Would you like to start a successful blogging career? Reading broadens your horizon. Read the works of other writers, read articles, newspapers, magazines, self-help books, and fiction books. Just read! If you read regularly, you would always have things to write about.
When most people start blogging, they get excited, announce it on their Instagram pages, add ‘blogger’ to their bios, and then – almost predictably – after a while, their creativity and consistency fade away, and drop drastically.
What has helped me stay consistent over the years, as a blogger, is that I consider blogging as a part of my legacy. My content, words, and ideas are forever on the web and anyone who searches my name would get a feel of the gift God gave me.
If you are about to start blogging or if you’re already a blogger, here are some tips that have helped me to creatively solve the problems I’ve faced:
Deal with your bias
We’re all biased in one way or the other. When it comes to subjects and issues, we always have our opinions based on our experience or on what we think is right, and most times, we are wrong about those opinions. Dealing with your bias when it comes to issues and topics you blog about helps you present your articles in a clear, wholesome way, devoid of personal judgment. Deal with your bias by doing adequate research before you write, present all your thoughts in your articles and give different perspectives on the matter. It shows your readers you are not a narrow-minded person and they are able to draw their own conclusions without you forcing your own opinions on them.
Also, learn to think clearly before writing. Analyze and understand ideas and arguments before expressing them. Thinking clearly makes you bold enough to write with assertion. It also helps you question if what you are writing is the truth or if it’s influenced by your biases.
Always research your blogging niche
Read a lot, listen to people, watch movies, and open your mind to learn from different sources. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Doing adequate research on topics you choose to write about arms you with the knowledge you need to pen down a good piece.
Get an editor
Getting an editor is very important. Imagine a pencil without an eraser. An editor not only serves to grammatically correct your work but also plays the role of a gatekeeper before your work is shared with the public. Having an unbiased mind go through your articles and give you honest and constructive criticism makes you a better writer and that way, you churn out awesome essays every time you write. A common problem most beginners face is the inability to afford an editor at the early stages of their careers, mostly because of financial constraints. What you can do is think of the other skills you have that the editor can benefit from and offer that in place of money. Since you can write, suggest ghostwriting for your editor in exchange for him/her editing your blog posts.
Always plan ahead. Create a monthly/quarterly content calendar for your blog. It helps you stay consistent and gives you plenty of time to research your topics before you write about them.
Reading broadens your horizon. Read the works of other writers, read articles, newspapers, magazines, self-help books, and fiction books. Just read! If you read regularly, you would always have things to write about.
Tell your story
It’s advisable to always put an element of yourself in your stories. Tell your story in a way that only you can. Don’t fall under the pressure of trying to sound like someone else because you think that person is gaining more traction. You can never be excellent at copying someone, so learn to be the best version of yourself.
Be ready to deal with writer’s block
Writer’s block happens to the best of us. Most times, it is your brain trying to tell you that it’s time for a break. Whenever I deal with blocks, I try to relax. Breathe and think about why you are unable to write at that point. You can also write about the block, and what you’re feeling, and share it. That is solid content on its own. If you have a block about a certain area you are trying to write on, try writing about something that is entirely new to you.
Get an accountability partner
What happens when you don’t publish a post as you promised yourself you would? Nothing? Too bad. That is the beginning of the end of your blog. You need someone to keep you accountable. You can get your parents to help by sharing your dream with them, they’ll keep you on your toes.
Blogging is not as easy as most people think, it can be draining and often discouraging when it doesn’t pay the returns you’d like immediately. See blogging as an extension of yourself, a hobby you enjoy doing, and would continue to do even when you have zero readers. Think about it as your legacy, this would keep you going when no one is clapping for you.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Happy blogging!
Take a look at other related interviews we’ve had in the past:
A famous writer once said; “To be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put your clients’ best interests first. When you do, your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations.” These words best describe multi-award-winning Canadian real estate agent Deborah Ojo, CEO of DeborahHomes.
Deborah Ojo started out as a class teacher before she established DeborahHomes, a company she built on the core values of honesty and integrity spiced with an uncompromising stand on professionalism. The amazing entrepreneur who is also known for strategic and focused approach is a real estate agent with RE/MAX, the largest Real Estate company in Canada.
With over 10 years experience In the Real Estate sector, she has taught over 63 seminars and counting to minority communities on how to Own their own piece of real estate free of charge as a way to give back to those communities, and helping women who have passion for the business find their path and earn a living.
Deborah Ojo has built a solid foundation of clients in her community through her professionalism, attention to details, and commitment to always put her client’s needs first. The Human Resources Management graduate and amazon shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere In this Interview.
