Dawan Ejomah is one woman who wears many hats gracefully.
She is a Master of Ceremonies (MC), Speaker, Trainer, and Customer Experience Consultant and her experience cuts across banking, telecommunications, education, non-profits, events management and entertainment.
She is currently the principal partner at Soundbite Solutions; an experiential training and creative communications agency in Lagos, Nigeria.
She is also an alumna of the Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School.
FabWoman had a chat with Dawan where she spoke about her life as an MC, challenges she faces and her other projects.
1. What was growing up like for you? Any childhood memories you would like to share?
I had a pretty normal and quite interesting childhood. I was a very inquisitive learner back then and I asked quite a lot of questions. I also started reading at a very early age so my dad made it a point of duty to buy the Sunday Guardian Newspaper for me. My favourite activity was mimicking the voices of newscasters while reading the news articles.
When I was done with the paper, I would roll it up and hold it like a microphone while standing in front of the mirror. By the time I got to senior secondary school, I was the official emcee for all my classmates’ birthday parties.
2. What influenced your decision to become an MC?
My dad played a major role in my decision to become an MC. He was a consummate wordsmith (God rest his soul). He was so articulate; he had a word or phrase for everything. So let’s just say I grew up learning from the best.
It was only natural that I would end up as a master of ceremonies having experienced my dad repeatedly act as MC for his Church and Old Boys’ Association through the years.
3. Can you share some challenges of being an MC?
I think the first challenge comes from the stereotype that a master of ceremonies is usually male. I’ve had prospective clients say they’d prefer to work with a man which just breaks my heart.
Of course, women in this industry have had to work twice as hard as men in order to be recognized.
Another challenge has to do with the fact that people assume that your job is to talk alone. You hear people say, “Is it not just to talk?” They forget that the success of any event whether social or corporate hangs on the back of the master of ceremonies.
People will forget what you say to them but they will never forget how you made them feel. As an MC, I look forward to engaging my audience with my wit and charm.
My clients and their guests must leave each event I host with a pleasant & memorable experience.
4. What do you enjoy the most about your job?
It has to be meeting people. I get to meet a bunch of people in the course of my work. My job also comes with a bit of travel which I always look forward to.
I also love the fact that I have flexible work hours during non-event days. And since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have had the opportunity to anchor events from the comfort of my home.
5. Which 3 women inspire you and why?
Three women who inspire me? Hmmm.
First would be Arese Ugwu; she’s done something I always wanted to do which is write a movie script and produce it.
Joke Silva also inspires me; especially how she has been able to make a career for herself while holding down a family.
The third woman who inspires me is Adesuwa Onyenokwe. She’s the type of public speaker that I aspire to become someday soon.
6. What is the greatest achievement of your career?
That would be anchoring the 2019 annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICA)
There were three royal fathers, two governors, representatives of two governors and other distinguished personalities in attendance.
7. What are the other projects and activities you are involved in?
What many people don’t know is that I am a trained teacher. I have a B.sc and a Master’s degree in Science Education and Educational Psychology respectively.
So, when I am not emceeing an event, I am busy homeschooling my 3-year-old and 13-month-old children.
8. What do you enjoy doing during your free time?
Reading is my favourite pastime. But ever since I became a mom it has been difficult to pick up a book, let alone finish it. These days, I have resorted to listening to audiobooks though I still miss the sensation of flicking the pages of a physical book.
9. Describe yourself in three words?
I would like to describe myself with three R’s: Resilient, Resourceful, and Relentless.
10. Advice for other women looking to follow your career path?
There are three things that make an emcee stand out: Confidence, Competence and Experience.
Confidence comes from developing your competence and you can only get competent at something if you do it consistently enough to build experience.
What’s most important is having the courage to take that first step before you can achieve success at it.
11. Any final words?
I would like to leave you with my personal mantra which is, ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing well’.
I believe that if you give your clients the best version of yourself constantly, they would literally beat down your door in order to pay for your services.
So, always bring your ‘A’ game every time you step into an event as an emcee and if you can’t commit to doing that, then there’s no point doing it all.
Dawan can be reached via her social media handles