Jasmine Chinaza Onyia is the CEO of Nazmine Media, a company she founded while still a student at Enugu State University, where she was a Marketing major. A couple of professional programs and several mentors later, Jasmine has learnt a lot on the job, and at the feet of industry elders. She shares her experience as an entrepreneur in this interview with Joy Ehonwa.
CN: What experiences prepared and emboldened you to pursue entrepreneurship even before you graduated?
My professional background has been centered around preparing myself to become the very best, and as business oriented as I can become. Let me tell you specifically how. Before University, I was an admin for one of the biggest online sites in the east at the time. I continued this even as an undergraduate student in ESUT before I moved to work as the operational manager of another firm, handling all marketing and field operations which aligned me with client interaction.
Having worked as a media strategist with a proven record of working in a team environment to analyze needs, as well as recommend and implement creative, workable and cost-effective solutions, I have prepared myself to transition into the workforce through real-world experience involving travels, several internships, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
CN: How would you describe your business?
I always tell people that we – Nazmine Media – are in the fun business of inventing and reinventing the ways companies create long-lasting relationships with their audience.
Managing my clients’ strategic communication processes and driving the right end result for their goodwill is the major reason I’m in business. We’ve been operating from the eastern part of Nigeria precisely Enugu State for some time now. Nazmine Media Company has had the opportunity to work for and with government parastatals, entertainers, business owners, brands, individuals…basically getting everyone covered.
CN: How do you source clients?
For us, networking is key for long-term viability. From referrals, social media, and strategic partnerships, to family and friends, ad campaigns and conferences, we rely on networking. I personally source for clients anywhere and everywhere.
CN: You’re also involved with the blog Southeast Trends. What are your responsibilities?
I happen to be the project manager of Southeast Trends, an online site that trends the eastern part of Nigeria by showing their local contents. It’s a platform that blogs about the news, events, entertainment, entrepreneurs, lifestyle, and businesses of people residing in the region.
CN: What’s the story behind #FixSouthEastRoads?
It’s a long one but I’ll dice it. Before last year, I had heard tales of how bad the interstate roads in the east were but I never actually got to witness it till then. November end, I had a wedding ceremony to anchor somewhere in Anambra State, only that we got stuck for hours due to the terrible roads we met. A few of my clients almost lost their lives along Enugu-Port Harcourt road no thanks to the same issue. I made a post on my Facebook page just basically ranting about how property, lives and time – which is money – were being lost on these roads. Lo and behold, I wasn’t the only one frustrated by this. The comments and stories I received as feedback got me disturbed for days. I decided to do something about it in my little way. My team and some other well-meaning Nigerians decided to start the #fixsoutheastroads campaign. Celebrities and blogs joined in and we got the attention of some state governors who went into action and made the roads accessible for the festive season.
Although they are not all completed, we now know that demanding our civil rights can still bring results in this country, no matter how small.
CN: What have been your biggest milestones since you started Nazmine Media?
Every single one of our campaigns/gigs was a huge deal owing to the fact that they exceeded previous expectations and results even with their challenges. Enugu Investment Summit, Guinness Made of Black campaign, Grounded Promotion Talent Search, 042 Sports Festival, Phynofest, Enugu Business Summit, Malta Herbs campaign, and so many others. Each of them I see as a huge milestone to our humble beginning.
CN: As a student, how did you balance academics with running a company?
I graduated not too long ago but when I started my company as a student it was an issue trying to create balance at first. I studied Marketing at Enugu State University of Science and Technology and one of the defaults I had was creating a “uni social life” because, after each lecture, I’d zoom off to attend to work which made it difficult to be part of after class gist and what have you.
But then as a student, I had to be in control and prioritize what I gave my attention to. God made it possible because truly it wasn’t easy.
CN: What makes Nazmine Media stand out amongst other PR and digital marketing companies?
We always ensure to package our services as a product with well-defined deliverables that solve our clients’ problems in a unique way.
The customer service at Nazmine media is top notch; we always deliver more than we promised. We create business relationships and make every client part of the family.
CN: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?
I read books according to the need they are going to meet. I am currently in between Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh Macleod and The Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu – I love her by the way – but before then was The Lady, Her Lover and Her Lord by T.D Jakes.
CN: What’s your long-term vision for Nazmine Media?
In five years – which is a long-term for us – we want to be a household name that everyone knows and recommends.
Address: 35 Uduma Street, New Haven, Enugu