“I’d say it’s a movement or chill-out lounge. I spend all day on RantHQ and that is why the business part of it had to come up when I quit my job.”
Suzan Ade Coker is the brain behind RantHQ, a Facebook group that has over 1.2 million members. Known as Aunty Susu on the platform, Ade Coker has become adept at deploying the widespread membership of the group to do philanthropy to a diversity of people in need of public assistance towards dealing with major health challenges. She is also an entrepreneur. In this interview, the UK-based social media enthusiast, talks about RantHQ and much more.
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Who is Suzan Ade Coker?
I must first confess that I don’t take privileges like this for granted, despite that I never even thought of having a Facebook page. I am just like the simple girl next door. I was born and bred in Lagos. I went to London about 20 years ago. I love being a Nigerian and I love the fact that I am also a British citizen. I am from Ilesha in Osun State and my parents are pastors. My dad has been a pastor all his life. My faith is such a pride to me because I believe it has really shaped my personality and who I am today.
What led you to start RantHQ on Facebook?
Honestly, I never saw it as an idea. I love unwinding on Facebook and that was just to make myself happy. One day, I decided to start making jest of Nollywood Yoruba movies. I told my friend in the UK about this. So, I started posting and getting some likes. I had initially called the name of the group “Yoruba Feems.” I discussed with my brother and that was how the name of the group changed to RantHQ. I just said that people should come and rant about their lives and spouses all at their own detriment.
You mean you never knew it was going to be this popular when you started just last year?
Yes, I never had that premonition that it was going to be this popular. I actually started on August 19, 2017. I was just so shocked that I got to over a thousand followers within a week. So, I told my friend, Biodun Durosimi-Etti, who is an admin too, that we should just close the group. What am I going to do with a thousand people? When I started, I made the first 25 people admin. I woke up next morning and discovered that the same Biodun I told to close the group had added more people.
How did you go about achieving so much success with the group, barely a year since it was created?
I don’t see it as just a group. I would say it’s a movement or a special media chill-out lounge. I spend all day on RantHQ and that is why the business part of it had to come up when I quit my job. If I do this full time, then the business part had to come up. I saw that I needed helping hands too. We started doing charity and we have visited so many orphanages in Lagos, Oyo, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Calabar and London. We have done that on countless number of times. We need so much money for this and we can’t be telling people to donate.
Is that why you now charge fees for certain posts to be put on the page?
That’s one of the reasons. We pay people who work with us and give money to people who need help. Some even ask for subsidized rates for adverts on the page. Some would even beg you do it for free. Anyway, I love the fact that I can connect with small scale businesses.
Some have had to say that you started the group so you can have the avenue to rant on the challenges you face as a person, particularly in your failed relationship. To what extent is that true?
How can that be true? I have been single for some years now. Secondly, it doesn’t even make sense. The reason I make references to my past relationship is for no reason. I have never spoken ill of my ex. He is a good guy to my kids and was to me too but we just didn’t get on. Some even say I started it for fame and fortune. I have only used the group as a voice. I pray a lot and that solves all issues for me.
But then, what led to the break up with a man you had kids with? Don’t you think you could have managed the situation?
I have been asked that before. I don’t talk about my private life and like I have said before, we didn’t just get on. And as I said, I will never speak ill about him. He is a good man.
Would you rather accept that the whole blame be heaped on you?
Well, it’s okay. If that’s what people would say and think, I don’t care. I would rather not care about that.
So, seven years after, are you considering marriage again?
I don’t know but never say never. If it happens, it happens. But right now, I am very focused on building my career and where I go from here.
Are you in a relationship at the moment?
No, I’m not.
Aren’t men making passes at you, a charming lady like you for that matter?
The number of such guys seems to have greatly increased since I started RantHQ.
So, how do you manage the myriad of men that come knocking at your door and perhaps sliding into your DM?
I get such advances a lot. Even my grandma does (laughs). Some get so funny but there is a block button. I try as much not to be rude but some can be very stubborn.
What’s your description of your ideal man?
That’s the thing. I don’t have an ideal man.
Slim or fat, short or tall, dark or fair…?
Well, I probably won’t date a fair-skinned guy. When a fair skinned guy is coming, I go like, “this one miss road?” You can be big, fat, slim, tall, I don’t care but if you are extremely intelligent, oh my God! I once fancied a guy who is very intelligent. I also like people who are hardworking.
Such guys are not scarce in town. Are you saying you are open to anyone with such qualification?
Of course, I am. I am open to everyone, anytime. And maybe I am just focused on my career right now.
What else do you do, aside RantHQ?
I am fully committed to RantHQ. I am also a fashion designer. I am into property management too. I tend to change career over time.
How rich are you?
I am as rich as you think I am.
That probably sounds like a political statement. Can you just be sincere?
I am as rich as anyone thinks I am. My kids are in London with their father and he takes care of them. I have a couple of private investments.
Has it occurred to you that now that you are in the limelight, you may soon get yourself enmeshed in a sex scandal, as is often the case with most celebrities?
I am this kind of person that feels I have to behave myself every time. I haven’t messed up in the past and there is nothing anyone can do. I have been a victim of having someone wanting to drag me into such and I just kept calm. I just said that the person is an attention seeker. People can go to any length just to soil your reputation. It happens and when it does, I can’t say I know how to go about it.
You appear to have started hobnobbing with politicians, as we see in your post about Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu. Is that to say you have dabbled into politics?
That is just about helping him advance his political ambition.
Are you going to be fully involved yourself someday?
No, not at all.
What if the opportunity shows up on a platter of gold?
I am only open to a political appointment. That you see me with Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu doesn’t mean I’m now into politics. I work for him as his social media person and that is on RantHQ Politics. I have been able to see how politicians relate to people. I cannot do politics.
What are your plans for RantHQ for the immediate future?
At the moment, we are bringing in structure to the system. We are also focusing on humanitarian services to better the lives of our members and the community. That is the core for me. In a few years, we should be counting among the numerous achievements of RantHQ that we sent people to school, refurbished a school and a community, etc. We want to have a massive dossier of what we have achieved.
How are you managing stardom?
It is hard work; real hard work. I don’t know how celebrities do it. I struggle with that a lot. It is too much work. I go to a shopping mall and take pictures with people in appreciation. I put stardom aside.