Marilyn Oma Anona was a student of the sciences who studied to become a doctor. But her passion and drive for the field of media and communications motivated her to later switch paths.
You can say she’s made the right decision as she’s building a media empire as a TV Talk Show host, public speaker, and an award-winning multimedia and social entrepreneur.
In addition to her media pursuits, she’s also a humanitarian as she runs a foundation – THE RIGHT STAGE, which seeks to help the less-privileged youths, children and women in our society.
Her compassion and dedication also extends to the area of mental health awareness as she leads the initiative for the Suicide, Anxiety and Depression Campaign (S.A.D.)
In this interview, we discuss her start in media, her vision, and goals. Marilyn also highlights the challenges she overcame, the impact she has made and the legacy she intends to leave on others.
What media outlet gave you your first big break and what did that beginning process teach you?
I can’t boast of having any big break yet but I am a fan of appreciating every step of the journey.
For starters, I studied medical sciences. Switching from that field to media in a society that is mainly about paper qualification was significant. I heard things such as “but you did not study mass communication or anything media related.”
Regardless, I know I am both multi-talented and versatile. Therefore, I was not suppressed by any of that. I’m always eager to showcase my gifts. I’m always eager to show all that I have to offer.
I had my first big exposure with MYTV AFRICA. I also received a slot to be a presenter on a show produced by “Media Option” which was aired on NTA.
Through those opportunities, I was also able to speak at several important events. I was most often the youngest speaker at such events.
I also reported for “Dailies” and I was a contributor to some papers. The experiences helped me to be tenacious, as well as gain a lot of confidence. I heard people say things such as “that’s another Oprah in the making”.I know what I am called to do and I face it squarely - @Omalivingshow_ Click To Tweet
What has enabled you to build your successful career and brand?
The knack for excellence, to make an impact, and to make the society more beautiful than I met it with my gifts. I stay true to my calling.
I know what I am called to do and I face it squarely. That is my niche. My wow factor and my uniqueness. Staying authentic has made me and my brand distinct.
As a TV talk show/event host, public speaker, multimedia and social entrepreneur, how would you advise people coming into this field after you?
For those aspiring to venture into the field of media, please sit and have a thorough reflection. Don’t only delve in because you perceive glamour.
Please be very sure that you are passionate about what you want to dabble into. Make sure to have someone in this sector as a mentor or friend in order to learn from them.
Multimedia entrepreneurship is tasking but with tenacity, passion, and consistency, it will pay off in the end.
What should aspiring female media influencers be most aware off when it comes to the world of media?
The media is for highly intelligent and flexible women. Media is a tasking aspect in terms of a career. We also need to know that we play a big role in society.
The world is built and moved through information and content, therefore, female media influencers need to be mindful of what they put out. This way, we are seen as tools for positively transforming the society.
What challenges did you encounter when you first started producing your TV show – Omaliving, and how did you rectify it?
The major issue I had was that I did not know much about production. That experience later turned me into a production guru.
I am better now. I have gained more knowledge.
Fewer people are consuming traditional media (TV, Newspapers…)these days. Is this a positive change for you? How do you see the field of media continue to evolve and your role in it?
We are in the digital world now and personally, I hardly do TV. I am mostly on social media or YouTube. That’s why I am not in a hurry to get OMA LIVING SHOW back on the conventional TV.
Though it is capital intensive to build up a highly visible online TV, it’s part of the process. Social media is helpful because you get visibility quickly if you know your onions.
However, my brand is mainly focused on young people and they are mainly on the New Media.
I believe in innovation and my brand will continue to move with what may be the latest trend. It is media and if you want to succeed, you can’t be laid back or stuck in the past.
What legacy do you want to leave as you pursue multimedia and social entrepreneurship?
I will be remembered as OMA, the one who fought for many causes and tried her best to inculcate positive values and give entrepreneurs and humans hope.
Currently, I have many goals on the multimedia aspect. I envision feature films, an institute for grooming the best, as well as getting the best multimedia contents across the world.
Also, I intend to have a proper therapy center for the Suicide, Anxiety and Depression Campaign (S.A.D) campaign which I am leading.
Who are some women that inspire you in media?
My inspiration comes from within. There are many women I like and admire but my inspiration is from my soul and divinity.
Something in the universe just pushes me to align with my purpose.
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