My success was due to no small degree to the lessons of my childhood. Despite not having much, my parents worked hard to manage the finances of the home. My mum was a primary school teacher and sells fabrics to her colleagues. Our family finances were more stressed when my dad lost his job after 20 years service in the bank, we had lost our major source of income. I watched my parents stretch out every penny to make our finances work.
You know what this experience taught me? My dad sat me down, he said “Oluwatosin, the best advice I can offer you now in order to thrive in your future endeavours is to think DEPLOYMENT instead of EMPLOYMENT” , Having seen how deplorable a worker is in the hand of their employers, not minding the sacrifices and how committed they are to their employer. This simple advice was stored up in my mind since as a little child I was then and has guided me to shape who I am today.
Fast forward, I decided I wasn’t going to dedicate my life to an employer who can let you go when you need them most. The foundations of my financial literacy, management of funds and business are all attributed to childhood, it taught me to keep going no matter the defeat into the stepping stone of opportunities.
Why I Pitched My Tent In The Real Estate Sector
My inspiration was drawn out of my WHY? My WHY’S range from having financial freedom, ability to travel the world without an employer giving a time limit, building a legacy for my children, helping the underserved communities and marginalized sectors. Spending quality time with my family, especially my husband. When I had the desire to own a multi chain of real estate, I had no way or resources to act on it.
As an immigrant in Canada, I see firsthand how hard it is for my parents to secure accommodation. I saw how people of minorities are underserved in securing rental units and owing their real estate portfolio. The systemic biases ran so deep that I took it upon myself to change the narratives and I decided to start educating people in my community on how they can become homeowners and not just helping their landlord to keep building wealth.
In my then 2-bedroom apartment, with a family of seven, my dream was born. I decided I was going to own a multi apartment building where I will give minority communities opportunities to rent / own safe and affordable apartments in Canada.
How Deborahomes became one of the most sought-after Real Estate agencies In Canada
As a child I was ambitious, I wanted to know how wealthy people became so successful, I threw myself into research and I discovered the answer was Real Estate, but I had nothing to start with. I quickly discovered Real Estate is a male dominated industry and my goal is to inspire other younger women to see that a woman can be a household name and make it to the top. I dared to be different, to me you owe the world that much to be the best or nothing else. Many women just like myself have so much to contribute to this universe but somehow are subjected to believe it’s hard to achieve. I decided on strategic meetings, which had enlightened countless numbers of women in our society, and helped them bring out the genius in them. Most of them are highly successful in Real Estate Ventures.
Some of our greatest opportunities could be dressed in defeat. I had nothing going into this career than a desire to be great and affect lives. There was no mentor that looked like me and many of my colleagues will bully me in the years to come, I mean, I was young, a woman of color with no sales background who dared to not be a regular 9-5.
When I started, because of my sharp change in career, alot people had thought there wasn’t alot of minority women making it big time in Real Estate, but I blocked all the naysayers, I wasn’t afraid to change my circle of friends, you know what they say that if you want to know your true friends, start a business.
\Well, it happened, my friends couldn’t trust me with their business but I quickly made new friends that are my best clients till today. You know what else I did, I studied and learned all that was available to know in Real estate that my colleagues started to respect my expert knowledge. That really helped me to climb really fast in my career.
I actually told myself that if I put my all into this and it didn’t work for 6 months, I will go back to my old job, But God so good, I closed a couple deals within the first couple of months, that validated me. I knew it would work and I have never looked back since. I can never underestimate my husband’s sacrifices in building the brand Deborahomes. Many people that know him, know that there’s no Deborahomes without him.
It’s a moving train and this Current Real Estate market is not an exception. A Lot of people try to time the market, invest when its low and cash out when its high but the market is a fast-moving train with many delicate intricacies, you can not possibly time it but you will do well to build your team of professionals like Real Estate Agents, Mortgage brokers etc to advise you of the right strategy depending on the market circle. Deborahomes provides consultation to its clients on how to strategically grow their portfolio to maximise returns,and by the way, it’s a great time right now to buy Canadian Real Estate, due to interest rate hike, The market is down about 20% in the Greater Toronto area so if you buy now, you will have position yourself for huge profit in the future
What It Takes To Own A Home In Canada
1.Good Credit – a good credit is 680 points and above, if you plan on buying a house, work on building and checking in on your credit score. Think about it this way, your credit rating is the only thing on paper that a lender can consider to evaluate whether you are trustworthy enough to lend to.
2. Income – A lender will use your income to calculate your affordability. The more you earn, the more loans you can potentially qualify for.
