There are many reasons to love Naomi Osemedua. And none of is as important as the fact that she’s an absolute joy to behold.
TW’s Adesuwa Onyenokwe recently had a chat with the phenomenal woman on her remarkable journey and we’ll be releasing her inspiring interview soon. But in the meantime…
Naomi’s “start” takes off with a harsh decision to elope at the age of 22. After 8 years of domestic abuse, being written off and losing her family, Naomi decided to get a divorce. For some, this would signal a self-inflicted waterloo, but for Naomi, it was the storm before the calm.
With her 2 sons and life after 31 staring her in the face, it was evident that the only way out was up. So Naomi started from where she was. With no tech knowledge or experience, Naomi Osemedua wrote her first book which reached Amazing Best Seller status in February 2016. And that singular triumph kick-started a journey that even she would have never imagined.
In March of that same year, Naomi became the 1st African woman to trend on Periscope with a live broadcast that gathered 20 million viewers in 6 months. She has is now a TEDx speaker and has featured as an International Conference Speaker at the WIN Conference, Nigeria in November 2019. Naomi Osemedua has hosted a Workshop at Social Media Week, Lagos 2017, became a speaker at HIVE AFRICA Global Leaders Conference and is internationally known as the “African Queen of Live Streaming”. And her latest podcast show – “Women with Stories” inspired by her personal experience with domestic abuse and divorce is giving women in similar situations the advice and courage they need on an international scale.
With faith, the bravery that saved her life years ago and a drive like none other, Naomi Osemedua shows that she’s only just getting started. TW reached out to Naomi to find out how this phenomenal woman not only got to where she is, but how she’s managed to do it.
Growing up you moved around quite a bit – from Zaria to Delta State and then Asia. What part would you say your culturally diverse upbringing has played in your success today?
I was born in Zaria but my parents moved to Delta State before I was one. The move to South East Asia played a major role in my thinking globally and that has shaped the kind of structure I enjoy in my business today. Travel was a huge part of our lives and something amazing happens when you see the world and experience different cultures – you naturally tend to dream bigger and serve in a bigger way beyond your local community.
There is a common misconception that women born & bred in Nigeria are at a disadvantage in comparison to women who aren’t. What are your thoughts on that?
You can be born anywhere and still have a disadvantage. What’s most important, I believe, should be not where we are born and raised but the mindset we have. The right mindset can open any door for you and that’s really my personal experience.
You constantly refer to yourself as a “people builder” – a position which requires frequently serving others. How has this in-turn impacted you?
My whole life is about service and this comes from my understanding that God has given me a unique assignment and I must Bless the World with the ‘GIFT’ of me.
My gifts and talents are to make this world a better place and the joy of knowing that I continually inspire people to move beyond their limitations to a greater place can really not be measured. No amount of money can replace that. It’s rewarding and fulfilling to say the least.
Let’s get a bit personal. You are living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. As a survivor of domestic abuse, what advice would you give women who are facing some form of abuse?
First, no one should ever suffer in the hands of people who are meant to love and nurture them but the truth is life happens.
There is always a choice to choose a better life away from the abuse and I know that is scary for many who see the abuser as the only lifeline. So many uncertainties on the path of what will happen if I walk away but the truth is – the world needs you alive and strong. Your purpose on earth is so much more than being stuck in a place of constant pain and agony. Seek help, don’t stay silent. Pray and most importantly choose LIFE above all else.
One of our favourite quotes from you is – “Your story is your gift“. With this in mind, If you could turn back the hands of time to your first marriage at 22, what would you do anything differently and why?
When I see how God has turned my mess into a message, I am so tempted to say – I wouldn’t change a thing. But for the sake of someone who may be at a crossroad, and that one decision they are about to make may end up costing them more than they bargained for; I would say get counsel. Wisdom is profitable for direction.
Your career started with no tech knowledge, a smartphone and internet access – which is the situation of a lot of women today. Why do you think women still struggle with starting their careers and attaining success?
Fear is a major reason. Women are afraid of failing, making mistakes, being judged etc. And another thing too is a lot of women are waiting for permission! When you give yourself permission to be, do and have more, amazing things happen on that path! There’s no better day to start and chase after that dream. Just start! Get help if you have to but don’t stay idle and wish you had a different life. You have a choice. choose wisely TODAY!
You’re a mother and an entrepreneur – 2 professions in our opinion that require a lot of drive and dedication. What tips would you give women who are trying to juggle motherhood and entrepreneurship?
I don’t know if it can ever be balanced but I personally believe in Integration. I travel a lot as an International Speaker and my husband Richard and my family, including my parents and siblings, continue to be my biggest support system.
You can’t do life alone. Stop trying to be a superwoman all by yourself. Get all the support you need and show up strong in all areas. It takes a lot of hard work but I always say that I want to be the first role model my children see before anyone else. I want them to turn on the television and see their mom speaking on the biggest stages across the globe, impacting lives and believe that they can achieve anything they set their hearts to. This is why I am determined to show up daily! Plus God will be asking me at the end of my journey, what I did with my life? I would rather not give him excuses…lol
Faith is very important to you, and so is hard work. Do you ever struggle with balancing them, and if yes, how do you handle it?
This is a really good question. I believe in the Grace of God and I also know that the same Grace gives me the strength and ability to do ‘the work’ required. Many have gone to sleep using the ‘Grace of God’ as a cover when even God worked before he rested. We are not here by ourselves and we must wake up daily determined to live life on purpose and that involves work.
You’re on a mission to die empty. So, what’s next for you?
Ohhhhh…so much happens on the road to ‘dying empty’! It’s such a sweet life filled with so many adventures. The latest for me was becoming a 2-time TEDx Speaker after my selection to speak at TEDx Providence 2019. That was my biggest stage ever and knowing I was the only Speaker who came from the African continent and selected out of over 500 participants is mind-blowing. I would say, stay close, the next adventure is around the corner.
If you could tell your 22-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Know who you are.
Know whose you are.
Find your purpose and stay on the path of light.
Serve the world with the ‘GIFT’ of you and let no one steal your SPARKLE!
That’s more than one but she will be just fine if she never forgets this!
A massive thank you to Naomi Osemedua for sharing her wisdom with us. Press play below to watch Naomi deliver an impactful presentation at TEDx Providence.
To find out more about Naomi Osemedua, visit her official website here.
Photo Credit: Thrive Global