Eno Oduok: Creating An Online Haven for Nigerian Creatives May 14, 2021 – Posted in: media, Showcase, Women – Tags: Online community, Social media
Everywhere around the world, Nigerians are constantly making waves. In the world of creativity, Nigerians are not left out. It is practically impossible to mention top creative people in the world in any field in the world without seeing a Nigerian on that list. Impossible! But then, there seem to be few umbrella communities in the digital space where these creatives are represented. In line with this, 22-year old Eno Oduak saw this need and decided to create a social media platform, Naija Comm. Naija Comm overtime, has proven itself to be an online community that showcases the ingenuity of Nigerian creatives. Eno had an interview with our team and here is how it went down:
How did the dream of Naija Comm start?
It started when I tried to search for an online community catered to Nigerians in public relations and I didn’t find any good results. This led to me searching for other pages catered to Nigerians in other career fields, such as finance and business, which led to no results.
Did the dream come as a result of personal experience you had or as a result of other people’s experiences?
I love this question! To be honest, it was a result of both. I didn’t see an online community that focused specifically on Nigerians in my career field (public relations) or in other overlooked creative roles. I assumed other people in our community probably searched for the same thing with no results. Also, I know there are many people in our community who relate to what I was seeing and feeling. This inspired me to create a space that other people could relate to and connect with.
Did you create it more specifically for Nigerian creatives in the diaspora or Nigerians all over the world?
I created this space for specifically Nigerian creatives and Nigerians in overlooked career fields within our community because we don’t have spaces like this catered to us only but everyone else is welcome to support.
Did people take you seriously when you started or were you at any point undermined?
Surprisingly, people took it seriously and supported it. I feel like people in our community took it seriously because everyone is aware that certain career fields (traditional roles & STEM) receive more praise and recognition than other roles (arts, communications, etc). Some people have faced pressure from family members and others to pursue a traditional career path even if it wasn’t their passion. So I think a lot of people understand what Naija Comm is and why it’s needed.
Was there a point you felt like giving up?
I don’t give up easily despite the few challenges I’ve faced building this platform. So far, I never felt like giving up because I have received so much support and motivation. Sometimes I have moments where I feel tired due to having a lot of responsibilities but that’s a normal feeling you receive in anything you put your mind to.
At what point did you realize you were doing the ‘right thing’?
I realized I was doing the right thing when I started receiving DMs and messages from NC’s audience members informing me how this space has positively impacted them and how it’s an inspiration. These messages mean a lot to me and it motivates me everyday.
How have you been able to stay afloat in terms of finances and media ?
In terms of finances, I am doing well so far but I have financial goals I want to achieve. I make sure to keep track of everything. I keep track of how much is earned and how much is spent in timeframes. I’m still researching more ways to receive funding. As a founder, you have to develop many skills and I’m still learning everyday.
In terms of media, there are times I have to be my own graphic designer, social media manager and more. Through time management and figuring out my priorities, I created a routine for myself but sometimes it can be difficult trying to balance it all but it’s still rewarding. Media has it’s pros and cons but I try not to allow it to affect my mindset because there are more important things to worry about in this life.
What Milestone has Naija Comm gained since inception?
In my opinion, the biggest milestones NC has experienced so far has been connecting with NC Fam members and developing into a community that surpassed my expectations, creating content that everyone can relate to and being featured in AfroTech.
Are there training / events you do to help creatives have a better voice in the industry?
Yes, NC has virtual panel events featuring guest speakers from various industries and anyone can attend these events. These events create a comfortable space for everyone to connect and learn from the amazing professionals in our community. Everyone can talk to the guest speakers and ask any question, share their stories and learn new skills they can use in their personal and professional life.
So far, have there been improvement in the way Nigerian creatives at the moment as a result of Naija Comm?
I think there has been some progress in our community so far and there is more acceptance over non-traditional careers now in comparison to years ago, especially from the older generations, but we still have a long way to go. I think more people are following their creative passions now more than ever. I hope NC continues to be a resourceful contribution toward the progress in our community.
Where do you see Naija Comm in the near future? Where do you see Nigerian creatives in years to come?
I see Naija Comm expanding more in new and innovative ways. I love collaborations so hopefully there will be more collaborations soon. I see Nigerian creatives continuing to succeed and thrive in many ways.