Categories
Blog Interviews

Accept criticism with an open mind- Joy Ogbekene

The Voice-Over Priestess.

Joy Ogbekene joins us today on Nikkyo’s blog. Joy Ogbekene is a voice-over artist, singer, and multi-talented individual. In the last 15 years and counting, she has been blessing the world with her voice. Come along as we have a beautiful conversation with her…

  1. How did your journey into voice acting begin?

“I have always loved broadcasting. I’ve also always had a love for music.

I’ve always been drawn to art. I used to want to be a graphic artist.

Then it evolved into being a broadcaster. I just knew I enjoyed properly pronouncing words…

I enjoyed pretending that I was on the radio!”

            “I recall telling a classmate at the University of Lagos that I wanted to work in broadcasting at one point.

Then, one of them took me seriously and told his colleague at the Radio Nigeria Training School, who actually came to look for me.

In all honesty, I am still in doubt that it was me he came to look for…

Even better, he auditioned me on the spot. He asked me to pronounce the word (ONE), which I did, then corrected me and told me not to worry and that I could come over to Radio Nigeria’s studios.

It was then that I began doing small gigs and segments on the radio.”

  1. What was the defining moment for you in your career?

It was back when I was just starting out and still getting my bearings.

There was this product, Tura. Tura medicated soap. They needed someone to make the announcement, and here I was, a newbie still trying to learn! They gave the script to me and two other established voice-over artists to audition for.

They were interested in determining who had the best feel. As I recall, the other ladies had already gone through the audition process, but when it was my turn, I was experiencing stage fright. But then I remembered something a senior female co-worker once told me.

She advised me to stop trying to be perfect all the time and to simply be myself. I was constantly falling into that trap, but I remembered her words and snapped back to reality.

Then I walked up to the microphone, kept it natural, and as soon as I was finished, the producer simply said, “That’s it!”

My confidence has grown since that day, and I continue to hone my craft.

  1. What is a typical day like for you?

Voice-overs!

When I’m not doing voice-overs, I’m researching content. For the most part, I’m working on becoming more creative. I’m always looking for ways to improve my creativity.

In addition, I enjoy watching and learning from the younger voice actors. Saying that voice-overs and content creation are my life would be the absolute truth.

  1. What is your most exciting and least exciting gig?

I guess my most exciting job would be my first international job. I couldn’t believe I had created that advertisement. The company I auditioned for went so far as to look for me and message me on Facebook.

I believe my least favourite job would be one of those where the pay was not commensurate with the amount of work I did, or perhaps one involving a difficult client.

  1. What woman inspires you?

There is this woman, whom I refer to as the voice-over matriarch—Mrs. Daphne Roberts ( NKA, Mrs. Daphne Ben Okagbwe).

She is a voice-over artist. I believe she began doing voice-overs in the 1970s.

You may not be aware, but she was the voice in the Bournvita vitality commercial. She is an inspiration to me in my line of work.

Mrs. Ceelo Bankole is another. She is the voice behind most Shoprite ads. You’ll be pleased to learn that she is the same person who advised me to keep my English voicing deliveries natural.

  1. What is the one quote that inspires you?

“You rest when you die!”

Move on! Don’t stop. Be consistent and never stop…

  1. What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring voice actors, especially among our female readers?

Be tenacious!

Nobody hates you, so accept criticism with an open mind.

  • Continue to work on yourself on a daily basis.

Regardless of my experience, I do one voiceover every day.

  • Be mindful of God’s grace.

Without God’s grace, I could not have accomplished what I did.

Joy Ogbekene’s voice can currently be heard in several commercials, including those for the MTN MOMO Wallet, The Real Housewives of Lagos, and the Maggi Chop and Win Promo.

She most recently won the APVA award for best audiobook performance in 2022.

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Joy Ogbekene for her time and for sharing a lot with us in this session.
You can follow her on Instagram @joyogbekenevo 💕

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published, or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.

