We sat down to speak with Bukky George-Taylor in July 2021, a few weeks after she had been named the Director for Strategic Partnerships at the Luxury Network Nigeria for the second time. It was also a few months after she launched CRAWL, her fully self-owned social app that curates the best activities happening in major cities in Nigeria and beyond – for a discerning audience.
“I think that I conceived CRAWL when I started getting frustrated with the fact that there was not any information or correct phone numbers for different leisure and entertainment spots. Also, it became even more pressing during in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic that travelling wasn’t fun anymore, and it was more important for us to take advantage of the local businesses and the different ‘touristy’ things that we could do in our own backyard.”
“And also just tired of everyone calling me and asking me where to go and what to do. So I just literally created some sort of directory and a social calendar that is now spreading and moving across different African states,” she had told us over a Zoom call.
It is now April 2022, the year and month Ms George-Taylor turns 40. In less than a year since we spoke, a lot has changed for the public relations expert and one of Nigeria’s top PR personalities. Her PR firm, Robert Taylor Media, turned 14 on September 25, 2021 – a feat by no means small if you consider all the challenges businesses face in a clime like ours.
She has been named Director of PR, Media and Communications for the African Association of Women in Tourism and Hospitality; has formed the first chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in Lagos Nigeria, and is currently its first president, amongst other achievements.
The CRAWL app continues to grow and gain recognition as the go-to social site for Nigerians seeking the best spots to hang out and relax, and Bukky is constantly on the move, growing and seeking out new partnerships that make her media firm one of the best to work with in the country and the region.
As she steps onto life’s fourth floor with her signature elegance and style, we catch up once again with her to unravel Bukky – the woman. Ms George-Taylor is such a multifaceted individual that it would be hard to have her compress the last 39 years into a 1000+-word article. Therefore, to get as much as we possibly can here, we focus on the five facets – what we call the 5 Fs – that we think provide the best summary of who Bukky George-Taylor is.
On Food: “I cannot do without chicken”
I like a good breakfast, so, I am a pancakes-type of female. I like my sausages, I like my bacon, I like my eggs and I like a mimosa to top it off. So I do like breakfast.
My most memorable dish would have to be my grandmother’s Ofe-Nsala. My grandmother’s from Onitsha and she just makes the best Ofe-Nsala ever with pounded yam, and that would have to be my most memorable dish: I’ve always had that as a child and still enjoy it to this day.
Food that I cannot do without? I would have to say chicken: anyone that knows me knows I love chicken. As a matter of fact, if my friends go into a restaurant before me, they know to get me my chicken or chicken wings or anything chicken really.
One fine dining experience I cannot forget would have to be the launch of Kaly. The Kaly is actually one of my favourite restaurants that I have the pleasure of actually launching … with the owners … as their PR partner … so that would have to be my most memorable dining experience. It was an amazing evening, everything went really well, and I was super happy and I had fun and I worked at the same time… Goals.
What meal brings out the Michelin star chef in me? I would have to say when I’m about to grill. I’m really, really good with the oven and with grills, and so, that’s where it all happens.
On Fashion: “I can pretty much wear anything”
Fashioooon! … My go-to outfits for work and play… When I go to work and because I own my own business, I usually like to look professional so I would wear a blazer, some pants or a skirt. And when it’s time to play, I really, really have my own style and so, therefore, I dress depending on how I feel. So for example, this evening I’m going out with a group of friends, and I feel a bit ‘bummy’, so I’ll be giving them an oversized t-shirt, some sweatpants and ehrm, sneakers (chuckles).
I don’t think I’ve ever really had a fashion fail moment because again, I dress as I feel. And so, it might be a failure to the next person but to me, I’m in my comfort zone and I’m dressing exactly as I feel.
The most underrated fashion era in my opinion would have to be the 90s. The 90s had to be, or is for me, one of the best fashion eras that we have. We had the high-top sneakers, you know, with the cycling shorts; we had the overalls, we had the lumberjacks, timberland boots, chelseas, sanchos … jellies… oh my goodness! The 90s is so dope, I think all that fashion should come back: I definitely want to wear a bandanna again.
Clothes I will not be caught dead in? Actually, I can pretty much wear anything: I just have to style it how I feel (laughs)
My most expensive style purchase would have to be my LV luggage.
