I met Nnodim Blossom on Twitter, and I immediately knew she was up to a world of good! The Compere and Writer who is deeply passionate about using Social media for Social Good and Advocacy, is the convener of ‘AdoptATweep’- probably the largest offline event in Nigeria about online media with a focus on networking, marketing, and employing social media for personal, corporate and national development.
In this interview, she shares her passion for social media, the secrets of being a terrific Master of Ceremonies, and her future plans. Be inspired!!!
KA: There are so many facets to you; I am not sure where to start…Would you consider yourself a social media guru?
Blossom: I do not consider myself a Social Media Guru. I will however make bold to say that I am deeply passionate about using Social media for development, Social Good and Advocacy. This line of thought has informed my foray into the world of Social Media. It is a tool that effortlessly gives voice to the voiceless and readily amplifies the yearnings of the random folk who deliberately use it to inform and be informed.
Social networking provides opportunities for people to connect to social media and use the platform for commercial and social good. I am passionate about social media and strongly believes that social media used for social good is key to achieving development both in form and function.
KA: Social media especially ‘Twitter Ville’ is fast becoming the online hub to ‘hang out’, but you have been there awhile; how did you catch on to the amazing capabilities of Twitter so early on?
Blossom: At the early stage, all I did was open a twitter account and go away. Sometime in 2011, after attending a marketing Boot-camp that was convened by my friend Okechukwu Ofili, I realized that Twitter had far more reach than I had earlier assumed. I made a comeback and deliberately chose a conversational style that would make me stand out from the crowd. It was a discovery for me because with time, I came to understand that folks had begun to take my random tweets serious and it was at that point that I decided to move beyond social networking. This in turn informed and motivated lots of offline activities that I am currently involved in.
KA: You currently run three twitter handles, have in fact trademarked ‘AdoptATweep’ and ‘NewMediaNaija’…can you tell us about ‘AdoptATweep? Aim, etc.
Blossom: The #NewMediaNaija brand is one that I predict will have the capacity to empower young Nigerians by way of providing Social Media employment opportunities when it becomes fully unveiled.
The #AdoptATweep brand has grown even bigger than I ever envisaged.Using twitter terminologies, to fully define the concept, adopt means adding a Tweep. Tweep refers to someone who uses the Twitter Social Media platform to drive dialogue. The #AdoptATweep brand is an innovative event aimed at empowering people to create brands that will attract attention on Twitter.
KA: You have ‘tweetmeets’ from time to time? What are those about, and what do they hope to achieve?
Blossom: The #AdoptATweep project involves a quarterly offline event that gathers young entrepreneurs and creative artists, to learn twitter growth secrets at a 100% discounted fee. To ensure sustainability of the no-cost drive, the participants are encouraged to embrace the #BYOD trend. #BYOD means bring your own device.
#AdoptATweep is Abuja’s and we dare say Nigeria’s foremost largest offline social media event, specifically targeted at the use of twitter for business, networking, marketing, Social Good, development etc.
KA: You are also the curator of Exhype…Kindly elaborate.
Blossom: The ExHype brand is all about giving a voice to business owners, event organizers and brand owners. Fun and interesting facts about specific and select businesses, events, brands and brand owners are shared using Twitter as the medium. The sole aim is to make the brands admirable with the hope that folks will become connected with these brands and in return become prospective leads.
KA: Enough about tweeting and social media. Before we delve into other things, we want to know the Nnodim Blossom; what’s her ethnicity? Any remarkable memories? Education?
Blossom: Inspiring, connecting and empowering individuals, brands and ideas are the ideals of any modern society and I believe that I am one of the several amazing individuals that are deliberately working to see such an ideal society in Nigeria.
I was born in Bauchi but my childhood, teenage and young adult days were spent in the cool city of Owerri. Back then, everyone knew every other person and every child is more or less raised by the entire community. I remember Owerri with so much fondness as it helped to shape me to being the person that I am today.
I have a post graduate diploma in Business Studies from Rivers State University of Science and Technology in 2005. Prior to that, I studied Biology/Microbiology at Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State in 2002 and subsequently undertook the mandatory one year NYSC scheme in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in year 2003.
KA: Based on your educational background, was compering something you ever considered undertaking on such a professional level? How and why did you give it a go?
Blossom: Not in any way. As a matter of fact being a Science Student was not the best of decisions I ever made. To be fair to myself, the decision was made by my parents. I always had a passion for communication and literature and would have loved to study Mass Communication if I can take back the hands of the clock.
