Why a 70 Yrs. old man repairs my antique Peugeot 504 Car—MUDI Africa boss + Opens antique Cars & office for Asabeafrika

Celebrity Blogger Gbenga Dan Asabe with Fashion Icon, Mudiaga Enajemo of MUDI Africa inside his antique 504 L Car

It started with a street encounter on
the famous MUDI Lane, Anthony Village-Lagos; South West Nigeria one sunny Friday
afternoon. A moderate street named after no one else but one of Nigeria’s most influential
tailor landlord in the area, Mudiaga
Clement Enajemo
who already spent two decades-plus in the neighborhood,
sowing cloths for the high and mighty.

MUDI’s Mudiaga Enajemo with his 1957 Model Benz Antique Car from France

The street encounter in front of his
aesthetically blessed structure (MUDI PLACE) later metamorphosed into an
appointment schedule with the slimmed built and smart fashion icon. For real,
this Delta state, South-South Nigeria born fashion guru is simple, humble and
very understanding. When we told him that the interest of our interview was
majorly  his two classic (antique) cars;
one a
1957 edition old school model Mercedes Benz car and the other a 1972 edition  of 504
L Model
car which he drives around Lagos on rare occasions, he didn’t turn
down our request. Instead he gave us a four-days-later appointment.  The appointment which was marked for 5:30pm
was almost taking place by 6pm when MUDI sent in words to our team that the
interview couldn’t hold again as he was having a traffic filled schedule with
some of his high net-worth clients who visited his show-room for new bookings.
The encounter was promptly shifted to the next day, 8am.

MUDI & The GDA

We made it there at
the appropriate time and the first man to welcome us into his ambience was the
fashion icon himself who was already on duty as early as 7am. By 8:30am when
the interview session started, it was almost like a rehearsed stanza from a
special Christmas hymn. The man surely has many chapters, verses and pages that
you will find very irresistible. All the facts about the personality and myth
of the man behind MUDI is what your Africa’s Number one Celebrity encounter
blog, Asabefarika got for you in one
of our most exclusive encounters with an African icon. This is the first part
but, enjoy the excerpts.

Killing a moody day with MUDI on a
Lemon colored Grand Piano

MUDI on his Lemon colored Italian made Grand Piano


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 Starting a day with Mudiaga Enajemo, CEO MUDI Africa
might mean having couple of minutes with him on his Italian model lemon colored Grand
Piano
which is the same color with his 504 L Model antique car. Seems the
fashion entrepreneur has a freak for the color lemon. So, what is so special
about the piano? Asabeafrika asked the MUDI Africa boss who adorned a strip
colored T-shirt and black trouser at the time of the encounter 

MUDI & the GDA shares a joke by the Piano bar

“I
wanted to do something
different from
the regular”
he began. He continued “I
ordered for it (Grand Piano) from Italy and I find it interesting anytime I run
my fingers on the buttons and reel out tunes. It is fun being at this corner of
my place once in a while to have fun with my grand piano”
.  Why the color Lemon Green? Asabeafrika
prodded, “I chose this color for a
change. I decided to order for this particular color to spice up my environment
because all I have here is black, grey and white. The lemon green is just to
spice up the feel of what you see”.

Music, MUDI & Fashion…

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’Music is life’

 The next question from Asabeafrika is straight “What does MUDI think fashion has in common with Music?” He looked at
his grand piano and gave his reply to our question “There is a lot; as an artist who sings, you must dress well.

Three of MUDI’s Best 5

So, it
interconnects. On the other side of the divide, you must also listen to music.
As an artist and designer you must listen to quality music”
. “I get inspired when I listen to music. So,
it is an inter-related aspect of arts. In music, you get inspiration, in
dressing well you are equally inspired. So, we can say music is connected to
fashion in so many ways because both complement each other”.

Two of MUDI’s best 5

And what brand
of music attracts MUDI’s attention? We asked further and this is what he said “I listen to only pure African music. Rooted
music; traditional music”.

