5 Min­utes with MIMA

Mima is a suc­cess­ful mar­riage coun­sel­lor, a re­la­tion­ship coach with many years of ex­pe­ri­ence, she cur­rently runs the coun­selling unit of Med­i­max Hos­pi­tal Abuja. Mima has also suf­fered a fair share of life’s woes and many dif­fi­cult per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences. Ha

THISDAY Style - - STYLE & DESIGN -

What is Life­lines with Mima? Tell us what prompted your in­ter­est into start­ing up a show on pro­found mat­ters? What’s your story?

Life­lines with Mima is a fam­ily show cre­ated to ad­dress ev­ery­day life is­sues and help peo­ple con­vert their ev­ery­day per­sonal prob­lems into pos­i­tive step­ping stones be­fore they be­come stum­bling blocks. The show shares with its au­di­ence the ex­pe­ri­ences of ev­ery­day peo­ple that come to con­sult my team, im­por­tant guests and celebri­ties and my­self in the house of Mima. Most of all its’s a move­ment to change the world one fam­ily at a time, be­cause of my strong be­lief that most peo­ple in our so­ci­ety are prod­ucts of un­sta­ble homes.

In com­par­i­son with other shows, how would you dif­fer­en­ti­ate your pro­gram from oth­ers?

Well, Life­lines with Mima is very dif­fer­ent from other shows be­cause it deals with real life ex­pe­ri­ences in a unique man­ner. It’s ba­si­cally about hav­ing ther­apy and emo­tional sup­port on tele­vi­sion. In­stead of hav­ing a host and some guests just talk about a topic, we de­cided to bring the peo­ple go­ing through the ex­pe­ri­ences on the show to tell their own sto­ries, bring­ing with them tears, in­trigue, com­edy, drama, fights and ar­gu­ments. Un­like other shows we pro­vide so­lu­tions from the norms of our rich African cul­ture and tra­di­tion as we re­mind our au­di­ence of the most valu­able things in life.

You are a mar­riage coun­sel­lor and re­la­tion­ship coach with many years of ex­pe­ri­ence, has that in any­way played a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to your suc­cess story/ Show?

It def­i­nitely has, I stud­ied so­ci­ol­ogy be­cause of my in­ter­est in help­ing the so­ci­ety, there after I did other cour­ses that gave me the foun­da­tion of what I am to­day. Life­lines with Mima started on Armed Forces Ra­dio, when I was able to coun­sel an im­por­tant mil­i­tary man, who be­lieved in me im­me­di­ately and gave me a slot on their plat­form which is the only mil­i­tary ra­dio sta­tion in the coun­try. Life­lines with Mima tele­vi­sion was nec­es­sary be­cause I needed to share these so­lu­tions and ad­vo­cacy to a wider au­di­ence. Ev­ery­thing I am to­day is a re­sult of fol­low­ing my heart and go­ing after my God Given as­sign­ment which coun­selling.

What are the ev­ery­day chal­lenges you go through re­gard­ing your show? The down mo­ments you have had to go through and how you over­came them.

It has not been easy at all, but we are mak­ing progress to the glory of the Almighty. Our ma­jor chal­lenge is the fact that it’s an un­com­mon type of show for TV sta­tions, in­vestors and spon­sors, be­cause it’s a com­bi­na­tion of a Tele­vi­sion talk show and a drama se­ries. Peo­ple are used to in­vest­ing in one or the other, but here we have a unique sit­u­a­tion that needs unique in­vestors and spon­sors. Float­ing a show that teaches morals in our world of to­day is very dif­fi­cult be­cause con­tro­versy and im­moral­ity sells quickly. So fund­ing this project as an in­de­pen­dent pro­ducer with per­sonal funds has been a huge chal­lenge as this show is quite ex­pen­sive to pro­duce. Thank­fully we have been get­ting very good feed­back and re­views and hope that sup­port will find us soon. We also have chal­lenges with our poor cul­ture of keep­ing per­sonal prob­lems a se­cret, and at­tribut­ing our prob­lems to spir­i­tual causes. As a peo­ple we don’t re­alise that pro­fes­sional ther­apy or coun­selling is im­por­tant, so many peo­ple speak up only when the sit­u­a­tion be­comes crit­i­cal or go to the wrong so­cial me­dia plat­forms or google for so­lu­tions in­stead of con­sult­ing a pro­fes­sional. This is why our work is im­por­tant be­cause we bring ex­pert help and so­lu­tions into the homes of many help­less and voice­less peo­ple.

We all have that one ex­pe­ri­ence that com­pletely changes our per­cep­tion about our­selves and mar­riage and other things per­tain­ing to our ex­is­tence, please share with us, that first thing you learnt about be­ing a woman, wife and be­ing in busi­ness.

