Nkechi Ali-Balogun, one of the Nigerian’s foremost female PR practitioners and Winner of Working Moms Award 2014 clocked 60 recently. As family and friends celebrate her, Moms Africa looks at her career and how her warmth and friendly disposition has won her many admirers and friends. She granted an interview to Ify Onyebgule and we are happy to share that with you.
Meet Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun Principal Consultant at NECCI Consulting. She is one woman who believes in hardwork and never minces words when she talks about how to balance work and family life. Please read on!
How have you fared when it comes to this balance?
My family comes first always because I believe my primary function is to be a wife to my husband and a mother to my children. If you must know a woman’s crowning glory at the end of the day is her family. My husband Mahmood Ali-Balogun and I have been together for over 30 years and I have always hammered on the need for women to strike that balance. For my business, NECCI staying afloat these past 20 years, I will say hardwork, strong faith in God and tenacity has been the driving force. I am saying this because the business environment in Nigeria is very interesting but God has given me grace to not compromise. NECCI is a contented company with integrity.
What was the dream profession for you?
I actually wanted to be a Lawyer or a Journalist and as fate would have it, I was admitted into the university to do English Education. Eventually, I found myself in the broadcast environment, Nigerian Television Authority where I was again refused the interest to be broadcaster after a voice test but then I got employed in the programmes department. I tried one or two acting along the line while still hoping I would find my way into broadcasting but soon I realized that acting was not for me. Along the line, I got my first job in a bank as a pioneer staff to start its public relations unit and that was the beginning of the journey that you see today.
Can you relive the most memorable time of the journey in these 60 years?
My most memorable years were my growing up years especially during the war watching my mother try to bring us up single handedly. That helped to shape my life. From a very early I understood the word survival and that it comes only through hard work, focus and tenacity. My early years my mum led us to Christ the only anchor she had. People failed and betrayed her yet she moved on. It so impacted on me that I grew up not expecting much from people but having absolute faith in my God.
How does it feel to be 60?
I think age is really in the mind. I don’t feel differently. Definitely I am wiser and my outlook to life has been defined with my experiences. However I remain my youthful happy-go-lucky girl. Looking up to God for new and mighty things. Yes even at 60
Given the chance, what would you have done differently?
Given the chance I would have loved to give my life to Christ at a very tender age.
It is said that at 60 you “retire” from active service, any plans for stepping aside at NECCI Consulting?
Retirement is an illusion and for those who choose to remain inactive after 60. I cannot afford to do that because there are still more grounds to cover more laurels to be won, more souls to be won…By the grace all these shall be done so for me there is nothing like retirement. I am moving into a higher and a more strategic phase of my life. I still have so much to give to humanity especially at this age and I intend to do just that. Don’t forget 60 is now the new 40!!! Also remember my Head of State has set a precedence. He is 75!
What is the next big step for you???
The next big step for me is to expand my scope and my vision and do better the things I am already doing. I will serve the Lord more in all ways and show forth His glory in all I do even as the first female president of this nation…who knows where He is taking me.
Interview was done by Ify Onyegbule. You can read more from Ify at www.ifyonyegbule.com