Nkechi AllI-Balogun: Leadership is not about gender

One of the most successful PR experts in Africa, Nkechi Alli-Balogun is also involved in NGOs working for women’s issues.

 

Nkechi Alli-Balogun, a Public Relations expert, is the Principal Consultant of NECCI Consulting, a Public Relations and Consultancy firm. She is also a former Chairperson, Lagos State chapter of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). A graduate of the University of Lagos, she holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MBA in Management from the same university. She has attended Public Relations Management courses at the Frank Jefkins School of Public Relations, London, and the prestigious Lagos Business School. She shares the secret of her successes in this interview.
 
Few years back, you were the Chairman of Lagos chapter of NIPR. As a woman, what were some of your challenges?
Whenever I am asked this question, I tell people that as a woman, when duty calls, you just have to take up the mantle. Leadership is not a gender issue. I believe that as a woman, because we are naturally born to lead, as mothers in the house, we lead even the greatest leaders. We are the wives and we manage even the greatest generals.
NIPR was just like a microcosm of my family or any other group. So, I never saw myself as a woman. I saw myself in a position to serve and I tried my best to be honest.  As for the challenges, life is always full of challenges and anything you do, there must be that risk factor. I am very optimistic and if there were challenges, they enhanced what I was doing, challenges helped me to correct my mistakes and inspired me to do better.
 
You are one of the few successful amazons of Public Relations in Nigeria, what are the secret of this success?
I am a very hardworking woman, who doesn’t take for an answer. My success is all about hardwork and focus. Hardwork pays at every point in time and I am one of those women that don’t like quota system, rather everyone should be given equal opportunity. I have a goal and I have a focus. For as long as that goal is ahead of you, you will overcome all challenges.
 
What are some of the challenges female PR consultants encounter?
The level of education today has made a lot of women move away from the back; even the people in the middle are at the front and that is what education does for you. So, I don’t see any challenge as a woman practising PR. Though, sometimes, when we go for elections, men will flaunt their ego. 
 
What is your guiding principle in life?
Be the best in whatever you do and do it without compromise. This has guided me always; accept who you are. What I just believe is that if what I do will make me successful in life, I will be there and I will never parade myself.
 
Could you tell us about your women group which you formed years back?
I am deeply involved in advocacy work with several nongovernmental organisations. I have an NGO, Right Initiatives, which has taken me into women issues. And I discovered that there is a lot of stigmatisation against women, especially when a woman approaches the marriageable age. As soon as a girl clocks 25 years, there is always a pressure from everywhere; you are not married, your mates are married and all that, because, we have placed value on this. And then, you will see our females ending up with the wrong people or doing so many wrong things so that they will be able to get married, so that they will be able to satisfy their families.


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