Meet Gbenga Adeku, Our Flexxpreneur Of The Month!

Meet Gbenga Adeku, Our Flexxpreneur Of The Month!

Hey Flexxers!

Say hello to Gbenga, our Flexxpreneur for August!

From seeing plastic PET bottles block a particular water way in his community to having an “Aha” moment when he learned more about their negative impacts on the environment, Gbenga Adeku couldn’t help but do something. He founded Xtetixupcycle; an art company building knowledge capacity to tackle climate change.

Read more about his journey...

Let’s meet you (Your name, what you do and where you are from)

I am Gbenga Adeku, an award-winning upcycle artist and currently an ambassador for IBplc and Father’s Love Forum in Nigeria. In 2019, I founded Xtetixupcycle; an art company aimed at building knowledge capacity to tackle climate change through art as a visual educational/awareness tool, material research and upcycle training of other artists to ensure an effective positive chain reaction. I currently run an upcycle art studio in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

How long have you been doing this?

I having been practicing art professionally since 2015, while I started upcycling in 2017. In view of my art practice’s growth, scale and sustainability, Xtetixupcycle was born in 2019.

What inspired you to go into business?

An experience of Plastic PET bottles blocking a particular water way in my community. I had an “Aha” moment when I later found an article on the internet that states “a PET bottle would last over 400 years before breaking down to micro plastics even in the sun and rain. I imagined PET bottles as premium art materials because of their durability. Indoors, they could last  thousands of years.

What are the challenges you face as a young entrepreneur?

• Standard Studio Space

• Logistics

• Body of Knowledge

• Capital

• Conversion rate

• Skilled Staff

What was your highest and lowest point since you started this journey?

-The lowest point

My team and I were ready to show our art last year September, but many galleries ignored our proposals and that got to me emotionally down. I couldn’t believe they turned us down despite how certain I was that no art exhibition in that time was as important or prompt on the critical subject of climate change.


The hightest point

Amongst many dignitaries who visited Terrakulture to see Orilafinju, when my mentor Dotun Popoola walked into the gallery, I was super excited . Most importantly, he was highly impressed by the work. 

What do you aim to achieve in the next 12 months in relation to your business?

• Reach 100,000 – 500,000 customers in actual & merchandise upcycle products through Etsy, Redbubble, Buyavrika, Printable e.t.c

• Secure a studio property sitting on 5 hectares in Epe, Lagos.

• Secure our art Gallery on Metaverse

• Infuse Augumented reality on 50% of our artworks 

• Train in house 10 upcycle artists

• Collaborating with real estate developers and fashion brands.

What are your short and long-term goals?

-Short Term

Hosting META-Lokan ( A solo exhibition of upcycle, NFTs, AR Art )

 

-Long term

Create the most valuable and influential upcycle art in the global history of modern and contemporary art within a decade.

Which individuals do you get inspiration from and why?

-Dotun Popoola 

He is the most influential in the environmental art space in Africa. He preaches the message of hope through metal waste and junks, and his masterpieces remain highly regarded as luxury art.

 

-Sayaka Ganz

She’s one of the few most powerful sculptors in the world creating monumental arts with plastics waste, while her art focus on marine life.

How do you unwind?

I take weeks off to creative camps like the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation twice a year. On a lighter note, I stay indoors and order delicacies of choice. 

What advice would you give your fellow Flexxers who are on this path?

Don’t stop believing in yourself.

What are your social media handles?

Twitter: @gbengaupcycle 

Facebook: @gbengaadeku 

Instagram: @gbengaadeku

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

That’s all to me! Thank you, FCMB, for this opportunity. 


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