Ep 57 // African Storytelling & Evolving Your Definition of Success with Joko Edu

Ep 57- Joko Edu

Get inspired by Jokotola Edu "Joko," an entrepreneur who has pivoted careers several times and has a wealth of experiences in different countries and sectors. In this episode, Akua welcomes Joko to chat about her perspective on being able to evolve and adjust the definition of success.

Joko is the founder of Joko Edu, a stationary company using storytelling to highlight and preserve the rich culture and history of Africa. She tells the story of how she fell in love with history while going to Gustavus Adolphus College in the US. There she learned US history from many perspectives and wished she knew the same about her home country of Nigeria. Eventually, this curiosity would inspire her to create Joko Edu.

From banking to the education sector, bag design, and finally, entrepreneurship, find out how Joko has evolved her definition of success and learned how letting go is not a sign of failure.

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What's Covered in this Episode About African Storytelling

  • Joko describes her background and how she came to be an entrepreneur.
  • She talks about how learning history can help us avoid past mistakes.
  • Joko describes her fascinating education experiences, including doing a study abroad in Europe while already abroad in the US.
  • Akua and Joko talk about the educational system in Nigeria and how Joko found herself working in the public sector as a teacher in a village.
  • Learn how Joko decided to shift away from bag design after her passion for it disappeared and how she felt when she let it go.
  • Discover why Joko started her stationary business and how she uses storytelling to help promote Africa's history and culture.
  • Joko talks about her new journal that she will launch soon, called: Inscribe, including fun, non-traditional writing prompts to help users evoke joy.
  • Akua asks Joko about living in a challenging city like Lagos and reminds us that it's okay to acknowledge when we live in a challenging situation.

A note from Akua: Enjoy this podcast content and guests? These are the kinds of conversations (and amazing humans) we will have in my new community and container. If you are an action-oriented and accomplished professional who is pivoting into service-based entrepreneurship and are ready to get out of theory and into practice, join my waitlist to cut through the noise and get to the money here: www.akuanm.com/cheatcode 

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "I used to volunteer at the school right here. And because so my husband now actually started doing it. So he teaches math at a public school over here. And when I found out that he was doing it, I was like, Oh, my God, I've always said I want to get involved in education." - Jokotola Edu
  • "I just find that really some things I didn't really think about or worry about before I do. So now, now that I have a son to you're also thinking about, what direction is this country going in?" - Jokotola Edu
  • "Try as much as possible to take care of yourself. Because the truth of the matter is, we don't know when the city is going to become less stressful." - Jokotola Edu

Get to Know this Episode's Guest

Joko’s personal IG: https://www.instagram.com/jokotolaedu/ 
Website: www.jokoedu.com  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jokoedu/ 
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/joko-edu/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Joko_Edu 

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua’s services if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization’s culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 57 about African Storytelling

