Wednesday

Cover Story: Genius Mag Goes One-On-One With Marilyn Oma Anona

In the midst of changing societal and global trends and digital culture, Oma Anona, a media icon, has continued to defy the world of business and social work by pushing herself and her team towards the edge of positive impact. In this interview with Rose Jonathan, of Genius Gist Mag, she shares her life’s travails and triumphs in business, social work and the future that lies ahead. 

 

Marilyn Oma Anona

The ever resilient show host was the spotlight for the 4th edition of Genius Gist Magazine 2021. Oma let us in on her early life, sharing insights on the perceived chronic nature and difficulties associated with running businesses in the present day Nigeria. She also talks experience, career drive, the perceived gender discrimination, core challenges, and successes in poverty and unemployment alleviation with her locale and beyond. Read excerpts from the interview below.

Commenting on her background and early life, she said;

“I had a reclusive upbringing where we were not allowed to mingle or socialize. There was no one to learn anything from except from within… I would say my management skills came as a result of self-discovery and gaining clarity early enough… Furthermore, I am very multitalented. I can do a lot with so much ease, so I thought “why waste all that ability sitting behind a desk doing routine jobs?” So I left my high paying job and wandered off in pursuit of purpose.”

 

When quizzed about her venture in business, Oma had this to say;

“I am an entrepreneur not a business person. I am more about providing solutions, making impact and changing the world. Making money is secondary and not the direct purpose. The desire to make a difference in the world, you know make the world more beautiful than I met it inspired me into the work I do. If you talk to anyone who knows me closely, they will tell you that I value excellent execution and results first before financial rewards. Inevitably, money will come when the impact has yielded fruits.”

 

About her perception on the level of difficulty associated with developing, building and sustaining a business in Nigeria as alleged by startups and entrepreneurs, the icon was of the opinion that she “won’t describe the situation as regards building business in Nigeria as very difficult”.

“…. I just think that as a developing country, many of us are just laying the foundation for a better tomorrow. For me, this is the stage where and when we should be giving to the country to grow it. Our children will enjoy the Nigeria of our dream.  So I see Nigeria as green and prospective. The multiple problems we have is proof that there are tons of opportunities that need exploitation. Problems need solutions, don’t they?”

 

Bothering on the challenges she faced daily in the work sphere, coupled with the gender-based misconceptions about career women, women in the media and women in business generally, the spotlight said;

“I am not one of those entrepreneurs who mask their struggles and put up the facade of ‘I am well and things are smooth.’ No!”

 

“Being a woman is not any kind of handicap…. So there is no special challenge for me that comes because I am a woman. If I face sexual harassment, it’s not because I am a woman but because I unfortunately had to meet an irresponsible person and so on.”

 

 For the full interview or to get a copy of the magazine, click here


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