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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Bodylanguage Company - Chibuzo Slim Ikonta #inthespiritofenterprise

Sometimes when you talk about entrepreneurship, people scratch their heads and wonder, what do I have that anyone would pay for? Thing is, you never know until you test it. Run a pilot of your idea and see.....

With determination and support, Chibuzo has been able to turn his passion into a business. I can't wait to share the amazing pictures of his work. I need to attend one of his classes soon. :-)

It's #inthespiritofenterprise!!


Tell us about yourself

My name is Chibuzo Slim Ikonta. I am the founder, Principal Instructor and Head Choreographer of THE BODYLANGUAGE COMPANY (Nigeria).I'm also the Manager of THE BODYLANGUAGE STUDIO (Lagos).

I'm a professional dancer with knowledge of over 30-styles of dance and together with my dance partner "Anita Korra Obidi", we form Nigeria's most versatile dance couple.

I'm one of Nigeria's top Latin Dance Experts, and also, the first African to train and perform the ancient Indian dance (over 2400 years old) of ODISSI.

I am a widely trained Martial Artist majoring in Afro-Brazilian Capoeira (Professor Level), thus becoming Nigeria's highest ranked and most experienced teacher of the art (over 10 years).

I'm a graduate of the UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS with a diploma in Computer Engineering and a Bsc in Actuarial Science &Insurance...........weird huh? I know!!!

Tell us about your business


The Bodylanguage Company is home to some of Nigeria's finest dancers, performers, dance teachers, choreographers, fitness experts and martial artists with razor sharp skills and unequaled expertise in output.

We teach classes in various disciplines both at our studio, at select out stations, schools, corporate organisations, schools, churches and in private homes.

We also put up performances and presentations at various events, thereby making the occasion a more lively one. E.g's: end of year parties, stage productions, corporate functions, weddings, birthday parties, dinners, galas, fashion shows, product activation(flash mobs) etc

We also run periodic workshops and productions that are mostly spearheaded by myself.

I like to believe I'm mostly a better teacher than a performer and hence, The Bodylanguage Company is responsible for teaching/preparing various children, youth and adults for competitions, presentations, wedding first-dances etc.

Last Year, I was the stage choreographer for the X-factor Nigeria; Season1.

Basically, business comes in various forms, some of which is subject to time and season.

What was your Inspiration for this business?

My inspiration began with a pure love for movement. Movement in every graceful or powerful form. Sports, yoga, dance, martial arts, driving, clouds etc Coupled with a strong ear for rhythm, dance seemed like the obvious angle. I would find rhythm and movement potential in every situation. Thanks to my dad, as early as age 8, I was already in love with classical jazz and Latin rhythms. Also, I wanted to learn couple dancing before I was 10.

Jez don't go and say you want to try this at home! Don't try yasef!
As life, skill, experience and reality accrued to me, I began to desire taking my art beyond just a passionate weapon that made me stand out from a crowd. I started to desire teaching, building, creating and fine tuning people and situations with my art.

Honestly, I know my inspiration came from God, because I'm most inspired when I speak to Him......and listen to His voice.

I want to be a world class performer.
I wish to be an internationally renowned teacher & choreographer.
I want to create a ton of wealth with my art.

How did you get funding for the business?

I first began teaching in schools, clubs, gyms and private residences. Then, I was able to begin periodic workshops where I taught large numbers of kids for a few weeks at a time, after which their parents would be invited in to witness their progress under my tutelage.

Reports were good.
I got more students.....I grew.....I saved money.

About a year later, I opened up THE BODYLANGUAGE STUDIO (Ilupeju).

The rest is history.

How will you summarize the journey so far?

The journey so, yes, also one big adventure.
From critics, to friends, to fake friends, to supporters, to hopeful sponsors, to fans, to food

It's really been one continuous learning process. One that every step of the way I keep getting reminded that my young business is still fully dependent on my personal performance.

In layman's terms;

When I'm on point, my business is on point.
When I'm dull, my business is dull.

What are the main challenges you have faced so far and how have you managed them?

One of the major challenges I've faced so far is landing a sponsor for one of my events. One reason for this is because I'm still a relatively new business with monumental dreams. Another could be the obvious difficulty in landing an actual "financial sponsor".

This year, I faced another challenge. Due to the ebola virus mini crisis, my studio business suffered a mild dry spell due to the fact that at least 50-60% of my students (at THE BODYLANGUAGE STUDIO) are children.

Nigeria has been declared Ebola free.

Thank God!

What is your long term vision for the business?

I intend to create an army of world class dancers, dance teachers, choreographers, fitness experts and martial artists.

I want BODYLANGUAGE to be The Standard by which every other dance, fitness or wellness organisation (in Nigeria and beyond) will be measured.

I wish to empower professionals that will put Nigeria on the world map, as a source and provider of internationally recognized (and respected) method, skill and knowledge.

I want to my company to be the major contributor to the revolutionary process that has already begun in the dance and fitness industry.
No more will dancers be looked at at jobless people with no bright futrue.

By becoming successfully established (and yet highly skilled) members of the entertainment industry, members of THE BODYLANGUAGE COMPANY will serve as examples to upcoming entrepreneurs who intend to venture into similar fields of expertise.

THE BODULANGUAGE COMPANY is an Industry builder!

Given the chance will you do this again?

Hell yeah!
Given the chance ten times over, I'd do it again every time.

Infact, I'll begin earlier, and do it better!

Connect with Slim via these channels;
IG: @slim.blc
Twitter: @slim_blc