Tainsville’s Spotlights: Interview with Tiketmobile’s C.E.O, Celestine Eze-okoye

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Hello, Good people of the interwebs. A while ago, We put up a post about Tiketmobile, You can read it here. Today, We would be sharing an exclusive interview with Tiketmobile’s cofounder Celestine Ezeokoye. We have been siting on this interview for a while and it has been haunting our dreams. We do hope that someone gets inspired to do their own thing after reading this; which is the direction that this blog has been tilting in recent times, promoting the entrepreneurial mind.

Tiketmobile makes it easy and convenient for you to find information about bus tickets, buy the tickets and use it across major inter-state bus routes in Nigeria.

We caught up with Tiketmobile’s CEO at Co-creation hub.

Q&A with Celestine Ezeokoye, C.E.O., Tiketmobile

Tainsville: Kindly introduce yourself…

Celestine: My name is Celestine Ezeokoye. I am the co-founder of Tiketmobile. I currently act as the CEO.

Tainsvile: what does Tiketmobile do?

Celestine: Tiketmobile lets people conveniently buy bus tickets on their mobile phone. The key word is “conveniently”.

Tainsville: How did the idea come to life? Who came up with it/what inspired its founding?

Celestine: My co-founder (Constance Okoghenun)  had an idea of ticketing for events, then we did a little drift when my brother was going for his NYSC and he had to go and find out the price of the bus a day before he had to travel. So we turned it around from events ticketing to bus ticketing.

Tainsville: How are you going about it? Are you in collaboration with anybody? 

Celestine: The bus companies are listed on it. If you want to travel, you find where you’re going and you pay with your atm card. We are ultimately going to get other companies and other modes of payment, but right now, you pay with your ATM card.

When you buy a ticket you’re actually booking. That’s basically what you do. When you buy your ticket, you book a space. That’s what it is.

Tainsville: Bus or taxi?

Celestine: Inter-state bus. Long distance bus. Lagos to Abuja, Lagos to benin. Those kind of buses.

Tainsville: All those ‘ekeledilichukwu’ kind of buses *laughs*

Celestine: *laughs* Yeah. All those kind of buses.

Tainsville: On payment, when the user pays, who is the money going to? the bus guys? How do you remit the money?

Celestine: The bus companies get their money. I wouldn’t want to go into details of how we do it. But when the user pays, the bus company gets their money and a notice is sent to them that you’re ready to book.

Tainsville: Is there any form of evidence?

Celestine: They user gets an sms and a ticket record. The bus company gets an sms and an email of the ticket record. when you go to board your bus, you just  provide the ticket record or sms.

Tainsville: How many users do you have currently?

Celestine: Errrm…we can’t give out our statistics now. We can’t give our records now

Tainsville: Okay. I understand

Tainsville: What have been your challenges so far?

Celestine: *pause* *chuckles*  ermm if I say things that are very technical it won’t make any sense to everyone.

Tainsville: LOL. I would try and tailor it in layman’s terms

Celestine: The biggest challenge in building the platform is payment, but there are other things. You need relationships. You need partnerships and relationships to make this kind of things work. if you don’t have relationships, you could stay in your house and build an awesome ticketing platform and then you lose in the long run.

You put it out and it doesn’t make sense to anybody. The people who should use it don’t see any value in it. So there are relationships that would let you even see the kind of values you need to put in what you’re doing and there are relationships that would actually help you translate those values  to what people would want to use on a regular basis.

One of the best places to get those kind of relationships is to be in a community, that’s what cc-hub brings. So most of the challenges we have were solved my just joining a community, by joining co-creation hub. Co-creation hub brings in business incubation, business support and then opens you up, creates a perfect platform for you to build those kind of relationships you need.

There’s nobody  that can do this kind of thing on their own. If you want to build something that would be useful to people , go out. Interact, join communities, join Cc-hub basically…and your life would never remain the same

Tainsville: Hahahaha..

Celestine: I’m selling them(CC-Hub) yeah?

Tainsville: Exactly

Celestine: But that’s it. Basically, if you need to go ahead… there’s nobody that can do it alone…you cant stand alone.

Tainsville: Who are the people currently supporting Tiketmobile?

