Every week, we talk to Nigerians around the world about money and how they make it.
This week features media personality and “Talk Queen”, Seun. She speaks about her journey into media, and how she makes her earnings from being “talkative.” She also lets us into her plans for the future and how she hopes to contribute to society.
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Please introduce yourself
My name is Seun Bankole. I am a tv presenter, an event host/planner, a wedding MC, a digital marketer, a social media manager, and a brand influencer. Generally, you can call me a talkative. LOL
Wow, this is quite a lot for one person…
LOL, it is not quite a lot o! Some people do many things that aren’t connected and handle it just fine, but everything I do is connected in some way. I am even just getting started!
How did all of these begin?
Well, I have always been a fan of talking, so it was natural for me to want to study Mass Communication but my parents wanted Law, so I applied for Law at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after secondary school. At the time, I wasn’t 16, and UNILAG had a clause where people under 16 weren’t admitted into the school, so I waited another year and wrote JAMB. I selected Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and Osun State University (UNIOSUN). I chose Law and English & International studies, respectively.
OAU’s admission was taking forever, so I resumed UNIOSUN. However, when I finally got admitted into OAU, I left UNIOSUN immediately for History and International Relations at OAU as that was what I got in place of Law.
You know when you have a passion for something, but there’s no push or platform? That was what delayed my foray into media when I finally resumed OAU.
I applied to OAU’s radio station, Great FM; however, my on-air schedules clashed too often with my classes, so I gave up. I was very active with the drama department; that was where I used my talents.
After I graduated, I went to my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), where I joined OBS. Before that, I got the opportunity to intern at TVC’s Max FM for about six months.
It was an unpaid internship but the experience was wholesome. After the internship, I was posted to Lagos camp for NYSC, and maybe because of how well I performed as an intern, I got another opportunity to work at TVC Entertainment as a corps member where I got paid ₦20,000 alongside the ₦19,000 youth service fees paid by the government. I was living with my parents at the time so I could be consistent with saving N10,000 every month.
During my service year, I volunteered to work at Mirabel Radio as an entertainment presenter. It is the radio arm of Mirabel Centre (Partnership for Justice) where they work to get justice for victims of rape and gender-based violence. Simultaneously, I was a co-host on Eko Corpers Diary on Eko FM during CDS.
I hoped TVC would retain me, and by the grace of God, they did. In January 2020, I transitioned into a full-time staff, working in the Public Relations/Online department as a social media executive. That was when I started to enjoy the full benefits of a gainfully employed young Nigerian. However, in February 2021, an opportunity came for me to join News Central TV and I made the difficult decision of leaving TVC after two and a half years.
I also had my post-graduate training at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. All of these prepared me for my role as a TV presenter at News Central.
Whilst in school, I had an issue with a borrowed course (my second semester), which meant I had an extra year. I started working as an MC this year. I offered my services for free for about six months to a year before I got my first paid gig.
So, you said it’s not a lot, but how do you do everything you do without breaking a sweat?
I always know my timetable ahead, so I know what jobs to take or not. Here’s how it works: I have a 9 – 5, which is my primary job. Thankfully, I have a colleague with whom I share schedules; we created a plan that works for both of us; my job is that flexible. Everything is fine and dandy so long the work gets done.
It’s 2022. Every company has to know that the average employee takes on side hustles (not with the competitor, obviously). So, I make sure I know in advance what I have to do. I know my calendar ahead of time, but if anything comes up at the last minute, I talk to my colleague.
Whatever the case, I ensure that my work doesn’t suffer. The quality of what I churn out must remain top-notch.
What is your creative process?
At the risk of sounding like I’m capping, sometimes, it comes to me in a dream. Sometimes, when I’m taking a leak or when in traffic. Other times, I get ideas from stuff I watch from creators I admire online. I have noticed that ideas come easily when I am not actively working, as I get very overwhelmed when there’s pressure to deliver.
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Let’s talk finances! What was your idea about money while growing up, and what has changed now that you’re an adult?
My family is very prudent. When my siblings and I were younger, my parents could eat several pieces of meat but would give my three sisters and me one piece to share. It was strange, but it happened for a long time. Not once in that period did it occur to me to steal; I could cheat my sisters and take more significant portions, LOL, but I would not steal.
As we grew older, they started giving us two pieces of fish to share among ourselves. Now that we are much older, they let us serve ourselves, and if I want, I could take as many as three pieces of meat, and no one will beat me. LOL
I picked up my parents’ prudence, and it helped me when I was in Uni; I didn’t feel the pressure to use the latest things, I was always content with what I had and learnt to optimise whatever I had, especially as, for a long time, I was financially dependent on my parents.
During one of the strikes in school, I learnt how to bake cakes, where I made little money and bought a few things I needed. It was then I understood what it meant to make your own money.
When I started my internship, I could ask my parents if I needed anything, as I wasn’t earning money. If they could afford it, they would give it to me readily. I didn’t wear the trendiest stuff, but I always looked clean and presentable.
When I was a corps member earning ₦39,000, I would save ₦10,000 each month. At the end of my service year, I got myself a phone with my funds for the first time, and it was an iPhone; it felt terrific.
I then increased my savings to ₦40,000 per month when I started earning more. The following year, I raised my savings to ₦50,000. I save it with my father; he runs a platform like a microfinance bank.
I say all these to say that I know a lot about delaying gratification and not holding back from spoiling myself when it’s time to spend. The idea of spending everything and then “depending on God” when it’s all spent doesn’t sit well with me. I always think about tomorrow.
Do you suspect you’re that way because you’re the first child?
Oh, yes! I think my parents took their time to instil their values in me. I often got disciplined way more than my younger siblings.
What would you want it to be if you had a financial superpower?
The ability to ensure that every single person, young and old, employed or unemployed, has money to cover their needs and then some. Such that they don’t need to look up to criminals or become criminals themselves just to get money.
What would you consider a financial red flag?
Oh, it has to be an inability to save or invest. If you always spend as it comes and you always have to beg for loans, I find it difficult to be friends with such a person.
Finally, where do you see yourself going as regards your career?
With my background and basic knowledge in events, decorating & planning, baking, and tailoring, I see myself owning an estate. A place that every single bride can walk into and all her event needs are met. There would be wedding planners, bakers, caterers, rental services, fashion designers, clothing material vendors, jewellery vendors, e.t.c. All these vendors will have offices in that estate. Even more? A variety of halls (small and big), tents, and open areas will be in the exact location.
I’d also like to own a vocational institute where young people can come to learn when they are not in school for one reason or another.
Regarding my media personality career, I love Tomike Adeoye, Kiekie and Nancy Isime. These people do practically the same jobs but in distinct ways. They deeply inspire me, and I hope to build my media career to the point where I do not have to do a 9 – 5 for the rest of my life.
That brings us to the end of the interview. Thank you so much, Seun for your time!
You are welcome! I had a great time.
You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to share your story too.