Atabo David of Comemakewego, the man who is doing a wonderful job of marketing African’s only suspended lake ‘Ado Awaye’ to the world is our traveler’s tales guest for this week.
David has been an helpful colleague in this industry and I really do appreciate his good work.
The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego is all about David telling us more about his brand, how he was able to get the local members of Ado Awaye to see the gem in their community, what motivates him, the biggest lesson he has learned, his advise to intending travelers and other things.
1. Can you kindly tell us about you and your brand?
I am Atabo David, a brand strategist; particularly leveraging on digital platforms – I help brands tell stories that sells. Currently bootstrapping a destination marketing startup ( Comemakewego) – with the mission to shed light on local communities in Africa with tourism and other investment opportunities. I believe in sustainable development, hence, we make it as a core benchmark at Comemakewego, ensuring there is a balance in economical and socio-cultural benefit between a travel and the locals, as well keeping the environment safe for living.
2. You are a destination marketer of Africa’s only suspended lake; how did you discover this gem?
I came across Ado-Awaye while exploring local communities in Oyo state, I saw the potential of the destination this led me to meet the local chiefs and King, and luckily for me, they received me with warm arms, and since then, it’s been quite a journey. Lol
3. I want to commend you for all the good work you have been doing with Ado Awaye. You are one of the people I tap inspiration from. You have marketed Ado Awaye in such a way the community members have been able to see the potential in their land? How did you achieve this?
Hahaha, you also inspire me much! – It hasn’t been easy getting the locals to put hands together. At first, I was trying to involve the government, after weeks and months of meeting with their officials, I got to realise I was just wasting my money on transport LOL. I needed to change plans but still had the goal in mind. Then I got back to the local chiefs and king to discuss. First, I stayed with them for 2 months or more (This showed my commitment to them -I became one of them, I slept where they did, eat what they ate, and breath same air with them. lol) – I was called the king’s son. It became easy for them to understand.
4. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt ever since you started working as a destination marketer?
Being a destination marketer in a country like Nigeria…mehn! I have learned a lot of lessons. First, if a plan doesn’t work, change your plans and not the goal. Secondly, be patient and persistent. Then, let every step you take lead you to achieving your goal.
5. What motivates you?
In terms of motivation – I would classify what motivates me into “internal and external factors” – constantly reminding myself where I want to be (vision) triggers me to not give up, knowing that the current issues will definitely pass with time; does the magic. Also, I get to receive some “touchy” messages from random people that have heard about Ado Awaye because of me, these messages gets my head swelling and I definitely won’t want to stop receiving them, so I have to do even more. Hahaha
6. How many places have you been to and which of this places will you like to live forever? And why?
Where I would like to live forever would be anywhere in Africa. If Africa was a lady with flesh, she would have been the standard of beauty for all ladies.
7. What was your worst travel experience? And what could you have done to make it better?
Yet to have any bad travel experience, as I am in that class of people that barely plan travels. I just teach myself to anything I see. (Never expecting anything, avoids disappointment).
8. How do you combine your 9-5 with marketing Ado Awaye plus the good job you’re doing with it?
My time has been flexible up until I finally established myself at AdoAwaye. Currently, my 9-5 has to do with digital marketing; which of course is in line with destination marketing.
9. How rewarding is traveling to you?
“Consciously traveling” opens your mind up. You become a citizen of the world. I have met lot of business partners through travels, I have made life changing decisions through travel, I have touched lives in my little way, and locals have touched my life as well.
10. What advise will you give to intending travelers?
It’s one thing to travel, it’s another thing to consciously travel. If your reason for travel is just to see, then you better stay in your house, save your money and “travel through Google images/Youtube” . Consciously traveling is seeing and engaging with locals; asking locals for direction instead of Google maps, eating the local food instead of bringing yours from your house, enjoying the potholes and mosquitoes instead of complaining. Hahaha
This is such an enlightening interview, I enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you David for taking out time to answer my questions. You can read more about his good works on his website : miztaatabo.com.ng . Get social with him on Instagram @iamatabo and Twitter @iamatabo.