In Nigeria, 22-Year-Old Passionate Storyteller, Eno Oduok Created Her Digital Platform To Amplif The Voices Of Nigerians In Overlooked Careers

A common experience within African culture is the lack of acceptance from older generations for non-traditional career fields. For many, the only widely-accepted career paths lie within the STEM field — an observation that was made very clear to 22-year-old founder Eno Oduok.

Eno Oduok is a first-generation Nigerian-American and a Houston native. her work experience ranges from communications and social media to public relations and marketing. Overall, she enjoys content creation

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In Oduok’s experience, she found that for Black and people of color — Nigerians in particular — there was little to no representation for people in her culture within the creative job market.

One day while searching for an online space for Nigerians in public relations — Oduok’s current occupation — she noticed there weren’t any up-to-date platforms to connect with people like herself.

So in September of last year, she launched her very own platform called Naija Comm — a rapidly growing space that showcases and connects Nigerians as creatives working in overlooked career fields such as communications, arts, business, and so forth.

Almost every week, the platform picks select individuals to spotlight their work and give them a space where they can amplify their voices to a new audience.

The overall mission of the platform is to both end the constant societal pressure within Nigerian culture to pursue traditional career paths and emphasize the importance of representation across all industries.

According to Oduok, Naija Comm is the first and only community to ever cater to Nigerian creatives. It is through her combined personal and cultural experiences that she’s been able to launch the successful digital platform.

“In our culture, certain career paths are prioritized more, just like in other cultures [as far as] anything STEM-related,” she told AfroTech. “I wanted to create a space that celebrates and uplifts Nigerians in all career fields because they don’t always get the same recognition and praise as the other fields do.”

Initially, Oduok didn’t see herself becoming a full-blown entrepreneur, but her passion for uplifting others naturally put her in a position to create the change she wanted to see for her culture.

“I honestly had no intention of starting a brand and I had no interest in entrepreneurship,” she shares. “But [for me] I’m a passionate storyteller and I love amplifying the voices and stories of others, especially overlooked ones, so that motivated me to create this platform.”

Through launching her own brand, Oduok learned just how underrepresented Nigerians are in their respective creative roles. That lack of exposure is what motivated her to create Naija Comm in the first place, and so she’s grateful to have created a platform that resonates with so many people.

Since the platform first launched, Oduok has received countless testimonials from people who have found Naija Comm to be helpful in terms of creating visibility for the many careers that are available to Nigerians outside of the typical roles of doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc.

“I didn’t really realize how impactful this was until I started getting the messages [from people], and then it was like ‘wow, I see how y’all are seeing it,’” she says.

For Oduok, the toughest part about maintaining Naija Comm as a founder has been wearing multiple hats while also being a business woman.

“There are times you will have to be your own graphic designer, lawyer, publicist, manager and more,” she shares with us. “Although it is rewarding and you develop many skills in the process, it can be challenging trying to balance it all.”

But through it all, Oduok has created a groundbreaking platform for her community, and all the while shifted the narrative for Nigerians to have a cultural impact.

In addition to offering a safe space for Nigerian creatives, Naija Comm also hosts giveaways and virtual events that has featured various guest speakers such as entrepreneur and influencer King Paul; Black Girls Graduate founder Ashley Obasi; Bond Official founder and editor-in-chief Igee Okafor; Netflix Communications Manager Ebony Turner and many more.

Looking ahead, Oduok hopes to see Naija Comm flourish as it continues to grow its following and expand its offering of content to include conferences, webinars, panels, and brand collaborations.

For more information about Naija Comm, visit its website.

This article originally appeared on afrotech and is published here for educational purposes.

Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

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