The 5 Music Legends of MUDI’s heart…

Men who captured MUDI’s heart with their music

MUDI discussing Music with the GDA
At a
strategic part of his tastefully furnished Anthony
Village
, Lagos office, your eyes
will catch the crafted pictures of 5 African music legends namely; Bob
Marley,
Salif Kaita,
 Fela
Anikulapo-Kuti
, Yossou Ndou and Chief Osita Osadebey the
Igbo (Eastern Nigeria) Highlife maestro. What do these five music legends mean
to MUDI?  He started with Bob
Marley
“Yeah, Bob Marley to me was a great guy and I
think he died a bit too early. Very short time he lived on earth but his impact
on art and humanity was so great”
.

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’Salif Kaita is not just a great man but he is my friend’

He moved to Salif Kaita Salif
Kaita
is a great man and above all, he is a great friend of mine. He came
to Nigeria to specially visit me two years ago and it was a private visit. So,
we share a bond”
.  His next one is Fela
Anikulapo-Kuti
 Fela
Anikulapo
like we all know is the legend of all times. His music is still
very much around with us. His lyrics are prophetically connected with our
present realities. We live our realities to remember him everyday”

MUDI to Asabeafrika…’Fela’s music still lives with us in reality’


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 On Yossou Ndour, MUDI says “Yossou
Ndour
is a great guy, he is the guy from the far west and his recent
elevation from local music to the continental board is a good development for
Africa. I am proud of him as well” Late Osita Osadebey is the next in line “Late Osadebey
was a great man. His highlife is very distinct from many others. So, he and the
rest are the people I hear their works and I get inspired. They have influenced
my life in so many ways”
. We asked the MUDI Africa boss to name his number
1 among the 5 “Greats” and the enthusiasm that followed was quite awesome as he
spoke further “Oh, Salif Kaita”; he followed up with more enthusiasm “His music is harmonious, his music is very
spiritual. His music inspires. That is the bottom line, inspiration”.
What music means to MUDI…

For MUDI….’Life would have been boring without music’

 

As if the
question poked his heart, the MUDI brand boss took a quite stance before he
told this blog what music meant to him as an individual “Music to me is a way of life; it wakes up the soul. Life without music
is zero. It would have been boring if life had come into existence without
music”.

MUDI takes GDA though his Music Love

 The art of keeping success by MUDI…

The Symbol of MUDI

 Struggling to make success is one thing;
keeping success is another thing entirely. Asabeafrika asked the fashion
business guru to tell us how he has managed success in the last 2 decades. He
didn’t hesitate “Passion is first, drive
is second and discipline is the third”
he came verbatim and stressed
further.

MUDI to Asabeafrika…’Passion, Drive & Discipline keeps me going in success’

“You must have the passion for
what you do; the passion will keep you on, even in the face of adversity. Drive
is what will make you take your brand to another level despite the odds; you
keep pushing until you push it to an enviable level.

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’I dont joke with my work schedule, Never’

Changing and upping the
game is due to drive”
. “Passion will
keep your leg on the ball, drive will give you the energy to dribble the ball
and the last one is discipline. Discipline will enable you to keep working, to
remain focused”.

My Office Schedule….

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’I am not a boss who boss orders at the boys. I work with them’

“I get to the office 7 am every day.
That is discipline. And when I close depends on the level of the volume of work
at our disposal. That is passion. And for drive, each time my boys are working,
I stay with them; that is motivation; Apart from motivating them, it is almost
like a two way thing, motivating and monitoring their skill quotient.
Monitoring them and motivating them is two things in one package. You monitor
them while they are working and your presence alone motivates them. It boosts
their morale and drives their adrenaline to be creative”.

MUDI to Asabeafrika…’My day start with prayer and gym’

Starting a Day for Rich Tailor…

A section of his posh office in Lagos

“I wake as early as 5:30a.m, I do my
prayer with my family, do a little bit of aerobics; it is either I jug or I use
the gym inside the house. Then, shower and i am off to work. I leave home as
early as possible. By 7am, I must be at work”.
MUDI & the Awards…

Plaques of Awards for recognition of MUDI’s creative work in Africa

On the wall
of his posh Anthony Village—Lagos office,
you find different kinds of plaques announcing Mudiaga Enajemo and his MUDI
AFRICA
as recipient of several honorary awards  from media establishments, NGOs, individual
bodies down to diplomatic establishments. How do these plaques make him feel?

MUDI got more endorsements from on-shore and off-shore bodies

“Getting an award goes beyond the
conferment. You must ask yourself what value you are adding to humanity, if you
cannot answer that question properly then you are not qualified to earn the
accolades. Let just say ‘okay, you got an award today, you must ask what
warranted the gesture, what value are you adding to the society?. Take for
instance, there are people who wear my brand outside Nigeria and whenever they
want to have an event, they wear MUDI.

