Professionally, Dr. Olamide Craig describes himself as both a pastor and a physician. He went to medical school at the University of Ibadan and graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. After this, he completed his internship at the National Hospital in Abuja, and went on to receive a Master’s in Occupational Health from the University of Birmingham in England.
Some of his professional certifications include the NEBOSH Technical certificate in Oil and Gas Safety, Graduate Member of the International Society of Occupational Health, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health. He has been involved in counselling and ministry for over 20 years, starting in secondary school, where he was the President of the Air Force Secondary School Christian fellowship. To help hone this skill, he is studying for a combined degree to include Diploma in Marriage Counselling, Diploma in Psychology (Interpersonal Relationships) and Diploma in Sex Therapy. He talks to Joy Ehonwa about the recently launched online dating website, SurulereLove, which he co-founded with his wife, Aisha Craig.
CN: How would you describe SuruLereLove?
SuruLereLove is an online dating and matrimonial site for the discerning Nigerian single. Our vision is to create a safe space online for Nigerian singles to meet, get to know each other and start fulfilling relationships.
CN: What inspired SuruLereLove, and how did you come up with the name?
‘Surulere’ is a Yoruba phrase. ‘Suru’ means patience, ‘ere’ means reward and Surulere means “Patience is not without its rewards” or “Patience will yield its fruit”.
At SuruLerelove, we truly believe that “you can’t rush something you want to last forever!” and we know that all good relationships take time and patience to develop.
We opted to use a local Nigerian language to personify our brand, because of this deep wisdom and rich meaning. We are actually in very good company with many well known internationally renowned brands, like Ubuntu, Nordica and Häagen-Dazs, who also borrowed words from non-English languages to portray their brand.
CN: Who should sign up on SuruLereLove?
There are three broad groups of people we hope will find the service, SuruLereLove offers useful.
First, are Nigerian singles living in Nigeria, who would like to meet other Nigerian singles. This person may have a busy 9-5 job (and a side hustle too), which makes meeting people the conventional way a little problematic, or maybe this person does indeed have a vibrant social life, but has exhausted all the potentials in their existing dating pool. Either way, SuruLereLove will help to connect people across the country by exponentially expanding their social circles.
Next, there are Nigerians in the diaspora, who live abroad but would prefer to date and marry a Nigerian. This person may have relocated overseas for academic pursuits, or career advancement, and may live in a city, where there are not that many Nigerians. Our platform will help introduce people, who may live in close proximity, but whose schedules mean that meeting would have been highly unlikely, and will also help Nigerians living abroad meet eligible singles back home or elsewhere in the diaspora.
Finally, we hope to introduce Nigerians, both at home and abroad to non-Nigerians across the globe. Whether it is the businessman in Kenya, the fashion model in Hong-Kong or the finance executive in Canada; the world has heard of the industry of the Yoruba, the economic prowess of the Igbo, the culinary skills of the Efik and the sophistication of the Hausa. They have heard of our internationally renowned Jollof rice, and they all want a taste. We believe our platform will help to connect Nigerians with people from other countries all over the world.
CN: What does one do after signing up? What happens then?
We match our users using 25 areas of compatibility including age, location, personality as well as user determined preferences such as genotype, body type, build, height, complexion and tribe.
To connect with a potential match, users have two options:
- Daily emails with new matches are sent to all users who have filled out their partner preferences, and this contains all the new and updated users that fit a person’s specifications over the past 24 hours.
- Search and Filter. By selecting various characteristics and adjusting the filters, users are able to create a bespoke list of potential matches based on their specifications.
We encourage subscribers to get to know each other using our anonymous messaging system, until they feel comfortable exchanging contact details, or arranging to meet in person.
CN: What’s your long-term vision for SuruLereLove?
We are very excited for the future of online dating in Nigeria, and hope to celebrate our first wedding soon. The long-term vision is to be able to spread the success of our model across the West African subcontinent, and eventually across Africa, creating a network of interconnected sites uniting the continent in love, and bringing the beauty of the African people closer to what is currently a very racially divided world but one we hope in a few generations, with the help of platforms like ours, will be mixed and swirled with the magnificent colours of our one unique heritage: Humanity!