By Kehinde Ajose
Joy Isi Bewaji joyfully wears the hat of a publicist, media entrepreneur and author. She is an all round media personality with incredible presence on TV, radio, online and print. Driven by the desire to make a mark in whatever she does, Joy presently engages in celebrity PR with the sought after showbiz personalities like Joseph Benjamin, and Tonto Dike in her portfolio. In this interview with Kehinde Ajose, she opens up on how women can make their mark, the projects she is currently working on, and many more.
Can you tell us about your audio series?
I’ve found myself in situations where I’d like to read a book or watch TV or follow a particular series on air but I couldn’t dedicate the time because of crazy work schedules. It was that frustration that got me thinking about alternative ways to create that genre of enlightenment and entertainment that can accommodate busy people. So I started working on an audio series- something that people can listen to, especially in busy cosmopolitan cities, whilst they are busy doing the laundry, cooking, ironing or when they are stuck in traffic. The first series is called: “Tina’s Shoes & Love Issues” it’s a chick flick series. Part one will be out on Valentines’ Day; just for the love theme. And every month a new series will be out- like a collection of books or music CDs, I want to kick off the culture of building your own audio series CD library. There’ll be darker series to follow as time goes by with a lot of suspense.
How can women make their mark in their fields of endeavour?
By being original, effective, creative, and knowing that nothing stands in the way of success.
Apart from “Tina’s Shoes & Love Issues” what other projects are you currently working on this year?
My book is coming out second quarter of the year under Thymbleweed, a publishing firm owned by award-winning author, Jude Dibia. I am excited about it. When Jude approached me as one of his writers under his new outfit, I was ecstatic. I take my writing seriously because of people like Jude. He is an incredible writer and the best in his genre; it is an honour to be an author with Thymbleweed, and I can’t wait for it to be out!
What are the challenges of being a female entrepreneur in Nigeria?
Same as it is for men. I don’t think we should pay too much attention to gender; things are closing up fast. Maybe not for every sector, but as a writer and a publicist and media entrepreneur, I fight similar battles like anyone else- male or female; and so far, I haven’t had to deal with unnecessary discrimination.
In your own opinion,does the Nigerian society limit the potentials of women?
The “woman question” again. No, nothing limits the woman. Patriarchy in itself is limiting,even to men! If you are in a society that does not allow a woman to achieve her very best then it affects everything and everyone. I am aware of gender bias in certain sectors and industry…personally, I have worked more with women than men, and now that I run my own businesses I interact with everyone. There are no limits big enough, created by society, that should be able to stop you; except the one created in our head or out of fear.
What would you consider as your greatest achievement?
Too soon for that. There’s still so much work to be done. It has to be phenomenal, so there’s no point counting your successes yet. But for personal achievements, I would say being a single parent, taking care of two beautiful girls and enjoying it all.