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Exclusive: The Chart-Topping Gambit – Exploring the Intersection of Music, Business, and Social Impact 

Meet Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade, better known by his stage name Mr. Eazi, the multifaceted Nigerian-born singer, songwriter, producer, and creative entrepreneur whose journey traverses the realms of music, business, and philanthropy. Born with a passion for creativity and a drive for innovation, Mr. Eazi’s path to success is a testament to perseverance, vision, and a commitment to uplifting African talent and communities. Choplife Gaming

In this exclusive interview between iGaming AFRIKA (IGA) and Mr. Eazi, we delve into his groundbreaking ventures in music and entrepreneurship to his recent foray into the gaming world, Mr. Eazi shares insights into the synergies shaping Africa’s cultural and economic landscape. Mr. Eazi Choplife Gaming

IGA: Kindly tell us about yourself and why you chose the stage name “Mr. Eazi.” 

Mr. Eazi: I am a singer, songwriter, producer, and creative entrepreneur born in Nigeria. At the age of 16 in 2007, I ventured to Ghana to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at KNUST. During my second year of study, I began organising parties for fellow students seeking a reprieve from the rigours of academic life. My calm demeanour and knack for resolving conflicts earned me the nickname “Mr. Eazi” among friends and party attendees, and the name stuck.

iGaming AFRIKA: Your academic background is quite diverse, from studying mechanical engineering to venturing into various entrepreneurial endeavours. How have your education and early experiences influenced your approach to both business and creative projects?

Mr. Eazi: One aspect that profoundly shaped both my upbringing and education, from high school to KNUST, is the freedom to be inquisitive. This freedom has been instrumental in shaping my career as an African creative and entrepreneur. Mr. Eazi Choplife Gaming

Throughout my educational journey, I was fortunate to have the autonomy to select my courses of study and choose which school to attend. Even after pursuing a degree in engineering, I continued to follow my passion for entrepreneurship. I distinctly recall my dean at KNUST supporting and assisting me in my entrepreneurial endeavours, even as I pursued my studies.

This freedom to explore and the question has been a guiding force in both my music and entrepreneurial journey, allowing me to navigate my path with curiosity and creativity.

iGaming AFRIKA: What are the major challenges you faced while trying to start a career in the Music and Arts industry? How did you manage to beat the odds and become the person you are today? 

Mr. Eazi: At the time, one of the major challenges I faced was securing investment and convincing people of the viability of African music. However, I was determined to prove the sceptics wrong. Through relentless persistence and unwavering determination, I continued to push forward.

I firmly believed in the potential of African music, and I was determined to demonstrate its value through action. Over time, my perseverance paid off, and it became evident to all that African music was not just viable but flourishing. Today, African music stands as one of the fastest-growing genres worldwide, a testament to the power of persistence and determination to stay the course.

iGaming AFRIKA: The founding of Empawa Africa in November 2018 reflects your commitment to talent development in Africa. How has Empawa contributed to the growth and sustainability of the creative industry, particularly in Africa?

Mr. Eazi: We’ve made significant investments in over 123 artists spanning across 11 African countries. Many of these artists have risen to global stardom, elevating the conversation surrounding African music on a global scale. 

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What’s even more exciting is that some of these artists have gone on to establish their record labels, contributing to the growth and sustainability of the music ecosystem. 

Our commitment to supporting and nurturing African talent has not only transformed the lives of individual artists but has also played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of African music on the global stage. Mr. Eazi Choplife Gaming

iGaming AFRIKA: Your passion for education and creativity is evident in your commitment to funding university students in several African countries such as Ghana. Why is it particularly important for successful athletes, artists, and brands operating in Africa to support education and creativity as they contribute to shaping a country’s national consciousness?

Mr. Eazi: Talent, above all, has been a powerful catalyst for economic mobility among millions of young Africans. Whether it’s talent in academia, medicine, engineering, technology, sports, music, movies, or art, it has leveled the playing field and provided opportunities for advancement. Beyond its economic impact, talent cultivation elevates the collective consciousness of African youth, fostering growth and empowerment across communities.

Today, I’m honoured to be globally recognised, thanks to my education and creative talent. My mission is to pay forward this privilege by providing others with quality education and opportunities to nurture their talents. 