3. Down payment – As a residence you can put as low as 5 percent down of the purchase price if you qualify. As a non residence, in most cases you will need 20-35% down to buy a home
How I am using Platform create room for women in the community
I use my platform to teach new immigrants and underserved communities about the importance of Real estate ownership. Held free training / Webinars , I have taught over ten thousand people the power of real estate. I also help women understand the power of their voice and how to use it . In dealing with families I have discovered many women had no clue to their family finances or the courage to think they too can be a decision maker and their opinion matters. I would ask women what they wanted in a home and they would simply say whatever my husband wanted. I wasn’t raised like that and since I married me and my husband believed in tabling all our opinions to help us make the best decisions. Two is better than one and if women simply keep quiet then they are cheating their homes, their generation to contribute the ideas. I use my platform to encourage women to speakup, in family decisions and even in their career. I have also mentored other female agents to become successful in their real estate careers
One Thing I wish to Change In the real estate sector
Oh I would totally go paperless, there will be no longer paper contracts to save the planet. I’m all for reduce, reuse, recycle. I would reduce the red tape around the new development approval process. This will help speed up new home construction and make more housing affordable especially for minority communities who have been severely underserved.
3 women who inspire me and why
These people have different levels of success in different expertise, business, and lived in different parts of the world but what is common among them is they all had dreams, followed by lessons learned and then success. It proves that success leaves clues, I believe to be success, follow who knows the road, we don’t always have to reinvent the wheel, sometimes, copy the model.
My mum is my greatest inspiration, as a child, she didn’t have shoes to wear, she hawked, slept on the streets but yet did not make excuses for herself, her success is not by chance or luck, she had a burning desire for success and she converted all the opportunities she had into success. She has a remarkable mindset to never give up. She recognises no defeats.
Oprah is another person that inspires me, as a visible minority, she was born into poverty and now one of the richest African – American of the 20th century and the greatest philanthropist in U.S History. Oprah overcame many obstacles in one of the worst era in the United States where blacks were discriminated against but she overcame those obstacles through prayer and hard work . Oprah’s wealth and fame is certainly no accident, as she believes that luck is simply “preparation meeting opportunity”.
Sheryl Sandberg , an immigrant who moved with her parents to the United states in search of greener pasture and with focus, rose to the position of COO at Facebook, becoming the company’s second-highest ranking official. This woman has exceptional leadership skills. During her time at Google, she grew the ad and sales team from four people to 4,000.
Other projects and activities
We were real estate investors before I became an agent, when I say we, I mean me and my husband. Personally, we focus on flipping houses, long term buy and hold, Private lending and Land development. There are lots on the horizon that I do not have authority to announce yet but let’s just say we plan to buy multiple doors before the year runs out.
My work-life balance routine as a mom, wife, business owner and mentor
I have an amazing support system, my amazing partner who lets me fly as high as I want. I couldn’t have been here without him. When I’m home I’m a mother and a wife, when I’m at the office, I am not burdened with my home because I know he is home, and I have learned to give up on lots of things that don’t add value to me or my goals. I learned quickly to spend QUALITY time with family. I have also mastered the act of delegating roles to trusted team members, I don’t do everything because I’m not good at everything. I focus on my core competencies alone and I consistently revalue our business to find ways to improve efficiencies.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I have met many people that have told me how inspired they are by me. Sometimes when we are doing something you do not know who is watching but people are mostly inspired by how I juggle my big family and my business. I say it is knowing who are in Christ, I am Deborah to my generation and my husband, and I am conscious about our callings to our generation. Real Estate is my platform to preach the gospel. The gospel of come and see how I became a millionaire and you can be a millionaire too. We are called to abundance! I believe my talents are not for me alone so I pray hard and work like I don’t pray. Clear communication has been the key to having a successful marriage and a successful career.
Global Inspirational and Lifestyle Platform, Her Network is set to host an interactive impact experience with phenomenal women from various industries and professional backgrounds under one roof on September 18th at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Lagos.
“Her Summit” is a gathering of female founders, career women, and aspiring changemakers, providing opportunities for women to connect with peers and other successful female leaders where they can benefit from mentoring, network building, listening and learning from impact stories, and more.
The Summit’s theme, “The Power of Community,” emphasizes the importance of communities as a catalyst for the success of an individual or a collective, conversations around the entrepreneurial ecosystem, career, and personal growth, collaboration and more are on the agenda for the day.
Speakers expected at Her Summit include Joyce Awosika, Founder of Oriki Group and UNWIND, Yanmo Omorogbe, Co-Founder of Bamboo, Ifedayo Agoro, Founder of Dang Lifestyle, Bukky George-Taylor, Founder of Robert Taylor Media, Crawl App, Pearl Uzokwe, the Executive Director Sahara Foundation at Sahara Group Limited, Musical Artist Kaliné, Bunmi Adeniba, Marketing Director of The Coca-Cola Company, Temilola Adekpetun, MD/CEO of SKLD Integrated Services Limited, Bolanle Olukanni, Zainab Balogun and many more.
