5 Minutes with Fatima Togbe
Meet Fatima Togbe, the editor-in-chief of MADC Magazine and Executive Founder of Hayati Magazine. She is a media publishing specialist and a pacesetter in telling an inspiring story to and for the Muslim community through the brands she represents. The passion she has put into developing her brand is also clearly evident in her personality.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a little cocktail of nationalities, but I love my phone and computer, I’m an avid tea drinker, I have a massive sweet tooth and I might have been a gangster rapper in my past life.
What inspired your decision to start Hayati and how has it been received?
Reading Harpers Bazaar was really frustrating because I would see a D&G dress and think ‘Wow! I love that but it’s too short’. I thought it was time to have something that I for one could identify with. The magazine is aimed at Muslimah’s between the ages of 21 and 35, modern, educated, fashion forward and trendy with a sound foundation in their love and dedication to Islam.
I really wasn’t hoping for much because I was mainly trying to fill a void. Initially, Hayati started as a basic blog, then turned into a predominantly Instagram page and before I knew it I was publishing full-blown magazines. The feedback has been amazing masha’Allah. I am always shocked when I meet people who read or follow Hayati and I thank Allah swt for giving me the strength and patience to continue pushing Hayati every blessed day.
What do you feel is the next step for Hayati?
I believe the next step for Hayati is expansion. We have our social media platforms, as well as our website and now our shop. So moving forward we want to expand and become a one stop shop for a young fashionable Muslimah.
Highlights since you started the magazine?
Meeting people who are avid Hayati readers is always amazing. It’s a joy to hear the stories of different people and to find out that an article you published gave them the strength to make positive changes in their lives.
What has been your low moment in this career path?
The biggest lesson I have learned working in publishing is consistency and patience. There were days when I felt like Hayati was not making any progress, however, if it wasn’t for my amazing team, and the encouragement messages we receive, I might have given up a long time ago.
From your own perspective, what are the challenges facing Nigerian media industry at large?
Right now the major debate the media publishing industry is a question of having print, digital or both? I believe that at this time, having a foot in both print and digital is an advantage.
Who are your mentors and role models?
My mom is my role model. I have had a few mentors along the way, but my mom’s wisdom has kept me going
What would you do differently in life, if you were given the opportunity to start all over again?
Nothing. I believe that everything I am not, has made me everything I am, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Try and decide early what your passion and goals are in life, and pursue them with everything you’ve got.