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‘Our Vision Is To Report on African Luxury By Projecting Nigerian Brands’ – Funke Osae-Brown

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PUBLISHER OF THE LUXURY REPORTER MRS. FUNKE OSAE-BROWN AT TLR 5THANNIVERSARY HELD AT THE WHEATBAKER HOTEL, IKOYI ON JUNE 20th2019.

The Luxury Reporter at 5
L-R: Funke Osae-Brown, publisher, The Luxury Reporter with her husband, Anthony Osae-Brown, Bureau chief, Bloomberg

Six years ago, I knew I wanted to go on a new adventure in my journalism career. I didn’t get a clear picture at the time, but I was convinced that I wanted to move to something higher, a venture more challenging.  And then, the search for that something began.

I was at home one day, when the idea struck me that not much have been written or documented about luxury living in Nigeria. Then, I knew it was a venture worth trying. The next step was how to go about it. Obviously, as a trained print journalist, the next idea was to start a magazine, but I didn’t have the deep pocket to start a print edition. So, the next natural step was to start a website. The idea of a website was good. Hence the search for the someone to interprete the design began. 

There are was another challenge which was, the name the website should be called. That was a big one. I discussed with Anthony, he too couldn’t get a clear picture of what it should be called. One day, I was in the car with him when I shouted yes! I think I know what the website should be called, The Luxury Reporter. I am a journalist, a reporter, so reporting luxury that is what I want to do. That was how THE LUXURY REPORTER came to be. The acronym, TLR also fits perfectly. 

Anthony introduced Fortune Williams, the guy who designed our first website www.luxuryreporter.com.ng. And so, May 24th2014, the website went live. And since then we have not looked back. 

 We ran the website for more than a year. Before we migrated to www.luxuryreporter.ng. We later introduced the digital edition of the magazine which we did for two full years with 24 digital editions. Along the line, we identified a market for print. Hotels, private jets operators, airlines, automobile companies, retail stores need print editions for their clients. In January 2018, we announced our first print edition which had on the cover emerging brands and a buyer, Abela, TPS Luxury, Pere Lei, Okiki Marinho, Scentify, and Ndidi Obioha.

The print edition paved way for our exclusive partnership with PrivateJets Nigeria. The partnership is: advertisers in The Luxury Reporter print edition will have 30 seconds clips of their advert placed in the in-flight entertainment screen of all the aircrafts of PrivateJets. It is like getting two for the price of one. In other words, your products, goods and services will be shown to the right kind of HNIs (High Networth Individuals). I encourage you to take advantage of this offer by sending an email to advert@luxuryreporter.ng.

Our magazines are also strategically placed at the Legend Curios Hotel, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, FirstBank Lounge at MMIA, Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, VI, All Glendora Bookstores at Ikeja City Mall, MMA 2, GAT, Eagle Ventures Arik Wing, Terra Kulture, Quintessence Parkview Ikoyi, among others. In the next few days, we will add more outlets like Shoprite and SPAR.

Our vision is to report on the African Luxury by projecting Nigerian brands.  We are constantly in search of indigenous luxury brands that will compete with international brands.  We believe this will contribute to economic growth of Africa.

L-R: Mrs Patricia Femi-Dagunro, executive director, Distinguished Trophy, Funke Osae-Brown, publisher, The Luxury Reporter with her husband, Anthony Osae-Brown, Bureau chief, Bloomberg

Furthermore, it is no longer news that Nigerians top the list of high spenders, they spend on luxury brands. At TLR, we don’t just want Nigeria to be a consumer of luxury but also manufacturer of luxury products that can compete with their counterparts not just on the continent but globally.

It is for this reason we have been deliberate in our approach to reporting on luxury lifestyle by featuring top players in the industry some of whom are quiet players in the local luxury sector. And we have been reporting on emerging luxury brands on the continent.

In addition, we hope to bridge the divide between African Luxury brands and their counterparts abroad. In a bid to kickstart this, we attended the 2019 edition of the Baselworld in Switzerland where we interacted with CEOs of renowned luxury brands in the watch and jewellery sector. We also had exclusive interviews with some new brands and some other major players. Some of them are in the latest edition of the magazine that will be unveiled here today.

We also plan to attend more jewellery shows in Singapore, Las Vegas, the Monaco Yacht show among other events in the coming years.

Part of our plans in the near future is to start training emerging luxury brands on how to position themselves as top players in the world. We hope to create a symbiotic relationship between African and global luxury brands so they can share experiences and expertise. The journey is long but we know that with sure steady steps and consistency we will get there.

I want to say thank you to all those who agreed to be on our covers since we started the print and digital editions. Special thanks to Mrs Ini Abimbola, Mrs Modupe Ogunlesi, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, Ms Bola Allison, Ms Funmi Onajide, Mr Abiona Babarinde, Mr Omotade Lepe, Mr Steve Babaeko, Mr Foluso Phillips, Mr Steve Ayorinde, Mr Ade Adefeko, Mr Paul Andrew, among others.

I want to thank Mr Abdul Imoyo, head media relations Access Bank who gave us our first paid advert for print and online we started out five years ago. I sincerely appreciate Abela, Deola Paul-Iyang, Princess Adebowale Odutola, CEO, TPS Luxury for your continued support for our brand. Thank you to Mr Ramon Olarenwaju, Mr Biodun Coker and the entire marketing and communications department of UBA, Mr Meklsey Nwangbo, Coronation bank, Mrs Oyinade Adegite, GTBank, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank, Mr Bethel Obioma, Sahara Group, Mr Charles Aigbe, Fidelity Bank and Ben Uzor. Thank you to the management of The Wheatbaker for hosting us today. 

Mr Julian Osula, Julian’s Luxury, Mr Francis, his manager, Jennifer Obayuwana, MD Polo Limited, Peter Ehijiator, Femi Williams, Henry Ekechukwu, Funke Treasure Durodola, all my media friends who are here. Thank you all so very much. I appreciate the man who did the first shoot for our cover, the print edition, BIE, Bamidele and also Segun Adekanye of B7K Photography for his support.

A special thank you to my older sister, Mrs ShadeAdetunji, my sure support system, who has been a remarkable sister. To my dearest bro, Pastor Eric and his wife, Sister B. Thank you. 

And to my dearest, Anthony Osae-Brown, thank you so much for your support and for encouraging me to be the best I can be. To KK and Maya I couldn’t have asked for better children. Thank you for cooperating with me even when I had to leave you at home whenever I travel.

Thank you all for being a part of this journey. God bless you.

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