Dr. Busola Tejumola Tells Authentic African Stories At Multichoice
Dr. Busola told Guardian Life that she wouldn’t be where she is now if she hadn’t dreamed big.
It doesn’t take long to see that Dr. Busola Tejumola’s beliefs and identity were moulded by her family’s teachings. The life lessons instilled in her by her grandmother, an educationist, and her parents, both education aficionados, have now influenced her worldview and how she responds to them. She believes that observing how different events affect people at different stages of life can help them “definitely enhance your analytical and critical thinking abilities, develop resilience, and create a solution-oriented attitude.”
Busola has shown to be a resourceful and results-driven team player at MultiChoice, transforming ideas into successful strategies and building key genres that directly boost Customer Value Management, Acquisitions, and Customer Experience.
She advanced from Head of Strategy and Insights in 2014 to General Manager Production in 2017, where she and her team resurrected Big Brother Naija and developed AMVCA and Ajoche, among other shows. It’s no surprise that Dr Tejumola has been named Head of Content and Channels West Africa for MultiChoice, given her flair for finding solutions.
In the middle of an avalanche of material competing for an individual’s attention, it has been shown time and time again that the ability to develop content that appeals to the audience’s needs is what attracts their attention and loyalty. DStv not only caters to the different demands of its viewers, but it also continues to create programming that the public was unaware they need. It’s no easy effort to appeal to and move with the tides of human desires. As people’s requirements evolve, so does their taste. As a result, each modification has an impact on how people consume material. Despite this, MultiChoice has a track record of meeting these demands.
She emphasizes that recognizing that “content is an interactive and future-focused field” is a component of their recorded success, based on her years of expertise at MultiChoice as a content development specialist.
Although many would consider this attainment a peak level, she says that MultiChoice is not done. With the expanded role, she will continue to stay curious, be open to learning, anticipate content needs, understand global patterns, and apply them locally. “I believe that humans are very intelligent beings, so to provide value-adding solutions, I engage with them to gain extraordinary insights that help me succeed at work. I am constantly asking questions and listening to people of all ages in a bid to understand what kind of content grabs their attention,” she tells Guardian Life.
Travel is one major component that has been able to appeal to this variety. Dr. Tejumola considers travel to be the “shortcut” that has driven her passions, and this is reflected in the information she presents to the audience, “Travel opens my mind, expands my circle, gives me a fresh perspective to issues and makes me a more-rounded person. I meet diverse people, engage in new and rich cultures and just enjoy having great conversations with the people I meet, because those conversations always have fresh perspectives to them,” she says.
Children and teens have had an intriguing effect on her viewpoint. There is little or no limit to what their brains may envisage when their imaginations run wild and they have the bold notion that their thoughts can be made apparent in reality. Engaging them, according to Dr. Tejumola, is always rejuvenating and nourishes her creative energies.
She stated that Africa Magic has evolved from one channel to seven channels catering to various genres since its inception in 2003, when asked how MultiChoice Nigeria wants to showcase African tales through content production.
“As Nigeria’s most loved storyteller, our focus is on acquiring, commissioning and producing the very best local content in line with our hyper-local content strategy. This will be my focus as Executive Head, Content and Channels West Africa”
Globally, there has been an increase in lobbying for gender balance, and it is encouraging to see that this activism is bearing fruit in Nigeria. Apart from providing a larger talent pool from which organizations may draw, it also increases the diversity of ideas and intellect, which fosters innovation, enhanced growth, and productivity, among other benefits.
Gender balance is ingrained in MultiChoice’s culture since inclusion is ingrained in their DNA. As a result, they have a 60:40 female-to-male ratio in the general workplace and a 50:50 female-to-male ratio in management. The small tilt is not because they are working to favor one gender over another; rather, hiring here is based on merit, regardless of gender, and with Dr Tejumola’s appointment, they have observed that this mix has helped them survive much better as an organization, and will continue to do so.
Speaking on how she has been able to get a seat at the table, she says that her family’s orientation helped because she “was never told there were heights we [her and her siblings] could not attain because of our gender. My parents only sold us a vision of possibilities. We saw their dedication to being their very best, and it inspired us to be our very best as well. As an adult, I am fortunate to be married to one of the best gender balance advocates one can possibly find. My husband continuously provides the support and enabling environment for me to follow my dreams and be as ambitious as I dare”
As a senior female executive, she is extending this grace by taking the initiative to mentor other women in the organisation through the MultiChoice Women’s Forum (MWF)- a platform that grooms women to leadership and executive positions through mentorship, deep learning, secondments and sponsorship. Its aim is to build an inclusive environment that advances all women across MultiChoice. She also extends this mentorship to university and secondary school women with the hope that they will remain focused and pursue rewarding careers.
A home called MultiChoice
Working in MultiChoice, which upholds the values imbibed in her from childhood has also contributed to her growth. Full of praise for MultiChoice, she says that the organisation “has a great culture as embedded in our values of mutual respect, innovation, integrity and teamwork. These are not just words that we use to decorate our hallways; they are values that we live, values we breathe.”
Besides working with people who share the same ideologies, she also notes that the energy is contagious. “We are constantly thinking of new, creative and engaging ways to make our customers happy and this sense of purpose fuels us. The energy is palpable.”
She muses when we ask her about how she is able to balance her work-life. “Is there really such a thing as work-life balance?”, she quips. “Okay, seriously now, I prefer to use ‘harmony’. This is because I enjoy the support of my family, learn and apply the art of delegating, and practice placing priority on what is truly important. It certainly is not as easy as it sounds, but it is the fusion of these three areas that have helped in my journey to harmony.”
Interestingly, she also remains busy at a charity organisation that facilitates the education of underprivileged children as a volunteer.
Clear on the homefront, the workplace with its structure can easily become overwhelming, affecting the mental health of workers. She notes that MultiChoice has an open-door policy and encourages a close-knit culture. To ensure that workers get the help they need, they employ the professional services of the Independent Counselling and Advisory Service (ICAS), an international organisation that provides wholesome employee wellness programs and intervention as a service to other organisations.
“Just to buttress this, recently, we lost a very dear colleague – Martin Mabutho, who until the time of his passing was the Chief Customer Officer for the business. To help staff members through the grieving process, ICAS organised grief sessions for us. The sessions were safe spaces to share our feelings and thoughts to help deal with our grief following Martin’s passing.”
Speaking to Guardian Life, Dr Busola noted that she couldn’t have got to where she is without dreaming big.
“Dream big, there is nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it. Cultivate the right relationships. To succeed in your career, you need the right mentors, sponsors, coaches and mentees. Please choose people whose vision to excel and values align with yours.
“Never stop learning. Successful people never stop learning because they know that life is constantly evolving. Don’t ever be complacent about learning and apply what you learn immediately. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of the process, so never take failure personally; take it as feedback. Mine the lessons and move on.”
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