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How Mo Fakorede is Changing the Face of Talent Management in Nollywood.

Bside recently sat down with Mo Fakorede, founder of Graziato House, to discuss talent management in Nigeria, they different hurdles she's faced in her six years as a talent manager, the future of the occupation and much more.

When Modupe Fakorede, founder of Graziato House ー a full service agency representing performers in the field of film and television ー reminisces on how she began her career in Nollywood as a talent manager, her words are accompanied by a striking profoundness: “it was hard and I am not even going to lie because there weren’t so many people actively in the film talent management business at the time,”. Her pragmatic perspective speaks to her years as an all-around creative in the film industry

Behind every successful actor or actress, there’s an individual who guides their professional career and oversees their day-to-day affairs. This is the case for Modupe Fakorede popularly referred to as Mo by many. The accomplished talent manager started in the film industry as a scriptwriter before being nudged by a friend who saw her potential as a talent manager while in film school; “I was in film school, I was learning script writing and I was helping students from the acting class go about their imaging and profiling and then a friend then goes and says you have a thing for helping people manage how they go about their thing. How about you find a talent manager to maybe learn from or something, and that sort of resonated with me”. she tells me, speaking on how she found herself on her current career path.

Six years down the line, Fakorede manages some of the biggest names in Nollywood like Timini Egbuson, Chelsea Eze and Kunle Remi. Besides being the go-to talent manager, she is also a film producer and she has worked on a couple of film projects and with several filmmakers across the country.

Mo Fakorede, who credits her growth in the industry as a talent manager to figures like film producer Isioma Osaje and PR executive Nike Fagbule, sat with Bside for an exclusive chat, discussing her journey into the business of talent management, what it has been like for her, her transition into film production, new projects and more.

Bside: When you tell people that you are a talent manager in Nollywood, what do you think their perception of you is?

Fakorede: People outside of Nollywood are always like “oh wow, what is your work like?” We try to downplay the work but it is a lot of work. To Nollywood filmmakers, it’s more like “so you are the one I have to talk to before talking to this person or book this person, oga oooo, that means this person's price has gone up”. And because filmmakers have had some misunderstandings with other managers so they tend to feel like it is expected for talent managers to be difficult. Maybe they have experienced some difficulties talking to other managers and most times the manager is just looking out for their talent while you are looking out for your film.

What was your first experience like as a Talent Manager?