My father’s sudden loss of life made me sit up —Ogbe

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Omawumi Ogbe, managing companion at GLG Communications and the editor-in-chief of a life-style journal, GLAZIA, shares the story of her rise to the highest with SEGUN KASALI.

 

What’s the story behind your title?

It’s an Itsekiri title from Warri, Delta State, and is definitely spelled OMAWUMI with an “A” and no “N”. It means the identical factor because the Yoruba one, which when translated actually says “I want a baby”. My dad and mom separated for a bit when my mum was pregnant with me, so she moved with my two siblings to stick with my aunt. She had me at my aunt’s place simply earlier than my dad got here to apologise and get us again. My aunt named me Omawumi, I assume, as a reassurance that amid this entire hassle, we love this youngster and want her. Unsure if it began from the guilt that I used to be born when he and my mum had issues however my dad and I had been very shut. Rising up, my father wouldn’t eat till he noticed me. He would wait until I acquired again from faculty, after which we might eat collectively.

 

 Do you suppose the preferential therapy had something to do with the circumstance of your beginning?

No, I don’t suppose so. All 5 of my siblings had a particular relationship with our dad and mom in a means that nobody else had. With my dad (he handed  on in 2013), every youngster had some exercise they did with him that no different youngster did or might do nearly as good, so everybody had a particular bond. However rising up, if in case you have Omawumi assist your concept or request, you’d positively get the inexperienced mild out of your dad and mom. So everybody made certain to have me on their aspect. I feel my household simply revered my opinions, however most importantly, it was my energy of persuasion and talent to get individuals to ship the outcomes I desired. That is serving me properly right now in life and profession. In life, whatever the profession or enterprise subject, you use in, we’re all promoting. As somebody in public relations, I’m always promoting an concept, an individual, a product, a service, and so forth. You want the power to get individuals to see the worth in what you might be promoting to allow them to purchase into it. It could possibly be a buyer, a journalist, a consumer’s stakeholder, and a lot extra. In each our private {and professional} lives, having the ability to affect others positively is a useful ability. So, as I mentioned, everybody made certain to have me on their aspect.

 

Are you able to recall situations when this performed out?

There have been so many. From my older siblings to youthful ones and even getting one thing for the home that will profit us as kids. We might determine, after which I’d be despatched as spokesperson to our dad and mom to persuade them to get it. One time when my youthful sister needed to attend a selected faculty, she needed to get me on board so I might persuade our mum to permit it. Similar with after we wanted to purchase a brand new sort of DSTV that had simply come out. Particularly the place my youthful ones had been involved, my mom knew that if I used to be supporting it, it was good for them. In addition they might have accepted so I might allow them to have peace. My persistence used to put on them out, particularly my dad. I by no means stopped asking and would carry all of the totally different the explanation why it needed to be accomplished. I used to be president of the controversy staff in major faculty, so you possibly can think about that I had an ideal apply and took my job because the household’s spokesperson with all seriousness. I feel each household has this one one that might make issues occur. Just like the speaker of the home.

 

Perhaps that’s the reason you might be in PR right now?

I needed to grow to be a medical physician and was so certain I used to be referred to as to be a health care provider. I knew the realm of drugs I needed to specialize in and was already studying up on all the pieces that involved gynaecology whereas I used to be nonetheless in secondary faculty. After which Jamb jammed me to oblivion. I went to check Utilized Microbiology and Brewing at Nnamdi Azikiwe College after doing their pre-degree course. The identical 12 months I acquired into the 100 degree, I acquired the cut-off mark to check Drugs at OAU, however I made a decision to not go as they had been at all times on one ASUU strike or the opposite. My faculty, UniZik didn’t be a part of the varsity strikes then. Public Relations was by no means in my line of thought, not even on the again burner. Nonetheless, I’ve at all times been a individuals individual, possessing the qualities that make for a great PR skilled, if I do say so myself. However then, I used to be targeted on being a health care provider or staying within the medical subject. Even after my NYSC, I utilized to check for a Grasp’s in Public Well being, as I used to be very obsessed with reforming the Nigerian well being sector.

 

Why the curiosity in medication?

This will likely sound corny, however media and communications selected me. I studied Utilized Microbiology and Brewing for my first diploma and was eager on finding out Public Well being for my postgraduate after which beginning a Well being Administration Organisation as a result of I believed we didn’t have good well being care plans. I needed to create one thing that would change that. Nonetheless, I didn’t get admission for my MPH as the varsity mentioned I didn’t submit my WAEC outcomes, which I did. That angered me, and I made a decision to shelve my plan of going again to high school instantly and went for a job. The job I acquired was at a TV station, and I used to be given a management function as Programmes Director of this new community. So, there I used to be, recent out of NYSC, diving right into a place I solely had instincts and keenness for. I created the therapy for the reveals, which has grow to be a cornerstone for the station. My colleagues and I had been all younger, bright-eyed, and really passionate. The pay was minimal, however it was glorious to begin experience-wise. This shaped the inspiration for which I stand right now.

