10 Minutes With Francis Abutoh
Francis A. Abutoh, King Franky, aka, King of Workout is an expert in African fitness and wellness. He is CEO of Shakuma Fitness, a gym and wellness centre based in Europe.
He came into Nigeria a few months ago with plans to set up a branch of his successful fitness module in Nigeria.
Why did you decide to start outside Nigeria?
As a Nigerian based in Antwerp Belgium, secondly, as one of the best fitness and group workout/exercise instructors in Belgium in the 90‘s, I had a dream to start my own or new fitness and workout brand called shakuma more than 15 years ago. If you are tired of reading other peoples book, then it is high time you wrote your book. That is what I did exactly with Shakuma Fitness Academy International. I wanted to contribute something new, original and beneficial to the fitness industry. Wanted to promote my Nigerian Culture in Belgium, Europe, using Afrobeat music, and much more to present my African dance workout concept, makes it new, unique and original. For me for it is a sense of satisfaction. Going back to my roots and doing what I believed in, which is changing the lives of millions of people in Belgium, Europe and beyond. Am happy that is one hundred percent Nigerian and African.
Why coming to Nigeria?
A healthy nation is a wealthy nation, and as a Nigerian and as an expert in African fitness and wellness with more than 20 years experience in the business. After more than 15 years of successful Shakuma fitness presentation in Belgium and Europe, I thought it is time to bring my expertise and my experience back home. I want to create fitness health awareness in Nigeria because I care about the health of every Nigerian. I also think that Nigerians are ready to embrace the benefits of Shakuma Fitness experience. It will be easy for Nigerians to relate to Shakuma because of the Afrobeat music and the Nigerian / African dance moves. I also want every Nigerian to enjoy what Europeans have been enjoying in Shakuma fitness. Am proud and happy to bring Shakuma Fitness back to Nigeria.
Do you have a target audience in mind or anyone that can register is automatically eligible?
Our target audience is the general public, Shakuma is not restricted to one particular group of people. Anyone that can register and knows the importance and the benefits of exercising is automatically eligible to join Shakuma class.
What informed your choice of location in Nigeria?
East, West, North, South they say, home is and remains the best
As a diaspora Nigerian, who has successfully sold my Shakuma fitness concept all across Europe, and participated and left my mark at several world fitness Expos, Cologne, Germany 2015, Warsaw Poland 2016, to mention but a few. Having a host awards in my kitty, coming to Nigeria, Africa’s Most Populous Nation is no doubt an ideal place or location to start- With Lagos of course, though once the nation’s capital, but remains Nigeria’s economic nerve centre. The above facts informed my decision to pick Lagos as the right point of entry into the Nigerian fitness market.
Any foreseeable challenges? And how do you intend to tackle them?
We don’t foresee any challenges rather than security, means of getting to the fitness location, traffic jam, electricity and general logistics that every business is facing in Nigeria. The rest will be dealt with as we see them. We are positive and ready to deal with any challenges that will come.
From photos seen, it is obvious you train just women, Why?
Yes, you are right that from the photos you can see that more than 80 percent of shakuma students are women . My answer to this question is very simple, especially European Women are more open to African culture and something new, when it comes to music, dance and exercising.They are more aware of their health, taking good care of themselves, eating healthy. We do have few European Men joining shakuma class. But we hardly see African Women and Men in Diaspora Joining shakuma or doing any exercise for that matter. Shakuma design for everyone from different nationalities, male or female, old and young. Regardless of your profession as long as you love Afrobeat music and African dance moves, Shakuma is for you.
How affordable are your services?
Our services are affordable for those who are willing to invest in their body and health. For those who know the importance of working out and exercising.
What is the big picture for Shakuma in Nigeria?
The bigger picture for Shakuma in Nigeria is to introduce Shakuma to every single Nigerian. Also, to establish Shakuma in every State in Nigeria, and to keep Nigeria fit, healthy and active with Shakuma Fitness Afrobeat workout and exercise.
Any plans to extend Shakuma to other parts of Africa?
Yes, our big dream is to duplicate Shakuma concept around the African continent. Making Africa fit, healthy and productive will be a big dream come true. Every big thing starts with a small dream. We are positive, and with self-assurance, we are sure we can make it happen. Yes, we can.