Our LagosMums Mum of the Month is Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde. She is a business strategy/development professional with experience across various sectors including technology, finance, retail, media, real estate, infrastructure and public sector. We certainly enjoyed talking with her! We always learn when we read someone else’s story and they share their experiences with us. Read and enjoy.
Please tell us about yourself?
My friends call me Jola. In very simple terms, I’m a human working to make my mark in the world and fulfill the purpose for which I am here on earth. While at it, I strive to live fully and wholly. Maya Angelou captured it beautifully – “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”.
What are the different hats that you wear?
Daughter, Sister, Friend, Niece, Wife, Mum, Aunt, Boss, Professional, Mentor. It actually seems like a lot wow.
Can you tell us about your education/professional journey.
I’m a business leader at Google where I currently work with leading African businesses to scale great global brands using technology. Prior to Google, I worked in the strategy practice at Accenture and with local entrepreneurs like Silverbird Group and Basscomm. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, gender equality amongst others. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Lagos and a Masters in Management and Strategic Information Systems from the University of Bath, UK. Outside of my professional life, I’m wife, mum, daughter, sister, friend, nature lover, aspiring chef, organizer and generally digging for gold in humans… 🙂
How long have you been married?
10 years at the end of November. It’s been a beautiful incredible journey.
Please share with us how you balance as a working mum?
First of all, it takes a village for real. I have a number of human angels that support me constantly including my husband, parents, sisters, friends, staff etc. God bless them all. I really could not be a working mum without the kind of support I draw from all of these angels.
Secondly, when I’m with my kids or at home, I try to be present. It is a constant work in progress but I keep at it. I cherish the time I get to spend with my family and try to make it count. I try not to work at weekends or fill my weekends with too many external activities.
In the last few years, I have also taken deliberate steps towards my personal wellness. One can only give what you have, so I prioritize taking care of myself spiritually, mentally and physically so I can give my best self to family and work
How supportive is your work place of your family life or other interests?
Google is really supportive especially with flexible working arrangement. This works for me perfectly as it means I can plan to attend school activities, be home when I really need to and fit my schedule around this. It’s great to work at place where the focus is on the results and not the necessarily the clocked hours at a desk.
How important is a support system to a mum today? what support system do you have?
This is critical. I think some women put too much pressure on themselves thinking they can do it all by themselves and eventually burn out. My take is, sure yes you can but it takes a village. Recognise your “villagers”, don’t feel guilty to use them and most importantly, appreciate them. Every “superwoman” is held together by a host of human and spiritual angels.
My husband is my greatest support system on many levels. But I also leverage my mums a lot, my sisters, my cousins, my friends, my staff etc.
In one word tell us something you believe should not be missing from every home?
- Non-physical – Love
- Physical – Food o! My mum ingrained this in me.
What’s the most important skill that a Lagos Mum needs?
Strategic delegation. This city is hectic. As I mentioned, you cannot do it all by yourself. So, know the things you can afford to delegate and do so. For example, use shopping services instead of the chore of going to the market, leverage technology to make your life easier. There are solutions for things like laundry, to grocery, to even bedtime stories. Also, optimize your staff. Try not to get into the habit of picking up tasks and responsibilities you are paying someone to do. Let responsibilities, expectations, measure of success and reward be clear. Also hire and pay accordingly.
How do you raise your kids when it comes to screen time?
My kids only watch TV or play with the tablets at the weekend or public holidays. I arrange a variety of activities to fill out their time including outdoor activities. I think this is critical for children to play outside with other kids. They learn critical skills of team work, problem solving, conflict resolution etc. They build their confidence and social skills. Research support this.
Do you have hobbies? How do you relax and spend time on yourself.
First I try to sleep 😁. Sleep well. Those that know me personally will tell you I cherish my sleep. Also I hang out with my tribe / my friends and have endless mind boggling conversations. I also like cooking. Cooking time for me is reflection time.
If you could travel anywhere where would you go and with who?
Right now, I will take my sisters / girlfriends (7 of them) and go on a girls trip to somewhere exotic and relaxing like Mauritius or Maldives. Just because I really want us all to relax and pat ourselves on the back. We work hard, we strive to do our best. We could all do with some pampering
If you were to share a quote with your younger self what would it be?
I’ll give you 2 actually:
- “Mojolaoluwa, listen, listen more and even more”.
- “Mojolaoluwa, when people show you who they are, believe them the very first time, don’t get it twisted at all but still love them”
Any final words for LagosMums?
First of all, thank you for the honour and well done on the incredible work you are doing.
Listen to Mojolaoluwa on ruralfutures Institute podcast