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the open door conversations Podcast. I'm really excited about this week's episode because we're talking to someone that has had a big impact on my life, especially when I lived in Nigeria. And together we talk a little bit about the importance of taking and shifting your perspective on what success looks like. So this wonderful woman that I speak to is going to tell us a little bit about her background, a little bit about what she's doing now, and how she's constantly reimagining what success looks like for her. And this new vision she's building for herself and her family. So if you're interested in hearing the perspective of someone who's had the opportunity to live and work in different places, who has changed her job several times and who's looking to build something that's bigger than herself. Keep listening Alo, I am so excited for today's episode. I am so excited to be interviewing a friend of mine, someone who I've known for many years. But before I continue, we should probably get into introducing her. So today I am joined by Joko and we're gonna be talking about African storytelling and evolving your definition of success. Joko, I am so glad to have you. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Unknown Speaker 2:40 I'm so glad to be here. Akua Nyame-Mensah 2:42 All right. So for folks who are meeting me for the first time, could you please share a little bit about who you are and what you do? Speaker 1 2:50 Awesome. Awesome. So my name is giocato. I do bots. I go by Joko and I am the founder and creative director of joku. We are Africans storytellers. We believe that it is important for us to understand our rich heritage to understand our history where it is that we're coming from, so that we can know where it is that we're going to. In addition to that, I'm also a mom, I have a one year old boy who is super active is so so cute. And I love to call him my activity king. And I also love doing a lot of different things here and there like reading, writing, spending time with my family and just you know, meeting up with friends and yeah, having a great time in the busy city of Lagos. Akua Nyame-Mensah 3:37 Yes. Thank you so much for that Joko. And I'd love actually for us to just jump right in there. Because your introduction actually reminded me of how much you've even taught me about Lagos history and Nigerian history right just being around Joko, you will learn so much. So Joko, can you share a bit more about your background? What did you go to school for? Are you doing that now? Speaker 1 4:04 So I am so I studied international management and communication studies. I went to school in the US I was like a stable sat office college for four years. I remember when I was going off actually I only intended to study Communication Studies at the time. But then I took a course in the Econ management department and I realised that I enjoyed the macroeconomics course that I took. So I decided to add on a second major and that's how I ended up doing international management. But you see, one thing that was very interesting to me when I was in the US was that I took a lot of classes that were us focus so like US government and politics, religion in America, America since the Civil War, you know, in a lot of different classes like that. And that was really the birth of my love for history. I used to say to myself that why don't I know things like this about my own country? Why don't I recall information with religion in Nigeria, or the politics she knows to such an in depth level, because when I was in Nigeria, when you get to access one, which is 10th grade, you have to choose a, you have to choose like a focus that you would go with. So I know you can either go science or art or commercial. So for someone like me who chose the article, because it meant that I was taking God classes like government, if I could go with either government or history, but I would like to history classes, then there was just more popular to take government. So of course, I did what most people were doing, and I took a government class instead. So I didn't really know that I enjoyed history until I got to university. And I learned about the American history from so many different points of view. So I now realise that I wanted to bring that back to Nigeria, not at the time. But I just saw that this sense of pride I see Americans have in their country, this sense of I'm not saying it's everybody, but at least sometimes when you understand your rich history, it allows you to even avoid some of the past mistakes that you've made. It allows you to make better decisions. And I saw how impactful and important that can be. So yeah, that's one of the ways that I got into history. Akua Nyame-Mensah 6:21 Oh, my gosh, I had no idea. And I love that. So tell us a little bit more about your experience in the US. One of the things that we talked about that you did a bit differently, even as an international student was the fact that you took advantage of doing a study abroad programme. Tell us a little bit more about that, and how that also gave you insights in a different perspective. Speaker 1 6:42 Oh, wow. So when I was in my senior year, which was my final year, I mean, obviously before that time, I had decided that I wanted to study abroad, there was a European Union programme that was based in Freiburg, Germany, Freiburg is where the Black Forest is, and where the Black Forest cake comes from. So I found this programme, this European Union programme, we're going to be based in Germany, but we're going to be travelling to nine other countries throughout the duration of the programme. So of course I tell my parents about is my mom was very excited. She was like, Oh, great opportunity mother's like, why