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Small Business News - Media Shots

Prayer through a crisis

SINGER Patti Boulaye told the conference of her faith in God and what it was like growing up in Nigeria during the Biafran war.

"At 5am we got together for prayers and we never knew who would live through the day," she said.

"We were a political family in enemy territory and our people were being massacred. We got used to seeing dead bodies in the street."

Her earliest memory is of being stuck in a jeep which was attacked by a machete-wielding mob and being covered in blood dripping from the driver's head. Somehow they escaped and in the 70s came to England. Her eight brothers and sisters have gone into various professions and her family was not keen on her becoming an entertainer.

As her singing and acting career took off, she made a point of paying close attention to all the jobs behind the scenes, which laid the foundation for another career - in business.

She is the chairman of Boulaye Entertainments plc as well as an import company. She is also the president of her own charity, Support for Africa. She started it after realising that some well intentioned charities just do not understand African customs.

She gave the example of shipments of condoms supplied and demonstrated by being pulled on a stick. Later every hut had its condom proudly displayed outside, on its stick. The Africans thought that they were a fetish which would protect them from AIDS.

Patti Boulaye at the Women Into Business Conference
Singer Patti Boulaye wowed the conference by turning up in a stunning dress and jewellery of her own design (above).

Extract and photo copyright of Small Business Bureau
Issue No. 191 - Spring 2002