I see success as being charitable to others – Umebali Blessing Uzoamaka
Brand and marketing strategist, Umebali Blessing Uzoamaka is the publisher of Brandmatters Magazine and also the Chief Executive Officer of Brand Point Media, which roles include public speaking, brand analyst, master of ceremony, event management, event marketer, speech writing and media publicist Among others.
She holds a B.sc in Public Administration from University of Lagos. She also holds Diploma in Journalism from College of Journalism. The dark skinned eloquent lady of many parts, is a member of the Lions Clubs, where she was
Past Club President of Ikeja Metro Lions, past and Best Zone and Region Chairperson, District 404B2 Nig.
Currently, the Abia State indigene is the District Chairperson,Media and Public Relations/Information. In this interview, she talks about the role of women in the society, charity and other issues.
The International Women’s Day was celebrated recently. What is its significance to Nigerian women?
This year’s theme is #breakthebias and this has been a serious apprehension Nigerian woman and girls keep wrestling with. Talking about the significance, I will like to make reference to Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “a woman is like a tea bag; you can never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”.
Getting into hot water, means you should be content equipped. So, then its significance to a Nigerian woman should be in the content of each woman’s character, because what defines a woman in breaking this bias we all talk about should be in our content. What defines you as a woman? Is it in the making-up, wearing seeing through clothing, or half naked dressing, gossips or in the time you invested envying fellow women? Let this bias be even be broken within and among women, isn’t possible to see women helping women, I mean those who are content equipped to grow in education, career, profession, attaining high and higher position.
Do you believe in gender equality and why is it important?
I believe in gender equality, because it gives room for fairness in all aspects. As for its importance, it will create sustainable developments that will end discrimination towards women and further provides equal access to education, opportunities for employment and level playing ground in governance.
Do you think women should be given equal opportunity in governance?
Utterly yes! Women opportunity in government is an opportunity to stimulate economic growth, which is very germaine to the nation building.
How can women distinguish themselves in their various endeavours?
Do you know that being chivalrous is a virtue? For me it’s not about what you do or positions you occupy. It is how you relate with people that will distinguish you from others; even your domestic workers, like your gardener, nannies and so on, should be treated with love and kindness for assisting in your menial tasks at home. I love when women even when they are in men dominated field or profession, still carry themselves with grace and womanly. This virtue will spur outstanding performances in whatever and in whichever roles women do.
What advice do you have for women facing one challenge or the other?
Challenges are part of life in human existence; so if as a woman you hadn’t been faced with challenges what then will shape you, or what will even prepare you for greatness? Of course challenges are to be faced head-on for a better tomorrow. However, this is for those women who are hardworking, diligent, committed and passionate about what they do. So, then I will advise women generally to have the optimistic spirit than being pessimist. Then work, walk and relate with the right human being.
Passion for what they do isn’t enough, but having the right social circle of networks will push them to the right track. Women are nurtures and only a nurturer can build a healthy nation.
In all of these women are wired to be prayerful beings. So, drawing closer to God and believing in him is the best that can happen to anyone, especially if you are a woman.
Can you describe yourself briefly?
In terms of my personality, I am result driven, articulate person who believes in humanitarian causes. I am a combination of choleric and sanguine. My likes include, touching lives of the needy and poor as a way of giving back to the society. Also I like responsible and responsive people. I dislike discrimination, Injustice and odour puts me off totally.
What would you say are the peculiar challenge of being a young female leader?
Most times you see people telling you that they are intimidated by your person and l wonder why. Male counterpart have approached me to tell me this, that I should take it slow that I am intimidating them. Even some senior female leaders will want to remind you that you should be careful at the rate you are flying.
How did you find your way into Lions club?
Joining Lions Club is by invitation. So I was invited by a friend in my church, though he is late now. He introduced me into the Ikeja Leo Club in 1999/2000 and later I joined Ikeja Metro Lions Club in 2009/2010, am still very active in the club.
Can you share your growing up experience?
My parents taught me to believe in myself. They taught me to have self-esteem, respect for all ages no matter what. In my mum’s voice “every success makes you grow strong because it teaches you what to do. And every failure makes you stronger because it also teaches you what to do.”
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include, but not limited to; reading, writing, traveling, Singing, dancing and cooking.
Are you working on any new project at moment?
Yes, I am. But I won’t want to let the cat out of the bag. However, my next magazine publication, that’s the 15th edition of Brandmatters Magazine would soon be out.
What are your guiding principles?
You know Mark Victor Hansen once quoted that “don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions.” So, my guiding principles are these but not limited; Faith in God the creator of all talents and gifts. I am a devoted Christian who understands the word and applies it to my day-today life. I am not a perfect being but I am advantaged to be the handmade of a perfect God. It takes perseverance and endurance through challenging personal battles. Other principles are Self confident, Integrity, outspoken, my belief that giving is a living; hard work; being passionate about what I believe in and having knowledge about what I have passion for.
Your definition of success?
Success is never a destination but a journey. Success is a way of life. It is being able to share what you have with others who are lesser than you. In doing so, you feel fulfilled. Each time I stretch my hands to give a gift out whether in cash or something tangible, I feel blessed that God has given me the grace and capacity to be able to do it. Success isn’t being rich or acquiring all luxury apartments, cars, property, but being able to share. It may be your time, talent, treasure. So, I see success as being charitable to others. In my little way I have been able to blessed people, starting from my family, extended, my church and especially, as a member of the world largest service organisation, Lions Clubs International. Every day we gather by the corner serving humanity with our time, talent and treasure.
Have you ever thought of giving up in life and how did you overcome the thought?
No I haven’t, rather I always push until something happens. I am one person that sees life as a small place, work as if it’s the last day at working place. Give as if you won’t have that opportunity of giving again. Play as if you won’t see those friends or families again and then love because God is love. I always see life like ice cream when it melts you lick when you don’t it waste.
What is your advice for the youths?
They should have the optimistic spirit than being pessimistic. Then work, walk and relate with the right human being. Passion for what they do isn’t enough, but having the right social circle of networks will push them to the right track. The youths are the leaders of today, not even tomorrow.
What would you say your biggest achievement since you joined Lions Clubs International?
Let me start like this, often times you hear us say government cannot do it all alone. This is why we are so passionate about our humanitarian causes to the communities. Sincerely we cannot do so much, if we have few members. What it means is that with more members in the club, we would drive our vision positively thus supporting and collaborating with government or any corporate organisation to affect lives of the masses, especially the poorest of the poor. So, I will boldly tell you that my biggest achievement is in self development, in public speaking, and serving others to make great impact. I will say l am no longer where I used to be, even though l haven’t got there yet, but l am better off than where l was.
What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to lead this country?
There will be a law that people or Nigerians should start looking at Nigeria from the family circle. As a father how are you measuring up at home? Are you playing your role to the letter? The same applies to the mother and so to the children? Are the children emulating the morals and values that they see in their parents or guardians that will positively change the society and get the change we want? Then providing an enabling environment for all to thrive, in areas of infrastructures, good and conducive roads for all to travel to our various works and businesses. Constant electricity is one of the key infrastructures and a surest way to a nation building. When we have electricity, we will all be productive in our areas of specialisation. Finally, only those who are knowledgeable in their fields of profession will make up the cabinet, in terms of ministerial appointments.