‘I was often in situations where I needed to fend for myself’
Success Omaje Julius is the President of the Xperience Online Media, an online platform for female development. In this interview with GuardianWoman, she talked about the aims, aspirations and achievements of the platform
We know you are Success Omaje, tell us more about yourself- education, family, upbringing etc.
Let me start by letting you know that Omaje is my nickname, I coined it from my native name Chioma and my surname Julius. I took the “Oma” from Chioma and the “J “ from Julius and I added “e” Making it “OMAJE” and today this has become the brand name, and it means Good Journey! Nothing goes wrong from the beginning, which is from the conception of the dream to the birthing and continual growth of the dream. So far the name has accomplished it’s meaning for us.
Education for me has always been the media. I had always loved to write, strategise and brand. It comes naturally to me. So that’s why I gave into studying Mass Communication. I am the third child from a family of four-second girl. My mother is a police officer and my father is a business- man.
Growing up was not so much fun for me. I learnt a lot early in life. This shaped me and has somewhat formed the woman that I am today. As a teenager I had always known what I wanted, what I didn’t know was how to go about it, so I sought knowledge. I was often in positions where I needed to make a decision for myself and fend for myself. My upbringing is a major factor to the woman I am today.
What motivated you into doing what you’re doing, given the fact that you’re still in school?
I finished secondary school when I was 15 and it took me about four years to gain admission into a higher institution. All the years that I waited, I decided not to be idle. So I started modeling in bits because everyone said I had all it takes. I couldn’t really keep up with modeling because it required me going for auditions and, as teenager, I couldn’t handle rejection so well. So I avoided going for auditions so I won’t be rejected and this made not to feature in major shows. But I took my trainings seriously, which made me stood out as well.
One day I decided to start a WhatsApp Group chat, because I had contacts of, models, makeup artists, event organizers and other people in entertainment. I added them to the group and I named the group “NIGERIA MODELS CONNECT” my aim for opening the group was to enable my colleagues be in touch with each other, whenever they are in need of one another’s services they can easily reach each other. I went on and opened a Facebook page. I then started a weekly feature for models. I would interview them and publish it on my blog as model of the week. This went on well and created a lot of publicity for me.
On the long run, when I began to spend time with God concerning my purpose for life, He revealed to me that my purpose “is to see to the development and right living of females in Africa.” It was all making sense to me because I had always loved to see women and young girls who are driven by purpose. Eight out of 10 girls in Nigeria and Africa do not have a sense of purpose, and most of them who manage to birth their purpose do not have what it takes to nurture and have it grow continually.
So I talked to some elderly people about it to get directions on how to bring what I am hearing from God to life. After collecting advice from different people, I decided to change my Models Connect group to The XPERIENCE With Omaje.
When people asked me why I chose the XPERIENCE, I told them that I wanted a platform where women can come share their experiences and also experience positive change. This was in 2014.
The vision was still not clear to me; it was coming in bits so I gave it time. The whole of 2015 was a waiting period for me; I was gathering contacts of possible sponsors, partners and clients concerning my vision. I grew my Online Media, by putting up posts that brought in lots of traffic. I did campaign and I also ran adverts on Facebook.
In 2016 I was ready, so I decided to launch the Xperience Online Media and one of its initiative the Xperience Womanity Awards. What motivated me most was the passion I had for purpose-driven women.
I get motivated when I see female entrepreneurs starting up their enterprise, pursing deals and accomplishing goals. So having my online media focusing on female entrepreneurship and development just makes it whole.
What’s the aim of Xperience Online Media?
The aim of the Xperience Online Media is to see that all females from 18-35 years are developed physically, spiritually and mentally. We aim to bring information that will help them develop these areas of their lives frequently and at little or no cost.
How have you been able to reach out to other women with your platform? Mention some of the achievements
When we launched in 2016, we were able to reach to women through the Xperience Womanity Awards initiative where we recognised women who are doing excellently in their areas of endeavour.
We also initiated the Leading Women Conference. This initiative made us reach a larger number of women. And bi-monthly we put together classes so as to see to their development and also be in touch with them.
What challenges have you faced in the course of actualising your dream?
A lot! Funds to be precise and getting the right team to work with per project. Human management has been one of the greatest things I have learnt while building this brand.
Who are the role models that always inspire you?
I have a few women who inspire me. Michelle Obama, I like the fact that she is learned, I like the way she dresses: simple and elegant. I like how sensitive she was to people’s needs during her reign. For me Michelle Obama is a reflection of the kind of power woman I want to become.
Madam Jane Gamdede, CEO Twon by Jane. She is also the publisher of Dipcreek. She is one lady I followed and still follow keenly while starting my enterprise. She inspires me.
Maryam Elisha; she is the CEO of Rikaoto by me. She is a friend and mentor. She made me understood that being beautiful is not enough. Your brain must be at work. Your hands must be at work. And your mind must be at work!
My spiritual parents, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Uche Mbata. They have modeled Christ and taught me daily of whom God is and this has helped me grow spiritually.
You always sound so spiritual in your logos, what’s your philosophy of life?
Well forgive me, I am melancholic by nature and I am born-again by spirit, so it tends to show in all I do. My philosophy of life…
“There is an end to every path we chose, for me I chose to light, joy and hope, the one with glorious end and a glorious feeling.”
How have you been able to combine all these with your education?
Well, it’s not been easy. When I am done with my BSC by next year, I will take a post- graduate course on PR and Advertising, as it is my career interest.
What are your goals and aspirations for Xperience Online Media?
Our goal and aspiration is to be Africa’s Hotspot for female development.
What was the essence of the Masterclass that you held last weekend?
The essence of the God-given Purpose Masterclass is the essence of life. When the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable. A lot of women abuse their chances, opportunities and platforms because they don’t know their purpose. The aim of this Class was to help female entrepreneurs birth their purpose.
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