are you going abroad when you're already abroad. But I mean, I eventually went for the programme, and it was one of the best experiences that I had ever had. So first of all, it just showed me even how the educational styles between the US and Germany was. So for instance, when I was in Germany, I know that one of the things that they always used to do was they used to include a lot of release include a lot of real experiences that were happening at that time, to the, to whatever it is that we're learning. So that way, you can see how what you were learning was applicable to the real world. And then I mean, apart from that, we met so many different people, you know, so you're not only Germans, but you're meeting people from all over the world. In my flats, for instance, there were five of us in our flats, two of them were German, one was French, one was Chinese, and then of course, myself Nigerian, and we used to get together for dinner, you know, we just used to share experiences and things like that, at least one experience that I would always always recommend, if you can afford it, even if you cannot, they are always you know, scholarships and things available. I remember I had applied for one at the time, when my younger brother was going off to uni as well, I strongly, strongly pushed for him to go abroad and he went to Paris. So it's an experience that I always say to people that if you can, please go for it, because it would really show you another side of the world. And if you also can go to another region. You know, I'd never been to Germany before I hadn't been to a lot of the countries that we went to when Eastern Europe, I had never been to Eastern Europe. And it was one of the best experiences that I've ever had. I think my favourite city there was definitely Budapest and then followed by Prague. Like, I mean, all the cities that were just beautiful, and it's great time really. Akua Nyame-Mensah 9:11 I love that. And I and I think that, you know, we were talking a bit before we started recording, right recognising that there's more than than the US or the UK, especially for those who live in the part of the world that we live in. Right so Joko in Nigeria, and I'm currently in Ghana, right? We tend to focus on certain places, but there's so many more areas and opportunities to potentially to potentially visit or spend some time in. Yeah. Great. Well tell us a little bit more about transitioning to your first job, right. So you had this amazing study abroad experience. I'm assuming you went back to the US. What did you do next? Speaker 1 9:50 So I went back to the US I had one more semester left spring semester and then I graduated shortly after. So I graduated in 2010. And remember, the economy has the economy was struggling, let's just put it that way. Now as an international students in the US that was not in a STEM related field, the US allows you to stay back to work for a year. It's called optional practical training, or PT. So I decided to do my own PTSD back for that one year. Unfortunately, it was very, very difficult to find a job. And you know, I mean, I remember because I worked. So I worked at the Career Centre at my university. So obviously, we're involved in helping students get jobs and things like that. And it was so interesting to see what graduation was back in 2010, compared to just like, maybe three years before, where a lot of students already had jobs lined up even before they graduated. So 2010 economy is hard. I spent that whole summer looking for a job and even got to the point where every single day I was sending one application, of course, because of my immigration status was a bit difficult. It wasn't always very easy to find, you know, you, you might get something but then they find out who you are. And then they don't want to, you know, file for you in a year's time. There was one opportunity that I was really excited about, it wasn't as as an admissions counsellor, as Singh keeps University, which is just in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where they were like, you don't think they'll be able to sponsor me in a year's time because you know, it's an expensive process, the US government deny the application. So eventually I get a job at a federal credit union affinity plus, I was referred by friend. And yeah, I was working in banking. I mean, we're doing I started off with simple transactions, the move to more complicated ones, like mortgages, loans, and things like that. I would like to you it wasn't really my calling. But at least they gave me bread and butter. And that was good. And it was a good first experience, I had a great team, we had a good supervisor who would always push us encourage us to do you know, like, always go beyond whatever it is that your goal is. So like I said, I had a great team. I had great friends that I'm still in touch with today from that team. So it was a good experience to have when the year was over. Then I moved back to Nigeria, and that's where my Nigerian Laskey life was given hints for Lagos. So that's what my Legos live started in 2011. Wow. Yeah. Wow. Akua Nyame-Mensah 12:30 See, I'm learning so much about you, Joko, I didn't know that you actually worked at a credit union prior to making your way back to Lagos. So tell us what did you What did you do in Lagos? And also, yeah, tell us a little bit about you know, how you even got into to entrepreneurship and starting to build your own business. Speaker 1 12:49 Okay. So when I came back to Lagos, you have to do your National Youth Service, which is a one year mandatory service required by the government. At that time, the government has started this new thing where everybody has to work in the public sector. Everybody used copper had to work in the public sector, which was