Stephen Sotonye.He is a 300 level Student of the department of sociology,University of Ibadan. A student entrepreneur that has made waves in almost every corners of the campus.Why? He is a beneficiary of many student awards in the University of Ibadan such as two time winner of his faculty entrepreneur of the year and the likes.He is the CEO of Tonye Photography and currently,Tonye is one of payporte campus ambassadors.Vasiti had an exclusive interview with him and from the depth of his heart,he walked us step by step through his entrepreneurial Journey.Let’s stroll down to feed our eyes as the pictures of his works and his intelligent answers to our interview questions rolls in gentle fashion.
Can We Meet You?
Hello Vasiti. My name is Stephen Sotonye, a 300 level Sociology student from the prestigious University of Ibadan.
What ignited the spark in you to become a photographer?
I’ve always had the flair for taking pictures while growing up and when I got the opportunity to learn photography, I embraced it with both hands and the rest is history.
If you had the chance to start all over again,what would you do differently?
Like I’ll always say in all my interviews that if I were to start my business again, what I’ll do differently is investing in both gaining more knowledge about photography and also investing in photography gadgets/equipments.
Are you an adventurous type of person? What’s the most stimulating experience you have ever had in your Entrepreneurial journey?
Oh yes! I’m a very adventurous person and every part of my entrepreneurial journey has been adventurous for me because I’m more of an events photographer and I get to travel most times to shoot in different locations where I get to know more about the various Nigerian cultures and also meet new people. This is very adventurous for me.I’ve had many stimulating experiences from my entrepreneurial journey but the major one that gets to me is client satisfaction. I love the smiles on the faces of my clients when they are satisfied with your work. This is the best stimulating experience ever because you as an entrepreneur will know and also be assured that you’re doing something right. This also motivates me to do more.
Who do you look up to in the photography industry?
There are lots of people I look up to in the photography industry and they include Kelechi Amadi Obi, Jide Odukoya, Big H, Nonso Amadi, SC George, Illuszionzs Photography, Judalinks Concepts, Olere Photography etc.
Tell me about a time you had to slog your way to get through tons of work from Class and Business.How did you get through it?
I must say juggling around school and work is not easy at all but then I try my best to balance both. There have been scenarios whereby I stabbed classes to shoot events and there have also been scenarios whereby I stabbed shoots for tests/classes but God has been helping me.
In one word,to what do you most attribute success?
What piece of advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs?
Like I’ll always say to young entrepreneurs and my mentees that you need to know the following while starting your entrepreneurial journey. They include:
1) Discover yourself and be consistent in everything you do.It will pay off in due time.
2) Invest quality time, money and resources in yourself and your craft. Learning is a continuous process so be open to learning new things on a daily basis. Also, network with like minded people that are into your field.
3) Rome was not built in a day,so you need to respect process.
4) Finally, enliven your passion.Money will naturally troop in with passion.Client satisfaction is also very important,let your main goal as an entrepreneur be hinged on satisfying your clients.
What do you think of Vasiti?
Vasiti is great platform doing great things and I must really commend the team for all you guys have been doing to help and support budding entrepreneurs. You guys are my kind of people because we somewhat share the same vision. I celebrate every member on the team. You guys rock!!