Celestine: Co-creation hub, Tony Elumelu foundation, Nokia, Microsoft…errm…those are co-operate organisations. Individuals…Ade Atobatele, Chuka…there are so many people, so many people. If I was at home doing this, I wouldn’t have so many people supporting me.

Tainsville: What’s the future for Tiketmobile?

Celestine: Tiketmobile is going to be an household name the way Facebook is. The way Google is. It’s just going to be a household name, that’s the future.  It’s inevitable…with the help of God.

Tainsville: If there’s any other thing, I’ll get back to you. Thank you.

Celestine: You’re welcome.

Thanks for joining us Celestine! To our readers, check out Tiketmobile.com. Don’t forget to spread the word!!!

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Artmosphere May, 2013 Edition: Growing Up

Artmosphere

The fifth edition of ARTMOSPHERE, your favourite Music, Literature and Arts parley opens with a deliberate attempt to discuss African identity and realistic approach to progress in Africa. There will also be a detailed predisposition, and juxtapositions to personal and continental experiences of growing up.

WriteHouse Collective will be using this edition of Artmosphere to question evolving and modern African values with consideration to ethics, technological use and education. The foregrounded and fundamental question will be “What are the values and ideals that define our cosmos and what do we do with them in a fast multicultural and constantly changing cross-idealistic world?

Award-winning poet and literary scholar, Peter Akinlabi and novelist Omotunde Omole will read from their latest works and also deliver insightful perspectives and experiences relevant to the central theme. Peter Akinlabi was the very first winner of the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October, 2009). This will be followed by panel discussions as well as presentations from traditionally unpublished and emerging voices in Nigerian literature like Yeku James, Biodun Bello and Opeyemi Adeola. There will be music performances to spice the rhythm and jibes of poetry, stories and experiences.

Artmosphere is organized by WriteHouse Collective, a creative enterprise, culture and arts firm and supported by Ibridge Hub, a place for people with great ideas to meet, learn and work. This edition is also supported by literary friends across the country.

The May edition of Artmosphere tagged “Growing Up” will hold from 3pm-6pm on Saturday, May 18, 2013.

Venue: NuStreams Conference Centre, KM 110 Abeokuta Road, off Alalubosa G.R.A., Ibadan.

Guest Performers:

Peter Akinlabi lives and works in Ilorin. He obtained a Bachelor degree in English from University of Ibadan, Ibadan and Masters in English and Literary studies from University of Ilorin. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Sentinel Quarterly, Lit.Mag. of Nigerianstalk.org and Sentinel Nigeria. He was shortlisted for first African Poetry Prize of University of Brunel, UK, and is the winner of Sentinel Quarterly Poetry Competition in 2009.

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Biodun Bello was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Ibadan and later a Master’s degree in Performance Studies at the Institute of African Studies of the same University. He has had diverse work exposures and experiences, having had stints with a private media and sports marketing firm in Lagos as an operations assistant, and later as a liaison officer to a youth and family NGO in Ibadan, and later as instructor at a British school in his country’s Federal Capital where he taught History, Science and later English, subsequently rising to the position of Head of the School’s Literacy Department and then Coordinator of the School’s Literacy Development Programme. A poet and songwriter, Biodun emerged the overall winner of the annual Okigbo Poetry Competition in 2005 at the University of Ibadan, and winning prizes as runner-up at different other times.

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Yeku James holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in Performance Studies from the University of Ibadan. He is the curator of the online group, MUSE ON FIRE, where he coordinates, criticizes and publishes literary discourses. He served as Literacy Instructor in the Literacy Unit of Tender Years School (British), Abuja, where he was also Coordinator for the Reading Club, as well as a Curriculum Developer. His poetry has been widely published in different media. Yeku is the Author of Comprehensive Grammar (in press). He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.

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Opeyemi Adeola is a final year student of English Language at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is a lover of the Arts and a worshipper of books. Writing comes to her when painting fails to tell the numerous stories in her head.  She was recently assigned the role of a relationship manager at WriteHouse Collective.

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Her passion for ‘women’s rights’ inspires most of her works; her writings have appeared on various online platforms.

If you’re in Ibadan this weekend and/or you haven’t decided on your weekend activity…wouldn’t you rather be with ‘literary heads’?