really not a sustainable plan, because Hello, how are you going to take an influx of hundreds of 1000s of students in each cohort and the three cohorts a year? I mean, at the time I don't know about now. So I was placed in a public school in a few states, or states is also in the southwest of Nigeria. It was a proper village equa. Proper village when I was going to look for accommodation there, they said, or rent is 200. Now I was like, what does she mean by 200? Now 200, like you just showed me 200,200 Naira per month. I mean, today, obviously with the devaluation that's less than 50 cents a month, right. But at the time, that was probably like, maybe like, almost $2. So 200, and, and none of the houses apart from the author's Palace. The Oba is the King had a soakaway. And because they did not have a soakaway men, they did not have toilets. The minute I heard that, I was like, I cannot live in this village. I'm sorry. I'm going to stay your capital city. And I'll be driving. No, because I was like, you know, the NYC tried to fight with me about that. I was like, Absolutely not. I'm sorry, I'm not gonna be going to the bush. So but I was posted to his school. And it was very sad to see the unfortunate state of that score. It was I had students I was teaching GS one which is seventh grade social studies, and SS two, which is 11th grade government. I had students in SSH to the 11th grade class that could not read. Wow. And I could not understand how they have gotten so far in life and they cannot actually read and I mean, basic sentences, not even complicated words. It was a very interesting dynamic for me to see because I went to public school for secondary school. Math Secondary Education was at Queens College. But Scripps College was federal funded, which usually tends to be better funded than the state's public schools. But still, it was just, I mean, it was very jarring experience. So when I returned to Lagos at the time, I knew that one day, eventually I want to get involved in the education sector, I didn't know how I didn't know what I was going to do. But I knew that I had to one day. So I returned back to Lagos. And I already knew, I knew that I wanted to get into retail fashion, retail, that space have grown so much. And before I had left the country, it was a sketch bags all the time was something that I really just enjoyed doing. But if I'm being honest with you, I didn't even know that there was an industry there, at least in Nigeria. So even when I was going off to school never even occurred to me to say, Oh, let me study fashion. Or let me look for opportunities there. Because there were so many brands to learn how many people to look up to, there wasn't that much representation. So I didn't even understand that there was a whole industry in fashion. And then I come back to Lagos, and I see that the space has changed in five years. And I was like, Oh, this is great. I want to explore this opportunity. So what I did at the time was I worked for a couple of retail houses. One of them was LastPass. It was a multi brand store, they used to carry a lot of different local African brands in their store right there. We I think they were one of the first to do that. And then I also worked with them in a jewel design. Yeah, which was the first block stream on a brand store in Nigeria, is targeted towards Menswear. So that's how I got into fashion retail. And I was in that space, but I was on the business side of things, not like the fashion fashion side of things. So yeah. So that's what I did when I returned back to Nigeria. Akua Nyame-Mensah 16:49 Wow. And I know you still are you used to when I was in Legos, you still would volunteer to teach, right? I think I remember that. Yes, Speaker 1 16:58 I used to. So I used to volunteer at the school right here. And because so my husband now actually started doing it. So he teaches math at a public school over here. And when I found out that he was doing it, I was like, Oh, my God, I've always said I want to get involved in education. So you know, maybe I should do this. So he introduced me to the school. And I started teaching 11th grade math. And I did that for a few years. And then like what's COVID hits, and then I got pregnant after I haven't been able to return. But I'm planning to go back again, eventually. Because what you see even with schools here in Vegas is that there's a huge gap. There aren't enough teachers, at least from what I saw in the school that I was at, there are a lot of students, and really, I'm truly teachers cannot the permanent teachers cannot cope with the number of students that they have. And another interesting thing that I even learned during NYC was that because I was posted to school, the they also had, apart from youth corpus, they also had the teachers from the teaching colleges posted there as well. And during my conversation with a lot of them in Ocean State, a lot of them did not get to study the degree that they wanted to. So teaching was a last resort. So what I learned was that it just seemed as if a good number of those teachers that I met at the time, this was not their first choice. So they kind of treated it as such as well in their attitude. And you will see that, you know, the way they would interact with the students. And yeah, it maybe was just not that common in life. But they had no other choice at the time. So I mean, if we wanted to really, really invest in education, I would say we should also go to the teaching colleges, we need to start there as well, not just in schools. Akua Nyame-Mensah 18:45 I mean, I think that's amazing, right, that you've been able to create time to one do that. And then that you also recognise that there's a potential issue here that you can support with as well. So thank you. Yeah, thank you, thank