Mindfulness practice is one of my favorite type of meditation, perhaps because it’s easy, even for beginners. It is the act of combining awareness and concentration.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a technique used for thousands of years to develop awareness of the present moment. It can involve practices to sharpen focus and attention, connect to the body and breath, develop acceptance of difficult emotions, and even alter consciousness. It’s been shown to offer a number of physical and psychological benefits like stress reduction and improved immunity.
It doesn’t belong to any particular religion or faith. Though ancient in origin, it’s still practiced today in cultures all over the world to create a sense of peace, calm, and inner harmony. Meditation may offer a solution to the growing need to reduce stress in the midst of busy schedules and demanding lives.
There are 8 other types of meditation. We practice at least 3 of it naturally but people don’t even know they are types of meditation.
8 other popular types of meditation practice according to Healthline
Spiritual: It focuses on developing a deeper understanding of spiritual/religious meaning and connection with a higher power.
Focused: Involves concentration using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention. Example includes, staring at a candle flame or counting your breath. It may be simple in theory, but it can be difficult for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first. If your mind does wander, simply come back to the practice and refocus. This practice is ideal for anyone who wants to sharpen their focus and attention.
Movement: This is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you into a deeper connection with your body and the present moment. Movement meditation is good for people who find peace in action and want to develop body awareness.
Mantra: This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, one of the most common being “om.” , This is also a good practice for people who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.
Transcendental: It was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and refers to a specific practice designed to quiet the mind and induce a state of calm and peace. It involves the use of mantra and is best taught by a certified TM practitioner.
Progressive: This form of meditation involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body. In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension. This form of meditation is often used to relieve stress and unwind before bedtime
Loving-kindness: It is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others. It typically involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings. Because this type of meditation is intended to promote compassion and kindness, it may be ideal for those holding feelings of anger or resentment.
Visualization: It is a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualizing positive scenes, images, or figures. This practice involves imagining a scene vividly and using all five senses to add as much detail as possible. It can also involve holding a beloved or honored figure in mind with the intention of embodying their qualities.
Incase you woke up today feeling down and weary, or you probably lost your spark or the energy to keep pushing, I encourage you to try the mindfulness meditation, just make sure you release your soul from worry and anxiety before you start. You can also practice anyother one on the list to help you stay grounded.
The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to start a compulsory premarital counseling exercises for intending couples in its latest bid to prevent and eradicate domestic violence in marriage,
The plan was announced by the government during a one-day engagement program for the state’s marriage registrars, organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence agency (DSVA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Kikelomo Sanyaolu, the permanent secretary for the ministry announced this as a measure to prevent domestic violence across the state. Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the executive secretary of the DSVA expressed her concerns about the gap in professional pre-marital counseling in the country and how it could have prevented most of the domestic violence cases because over 60% of victims saw the signs before getting married and still went ahead no thanks to inadequate counsel.
The event which had notable facilitators like Tinuke Odukoya, the Executive Director, Center for women’s health and information, Mr. Oladele Emmanuel, Founder, Institute of marriage administrators and counselors of Nigeria also had in attendance Mr. Praise Fowowe of the Institute of Family Engineering and development who had worked closely with the state in designing the 8 module pre-marital counseling program.
Mr. Praise Fowowe shared a data driven approach to curbing domestic violence through effective pre-marital counseling sessions. He commended the Lagos State Government for this initiative and entertained questions from the registrars on the challenges they have been facing and how to resolve complex marital issues.
Mrs. Titilola Vivour- Adeniyi announced a 3 – day training for the registrars to introduce them to the curriculum and train them on how to facilitate effective pre-marital counseling.
The Coca-Cola company recently promoted Phoebe Dami-Asolo to the position of Director of Operations, India Franchise.
Dami-Asolo leaves her previous role as Senior commercial Manager at the Coca-cola company, where she has worked since December 2019.
Dami-Asolo has described her promotion as “an incredible opportunity” and “a humbling one which she hopes will inspire young African Talents to stop at nothing to achieve their dreams especially females”.
“I’m thrilled to assume my role as the Director of Operations at Coca-Cola India especially at a time when African women and women in general, have so much to contribute to global economic development.”
“I’m most grateful to the Coca-Cola company for this opportunity and will continue to contribute my best to drive profitable growth for the company.”
Phoebe Dami-Asolo’s impressive, decade-long career spans managing the brands of multiple International companies across a wide range of categories including; beverages, consumer packaged goods, personal and home care products. Prior to her role with Coca-cola, she worked at Reckitt West Africa, managing all brands within Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Prior to Reckitt, she was Brand Manager for International premium strong bow; Apple Ciders, Nigeria Breweries Plc, after successfully managing the Non-Alcoholic Category; Amstel Malta, Fayrouz and Maltina at Nigeria Breweries Plc.
