Women in Nigeria from different professions and walks of life gathered recently in Lagos to witness the unveiling of a women’s magazine, Essential Woman, which aims to celebrate women in their careers and businesses and support those who aspire to start the process. Editor of the magazine, Ekua Abudu, in this interview with Mary Ekah reveals the idea behind the publication
How long did it take to put this together?
We were working on this off and on for about a year and we are happy it has finally come to pass. This is a bi-monthly magazine but we are going to have a strong online presence and a blog that people would be contributing to, even from when we announced this, so much has come in; so many contributions. People have stories; people have identified people that we don’t know about. People have told us about women groups that are doing marvelously not just with big names but small women groups that are actually getting results. This is a magazine that is feminine, we can go to the kitchen; we can go to the living room, the other room; get changed and move to the boardroom.
So what informed the idea to publish a feminine magazine?
Well, we found out that a lot of magazines centered on lifestyle, beauty but we were thinking about women empowerment. The Proverbs 31 woman inspired us. If you read it, she is a home maker, she is a hard working woman, multi-tasking, she makes clothes, she invests in properties, she looks after her family and she does a lot of charity work. The bible says who can find her? How do you aspire to be like her, how do we encourage other women to be the best they can be? So we came up with Essential Woman Magazine because of the essence of a woman, a woman of integrity.
We are essentially important to everything that is happening in the community, in Nigeria and in the world at large. Essential woman is to encourage women, to help them grow personally, professionally, truthfully and our intention is to identify real role models, to find out real stories of real women. You don’t have to be a celebrity, there are so many hard working women out there, there are many women pushing frontiers of industries that no one knows about. It’s not for you to be perfect, you started a journey; what inspired you to start the journey, what were the challenges along the way, which were the people who helped you along the way. Your story can help another young lady.
How often would the magazine be on the news?
Every other month but we are going to have a very strong online presence that would be updated.
What were you doing before now?
I am the proprietor and director in charge of administration at Greenwood House School in Ikoyi. The brand is almost 21 years now but also I served as a lawyer. So I have many parts, if you look at my profile I am currently the chairman of the Interior Designers Association (IDS), I am a trustee of the International Women Sympathy, which is the oldest women group. I love music, I love arts, and I am multi-task. My personal man trial is ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me’. That’s why I decided to try my hands on this but I won’t do journalism.
Have you ever practiced as a lawyer?
Yes, I started as a lawyer; I practiced for about eight years and then I now sublime and then started the school. Well, it’s really nice, there is continuous training and continuous improvement; you don’t know what opportunity life is going to bring you, just be ready to retrain. Even though I was a lawyer, once I started the school; I went and did a Montessori course, I did a postgraduate in education. So anything you want to be in life, you can be; just open your mind, life is just a straightforward path; just continue to educate
What has life taught you?
Well, like I said, I could do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Well challenges come along the way, I think for anybody who has gone through life; there have been challenges. You try, doing your best and you move on to the next thing. Hopefully you would have learnt from what happened.