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Leaving conventional paid employment to start a business from scratch is never easy, but it is a move that, combined with the right ingredients, always pays off eventually. Ngozi Nkiri-Ossai, CEO of Double Tap Events, shares with Connect Nigeria her story of humble beginnings, self-motivation and the keys to success in entrepreneurship.   CN: How did you get into the events business? NO: It all began after I finished secondary school and I was awaiting my JAMB result. I bumped into a friend who suggested he could help with getting me something to keep me busy, I went for an audition with Elizabeth R (an events company) and I was chosen to be part of their team of ushers. We moved from place to place, one event to the other. One project that made an impression on me was Olusegun Obasanjo’s birthday in Ota, Abeokuta. The ambience of the event was just so eye-catching and it was all black and white. After that day I decided to engage myself with the events section of the business. I arrived venues early just to watch the decorators and supervisors set up for the day’s event and as time went on I started trying to put fabrics together just to build on a certain type of idea I had in mind. I also enrolled for an events training programme with one of the leading events companies in Lagos, TSOULE. CN: What is the story behind Double Tap Events and what inspired the name? NO: To be honest, it really doesn’t have a story. I remember my hubby back when we were dating got me a novel which was titled “Double Tap” by Steve Martini. It was an interesting book with regard to some nice courtroom drama and government ethics … and because the story fascinated me so much and I sort of connected with the story, I coined my business name from the book title. CN: What services does Double Tap Events offer? IMG_7315NO: Double Tap Events started out as a fully fledged events decoration outfit but over the years we have expanded to an events planning and management company. We specialize in providing world class creative events in order to fulfil the desires of our esteemed clients. Our services cut across all areas of event management; planning and co-ordination, interior and exterior decorations, including Christmas Decoration, amongst others. We provide event assistants and professional ushers, catering services, decoration, event co-ordination, and leverage our concepts and creative department to produce outstanding children’s parties, graduation ceremonies, naming ceremonies, and so on. We have handled Weddings, Corporate Meetings, Birthdays, Anniversaries and Award Nights. We help take the burden off clients, scouting for venues and handling vendor outsourcing including caterer, DJ, MC, band, drinks, cocktails, finger foods, branding, hostesses, bouncers, accommodation for guests, photography, video coverage, publicity, the whole works. CN: How did you raise capital for the business? NO: I raised capital from my previous job. I also started out small, and grew the business with the funds from some of the jobs I over the years was privileged to co-ordinate. CN: What challenges did you face in starting up your business? NO: When I started initially it was difficult to convince clients of my professionalism and ability to meet their demands because I had no portfolio and no proof of success in my previous planned events. It’s difficult when you cannot present proof of a successful job handled by your company. Capital also was a major challenge because our business deals with a lot of creative designs, constant change, new things keep popping up and you need to be trendy, unique, brand yourself in a way that any where people see your job they easily can tell it was handled by you. CN: What is the most challenging project you have ever worked on or handled? NO: I would say Friesland decor and co-ordination job in Ghana. It was challenging because I was relatively new in the industry and was meant to handle a 2-day event for a big company outside Nigeria. The demand was really high because they had a standard which they expected me to supersede. It was difficult moving most of my things from Nigeria, we had so many challenges with customs and also Ghanaians are quite reserved and not as aggressive as Nigerians. Set up took awhile, delivery of some of our equipment took some time to arrive and it indeed it was pretty much the most challenging project ever to be handled by Double Tap Events. CN: How would you rate the customer satisfaction level? NO: Well, all jobs I have gotten till date were all through referral which can only mean one thing; clients were so satisfied that they chose to refer us to others. I have worked with brands like GZ Industries, Friesland, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Nigerian Music Video Awards (N.M.V.A), SecureID, Aero Contractor, Globacom, Wholesome Book Launch, and Shoprite Mall, to mention a few. CN: Who are your role models/mentors? NO: Preston Bailey, he just astounds me with his creations with flowers, it’s always magical. Ibidun Ighodalo, she inspires me as well because she started out single and now she is married, her designs are usually breathtaking with her strength in display of lights. Temmi Amodu, his designs with fabrics and how this transforms the ambience of a venue just amazes me. CN: What song motivates you? NO: “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead CN: What is your unique selling point and why should Nigerians choose you over competitors? NO: I believe it’s my personality and my ability to help transform any budget to make dreams come true. I would also say my continuous urge to learn from bigger brands and the need to creatively work with any space. I try to be spontaneous with the usage of my materials and also lights. I always try to create the look and feel I want for any event decoration. Most times I use indigenous welders and carpenters to create my lighting mood, walkway stands and stage lighting too. In all my years of experience in the events industry I always try to creatively evolve in the various decoration designs I have worked on over the past. CN: As a woman in business, what would you say is the most important factor in combining business and building a family? NO: It hasn’t been easy combining both but i thank God for my family and the help they give to me. CN: You started your business young and single. What advice do you have for young women looking to set up small/medium enterprises? NO: Be the best YOU, learn from every challenge, take charge of your present situation and make it your HAVEN. Don’t settle for less. Give your best shot at whatever you enjoy doing and have FUN while making money. Have a strong spiritual foundation. I owe everything I am to God. Recently I was just thinking and I realized every time I find myself in a challenging situation and I put Him first, everything always works out right. No matter how huge the challenge is, He always makes things better. God has always been my number one key. Also, work with a mentor.  If you don’t have a mentor, get one.

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This article was first published on 15th December 2013 and updated on February 10th, 2015 at 9:11 am


Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

Comments (1)

One thought on “Meet the Boss: Ngozi Nkiri-Ossai, Double Tap Events”

  • I love to be great as an event planner althou am an event decorator and snacks and cake maker, can u help me

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