Mrs. Lydie Yabeko, CEO blink Media & Entertainment
1) Please introduce yourself and tell us your name, country of origin, profession and hobbies.
My name is Lydie Yabeko and I am originally Czech-Cameroonian. I am very curious and experimental, therefore it is difficult for me to define my hobbies .. smile
The love of the history of humanity and geography has made me a traveler and philanthropist totally addicted to the news. My passion for art and culture, in all its forms, has determined my early career as a cultural journalist in Canada. My passion for sports and adventure resulted in more than 30 years of dedication to dance, fitness, table tennis, boxing and every kind of competitions, including car racing, hockey and football championships.
2) What was your academic cycle?
I acquired a Bachelor degree in Arts and Letters in France, then later a BA and an MA in Art History and Archaeology in Canada. Finally I received a degree from a Canadian school specializing in Media and Audiovisual different courses and some courses and certifications in communication and events.
3) Why did you decide to work in Africa after studying and living in the Western World? What was your motivation?
I decided to work in Africa, in order to serve my country and to bring my little contribution in building Africa. During my time at the university, I often campaigned for 'brain gain' of the African continent. As I often said jokingly to my fellow African students, you were sent to study in the Western World, and not to settle there permanently! It is easy to criticize and point the finger when you're on the outside but if you do not go and spread your knowledge and experience, how do you think things will be moving in the direction you expect? The Africa of tomorrow should be built neither by the Chinese nor by the American but rather by us Africans!
4) Please describe the project or business you implemented or lead in Africa?
I have an agency specializing in Media & Entertainment. The services that we sell are in the great family of the Communication but very are particular. My team of 8 people and I offer a wide range of services: on the one hand we manage relations with the press, media planning and investments, the concepts of TV shows etc. .. And on the other hand, we take care of all or part of the organization of major events, requiring a long preparation and heavy and complicated logistics, such as of festivals, sports tournaments, ceremony of officials and Country artists- or politicians tour etc ...
5) What were your fears before starting?
Certainly there is nothing in Cameroon that promotes the beginnings of young entrepreneurs but I was not really apprehensive.. One of my favorite sayings is "To a valiant heart, nothing is impossible! " Therefore despite the lack of money, networks and benchmarks, in addition to comments like:" Africa is not ready for what you want to do; with your style as an artist, you cannot succeed here, people won’t take you seriously, etc. .. "I did not hesitate to fight like a lion and gave everything I had in my stomach for 3-4 years for my project to take shape.
6) What experience did you make and what was your best experience?
The lack of sleep and time for yourself and your loved ones are particularly difficult to bear. Creating and sustaining a business demands your entire time and resources for a few years ... It is a true gift of self if one wants to succeed: one has no vacation days, or inner peace and focus on romantic relationships, no money for frivolities like clothes, hairstyles etc. ..
What impressed me positively is precisely the moment you start to see light at the end of the tunnel, your head begins to emerge from the water and you begin to grant time to sleep, to go out and socialize like a normal person.
Furthermore relationships are never obvious with customers as well as with own employees, so one gets used to the deceitfulness and slyness of mankind; it is wonderful to meet someone who behaves differently. And as I often say when I feel like giving up sometimes, because the tiredness is huge and everything seems like a long fight I think, "just for those few people who are really enthusiastic and involved, it's worth it to continue working on and giving our best" Someone helped us, so it is our turn to take the responsibility to pass the torch to someone else.
7) How does your project affect the youth and women in Africa? How many of them do you employ?
There are only two men to six women in my company ?. And we're all in our thirties and less. In addition, each time we organize big events, we often hire young people as logistic helps. We prefer hiring young artists for the animation of such events to give them a chance to express themselves and gain some work experience.
8) What opportunities do you see for women in your field in Africa?
I think the opportunities are enormous for women in my area. The proof is that in the business of communication, more than 70% of the workforce is female. You should know that you do not necessarily need to have done marketing, communications or journalism to work in the Media and Entertainment business. Creation of innovative concepts, development and management of the budget and schedule, coordination of tasks and teams, etc. .. Are these not tasks that any dynamic and enterprising woman can lead?
9) What advice would you give women willing to start a business or community project prior resuming the project?
Do not listen to negative people, who in their opinions believe that women cannot do as well as men, or that the place of the African woman is in the kitchen or in bedroom. Do not be intimidated by the growling of some men unnecessary complexed who are struggling to be supervised by women at their jobs. Do not abandon your dreams because of some unfounded misogynist reflections .
10) Do you support projects to educate other women or the youth in your community? If yes, please introduce the project?
The infernal thunderbolt caused by the creation and growth of my business has not allowed me to get involved in educational projects in Cameroon for the moment. In the past, I was a project mentor for the "Hold on to your dream" project which aimed against girls school dropping in Montreal - North and I have several times helped to raise funds for Black Women in distress.
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