On a warm and sunny afternoon, I reached out to Dozie, known by his vibrant alias, Blaqcoffee. He had just emerged from a long and eventful night of planning an extraordinary affair. You see, Dozie held the coveted position of General Manager at the renowned nightclub “Play Ghana.” And on this particular night, he was set to host none other than the sensational artist and star of the “Power” TV series, Rotimi. The anticipation hung in the air as Dozie, with unwavering determination, ensured that every aspect of the nightclub and his team was primed for the grand event.
But let me take you back to the beginning, where Dozie’s captivating journey unfolded. Hailing from the bustling city of Lagos, Nigeria, he embarked on an academic path, studying Law and later exploring the realm of international relations. However, it was during his stint as a model, representing the prestigious brand Johnnie Walker, that he stumbled upon the enchanting world of hospitality. Through electrifying brand activations at nightclubs, Dozie felt an irresistible pull towards this dynamic industry, igniting the spark of his true passion.
Fate had a peculiar way of guiding Dozie’s steps, leading him to spend a significant portion of his time during the National Youth Service Corps at a captivating establishment known as Classic Rock. This coffee shop, restaurant, and lounge owned by his aunt became the canvas on which Dozie’s ingenuity and resourcefulness would paint a vivid picture of transformation.
Immersed in the daily operations, he keenly observed the subtle cracks in the foundation and swiftly conceived a masterful proposal to bridge the gaps. Presenting his vision to his aunt, Dozie’s perspective aligned harmoniously with that of a consultant she was consulting at the time. This serendipitous convergence of ideas sparked a bold decision — entrusting Dozie with the role of Assistant Manager, a stepping stone that would soon elevate him to the coveted position of General Manager.
As he embraced his multifaceted responsibilities, Dozie embarked on a quest to shatter the norm that favoured foreign managers, predominantly of Lebanese descent, over local talents. His heart lamented the lack of trust bestowed upon the indigenous workforce, and he ardently believed in unleashing the untapped potential within his homeland. It was during this transformative phase at Classic Rock that Dozie’s moniker, Blaqcoffee, was born. This cunning alias served as a beacon, enticing patrons with promises of exotic, premium coffee. Blaqcoffee’s opinion became gospel, as the patrons entrusted their taste buds to his discerning palate. For him, embodying the essence of what he sold was not just a marketing strategy, but a way of life — a testament to his indomitable spirit and tireless pursuit of success.
After bidding adieu to Classic Rock, Dozie found himself teaming up with an old gym buddy, their shared passion igniting the flames of ambition. Together, they birthed the enchanting “Beirut Nightclub” in the vibrant city of Abuja. Dozie meticulously handpicked a team of visionaries, meticulously crafted operational blueprints, and orchestrated a magnificent launch that captivated the senses. Yet, like the ephemeral beauty of a shooting star, success proved to be fleeting, clouded by the persistent issues of investors and partners wanting to hastily make a profit. Dozie’s spirit, however, remained unyielding, as he gazed resolutely into the abyss of uncertainty, ready to embark on his solo voyage.
With a heart fueled by resilience, Dozie bid farewell to the confines of Beirut Nightclub and summoned the courage to embark on his very own entrepreneurial odyssey — The Blaqcoffee Lifestyle was born. It was a realm where his boundless creativity danced in harmony with his unwavering willpower. As Blaqcoffee lifestyle, Dozie began to spread his gospel of hospitality excellence by working with such brands as Blue Pill, TOP and Playnetwork. His creation, VIP NIGHTS, fused boxing and nightlife two of the things he is passionate about, into an amazing lifestyle experience. VIP Nights premiered at PLAY ABUJA and it was an instant hit. This lifestyle event did so well that it attracted and partnered with Floyd Mayweather. More importantly, the event revealed what Dozie’s mind was capable of. The relationship between Dozie and Play network was strengthened by this successful endeavour.
The relationship between Dozie and Charles of Play, CEO of Play network took off from there on. It was built on a shared perspective on life and work. Both driven by the mantra of “take action, fail fast, learn fast and win”, they set their eyes on other ambitious endeavors. Play network was embarking on expanding the Play brand to Ghana and Charles of Play needed a trusted hand to man this new business. Dozie was the man for the job, he fit the bill and would deliver at the level of expertise Charles was shopping for. As general manager of Play Ghana and Lupita, Dozie has implemented strategies that have quickly established the business as a force to reckon with in Accra. In December 2022 when it opened its doors to the public, Play Ghana had such international guests as Dave Chappelle, Chance the Rapper, and Vic Mensa amongst others.
Speaking on Ghana and the impact of a brand like PLAY on the nightlife scene, Dozie is optimistic that he and his team would set new standards for how business is done. On a personal level, Dozie finds Ghana really refreshing. “You can’t put a price on the peace of mind in Ghana’, he says. “ They are genuinely happy people who know how to party and they have this organic vibe that is contagious.’. He is convinced that by sheer dedication to his personal vision and that of the brand he represents, he would become a big player in this culture he only recently discovered. “what’s your outlook on the Hospitality industry in Africa?”, I asked imagining what the bigger picture might be for him. He bemoaned the mediocre level of service by some players in the industry stressing that today’s customers demand a very high level of service excellence. He also highlighted the need for hospitality brands to invest in proper marketing stating the immense benefits this decision has brought to his operation.
Dozie has come a long way making a name for himself within the hospitality industry and by the sheer size of his optimism, you can tell he would continue to make valuable contributions to its growth. What is next for Dozie? He has his eye set on the next city he would take the gospel of. Blaqcofee and PLAY network too. “I am always thinking expansion’. He says with a smile like he is reminded of how he mostly gets what he wants.