Categories
Blog Interviews

Nobody has to go through something they do not know or cannot name – Susan Agbor

Speaking to us today on Nikkyo’s blog is Susan Agbor.

Susan Ema Agbor is a marketing professional and mental health awareness and inclusion advocate. She is passionate about business development and making a difference in the mental health sector through social enterprise. She enjoys swimming, watching movies, listening to music, and being outside in nature. Susan Agbor talks about her postpartum mental health experience and the initiatives she is engaged in to support women dealing with similar experiences.

1. As stated in your introduction, you are a marketer. How did you become involved in mental health advocacy?

Mental health is a very critical part of human existence but is sadly ignored in this part of the world.

From my personal experience to my passion for giving back, mental health is just the answer to show, help, and encourage Nigerian society to take their mental health seriously.

2. Why mental health?

My experience after childbirth

I had three of the four postpartum mental illnesses, and I didn’t even know what I was going through at the time; I just knew I was in an invisible, unnamed pain and couldn’t help myself or explain what I was feeling.

When I started working as a volunteer for the Postpartum Support Network (PSN), years after it had happened, I finally realized what it was.

PSN is an NGO that provides pregnant women and new mothers with education and medical support.

My second reason is that nobody has to go through something they do not know or cannot name, and this happens in mental health because of inadequate awareness, low acceptance by society, and the stigma around mental health issues in Nigeria.

The Nigerian community cannot have too many centers of awareness for mental health; it’s too important to leave it be. We need to slowly and magically erase the bias and stigma surrounding the issue, and warm society into accepting that mental care is as important as physical care.

3: Before you experienced three out of these four issues, how much of a mental health person were you?

I always knew I would do charity; I like to think it’s my purpose.

But before my experience, I didn’t know what direction it would take, and even after that, I wasn’t sure until I started volunteering for PSN, at which point mental health grew on me, and I began to feel obligated. I began to genuinely care for people with mental health issues, and I also began to do what I could in my circle and surroundings.

4. How has the importance you place on mental health shaped you?

Hmmm … I never imagined putting words together about this.

This has taught me that anyone, including myself, can be vulnerable, and that the first step in dealing with people is to be kind.

People are going through so much mentally, even if they don’t say it. It’s just proper to always be kind.

5. What’s a typical day like for you?

Hmmm. I have a 9-5 and I work in advertising, marketing, and project management. That’s my background. I spend my evenings and weekends working on bringing my NGO to life. That’s all I can say about that for now.

6. You are the head of operations at your office. What does it feel like to be a leader, especially as a woman?

 Leadership is a gift and an opportunity to serve. My team is mostly male, so it’s as challenging as it sounds. But it’s eye-opening and an opportunity to grow because you just need to keep things going while also proving your capability.

7. What are five tips you hold dear as a leader?

1.  Be patient: don’t be hasty to react to things or draw conclusions.

2. Reward effort always

3. Take the fall for mistakes

4. Be accessible

5. Be caring.

8. What woman/women inspire you?

1.   Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook and Author.

2.   Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and co-founder of Huffington post.

3.    Fela Durotoye, Leadership Coach (I know he is not a woman, but yes).

9. What makes you a phenomenal woman?

I am a learner, a caregiver, and a giver.

10. What’s next for you in your mental health journey and helping others grow?

The following six months are critical. I am on a mission to establish an all-around mental health awareness outreach and fundraising NGO. This platform I am creating will give me the leverage to lead people on their mental health journey.

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Susan Agbor for her time and for sharing a lot with us in this session.
You can follow her on Instagram @sue_agbor 💕

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published, or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.