 

And also you simply settled for PR like that?

I labored in most components of the station – from programmes to scheduling to advertising and marketing, directing, and so forth. after which acquired drained after two years. I wanted a brand new problem and atmosphere and went on to assist an entrepreneur handle his luxurious trend enterprise. I did that for nearly a 12 months and went again to high school: Pan-Atlantic College (popularly referred to as Lagos Enterprise Faculty) to check Media & Communications, which set the ball rolling for me. I can’t thank my lecturers sufficient for all the pieces they taught us at SMC.

 

How straightforward was it to begin GLG communications?

By no means; it was very removed from straightforward. There have been many tears, however it wasn’t crammed with struggling both. Beginning as an entrepreneur was an ideal expertise and a very good alternative to be taught and develop. The core of my enterprise got here to me throughout my company internship throughout my postgraduate research at Pan Atlantic College. On the firm I interned at, I noticed issues they didn’t have – issues like an organization brochure, social media pages, and different literature I believed would assist place them higher. So, I took it upon myself to create them. I had no want to do what I do now. I simply noticed issues and determined to resolve them. My then boss referred to as me in the future from a seminar he was attending within the US, saying, “Omawumi, are you aware what you might be? You’re a digital strategist” I wasn’t certain about that, however I took the title gladly. This was in 2013 when the digital media wave hadn’t hit Nigeria so onerous.

I misplaced my dad in the direction of the top of my company internship and graduating from PAU. The tip of 2013 was a very powerful time for me. There I used to be, graduating prime of my class, utterly heartbroken by my father’s loss of life, with no job. No job excited me to just accept on the time. I simply knew I needed to create my very own factor and in addition wanted to look after myself and thrive. My dad was my insurance coverage coverage. I at all times knew that regardless of how unhealthy issues acquired, a minimum of my father would assist me pay my lease or assist me with some fast money. So when all of that was gone, I sat up. On January 1st, 2014, I took my future into my very own fingers and determined to begin one thing. I left my consolation zone and joined my excellent friend- turned-sister, TuokpeIdundun, who had simply graduated with distinction with a Grasp’s in company communications the 12 months earlier than. So we began Lace Scent – what we thought-about a “critical communications firm”. PR was by no means part of the plan. The corporate Tuokpe and I began fizzled out as a result of we had been each at totally different locations in our profession journey. So I began my very own unofficial enterprise, nonetheless with Tuokpe’s assist. At the moment, I used to be receiving many social media calls for, however I needed to do “core communications” and begin a group paper, so I ignored the requests. I finally listened to the calls for from prospects and took jobs in that space. This then gave method to conventional PR and technique. I began out as a one-woman enterprise. All I had then had been sensible concepts, not a lot about how I’d make the plans work, however I hit the bottom flying. I had no prior data of operating a enterprise, I simply learn lots, made errors, studied individuals, adopted tendencies and predictions in my trade, and made issues up as I went. In 2016, I formally registered my new firm and the remaining as they are saying is historical past.

 

What’s that occasion that hasn’t left you?

That might be the loss of life of my father. I’m glad I went dwelling and was fortunate to see him earlier than his shock passing. I’ll always remember that day, how I felt and the way it was for my household. I assume time by no means actually heals the loss and ache, however it does make it much less sharp.

 

What are the reminiscences?

I imagine my father’s most unimaginable legacy was his kindness. My dad and mom are two of the kindest individuals I do know. Kindness is my primary core worth, and this displays in how I deal with individuals round me, my staff members, my purchasers, and simply the subsequent individual. So, each time I do sort deeds for others, I do know I’m preserving my father’s legacy alive. He additionally had some very distinctive quotes and statements he would make, like “the nice guys put on black”, and “when you play God, you die” (laughs). Solely my siblings would get this stuff and the matter-of-fact means he used to say them. We get round reminiscing about his memorable sayings and simply laughing so onerous. I typically use these quotes as hashtags on my Instagram posts as properly. I hope to write down a ebook sometime, or a quote ebook of my father’s sayings and what they imply however I’m not sure what format this ebook would take. And in addition to begin a basis to honour my dad and mom.

 

Do you loosen up?

I get pleasure from working, so typically work could be stress-free for me too. I’m additionally the most important sofa potato. I get pleasure from watching motion pictures and TV reveals, studying, going out for good dinners and drinks with buddies, dancing, and so forth. I discover meditation and yoga additionally very stress-free. Certainly one of my favorite pastimes is sitting with a cup of tea or espresso and watching the rain. It offers me a lot pleasure and peace.

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