Mariah Olasehinde was born 43 years ago in Surulere Lagos. She attended Air Force Primary School Victoria Island and Aunty Ayo Girls High School Keffi, Obalende. After Secondary School, she gained admission into the University of Abuja where she bagged a B. A degree in Theatre Arts and graduated in 2001.
She later obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, Nigeria. Olasehinde is a broadcast journalist with over a decade of experience in journalism, she is the CEO of Marbays Communications Ltd, owners of MarbaysTv Online. She is also a media consultant, producer, and presenter of Know Your Representative on Tvc News. Marbays Communications is into television production, packaging of documentaries, jingles for both states, government, private and individual organisation.
In this interview with Oyinlola Sale, she revealed to us, how she is changing the narrative in the media industry
You have been in the media industry for over a decade and you are aware of how capital intensive it can be, yet you set out to create Marbays Communication, tell us the story behind it?
Life happens, well after I resigned from TVC News, having experienced how to handle both programmes and news productions, starting with my NYSC at NTA Channel 10, Tejuosho. I worked at DBNTV, NN24TV, TVC News and with the help of God, I decided to open Marbays Communications Limited where we produce documentaries and programmes for both state and federal government, individuals and private organisations, jingles, media consultation, MC, event management, et al. We are a total package when it comes to television production. That’s why our slogan is “Taking Television Production a notch higher”.
We also have our online media platform called MarbaysTv. We have our blog, social media handles on Facebook, Instagram, and the days of Twitter MarbaysTv.
As a media professional, what steps have you taken to change the perception of women in the media?
It depends on the angle you are looking at it from because I don’t know which perception you are talking about. As women, we are multitasking, gifted, strong, and versatile. Most women in the media are doing well in our profession, you know in this profession of journalism we are addressed as gentlemen of the press irrespective of our gender, we are seen as men in this profession.
Using myself as an example, I have shown that it can be done, with the bold step of starting MarbaysTv, I am undaunted in every challenge with guts and grit! It can only get better by the grace of God.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a broadcaster?
As soon as I left secondary school, three professions crossed my mind: law, acting because I studied theatre arts for my first degree, then broadcasting. After my university, I settled for broadcasting and here we are today to the glory of God, am not doing badly.
What did it take to set up Marbays Communications, and what lessons did you learn along the line?
It took a while planning to set it up. Setting up Marbays Communications for me is putting God first, like the scripture says write the vision make it plain upon tables that he may run that readeth it. Focus, determination, tenacity, success is a long term journey.
There’s no quick fix, you will make mistakes, you will have challenges but for you to succeed, you must be disciplined, resilient, and make sacrifices. I’m still learning the journey is not easy though we thank God for sufficient grace.
How did you manage to finance this company, in its early days?
We are just a year and a half in the communications business to the glory of God. Initially, we had to rent equipment for production until we had our in-house programme Know Your Representative which airs on TVC News.
Know Your Representative is a 30-minute programme that captures the untold stories of the good work of Nigerian lawmakers in their constituencies. The unique selling point of this programme is to sell the unsung developmental projects of every lawmaker from local to state and federal levels.
I have had a guest like Distinguish Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, former. Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Kabiru Gaya, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, Senator Solomon Adeola, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator Abba Kyari, Senator Bala Ibn’ Na’ Allah, Senator Tanko Almakura, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, Hon. James Faleke, Hon.Eniola Badru, Hon. Kolawole Lawal, Hon.Jimoh Ojugbele, Hon. Ajuloopin, Hon. Bamidele Salam, Hon. Ayeni just to mention a few.
What were some of your biggest fears when you decided to create Marbays Communications?
Fear of starting, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of what will people say and you know what, that question has ruined or rather killed a lot of businesses.
Entrepreneurship is a world full of unknowns. As a business owner, you’re constantly asking yourself questions after questions, letting the fears of starting a business take over the forefront of ideas you’ve been working so hard to make a reality.
And then what about you—you as a business owner who needs to make money to survive?
When you’re first starting, there’s the fear of not having a stable paycheck. And a fear of being so consumed by work that you’ll end up spending all of your time alone.
There’s a lot of newness and plenty of unknowns during this time, but if you let the fears of starting a business get in your way, how will you ever let your business succeed? Don’t overthink every tiny detail. Have confidence in what you’re doing; trust God, pray and believe in yourself that you can make it work out to the admiration of all. Marbays is still a work in progress and by God’s grace, we will get there.
Let’s squash some of the way-too-common fears of starting a business together and realise that they’re not so scary after all.
Yes, you are right. They are not too scary at all but if you don’t have the required capital, it’s a big problem, payment of staff salaries a must but if the jobs are not coming how do you pay your staff?
It’s your vision then you called them to join you, they have families, challenges and they also have bills to pay so how you source for funds it’s not their business as long as they come to work, you have to pay.
I have had staff saying the pay is small compared to what they put in, they want salary increase after one-month o, I just laughed because there is a job to do doesn’t mean the money is coming in but because you want to remain in business some jobs are done on credit believing God that your client will pay as at when due.
Everyone is scared of failing but we forget that not attempting to do it all is a failure in itself. We don’t pray to fail but if you do count your losses, experienced gained in the process of failing then move on. There’s an adage in Yoruba that says If a horse falls you or betrays you, you will climb it again in this time around you change your strategy.
I don’t think entrepreneurs are superhuman, we should embrace failure as the paving stones to success. Entrepreneurs know failing just means you had the guts to try, and you’re continuing to try until you get it right.
If you’re too afraid to fail at all, you’ll be caging yourself in a small corner of the world—a corner where you’re essentially risking every opportunity to grow.
What is the size of Marbays Communications presently and what are your growth projections over the next five years?
We are still very small, with a staff strength of 8 -10. You know when you are running a small business, every day is so busy that it can be hard to find time for long-term planning. Who can think years ahead while trying to make payroll in a week?
Our five-year plan by the grace of God covers our business’ current functions and practices as well as its goals. We intend to be a full TV household name competing with the likes of Channels TV, TVC News, and even international stations if we get the right people who are willing to partner and invest with us. We are working hard at it, with God helping us it’s achievable.