Popular fashion designer, Clement Mudiaga Enajemo, a.k.a Mudi, has paid his dues. As a matter of fact, the gifted dude comfortably ranks among the top designers in Nigeria and even in Africa. The stylish and high flying genius chatted with YES International!’s GBENGA SHABA on his success secrets and more while relaxing at Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, on Saturday, October 5, 2013.

What does it take to be a successful businessman?

First of all, you must discover yourself; whether you are in the right place, either as a writer, a journalist, a fashion designer or in whatever you might be doing. Once you discover that, then you must have a passion for what you do and then you have to be disciplined. The rest to me is secondary. The basic things are that you must have a passion, good drive and discipline.
Why do you think that most people achieve success but are not able to sustain it?
Just like I said, a lot of people have passion for what they do, but they don’t have the drive. So, you must have the passion, the drive and must be disciplined. When you have the passion, you love what you are doing, then the drive would take you to another level. But to remain at that level, that is where the need for discipline comes in and in this part of the world, so many people get carried away with success and eventually allow other people to live their lives for them.

What stands Mudi Fashions out?

I’m yet to get to the No. 1 position, but I thank God for where I am today. No matter how successful you are, you need to be very careful, because in this part of the world, there are people who are very uncomfortable with the fact that you are doing very well.
Why do you think most businesses fail?
It is lack of discipline. Simple! Take for instance, there was a day I got to my office late, because usually I get to my office around 7.30am. That day, I got to the office around 8.15am, because I branched somewhere to see a friend of mine on the Island. An elderly man came to me immediately I parked to ask me “Hope no problem, what happened? Look at the time?” That clearly shows that people monitor you; they see you and there are people who are learning from that. Most business owners lose focus.

What is the joy of being a designer?

Lovely. There was a day I got to Nairobi in Kenya and I met a lady at the airport who came to me and introduced her husband. She said she saw me in some Nigerian magazines and that I’m doing well. She turned to her husband and said, “Honey, meet Mudi”. And the husband said, “Oh! Mudi, your works are nice and beautiful. I buy your clothes and they are wonderful”. Seriously, that, to me, is enough. It gives me joy. It’s beyond money. Some people have so much money, but they are not happy.

Of all the things that God has done for you, which one do you treasure most?

My talent. The gift God has given me is of course the most treasured. If not for the gift, you won’t sit down with me here to interview me. Whatever I have achieved in this life, the fame, the money and the beautiful things of life is as a result of the gift God has bestowed in my life.

Why do you love exotic cars?

You know you must have something that would drive you. After I’ve worked so hard and I want to go home, the best thing for me is to drive a nice car and don’t forget the fact that cars are meant for people to drive. I don’t see that as a big deal. People see me as someone who is car freak. But no. I’m not car freak. It is the cars that I have that I would drive. The 2-3 cars that I have should not make me a car freak.

What is the secret of handling fame very well?

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Discipline. Nothing more than that. I’m not perfect, but I’m disciplined and this is very crucial and important. I can stress the word discipline from now till forever, because it is a key word for success.

Discipline can apply to a lot of issues. Which aspect are you talking about?

Your way of life, your lifestyle. I don’t eat after 6’oclock in the evening and that is part of discipline. I get to office by 7-30am; this is another side of discipline. I hardly go to clubs because the following day I must be in the office. It’s part of discipline. I don’t have anything against going to clubs, but whenever I go to night events or parties, by 1am, I must leave there to go and sleep. So, discipline cuts across so many things. There are designers like me who love to delegate from home, but as for me, anytime my boys are working all night, I will stay with them and that is another form of discipline.

So, how do you relax?

Relaxation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel out of the country. You can be in your house and get enough relaxation. As I’m here now, I’m relaxing. It is a state of mind. When your mind is relaxed, you relax and the fact that I’m enjoying what I’m doing gives me joy; it relaxes me. It doesn’t stress me.

What is your hobby?

It’s my job. I like working. Working to me is like a hobby, so I like it. Not hard working, but working to live. It is a way of life. When people say Mudi is hard working, no! I don’t see it as being hard working; you must only work to live. So, work to me is a way of life.
Are you looking at expanding your offices in Africa again before the end of the year?
For now, I do not know. It’s only God that directs and dictates. I may tell you now that tomorrow I will be there and I am not there, then you take me for a liar. So, I leave everything to God. I will do my best and pray to God to direct me. I will keep working and you will realize that hard work pays. When someone says, ‘God will bless the works of your hand. It’s a very big prayer. So, you should keep working, enjoy what you are doing, be focused, work hard and God would surely bless you.
What else do you want from God after all you have gotten?
Good life and good health.

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