Bidemi Zakariyau is the Founder & CEO of LSF|PR . In this interview with Alaba Ayinuola, she spoke on her passion for Media(PR), working with small businesses and start-ups and business success for women in Nigeria. Excerpts:
BAO: Tell us about LSFPR. What do you do exactly?
Bidemi: LSF|PR – a full service public relations consultancy with a core focus on corporate communications and consumer brands. We also have a start-up division, LSF|SME which is focused on growing small businesses, brands and emerging talent.
We recently set-up our digital marketing division, LSF|Digital.
BAO: What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Bidemi: I have a business and legal background. I studied law at University, when I moved back to Nigeria in 2011, I interned at Consolex legal practitioners and Udo Udoma & Belo – Osagie before I joined law school. While I loved the experience and learned so much about the Nigerian business environment, I realised that Law was not really what I was passionate about. So, while in Law school I decided to follow my passion for media and try to figure out what exactly in the media space I was passionate about. I decided to start LSF|PR on the side, working with small businesses and start-ups. Once I was done with Law school, I then decided to scale.
BAO: How have you been able to transcend from Law to running a PR Agency?
Bidemi: I always had a passion for media since I was young. In college, I was the best law student and I felt compelled to study law at university. Law is a great background to have, it makes you disciplined. I learnt how to manage my time and it just made it easier for me to transition into something I loved. When I was younger, I always worked in the summer at my dad’s office and I believe that played a key role in understanding how to run a business.
BAO: What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in Nigeria?
Bidemi: Hard work is a vital key to success. You have to work really hard and smart if you truly want to be successful. You have to be consistent; you can’t be one thing today and another thing tomorrow. It is important to stay consistent so that you can actually see the results of your hard work.
Perseverance is another key to success. I have learnt that perseverance is needed a lot of times. There are going to be many disappointments,soit is very important tolearn to focus on the end goal instead of letting disappointments wear you down
Love what you do, there is no point running a business if you can’t wake up every day knowing full well thatyou are going to face challenges but still get up anyway. Truth is, if you do not love what you do, it becomes difficult to give it your best. Passion keeps you through the tough times and of course the good ones. And of course dedication to your craft; ensuring that you get all the necessary training and you keep on learning at every point of the journey. I think those four things are very crucial.
BAO: What do you like about being an entrepreneur and business owner?
Bidemi: The most fulfilling part of being an entrepreneur is the ability to teach. It feels good to be able to impact knowledge. If for instance, one of my staff were to leave in a year or two, I would want to know that I have impacted their lives in a positive way; they understand basic business ethics and fully grasp the way public relations works. Having people learn from me and also being able to learn from them is very rewarding for me as an entrepreneur.
BAO: What specific advice would you give to young women entrepreneurs?
Bidemi: Work hard and very smart. Follow your passion and stay dedicated, focused and consistent. Listen and learn but don’t get distracted, so many times people will try to tell you what they want for you which may not necessarily be what you want for yourself. Its important to remain focused at all times.
Bidemi Zakariyau is the Founder & CEO of LSF|PR – A full service public relations consultancy with core competencies in corporate communications and consumer brands. We also have a start up division, LSF|SME and a digital marketing division, LSF|Digital.
Bidemi handles the day–to-day management of LSF|PR and currently leads her team in creating communications strategy for the consultancy’s clients. She is actively involved in advising clients on critical communications strategies and issues. Her work reflects the international scope and breadth of the consultancy’s offering and has included advising clients on entry strategies into the Nigerian Market and ongoing corporate reputation building efforts. Some of LSF|PR’s clients include Philips, Godrej, Ventures Platform, Remy Martin, Laurent-Perrier Champagne and the likes.
In 2015 she was recognised as one of the leading female entrepreneurs under 25 in Nigeria by SME100. In 2016 she was awarded The Future Awards Africa Prize for media enterprise.
Bidemi is member of the Nigerian Bar Association and sits on the board of Réle Art Gallery.
