Kingsley Okechukwu Anaroke is the Chief Executive of Kings Communications Limited, a public relations firm that is into publishing and brand management consultancy. In this interview with VICTOR UDOH, he speaks about his lifestyle, dress sense and what puts him off people. This interview was published in Sunday Mirror a forthnight ago.
Tell us about your style?
My style is unusual in the sense that my dressing is directed by my thoughts and the occasion. Most times, my style is not complete without my wife commending it. Hence, the way I dress is the way my wife wants me to appear. On Fridays when I want to dress low, I may opt for jeans and top. My wife plans most of what I wear, she gives them to good tailors who design them perfectly. But suits are what I buy myself and sometimes she buys for me too.
What perfumes do you wear?
I may not remember their names but my wife knows it all. She created a dressing mirror for me which is full of designer label perfumes.
What fashion accessory wouldn’t you mind spending a fortune on?
I could have said my golden wedding band but I hardly wear it. It was bought in 2004 when I did my wedding. I can tell you that I have not worn it for upwards of six months. I don’t like to wear jewellery. When I see men who wear these things and I begin to wonder what could be wrong with them. Some men would battle with necklace and earrings. They should leave those stuffs for women.
What is that fashion accessory you like?
I like good shoes, even though I may not tell you the particular brand. I also like belts. Belt constitutes 70 per cent of what I bought sometime I travelled to South Africa. I like to wear shoes that blend with my belts.
What fashion item forms a larger part of your wardrobe?
Ties. But I hardly wear them. I just buy them and keep there in my wardrobe. In fact, sometimes I give them out.
What else is Kings Communications Limited all about?
Kings Communications Limited publishes Maritime Management Series, a weekly maritime, finance, aviation, oil and gas newspaper. We also publish The Nigerian Tycoon magazine, a general interest magazine in entrepreneurial, career and leadership development. We deal more in investigative reporting that turn things around. We are also into transport management consultancy as well as investment relations, where we bring in investors into Nigeria and market indigenous companies abroad.
Do you write on women issues too?
In fact, we came up with a concept which is titled ‘Woman of Fortune’. These are women who have attained success in life and we use them to inspire the younger generation. We don’t feature women who dress in skimpy attires and encourage prostitution. We are into publications that encourage women to discover things about other women. That was one of the things that pushed us into our annual Hall of Fame. There are many successful women in the various careers that we have not discovered. We intend to discover them and bring them out and then use them to impact on the younger ones.
Why didn’t you channel this effort on youths?
It is better to involve women to do generational occupation. Women can mould you. One woman can train a child to adulthood. But most men don’t have time for that. Even when it comes to transfer of knowledge, women are more receptive, in fact, talk about leadership, you learn fast from them. We looked at it from that angle and said let’s begin to use women in capacity building. We are graduating to the level where we’ll bring the mentors and the mentees together so that they (the mentors) would tell them (the mentees) how and what they did right to succeed. It should be done practically and not theoretically.
When you are less busy, what do you do to unwind?
Let me begin by saying that sometimes I don’t bring my other side to the public, not because I’m shy but because sometimes, it could be misinterpreted. I’m a deacon in my church. I have had the opportunity of duping people or going into 419 and I didn’t do them. I have had the opportunity of being involved in one type of illicit trading or the other and I didn’t do it. I didn’t want to soil my integrity and still don’t want to soil my integrity. To me, integrity is everything. I was once given an award by a magazine as the integrity personality of the year. I have been that mindful of integrity and that is now bringing me to what I’m driving at. Despite being a deacon in my church, I believe that there are too many ways to unwind. For me, I like clubbing.
You still club, a deacon?
You see, that’s what I’m saying. People mistake this clubbing of a thing for a different thing. There are different types of clubbing. There are some clubs that are into stripping. That’s not the one I’m talking about. The one I’m talking about is the normal club where you go and dance. Sometimes, I go with my wife, we dance together and we go home. That is unwinding for me. Sometimes, I find it difficult to go to gym, which would have been another form of unwinding for me.
Who are those in our society you admire?
I admire Prof Pat Utomi because he is one person that inspires people. It’s from him that I learnt that in whatever one is doing, he should strive to create a value and when you create it, money would come. This is one principle I have learnt from him. I like him because you get inspired when he talks. Then people like Richard Branson, the man who owns Virgin. In fact, there are a lot of Richard Branson’s principles I applied in my company but unfortunately, they didn’t work here because Nigerian society is different from his. It couldn’t work because Nigeria is a peculiar environment business wise. I like his ideas. He is not bossy. He is humble, and when you see him with his workers, you wouldn’t know he is the MD of his company.
What puts you off people?
Lies! One thing about a lie is that it is not sustainable. When you tell a lie today and you are caught, you would tell another lie to cover it. And when you are telling those lies, you forget that the person you are telling is more knowledgeable than you. He may not even tell you that you have told a lie. Another thing about lie is that you may never have an opportunity to tell the truth in future.
What lesson has life taught you?
Life has taught me to treat a woman kindly. Maybe that is why I’m passionate about issues that have to do with women. My father told me that no matter how enraged, do not beat your wife. For me, I like challenges in marriage. Because when you are out from your challenges, the love would increases.
What did you study?
I studied English at University of Lagos, did Diploma in Mass Communications. I hold a Masters in Transport Management from Lagos State University and many other studies and programmes on going.
What books do you read?
As a graduate of English language, I have read so many books. Only one course in a semester and you would be given up to 10 books to read. In my primary school, I was reading novels. But now, I read a lot of management and self improvement books. As a matter of fact I have more than 50 management books on my shelf and I read them. I also read biographies a lot.