L.A. AFRICAN: What are 3 interesting facts about you that only people close to you know?
JESSICA: 1. I auditioned for American Idol
2. I was in a Nigerian female singing group called NL3.
3. I love fried okra and McDonalds french fries
L.A. African: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
JESSICA: I'm a Nigerian- American originally from Greenville, Texas. I'm definitely a country gal, but I've grown to love the city. My dad is Nigerian and somewhat "Americanized". I was teased by my American side of the family for being half Nigerian so I didn't care about being Nigerian. I never really embraced the African culture until I met my best friend who is from Cameroon. Her mom would take us to the most lit Cameroonian parties and it was in those moments I knew Africa was the new cool. I attended El Centro College and received an Associates degree in Paralegal Studies. I then went on to obtain my Bachelor's degree in Government with an emphasis in Legal Studies. I was on a path to go to law school. After working and interning for a few lawyers, I realized it was not for me. Plus, my junior year of college, I found my great niche of event planning and my journey of entrepreneurship began. I started helping friends organize parties, which then led to planning US tours for PSquare, Bracket, Timaya and 2Face Idibia to name a few. I then became one of the hottest sought after female club promoters in Dallas when NBA All-Star Weekend and Superbowl weekend hit the D-town. Club promotions was a very fast paced lifestyle for a young woman and I was a bit on the promiscuous side. I needed a lifestyle change so one of my mentors encouraged me to do something more safe. Wedding planning was the only thing I could think of at the time so I did it. It didn't last long as it was not my passion, but it helped birth my purpose which is the Woman of Purpose Network and the Woman of Purpose Conference. I always tell people, your past is part of your purpose. Where I was once gathering sexy, beautiful women for club promotions; I transformed my gifts into empowering women to live their God given purpose and dreams.
L.A. AFRICAN: What have been some challenges you've faced on your journey? What did you do to overcome them?
JESSICA: There's been many challenges, but I'll stick to what I believe will really help others. My biggest challenge was finding my voice and staying true to it. This world is noisy and if not careful, one can get caught up in all the hype and lose their identity. What I did to get myself back on track was study myself. I took time to understand ALL of my gifts and how I can use each one most effectively. I really believe God was giving me daily reminders that it cost absolutely nothing to be myself or use the gifts HE gave me so why would I go through so much effort to be something I'm not. Everyday I told myself to use the gifts that cost me nothing but my time. I started investing ALL of my precious time into myself that way I had more to give to others. I took my mornings back and rather than scroll, I meditated and prayed. Rather than go to every brunch happening in Dallas, I attended events that were beneficial to my next steps in life. To sum it up, I owned my journey rather than be aimless with it.
L.A. AFRICAN: One person you look up to?
JESSICA: There are so many men and women I look up to. One of them is Luvvie Ajayi. I admire her ability to get people on board with her unique brand.
L.A. AFRICAN: What keeps you motivated?
JESSICA: Staying prayed up and meditating. I also surround myself with people who give positive vibes on the regular.
L.A. AFRICAN: What music album is currently the most played on your playlist?
JESSICA: I'm currently jamming Teni "Askamaya" - this is MY JAM. I love dancing and this song gets me every time. I also love her song "Uyo Meyo!" The meaning of the song is powerful. She starts it off by singing, "Everybody's born a winner, if they only just believe."
L.A. AFRICAN: Is there any advice that you would like to lend to individuals looking to get into your industry or just in general?
JESSICA: The best advice I can give to anyone is to be true to themselves. Understand your why, learn how to effectively articulate your story, and create a clear vision for your life. This gives anyone the power to understand who they are.
L.A. AFRICAN: If we gave you $50,000 and said you had to do something with it in the next 24 hours, what is the first thing you would buy/do and why? (CANNOT INVEST)
JESSICA: I would apply $10k towards my business (use this to pay employees, marketing, events, etc) $15k towards furnishing my new house. $3k on a personal trainer $2k on a new LV handbag $1500 on a new camera $5k (give it to God) $13,500k (travel with my family - the best of the best places)