Categories
Blog Interviews

Scars are inevitable in our lives; See them as opportunities and then turn them into stars- Janet Adeogun

Talking to us today, on Nikkyo’s blog is the founder of The Eagles Reign Initiative. Janet Adeogun, is a motivational speaker, mother, award winning poet. And above all, a very passionate woman on matters of persons with disability. Come along as we have a beautiful conversation with her…

  1. What inspired you to start the Eagles Reign Initiative?

The journey of The Eagle Reign Initiative started years before now as a dream I’ve always carried along with me. The passion for people with disability has always been with me as a teenager. The birth of The Eagle Reign Initiative came as a burden. A burden that brought so much pain in my heart owing to the vacuum created in the virtual learning system during the Corona Virus lock down. I noticed the virtual learning system didn’t cater for the needs of students with disabilities especially in my Country. [Nigeria] So I sent out a post of my willingness to start off a free online learning platform for students with disabilities. The post went viral and that’s how the journey started.

2. How many students started with you? And how were you able to teach them?

Five students reached out first then later we had over forty students. A WhatsApp general group was created. Then WhatsApp classes were created for the JSS 1 to SS 3 students. Students were taught through zoom. The zoom lessons were recorded, the videos were converted to audio and sent to the respective classes. Then the students grew to 100.

3. If these classes were done through zoom; it meant only one thing. Data consumption was inevitable. How did you manage that?

Yes, Data consumption was inevitable. I knew that from the beginning. What I did was out of my pocket, I was sponsoring students with data.

4. What’s a typical day like for you?

Smiles…. The most interesting part of my life is that there is no ‘typical’ day. My day comes as a result of the activities attached to each day being a woman with family and a job…

5. What motivates you? What drives your push?

My Passion!

PASSION is the willingness to suffer and die for what you love. 😍

6. You’ve got more blind students. How did that happen?

I reached out to as many students living with disabilities as possible but only the visual impaired reached out. We have over 95% of them but recently we are reaching out to the hearing-impaired students.

7. We hear your students have written the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in the last two years. How have they done. And what role has your organisation played in making this a reality.

Yes, our students wrote UTME and over 80% of them scored over 200. The role we played were self-sponsoring some students with full and part payments of their JAMB fees. Then a free online JAMB lesson platform was created in partnership with Countdown JAMB team headed by Abednego Jacob. This platform helped the students in preparing for their exams

8. What woman inspires you?

Many women have inspired me based on their different fields. To mention but few…

My mum, Mrs. Deborah Fasanya inspires me a lot.

Smiles… Growing up I’ve always admired Prof. Oby Ezekwesili, a woman who has great passion for education.

Helen Keller was a strong woman. She lost her eyes and ears, but she was able to touch many lives. I get inspired anytime I read about her.

The CEO of Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria Mrs Megan Adediran inspires me a lot.

9. How do you manage your family duties alongside your Organisation and work amongst other personal duties.

First of all, I’m blessed with an understanding husband. I set my priorities; I have my to-do-list. I work around my free times…

10. What are the challenges you are faced with; running an NGO?

Human resources, financial, organizational system. For now, I use funds from my salary to run the organisation and then donations from loved ones.

11. Is there such a thing as a complete woman? How would you define her?

Hmmm… complete in what aspect. To me, a complete woman is a woman who caters for her family then fulfils her purpose thereby living her dreams in great determination to impact lives and make differences. So, looking at my definition of a complete woman. A Complete Woman exists.

12. You turned forty in August. What lessons have you learnt.

Yes oooo… smiles I turned 40 and it feels so good and exciting. I’ll wrap up the lessons I learned below.

  • Mistakes are parts of life, embrace them, learn from them and then make the best out of them.
  • Scars are inevitable in our lives. See them as opportunities and then turn them into stars.
  • Having like-minded mentors and be tutored by them is the best decision I made.
  • Discover your purpose and then fulfil them…
  • Live your dream. No matter how big it is, hold on to it. It took me over 20 years to fulfil my dreams but one thing I did was to center my life around my dreams.
  • Live to impact lives.

13. What’s next for the eagle girl? As you are fondly called

“Laughs”

Yes, it is big. My team and I are working on many things we won’t want to disclose for now. More competitions will be organised for students living with disabilities across Nigeria. For now, we will also be using our writing to create more awareness on the need to say NO to STIGMATISATION.

14. What’s your advice to parents, students, our readers, and other people who would love to do what you do from your little corner.

