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<strong>The Future is Nuel: Blueafric Media’s Nuel Uche Okoro’s Vision for Changing the African Narrative</strong>

The Future is Nuel: Blueafric Media’s Nuel Uche Okoro’s Vision for Changing the African Narrative 

You would never meet anyone as cheerful as Nuel Uche Okoro, Blueafric Media’s Senior Videographer and the Team Lead of its Filming and Media Production Unit. Nuel is one person actively present in all the departments of the full-service media organization. You would usually see him fitting the shoes of a technician, maintenance officer, director, and even a security officer while still holding down his role as a management board member. Simply put, Nuel is Blueafric Media’s “everywhere and everything guy.” He is the one person who has the skill to supervise every technical issue in an organisation. But there is always one thing that stands out about him. You would always find him laughing around or making comments that would make you smile. Imagine being laden with a mountain of workload and still having the humour to not only keep yourself happy and optimistic but others also. Yes, we can’t relate.

But all these traits we have come to admire in him originated from a solid foundation. Nuel often talks in bits about his childhood and how it shaped his career in film today. Still, he has never spoken exclusively on the factors and principles that moulded him into the amiable yet highly disciplined team player he is.

Below, Nuel answers 10 questions on motivation, growth, and dreams, amongst other things:

10 Questions for Nuel Uche Okoro
  1. Has becoming a videographer and producer has always been a lifelong dream?

Well, not exactly. When I was a child, I had various career ideas. But I considered being an engineer, especially in electrical and electronics, because I enjoyed fixing things at home. After high school, I briefly enrolled in a seminary, stayed a couple of years, and then ended up in university. There, I got interested in computers and electronics and decided to study computer engineering. However, I was also fascinated by the special effects in Nigerian films, which led me to consider film school.

While at university, I gave film school a shot and earned my diploma in Film Production during my first year. That’s when I officially started on the path to becoming a film editor. Over the years, I expanded my skills to include Cinematography and Motion Graphics Creation. After nearly a decade in the industry, I can confidently produce various types of media content, not just films. It’s been quite a journey!

  1. What was the origin of your personalised slogan, “The Future is Nuel”?

The story behind my slogan, “The Future is Nuel,” is pretty simple. Back in the university, I discovered that people saw something special in me, even though it wasn’t necessarily a skill. Everyone I met had something positive to say about me and would recommend me to others. So one day, during an event when we talked about this, I said something like, “Don’t worry; the future is Nuel.” That’s how it stuck. I had to change my social media handles to match. Now, it’s like my personal motto, signifying my continuous growth and positivity.

  1. What does your typical day at work look like?

My typical workday is busy and unpredictable. I might start with a to-do list but abandon it because things can change quickly. My job involves overseeing everything in the office, even stuff that’s not directly related to my department. So, I deal with all sorts of things like internet problems, electrical issues, managing the studio, taking care of equipment, and ensuring everything runs smoothly. I also handle unexpected tasks, like maintenance and last-minute shoots. It’s a flexible and fast-paced job, but I’ve learned to adapt and roll with it.

  1. What is one motivation exercise that never fails you?

I laugh a lot and listen to music. Music is my lifeline. If Spotify were to disappear, I’d probably protest! If I had to choose between food and my Spotify subscription, I’d choose Spotify. Music is like a universal language that keeps me going. When I face issues, I make jokes, smile, and try not to get angry because that makes things worse. I’m a happy person, so I always find a way to stay positive. When things aren’t going well, I wake up, play some music, sing along, and keep smiling. And if the problem is serious, I’ll just dive back into work. That’s my secret sauce for motivation!

  1. How long have you been working with Blueafric Media, and how has the journey been so far?

I’ve been at Blueafric Media for six years since 2017. It’s been a journey with ups and downs, but we’ve come a long way. We started in a small, cramped office, facing challenges like slow internet and power outages, but we continued working hard.

Despite the challenges, we produced some impressive work in that little room. We even faced some financial difficulties at one point, but we bounced back and moved to a new office. Over the years, we’ve continued to grow. At one point, I was the sole production team member, doing all production-related tasks. I’m grateful for the training I received from some people.

Now, we work across different African countries and with big brands. The future looks bright for Blueafric Media.

  1. Tickles and Prickles… What do you like and dislike most about your job?

What I love most about my job is that it brings me immense joy. I’m passionate about film editing, inspired by Nollywood movies from childhood. Being a documentary filmmaker allows me to tell stories that make me proud, even when the work is challenging.

On the flip side, the job demands a lot, making it challenging to maintain a social life. I’ve missed out on personal time and relationships. It’s not because I’ve become a big shot; I’m still the same person. I cherish my friends and family and try to reconnect whenever possible. However, most of my free time goes into resting and recharging.

  1. What gives you hope?

What really gives me hope is where I’ve been and where I am now. It all started when a kind lady recommended me for a job at Blueafric Media. I didn’t have formal documents then, but they took a chance on me, and I excelled. I’ve had the opportunity to work with ECOWAS, WAHO, and even international companies. This journey makes me hopeful for the future. Who knows, maybe we’ll shoot videos in space one day with people like Elon Musk working on space projects. So, my past and present keep me optimistic about what’s next.

  1. If music were therapy, who would be your favourite therapist, and why?

When it comes to music, I have unique tastes. I enjoy artists like Enya, Yanni, Dave Koz, and jazz musicians. I also love reggae, especially the Marley family’s tunes. African music, like that of Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe, resonates with me deeply, even if I can’t understand the lyrics. Artists like Cavemen, Brymo, Asa, Angelique Kidjo, Sarkodie, and Sauti Sol are on my list too. While I occasionally listen to Afrobeats, soul and jazz music truly touch my soul. So, these artists in the soul and jazz categories are like my musical therapists because their songs really hit the spot for me.

  1. What’s one fact you heard about management roles that turned out true or false?

I’ve learned that management roles are not just about making big money, but it’s not entirely false either. While managers can earn good salaries, it’s not all about the paycheck. It’s a tough job. People often want to be managers, but once you’re there, you realize it comes with challenges.

As a manager, you’re expected to know a lot, which impacts your team’s success and their pay. If the team doesn’t do well, your pay may suffer because you prioritise their salaries. Being a manager means you’re a leader who takes responsibility for others.

There are sacrifices, but they benefit the company and its employees. Sometimes, I’ve considered stepping down, but I remember the people who rely on me. I stay in the role because of my responsibility to them. I have to set an example and protect the company. Because it’s not just about me; it’s about the company’s well-being and its employees.

  1. What is your biggest career dream?

My biggest career dream is to make unique documentaries that showcase the real Africa, breaking stereotypes in Western media. I want to empower young people from underserved backgrounds to pursue their dreams, just as I was supported on my journey. Because of this dream, I started training young people for free in 2020 through Blueafric Media’ with no expectation of recognition. Additionally, I hope to find a life partner.

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