More awards for the MUDI boss

That alone is more than the billions of money notes stocked in the Central Bank
of any nation.  At least, it shows that I
am touching lives across border. To me, that is the greatest achievement. It is
beyond money and that is the reason for all the awards you see here. It goes
beyond money; it is as a result of passion and choice. My passion is to be a
designer and my choice is to use my brand to touch as many people as possible
across nations”

MUDI: It is not a joke that he is the best

Sorry! MUDI don’t read books…

MUDI to Asabeafrika…’I don’t believe in reading books. My life is a book for others to read’

 If you think your next question will give your
host a cause to smile and reel out names of authors or books that gives him
edge in his business or in other areas of life, will be shocked to discover you
are in town with an odd guy in that regard “No,
no, no.  I don’t believe in reading
books”
he announces with a straight face.

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’Many people read, yet they are dullards’

He speaks further “Ten ways to be successful etc” it is not my
philosophy, I don’t believe in all those things”
He tells us why “If you check those things, you discover that
it fails more people than elevate them”
. “Take for instance, if you check people who read books, they have read
all the books but they are stagnant. It is not about what you are reading, it
is about what you put in. it is only in Nigeria people say they network. They
are networking, what are you working?

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’I just believe in being purposeful’

You have nothing on ground, you are doing
nothing and you say you are networking. You must have something doing before
you network. You must come with substance before you start networking. It is
not about fantasy and fallacy. It is not about bragging, it is about
originality. Originality of purpose; originality of ideas and sincerity of
purpose as well; you must come to the table with something not emptiness and
you say you are networking”.

The MUDI boss with the Asabeafrika team

…But MUDI loves antique Cars

The name of the car is MUDI

From his
book reading dilemma, we moved to one of the reasons for the encounter; ‘Why
does MUDI drive Old School cars, antiques?. His answer came with a brim of nostalgic
feelings

MUDI in a rare pose with the GDA inside his 504 L antique car

“These cars only remind me of
the good old days of my country”
He continued as the smile on his cheek
stayed “I think it is a part of history;
heritage. Let me put it that way. They remind me of the good olden days and the
kind of simplicity that was applicable to life then. My father once sat us down
to tell us a story of how he wanted to buy a Peugeot car at a time and he couldn’t buy a Peugeot brand, so he had to buy a Lada.

The GDA in a rare pose with MUDI’s wheel

I think he bought it then for N1600 (One thousand six hundred
naira). In those days, a Volkswagen car was going for N3200 and I think a 504
car was on the high side. So, to me, it is art. It is beyond just driving a
car. It is inspiring and at the same time, it is a lifestyle.  To live a quality life is not about having
one billion naira in your account; you can live your quality life with the
small money in your hand. It is what you put in trying to give life a meaning
that matters”.

The GDA with MUDI in rare pose beside the 504 L car

Story of my 70 years old mechanic…    
Like his 504 car like his Giant Piano….All comes in Lemon color
So, who work
on his antique cars since mechanic of nowadays might not be too familiar with
the mechanical organs of those cars?

MUDI’s Car serviced by a 70 Year old Man

The fashion icon replied “I have mechanics that handle those cars; I
have a very old man almost in his early 70s that services my 504 L car for me. He is a Yoruba man
that services my Peugeot antique.  So, it
makes it work for me”
. What are the features that endear him to his Peugeot
504 Car? “I think the color comes first; I
cannot afford to miss the color. Secondly, the Air Conditioner works, it is
intact. The cigarette lighter works, everything works. It is a perfect car. I
bought it from France, so it is a complete car”.

MUDI drives a Benz Car older than
Nigeria…

MUDI’s 1957 Model antique benz…A rare brand in Nigeria

 The MUDI Africa CEO drops a bombshell
when he told Asabeafrika that his old school Mercedes Benz Car is a 1957
model; what can be more antique than that? What it simply means is that the car
is older than Nigeria which got her independence in 1960. He spoke further on
the mystery of the car

The car that nearly got into the Museum in Germany but ‘hijacked’ by MUDI

“I got the car
from Germany through a friend who informed me about the car and I furnished him
with my email details and he forwarded the photograph to me. A white man who
wanted to sell the car as an antique was approached. And we talked over it and
the money was paid to his account and the car was shipped down to Nigeria.

