Work, Faith, and Courage: An Exclusive Interview With Blueafric Media’s “Gifted One”
Have you ever heard of a person who ends a work call with “Cheers!”? You would immediately describe this personality as one who is always excited to work. When a mini bio about Blueafric Media Co-Founder, Michael Ikechukwu, was aired on the Instagram platform of the full-service media organization, it read that when Michael Ikechukwu wasn’t working, he was working. This should be all you have to know about Michael Ikechukwu, also known as “Michael E. I. But a new saying, which we are just making up at this moment, says you should never judge a man’s actions until you know what drives him and what he drives with these actions.
One of the most outstanding histories of the renowned media organization, Blueafric Media, is that it began in a restaurant, with a handful of pioneer players who contributed their individual quota based on their unique skills. During these early days, Ikechukwu’s advanced knowledge of graphic design and web development catered to the technical aspect of running the media agency. Ikechukwu attributed his personal growth and the collective growth of Blueafric Media to hard work, not only on his part but also on the part of the team members the company has worked with over the years. “Hard work is a tested and trusted process that has always yielded valuable results for me and that is why I am always up on my feet. I believe that every height is attainable if you just get onto it. There is no right time to start working on something. If we had waited for the right time, Blueafric Media wouldn’t be here today,” Michael explained.
Below, Michael answers 10 questions on work, faith, and courage, amongst other things:
|10 Questions for Michael Ikechukwu|
1. Blueafric Media has established itself as one of the leading media organizations in the Southeast. What factors have contributed to achieving this esteemed recognition?
Throughout our journey, our unwavering commitment to growth and our relentless pursuit of the vision to build Africa’s premier media company have been the driving forces behind our success. Our approach is focused on long-term goals, recognizing that progress is made one step at a time. While we appreciate the recognition in the Southeast, we firmly believe that our vision extends far beyond this region. Therefore, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of growth, maintaining consistency, and pushing boundaries. Our success is rooted in a combination of hard work, practical experience, and a commitment to continuous learning.
2. You are currently managing the Blueafric Media office in the Nation’s capital, Abuja. What are the challenges and advantages of operating in this environment?
In terms of infrastructure, exposure, and development, Abuja stands out compared to some other cities in Nigeria. However, one of the main challenges is that a major portion of the circulating money in Abuja comes from the government, which often operates based on personal contacts and networks rather than merit. If things were more merit-based, Abuja could accommodate even more opportunities, as they are indeed available. But the government and a few private sectors hold the key to most opportunities in the city.
Despite these limitations, Abuja also offers significant opportunities if you have the right connections. Securing one or two government contracts can sustain a small to mid-sized organization for an entire year. However, building these relationships and networks isn’t easy since people already have established circles.
Having been here for nearly three years, we are pushing to break into these circles and tap into the opportunities that lie within. Also, the media ecosystem in Abuja is not as robust as one might expect. Traditional media houses, such as newspapers and TV stations, dominate the market. So, there’s a scarcity of full-service agencies for communications, PR, advertising, and media, unlike in Lagos. Nevertheless, this scarcity can be seen as an opportunity.
3. What sectors has the company covered in terms of brand partnerships and clientele?
We have been able to tap into the potential of governmental organizations. We have successfully collaborated with prestigious entities such as the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the West African Health Organization (WAHO), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP). Additionally, we have established partnerships with private-sector organizations in real estate, hospitality, alcoholic beverages, travel and reservation; and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Our clientele includes esteemed organizations like SOS Children Villages, Bloom Public Health, Diank, Pasich Furniture, Damash Interiors, and Sanshek Travels.
4. Despite Blueafric Media’s success in recent years, there is limited information available about its founders. What influenced your decision to remain behind the scenes during this time?
Our focus has always been on building the vision first and foremost. The founders’ recognition comes secondary to this goal. We believe it is paramount to prioritize our efforts in breaking boundaries and disrupting ecosystems, allowing our work to speak for itself. As we continue to make significant strides and undertake innovative campaigns and projects, the attention on the founders will naturally follow. Currently, our primary focus is on fostering a dynamic ecosystem, and we believe that the credit should go to the entire team that dedicates their time and effort to ensuring the success of our projects. The founders alone do not drive the business; it is the collective effort of the team that propels us forward.
5. Can we ask you some personal but not-so-personal questions now?
Certainly! Please feel free to ask any personal questions you may have.
6. If you were to pursue a different career path, what would it be, and why?
Throughout my life, I have been deeply drawn to the realms of media and technology. If I were to embark on a different career path, I would fully dedicate myself to the field of technology and become a software engineer.
7. If music were therapy, who would be your favourite therapist, and why?
I derive immense enjoyment from a diverse range of musical genres, tailoring my choices to suit my mood and circumstances. From Blues to Afrobeats, Amapiano, Rap, Jazz, and Afro Juju, I appreciate the artistry behind all forms of music. It is challenging for me to single out a specific favourite “therapist” as my preferences vary depending on the moment. However, there are certain artists with whom I consistently resonate. Yani is one of my preferred artists, and I hold them in high regard. Additionally, I greatly admire renowned Afrobeats artists such as Davido, Asake, Wizkid, and Burnaboy, as their music consistently captivates my attention.
8. When in your life have you needed courage?
Courage plays a vital role in various aspects of our lives, demanding our attention at every step. While motivation and encouragement are significant, true success relies on discipline rather than solely relying on courage. Discipline encompasses the core skills necessary to see tasks through to completion. Consequently, once discipline is instilled, the need for courage diminishes significantly. Throughout my journey, I have consistently required courage to make pivotal decisions within the organization, pursue personal growth, undertake business risks, and even face personal and financial challenges. Each day presents opportunities that demand courage to seize them and accomplish our objectives.
9. What physical challenge scares you the most?
The prospect of experiencing a stroke is a physical challenge that instils a sense of fear within me. As someone who thrives on movement and constant activity, the thought of being unable to use certain parts of my body is genuinely terrifying.
10. What gives you hope?
Multiple factors contribute to my sense of hope and inspiration. Foremost among them is my faith and belief in Christ. Through Jeremiah 29:11, God reassures us that He has plans for our good, offering a promising future. Additionally, in Philippians 4:13, God empowers us, affirming our ability to achieve all things through Christ. This unwavering faith in God’s plan and His grace instils a deep motivation and confidence within me. Furthermore, I draw hope from my exceptional team, who are committed to ensuring the success of our endeavours. Their constant dedication and expertise inspire me daily. Finally, I have confidence in my own abilities, as God has blessed me with the strength and grace necessary for personal growth. This self-assurance translates into hope as I pursue my dreams and aspirations.
Rosemary Kasiobi Nwadike
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