As a trained marketing and commercial professional, Dami-Asolo holds a BSc in Accounting and Finance from Manchester University in the UK, an MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management from the Imperial College Business School, London, a strategic marketing certification from Harvard University as well as a certification in Brand Management and Brand Leadership in a fierce economy from the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University.
Neya Kalu is the Chairman and Publisher of The Sun Nigeria, founded and published in Nigeria. A reputable news outlet in Nigeria and around the world. She is also the founder and CEO of Basecoat Nigeria, a nail salon chain changing the face of the Nail Industry in Nigeria.
Barrister Neya Uzor-Kalu has a degree in Law and an MSc. in Finance from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom. She has 12 years experience crafting and implementing business initiatives across industries. The amazing businesswoman had previously worked in the banking sector, for five years, in the role of Human Resource Manager before her appointment as Chairman/Publisher of the Sun Nigeria.
Neya leads the Board on strategic matters, establishes high governance, and oversees the company’s business. She is also the Vice-Chairman of Sun Heavens Hotels and Resorts. With a strong interest in social issues and a desire to empower women, Neya works with the OUK Foundation to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs one through six. She shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this interview.
I believe my childhood influenced what I do now, which is to lead several businesses, the most recent being my appointment as publisher and chairman of The Sun Nigeria. My upbringing was fairly isolated, and I had plenty of time to daydream about a lot of things including becoming an entrepreneur, just like my father.
Inspiration Behind Basecoat
I left my job in banking after the birth of my son in search of something that would allow me to spend more time with him, and I’ve always been very passionate about nails. I believe I was the only person in high school/college with acrylics and nail designs, so opening my own salon, Basecoat, was a no-brainer for me. Basecoat has been around for a few years now, and I’m pleased with how far we’ve come.
The Journey So Far
It’s been nothing short of incredible. I never intend to brag, but I believe Basecoat is providing a completely unique experience in the Nigerian nail industry. Building and nurturing our vision at Basecoat has not been without challenges, but this has not stopped us from providing excellent service to our customers. A standard that we intend to maintain regardless of the current economic climate.
How I became chairman and publisher of The Sun Nigeria
Through perseverance and hard work. I’ve spent so many years in the background, observing, learning, and collaborating with the team. I suppose the time had come for me to take over as chairman and publisher.
Lessons I Have Learned As The Publisher Of A Newspaper Outlet
It’s only been a few months since I took over as chairman and publisher, but the lessons I’ve learned so far are that hard work pays off no matter where you are in life and that your team is just as important, if not more important, than you.
My Thoughts On Fake News And The Importance Of Fact Checking
We’ve seen the damage that fake news can cause in any society. As a result, it’s critical that people get their information from reliable sources, such as news outlets or reputable bloggers. Consumers should also be cautious about where they turn for reliable news. With social media at everyone’s fingertips, it’s easy for fake news to spread, and while we, the publishers, ensure that due diligence is done and that any information published on our platform(s) is credible, the general public also has a role to play, which means that any news source they get information from online must be credible.
My Work With OUK Foundation, And Passion For SDG Goal Six
While working with the OUK foundation, I like to think of myself as a secret santa because I am very passionate about the work we do – providing health benefits, education, access to clean water and food, job opportunities, and so on. We are currently working on providing viable resources for children in some schools across the country.
One Thing I Wish To Change In The Media Sector
The perception that all journalists want to smear everyone’s reputation. A good journalist’s job is to report the news as accurately and transparently as possible.
How Career Women Can Create Work-Life Balance
I think it’s important to prioritize what is truly important to you and want to do so it will be easy to navigate and balance out the work-life combination.
3 Women Who Inspire Me And Why
Bella Disu – Her age hasn’t stopped her from attaining her goals.
The Late Dora Akunyili – For her strength and tenacity (May her soul
continue to Rest in Peace).
Amina Mohammed – For the global impact she’s making through her
position as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.
Importance Of Women Supporting Women
Supporting women is something that I take very seriously and it looks to me like women being the sisters’ keeper. The word “empowerment” is frequently misused. I believe that encouraging women to be better in order to do better for themselves is more motivating because there are some brilliant women out there who just need a little push.
Being The Daughter Of A Notable Politician And Founder Of Sun Nigeria, And The Lessons He Taught Me
To be honest, I believe it is simply being yourself. One of the most useful lessons my father has taught me, and it has truly helped me navigate my career path because hearing a lot of “NOs” along the way, especially as a female, can derail you and force you to be someone you are not, but you must learn to stay the course and be yourself. Because there is no other you, there is no more authentic you than you. And people just have to accept that.
Being A Woman Of Rubies
The fact that I am one of one makes me more valuable than rubies or any other gemstone on the planet.