This is an emo­tional one for me, at 23 I be­came a widow with 2 lit­tle chil­dren. I was dev­as­tated and lost be­cause I was still a child my­self try­ing to dis­cover who I am. I was forced to en­dure many tra­di­tional rites, and I lost the will to live be­cause my hus­band was a won­der­ful friend, hus­band and fa­ther. I was in shock and de­nial for a long time be­cause he was not sick or old, he was just 37 years old when he died in a car ac­ci­dent! It was the grace of God and thoughts of my lit­tle chil­dren (3years old and 9 months old) that brought me out of it and forced me to grow up quickly as I was sud­denly a fa­ther and mother to my chil­dren. This ex­pe­ri­ence thought me never to take any loved one for granted be­cause you never know what hap­pens to­mor­row. As for be­ing a woman, I be­lieve the def­i­ni­tion of a real woman is that woman that has de­vel­oped the abil­ity to bal­ance her fam­ily life, her spir­i­tual life and her pro­fes­sional life. I don’t fail to men­tion this when­ever I am in­vited to speak to groups of women.

Ev­ery brand/show has its de­fined phi­los­o­phy of who their tar­get mar­ket/au­di­ence is, how will you de­scribe your au­di­ence?

The show Airs on AIT net­work, AIT in­ter­na­tional, NTA net­work, NTA in­ter­na­tional, Ben Tele­vi­sion (on sky net­work UK), GRTS in the Gam­bia, so have a pretty wide reach and a di­verse au­di­ence, but In­stead of talk­ing about the ages or the lo­ca­tion or stan­dard of liv­ing de­mog­ra­phy, I would rather say that my tar­get au­di­ence is that in­di­vid­ual that has been si­lenced in any way. That in­di­vid­ual that is afraid to share their thoughts so as to not be la­belled. That in­di­vid­ual that wants to be in­tel­lec­tu­ally stim­u­lated on a wide range of is­sues. That in­di­vid­ual that has been told to be strong al­ways and suck it up be­cause we are black and black don’t crack. Be­cause at the end of the day the truth is that we do crack, we crack so of­ten we be­gin to per­ceive it as our nor­mal. We need to talk about these is­sues so we can be­gin our jour­ney to ac­tu­ally truly mend­ing. Tech­ni­cally we have mil­lions of view­ers across Africa and in some parts of Europe.

Be­sides this line of busi­ness, you own and run a cou­ple of other suc­cess­ful busi­nesses, tell us about these other busi­nesses you are in­volved it.

Oh wow (smile), this is a big ques­tion, let me try to sum­marise, my hus­band and I own a hos­pi­tal in Abuja called Med­i­max Hos­pi­tal, I am the Hos­pi­tal’s coun­sel­lor/doula and I also man­age the ad­min­is­tra­tive depart­ment. Apart from this, I run an on­line

We are aware that you started your ca­reer with an NGO, what were your achieve­ments from there and why did you leave the NGO com­mu­nity?

Yes, it is true that I started my ca­reer with NGOs. As for my achieve­ments, I was able to head a team to raise over N100,000,000 for an NGO to build can­cer screen­ing cen­ters in all parts of Nige­ria. I have suc­cess­fully or­ga­nized fund rais­ing events for First Ladies and a cou­ple of small NGOs. I was also able to learn the ropes and gain ex­pe­ri­ence in this field. I left be­cause I wasn’t get­ting ful­fill­ment, my pas­sion to help peo­ple kept grow­ing but I wasn’t mak­ing di­rect im­pact which al­ways made me I feel like I was wast­ing. I still felt the need to do more to help hu­man­ity. Even­tu­ally I dis­cov­ered my pur­pose and pas­sion which is ti­tling to­wards ad­vo­cacy. So I am still help­ing peo­ple, but this time, in a dif­fer­ent way. I also in­tend to start up an­other NGO very soon.

Tell us about your fam­ily life?

God has blessed me tremen­dously by sur­round­ing me with peo­ple that love me so much. I have three beau­ti­ful chil­dren to the Glory of God and I have a very lov­ing hus­band. My par­ents and sib­lings have stood by me and sup­ported me all the way, and hus­band’s fam­ily loves me so much and treat me well. So I be­lieve I have a good fam­ily life be­cause I am happy and blessed with such im­por­tant peo­ple in my life.

What ad­vise do you have for the youths out there?

The first thing is to know God in the true sense of the word, the sec­ond is to dis­cover your pur­pose or what you have come to this earth to do, then you can pick a part­ner that un­der­stands your jour­ney and is will­ing to go with you any­where. Once you get these at the be­gin­ning, you have laid a solid foun­da­tion for your fu­ture and ev­ery­thing will grad­u­ally fall into place. Fi­nally, keep learn­ing and net­work­ing, knowl­edge and con­tacts are never too much.

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