I AM ORIGINALLY from Nigeria, and I’m now officially an Irish resident, having lived here for more than 15 years. I came to Ireland at a young age to attend school and complete my Leaving Certificate. I was then able to continue my studies into third level education, finally getting a qualification in Management in Information Systems.
Over the years, I have witnessed a real transformation in Irish society. When I finished my studies, after much effort I found work in Information Technology and stuck with it for a long time. However, owning and running my own business was always something that I had dreamed of doing. It was not an easy decision to make, but after thinking about it for a long time, and weighing up all of the pros and cons, I decided to resign from a stable job with career progression to start my own business.
What small business hasn’t felt the impacts of the recession?
Being an entrepreneur and self-employed businessman isn’t easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My company is focused on event management, online promotions and music entertainment/artist management. Living and working in Ireland has been difficult but what small business hasn’t felt the impacts of the recession? People ask me, ‘How is business?’ to which I just smile and reply “It’s good!” It’s so important to be positive.
My attitude is always optimistic when it comes to the improvement of the current economic situation in Ireland, but I know that the only way to achieve my personal and business goals is to work even harder.
I’m now a married father of two wonderful daughters so my priorities may have changed over the years but my determination and focus has not. I try to network as much as possible, and I believe that with a positive attitude and determination to succeed, the sky is the limit.
Commissioned as an ‘Urban Culture Educator’
In the past I have worked with the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) in conjunction with Dublin City Council to work with young people in Dublin’s inner city. I was the first African migrant to be commissioned as an ‘Urban Culture Educator’ in Dublin, where I used my skills to teach groups of young people in after-school projects and youth centres in Dublin city and surrounding locations. In the future, I would like to help people with disabilities, as well as providing jobs for people with skills and talents in the entertainment industry.
I intend to stay here in Ireland with my family and continue to conduct business here, but I also aspire to begin working with businesses in my home country of Nigeria and other African and European countries.
I call Ireland my home now, but I have often returned to Nigeria for short periods to visit my dear family and I make sure that I keep up to date on current affairs in Nigeria by listening to national news, reading newspapers and general information from my hometown. More possibilities for business ventures in Nigeria are opening up all the time, especially in the entertainment and telecommunications sectors.
I am very actively involved in multicultural events in Ireland, ranging from Afro-Irish open-air festivals like Africa Day, which I have been involved with for a number of years, to sports and charity events. I’m also involved in business development, social media management, promotions, publicity and website design.
Timi Martins is an entrepreneur and founder of GoodLife Promotions.
Africa Day celebrations, supported by Irish Aid, are taking place nationwide this week and the national Africa Day flagship family festival takes place in Farmleigh Estate, Phoenix Park, Dublin 15, on Sunday 25 May from 11am to 6pm and is free of charge. Follow Africa Day on Facebook and Twitter @AfricaDay #AfricaDay. For more information visit www.africaday.ie.