Happy New Year Hippies! We know 2020 was challenging and hope for a better 2021.
We start this year with our Hippie of the Month Series, featuring Koli Akpet, a 27 year old lawyer, academic and artiste. In his interview with Hippie In A Suit, Koli gives us an insight into his corporate and creative personalities. Enjoy!
HIAS: Hi Koli, thank you for agreeing to this feature. Could you please describe yourself a little, personality, irks and quirks.
Koli: Hello, it’s a pleasure. Hmmm, right now, I would describe myself as both sides of the extreme – very confident and outgoing, yet fiercely private and in many ways, somewhat detached. Irks; hmmm, I lowkey cannot stand people that are too put together because they remind me of everything I am not. Haha! As for quirks, I don’t think I have too many, or do I? Perhaps, I’ll say that I love love a lot; especially when it is other people that are in the relationship. Then, I can observe, enjoy, learn and then write about it without being involved in the messy part. Same thing goes for kids and pets, they are nicer when you can give them back.
HIAS: Hahaha! So would you say you’d prefer to be the Favourite/Fun Uncle?
Koli: Exactly! Show up once in a while with their favourite games and sweets, but not everyday!
HIAS: Haha! On a more serious note, what motivates you everyday?
Koli: This is actually a good question. What drives me every day? I’ll say an almost naïve amount of faith and hope, as well as the innate belief that my worst days are already behind me.
HIAS: And what are your goals and aspirations?
Koli: My goals and aspirations keep changing almost every other month, but I’ll say the most consistent have been to own major equity in a global venture that gives as good as it gets. Also, you know how you can put a pill in a child’s favorite foods so they don’t even know they have taken their medicine, but they have? That’s how I want my music and poetry to be – medicine served in a hot dish!
HIAS: Profound. So tell us, what is that one thing you would want to be renowned for?
Koli: There was a time when I was caught between two worlds, I was known by some people as a star law student – President of the Law Students’ Society and consistently among the top performing law students in the law faculty of my School; and then there was another group of people that knew me as Koli the singer. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened. Perhaps because it’s rare for these two worlds to collide. And then sometime between 2016 and 2018, things changed a bit and my life became mostly about my career as a lawyer. Now, virtually everyone that knows me, knows me as the lawyer who writes music and poetry and performs both. I think I prefer it this way. It is simpler.
I think I want to be remembered as the guy that was fearless or better still, succeeded despite his fears. I want to be remembered for succeeding by doing it my own way – with simplicity, authenticity, grace and quiet confidence.
HIAS: Wow Koli, that last statement left us speechless. They say hindsight is 20/20 so, if you could go back in time, say before embarking on your current career path; what decisions/choices, if any, would you be happy to change. And why?
Koli: If I could go back, I’ll take my art more seriously. I will regard it the way I do now – to be just as important as my studies and career. I think I will also cultivate better relationships with other artist(e)s, and take my community more seriously. If I could go back, I would also make an effort to take music and writing courses at Uni along with my law courses. I think I will also take local and international languages more seriously. These are the things I will change if I could, because I know that they would make my work richer, a bit more well-rounded and more relatable than it is today. Oh! I think I will also tell my younger self not to take bullies too seriously, they don’t know what they are saying. I would not embark on a different career path though, imagine all the free legal advice I would miss if I did not study law. Haha!
HIAS: Fair to say, you have fully embraced your creative and corporate personalities. We would like to know more about how you discovered music and poetry.
Koli: I started singing when I was picked in school to join the junior classical choir. I must have been 5 or 6 at the time. My older siblings and parents say I was always singing at home; now, whether or not I sang in key is a different matter altogether. Haha!
As for writing of songs and poetry, I started writing poetry in High School, but for some reason, I just sucked at writing songs. I sang in an acapella group for some time too, and in Uni, I joined a band called Secret of David. In the band, we used to host concerts once a year and write our own music, it was as a member of this group that I learned how to play the guitar and channel my creativity into songwriting. The rest, they say, is history.
I think many people would classify our creative or artistic endeavours as our ‘side hustle’ but I do not classify mine as a side hustle. It is what it is – my art. I am as much an artiste as I am a lawyer. I like to say I am a full-time artiste and full-time lawyer, the side of me you encounter just depends on what time of the day or day of the week you catch me.
HIAS: Finally, do you see HIAS community as a platform express your creative and conventional professions and would you recommend to fellow “Hippies In Suits”?
Koli: Oh, most definitely. I think what you guys are doing is great. Many of us have struggled to legitimise/define our creative sides and the Hippie In A Suit community is the right kind of validation we need at this time. I also think community works and creatives tend to thrive in community. So well done and keep it up!
HIAS: Thank you for the kind words and we wish you more successes in all your endeavours!
To know more about Koli, go to:
4 thoughts on “Hippie of the Month (January) – Koli Akpet”
A most interesting interview! 🙂
Thank you, we enjoyed it ourselves!
Aw this is lovely
Wow Koli is always such an inspiring individual to listen to… I love how his personality comes out in this interview. Very interesting.