Who is De Don?
My name is Umenwobi Abuchi Henry (JP). I am the CEO of New World lounge and Las Vegas night club, Awka, Anambra State. I’m from Ezinifite Aguata local government Area in Anambra State. I grew up in Ezinifite before heading to Bauchi to learn trading. After that I came to Awka where I resided briefly before traveling abroad.
How long did you stay abroad?
I stayed for about 8 years because, no matter where I go my heart is always in Nigeria.
Since your arrival how would you describe your experience?
Well, so far so good. I saw a lot of nice changes especially in Anambra State. I was surprised to see that the state is one of the safest in Nigeria now thanks to chief Willie Obaino. People can move freely at any time now.
What inspired you to go into hospitality business?
OK, I’ll say that the major reason I went into hospitality business is because, since I was a kid I’ve always told myself that I’ll like to do something that will benefit people. So when I came back from abroad I thought of many business ideas, but later settled on building hotels and clubs. Because first it’ll employ many people, provide the people a place to rest and a place to enjoy themselves. You can imagine my joy when I see people propose to their girlfriends every week at my club. It also gladdens my heart to see happy couples coming to my hotel for honeymoon. There are so many positive experiences but I can only name a few.
How were you able to build New World Hotel and Las Vegas Night Club into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Anambra State?
I’ll say it all boils down to good service. We always make sure that our customers are well treated. That keeps them coming back. Next is security. I’ll say that our place is one of the safest places people can lodge or club with rest of mind. Then the types of events we host to appease the customers matters too. People love our activities such as, the white party, which attracts the high and the mighty in Anambra State. We also hosts Jersey party which involves people coming out wearing their clubs’ jerseys. I’ll say it’s been one of the most successful parties hosted in Las Vegas night club. We also do champagne Night, which as the name implies is all about champagne. We have 30 queens, where we host reigning pageantry winners from across the state. There’s also Arabian nights where the biggest boys and the biggest girls don Arabian attires. It’s really a sight to behold. We’re introducing two new parties, one is the Mask party which is coming up on Friday the 29th of June 2018, and the second one is celebrity night, which involves hosting popular celebrities once a month in the club. That doesn’t mean that celebs have not been frequenting our place. People like Terry G, D Prince, Vector, Nkoli Nwa Nsuka, Zubee Michael, Award winning film producer Lawrence Lurrenzo Onuzulike, Junior pope and host of others do visit our outfits.
How would you rate hospitality business in the Eastern part of the country, most especially Anambra?
I would say that my people are trying. Since the change in the security level of the state, hospitality business has surged dramatically. The biggest issue hindering growth is lack of electricity. I ran desel daily every year. It takes a lot from the business. But I don’t think that’s just an Anambra issue. I think it’s more of Nigeria’s issue.
It’s no doubt you’re a massive employer of youths. How has it been managing them?
I won’t lie to you, it hasn’t been easy. In every twelve apostles there must be a Judas. But we deal with them with patience and most importantly we train them always and ensure they know whats required of them at the work place. In all, I’ll say it’s God that helps us.
What are some of your plans in changing the face of hospitality business in Anambra State?
I won’t it call it plans because I’m already doing things to change the face of hospitality in Anambra State. I didn’t just build a hotel and a club and then went home to rest. Instead, I work with talented and creative people on a daily basis to keep dishing out fun activities and expanding our businesses to accommodate more customers and provide more jobs. Oh, let me add that due to the quality of our hotel and clubs and the standard we set, most people coming home from abroad like to stay and club with us.
Why did you choose to invest heavily in Anambra State?
If it was a few years ago, I won’t have taken the risk. But as I said earlier, when I returned to Nigeria I was shocked by the level of security in the state, again thanks to governor Willie Obaino. And also it’s my home state, they say Charity begins at home. If I don’t develop my state who will? It would’ve been a very big disappointment for me to travel abroad and see many things and not bring as much as possible back home, so that when white people visit Nigeria they will see that we are a modern society too. We can’t leave everything to the government.
What do you think of the current political situation in Nigeria?
In every positive there are some negatives, and in every negative there are some positives. I won’t say the current political situation is the best or the worst. I’ve learned to have some positives out of every situation.
What do you think of Governor Obaino’s leadership?
I think he’s trying. If you noticed I’ve mentioned security many times. It’s because businesses won’t thrive without security and he has provided that. Most people of Anambra State are very proud of him. But like I always said, we need power supply in the state, after security and good roads, power supply is very important. This is crippling many businesses not just only those in hospitality.
Do you think Governments at the state and the national levels deserved another term in office?
If I answer the question based on how I’m being favoured, then my answer will be biased. I’ll rather say it depends on Nigerians in general to decide. At this point I’m calling everyone to come out with their PVCs and vote for what’s better for the country and for my state.
From our little research, people of Anambra loves you immensely because of your philanthropic nature. Do you plan to ride the popularity wave and join politics?
If I’m to follow the way people have been pushing me I would’ve been into politics long before now. c don’t know about the future but for now I’m more focused on providing jobs for the youths and doing things that will benefit my people.