I’ll use my personal experience; I wanted to study medicine as a child and after my secondary school I couldn’t gain admission but kept struggling to apply for medicine. What my mum said to me one day changed my life, she said, “medicine is not your calling, your calling is in the field of education.” As a teenager, I wasn’t happy, but I took a bold step to venture into education. Today, I’m feeling more fulfilled.

Parents, my advice is to understand the nature of your child. Prayerfully guide them. Don’t impose your choices on them. Encourage and advise them in whatever they do. Be intentional about all that concerns them. Never ever compare your children with others. The Sky is big enough. Allow your children shine in their own way.

For people reading this, life is not a bed of roses. Try as much as possible to discover your purpose. Then be intentional about fulfilling it. I’ll leave you with these words, “shine your shine make others shine their shine.” Don’t compare yourself…

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Janet Adeogun for her time and for sharing a lot with us in this session.
You can follow her on Instagram @janetadeogun💕

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published, or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.

Categories
Blog Interviews

Success is not defined by others; we need to define it for ourselves and by ourselves- Okeyinfu Ajayi

Talking to us today on Nikkyosblog is the founder of BusyMinds School.
Okeyinfu Ajayi is a published author, an educator, parenting coach and the Lead Consultant of Kavabe Hub. Please hop on the ride and get ready to be inspired 😊

1. What inspired you to start BusyMinds School?

The simple answer is that I wanted to make a difference in the childcare and learning space. In 2005, I struggled with going back to work when, because I had just started having children and I could not find a school I was comfortable with. I just could not find a place for young children. I eventually didn’t go back to work but stayed home with my daughter. I started looking for a school when I got pregnant with my second child and quite by accident, I found a place that worked perfectly. When I stopped working in the school I had been to for about four years, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I sensed God wanted me to go back into childcare, but it was tough and I wanted something easy. It was at this point of confusion, that my husband reminded me that I had written down some plans when I was searching for a school in 2005. I wanted a place where parents were comfortable leaving their children and going off to work. I wanted to build a community of trust and love.

2. How would you describe the evolvement of media in our society, and do you think schools need to change their curriculum to suit this new world?

By Media, I am going to speak on the assumption you mean social and digital media. Media has evolved dramatically, and it keeps changing every single day. Education is a response to the needs of society and if we go by that definition, the only way to get our children ready for tomorrow is to prepare them today. To speak directly to your question, we need to educate our students on the safe usage of media. We are unable to control their age of entry, but safe usage and knowing what to share and who to share with are important. Curriculum interventions need to be included and dare I say are already being included not just for ICT. We also need to help students understand media predators and red flags that need to be reported. The world is changing, the sooner we adapt to these changes and find our feet in schools, the better for everyone.

3. As an educator and a parenting coach, what is your approach to providing discipline?

Discipline is a logical consequence based on an action or actions, that have been labeled as socially, culturally, emotionally (etc) incorrect. It is important that a person who is to be disciplined understands why. It is also important that we do not forget it is about the action and not the person. People do wrong things, this does not make them bad people. They just need education and redirection and if done properly, the change will start from inside and not just be another behaviour modification scenario. Lasting change comes from within.

4. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

The cultural mindset that women are meant to be behind men and silent is the major reason for the imposter syndrome that keeps women from stepping into leadership roles. It is important that other women see role models like them, so they can also break the barrier and step into their power. Seeing is believing after all.

5. As the Founder of BusyMinds School, a Published Author, Lead Consultant of Kavabe Hub, Teacher, and Parenting coach, what have been the challenges in your journey as an entrepreneur?

This is such a good question. Before I started Busy Minds in 2013 April, I had another business that I started in 2008. I was not ready for it and it died despite trying to resurrect it. Now I realize, I was not quite ready for the commitment entrepreneurship required. I was basically playing office.

