Every career has its own challenges and getting to the peak of your career as a woman takes a lot of sacrifices.
For Funke Egbemode, who is the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors and also the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of New Telegraph Newspaper, she confesses that she was not always there for her children. Speaking on the price she had to pay to get to the peak of her career, Funke gave an advice to single women who want to get to the peak of the career.
It was a huge price because you can’t be a total woman, you can’t be the woman you want to be, the mother you want to be, the Christian you want to be, when you want to stay steady in journalism. The hours are punishing, you need to have the staying power to continue to do what it takes to stay in the newsroom.
Journalism took away a lot of leisure time, a lot of ‘womanity’ from me. You can’t do all those woman things. You can’t be the one who drives your children to school or go to pick them, I wasn’t at home to do homework a lot of time, I tried but it wasn’t easy being able to do the inter-house sports and PTA stuffs. When I was launching my first book, I think I made reference to it. My children were in the crowd and I thanked them for letting me steal a part of their childhood to furnish my dreams.
You can’t be the total mother, wife and Christian, you can’t go to all the church activities and sometimes, you wake up on Sunday morning and your head is like it’s about to explode. Or you struggle to church and couldn’t even stand on your feet to shout Halleluiah.
There was a Sunday morning while I was the Sunday Editor of the Sun newspaper that I drove straight to church from office because I was on duty all night because we had the general elections the previous day. I struggled to church for the first service but after an hour I was soundly asleep. I just said God you knew I tried; I am just going home to sleep now. The balancing act is tough.
Advice to young women
Stay focused, don’t be intimidated by the muscular men around you. A lot of times, the muscular men need the delicate women so don’t let the men around you intimidate you, they need you, forget their muscles. Specifically for female journalists; you need to take a decision whether you need to go all the way up or journalism is just a job.
If it is a career then you must be ready for the sacrifice and it is just for some times, the harvest when it comes, you will be very happy with it. Don’t sacrifice your family because your family is your nest, your fallback position. It is your family that nothing will take from you if you don’t trade it or sacrifice it for your career, they can make you build a big career and a colourful life.
And never marry a man who is not heading in the same direction as you, it is like boarding a bus with someone not going to the same destination, you will have to part ways. So choose carefully your partner especially in journalism. The choice of your partner will determine how far you can go.
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