you so much for sharing that. And I think that's actually a really good segue to start to maybe dive a little bit deeper into what you're passionate about. Tell us a bit about how you launched your business. And what you found about building this out. Speaker 1 19:13 So I was I was making handbags when I started off, but dealing with artisans equal it is not for the weak. So I used to have had this bag makers that you know, they'll make my styles for me. Some of the techniques that I had learned a lot of College of Fashion was you know, obviously you sketch your design, but you also make a 3d mock up of your design. So that's usually what I used to take to this bag makers to make for me. And I mean, I found some great bag makers to work with. I mean, it was a great experience. But you know, sometimes instead of giving sketchy timelines, they will tell you your products will be ready on this day. It's not ready you come back. Like what's going on here? You know, honestly, I didn't have the technicals used to make it back for myself. And then I think one of the things that really, I found upsetting was one time. So I have created this design, very unique design was called a sheet, but I had two different sides. And then I go for lunch somewhere, and I see someone carrying a bag. It's very similar to the sheet design. And I was like, where did you get this bag from person tells me so I don't look up the brand. Anyway, long story short, I found out about one of my bag makers approached him and said that she wanted to make the exact copy of my bag. And then this wonderful bag Myka of mine said that he can do the exact same thing that she should just change one item, the flat of the bag, and then he can do it. So she changes the flag of her bag. And I mean, of course, when I saw the bag, I recognise his work. I knew that it was him that did it. So I asked him, I said, when I brought the Back to you, what did I bring to your bra 3d mock code, somebody now brought my own bag. And they you thought it was okay to make it. Of course, you knew it was wrong, because it was avoiding me for some time. He was very apologetic was of course, I mean, I guess he was hoping that I would never find out that I did. Wow. But I mean, I stayed in that space for a few years, the passion way, the love for wind. But I kept pushing because I just felt like you can't give up on what you first started. And then I remember when I had my son in April 2021. I think like a week or two later, I was talking to my bestie about it. And I was just talking about how it's just so draining, and had a conversation we've had that just felt like it was so liberating. And she was telling me that it's okay to say goodbye. Like, it doesn't mean that you're a failure. But it's okay to actually say You know what, I'm going to make these things anymore, or you can take a break from it altogether. And I don't know why I had never thought about that. What I had never, it hadn't even occurred to me, but I remember in which just been lifted off my shoulders at that time. And I was excited to actually say goodbye to it. I was excited to not be making bags anymore. A couple of years before that I had introduced stationery, I have always always loved stationery. I mean, since I was a kid in primary school, it was one of the things that I would ask people to buy from me to buy me books, books to read books to write. And I started making stationery like just me, I think 2019 or so. And it was I loved it. It was also I mean, I was working with better people to produce some non possible allies. So that and what that also did for me was that it gave me room for creativity. Because what I saw was that I saw stationery could be an opportunity to teach people about Africa. So instead of just making it a book where you can write it, why not also include snippets about different parts of Africa, teach them about, you know, interesting facts about, you know, different cities within Africa culture and things like that, so that they know that oh, okay, this is the origin of this Oh, so this is where this comes from, and all of that. So that is the direction in which we've taken a stationary brand, too. So like I said, in the introduction, I like to call myself a storyteller, and an African storyteller. Using everyday items. The very first item we started with now is our notebooks. But one day, we plan to expand this to other items, and it won't just be limited to products. I'm even hoping that one day, we can also expand to services. So that that way, anytime you're thinking, oh, I want to know the historical thing about this, so that you would think about coming to Dooku. And I am a big, big, big, big, big fan of collaboration. So I would always send you to other places where I learn stuff from a shearing magazine, Amanda Kirby earring, John now, and what's the author of The Republic? You know, I'm a big fan of collaboration. So I believe that not one person can have a monopoly on information. So it's always important to collaborate with people that also have the access and then share that information with the world. So yeah, that Akua Nyame-Mensah 24:10 I love that. And I didn't realise once again, that story. So yeah, just thank you so much for sharing that. And I think a lot of people listening to this will also really resonate with what you shared about letting go of something right and realising that you can evolve, right, what you want to do can also evolve. But yeah, yeah. Thank you. Thank you. All right. I think this is a really great segue to share maybe a little bit more about something that you sent out recently. I know that when I asked you to come on my podcast, one of the things I wanted you to share a little bit more about were sort of the realities and you've done that. Right. So you