Christa Sanders Bobtoya: The Woman Advancing International Education in Africa
Christa Sanders Bobtoya has been involved in the field of international education for the last two decades. She has lived in Accra, Ghana since 2004 and is currently the Director/Head of Webster University’s Ghana Campus, the only American university in the sub-region offering US-accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees. Sanders Bobtoya spent her first decade in Ghana as the Associate Director of New York University’s (NYU) 6th global site and the university’s first study abroad program on the African continent. As the head of Webster Ghana, she works daily to fulfill the University’s mission of providing high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.
“I have always been passionate about education, international travel and intercultural experiences. In my role of Director of Webster University Ghana Campus, I am able to fuse together all of my passions where I work daily to fulfill the University’s mission of providing high quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence,” says Sanders Bobtoya who is committed to promoting international educational opportunities to students worldwide and has worked and studied in Spain, Germany, Ethiopia, Ghana, Brazil and the United States.
Sanders Bobtoya has traveled extensively across 5 continents, spanning 85 countries dedicating much of her career to the field of higher education and managing study abroad programs as well as international branch campuses of US institutions both in Europe and Africa.
Previous experiences have included a role as a Program Officer for the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York where she managed a range of scholarship programs for both Latin American and African students through the Institute’s Scholarship and Training Programs (STP) division and as the Chief Counselor of Students for Syracuse University in Madrid, Spain where she also co-founded a support organization, Voices of Change, to help students of color cope with discrimination outside of the United States. Additionally, Sanders Bobtoya has provided cross-cultural counseling services in Berlin, Germany and developed short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs to both Eastern and Western Africa for Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, and has consulted a number of educational institutions focused on international educational initiatives such as Stanford University, Dartmouth College and the Council of International Education (CIEE), the world’s largest international educational exchange organizations.
Currently, in the role of Director/Head of Webster University’s Ghana Campus; the only American university in the sub-region offering US-accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees, Sanders Bobtoya works daily to fulfill the University’s mission of providing high quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.
“Under my leadership at Webster University Ghana, students are exposed to new ways of thinking and benefit from the cultural diversity and enriching academic environment that strengthens their critical-thinking skills. Since opening our doors in 2014, we have enrolled both undergraduate and graduate students from over 25 different countries, spanning four continents including many from Africa and its Diaspora who later join Webster’s elite network of over 157,000 alumni worldwide,” adds Christa Sanders-Bobtoya who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia where she graduated summa cum laude before completing her Ed.M and M.A. degrees in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in cross-cultural studies/multiculturalism from Columbia University in New York.
Learn More about Webster University Ghana at the Online Open House
Hussein Fakhry, MD of Key Architectural Group Nominated for The 2020 Ghana Industry CEO Awards
Hussein Fakhry, the Co-Founder, Managing Director and Lead Architect at KEY
Architectural Group has been identified as one of the most outstanding chief executives in
corporate Ghana by Ghana Industry CEO Awards.
Hussein’s astute leadership at Key Architectural Group led to the nomination of Top CEO in the
Construction (Building) category. KEY Architectural Group has offices in Accra, Ghana, Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Beirut, Lebanon.
The 2020 Ghana Industry CEOs Awards is an annual awards scheme aimed at identifying and
publicly recognizing the most outstanding Chief Executives in corporate Ghana across a wide
range of sectors.
Backed with a Master’s in Business Administration and over 24 years of experience in the Design and Construction Field, the architect by profession and passion has been behind landmark residential, commercial, touristic, and industrial projects in West Africa and Lebanon.
Hussein Fakhry designs are inspired by nature, sustainability and contextual architecture.
To vote, kindly visit: Ghana Industry CEO Awards
aYo Holdings appoints Marius Botha as Group CEO
African micro-insurance fintech business aYo Holdings, a joint venture between telecommunication giant MTN and traditional insurer Momentum Metropolitan Holdings (MMH), has appointed Marius Botha as its new group chief executive officer (CEO).
Botha was formerly CEO of life insurer Stangen for nearly seven years, having previously held executive positions at African Bank and Munich Re.
aYo Holdings offers accidental hospital cover and life cover in Zambia, Uganda and Ghana with additional African countries launching in the very near future.
Botha holds an honours degree in actuarial science and an M.Phil in Futures Studies.
Issued: ByDesign Communication