Chinenye Nnoli: The metro woman
A law graduate from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School. She is also an alumnus of the Lehigh University, Bethlehem Pennsylvania in the US and a graduate of the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), Pan Atlantic University. Chinenye is an associate member of the International Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN).
She pursued her passion and started a Media Production company to provide informative, inspiring and empowering content exclusively for women. She has currently produced 26 episodes of the Metrowoman Talkshow which will begin airing on the African Magic Showcase Channel of DSTV in September/October 2015. She is also currently producing a short film and has the Metrowoman Radio Show in the works as well.
In this interview, she shares with Guardian Woman her passion and how Metro Woman came into being.
How did you kick-start your career in talkshow, considering you were not trained for it and not expecting to start, when you did?
I already had a lot of experience handling talkshows at Christ Embassy, my church. In fact, the first job I got after Youth Service was to handle a talkshow for a bank. It didn’t work out, because the bank lost interest in the media project and then I was sent to the marketing department.
Asides that, I did several online courses on public speaking and I am also a gospel spoken word artiste. So, I think all those experiences added up to help me kick-start my career.
It was a clear case of Ready. Aim. Fire. I had a vision to start my own talk show, as far back as when I was a teenager and I had it written down in a diary. Years after, on a friend’s advice, I wrote it out as a proposal. When the opportunity came, in the form of an angel investor, who believed in my idea, I was able to take advantage of it. Of course, I am still on the journey to improving my skills.
How has the journey been for you as an entrepreneur and someone trying to help shine light on women related issues?
It has been an interesting journey. When I started, I got all the support I wanted from LoveWorld Plus, the studio that started my initial production. My mentor, Rev. Chris Oyakhilome practically gave me everything I needed to start on a platter of gold. However, I quickly realised that having the opportunity to achieve your dreams is one thing, but managing it is another.
I run my family business as the CEO of Smiles Pharmacy on a nine-to-five basis and doubling my responsibility as a wife and mother and managing a media company is a lot of work. I have to make sure I create balance and attend to these different areas of my life, so that no aspect is neglected. It has been an exciting adventure and I try to learn fast.
I have had my fair share of challenges, but I consider challenges as an opportunity to get better. My anchor Scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” helps me put it all in perspective, and my fellowship with the Holy Spirit is my confidence that I can surmount the odds and achieve my dreams.
I basically started this talkshow from a personal perspective. As a young wife and mother, I felt constantly amazed at the responsibilities the modern woman has to grapple with and I thought it would be great to have a platform, where we could interview experts on the issues that women face on a daily basis. On the talkshow, we talk about these women related lifestyle questions and get experts to answer them.
How easy was the transition from banking to media?
I had already resigned from the bank to handle the family business at Smiles Pharmacy, when the talkshow took off. Metrowoman started at the bank as a WhatsApp phone group of over 30 women, who discussed our challenges, prayed weekly together and supported each other’s businesses. It was this group that transitioned to the Metrowoman Talkshow, to build a bigger platform to reach more women.
Based on your interactions with experts in the last few months on issue relating to women, what are the specific problems women face in Nigeria? Remember that our target audience is women living in Metropolitan regions, and our focus is basically on lifestyle-related challenges.
So some of the issues we face are career -related, dealing with gender equality at work, managing the work life balance, pregnancy and parenting, dealing with personal finance and budgeting. For female entrepreneurs, it is managing a business in our harsh economic situation. For the single women, finding the right man is the problem, while for married women, it is ensuring that their relationships are sustained in the midst of a very hectic schedule and the list goes on.
On the show, we address several issues, such as planning a wedding on a budget, how to care for natural hair, domestic violence, weight loss tips, mistakes women make in the kitchen and how to correct them, how to find the right nanny, how to get your kids to school, First Aid tips for handling children during emergencies and dealing with stress. We also have a question and answer segment, where we discuss questions on relationships with relationship experts.
How can the problems you have identified be solved?
We usually say we don’t have all the answers, which is why we invite experts onboard to proffer the solutions. Another angle to this is that most of the questions women ask are issues that other women have also faced, so the platform gives us the opportunity to learn from other women’s experiences, which is what the brand is evolving into.
What are your plans for the Metrowoman brand?
The brand is evolving everyday, as the only way to remain relevant is to keep learning, creating and serving. We are building a full production company that will create content to educate, inspire and entertain women. We produced a full-length movie last year and we have another one in the pipeline for next year. The Metrowoman Talkshow is currently airing on DSTV’s African Magic platforms and syndicated on eight terrestrial stations in eight states in Nigeria and we are currently negotiating with more stations in different states of the federation to get the programme to as many women as possible.
Our programmes will focus on empowering women through mentorship and inspiration, as we showcase women that have succeeded in growing their personal businesses and women who have excelled in their chosen professions.
What has motherhood taught you?
With a very supportive husband, motherhood is very interesting. I have two kids aged six and four years old. It is the most rewarding experience I ever had. It has taught me patience, and I find that I learn through my children questions and needs and find myself more motivated to be the best person and mum that I can be for them.
Who is Chinenyen Nnoli?
A born-again child of God, wife, mother, lawyer, Spoken word poet, entrepreneur, Talkshow host and filmmaker.