It is another Konnect Africa Interview and today, we have with us, a Marketing and Brand Consultant with a passion for Entrepreneurs, especially Women entrepreneurs. She is also a published prose writer and scriptwriter.
Wherever you are reading from, join us in welcoming Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu on board the Konnect Africa Network.
This interview will give you some great insights and inspiration as you look to build your brand and add to your Entrepreneurial skill-set. Enjoy it all and feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions afterwards>>>
Tell us about Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu – family, ethnicity, education…
I am the first of a family of 5 children. I attended Queen’s College, Lagos for secondary education; University of Benin for Bachelor’s degree in Fine & Applied Arts; and Pan-Atlantic University (former Pan-African University) for Masters degree in Marketing Communications where I won the university prize for best graduating student. I am married with children.
You wear many hats, one of which is Marketing and Brand Consultancy for SMEs. What does this entail?
I do wear many hats. I believe in pursuing all skills one is blessed with so none lies fallow. Currently, I help drive the success of SMEs, especially those primarily owned by women through marketing, communications and brand consultancy.
Many people do not understand the value of building a strong brand. I help them understand why it is important and then help uncover their unique ‘Whys’ so their message resonates stronger among their target market.
It’s a bit more complex in implementation, but that summarizes it.
What are some of the major challenges you have encountered in business thus far?
Managing people, managing time and negotiating based on my worth.
Someone reading this interview might just be interested in becoming a Marketing & Brand Consultant. What candid advice would you give them?
Read wide. Gain sufficient experience. Build personal case studies. Help out as much as you can when you starting out.
You also manage Digital Media for some clients. What would you say are the crucial mistakes business people make when it comes to social media?
Too high expectations that their results will spike overnight;
not dedicating enough time to social media, and
not dedicating enough other resources such as time and money to social media.
Social media tools are free platforms, but if you want to skip many hurdles in the first few months, you have to put genuine resources to use. You also have to be consistent.
What do you enjoy most about being an Entrepreneur?
The knowledge I gain working on each project. Every project has its unique challenges. I enjoy unraveling those challenges and seeking new ways to reach success.
You are also a published prose writer and scriptwriter. Tell us about this.
I am a versatile writer. I write creative non-fiction, fiction and screenplays. I was recently signed on to a great publisher based in Nigeria – Parresia Books – for my novel which is scheduled for release hopefully by the end of this year. I am excited about it.
I hope I will get another opportunity with you when the time comes to fully delve into details about my novel.
I also have screenplays which have been produced for screen. I have written for studios, PayTV channels, independent producers and so many others.
Few weeks ago, I was invited to be a member of the jury for the yearly screenwriting competition – Homevida competition. This year is tagged the Centenary Project, sponsored and in partnership with other great brands such as Pan-Atlantic University, Google, and so many others. Three winners were chosen as recipients of the awards.
How lucrative is it being a Prose writer and scriptwriter?
It is lucrative depending on your level of experience, skill and how wide your network is. You have to keep networking.
As a Scriptwriter, what are the biggest challenge(s) you have faced and how are you overcoming them?
Developing my skill. I have to keep re-evaluating and equipping myself to become better despite my other full-time career. I work nights most times so I can meet up with deadlines.
It is said that Africans don’t like reading, that if you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book. What is your take on this? Has this affected your writing in any way.?
Africans love reading. I have seen many visit book stores and other book centres. Unfortunately, we keep seeking the endorsement of the international media before we ‘enjoy’ our things.
We have incredible writers based in Nigeria, yet until someone somewhere in the developed countries endorse our writers, we do not seek out our authors and their works. It is quite sad that this mentality exists even in the book industry.
What words of wisdom do you have for that young person who is considering Prose Writing and Script-writing?
Learn. Attend workshops. Keep developing your skill. Research wide.
You have something cooking for women entrepreneurs. Tell us about it and how interested people can be part of it.
Oh. I am super excited about this as it is a passion.
I am one of the founders of an incredible community – FabulousCity – for young and ambitious business women. We call them lady bosses.
We understand how lonely entrepreneurship is – no one to talk to; sometimes, you are all alone in your office; attracting great talent is frustrating, and so on. We are bringing together women who aspire to be successful together under one umbrella, and the beautiful thing is that members can access marketing communications & brand consultancy services, as well as access opportunities to become vendors to bigger brands.
We also have one or two services specially designed; one of which is Swap-a-Service. You can trade in a service for another’s so you spend less and get more work done. This is only available to community members.
In the 2nd week of August, we will be launching the very 1st issue of our quarterly digital magazine collating voices of amazing lady bosses – She Made It! Digital magazine. It is free for all.
If there is any lady out there who is about to start a business or who has started business already, she can become a member by visiting www.fabulous-city.com and filling the registration form.
We also encourage members to contribute to the magazine as well and use the opportunity to advertise their products.
What is your inspiration? What keeps you going?
The fact that success is just a step away is enough for me…plus the people in my life are just wonderful.
My husband, who doubles as confidante and business partner, supports my drive in more ways than I can ever thank him for. I also have a great team of supporters headed by my parents consisting of my family and in-laws. Of course, I have friends who believe in me and are always there to support.
Many. So many…I cannot even list them all.
For you, Life is….
…a test everyone has to take.
Africa will rise when…..
When we turn from being a consuming continent to a manufacturing continent. I strongly believe that entrepreneurship is the way forward for Africa. We have to start looking inward at what we have such as our teeming population. We should use what we have to our advantage.
What is that one thing you would like every African youth to know? Inspire a young African in a sentence
Failure is just one less way to get it right, so keep believing in yourself.
Thank you for sharing with us, Ifesinachi
You are welcome.
You can connect with Ifesinachi: –
on Instagram @Ifesinachi_ladyboss
on facebook @ www.facebook.com/ifesinachiokoliokpagu
on twitter @ifesinachio_o
on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/ifesinachiokoliokpagu
Do you have a question for Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu? Feel free to ask in the comments section below. Cheers.
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