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“My mother gave me three choices – lawyer, doctor or accountant?”
Bustling through the hungry crowd at the food market in Brick Lane on a sunny but chilly Sunday, Jide Adega and I muscled through after grabbing fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.  Within the chaos we found a quiet sanctitude to bust a conversation. Jide opened his world, his perspective on being an accountant, the importance of accountancy in business and life and looked at how his culture influenced him.
“I hated science, I wasn’t interested in law, but I was good at maths, so being an accountant was somewhat a natural path for me to go down.” Jide experienced a lack of career guidance during his attendance at school. His culture and mainly his mother influenced his choices from a young age.
“Coming from a Nigerian background means that education is imperative. The Nigerian perspective of success is having an admirable or elitist job such as a lawyer, doctor, engineer or accountant; that’s the pinnacle of success.”
Jide’s culture has profoundly influenced him but what he considers success more or less deviates from what he has been told.
“I don’t think the monetary value should be placed on success; as long as you have the necessities of food, clothing, shelter and good health, anything else after that might come down to comparing what you have to other people.”
Doing what you want to do every day and being happy is another aspect in which Jide contributes to his understanding of success. “Before I became an accountant, I was teaching basketball to children after school and honestly loved every moment of feeling like I was giving something back.”
“Does accountancy motivate me every day? I wouldn’t say so – I think I won’t be 100% happy until I’m working solely on my own business; I have viable ideas that I want to explore, especially from my experience as a British-Nigerian man.”
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Jide has another venture outside employment – Soobax, which he works alongside with Danai & Lwam and is one of the manifestations that reflects his experiences.

 

Accountancy is an integral part of any business, but what does it mean? What are the benefits? Jide believes that many entrepreneurs are passionate about their business ventures, but there needs to be a stronger understanding of the financial aspect of creating a business. “Accounting mostly is showing the end user how well the business is performing. Accounting is vital to business as it allows the entrepreneur to measure its success and whether it’s financially viable.”
“Being an accountant gives you a good grounding of how businesses work, and provides an understanding of how you should approach particular sectors; to be more forward thinking and strategic.”
Understanding finance and money management is something that is not taught in schools. The cliché saying is ‘money makes the world go round’ and is correct to some degree; I wanted to gain some insight from a professional to become better at managing money especially if you’re an entrepreneur, “if you have a business and you’re not financially savvy, hire somebody that is. If not, the Internet is an excellent resource to read up and attain knowledge in that area.”
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“I could’ve made more intelligent decisions in my past when it came to money. However, I think that now my lifestyle mirrors my knowledge. I had the luxury of time to make mistakes, as I now have no dependents and I’m a person that learns from my mistakes.” What money means to an individual is relative; the more you experience, the more your values and attitude towards money changes, but it’s an advantageous goal of many to become financially savvy to avoid mistakes such as debt and overspending.

I was keen to find out if there was a sudden shift that made Jide realise that his actions and behaviour should be more reflective of his motives and thoughts. “There hasn’t been any significant moment, it all comes with experience. However, there are a few things which I still plan to work on; like being in good physical shape and having a healthy diet.”
Being an accountant is only one aspect of who Jide is. I was able to gain an in-depth understanding of his ideas, and his drive to create ventures that take from his experience to help others grow and become better informed. We have many personality traits and interests; I was intrigued to find out what else makes Jide tick – “I love discovering new music, whether it’s Grime or Afrobeats; listening to music and experiencing new sounds within those genres is something I also love doing.”
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“I’m British and acutely aware of my Nigerian heritage, and proud of it. Different culture, different settings; when I’m at work, parts of my Nigerian culture doesn’t tend to flair up in me. When I’m in a Nigerian setting, I don’t feel 100% Nigerian but feel that may be down to not being able to speak the language. Language is an important aspect of identity. I know who I am as a British man, Nigerian man, and a Black man.”

You can find out more about Soobax by visiting their website www.soobax.co.uk and keep it iC-FREE for the full featured Soobax interview.

Subject – Jide Adega, accountant


Photographer & Writer – Kofi Dwaah
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