I deliberately started compère(ing) sometime in year 2008. My initial audience was members of the Local Church where I worshipped at that time. I regularly gave the announcements before the close of service and with time, I decided to expand my audience.
KA: Blcompère is a brand name in your industry; how many years have you been a compère, and what makes you stand out from the pack?
Blossom: I have been a compère for about five years and one thing that I assure my clients is professionalism, excellence and smartness. I am that compère that you will certainly love to contact if you value timeliness and promptness. I go straight to the point in carrying out my duties and smartness is my watchword. Secondly, you will never catch me speaking Pidgin English while anchoring an event as this is a mark of incompetence in my books.
KA: Did you ever suffer a setback so bad, it made you want to give up?
Blossom: Not in any way. I am a firm believer in the fact that character comes before charisma. This guiding principle has seen me have the best whilst carving out a niche for myself.
KA: Whilst you were yet unknown, was there any reward, monetarily speaking to compering?
Blossom: The initial period was not aimed at being financially rewardingt o me as I used it as a window to horn my skills. I volunteered to anchor several events and the take away for me was that it afforded me the opportunity to learn, relearn and unlearn my act.
KA: Is compeering a full-time job for you? Has it always been? If not, what other career choices did you make?
Blossom: It is not a full-time job for me. I usually accept jobs that will not interfere with my daytime job that way, my evenings and weekends are open for compère activities.
KA: Are female compères still an oddity? Must a compère also be a stand-up comedian?
Blossom: Female compère(s) are not strange. I am of the school of thought that every role is non-gender specific. I am not a comedian and have no recent or future plans of becoming one and as such I do not succumb to the line of reasoning that a compère should/must be a stand-up comedian.
KA: Ever had stage-fright or a horrible moment when the words you were about to say took flight?
Blossom: There is none that I can remember in the last five years.
KA: Say I am a ‘Blcompère’ in the making *smiles* what would your advice for me entail? Trainings? Internships? Reading?
Blossom: There is a wrong assumption that the more ambiguous and big words a person uses, the better equipped the folk is. I disagree as I will prefer to use words that will convey my message expressly. This is my first and most important advice to any one that wishes to carve a niche and excel as a compère.
I will also love to introduce a speaking and leadership club called Toastmasters to any one that aspires to be a thought leader in the profession. I presently belong to the Aso Rock Stars, Toastmasters club in Maitama, Abuja.
KA: You are also a writer; do you have any published works?
Blossom: I have been in the process of writing a novel for the past three years. In the process of waiting for the right time to finally publish, I started blogging. It is a good thing to write, it is a better thing to publish, but the best part is when folks read what you have published, share your content and provide feedback via comments to you. My articles can be found in www.blcompere.com, www.bellanaija.com and www.punchng.com. I believe that the final book will be published by mid-2014 all things being equal.
KA: If you weren’t involved in any of these, what else would you still love to do?
Blossom: I will definitely be travelling around Nigeria and the world to learn about distant countries and people that are not within my immediate location.
KA: Is Blossom married? What does family mean to her?
Blossom: I have been married for the past 10+ years and have been blessed with the most inquisitive young man and adorable little lady that any mother will gladly love to the heavens and back. Family means everything to me because after all is said and done; the bottom line for success is when your family can gladly share your excitement about the finer things of life.
KA: If you could change 5 things about Life, what would they be?
Blossom: I will simply change the aspect of life that makes people take others for granted, come late for meetings, dispel every sense of decorum in the quest to be relevant, the scarcity mentality that gives a tacit approval to corruption and lastly, the imagination that we are not accountable to God and society.
KA: People say ideas rule the world, do you agree?
Blossom: I absolutely agree with this general saying but with a caveat. “The smartest idea cannot rule the world if it has not been activated as dumb activated ideas are more likely to impact than smart inactivated ideas.”
KA: Inspire an African youth in one sentence…
Blossom: The notion that direct foreign aids are all that is needed to move Africa towards the desirable is absolutely false. We should reject this trend as it only fuels corruption in the continent as the more aids we receive, the higher the probability of misappropriation of such funds by unscrupulous individuals.
*Win Big in our Forthcoming Writing Competition….
WATCH OUT FOR DETAILS ON OCTOBER 1, 2013 ……………………………………………………………………