To Young Women Who Are At A Crossroad And Trying To Find Their Purpose
The will to dream becomes the purpose for the vision. It is really a choice that we have to make. As I’ve always said, if you love something – nurture it and fight
According to Gartner’s report, IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant barrier to the adoption of emerging technologies at 64%. The ongoing push toward remote work and the acceleration of hiring plans in 2022 has exacerbated IT talent scarcity, especially as more companies adopt technology into their business operations.
In the words of Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo, co founder Techavilly:”The proportion of black people in engineering professions has actually dropped since the 1990s, despite all the awareness. More recently, while there have been improvements in black representation in IT positions across industries , a common complaint from employers is that there are not enough black people to fill the jobs “pipeline” — if only there were more candidates, companies would actually walk the walk. We urgently need to bridge the black engineering talent gap”.
“The pipeline issue is a myth,” says Matthew Davis, a communications consultant working.
Talent shortages is one of the major barriers to the growth of the economy. Companies such as Andela is already doing a good job in matching black talents with remote job opportunities in the US, but their supply is low compared to the demand. More hands have to be on deck to train blacks on technical skills and connect to global opportunities.
It is believed that the reason most young people don’t get their desired jobs is because they lack the required technical skills. Hence, the need to bridge the skill gaps.
Mariam Adeyemi founded Techavilly to bridge the engineering black talent gap and transfer on-demand tech skills and knowledge to as many black people as possible. They have trained over 10,000 people since inception, helping them to fit into today’s dynamic job market.
To engineer a better society we need people of different genders, races and backgrounds solving our problems. Mariam Adeyemi’s passion and commitment to unlock potential is admirable. With her technology training platform; TechaVilly, she is breaking stereotypes of who a role model should be. Mariam is a passionate tech enthusiast committed to unlocking potentials, transferring knowledge and transforming lives through digitalization and tech training. She is the founder of TechaVilly, a technology training platform aimed at empowering the black community through skills and knowledge transfer. She founded the company alongside her college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is also a tech enthusiast and currently works at Amazon USA.
Techavilly was founded in 2020 and has trained over 10,000 black people from 2020 till date, helping them to fit into today’s dynamic job market.
She rolled out the company’s very first training in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. She chose that period to give back by sharing knowledge for free and giving people hope for a better life.Thousands of people were trained during the lockdown and some of them got good jobs after the training.
Mariam has worked in reputable companies . She moved to the United States of America in 2017 to improve her skills to remain relevant in the job market. She got her master’s degree in Business Analytics from Texas A&M University in Texas and was privileged to work in companies like Samsung Electronics America and other mid-sized companies in the United States.
She is the first female EdTech (Educational Technology) founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa. She is committed to bridging parent-teacher communication while developing and transforming the child in the process. According to Mariam; The goal is to expand across African schools and integrate technology into the school curriculum. Discorz App is gradually expanding, and penetration is improving. It is currently available for download on Google Play and App Store.
She shares her inspiring story in this interview with ESTHER IJEWERE
Thank you for this question. This is a story a lot of people have been waiting to hear. My growing up was fun even though I came from a polygamous family. It was a large family because of the extended family members around us back then. And you know what? The competition was obvious. I was one of the most stubborn amongst all the children, but there is one thing everyone knows about me. It’s “bravery”. I wasn’t afraid of taking risks and I am still not. The truth is that I burn my fingers sometimes, but that has never stopped me from trying again.
As a matter of fact, my childhood story is a whole book. Trust me. But I will crunch it as much as I can. I grew up wanting to be heard even amongst my siblings. I wasn’t the most brilliant though, but I was the most daring and my late mom loved me just like that.
I attended a boarding school for my secondary school education in Ijebu Ode, Adeola Odutola College to be precise. I was super smart, and I ended up as the Assistant Head Girl for my set. I wasn’t made the Head Girl because I didn’t do sciences and I wasn’t as vocal as expected even though I was a top performer academically. Remember I said I don’t give up. With my Commercial & Arts background, I represented the school for literature and debating competitions and I won several awards for the school even more than other categories of competition the school went for at that time.
I had my bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at the University of Jos, and graduated with honors. I contested for Student Union positions, but never won. Like I said, I love taking risks and I enjoy learning in the process.
So, to answer your question, my childhood never imagined what I have become today. Not at all. My childhood wasn’t so fair to me. It projected that I will be a failure and disappointment to my family because I was too brave and outgoing, always willing to explore but God is bigger than my childhood. Here I am today. Smiles.
Inspiration behind Techavilly
The skill gap I see amongst the black community is what inspired me to start the company. I started the company with my college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is a tech enthusiast like me.
