Here is the full interview:
Can we meet you?
My name is Fawehinmi Foza Oyinkansola
How did you come about the name FOZA?
FOZA is Fawehinmi Oyinkansola Zidat Adesanya- they are my initials but now it is my brand name. I am an Entertainment Lawyer, I run my own law firm: Founding Partner at Technolawgical Partners, Media and Entertainment and Internet Law, Specific Law Firm operating in Lagos.
Why did you choose to study Law?
I come from a family of lawyers so, it was just natural going into Law and I love to talk, I love the fact that you can use Law to change your society and culture; that is why I chose Law.
Why did you choose Entertainment Law?
First of all, I don’t like doing things that are normal; I’m not a conventional person. I love creative people; I love the creative process but I just don’t know how to do any of them, I don’t like writing, I don’t know how to tell a joke, I can’t rap, I can’t sing, I can’t act but I just love when I see them do that.
I started managing artistes from my 200 level in school and I got into Intellectual Property from my 300 level, so, it just escalated from there. I like the fact that the industry needs me to provide a solution, that’s why I chose Entertainment Law.
What are the challenges you have faced being an Entertainment Lawyer?
I face the impression of-Oh! You are wasting your time, the industry doesn’t need you, what are you going to be doing as a Lawyer? Why are you an Entertainment Lawyer? Then, also, I have also faced the lack of awareness or the ignorance of what I do.
People ask me questions like Do you sing? Because I say I’m an Entertainment Lawyer, people ask me like what do you do? Are you making money? But I think that’s changing.
What are the challenges you have faced running your business?
I have faced issues of funding every time; I have had to learn quickly how to balance my life, I have had to also learn how to put appropriate value on what I do-time management. The challenges I have faced in the industry is also that the people I work for don’t know why they need me and so I have quickly had to learn to re-orientate them to show them why they need me and why they have to pay me. They know they need me but the fight we are fighting now is that ‘you have to pay me’. We are killing that gradually.
Due to your stature, don’t you get intimidated sometimes?
I get that a lot like: oh, you are the FOZA that has been causing all that. I have never had issues of self-esteem, so, even if you have a problem, I don’t have a problem with it. As long as I don’t have a problem with it, we are fine.
I’ve had situations where I have been denied certain kinds of jobs because of how I look and how they think that I may probably not be able to handle the job. I have learnt also to present myself in certain ways which changes that perception about me. So, if I am going for a certain kind of conference, I know what to wear and how to wear it, how to talk and stuffs like that, it’s a learning process but I’m never intimidated by your own insecurities.
Are you in a relationship?
Because I have not found someone.
What are those qualities you look out for in a guy?
I am very concerned about his spirituality; first of all, he has to be a very godly person, someone that knows his God and knows the word. I also like someone that has a lot of faith because I have a big vision, I have a big dream and because I have that, I need someone that believes with me in terms of faith and he has to be a prayerful person and he has to be very visionary, so, when I am telling him I want to meet the president, I want to be a counsel to XX person, he won’t say that I’m being stupid or that I’m dreaming but will support me in the dream.
I don’t like pot belly, I think that is the only physical feature that I’m so concerned about, I’m very particular about your intellectual capacity because I can’t relate with someone that isn’t smart enough and he should be result-oriented; If you are 35 now and you are telling me that you have potential and you have a dream, I am going to be a bit suspicious like what did you use your 20s to do but if you are like 27, the expectation I will have from you is different from a person who is 35 because you have to give me like a CV of what you’ve done with your life.
How do you plan to manage your time for family life, your job and parenting?
First of all, I want you guys to know that time management is everybody’s job is not just a woman’s job. Even in my business now, I have learnt how to apportion time, time management is very key to success and that’s why I am doing all the work now because I as a person will love to have quality two to three years family time with my children up to a certain age before I now go into the next level of my life.
My business model now is operating in a way where I’m building a system that even when I step out of the system is still working and it just needs minimal supervision to work and that’s what I’m doing now to make sure that it is in place. I believe and I hope that by God’s grace that by the time I get to that level I want that break, not that I will stop working but where I am more flexible with my time and it will happen with the work that I have done.
Your advice for younger ones that are coming up on how they can build their self-esteem
For self-esteem, it’s a gradual process; I also have days where I don’t feel very confident but what I do is I talk to myself a lot. So, sometimes you can catch me sitting down and talking to myself.
I use the bible a lot; from the bible I pick out stuffs like when God told me that I am the apple of His eye, that I’m beautiful the way I am, that He knows the thoughts that He has for me so I say these things to myself every day and there are times where for example, I have met a guy and probably say he can’t date you because you are not his body speck, you are not voluptuous and everything, it will take a hit on you but then again you look at it that there are other guys that will look at you and fall in love with you the way you are. You always have to look for the good in every situation.
My advice is that you should shift your focus to the positive of you. Everybody has something good about them; amplify what is good about you and by the time you keep amplifying you will never see what is bad about you, you will learn to change what is bad about you but you will know that people will love you for what is good about you and finally talk to yourself.
Advice on building career
Finding out your purpose in life is very connected to what you do as your career, job or your end vision. There are situations where you have to take some jobs to learn the routes to get to your end vision. The thing is you need to have a vision, when you sit down, where do you see yourself in 20 years and that now guides you to know the kinds of job to take or not to take because sometimes you find the kind of job that pays you a lot of money but is not in your career path. When you have that vision, it guides you to know which job to take or which job not to take.
I didn’t work for anybody because I knew that if you threw me in any situation, I was going to be good at what I am doing, I knew that if I had gone to work for any other Law firm they will make me other kinds of Law that will pay me well and because money is good I will probably be distracted and keep doing that and forget that my purpose is to serve the Entertainment industry. So, that guided me that if I can’t find employment that will work for me, I should set up myself.
For every time that I feel down, broke and angry because being an entrepreneur is not easy, for those times that I feel down, I look at my vision and I see that this is where I am going to, so, I’m going to get there either ways.