5 careers hacks we learn from Susan Younis-Khobane’s move back to Africa

Susan Younis-Khobane

Nothing screams a fresh start quite like packing your bags and hopping on a plane across the world to move back home. For Viacom Africa Boss Lady, Susan Younis-Khobane such a ballsy move took her from freelancing for companies to overseeing production for the entire MTV Base network in Africa.

Susan’s life from being born in Nigeria to schooling in the U.S. and the U.K. and then returning to Africa, is a classic success story with many lessons to glean from.

1. Embrace New Beginnings

In an interview with Octavia Goredema, Susan talks about her decision to become a freelancer after working 6 years for MTV Base UK.  While freelancing, an opportunity presented itself for her to shoot a series in Nigeria for MTV Base Africa and she said “Yass”.  

The rest is history as the short-term opportunity became an awesome life changing adventure. Africa is the land of new beginnings and you have the power to shape and tell your story in the direction you want it to go. It might take some sacrifices but the end of the story will be richly satisfying.

2. Explore the silver lining of unpaid work

Prior to landing her first paid job at MTV, Susan undertook several unpaid work experience placements to gain an increasing level of experience in the entertainment industry.

A major issue that has plagued our generation for decades is the lack of sufficient work experience to qualify for roles in the job market. Taking up unpaid work and delivering outstanding results is one way to get into a company or open up many opportunities.

Susan Younis-Khobane

3. Never forget your roots

Susan stated that her family is the reason behind what she does and her mom is her main source of inspiration. It was her mom who taught her how to hustle, to not rely on one paycheck, and to become her own boss.

There is no better place than home to begin again or build the life you have dreamed of. Home is what keeps you grounded and gives you the tools to succeed on a global level.

4. Showcase your talents

Susan spent time developing her innate talents. This work has played a critical part in her journey of creating amazing content with other talented people.

Identify and develop your talents (no matter how unrelated they are) and find other talented people to work with who will propel you to be better.

Susan Younis-Khobane

5. Keep the big picture in mind  

When considering if a move to Africa is the best decision for your career, think about your career goals and what you plan to accomplish with your life. The world is looking for problem solvers. Susan stated that she tries to make the best out of every situation/opportunity and always works with the big picture in mind, which leads her a step closer to her dreams each day.

It is only a matter of perspective. Many might see Africa as a continent filled with countries stricken with problems; it takes a select few to see these problems as opportunities for impact.

There are many just like Susan who took a leap of faith to advance their careers on the motherland. Kindly share lessons you have learned from their lives that will inspire others who are looking to do the same. 


About Seyi Amao

My name is Seyi but my friends (and sometimes random strangers) call me "Princess". I like to think of myself as a writer, lover of all things fashion and beautiful; a jewelry designer; a diplomat in the making and a dreamer. I holds a Master's in International Business from France and a BSc in Economics from the UK. I have worked extensively in business development and brand communication with a number of leading multinationals. I am passionate about nation and women building.

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