Recently, we established the Choplife Foundation to centralise and oversee these efforts comprehensively. With the foundation in place, we aim to execute and monitor activities geared towards empowering individuals through education and talent development on a broader scale.

iGaming AFRIKA: Your journey in the gaming industry started in 2017 as a brand ambassador and evolved into being the franchise owner of Choplife Gaming. Can you share some insights into how your involvement in gaming has evolved over the years, leading to the growth and success of Choplife Gaming over the years?

Mr. Eazi: Reflecting on my journey, it’s incredible to see how each step has led me forward. In 2017, I started as a brand ambassador for betPawa, marking the beginning of my venture into the industry. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of visionaries like Jay-Z and Michael Jordan, I capitalised on investment opportunities between 2017 and 2023.

In 2020, I launched Choplife Gaming, initially licensing betPawa in a single market. Leveraging our operational expertise, we swiftly expanded our partnership to encompass five markets, even pioneering two greenfield operations. Our success in this sector is grounded in our deep comprehension of operational and regulatory frameworks across each jurisdiction. Mr. Eazi Choplife Gaming

The true highlights of my journey are the impactful opportunities that arise from operating in this industry. Collaborations like those with the Ghana Football League, boxing development projects in Ghana and Cameroon, partnerships with Rayon Sports FC in Rwanda, and our recent collaboration with Sporting Lagos FC deeply excite me. Supporting the African creative industry is a responsibility I wholeheartedly embrace, and I eagerly anticipate many more collaborations in the future.

iGaming AFRIKA: Very recently you received the Young Entrepreneur Award at the Africa Prosperity Champions Awards in Accra. What significance does such an award have for you as an artist and entrepreneur?

Mr. Eazi: It serves as a reminder that there’s much work yet to be done. I view it as a significant responsibility to inspire those who come after me. These awards, if anything, illuminate the progress being made. We all need role models or examples to show us that “It is possible.” I’m deeply grateful for the recognition, especially alongside other remarkable Africans, and I don’t take it lightly.

iGaming AFRIKA: Between business and music, where lies your passion and how do you balance between business and music careers? 

Mr. Eazi: Haha you speak like they are two different things (Mr. Eazi proceeds to laugh)! I perceive business and music as forms of creativity, and I continuously engage in both realms, as they often intersect seamlessly. The process of creating is ongoing for me, as I find inspiration and innovation in the dynamic interplay between the two.

The lightbulb moment for me occurred in 2022 when I undertook a short course on “The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports” at Harvard. It was then that I recognized the interconnectedness of various creative fields and the immense growth potential they hold across Africa. 

Since then, I’ve remained steadfast in my commitment to investing in music, sports, film, and art, recognizing the significant opportunities they present for both individual and collective advancement.

iGaming AFRIKA: Beyond gaming, you’ve also founded the Choplife Foundation. Could you tell us more about the foundation’s goals and how it aligns with your broader vision for social impact?

Mr. Eazi: The Choplife Foundation has been established in Rwanda with a clear mission: to invest in education and African creativity. This charter is of paramount importance to me. 

In the past year alone, we’ve provided funding to over 300 university students. Moving forward, I’m doubling down on this commitment, aiming to support 3000 young Africans over the next three years. Our focus will span across technology, academia, sports, and creative arts, empowering the next generation to reach their full potential.

iGaming AFRIKA: As the owner of Choplife Gaming, what is your vision for the future of the franchise? Are there specific milestones or goals you aim to achieve in the coming years to further establish Choplife Gaming as a prominent player in the industry?

Mr Eazi: We plan to forge ahead by partnering with reputable gaming brands seeking to expand across Africa. Simultaneously, we’re developing our own B2C brand and expanding it in alignment with our broad vision of investing in and developing African entertainment.

The Choplife Gaming team excels at operational plumbing, including local licensing and operations in multiple jurisdictions. As we continue to grow, we’re committed to collaborating closely with all stakeholders to cultivate a sustainable gaming environment. Mr. Eazi Choplife Gaming

Mr. Eazi Quotes

Our commitment to supporting and nurturing African talent has not only transformed the lives of individual artists but has also played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of African music on the global stage.

My mission is to pay forward this privilege by providing others with quality education and opportunities to nurture their talents.

We all need role models or examples to show us that “It is possible.

We plan to forge ahead by partnering with reputable gaming brands seeking to expand across Africa.

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