Ehrrrrrr… actually I lie. No yea, I would say my LV luggage. I really don’t spend too much money on fashion: I go out quite a bit and everywhere, so I do very, very cheap clothing but then, of course, my accessories make a lot of sense. And I would rather buy both. Or a pink Vespa. And a pink helmet.
If I were to get lost in someone’s closet, who would it be? I would say RnB singer, Monica. I’m loving Monica’s style; it’s unlike anyone else’s style. It’s totally her style, which is what I’m very into: I think everyone should have their own unique style. So, If I was to jump into anyone’s closet, it’ll be RnB artiste from the 90s, Monica. Check out her Instagram page now: her style is popping.
On Faith: “I have the perfect attendance when I talk to God”
Well, I believe that God is real, I depend on Him for a lot of things. I may not be the… I may not have the perfect attendance at church, but I have the perfect attendance when I talk to God.
The one time your faith floundered badly? Ehrmmmm, I can’t really pinpoint any one time – I mean, it happens to all of us. But then again, you always notice that at the end of the day, God always comes through.
Why is my faith important to me? Because I do realise that I am a child of God and I do realise that I depend on God for a lot of things. And I do actually realise that God loves me very, very much: loves me, loves my friends, loves my family, loves everything that I have to do with. I’m super blessed, so of course, it would be very important to me. Ehrr … without God, I’m not sure where I’ll be, honestly.
On Friendship: “I am very mindful of negative energy”
My friendship circle, as I’ve gotten older has become very, very deliberate, very intentional and super important.
I like to be surrounded by people who are very honest about who they are – honest about their flaws, about their imperfections, about their greatness and about their success.
I am also very … ehrm… or my circle is a very positive one. I am very mindful of negative energy: I really don’t want that in my space moving forward, so I have very, very interesting circles of friends and I don’t have just one circle because my friends are cut from different clothes and are all over the place. So, yeah, they are important: my circle is important.
What do I consider more important in business: friends or strong network? I would say a strong network. Your network can be your net worth.
What 3 things do you see in a person before calling them a friend? Integrity, honesty and positive vibes.
On Fun: “I love everywhere in Lagos.”
My three favourite places in Nigeria, Africa and globally. For Nigeria, my three fun places would be any great restaurant, a great lounge and a nice club. I don’t really have places per se because then, I would be biased. I love everywhere in Lagos at the moment.
Ehrr… Africa, I am loving the beaches in Cape Town, and I’m really enjoying the social scene in Accra and I’m really enjoying my mother’s house up in Aburi mountains.
Globally, I am loving Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios: just take me to Jamaica already! (chuckles)
An unusual activity that I do for fun? I play an original Nintendo Mario. Ehrmm … I still play video games: I don’t really, really …I’m not into any of the new stuff. I don’t own a PS 5 or anything like that but I do own retro consoles.
My last really fun activity … would … have … to be yesterday at Bolivar with my friends. Very, very random. It was a simple ‘I’m having a crappy day guys; let’s go and sit down and enjoy some wine and some good food’, and that was really, really fun.
Fun facts about Bukky George-Taylor
On the three things most people do not know about her:
“I am shy. When I walk into a room full of people, I tremble. I always sit down. So, I am shy, I can be shy.”
“I play video games a lot. I have the very first Nintendo. I went and looked for it. So even Duck Hunt and everything else, I play that. I play Zelda. Zelda is like nonexistent, no one remembers that. I have a super Nintendo original. I play Contra, I remember all the cheat codes… and I have an original Gameboy.”
“I think… you could say that I am stuck in the 90s. I have an original Walkman, I have cassettes, and they still work perfectly. Nobody has more 90s stuff than me: I have jellies, I have clogs, I have Dr Martens, all my lumberjack shirts are still intact, my bandanas everything.”
“[And lastly] I am scared of flying, but I fly all the time. I have full-on phobia with aeroplanes since when I was little. When I was 5, I was going to New York with my mum, and I went to the bathroom and locked myself… So I hate flying but I fly a lot. I just drink champagne and listen to music and get to my destination safely.
The experience when I was 5 also made me claustrophobic, like I can’t be in an enclosed space. Changing rooms? Never! I just shop for clothes in my size and hope that they fit right”
I never leave home without…
“My lipsticks. If I open my bag [now] I have about 10 lipsticks.”
I never go into a meeting without…
“My laptop. Most of the time, I take notes on my laptop, I do presentations on my laptop, so it goes in with me always. If I come into your meeting without a laptop, I am not interested, trust me. So I better have my laptop.”