Wana Udobang’s guide to balancing side and main hustles

Wana Udobang
Working in full-time employment helped in many ways - @MissWanaWana Click To Tweet

Wana Udobang is a producer and director of the documentaries; “Sensitive Skin” a documentary film about the skin condition Psoriasis; “Nylon” a short documentary on memory, trauma, and loss; and the documentaries-series “Warriors” exploring the lives of people with sickle cell disease. She also is the creator of the poetry series “Words and Inspirations” and the interview series “Culture Diaries”. Wana wrote and directed the web series “Room313” and the short film “Shrink”. She plays Visha in the award winning Burkinabe film “Frontiéres”.

Wana has worked with the BBC Radio4, BBC world service, 92.3 Inspiration FM and Resonance FM. Her work has appeared on Aljazeera, Guardian UK, Guardian Nigeria, Index on Censorship, and Brittle Paper. She graduated from the University for The Creative Arts with a first class degree in Journalism. Wana is creative director of WanaWana productions and hosts the television show Airtel Touching Lives.

Interested to know how this media lady keeps all her creative work in equilibrium, SLA contributor Anuli interviewed Wana for some insider tips.

I don’t think I ever saw myself as a celebrity and I still don’t. I have always focused on the work and that is what I continue to do Click To Tweet

Tell us how your journey began?

I wrote poetry as a teenager. It became a source of catharsis for me. I studied journalism at university and I always enjoyed cinema and documentary so I decided to try my hand at it as opposed to talking about it so much

You have been in employment before launching out to create your own niche. Would you say employment helped hone some, if not most of your skills?

Working in full-time employment helped in many ways. Whether it was pitching ideas or having a 360 view of how the media worked and of course the general discipline of managing your time.

On Air Personalities (OAP) in Nigeria are seen or celebrated as celebrities. How do you keep evolving and stay relevant?

I don’t think I ever saw myself as a celebrity and I still don’t. I have always focused on the work and that is what I continue to do. Make sure that my work is getting better, I learn more interesting ways to engage and connect with audiences but I think what drives me stays the same. Which is how I can tell powerful and meaningful stories that can make an impact.

While working as an OAP on Inspiration FM, where you also doing other gigs? Please tell us what they are.

I was mostly writing and performing poetry. So I was a columnist at NEXT newspapers, wrote for Bella Naija and other platforms. I was also hosting events and moderating panels and discussions at conferences.

Also, I worked with brands on marketing campaigns as an influencer. I did a bit of TV presenting but none of it was a conflict of interest to my full-time job

You currently host Airtel Touching Lives. Were you holding down a day job when this opportunity came? What would you say was the x-factor that made you the preferred choice to host this show?

Yes, I still worked on the radio whilst I shot both the first and second season. I really can’t tell you if there was anything special but I hope that my genuine interest, commitment and need to connect came through and fingers crossed that was something that stood out

So which of your roles or jobs would you say are main and side hustles?

I think hosting events are a side hustle but everything else is part and parcel of my career. I think when you see things as a side hustle then they become that.

I think when you see things as a side hustle then they become that - @MissWanaWana Click To Tweet

How do you give your all to your hustles and still deliver top quality work?

I don’t really approach anything as important from the other. I see it all as one entity with myself as project manager. This for me means that adequate planning, time management with expectations and deliverables go into everything that I do.

You just aired a Youtube Series called Warriors. Before that, you aired Culture Diaries and Room 313. Tell us about any challenges or obstacles in shooting these series and how you overcame them, please?

Money is the main obstacle. These projects have all been self-funded which means a lot of the time, you are pulling in favours so you have to work around other people’s time as they are helping you out. So you don’t have as much control as you would like because you are working around other people’s schedules and dependent on their goodwill.

Now, let’s talk finance. How have you been able to get your work (side and main hustles) out to the world without going bankrupt?

I really take advantage of the internet and social media. It has been quite revolutionary in helping to not just share my work but in building a community and audience for the work. And most of that takes my work than money. I literally live online.

Please share 3 quick rules in ensuring one stays on top of their hustles

I would say

  • Planning,
  • Time Management and
  • Create value (be the best at it)

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

About Añuli Ola-Olaniyi

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi believes women are strategizing to become empowered and rule the world with men. She founded HEIR, a social enterprise created to equip young women in capacity and skills building in career, and hosts the Hire Me Bootcamp, a training platform for millennials. She is certified in Project Management, Human Resource and Digital Skills. She also speaks, facilitates and writes. Añuli loves avocado on toast, fitness and intellectual conversations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.