The most significant is easy access to affordable finance so I had to bootstrap. Another challenge is qualified team members. We are doing something new and a little more difficult than the norm which meant we had to do tons and tons of training. It was not such an easy thing to do. Finally, I would say parental acceptance the education was more than cognitive abilities and they needed to shift with the paradigm. I am thankful we made headway and we are where we are today.

Success is not defined by others; we need to define it for ourselves and by ourselves. My unique experiences count, and I do not need applause to validate me or call me successful.

6. What motivates you and keeps you going?

Discipline. Some days I have zero motivation, but I have committed to this, and I have to keep at it. So, commitment and discipline are what keep me going.

7. What’s a typical day like for you? 

This is a tough question because I do not really have a typical day. My school is in two locations and though we have capable teams, I like to check in both locations.

I like to plan my day as this helps me stay productive.


When I get up in the morning, typically about 5:20am, I like to engage in about 30 minutes of exercise and I read if I am on the treadmill. I like to visualise my day as I find it helps me focus as I can create a workflow in my head. I meet with my management team when necessary because we typically keep in touch. Depending on the day of the week, we have senior management meetings otherwise, I go right into work and this usually involves work for my clients.

I have mini planning and catch up sessions with my assistant depending on our project portfolio. Otherwise, I focus on my todo list which can be interesting.

When I get home, I chill a little, eat, work if I am in the mood or need to (deadlines) otherwise, I grab me E-book reader and chill with a cookery, fashion or mindless show on Netflix.

When I can, I like to go to bed at 10.30pm. One last thing I like to do if I do not fall asleep too quickly is to reflect on my day and think about the next day. I find that shifting things mentally, helps me execute better.

8. Do you have mentors and what role have they played in shaping you into the phenomenal woman that you’re today?

Mentors are so critically important in my journey because they have gone through some of the curves I am approaching. My main mentor is Richard Branson. I have never met him, but his principles have really helped me in terms of building my team and creating an inclusive and empowering culture.

Another mentor is Mrs. Bola Kalajaiye. She is the founder of the first school I worked. I learnt a lot from her about the beauty of education.

One other mentor, I would love to mention is Mrs. Adegoke, my primary school principal. She was amazing and had so much energy. She was constantly moving around and visible to all the students. She knew our names and was more than involved in our schooling.

9. How have you been able to manage and balance your busy schedules with other life responsibilities? 

I can thank my support system for this. From early on, my mom showed us the importance of support and how to build and use it. I have fashioned my life and business with this principle. I have an amazing husband and from very early on, we agreed we were going to do the parenting together. When I started my business, it became more difficult because I didn’t have closing time in the strict sense of the word. I have to lean on family, drop the ball a few times and build a team that could run the business. That was hard because I am a new company and though I am almost 10 years, I have organizations in my industry that pay better and sometimes poach my team.

In all, I had to learn to let go of some jobs as a coach and consultant because family came first. Other opportunities will come this was what I used to console myself and it has proved to be true.

Some things can be outsourced, being a parent is not one of those things.

10. What woman inspires you?

My Mom, Comfort Oludairo Dimowo.  She showed me how to be empathetic and yet strict. She showed me that not all battles need to be fought as some are a distraction from the real practice. She taught the importance of family, values, accountability, and resilience.

Secondly Oprah Winfrey. She is a strong woman who powered on and made the impossible possible. I am in awe of these two women. They wrote their stories and gave many other women the push to go on.

11. Is there such a thing as ‘a complete woman’ and how would you describe her?

This is such an introspective question. I like it.

A complete woman is one who knows she is complete. She does not need to prove herself; she knows what she brings to the table and she is comfortable with sharing the spotlight. She understands her value and she is empathetic and compassionate. She knows what she cannot do but does not let it define her because she knows she is complete per time.

Being complete is about you and not what someone else thinks.

12. What advice do you have for young girls, women, and our readers?

Know your why. When you understand why you are starting this thing you wish to start or you have already started, if this is the case.

