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‘I would like to be known as someone who didn’t just sit to lament’

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
25 June 2022   |   3:54 am
Growing up was fun for me. I used to be in a dance group and that has helped me to be confident; I went for shows, appeared in music videos.

Helen

Adedokun Helen Temitope is a media entrepreneur. She graduated from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in Lagos, where she obtained a HND. She also holds certifications from Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in presentation and production.

She started out with Hat Regeancy, a branding company with specialty in photography. This led her to starting out a podcast, Memoir of a Naija Girl (MOANG), which focuses on dissecting issues in society. Now, in its 6th season, she tells IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA about her experience on the job, successes recorded creating content and her drive.

Share with us your growing up and the impact it has played in your personality?
Growing up was fun for me. I used to be in a dance group and that has helped me to be confident; I went for shows, appeared in music videos. Naturally, I am an introvert, but my childhood experiences sort of brought out my fun and extrovert side, which I actually find amusing.

How has your educational background shaped you?
My educational background is all in media. Education is something I do not joke with and I am one who would like to always learn, so I might add few more degrees and certification. I am proud of my educational achievements and I won’t stop learning.

What informed Hat Regeancy and what has it been like running the business?
Hat Regeancy is my baby. When I was at NIJ, I sold artworks; from giving few pieces out just to get referrals to actually getting clients. The ‘Hat’ in Hat Regeancy is my initials (Helen Adedokun Temitope). After my HND, I started photography, branding and started to build exhibition stands for companies. I’m someone who doesn’t know how to stop; I take and own every opportunity that comes my way, so my business, Hat Regeancy, is still a baby that I will always nurture.

Tell us about your podcast, what is it all about?
Memoir of a Naija Girl is a podcast where we have tough conversations on delicate subjects and issues that people normally wouldn’t talk about. It’s a podcast that will trigger something in you. There is no way you will listen to my podcast without finding something for you. There is something for everyone – political discussions, health, entertainment, law, societal ills and more.

What really inspired your podcast?
My original plan was to start a travel podcast for which I already had a name and logo, but COVID-19 happened and that idea had to be shelved. It was during the stay-at-home period that I changed my podcast idea and knew I wanted to do more than just document my travel experiences. That was how MOANG was born.

It’s your sixth season now, how has the journey been and what sets this season apart?
The journey is actually one we continue to navigate, as we haven’t figured everything out, but we consistently drop exciting episodes. Talking about issues that people don’t often talk about from rape weaponisation to postpartum depression, retirement/pension plan, music law and more, we have over 60 episodes. More than ever, we want to do more; to educate, entertain and inform.

It’s funny how one would think you know everything until you figure you don’t. Even as a host and executive producer of this show, I have learnt a lot. This Season six is different as we have more thrilling episodes. This is the first time we feel it’s right to turn the volume up a bit with some of the issues we’ll cover during the season and that’s the difference.

What has kept you going in your work?
It would be realistic to say money. As much as money is actually important to fuel dreams, I am passionate about my work. My podcast, for example, we all know journalists don’t make so much money, so to do your job right, you have to be passionate about it. You can’t be empathetic if all you think about is money. I’d say passion has kept me going in my work and I would like to be known as someone who didn’t just sit to lament but did something with her voice and platform.

Are there challenges so far? How do you deal with them?
Getting a guest for my podcast is a major challenge, besides accessing perfect guests when you have a brilliant topic is actually tough. My podcast got a really nice trailer that says, ‘in Nigeria, you have to know someone who knows someone and that person has to be the friend of another.’

Another thing is getting investors or advertisers. Content creators who aren’t doing funny contents are not likely to be everywhere. People like funny content so much that they aren’t interested in listening to podcasts or content that talk about their struggles. People shy away from their problems, so it’s a challenge.

Who do you look up to in the industry?
I’m a fan of journalists who are putting in the work by reporting credible news.

What is your life mantra?
Live your life and be kind while at it.