It costs between fifteen to twenty million Naira to retain a radio license in Nigeria for five years. This does not include the cost of equipment, infrastructure, and manpower required to start up a radio. This means that the average young Nigerian with dreams of owning his own radio station might only achieve his goal if he stays asleep and dreams on.
For Tolulope Oludapo, founder of Lifegiva radio, there had to be another way. Not surprisingly, he found a better, cheaper way in the internet; a phenomenon with a reputation for providing viable alternatives in the Twenty-First century. His online radio station now has over 4,000 listeners every week.
“Lifegiva was established for one sole purpose- to create and share relatable and sound content on everyday living,” said Oludapo in an interview at his makeshift Lagos studio which doubles as his living space.” ”In the last 5 years, the number of people on the internet has grown to a whopping figure of about 3.6 billion and still increasing, this has given rise to smartphone and tablet device usage.
Almost 1 of every 2 persons owns one with an access to the internet. Knowing it is much easier to stumble on illicit content on the internet, we set us Lifegiva Radio to provide sound content, inspiration and godly counsel on a daily basis, answer personal puzzling questions from community certified role models and provide entertainment that excites emotions, but does not destroy the mind and values of the listeners.”
It is also here that his team of over thirty volunteers find expression. “At the moment, Lifegiva comprises a team of 30 individuals bringing in different unique skills like Writing and Editing, Radio Presenting, Digital Design and Graphics, Web Development, Video and Cinematography, Business Development and Administration. It is amazing really, how committed they are to our vision of reaching out to the world, through edifying and life-giving content.”
Oludapo’s start up has gone a long way from its humble beginnings as a blog in January 2013.Today, Lifegiva through its various platforms has grown in global coverage with visitors from a total of 173 countries including Nigeria, US, Kenya, Europe, and the UK.
However, it has not been without its challenges. In his words: “As soon as we began to think global, we began to see that we needed to reach more people. Of course, financial constraints was another challenge, and the fact that the community began to grow, meant that we would need more hands on deck.
But it is a great joy to have a committed team, who individually take out time from their busy schedules to help in one way or the other. Apart from staying close to God and asking for directions, we leveraged on our individual strengths and stayed committed to the vision, even when times seemed hard.”
“The Nigerian landscape is not enabling for startups. It is enabling for persons who will dare to defy gravity and look beyond the obvious boundaries and limitations. I think the limitations may look daunting, but anyone who desires to begin a startup must realize that passion is the driver of startups.
If we all sit and keep looking at the fact that Nigeria doesn’t give the best of environments, especially where startups and SMEs are concerned, nothing will start. No one will do anything.