Welcome to today! Last week, we started a culture of celebrating young women fulfilling purpose, achieving great feats and becoming Prima Donnaz. We are elated to bring you the second edition! Our WWW feature today is the brave and daring media practitioner, Yemi Akamo. In this interview, Yemi shares her story with us and dares all to break free from limiting barriers and dare to “start something that matters”! Just relax, preferably over a can of fresh fruit juice and enjoy this read!
May we meet you?
My name is Yemi Akamo nee Obamedo. I am a communication specialist, media practitioner and content producer. I am a graduate from the University of Lagos. I am currently the organizer and curator for TEDxGbagada Conference.
What inspired you to journalism despite the fact that most media houses don’t pay well?
I will not really call myself a journalist but a media practitioner. The idea that media houses do not pay well is not entirely true. My passion and love for the media inspired my decision to go into the media industry.
Who would you consider a role model? Can you tell us of some people you look up to and why?
I just have one role model. His name is Mr. Jide Lawrence Director of Content, African Cable Television (ACTV) He doubles as a mentor and role model to me. He inspires me in every way. I believe role models should be people who their personal lives and careers should inspire you. I love what he has accomplished. I also love Oprah Winfrey (American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist), Guliana Rancic(an Italian-American television personality and a businesswoman) and Biola Alabi (media icon/formerly MNET Africa boss/ media consultant. I look up to these people a lot in the media industry. I admire what they have been able to accomplish and how far they have come.
You come across as a focused young lady? What drives you? And how are you able to remain focused on achieving your goals despite distractions?
Oh wow! This is a very interesting question. I actually create pictures in my mind through my imaginations. This helps me a lot. Even when I come across distractions, I remind myself of the picture that I want to achieve and stick to it. It is not usually very easy but in the end it pays. I also believe that in whatever circumstance I find myself, I must cherish it and take full advantage of it because of my favourite saying “what you have in your hand is good enough and it is all that you need”. This inspires me to remain focused.
Now, talking about hurdles, can you tell us of a particular difficult situation you found yourself in, and how you were able to overcome it?
Hmmm… I have found myself in a whole lot of difficult situations. But interestingly, none really sticks out because I mostly forget about them. It is my own way of letting things go in order for me to move on. Typically, that’s how I overcome things.
You are the licensee of the TEDxGbadaga conference. Could you throw a little light on what the conference is about, why it was organized and what it hopes to achieve?
Yes I am the licensee, organizer and curator of TEDxGbagada. TEDxGbagada is a newly inaugurated annual conference that aspires to bring together Nigeria’s finest and best scientists, entrepreneurs, professionals and innovators to share ideas that will transform the current state of affairs in the Nation. It is also an independently organised event. The maiden event will be held on Saturday 19th, 2015. More information about the event is on http://www.tedxgabagada.com
Organizing a conference such as this requires a lot of courage and support. How did you select your team?
Yes it is true that organizing this type of conference requires a lot of courage and support, which is why I have the best team in the whole world. Selecting them was a very crucial part of the making the conference a reality. Each member of the team is committed to the TED and TEDxGbagada brand, which is genuinely the most important thing one can ever ask for.
TedxGbagada aspires to “transform the current state of the nation” Can you tell us of the Nigeria of your dream?
The Nigeria of my dreams is a country where everything works. It is a country where businesses flourish, where people can go about their day without the fear of being killed by a bomb. It is one in which entrepreneurs can run successful empires that will take over the world.
Getting personal…Are you in a relationship? What do you think every young lady should look out for in a spouse?
I actually recently got married. So you can still call me a newlywed (LOL). I am married to my best friend who is an incredible man.I think every young lady should look out for a man that loves God, one who is ambitious and sees beyond the present.
What do you do for leisure? What are your hobbies?
For leisure, I love to go to the cinema for movies and the hotdog (lol) I love the beach too. The breeze, sand and environment soothes me…It is so amazing! I also love traveling. Left to me, I would travel around the world. I also like to read good books. My current reading companion is book by Blake Mycoskie who is the founder and CEO of TOMS titled “Start Something That Matters”.
Do you think the Nigerian society robs women off opportunities to live fulfilling lives career wise?
I do not think the Nigerian society robs women off opportunities to live a fulfilling live career wise. I actually think the individual does. Be it male of female. I do not believe that the environment you live in should work negatively for you. As a person, you are supposed to take advantage of where you are and make the best use out of it. I mean, look at you, you blog, write and I am sure you inspire people, you are on your way to become very successful, and yes, you are a woman living in Nigeria.
I am a woman too who lives in Nigeria but I am still fulfilling my dreams. I think people who say that the environment they live limits them or robs them off of opportunities might just be making excuses. The moment you see where you are as important, you immediately get opened to the limitless possibilities that it brings. I also see Nigeria as a great place and I feel privileged to be born here because it has framed who I am today.
I also believe that as a lady, if you want to be a president, CEO, reporter, or admin staff, it all depends on you. If that’s what you want, go for it. The country has nothing to do with your career fulfillment.
What do you think deters ladies from living up to their potential? And how do you think they can overcome them?
I think what deters ladies from living up to their potential would be an internal boundary or what people call mind barrier. You know, some people are brought up in fear and the ability to dream big and achieve their dream was taken away from them without knowing. As ladies, we have been so blessed with a lot of insights. We can run a successful company, be the best girlfriend/wife, be the best mom and still be able to multitask to do other things but for the guys, it is different.
If we take advantage of this, we will live to our full potential. In order to overcome this deterrence, we have to get rid of the internal boundary we have set up within us that makes us believe we cannot achieve anything we want. Then, create the kind of picture you want to achieve in your mind, possibly write it down to remember always and don’t stop till you see it become a reality. Also, surround yourself with people who support this picture. Most importantly, ask God for guidance because without him, you are going nowhere.
Final word to ladies on their journey to becoming Prima Donnaz?
Always believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. When the journey looks tough, be grateful to God because he is planning something huge for you and have a mentor that you can call for clarifications and advice.
Thanks Yemi for this time-out with Prima Donnaz
You are Welcome!
You can connect with Yemi on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @Yemiakamo