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Mercy Frank | Nigeria | Keep Your Vision Alive

Multimedia Journalist | Media Entrepreneur | Podcaster | Television Anchor

The first time I watched a television program was at age 15, after completing my secondary school education. I remember tuning in to Galaxy TV and seeing Oprah Winfrey speaking to a live audience in the studio. I was awestruck by how the audience listened, laughed, cried, and reacted to her interviews with guests. This experience made me realize the tremendous power and influence that the media can have on people. Despite living in an underserved community, I was determined to be in a position to use the media to positively impact others and give hope to those from similar backgrounds. Little did I know that there was an even more significant reason for me to pursue a career in the media. After a few years, I began studying Mass Communication at the university, where I learned about media ethics and theoretical approaches. I honed my skills by starting as a campus radio news anchor, writer, and eventually head of news, where I mentored younger colleagues. This experience gave me the confidence to speak publicly and host prestigious events.

Over time, I also developed a passion for technology and began a podcast called "The CoachSpeaks," which used storytelling to inspire listeners. I gained digital skills from Google and YouTube and became an online community manager. I also trained primary and secondary school children on digital skills. In 2017, I launched "The Terabyte Show," a tech radio program that advocated for citizens to adopt and use homegrown tech and innovation solutions to solve simple and perennial challenges in their communities. This program earned me an award and other recognition.

I then progressed to TV, starting with Silverbird Television and its sister channel, Silverbird News24. I currently serve as a host on the Breakfast Show, where I moderate public conversations on national issues, a news anchor, and presenter/producer of the impactful tech program "TECH HUB." In this role, I strive to hold those in authority accountable and tell stories that boost socio-political and economic development.

My work has earned me opportunities to speak at the BBC Media Leaders Big Talk and coach emerging leaders in broadcast journalism across Sub-Saharan Africa on "Podcasting: From Content to Cash." As a multi-talented woman, I also perform master of ceremonies duties on a global scale. My journey has been nothing short of adventurous, a blessing, and a lesson.

What were the biggest initial challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was breaking into the media industry, which seemed like a closed circle for a select few. However, I was determined to be among the chosen few and took steps to overcome this hurdle. Firstly, I invested in training and updated my skills on the latest practices in radio and television. Although it came at a cost, it was pivotal in meeting colleagues both vertically and horizontally, and opened me to a world of possibilities.

Secondly, I launched my podcast, which provided me with a platform to showcase my skills and share my message with a wider audience. This experience has been invaluable, and I continue to enjoy its benefits till today.

Lastly, I shifted my mindset from one of self-doubt to one of self-belief. I realized that success in the industry is not just about talent, but also about having a winning mindset. By changing my perspective from "nobody is picking me" to "they've got no option than to pick me," I became more confident and proactive in pursuing my goals.

Do you have any advice for upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

My advice to you is to recognize the importance of your talent and see yourself as a valuable part of the industry. The opportunities are abundant, and with the increasing number of media outlets, there is a need for individuals with relevant and relatable content. Remember, robots cannot replace human creativity, so take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts.

To stand out, showcase your skills on available platforms, including social media. Also, consider volunteering, as it allows you to pay it forward while gaining experience and building your network. As you wait for your big break, pursue internships to learn from the experts in the field. In the media, listening and observing are crucial skills, so be open to learning from others.

Additionally, I recommend gaining transferable skills and developing a strong work ethic by working in other industries. Lastly, hold on to your "why" - your intent - as it is what keeps your vision alive. Don't let anyone or anything rob you of your purpose.

Social Media Handles:

Instagram/Facebook: @Mercyfrank



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