By: Yakosu Umana
Daniel Ohaegbu and his friends sat around thinking about what they could do to make P.E.I. feel more like home for international students.
They settled on hosting parties, but they needed a group name.
Maybe Loud and Proud?
No, too long.
They settled on Overtime Entertainment.
Their first party was hosted in a Browns Court apartment during the Christmas break of 2015. It was for international students who couldn’t go home, but it became much larger when P.E.I. locals joined the mix.
It was a success, sort of.
Ohaegbu and his friends were kicked out of the apartment.
“That stands the best event we have ever done.”
Since then, Overtime Entertainment has become more than a group that hosts parties, Ohaegbu said.
“Not everyone wants to party. People want value.”
Now, the aim of the group is to promote diversity on the Island, he said.
“Creating an environment that feels more inclusive and diverse for people not from here.”
Overtime works with companies who share the same goal, Ohaegbu said.
“We have been helping organizations with the same mission and vision.”
They hope to end the preconceptions about P.E.I. among some foreigners, he said.
“There is the regular stigma surrounding P.E.I., P.E.I. is boring, there’s nothing going on.”
As a Nigerian, there is a huge disconnect for people who aren’t from the Island, he said.
“There’s no foundation for African students. They struggle a lot. We have initiatives to represent the cultures not being recognized or empowered.”
The time the members have invested in the group matters much more than gaining profit, he said.
“It hasn’t paid us back as much as we have invested. Some nights we look at what we’ve made and it’s not enough, but that is okay.”
The growth of Overtime Entertainment is the most important thing, Ohaegbu said.
“We have matured from a group that was just doing parties at Browns Court, and got kicked out, to a group that has stood for community connection, diversity and inclusion.
“We are forming into something stronger and bigger. I’m grateful to the process.”
Overtime Entertainment organized a mental wellness and youth development week program in Charlottetown last year.
They also hosted a party on Jan. 25, promoting music from various cultures.
The group has worked with Green Island Social and 24Strong in P.E.I., and this month Overtime Entertainment will host events for Black History Month, including a panel discussion for black community growth at The Fox and Crow on Feb. 12 at 6pm.