Above the Personal Hurdle, Hoping for a Professional Dream
Fire Chat with Kemi Osukoya, Editor-in-Chief of Africa Bazaar Magazine
Member of the American Delegation to the 2019 Women in Africa Summit
There’s an emotional association when you become in tune with your passion. A feeling of elation and many times emancipated when choosing to follow your dreams come full circle. Kemi Osukoya, the founder of US-based magazine and online media Africa Bazaar, and a former business staff writer at the Wall Street Journal illustrates her evolution as a journalist, stigmas of being an African-American woman, all the while finding solace through a complicated relationship and the turbulence of motherhood.
In African culture, you are to pursue the profession your elders want and for Osukoya, a Nigerian-American, being a journalist was a secret narrative she locked away. Through personal evolution, she overcame adversities meandering her way through a media-driven industry which questioned her merit, abilities, and cultural differences.
Last November, I had the pleasure to interview twice Jane Fonda when the French Institute-Alliance Française awarded her the 2018 Trophée des Arts. To celebrate the 2019 International Women’s Day, here is an updated article based on these conversations. The two-time Academy Award winner explained how she made a first name for herself as a young adult in France, thus becoming a major trailblazer.
WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL | SERIES | THE THREE SINS OF MAYRA GONZALEZ
A manager at Nissan Mexico once told Mayra González that she was very talented and would have a great career in the industry, but “you have three sins,” he added: “You are young; you are a woman; and you are Mexican.”
Fast forward more than 15 years: Mayra González was eventually promoted in 2016 at age 39 to the top job at the Japanese car company’s fourth largest business unit, thus inducted to the very exclusive club of female CEOs, a mere three years after Mary Barra became the first woman appointed CEO at General Motors.
WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL | SERIES | MAYRA GONZALEZ, CEO DE NISSAN MEXICO, RESPONDE A SU HIJA
En su revolucionario libro sobre las mujeres Elige Todo, Nathalie Loiseau, una de las diplomáticas de mayor jerarquía en Francia, y madre de cuatro niños, escribió: “Recuerdo la ironía con la que se decía que, de niña, yo quería tenerlo todo”.
Actualmente sirve en el gobierno del presidente francés Macron como Ministra de Asuntos Europeos, Loiseau agregó: “Pobre ingenua: ingenua por quererlo, ingenua por creer que era posible e ingenua por expresarlo. Sigo siendo ingenua y estoy orgullosa de ello. Tenerlo todo; vivir la vida plenamente; no rendirse antes de empezar: Quisiera que esto fuera posible para todas las mujeres”.
‘Ingenua’? La directora general de Nissan México, Mayra González, también es una de las mujeres que quiere tener todo.