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‘I Want Young Girls To See Successful Women As The Norm, Not Exception’

Seyi

Seyi Banigbe is a successful serial entrepreneur and the inspirational host of “Binging With Game Changers”, a show that delves into the minds of people with successful brands and careers who have thrived in Nigeria despite evident barriers. The talk show also emphasises the need for individuals to ultimately pursue their passion in order to live a happier and fulfilled life. Passionate about empowering Nigerians to become financially independent whilst following their dreams, she is back with the second season of the show, which she said is bigger and better. In this interview with TOBI AWODIPE, she talks about her show, Binging with GameChangers (BWG), the difficulties in running several businesses amongst other issues.

What was the inspiration behind BWG and how did it come to fruition?
BINGING With GameChangers was borne out of my desire to tell and show Nigerians that it is indeed possible to do big things right here in Nigeria without having to relocate.

Seeing what I’ve been able to build via sheer passion and handwork is a strong motivation for me to share my story and that of other Nigerians who have attained similar success in career/business.

The message is simply that “anybody can make it in Nigeria by applying the right principles and relevant skill” as the show features ordinary people who have built extraordinary careers/businesses.

I was encouraged by a friend to stop playing small and go ahead to package my “inspirational talk” in a manner that the whole country could benefit from it as opposed to the pocket of people I spoke to occasionally.

I took up that challenge and went ahead to create and produce the first season of Binging With GameChangers and here we are today, about to release Season 2 to the nation.

The show is now in its second season, what should we be expecting?
I’m really excited about Season 2 because we have improved everything about the show. From the set, to the production quality, and even the reach. The interviews are as rich as ever and Nigerian fashion is displayed in the most exquisite way on the show since I adorn only outfits made by Nigerian designers.

Season 2 introduces our E-mentorship platform whereby viewers in need of mentorship are encouraged on the show to sign up for mentorship via our website (b2gnetwork.com;) and official phone number. This gives us the opportunity to connect Nigerians in need of career/business guidance with other Nigerians who have made significant progress in their respective fields.

Mentorship on our platform is closely monitored and is executed via phone and email hence making participation easier. We have also curated really fun fashion tutorial videos and behind-the-scene footage from each episode of Season 2, which will be available for viewing online and on our social media platforms @thebwgshow on instagram, Facebook and twitter.

Vlisco is a sponsor of Season 2 of the show and I get to wear their amazing African print for the game segment of each episode, so Nigerians will get a lot of fashion inspiration from the gorgeous designs, which Vlisco put me in for the game-time on Season 2 of Binging with GameChangers. Nigeria should look out for larger doses of knowledge, fun and fashion on Season 2.

What are you going to do differently with season two and who are some of the guests we should be looking forward to seeing?
Season 2 is going up on a lot more stations in order to get even more Nigerians inspired. It will air on our Youtube channel (B2Gnetwork) but also on Africa Magic Family, NTA Network, STV Network, LTV, MYtv and NTA 2. There will also be loads of ice-cream and frozen yoghurt to be won by viewers every week from ColdStone and Pinkberry.

Just like season 1 of the show, our guests on season 2 are high-flyers from across various sectors of the economy and we have an exciting array of people on Season 2. Everyone is encouraged to tune in weekly to enjoy all that we’ve cooked up for Nigeria.

You say you are passionate about empowering Nigerians to become financially independent, how are you going about this?
I believe financial independence is easily available to people that work hard and combine great work ethic with integrity, passion and consistency. All of these values are constantly reiterated on the programme.

I believe that people are greatly influenced by what they watch and if Nigerians can watch the BWG show long enough, they will be convinced to work hard and enjoy from the vast financial possibilities that Nigeria has to offer.

You currently run three businesses simultaneously, tell us about your entrepreneurial journey?
All of my businesses have been borne from a place of passion and training. I was passionate about making good quality fashion jewellery available and accessible to Nigerians and I started my jewellery company, Bland2Glam.

We have since grown from operating from my car boot to a full-fledged company that designs and retails great jewellery online and across 20 stores nationwide through retail partners like SPAR, GreyVelvet, Hubmart, Mobos and Elan Red. Deterge was borne out of my passion for ensuring Nigerians could conveniently get their water dispensers regularly disinfected and repaired and we currently have a clientele of over 500 homes/offices.

I founded Nibo & Tac Legal Practitioners because I had honed my skill as a corporate/commercial lawyer over the years via working with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and other firms. S

o it was a natural progression once I decided to be self-employed, as I had built a network of people/companies that trusted my legal competence and were willing to become clients once I opened shop.

As a talk show host, tell us some of the difficulties you have faced in this field and how did you overcome them?
I am executive producer and host of BWG and I must confess that wearing both hats is no joke. Producing an entertaining talk-show involves a lot of art and technical know-how, hence putting together a team that can deliver on all ends can be challenging.

Funding has also been a challenge but getting sponsors like Vlisco and ColdStone on Season 2, definitely made the load a lot lighter. Content distribution, too, has not been a walk-in-the-park but we keep growing and learning everyday hence things are improving.

In your opinion, do you think there is an over saturation of talk shows and do you think they really make any impact?
I honestly do not think there is an over-saturation of “good” talk shows. Talk is powerful and I don’t think there are many things more powerful than having a real person give an unscripted account of their experience in whatever sector. I’m all for more positive talk because when people talk, other folks are enlightened.

You wear several hats, Lawyer, businesswoman, boss lady, wife, mother, Talk show host and so on; how do you make them all work?
I simply take things one day at a time. I hardly open my laptop at home except I have important deadlines, so I am able to be fully present when I am with my family.

I simply give my best to everything I embark on and live life at my pace. I am very conscious of how I spend my time and I must say that I work with the most amazing set of people in my firms, so combining all of these factors, keeps me sane.

Tell us something that has influenced your career positively today?
Knowing and believing that I can be whomever I choose to be and attain whatever height I determine to reach. Everything is possible in my world.

In honour of Women’s month, tell us what you would do to ‘think equally, build smart and innovate for change’ for Nigerian women?
For every successful man you see on BWG, there is a successful woman also showcased. We are very deliberate about this. It is important that young women and girls begin to see “successful women” as the norm and not the exception and we are working very hard at that via the media platform.

What inspires you and keeps you going?
The possibilities that abound in Nigeria keep me very excited but I must say that my strong faith in God fuels me from within.

What would you tell women out here looking up to you and want to tow your path?
I’ll say, “go for it.” You can be anything you want to be with the right amount of hard work, passion and consistency.

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