Written by: Suzan Adinoyi
I have always loved games right from when I was a child. From video games like Matt hoffman’s pro bmx, street fighter, contra, super mario etc. to street games like suwe, I call on, tinko-tinko, rubber ring, fire on the mountain etc. to tabletop games like whot, jackpot, ludo, snake & ladder, draught etc.
One of my memorable family bonding moments was through games, as I would play draught with my dad and my brothers. It brought us closer back then, and it was fun. It also brought about this strong community. The adrenaline, competition, enthusiasm when playing with family, friends and neighbors was fascinating and it opened me up to a world where I believed so much in the power of games and how it can be a tool to Create solutions & experiences, Connect people and provide fun opportunities to Compete.
I hosted games night at every birthday I had every year and it was something everyone within my circle looked forward to plus the free food 😂. We would have over 40 people at my house after I’ve told my family that only 15-20 people are showing up. I think they got used to the number and we just always prepared for 40-60 people.
A few years ago, I wasn’t feeling up to hosting a games night or even a birthday party and then I looked at the music festival (Make Music Lagos) which I and my other organizing partners host every year. It is a huge event with over 30,000 people and I thought to myself, “Why can’t I do this for games?”. This birthed my company “Zannoza Entertainment”.
I also kept researching the tabletop games industry & Nigerian games, the more I researched, the more I was fascinated.
I have created quite a number of custom games which haven’t been published yet but have been played at numerous events (hopefully we get to publish our first game this year). Just finding more African & Nigerian themed games and experiencing international games that people have no clue about, excites me.
Now, I stay In Lagos state, the commercial city of Nigeria where parties, concerts and cinema’s are the major ways people unwind, and I thought to host Games Night for a fee. The response was amazing and I just kept hosting games events and also creating team-building game experiences for corporates, consumer engagement games, bridal shower games, video games & esports tournaments etc. We have hosted games night at prime locations like Kairos Hub, Landmark, CCX Lagos etc. and just opened a video gaming hub at Hard Rock Cafe, as the ambience and experience is everything in Lagos. Hopefully, our dream of having a tabletop game cafe happens sooner than expected. We have also worked with organizations in the oil and gas, fintech, IT, Investment, Retail, Audiovisual sectors by hosting team-building games and promoting tabletop games in the process.
Our games night and game events have created a community of over 1500 attendees who want to experience new games. It has also been an avenue for us to introduce people to the power of games, how it can create strong networking opportunities, help us unwind, engage customers, entertain, tell stories, educate people on a subject, create competitive challenges, celebrate art and get people to feel different emotions.
Tabletop Games is a creator’s affirmation for me, the ability to birth something and bring something to life – I believe we were all born to create.
While we are not where we want to be in the industry, we are not where we used to be.
It’s amazing to see how we support one another in the industry, how we all push to create more opportunities that promote the tabletop games industry & the gaming culture, which hopefully allows us to find more ways to commercialize what we love doing.
AB Con is definitely a step in the right direction and we can’t wait to experience this year’s edition.
Founder, Zannoza Entertainment
Social Media: @zannozaofficial