You see, the tech industry is so big and trust me, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I believe that Nigerians are intelligent/smart and can have a share of voice in the tech industry if they have the right skills and opportunity. My goal is to help people get the skills required to secure a a six-figure job after training with TechaVilly. I came to America with the belief that I know a lot but realized there is still so much to learn if I must compete globally. So I put in the work and decided to transfer the knowledge to as many people as possible.
The Journey So Far
I will say that it’s been amazing. I never thought people are this hungry for knowledge and are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to acquire new tech skills and knowledge. It’s been rewarding I must say.
Why I Pitched My Tent In The Tech sector
The opportunity in tech is unlimited. I schooled in the US and luckily I had my masters degree in a tech related program. That opened my eyes to what’s happening in the industry and how innovation is changing the world today. I decided to take my share of the national cake. But on a serious note, tech is the future and we must key into this and bring the information, experience and innovation back home.
Leaving My Work With Multinational Brands And Moving To The US
That was the most difficult decision I’ve made in my entire life. You know what it means to leave certainty for uncertainty. It was tough but I am glad I made the decision at the time I did. I was doing well in Nigeria as opposed to the belief that people who move abroad were suffering in Nigeria. That’s not true at all. I was living in Lekki, living in my own house and driving a car of my choice. But I wanted more, because I believe I was getting to the peak of my career in Nigeria. I didn’t want to be redundant because age wasn’t on my side either. I knew that the only thing that could make me relevant in my career is learning a new skill and repositioning myself. Then I found Tech. (Smiles)
The second reason is to give my children a better life and education. I mean, I passed through the American educational system and I can say that the gap is wide compared to what we have back home. My children don’t understand the sacrifice we made for them now but they will thank me and my husband later. We technically sacrificed our career in Nigeria for their future but glory to God, it has paid off.
Being the first female Edtech founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa, and It’s Impact
When I moved to America, my little boy struggled to fit into the American Educational system. We moved here when he was seven. He wasn’t happy that he was struggling either. Then the school introduced an app that helped me collaborate and communicate with his teacher to help him overcome the challenges he was having. And boom, it worked like magic. And that’s where the idea came. If something as little as an app can change my son’s story, then it’s worth replicating in Africa. I know that most parents in Nigeria are going through similar situations, it’s also frustrating for teachers to have their pupils lagging behind. It puts a lot of pressure on them. That birthed the Discorz App, to bridge the communication gap between the parents and the school.
To be honest, TechaVilly and Discorz App have put me out there especially amongst few people that matter here in America. My connection chain changed, and I have more people of like minds in my network. This wasn’t the case before I became a founder.
Other projects and activities
We have a couple of projects in the pipeline, like TechaVilly non-profit organization for underprivileged Nigerians and a digital Naija in diaspora talk show. Keep your fingers crossed. The goal is to unite Nigerians abroad with the project.
What I enjoy most about your job
I love the collaboration part. The compensation and the entirety of how it makes me feel.
The Tech Industry and It’s Support for Women In Tech
Not at the moment. We need more women in tech, this is one of the reasons we are transferring the skills to give more women a share of voice in the room.
One Thing I wish To Change In the Tech Sector
One thing that makes technology evergreen is INNOVATION. Nigeria needs to embrace technology and its benefits to the generations unborn. I will do my part to change people’s orientation about tech. Yes, it has its bad side but there is always a good side to every story.
Being a Woman of Rubies
My resilience, tenacity, grit, and bravery makes me a Woman of Rubies and more.
To the young woman who wants to pitch her tent in the tech industry
I’ll tell her to keep learning and never stop improving. Knowledge is what makes the next person better than you. When you have the right information, you will stand before anyone and speak with confidence. Whatever field you want to major in tech, research the skills, get the knowledge and certifications required to pivot into that field. Trust me, it opens unimaginable doors!
Iretioluwa is a Cybersecurity career coach and mentor who has a reach of over 40,000 people across her social media platforms (twitter and Linkedin). She is an advisory board member of Cybersafe Foundation. She is the founder of Cybarik limited, United Kingdom. She also founded a Cybersecurity community named Cyblack for African Cybersecurity students in United Kingdom and Ireland. She uses her social media handles to support Cybersecurity beginners and enthusiasts. In the space of one year, she has provided three batches of cybersecurity virtual internships for beginners in the field. Iretioluwa is a cybersecurity specialist who is passionate about bringing topical issues in Cybersecurity to the fore-front. She co-hosts a monthly twitter space where she uses her influence to provide opportunities to people interested in the Cybersecurity field. She won the Young CISO of the year award and End user advocacy for situational awareness in March 2022.
As a child, I never imagined myself in tech. I always wanted to be a medical doctor. I used to admire everything about being a doctor. Everything changed when I started senior secondary school. My biology was really poor and I knew I would not be able to cope in the medical field. It ended my doctor career before I even started. When it was time to go to the university, I chose computer engineering but I was given Management Information System. My cybersecurity journey started four years after I graduated from the University.
