Interview with Adeline Sede Kamga – CEO, FabAfriq Media Group

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Adeline Sede Kamga is the Founder/CEO of FabAfriq Media Group, a Creative and Innovative Marketing and communication agency with offices in the UK and Cameroon operating both in Europe and Africa. A change leader and inspirational speaker with over fifteen years of experience. She has expertise working across different areas in the corporate, business and community world. She is committed to delivering quality projects in Corporate PR and Communications, Change management, Executive Coaching. She has a BA in Corporate Communications, MA in Human Resource Management at Coventry University UK and professional qualifications such as CIPD, PRINCE2 & Dip in Business Administration.

Adeline is an expert in Corporate communications and PR, including digital communication and eventing. As a trained executive coach, she has worked with blue chip companies from varied sectors, helping them gain visibility across Africa and the rest of the world. Her previous experience in HR, gave her hands-on experience working in different HR projects with one of the largest employers in Europe (Birmingham City Council) & subsequently as a consultant. Amongst some of her expertise are change management, People Management, T & D and Strategic HR. She has led on many strategic and restructuring projects, leading to successful change management system & implementations.

Adeline is also a founding member of FEPPSAC (Women editors of Central Africa), a UN Central Africa Office initiative to work with women in the print magazine industry. This group seeks to help drive the United Nations mandate of women, peace and security in Central Africa. She is dynamic, innovative, and tenacious. Gifted with a sharp mind and innate ability to connect with others and an insatiable thirst for excellence.

In 2016, Adeline launched a Pan Excellence In People Management initiative for change called The Corporate Awards & The Corporate Women in Leadership program. Adeline invests in inspiring and empowering young leaders through speaking engagements and mentoring programs.

She is married to a very supportive husband and has 3 kids. adeline.sede@fabafriq.com

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What have been some of the things that you’ve done to raise awareness about coronavirus?

Adeline Sede Kamga: The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on the whole world and I must say this has caused lots of mishaps, losses, panic, fear, anxiety, depression and you can name it. One of the things I do on a daily base is communication, so I used this skill to raise awareness via social media. Due to the sensitive nature of COVID-19, I had to be very accurate in providing such information, so I sourced from reliable institutions such as WHO, CDC, Medical News Today, and others.

As the Founder of Corporate Women in Leadership (CWILS), an initiative that seeks to increase the presence of women in the boardroom through inspirational career development projects. I started an online series for personal development amidst the lockdown. Our speakers are corporate experts in different fields from different countries. Through these sessions, we have touched more than 50,000 viewers and 12,000 participants.

My team and I launched “How I Stay Safe Campaign,” geared towards implementing the different measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Participants shared videos and key messages, which were shared on our social media platforms.

Through Fabafriq Media Group, we ran numerous campaigns for our clients and managed Corporate Social Responsibility projects. This of course involved using influencers and local communities to drive key messages.

FabAfriq Magazine, also launched a sensitization campaign whereby celebrities and high profile personalities in our communities sent images and messages of encouragement to our editorial team. These are used to design very attractive digital banners and are shared amongst their platforms.

Jacobsen: What are some organizations individuals can garner some assistance from now?

Kamga: It is no news that COVID-19 has affected most people, either psychologically or physically. As individuals, nonprofits and businesses grapple with the economic impact, many funders are stepping up to provide support through microgrants, hardship relief, and loan programs. It is truly amazing to see that many such organizations have adapted their giving policies to include people affected by COVID-19. We cannot give an exhaustive list but the following could be explored by people looking for funds. GlobalGiving, International Women’s Media Foundation, United Way, Candid, Prudential Beneficial Insurance, Ecobank Africa, and many others.

Jacobsen: How can ordinary citizens work together to deal with the coronavirus?

Kamga: Scott, it is remarkably interesting that you asked. Through FabAfriq Media Group, we have taken on initiatives that call on everyone’s participation towards dealing with Coronavirus. We have been lucky to have our national celebrities join us in a national sensitization campaign through our social media platforms. We need to continue encouraging people to observe preventive measures like social distancing, wearing masks, etc. Without the right information, this virus is only going to keep spreading. Together, we have to educate as many people as possible about staying safe. I also encourage individuals, companies & leaders to facilitate the less privileged by donating what they can to help ensure safety. Coronavirus is our fight, and together we all can beat it!

Jacobsen: What have been some of the more important areas of empowering women across Africa through the work of FabAfriq Media Group?

