Adesuwa Onyenokwe is a media guru in every sense of the word. A veteran journalist, Onyenokwe has practiced broadcast journalism for over 29 years. She is the publisher and editor-in-chief of top women’s magazine – Today’s Woman.
An interviewer par excellence, Onyenokwe executive-produced and presented Seriously Speaking which aired on Channels TV between 2014 and 2018, and TW Conversations transmitted on MNET’s Africa Magic Showcase from 2017-2018. Onyenokwe is a fellow of the Bloomberg African Leadership Initiative.
What does being a woman mean to you?
A woman is a curvaceous bundle of power, wisdom, and virtue who is wonderfully created by God to birth and complete life. Being a woman is being aware of all possibilities and ‘cashing’ in on it!
What are your thoughts on today’s woman in line with this year’s International Women’s Month’s theme ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’? Each for equal speaks on the need to attain equality between and within genders. Beijing ‘95 is the benchmark for loud advocacy for gender empowerment and equality.
Thirty-five years after that landmark conference, the fact that we are still fighting for equality means that there is a comma. I think stronger strides would have been made if there was equity within the female gender. We need to replace the ‘Ph.D. (Pull Her Down) syndrome’ with ‘PHU (Pull Her Up)’.
Today’s woman needs to see herself bond better with her fellow women because together we achieve more.
Have you personally experienced gender inequality?
No such experience readily comes to mind. Inequality is born out of the value(s) placed on genders. I was raised to believe I can achieve my utmost best if I was smart. Since my mum had sons before I was born, there was no discrimination in the kitchen as all my brothers cooked and cleaned like me.
What are the worst setback you’ve faced in business and personal life? How did you deal with it?
In business, that would be losing key staff to the competition. I learned to have better ‘airtight’ contracts on engagement and to always prepare for the worst-case scenario with each hire.
In my personal life, it would be the low financial resources I experienced due to high investment in the business and taking personal loans to remain stable as I became more aggressive about earning on the business side.
If you could give your life a theme for 2020, what will it be and why?
Be More. This is fired by the need to keep moving and not settle by saying “I can’t”. It applies to all aspects of my life but more importantly, my finances. I want to earn more money to do ‘more good’; to not be ashamed to place and demand monetary value for all I have to offer!
What’s the fashion for you?
I have always been aware of the need to look good. When I was only 16, I remember telling my friends that I would wear the same pair of jeans at 40; meaning I planned on maintaining my size. To date, when I think of fashion, what I always look out for is comfort and style.
A perfect fit is as important as a design and DFL sure ticks the boxes. I am a sucker for anything that’s ethnic yet stylish—and made to international standards.
How have you been able to sustain and reinvent your brand over the years such that you are still so very relevant today?
I suppose I have been able to stay relevant because I know that relevance is a moving scale based on particular needs and preferences.
This awareness makes one a constant student in the school of life; ever ready to change no matter how painful it may be. Values never change but the application does.
Who is a real woman to you?
Flexible, yet firm; trusting in her God-given abilities to be the best she can be.