The GDA and the MUDI boss in the heat of the encounter in his Lagos office

The
car was almost going into a museum as an antique but we made the purchase and
today it amuses everyone that we can still be driving such a car in this age
and season”
.  He enthused with a tone
of accomplishment.

Cost don’t matter less in antiques’
market…

MUDI’s wine lounge

The moment
you want him to tell you what it cost him to purchase the two antique cars, he
suddenly becomes a philosophy lecturer of sort and his lecture comes free “I don’t like mentioning money. It goes
beyond money; you can’t quantify what gives you pleasure in terms of Pounds
Sterling and Dollars. There are journalists who come here and ask me how much
it costs me to build this structure and I tell them it is not in my culture to
display wealth by revealing figures to justify accomplishments”.

The chat with MUDI by the lemon Grand Piano

“We were
not raised that way to talk about money like that. By doing that, you might
send a wrong signal, it is either you are trying to flaunt wealth or you are
pompous; that is not me. Don’t forget these cars are antiques and they don’t
come cheap but the value for acquisition is primarily laid on the door of
passion”.

MUDI, Music & the GDA

 

The MUDI Fashion
boss kept talking “It is a passion to
have them. Antiques are classics. Anything classic doesn’t come cheap”.
  On how he feels anytime he is behind the
wheels of those cars, he found an answer “I
feel happy, I feel happy because it simply means that I am expressing myself.
Above all, over time, if you check my history right from when I was growing in
business, most of my friends know that ‘this guy is different’. Anything he
does always comes with a difference. I like expressing myself in a very
different way”
.

MUDI’s Pink colored Grand Piano specially for the VIPs

MUDI’s dream car is….
 Does the MUDI Africa boss still have a dream
car in mind, apart from the ones in his garage at the moment? “No, I don’t have such a passion. I can’t
say I have one particular car I can say is my dream car”

The MUDU Arena

Not even a Rolls
Royce? We asked him. “No, it is not in my
immediate index of needs. If God blesses me to buy, fine, I don’t have anything
against driving a Rolls Royce but I just take life the way it comes, in phases.
I am a contented person. Anything you have, you have to be contented, if you have
slippers, polish them well and manage them till you get shoes. And let me say this,
for you to have the spirit of contentment, you must have self confidence. You
must do away with inferiority complex, you must develop self confidence. That
is the hallmark of success”.

MUDI & the GDA in a ride of antique Peugeot Car

No Role Model for MUDI…

MUDI to Asabeafrika….’I don’t believe in Role Models’

On the issue
of role model like book, you find out that your host is at odd with such idea.
Hear him “I have people that inspire me
but to be honest with you it is difficult for me to say I have role models these
days. There are some people I treated as role model years back, but today, they
have disappointed me. You see them and you say they are your role model but
when you see events come and you see their ways of life, and things begin to
open up and you feel ‘oh, this guy that I call a role model has changed’.  So, that is the reason I don’t have a role
model, it is difficult for me to say I have one”.

Awards for the Fashion Icon

Between MUDI and Women

A trophy of Honor  for the Fashion Icon

 

MUDI has won City People Awards three consecutive times
With his
huge success in fashion business, do women chase Mudiaga Enajemo and how
does he handle such? “I would not want to
use the word “chase”, it is “admire”. Normal people admire you; even men admire
men, women admire women. It is a normal thing. Once you are doing what will
attract people to you. So, one of the reasons I said discipline is key is what
you have just raised. Discipline is an all-inclusive thing, your way of life,
how you treat people and even your food regime. I don’t eat after 6 ‘o clock.
It is all part of discipline to keep fit. 
So, discipline is a broad thing and it is the only thing that can keep
you off the tag of controversy. I am married, I am not a saint. I won’t tell
you I am a perfect human being. People get attracted to you. It is normal to
have friends but you must be disciplined. You must know when the handshake is
going beyond the elbow. If the handshake goes beyond the elbow and didn’t stop
at the wrist, then discipline is missing. I am happily married and I treat
female admirers with great respect”.  

More Awards for MUDI
MUDI works and play whenever his schedule calls for Play
Let’s give honor to Whom Honor is due-MUDI

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