Kamga: We started the group as an initiative to help share the stories of African Women in Africa and the diaspora. We launched our online platform in 2009, where we have interviewed and published inspirational, educative and innovative stories. Our print magazine, launched one year after the website has also featured some of the most amazing women making a difference in the African community. We believe through our storytelling, we have empowered and impacted more lives around the world.

Six years ago, FabAfriq Media Group started a Pan African movement called The Corporate Women In Leadership. Over the last 6 years, we have hosted Conferences and summits in different African countries, Gabon, Senegal & Cameroon, and Cote d’Ivoire. Through this summit, we create a stage for women in the boardroom to share their experiences and provide mentorship to aspiring leaders. Moving forward, I see a bigger network of women empowering girls, women empowering women & women empowering the next generation

At a much lower level, we work with underprivileged women in the communities. FabAfriq Media Group has partnered with some NGOs dealing in domestic violence, incest, women with Albinism conditions, videos, and teenage mothers. We support these set of women to adapt and achieve their full potential in life.

Jacobsen: What are the more vulnerable populations of women, i.e., the sectors of the population and specific nations underperforming on the empowerment of women?

Kamga: This may get me in trouble, but I’m just going to say it [Laughing]. In my honest opinion, I think the Muslim community is still very shy about gender equality & female empowerment. We have Muslim communities in every part of the world, but the heavily concentrated communities are in North Africa, Middle East & Asia, and in some of these parts women still can’t dress freely, speak freely, study freely, talk less of practice in careers of their choice. There has been a change, but it takes time, of course. In terms of sectors, I would say the architectural market continues to see few practicing women, aviation & why not women at the highest position of power in a country, i.e., Presidency.

Jacobsen: What will be the programs and initiatives rolled out in the second half of 2020?

Kamga: Scott like every other company in the world right now, we are just re-strategizing while fighting COVID-19 together. However, the plan is to continue hosting our on-site conference and mentorship programs. We had planned to host our annual Corporate Awards in London. This is an HR initiative we launched to celebrate excellence in people management and to help create a benchmark for companies. This year, FabAfriq Media group celebrates its 10th Anniversary, so we are currently working on the anniversary issue and plan. We are, however, skeptical, as mentioned above.

Jacobsen: FabAfriq Magazine relaunched on June 8th, 2020. What happened to the magazine before?

Kamga: To be honest, with the rise of digitalization, many magazines saw a decline in sales across the world. The last decade has seen the world evolve more into a global village forcing print to fade away while tablets, phones & the internet blossomed. This made most of the print magazines, including FabAfriq management team, put a stop to its print version and focus on the digital version.

Now, it feels like the perfect time to come back with FabAfriq Magazine print because there is a high demand for quality lifestyle information. We have also grown a huge client/readership network and truth be told; there’s nothing like that glossy feeling when you turn a page after an amazing read.

Jacobsen: Why relaunch in June of 2020?

Kamga: Well, the idea was to release this edition on the 29th of May, coinciding with my birthday…but unfortunately, COVID-19 did not make that happen, pushing it one week apart. The reason I set this date was because I wanted to combine and celebrate the things that matter in life for me – offering a platform to share real and inspiring stories. FabAfriq Magazine print was launched at my prime, and seeing this vision growing bigger each day, simply means there is a need for this to stay. The entire team at FabAfriq Media Group joined the business because they believed in the dream, part of this dream is the print magazine and this is exactly one of the reasons they are with the business. We cannot sell a lie; we have to make sure whatever we sell is what we give. I am glad everyone is excited about this relaunch. I truly think this will create a great sensation in the office

Jacobsen: What is its vision and set of targeted objectives for the rest of 2020 and 2021?

Kamga: Our vision is to provide results-oriented media and communication services to clients. Being a growth-oriented company, we are looking at growing our client base, extending our service offerings and providing more employment opportunities.

In 2020 & 2021, We would focus on sharing more corporate stories through videos and images. We believe our expertise in sharing corporate stories has a valid objective. We hope to attract more businesses looking at using this service.

One of our objectives at the beginning of the year was to celebrate our 10th anniversary. This plan is not really set because of the outbreak of COVID-19. This activity has to happen. So if we do not achieve it this year, we will do it next year.

As mentioned above, we have a flagship program called The Corporate Award. The corporate awards, research and recognize companies who invest in their staff. Our intention in 2021 was to invite past participants for a 3-day program in the UK. The objective of this is to exchange knowledge with UK based corporations and gain other skills where needed.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Adeline.

Kamga: The pleasure was all mine, Scott, thank you for talking with me. Please do not forget to check out our work via our website www.fabafriq.com.

Image Credit: Adeline Sede Kamga.

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