talked a bit about the realities of, you know, needing the support of an artist and or an expert in building out this product for you. But I know one of the things that you shared with your audience was what it's actually like, live Seeing and working in a busy city like Lagos, can you share a little bit about? Yeah, some of the some of the things that you you do have to work through and some of your thoughts on where you are now, living in Lagos. Speaker 1 25:14 Um, I mean, now I've been back in Lagos for 11 years. And I find that of course, because it's so has been changed so much in that 11 year window. I mean, obviously, first of all, the naira has depreciated so much against the dollar. I remember when I first came back, I used to shop on esource. regularly. I can't really imagine using my dad said, I want to go and be I mean, obviously, you need to take care of yourself from time to time, but things have just changed a lot. I find that I mean, if I want to be as honest as possible, Lagos is a very colourful, vibrant city, but truthfully, is also stressful. There's a lot of moving elements all the time. I mean, as I'm speaking to you, right now, we don't have power. We're using an inverter, which is solar powered, right, which can carry certain things cannot carry other things. So Lagos is colourful, it's exciting. There's, you know, there's a lot of different activities and things going on. But it can be very worrisome, it can very stressful and because I think I'm also in a different season of my life as well. I just find that really some things I didn't really think about or worry about before I do. So now, now that I have a son to you're also thinking about, what direction is this country going in? Now he's one, what's he going to be like when he's 10? When he's 21, when he's 30, you know, so I just find that it's important if you can, I know it's not always easy. But if you can to take Britain, the city. First of all, taking breaks from Lagos does not mean you have to leave the country. A couple of weeks ago, I went to put your new one by root. Again, I must confess, you get into the binary border, that route is not for the birds, like it's not a nice route. But once you cross the border on I mean, semi border, I'm sorry. But once you cross the border, the road is fantastic. It's nice to get away from here. But also, while you're here, try as much as possible to do things that are important to you. One of the journals, funny enough that I just recently introduced, or just recently released in collaboration with Army essentials, the skincare brand, is called a mindfulness journal. And this was actually birthed out of, you know, taking a break from a lot of the noise in the world. And just stepping back, journaling, putting your thoughts to paper, and being able to say that, okay, this is how I feel, this is how I'm doing. You know, you need to do that from time to time, take vacations, treat yourself go off for lunch, even if it is so long, even though I know getting them. I mean, you sit inside Lagos traffic shot depends on what the route is like, you know, but try and do things that matter to you things that help you to relax, because you need that on a regular basis, you need to always recharge. And I think most importantly, sleep well. Oh, my God, I cannot overestimate the importance of sleep, or the importance of sleep. If you can. Again, I know this is not always easy. For every question, try as much as possible to sleep. Well, on a more regular basis. I didn't say all the time, because I know it's not always realistic for people. But try as much as possible to just take care of yourself. Because the truth of the matter is, we don't know when the city is going to become less stressful. And we can always allow the dictates of everything that was going on around to determine how it is our feeling. I know that it takes a toll on our mental health, emotional financial, ICWA financial, you know, way, our basic zoo, you're doing things like that. There's just a lot going on food, food. If I could do without food, St. John's would we do without food at this point, but we can't, because the price just keeps rising? Yeah. Well, yeah. Just try to take breaks from time to time before one can. You know, Akua Nyame-Mensah 29:18 I love that. And I've always just appreciated your honesty. And I hope you know if someone is listening to this, and they're in Legos that they too can can take a sigh of relief and recognise that they're not the only ones and that they do. They do in a challenging situation and you are allowed to talk about it. If anything, right to make sure that we acknowledge it because I think sometimes we won't acknowledge the fact that we do live and work with in challenging situations. I actually recently did a podcast episode talking about mindfulness, where I was like, you know, I was actually recording it also in the dark because the lights had just turned off. That is That is my reality. Sometimes, you know when I'm in Accra, and I think that choosing to Ignore it. Or to pass over it, I don't think really supports anyone. Right? So I'm not suggesting you dwell on it, right? Because you can't do anything about it. But I do think it's important that we recognise it right as we were engaging with ourselves and engaging with others, right. So thank you. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that. And I think that's just a really great segue to start to maybe talk a bit more about the future. What are you looking forward to next? Speaker 1 30:26 Um, so I think one of the next things that we're looking forward to them as a business is getting into the homes of more people. Anytime people think about stationery right now, I want them to think about juku. So our biggest segments is to the corporate market. We're still working to crack the b2c market. We launched our website earlier this week, this year, the traffic has been good. We're looking on how to I mean, these are short term, we're looking for how to increase traffic to that website even more, we also are looking at releasing new content. So we started this collection called our roots collection. And the first notebook we introduced in our collection is about Lagos, you know, the busy capital, economic capital of Nigeria. We want to introduce other cities within that collection, showcasing that city, the life they're the culture, they're the people there, and you know, some of the fun activities that you can do there. And you know, interesting facts that you might not have known about it. As more people get to know about Lagos, I cry Bijon, Dakar, whatever city it is, really, it will even increase tourism for us within Africa. I know that sometimes it can be very difficult to travel even within Africa for us. But it's one thing that we also need to look at, because it's very important. I was privileged last month to go to Accra, like I said earlier on, and it was very nice to have a crab been to several times in the past, but you know, it was my first time. And it was very nice to even see side by side, you know, the Anglophone versus the Francophone experience, and just getting away from again, the wahala that says Lagos, right. And I would like for other people to also be able to do that, to say that, hey, I'm going to duck out for the next five days. So I'm going to, like you said, via the UK, or the US or Canada, let's, you know, spend some of our cash, money, cash money on the continents, let's, you know, support one another in here, and Chris tourism in here. And sometimes that can happen. People just really need to have information. That's it. Do we need to know what's going on there? What can I do there is a safe? I think sometimes that's one of the major concerns that people have, is this safe, easy, easy to move around, easily navigate myself, if I get into that situation? Do I need to know somebody, you know, so all these things, it's, we're just trying to educate people so that people can understand and basically be able to know that I can get here easily. And then in my personal capacity, I think one of the things that I really like to start is a writing club, I explored the idea during COVID. But when it started, so I mean, it's kind of similar to book club, I feel like book clubs are more popular people know more about that is to encourage people to write because I meet a lot of people that say to me that, oh, I would love to join all but I don't know what to write. And sometimes all they need is the writing prompts to guide them. And when you give them a prompt that actually helps direct what it is that they're writing, and then all of a sudden, you realise that, okay, I had this to mean somewhere. So sometimes you just need to be able to channel that creativity of basically like, with, with that spark in the person, the person might not even know that it's there. But it is there. In a way, you just need somebody to show you that that thing is there. And he helps you to think outside of the box, we have a new book that we're going to be launching soon. It's called inscribe. And we created a book for people that say they want to write, but they didn't want to write. And like I said earlier, that book has prompts. But the prompts. One of the things that we try to do a lot with the prompts is that we want you to think outside of the traditional, this is what I do in my day to day basis. So you will see prompts, like if I could have a superpower and do anything, what would it be? And what would I do with that superpower. So basically, almost taking you back to your childlike Ness. Because unfortunately with the way the world is you, you lose that very quickly. I love watching my son exploring and I love seeing his child likeness. And I think it's very important for us as adults to also go back to that space on a regular basis because that's what birth you know, solutions. That's what birth innovation. So it's very, very important for us to get back to that. And so these are some things that we're trying to work on in the next few months. Akua Nyame-Mensah 34:53 Yes, amazing. And I know we could talk forever and ever. But yeah, I want to make sure that this episode isn't too long for those of you who have busy lives and are off trying to make some money, but you know Joko, just thank you so very much. Where can people find out more about you and your work online? Speaker 1 35:16 Oh, great. So you can go to Joe cohen.com and JOCO is Jay okay do a do as an education edu.com That's where you will find our work. You can also find I mean, any handle you put even on Instagram is at Duke we do as well. And for my own personal page, where I tend to tell what people like to go up on histories. You can find me at giocato I do that on Instagram, and Joe catalase, j or k or C or L A. and EG you look at solitude I was gonna say Jocko like sit down but I just realised the entire audience know you're about because I love it. Some people like it. Like to call me sit down call me I'm like, no, stop. It is not money. Akua Nyame-Mensah 36:05 We'll make sure that we can link all of that in the show notes. And look at this. I'm even learning Yoruba as as we've had a conversation. Amazing, just thank you so much for sharing your experience for sharing. Just so openly and honestly. And I know a lot of people will benefit from hearing your voice and hearing your story today. Yay. Speaker 1 36:27 Thank you so much. equa have such a great time kids. Akua Nyame-Mensah 36:32 Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.


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