These tips below have helped me immensely:

  1. Trust God with everything.
  2. Start where you are but have a self-development plan
  3. Communicate clearly; never assume people know what you are about.
  4. Make your thinking visible
  5. Have a strong support system
  6. Know your why/ your core, and build on that
  7. Think long-term and short-term and include an execution path with clear next steps and what connections you need to make.
  8. Leverage the network when possible but rely on what you can control
  9. Be customer-centric with a good feedback loop
  10. I always ask myself – what needs to change or be improved.
  11. How can I leverage technology?

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Okeyinfu Ajayi for her time and for sharing a lot with us in this session.
You can follow her on @okeyinfuajayi 💕

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.

Categories
Celebrating Women Interviews

Believe in yourself that you can do it and work towards it – Obiajulu Olabisi Ugboh

Today, we are talking to a woman of many ranks. Obiajulu Olabisi Ugboh is a personal development and career coach, educationist, entrepreneur, actor, singer and also a co-host of popular breakfast show- “Your View” aired on TV Continental. She speaks about her upbringing, her life as a career coach, an OAP, her source of motivation and more.

  1. What was your dream job as a young girl?

I dreamt of being many things from a teacher to a singer to a dancer to a school owner to a business tycoon to an actress to a TV host, to a model to a beauty queen etc. I was blessed with many gifts so it was difficult to settle into one thing even as a child because I could do almost all. I’m happy that I am everything I dreamt I would be. I was able to explore them, and grow into the ones that align with my purpose on earth now.

  • 2. What was growing up like for you? 

Growing up was pretty interesting! It was a roller coaster of experiences that was bitter sweet but helped shape the woman I am today.


3. It is interesting that you have two beautiful names, Olabisi Obiajulu, which are peculiar to two different tribes in Nigeria. Would you like to tell us more?

My names are a combination of my parent’s tribes. My mum is Yoruba from Ado-Ekiti and my dad is from Asaba, delta state. So the Olabisi in my name isn’t borrowed 😂 it’s mine and my favourite because it’s blessed me immensely.

4. You are a woman of many ranks. You are a musician, an educator, a co-host on ‘Your View’, a life coach and the list continues. What inspired you to go into all these?

My passions drive me. I’m passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves as I constantly develop myself. I like people to think deep and not just accept the status quo. I also love to entertain people, make them laugh and relaxed. Life is hard enough😂

5. How will you describe your experience being a co-host on ‘Your View’?

The experience being a co-host on your view is shaping me every day to be better, a fast thinker and have the ability to proffer solutions on the spot! It’s my BIGGEST training ground and I’m grateful 🙏🏾

6. Do you have mentors and how have they influenced you?

I only have one physical mentor and he’s been of immense help to my growth and the expansion of my capacities. I selected him specially because he’s a man of many talents and excels in all like me. It was important that I picked a multi-talented mentor like myself who understood me and gave me a template of success that worked for him. Any other mentor who believed in jack of all trades master of none would have just made me feel bad about my talents and try to put me in a box. I have other mentors from afar too😁

7. How are you able to combine all you do with other life responsibilities?

I do a lot of planning and delegation. I work with partners from time to time and I handle and focus on one task at a time. Everything has its place and time for it.

8. What woman inspires you and why? 

Oprah Winfrey and Mo Abudu because they are go getters and I want to be that forceful in achieving my set goals and building my empire😁

9. What’s your typical day like?

Work, eat, nap, read and sleep except I have a project to work on that day

10. How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

I’ve tasted poverty and I’ve tasted riches and I never want to go back to poverty. Anytime I remember that, I’m running 😂😂😂😂. I also want to help people grow and reach their potentials.

11. What word of advice will you give the young girls, women and every other person out there?

Every young girl out there, believe in yourself that you can do it and work towards it day by day because it will come and you must be able to see the opportunity and grab it.

Nikkyosblog specially appreciates Obiajulu Olabisi Ugboh for her time and for sharing a lot with us in this session.
You can follow her on Instagram @beeceeugboh 💕

All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, broadcast, written, published or distributed in full or in parts, without the written permission from Nikkyosblog.