Whoot Africa

15 Questions with the CEO – Funke Bucknor-Obruthe

Here on Whoot Africa, we not only showcase brands, but we also talk to the people behind those brands and have them share with us their back stories as well as give tips on how to successfully start and run a business.

Welcome to Whoot Africa’s – 15 Questions with the CEO.

Today, we will be talking with Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, CEO of Zapphaire Events


Boss Lady - Funke Bucknor - Obruthe
Boss Lady – Funke Bucknor – Obruthe


1.   Can you tell us a little about yourself and Zapphaire as a brand?

I am Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, a graduate of the University of Lagos, I studied Law. I am presently the MD/CEO of Zapphaire Events a reputable event planning company. I am married with 2 kids. Zapphaire Events is an event consultancy, marketing, planning and management company. We are also event producers and public relations consultants with the aim of constantly providing excellent services for all event needs. We have been in existence for 10years.

Pixs 5
Funke at work

2.      How did you get started in Business and what did it take for you to get to where Zapphaire events are today?

I started by helping out with some of my friends weddings and some family functions. Hard work, dedication and passion have kept me going.


3.      What were you doing before Zapphaire events kicked off?

I was working with an advert and PR agency, TIE COMMUNICATIONS.

Funke Bucknor-Obruthe at the Nigerian Events Awards

4.      Did you know you were going to be an Entrepreneur all along or did it happen by chance?

No I didn’t.


5.      What do you love most about your business and your life as an Entrepreneur?

What I love most about my business is seeing my thoughts actualize, when I think about an event and execute the event just like I pictured it and also seeing the client happy and grateful for a job well done.

As an entrepreneur I love the fact that I have been able to create something out of nothing, I started when there was nothing like event planners in the country, and also the fact that people earn salaries from the business.

Funke Bucknor-Obruthe on CNN's Inside Africa
Funke Bucknor-Obruthe on CNN’s Inside Africa

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6.      What keeps you and the Zapphaire Events team motivated?

Our love for events, and also knowing that we can’t afford to fail our clients, we have a reputation to maintain and we are always ready to do that.

7.      What do you think are the most important personal skills someone must have to be successful in business?

Hard work, Focus, Determination


8.      How do you envision Zapphaire events in 5-10years from now?

As an international company, planning events outside the shores of Africa, Having chains of event centres and influencing lives in general.

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9.      What are the obstacles you encountered in your business journey and how did you overcome them? 

One of the obstacles was when the job just started off and people didn’t really know what event planning was about, another is staff maintenance, some come and leave after a while to start off their own businesses. Incentives have been put in place to maintain this and I have also been lucky enough to have good and loyal staffs.



10.  How would you describe your leadership style?

Laissez-faire and Transformational leadership styles


11.  You have hosted and catered for some of the biggest Events in Nigeria, as well as a few destination Events around the world, do you ever get that unfathomable moment feeling sometimes where you can’t believe how far you have come as an individual or CEO?

Definitely, looking back, I can’t help but give glory to God all the time.


The Bridal Handbook
The Bridal Handbook

12.  What do you think about college education? Should kids go to college now or get into business if they feel it’s a better choice? Considering some of the world’s greatest never had college education, your thoughts?

I believe university education is very important. Knowledge and experience gained is always helpful.


13.  Who was the most influential person or mentor in your life?

I would say my parents; they are very hard-working. My mum has always been industrious and I can say I learned a lot from that.



14.  You are raising some two beautiful daughters right now? What is the one gift you would like to pass on to your sons and daughters from your experience?  

That family values are very important.



15.  What would be the most important piece of advice you could give to young entrepreneurs and why?

Be loyal, focused, hardworking, diligent, persistent and have integrity.


Visit Zapphaire Events on the internet at www.zapphaire.com

Whoot Africa

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