Inspiration Behind Cybarik limited, and Cyblack
The inspiration behind both organisations is my passion to see people succeed in the Cybersecurity field. Myself and my team are using both Cybarik and Cyblack to empower cybersecurity beginners and enthusiasts. In years to come, this will not change because both organisations were founded to empower other people that are just starting their career.
Why I Pitched My Tent In The Cybersecurity Sector
To be honest, sometimes I feel that I am in this field by chance. I did not think it through at that time. I never knew I would do a Masters in information security. My friend was studying forensics in Nigeria and I wanted to study something similar to her course of study. This made me choose “Information Security and Computer Forensics”. I did not know that would be the turning point in my life. Sometimes, when I remember, we still talk about it. She influenced my decision at that time.
The Journey So Far
I think I started my organisation at a very good time. A lot of people are showing interest in this field. One of the things I am using my organisation for is to provide internship opportunities to beginners. We started a paid Cybersecurity training this year and the feedback has been great so far. I am brainstorming with my team to take the organisation to the next level. For me, it’s a gradual step and I am grateful that I have a good team.
Training People Across Social Media On Cybersecurity
One of the things I love doing is motivation and empowerment. I use my social media handle to encourage beginners, motivate them, provide support, refer them for opportunities. One of the things I learnt this year is that people are noticing my work and they appreciate it. A lot of people have benefitted from my social media posts. This is an encouragement for me to continue to bring Cybersecurity contents to the timeline.
Challenges I Encounter In My Line Of Work
I sleep late everyday. Lol. The earliest time I go to bed is 12am (for someone that likes to sleep). A lot of times, I am actually overwhelmed. I struggle to balance the time I spend working with other personal activities. Sometimes, people ask for my help but I am not able to give my best because I am overwhelmed or tired.
Other Projects and Activities
Within the context of Cybersecurity, I mentor and guide people starting their journey. I support with training, internship, volunteering, interview preparation and other things that can help beginners and enthusiasts. Outside of work, I love to spend time with family and friends. I love word games a lot. I am a football fan (I support one of the best clubs in the world – Chelsea FC).
What I Enjoy Most About My Job
Connecting with great minds. My job and career has exposed me to meeting a lot of people. Some of them are no longer “colleagues/clients”, they are now my friends. Cybersecurity is a field that can help someone to build meaningful relationships.
3 Women Who Inspire Me And Why
Confidence Staveley – My leader. She is an influential woman in tech doing big things. She is the founder of Cybersafe Foundation. She has used that initiative to transform the lives of young women in Nigeria and Africa. Only a selfless and visionary person can do that.
Simbiat Sadiq – my boss and friend. She is a resilient woman who has grown in her Cybersecurity journey. I love her efficiency and dedication in making things work. I will be here to see her get all her flowers. She deserves it.
Dr Omotola Olowosule – She inspires me everyday. Her hardwork is second to none. She is very intelligent and kind. I love how she supports the people in her corner. Its admirable.
One common thing about the three women I mentioned is that I have not met anyone of them physically.
Being The Recipient Of Young CISO Of The Year Award And End User Advocacy For Situational Awareness in March 2022, And It’s Impact
It gave me a better reach. People I did not expect connected with me. More Cybersecurity beginners trusted me to support them in their journey. The award also encouraged me to do more. It made me realise that people are watching. Every impact I make or have made in the past is seen. I was blown away by the support I got during the voting period. That alone was a lesson for me that “no matter what you do, people are watching”.
What We Can Do Better As A Society To Educate People , Especially The Youths on cybersecurity
We have to continue to preach Cybersecurity to everyone. There is a saying that goes “Information security is not complete without you”. I urge influential people and professionals in the Cybersecurity field to use their platform to educate others. There are several cybersecurity risks out there, and lack of awareness is a huge factor that causes people to fall for cybercrimes. One way to educate people is to use social media. A lot of youths understand how to use social media and technology. We can leverage on different social media platforms to reach them and make them aware of cyber threats.
One Thing You I Wish To Change In The Cybersecurity Sector
Gatekeeping. Some people in the field think that their focus area is better than others. Some people think that they are more skilled than others. There are a lot of amazing talents in this field that are searching for work experience. They are unable to get it because some hiring managers are not willing to train someone without experience. In addition to all the points, Cybersecurity is very broad and everyone has a chance to shine. Gatekeeping needs to stop so that people can be bold enough to share their journey.
What Government Should Do To Educate People On Cybersecurity
Continuous education. The government should invest in cybersecurity research and use that to educate its citizens.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I am a passionate about what I do. I just want to see other people grow and win in this field. I believe there is room for everyone to shine, and I wont stop offering my support in making this a reality for other people.