Alkasim Abdulkadir is a Communications expert who serves on various Presidential committees and Entrepreneur in the Agricultural sector. He is the Excecutive Director, Agritech.
TMG- Tell us about yourself:
I studied Estate Management at the Federal University of Technology Minna. By way of work, I divide my time between public and private sector engagements I am in involved in at the moment. I head the Media and Communication Unit at the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiate and also Spokesperson for the Presidential Committee on the Victims Support Fund both of them are Communication roles. For my private engagement I am an executive director at Agritech an agricultural enterprise involved in cultivation of export and processing agricultural produce and I am also a director in Egwafin Microfinance bank. So, these are the things I do by way of work.
TMG> What influnced your decision to go into communications instead of pursuing a career in estate management?
As far as I can remember, I have always had a flair for communications but you know in Nigeria you don’t always get to practice what you studied, so I actually just followed my dreams and I have no regrets.
TMG> Did you go for any special training to hone your skills?
I must say working for the BBC gave me the opportunities to not only learn on the job, but I benefited from the best tradition of media practice available globally. Trainings were part of the job. I also trained at the Radio Netherlands in Holland amongst several other local trainings.
TMG> How were you trained as a broadcaster and social Media influencer?
For the use of social media I learnt at the BBC, we were trained by Anka Toada who came from the BBC College in London to train us, at the BBC Media Action, you are trained to be a multimedia journalist. To enable work in all aspects of the media not only related to social media use –but also in film production, radio production and online.
TMG> Tell us about an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your career.
Well, there are several milestones that I have crossed in the course of my career. However, the most profound one was when I covered the UN House bomb blast for CNN and subsequently investigated to find out why the Boko Haram elements decided to attack the school.
TMG> Tell us about your management style and how you handle your Customers and readers?
My social media influencing is not commercialized, but my engagement as a whole has a lot of social justice inclination on my engagement with the general public, on facebook I post opportunities on trainings, job openings and grants.
TMG> How do you relate with people and get feeds back on your programs?
I help when I can, I take criticisms in my stride, for, and there is no way you can know it all. I try to be open and accessible as much as possible, even though this has its own downside.
TMG> What’s unique about your work and why should people follow your programs and social media platforms?
Well, it’s mutually beneficial, because of my assignment in the North East I get to write about my experiences and since a lot of it is privileged information, people are usually curious about it. I also write about a lot of governance, politics and historical issues which is also an area of interest for several people. Another area of interest for me is international news.
TMG> How do you help people through broadcasting? What advice, guidance or counsel do you contribute?
I mentor young broadcasters and other aspiring communicators, like creative writers or content developers. My advice to them usually is to be original and find a niche and also be consistent.
TMG> Did you ever make a change that you were sorry about later?
Well life itself is dynamic; we can’t run away from occasional pitfalls.
TMG> What are the three core ideas of your profession?
A combination of integrity, partiality and factuality.
TMG> Who is your audience? And what response do you get from them?
Because it’s social media, my audience is broad; it is those who follow me on Twitter, Instagram, on Facebook and those I am connected to on platforms like bbm and whats app.
TMG> How do you get readers’ attention towards your work?
I prefer organic audiences-if you are interested in what I do, then you will follow my work. I don’t like to influence people’s attention towards me. I prefer an organic growth pattern.
TMG> Tell us something you would like to learn or improve upon.
There are several things generally; it’s only human for me to want to daily improve. However, there are instances where you want to stop procrastinating and be able to meet deadlines, or juggling several other assignments and prioritizing which should be finished first. For me, I am struggling to learn “balance”-balancing work with family and social demands is not the easiest of things to do when you work in multi-sectoral spheres.
TMG> What are your challenges and how do you intend to handle them?
I take my challenges in my stride, when you work in teams, your output is dependent on the contributions of others. It’s a chain, when there is a weak link then the output suffers. I am learning to work around the challenges by being patient with team members and redeeming those that can be redeemed. Some team members are irredeemable.
TMG> What do you do to stay educated about new trends?
I read a lot, I check out the meaning of things I don’t understand or ask people who are knowledgeable about certain developments. This way I stay abreast of new trends and ideas.
TMG> Does it hurt your feelings when your editor or art director tells you something is wrong with your story or pictures at the last minute?
Absolutely no. I trust their judgements; the essence of team work is to have varying opinions in order to get the best output.
TMG> How involved are you in the financial aspect of your business, Budgets/forecasting?
Either in public or private sectors of what I do, there is no understating the fact that budgets are important, so also is forecasting, but perhaps the most vital is monitoring and evaluation because it’s the best way of checking the success rate of projects. Financial literacy is very important because it determines how far certain projects will go.
TMG> What way can you encourage other youths not to depend on government for jobs but to be self-dependent?
First young people must pick themselves up, from the despondency that the times have thrown us in. We can’t afford to lose hope or rely solely on government, we must intern to learn experiences, we must seek mentors, we must seek to break barriers through volunteering, through constant seeking for knowledge and enhancing ourselves. We should learn to do old things like farming in new ways; study value chains and plug ourselves in. That way we can lift ourselves up and be beneficial to ourselves and our families.
TMG> Do you have time to socialise and how?
Yes I get together with my friends as much as time will allow. I work out on Saturday mornings, and also ensure I am able to attend events as much as I can. It’s not all about work.